Sunday, August 5, 2018

What Do You Want?

What I want is to be able to build something with someone. I want to open myself up to another person and trust that, even if feelings change, I won't be left feeling abandoned. I want to have a partner who challenges me to be my best self and that wants to grow and change together. I want you to have faith in me and allow me to have faith in you. And if our feelings change, I want us to talk about it and discuss whether anything can be done to improve the situation before we walk away. I want a lover who is also a best friend. I want us to revolve around each other like celestial gods and goddesses among the stars. 

I also want to keep some semblance of myself intact--the part that gives me a sense of identity and that appeals to other people (i.e., you). I want to create something positive and meaningful with my own life separately that is also supported by a life joined with another. Balance. Love. Honesty. No fear.

As much as I want you to be impressed by what I create or what I have done with my life thus far (and how it has led to the person i am now), I also need you to remember that I am just a human being. I will try to remember the same of you.

I want to love. I want to open my heart up so wide that all the fat moms from the "yo mamma is so fat" jokes would fit comfortably inside. I want to shine with love, like a unicorn dancing on a rainbow bridge under a disco ball sun.

I want to live. I want to experience things so that someday (with any luck) we can look back and say, "Remember all the fun things we did together. Remember how much we lived?"

I want to be immortal. I want to leave my mark. I want to have an impact on the world. I want to find meaning within the world while I'm here. I want a partner who will be supportive and encouraging and my biggest fan/cheerleader. And I want to be that for someone else.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

When Young People Protest

There is a reason that our very first amendment is about the freedom to express, organize, and dissent. Maybe, for the first time, young people are waking up to the reality that "real life" is happening right now and doesn't start after high school, and then after college, and then after the internship, and then after the promotion, and then after retirement. RIGHT NOW is all there is.

My message to young people is to take advantage of your educational opportunities; be a sponge. It's easier to learn and retain information (like learning languages) when you're young. Take advantage of any and all opportunities to travel and experience different cultures that come your way, no matter how scary they may seem; you WILL survive the experience and be better for it. Take advantage of your youth. Run, climb, dance, sing. Take advantage of your time: if you want to be good at something, you need to practice every single day. Respect yourself: your body is a temple, as they say. Your actions have consequences and make sure you educate yourself and are prepared for the consequences of your actions.

From the United States Constitution:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Emotions, Fault, Responsibility

Dear Mother,

I know we don't always see eye to eye, but in spite of what you may think, I am concerned for your well-being. Your relationships with your sisters have never been ideal, but its grown so toxic in the past few years and that affects me deeply. I suspect you've always been envious of my bonds with them, probably because it was something you never had with them...or me. I'm sorry we weren't more like the Gilmore Girls with their insane closeness and trust, and I'm sorry that we were EXACTLY like the Gilmore Girls in regard to neurotic behavior and extended family dynamics (neither of which I was actually responsible for, but it was unfortunate, nonetheless). I have always been at the center of the storm that we call family. I don't think you meant to put me there, but I don't think you had the capacity to protect me from it, either. The thing about the middle is that its easier to see everybody from this perspective. I see the causal links between actions and reactions like a delicate spiderweb spread out before me. Most of our actions are, in fact, actually reactions to other people, but somehow our minds are too clouded to see it. So when a thing happens and if affects you and causes you pain, you may view it as an attack and internalize the idea of being a victim because of it. However, these things don't happen in a vacuum. Would you think that a kid was a victim in a fight if you learned he had publicly humiliated his aggressor beforehand? There is a context to every situation that needs to be considered. And in that example, even if the kid had done something to provoke another person, it doesn't make any of it alright; it does, however, illustrate the concept of "fault" versus "responsibility." Like Will Smith pointed out, they are not the same thing and we need to stop treating them as such. No matter whose fault something is, it doesn't determine how we react to it. We can be responsible for ourselves, no matter what anyone else has done to us or around us.

We are responsible for our own happiness. This may sound cliche but...it's true. I know that you struggle with this a lot, which is why I'm writing this down so that maybe someday I can share some of these words with you. I see how much pain you are in, and I see how your mind is holding you hostage in your pain. Let me share another truth with you: if someone hurts you and you decide to hold on to the anger, hate, and resentment that you feel, it doesn't actually affect that person AT ALL, but it DOES affect you. You are the one carrying it around inside, letting it weigh you down. In a perfect world, the person at fault would always take responsibility for fixing the problem, but we all know by now that life isn't fair. So why keep holding on to those negative feelings as if they will shoot across the night sky and hit the person, infecting them with some of your pain? Its not EVER going to happen; to believe otherwise is to delude yourself. 

Our feelings are not weapons to be used against other people; that's not how they work. They are tools, which can help us with our own internal journey of self-improvement.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"For The Ones Left Behind"

On January 23, 2018, I lost my great aunt Lois. The very next day, on January 24, 2018, I lost a former coworker and friend named Phil.

I've heard comedians joke about the use of the word "lost" to talk about people who have died. It's not like they're missing and we can't find them, so why do we use that word? Maybe it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with how WE feel.  We feel like we've lost something, someone. They are not in fact lost (one hopes). No matter what you believe happens after, the feeling of loss when someone you care about dies is universal. I feel privileged to have had both of these special people in my life.
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"For The Ones Left Behind"

Those with the largest capacity for light
Can suffer the darkness inside twice as bright.
We see each other through "me-colored" glass
And wonder why days like this come to pass.
One would think us connected, with Face glued to Book.
One tremor. One candle flicker. The whole world--It shook.
Then came the "Hellos" and the "So good to see yous"
The "I can't believe its" and (of course) lots of booze.
Together, we reach out to the stars and shout, "Why?!"
They twinkle and whisper, "We love you. Goodbye."