I’ve been thinking a lot about when, how, and why things fail. It sounds a little grim, but it also feels really practical. If you want to know how or why things work, then it stands to reason you might want/need to know why that thing might break down or fail, too. Right? I mean, you may not always understand or get to know the why, or want to accept the why or how… especially if the failing impacts you directly in some way. And REALLY especially if you would have to admit that you (or someone you love and admire) contributed to the failing.
Seeing your part in things is hard when it’s a painful loss. Looking for someone or something else to blame seems like a better, easier path to follow, until maybe somewhere down the road you realize you’re a common denominator, or you are (or that person you’ve been idolizing is), in fact, fallible and complicit.
The falling apart of a thing – whether it’s a physical thing like a bridge, or a relationship, or an idea, or a state of being like sobriety – generally begins well before it actually happens. A slow erosion… a disintegration… a chipping away in the background.Read More »
“What are you willing to give up to get what you (say you) want?”
Some months ago, I saw a post that said something to this effect. I’m pretty sure it was my wonderful therapist who posted it, which damn well figures. She’s great at asking the tough questions, even unintentionally, even when they’re not directed at me, even if they don’t seem so tough at the outset.
This one planted a seed. I woke up this morning, the first day of a new year, first day of a new week, first day of the rest of my life, contemplating just what it is I (say I) want in life, and then what it is I currently say, think, do, or what it is I’m holding on to, that’s standing in the way of me getting it. Easy enough, right?Read More »
“I’m great and I’m terrible and I’m great and I’m terrible.” – Fiona Apple
I’d originally started this post with the first lines of A Tale of Two Cities (it was the best of times, the worst of times, etc.) as an attempt at a deep, meaningful review of 2017 coupled with an equally deep, meaningful look at the year ahead. I mean… yeah. Last year was full of wonderful things and also full of really damn awful things. But so was the year before that, and the year before that, and just about every year and every day that has ever been. Just because I didn’t personally experience great things or terrible things doesn’t mean they didn’t happen somewhere to someone at some point, right? Read More »
I don’t like to share.
It’s one of the more “interesting” revelations I’ve had lately, I suppose.
Over the years, I’ve written a lot about how, when I was younger, I had no sense of self so I tried to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. And how, because it was too confusing to be all things to all people, I limited myself to either a boyfriend, or a best friend, but rarely both, and certainly no more than that. Acquaintances aplenty, but only one special person at a time.
What I realize now is that’s only part of the story. Read More »
Today’s (ongoing) revelation:
People cannot, and WILL not, make good or informed decisions, or respond appropriately/well to something, without having all the information they need to make that decision or feel that appropriate feeling or emotion. I mean, they might get lucky and land somewhere close, but the withholding of information automatically impacts the trajectory of any reaction or response on the part of anyone involved. So, like, you can’t get upset with someone for reacting a certain way to something you’ve said or done, unless you give them ALL the information they need to respond accordingly. Right? And you can’t get mad at an outcome if you didn’t provide all the information needed to perform a task or whatever.
If you’re keeping information to yourself – for whatever reason – then you have to bear the burden of whatever happens as a result of that withholding. If you are intentionally leaving things out of a story in order to get the reaction you want, then you need to question your motives, and if it doesn’t go well, chances are, YOU are the problem. If you’re leaving things out for the sake of someone’s feelings, then you have to know it could all go sideways. If the underlying purpose of leaving stuff out is manipulation… it’s a lot more work than it needs to be, and you will never been truly seen or known, because you’re not showing up with your full voice AND you’re preventing other people from being able to fully engage. Read More »
A lot of years ago (probably 17 or 18 of them, now), I was all up in my feelings about a guy. I was living in a co-ed 3/4 house after having gone to treatment, and while there, I met someone with whom I was totally infatuated. I was still recovering mentally from my addictions, so of course I was looking for any and all distractions from actually feeling and healing, because that shit was HARD. Instead, I put all my focus on this guy, who, really, if I were going to focus on a person, he was a good choice. He was doing the work, getting healthy, kind to others, thoughtful, smart… and for a while, he wanted nothing to do with me, because I was none of those things. Not yet, anyway.Read More »
The other day, my co-worker and I were talking about the beauty of thank you notes. I told her I was raised to write a thank you note every time, for every gift, and that I still do it to this day. She said she does the same, and then proceeded to blow my mind: as a kid, she wasn’t allowed to play with, touch, or otherwise engage with any toy or gift she got until a thank you note had been written.
That is some diabolical next-level shit, and I AM HERE FOR IT. Reason #462 why I wish I could procreate: I’d do the same thing.Read More »
(with a nod to this great song by Highly Suspect)
November, 1998: It was a beautiful morning in Buena Vista Park, in the Upper Haight district of San Francisco. The sun was shining, the air clean and crisp… a perfect time and place for a father and his daughter to walk through the park, enjoying the great outside. As they ambled along the path, the young girl saw someone lying in the grass on (and under) some cardboard, appearing to be asleep. The girl, curious, asked why the person was sleeping there. The father responded, “Because they’re a loser and need to get a job. Either that or they just need more coffee. Maybe we should bring them some!” and started laughing. The girl laughed a little, too, and they continued to walk.
I was the person feigning sleep on that cardboard in the park, and I heard every word.Read More »
But before I dive into all that… I wonder if I’ll ever not think about Electra Woman and Dyna Girl when I use the word “dynamic?” (I hope not. I miss that lunchbox. And I just fell down a rabbit hole of excellent old lunchboxes, darn it!)
When C and I first met, ours was a pretty easy integration. I had room, space, and time for him, and – when he wasn’t traveling – he had the same for me. Neither of us had much in the way of social obligations, so the majority of our free time was spent together, and it just… worked. It was lovely because it all made sense.
But he has kids, he has a family, and he had a life prior to meeting me. I have family, and a long time of being on my own which meant I was accustomed to doing things my way, or my family’s way. I’d never really given much thought to how much of a challenge it might be, could be, and probably would be, to integrate families that have pre-existing dynamics that may not match up with the other. Read More »
SOCIAL ANXIETY. FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. TUNNEL VISION, HOT FACE AND NECK, BUTTERFLIES, FUZZY BRAIN, SHAKY VOICE.
aka Some Bullshit.
So, I get that public speaking is a common fear. It reveals itself in different ways, of course; some people get sweaty, some turn red and splotchy, some get a lovely combination platter of some or all of the above… I get it. I mean, literally. I get the shaky voice like I’m about to start crying, I get the tunnel vision like even my hearing is impaired, I’m unable to focus on what I’m trying to say, and I am in full on fight, flight, or freeze mode. It’s great, really. My favorite thing ever (she says as her eyes roll around the world and back).
The problem for me is that it isn’t just public speaking. Read More »