It’s here. The last day of 2013. Can you believe it?
I awoke to find an email from WordPress, detailing the milestones and stats for the year. My top posts included a brief remembrance of my mother, Marla’s narrative on living with lupus, and the introduction of the Joy Jar – a beautiful idea I may revisit in the coming year.
I also began writing about sexual violence and I spent a good deal of time pondering a theory of love, something I plan to do a great deal more of in 2014. My thinking and writing are always evolving and it’s enlightening to see what resonates from month to month and year to year. I hope you’ll continue to join me on the journey.
Wherever you are in space and time, I hope you are winding down the year with an abundance of peace and joy. I pray the dawning year is full of beauty, love, and good cheer. And if you should wish it, a standing ovation…
“Bravo!” I heard Dad yelling through his hands.
“Why is everyone getting up?” I said.
“It’s a standing ovation,” said Mom, getting up.
So I got up and clapped and clapped. I clapped until my hands hurt. For a second, I imagined how cool it would be to be Via and Justin right then, having all these people standing up and cheering for them.
I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.
I debated yesterday and today about what kind of entry I would write for my last 30in30 this month. I wondered if it would be a roundup of the top posts of the month. I considered featuring my favorite posts. I pondered whether or not to share my my girlfriend’s story about lupus (spoiler alert: coming soon).
Today during dinner, there were unexpected fireworks. I thought about posting that story, including the fact that several patrons ran out onto the balcony just to witness the display. We all clapped at the finale.
But the truth is, I’m sleepy. It’s past my bedtime and I’m just happy I made it through another challenge. As always, I learned a lot about myself and my life during the past 30 days. I’m in a completely different place than I was during the last challenge this March. I’ve moved and I’m acclimating to a different way of life. The promise of new employment came and went. I’ve gotten my running mojo back. Surprising story ideas are brewing. And I’ve made small but significant strides in my professional life.
Lots going on. And in the middle of it all, I wrote one post every day for the past 30 days. For the time being, I’m planning to pull back a bit. I want to try something new…
My goal is to write one post per week. These may be more developed than my previous posts. Not sure yet. I like the discipline of a regular schedule, but every day isn’t sustainable. So this is a compromise I’m trying out.
We’ll see how it goes.
In the meantime, do you have any topics you’d like me to write about? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Last, but not least: Congratulations to me!
Knowing that to give up is to be defeated by oneself, continue single-mindedly to take small but significant steps in the shaping of your destiny. ~Daisaku Ikeda
The past several Thursdays, I’ve seen Anika tweet simple gratitudes. As I was sitting here admiring today’s gorgeous weather, I thought it might be nice to do a couple.
- After days of clouds and rain, I’m overjoyed about the sunshine, and thankful I can enjoy it.
- I was able to run this morning and witness the dawning of a new day. I’m thankful for my good health.
- She’s on my mind a lot because her birthday is tomorrow…I’m thankful for my mom, RIP.
- I’m happy for the chance to reflect upon and learn from past choices. I’m thankful for evolution.
- I’m thankful for friendships that endure time and space.
- I’m thankful for vulnerability and love.
Your turn! What are you thankful for today?
Prompt from BlogHer NaBloPoMo:
Would you ever want to run for public office? Why or why not?
No, I don’t have interest in holding public office, much less going through the stress of running. That being said, I am interested in politics and I would consider being more involved in the political process if the opportunity arose. It’s been on my mind a lot lately:
My tweets mention local politics in particular, but I believe smart, progressive women need a voice at all levels. You can’t get to those larger platforms without standing on smaller stages first, and quite a lot of important decisions are made at the state and local level.
As for my involvement, there are a few things I would consider, albeit behind-the-scenes. To begin with, I would compile research for key issues, conduct briefings, or write speeches within my areas of expertise. I also think it’s important to contribute to the broader discourse on complex societal issues. To that end, I would like to work for a think tank, or design and/or conduct research. I want to understand and amplify stories that are often marginalized, and help those who would most benefit from forward thinking, heart-centered policies.
Although I have no intentions of throwing my hat in any rings, I will look for ways I can help create a more loving society.
I’ve decided to travel home lighter than I left. There is at least one table, and possibly two that won’t make it across my “new” threshold. All the books (of course) are going, but all the clothes are not. And that’s where things have gotten interesting.
I’ve had the pull to purge my closet since January. Time, location and will have kept me from it. That is, until today. The suits were the first to go. I bought several suits for a job I began over 6 years ago. My favorite two will make the trip, but the others, including three I’ve never worn, are being donated to Dress for Success.
Although I don’t desire those and many other items in my closet, forming the donate pile with those first few pieces was tough. It didn’t matter that they no longer fit my lifestyle, body, or personality. I got comfortable with them being there, just in case.
Just in case of what, I can’t say. But the truth is, they were taking up space. Physical space. Psychic space. They crowded out favored pieces. I even found the shirt I’d been seeking for months (months!). There it was, sharing a hanger with an outfit that no longer suited me. And despite the fact I don’t really need, want or even particularly like many of these items, I felt a pull adding each one to the pile. It was a weight. A mourning – saying goodbye I suppose. I took note of the feeling, but was resolute in my folding. It got easier. And now my closet is halfway empty.
I’ll have to start again. And really, that’s what I’m doing with this move. Not just starting a new phase of my life, but starting a new life. Professionally. Romantically. Everythingly. One should have the wardrobe to match, eh?
Still nary a box packed or even assembled, but that’s what tomorrow is for.
5 days. #countdown
I don’t give advice. I won’t go so far as to say I’ve never given suggestions or answered specific questions (should I wear this dress or that one?), but life questions and, “here’s what you should do” stuff? No.
I’ve always been of the impression that I can’t tell you how to live your life, I can only offer you my perspective on how I might handle a similar situation. But it’s what I might do, not what you should do. And since it’s not about me – it’s about you, I turn the spotlight in the other direction and offer up a mirror besides.
My goal is to help you clarify your positioning to the topic/question/dilemma at hand, as well as your options and potential consequences. Clarifying, I can help you with; but deciding? That’s up to you. Our life is our best teacher. My wish is that we all become better learners.
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
So the corollary to “have you started packing yet?” is, “are you excited yet?”
It’s the same answer: No.
I was excited when I debated the move, weighed the pros and cons. I considered the risks of moving versus the risks of staying. Did I want to chase dreams and new possibilities, or did I want to remain comfortable? I was excited when I put in my intent to vacate. It was official. The chase was on! But as we approach the actual day, my excitement has waned significantly. There’s a good reason for that.
I don’t know if you know this, but moving simply isn’t that much fun. Especially moving across state lines. There’s stuff to do. Mail to forward. Utilities to turn on. Boxes to tape and label. Items to donate. And even though I can pack and unpack my residence in two days on each side, I can’t say it brings me great joy. And despite the beautiful things I have planned once I relocate, I really do like my current surroundings.
uprooting moving is stressful. I tend to bury stress, hiding it even from myself. Unless I’m really checking in with myself, I may not notice the tell-tale signs. I get a little quieter, more reserved. Maybe I’m not as patient. Perhaps I don’t laugh as much. My sweet tooth demands more attention. Excitement during these final days is hard to muster.
Ask me again around 3/31.
So I’m moving. According to my countdown app, in 10 days and 18 hours, the moving guys from Blitz will be loading up the truck. Once people find out you’re moving, and D-day is close at hand, they start asking questions. Really, it’s just one question, but it comes in a few different flavors:
- Have you started packing already?
- How’s the packing coming along?
- Do you have a lot left to pack?
In order, the answers are:
- It isn’t.
- Yes, everything.
It’s part of my process. As one who has moved several times in recent years with basically the same stuff, I know I can pack in 2 days flat. One and a half if I’m really not feeling it. All of this includes a great deal of focus and plenty of sleep in between. I don’t believe in all-nighters.
I’d like to say I delay packing because I’m always busy, but that wouldn’t be true. Usually it’s more resistance. Stalling. Waiting until the last possible minute while I lounge around the house wondering when I’m going to start. My writing looks much the same way. In fact, once I start resisting and doing everything else, that’s when I know I’m almost ready to get words down.
But I digress.
This particular time I have been busy. In fact, I’ve barely been home long enough to unpack, wash clothes and repack, so forget about getting some boxes and packing stuff. But this weekend I think I’m going to get some boxes, at least. Maybe even tape a few together.
Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
If you summon your courage to challenge something, you’ll never regret it. How sad it would be to spend your life wishing, “If only I had a little more courage.” Whatever the outcome, the important thing is to take a step forward on the path that you believe is right. There’s no need to worry about what others may think. It’s your life, after all. Be true to yourself. ~Daisaku Ikeda
I first saw this quote in the November 2012 issue of Living Buddhism magazine. Sae Chonabayashi said it encouraged her to pursue her dreams. It encouraged me to do the same. At the time I read the piece, I was at a crossroads; I was unsure about quite a few things. That quote resonated, and I got clear on next steps in a hurry.
Life is short and no one wakes up in my skin every morning except me. I have plans and dreams, and it’s quite possible they won’t work out as I’d like…but I have to try. I’ve always been one to play it safe. But safe isn’t always satisfactory, and time passes way too quickly these days for me to waste it in any state of dissatisfaction. So whatever the outcome, in eleven days, I’m moving forward on a new path.
I embrace possibilities and love.
To thine own self, be true.
People who have witnessed the recent steps on my journey have sent me good wishes and hopes for the outcome I want. Truth be told, the healing, the outcome I wanted for myself, happened long ago. But I’ve started to talk publicly about it. And I recently told my ex my thoughts about our past. This has inspired the following question from many corners:
What do you want?
I want to agitate.
I want to make people feel uncomfortable.
I want to counter rape culture.
I want people to stop blaming victims.
I want to add my voice to the chorus of survivors.
I want partners to question their entitlement over another’s body.
I want people to talk. Especially men to their friends and brothers. To their sons and lovers.
Rape culture is allowed to fester, in part, because of our silence. So I am speaking up, speaking back. I want to speak more often and with more eloquence. I want to help survivors speak, too.
I want to make a difference.