I haven’t checked in in a while and I’ve missed you. I’ve had multiple people reach out to me and ask how I am doing since I have been very touch and go with my online presence lately and I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me.
There are so many things I miss now that the pandemic has robbed me of them. Little, odd things, like the Northwest Sound Men’s choir who rented out space at the place I work to be able to gather and rehearse every Wednesday evening. I miss shutting down my office at the end of the work day and hearing them practice their songs in perfect and jovial harmony down the hall. I miss putting together my powerpoint presentations for people who would pass by and stop for a few minutes, attention snagged, to view them. Something about knowing that people are going to be present to appreciate your work makes it so fulfilling.
I could go on and on, and so could you because we have all lost something. There are days that are incredibly rough still, and others where I feel that I have made so much progress and growth as a person. Recently, I had to have a tough conversation with someone where I had to lay down my boundaries. Always such a pleasant conversation, sigh. But I resolved to myself to be fully present and not give an inch even in the inevitable face of their hurt feelings/pride. It’s always that much more tough when the offending party encroaches on your boundaries and into your personal space from a place of overeagerness and wanting to insert themselves into spaces in your life that you never asked them to. Giving advice that was never sought after, sharing too much personal information out of nowhere, unburdening themselves to you without asking if you’re even okay with it. Finally I had to tell them they were making me uncomfortable. I wrestled with all of the feelings that came along with the whole scenario, but the relief in my soul was absolutely worth it in the end. The art of saying no to people, not maliciously, but out of self care, is a powerful tool in our arsenal. Sometimes it takes years of courage to learn how to wield it properly.
There are moments that I cherish that are made even brighter in the face of all the tragedies that keep unfolding on the world stage. One of my best friends at work sent me and our other best friend (yep, at work) a Charlie’s Angels mug as a celebration of our friendship. That made our day. It’s gestures like these that keep me going when I just want to lay down and give up sometimes.
Not all has been difficult and I would be remiss if I weren’t going to touch on the parts that remain shiny, faceted gems in the caverns of my mind. Before the pandemic hit us in full force, the start of this year brought with it unexpected adventures and little surprises that were cool to experience. The University of Washington had found my blog and contacted me to see if they could interview me about it. I had agreed, of course, and had a lovely interview at a coffee shop on a rainy, February evening. I had also auditioned for and won a part in a show that I flew out to California to film. (Don’t ask what show, I will never reveal it 😉) I was also scheduled to go on a vacation to Scotland in May, but that’s when all the borders had shut down and I was never able to go. But sometimes, just remembering the track record of neat things I was on the path of experiencing this year helps me to get through the parts that are lonely and remind me of how fragile we are.
Anyway, with all of that being said, I’m going to have to wind down and head out for my massage but I can’t help but be wildly curious to know what things have you unexpectedly missed during this pandemic that you never thought you might miss? What has been helping you to stay sane and grounded when it seems that all else keeps failing?
I’ve been thinking about this post from the moment Tim nominated me on his blog. It was such a beautiful thing of him to do because I’ve unintentionally been so absent from the blogosphere that I thought for sure everyone forgot about me. But this was a post in the back of my mind that was like a little beacon of light consistently calling me to return. I don’t usually participate in blog awards on my blog because I applaud everyone who is brave enough to take up the pen and write down their most intimate thoughts to share with passersby, but the questions Tim asked intrigue me and I find I am curious to answer them. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
- What is your favorite Star Trek episode? All spin offs, generations and films count.
I feel like the following will be an admission of guilt, but it’s the truth so there’s no getting around it. I’ve never watched Star Trek. Not even a single episode. But in my defense, we didn’t grow up with a TV so you can usually catch me reading something..
- What line from a song makes you say, “I wish I had written that!”, every time you hear it?
To be honest, it’s not a song that comes to mind, but rather, two of my most favorite poets that I happen to know here on WordPress. Rachel and April bring me to tears with their poetry and each time I have to sit back and dream of what it would be like if the enchantment they weave flowed from my pen instead of theirs. Sigh. ErroneousChoices is another WordPress siren whose words ensnared me forever into their depths.
Oscar Wilde is another favorite of mine. I wish I said a lot of whatever he said first.
- If words could only be written a finite number of times, would you write them not knowing if it they could be written again?
Yes. I would. Words deserve to be given life, whether shouted from the rooftops, or whispered in the dark of night. Perhaps the written word would be all the more eloquent if they could never be penned again.
- If you could walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, who’s shoes and why? (any person, any time, any reason)
This one is so difficult to answer because there are so many many people I would love to walk with for a while if I could. But if I were forced to choose, I would choose to walk in the shoes of one of the men on the road to Emmaus.
- If you find yourself standing at the intersection of ‘Right’ and ‘Legal’, which path would you choose?
Right. By the grace of God.
- Dogs… or cats?
Cats. Without question. If you argue with me on this you are wrong. So sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.
- Is is okay to benefit from knowledge, technology or skills that were gained by morally questionable means?
The jury is out on this one. I mean, advances in medicine could not be accomplished without men and women practicing on cadavers or people who were close to death, and in those times, that was very questionable indeed.
- How much better, or worse, is your singing voice than you believe it is?
This is timely 🙂 I was belting along to a country song this morning at the tennis academy and a stranger told me she really liked my voice. I often get complimented on my singing voice but I don’t actually have the talent for it. So my answer is it is worse, and people’s answer is it is better.
- Where do you think all the lost socks went?
They return as tupperware lids. But really, I have absolutely no idea where they go. It frustrates me to pieces.
- “I think, therefore, I am”. I feel, therefor, I _______?
Can enjoy carnal pleasures… yep, my mind went there. Not sorry.
- You have a magic wand, you waved it. What happened?
World order was restored. Coronavirus vanished forever. The stock markets skyrocketed. All the racial injustice stopped, utopia commences…
I know the rules list a few things that I am supposed to do and I’m also supposed to nominate others who I feel are amazing. But to be honest, you are all amazing. So I nominate everyone who comes across this post. Feel free to answer the above questions in the comments section if you are so inclined.
Sometimes I get the most lovely comments directed to my spam and it pains me that I don’t know if they’re real or fake. The commenters are from outside the world of WP. To the ones who left me these comments (if they are genuine), thank you for these incredible compliments ♥️
Also, if you’d like to buy me a coffee (donate), the link is here 😉
..this song swept me up and carried me far away. Someone please tell me why this song feels so much like the reincarnation of my childhood?
My culture is drunk on weddings. It was something that I despised when I became old enough for the matronly mamas at social events to start asking me whether I had managed to snag a potential husband yet. Young ladies were expected to be married off at a very specific age, and the sooner one was able to pull off that feat, the more accolades she could acquire as personal trophies. What one did with those invisible trophies was anyone’s guess because I always had this sneaky suspicion they weren’t keeping anyone warm at night. It was obvious to me that the ring on my finger wouldn’t soothe my upset late at night when I was unhappy if I had only pursued it to prove a point to gossiping busybodies. At some point I started despising the Olympic-style competition for weddings so much that I became averse to the idea of dating at all. There were moments in my life that when a man crossed my imaginary boundaries in pursuit of dating me, I would have severe panic attacks. This also led to toxic relationships that I would only allow because I always subconsciously knew that the relationships would never lead to marriage. It was a self defeating cycle, one that I am genuinely relieved to be able to say I am breaking free from. To this day when in serious conversations about things that break my heart, people mistakenly, albeit with good intentions, slap the ol’ “we need to find you a boyfriend” bandaid on the whole thing. I am always taken aback because in essence they are saying that a love interest will fix all the things have been incredibly grievous to me in my human experience. Sure, I am not averse to love, but I am, and will always be, vehemently opposed to finding love for all the wrong reasons.
Happy New Year, friends! I am spending it soaking away my cold in my bathtub with sea salts, wine, and chocolate. ..milk chocolate. Because my palate never matured beyond juvenile when it comes to chocolate 🤷🏻♀️
Anyway, I hope everyone’s New Year is everything they need it to be this year.
It was black and endless and lined with teeth all over.
Descending like a wet blanket,
every breath you drew was a shudder.
*On a separate note, I’d like to reiterate just how much I dislike textual misunderstandings. Yesterday was the first time I got true hate comments on my blog. What I thought was carefree banter somehow caused the other person to devolve into calling me something vulgar and tell me to burn in hell. The fact that I don’t entertain phone calls from married men may have factored into this whole debacle. Why are we always so apt to screw things up so royally? It’s one thing we can always depend on to do spectacularly.
Ukrainians don’t say, “I love you” to each other. We could love someone fiercely and yet still cringe when it comes to verbally expressing that emotion. I remember the first time my mom told me she loved me, I cringed so hard that I kind of just wanted to crawl into a corner somewhere and hide. It made me feel so exposed. “Why are you doing this to me?” I thought to myself. It was something she had picked up from her American client whom she is a caregiver for, and she thought it would be a really nice ‘Americanism’ to incorporate into our inner lifestyle. I dreaded it. Every time I had a phone conversation with her and we were nearing the end of the conversation, I kind of hated that inevitable moment when she would tell me she loves me. So many times I just quickly hung up without saying anything in response. Yet it never deterred her. She would also start out her texts to me (when she finally learned how to text) by bestowing a blessing on me and wishing me all the best that God could possibly give, and that was easier for me to handle because texting “I love you” back wasn’t as hard. I could hide behind my screen, after all.
Over the years, I slowly got used to my mom telling us she loves us when it was time to hang up the phone or when leaving the house. Honestly, it wasn’t until very long ago that I started telling her and my dad that I love them, and it took moving out and living on my own to be able to really respond in kind. Weirdly enough, I am actually happy that we didn’t grow up hearing those three words, “I love you” bandied about because it taught me what it really means to be able to utter those words to someone. Every time you say it, you expose your most vulnerable self—something that does not come easy to a Slavic person. I had to choose to be vulnerable and consciously tell my parents that I love them, and when I say it, I mean it with every particle of my being. Something tells me I wouldn’t mean it as deeply as I do if it was something I had cut my teeth on and took for granted.