I awake this morning feeling nothing out of the ordinary except for the stream of messages pinging on my phone. They are sweet and warm my heart like no other. Birthdays are a way to remind people in your life that they do, indeed, love you. Anyway, here’s a note I wrote in my phone several years ago and still continue to feel this way about December.
What is it about December that makes it such an enchanting time of the year? Perhaps it’s the promise of joy, and snow, and cozy nights by the fire sipping decadent hot chocolate out of your favorite orange mug. Maybe it is the promise of stolen kisses under fragrant boughs of holly, or the excitement of bulging stockings hung in a haphazard row on the fireplace mantle. Whatever the case, December allows for young and old children alike to bring out their inner sparkle and bathe in the golden glow of love, and good, and kindness. Although I must admit that I may be a little biased considering that December also happens to be my birthday month 👸🏻✨🌨🎄🌬✨❄️
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.
It has to be an unwritten law in the universe—the night before an eventful weekend, you just have to break out or get sick. In my case, I was puking and my head was spinning like a wayward top. Lovely.
In any case, I was able to rally enough to get out and join in on the adventures. How do they put it—come hell or high water, right?
Fall in the Pacific Northwest is gorgeous.
We were treated to the most stunning sunset. This photo was taken with an iPhone with no filters or editing applied.
Girls girls girls.
Sunday we attended a concert and got lucky enough to be able to meet (and in my case, hug) the singers!
All in all it was a successful weekend, I think.
I’m not a good person. When I look at all the brilliant, kind, warm, and caring individuals that I have run across on this platform, I realize how much work I still need to do on myself. I do realize that online and in real life, we tend to display a specific persona that we want people to perceive, and it’s more prevalent online, but I feel that there are some genuinely sweet people on here that go way above what I am willing to do. And it makes me envy them. Not in a bad way, because I know that I can continue to persevere and I can get there too, but it doesn’t come natural to me. I have to work at it. I consistently work on kindness and grace because I need so much of that bestowed on me too.
I was not a nice person growing up. It actually wasn’t until I entered into the darkest years of my life that I learned how to be kind to people. If I hadn’t had my heart absolutely shredded and my beliefs challenged to near extinction, I don’t believe I’d ever have changed the way I was. I enjoyed my lifestyle too much and I loved being elitist. What I mean by that is that I was incredibly picky with who I allowed into my most inner circle, and it meant that I had many acquaintances but only a very very few close friends. On top of that, I was incredibly smug about it too—until the people I adored with all of my heart failed me and I was left with no one. Over the years I was forced to learn how to let people in and not keep myself closed off because my status quo to meeting new people was to not like them. By default, you can’t really get far with that kind of attitude.
As for my blog—my interactions to everyone I have met on this platform have all been genuine, so to whoever is reading this, please don’t mistake my past behavior with my current self. Although I am still under construction, I will admit that I’ve come an incredibly long way from where I was. I read a quote once that said, “It is okay to be a masterpiece and a work-in-progress at the same time” and I don’t think it could be said any better than that.
This poem was inspired by Sabrina Benaim’s “Explaining My Depression to My Mother.” all I had to do was to leave the car, but my hands froze,and my heart beat faster and fasteruntil terror rose above melike a boat facing a threatening wave until the wave capsized the boat,and my breath stuck in my chest […]
Sometimes it’s just easier not to share things with people who are committed to misunderstanding you. I read a quote once that read, “I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception.”
One of the most bizarre experiences I had dealing with depression is when I had to explain to a close acquaintance of mine why I was unable to attend an event with her one evening. I told her my monsters were incredibly fierce that day and I didn’t have it in me to be brave and face anyone else. Her response was, “Oh man, you’re still depressed?!”
How do you explain brokenness to someone who has never experienced it for themselves? It’s like trying to explain the color blue to someone who has been blind all their life. Inevitably, there comes a point where you just stop trying to make people understand.
I’ve finally stopped being incredibly envious of other peoples lives. No, not even that, it goes deeper than that. It’s as if the ability to care so desperately has been plucked out by its very roots and I’m left with this beautiful paradox of looking into the window of a life that boasts everything that I do not have, and I feel incredible warmth and joy for that life.
Without the slightest hint of envy.
Even though I crave all of that which I am gazing upon and I am still on the outside looking in.
It fills my heart with joy to realize that another persons happiness and well-being are not the cause of my bitter envy and urge to compete. To want even better than that. To always have the upper hand. The last word. The last laugh.
Another’s joy fills me with joy.
This catches me by surprise.
I am content to sit back and to sink into the wonderful knowledge that soon my turn will come as well, soon my heart will be full to bursting and I will never have to compete with anyone ever again. Not even myself. And believing this means already enjoying the fullness that flows into my heart and spills out into my soul.