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Reflections

Just let it be

It’s been a day. I’m not in a place to write, at least not my preferred space—but maybe that is the best space to be in.

I’m moving, again, for the what feels like the one-millionth time in the last three years. I’m packing and sorting and donating and selling all my belongings. And I’m budgeting. I’m squinting my eyes and scrunching my nose as I try to understand all the numbers. All the bills and statements and balances that look like boring numbers on a screen but really hold a lot of value since they determine how I will eat, sleep, and survive in the world’s most expensive country. Why isn’t there another zero? I think. Shouldn’t there be another zero?

Today I allowed my emotions get the best of me. I should have stopped, breathed. I should have grabbed my yoga mat at the first sign of craze and forced myself to slow down, close my eyes, and breathe. I didn’t do that. Instead, I set my inner crazy free. I yelled and vented over texts at my husband who is fishing in the middle of the ocean. Can you imagine? He’s literally standing on a boat in the Pacific as his phone dings every few minutes with frantic messages from his stressed-out wife.

And then I cried. I felt it coming on early in the evening and, when I found out my plans for this weekend aren’t going to go as planned, tears began to stream—no pour—like a dam that needed to be set loose months ago. It was the tip. It was that one thing that doesn’t really matter but sets loose all the other things that don’t really matter. The last straw to break the camels back. Except it’s my back.

And like a tidal way, it all hit at once. Have you ever experienced that? You are standing in the ocean, playing in the waves like a carefree child when all of a sudden a monster rolls in. It’s unexpected and angry, clawing for you as it approaches with a possessive roar. You don’t have time to run—you barely saw it coming—and so you brace; you wait for it to hit. You are tossed and thrown, sand and salt seep in your mouth and eyes and lungs and ears. You can’t hear,  see, or breathe. You must let it take you. As much as you want (or need) control, you are forced to be overcome.

I feel all of this right now. This wave, the one that came out of nowhere. It’s knocked me to my knees and forced me to surrender. It hurts and frustrates me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I’m choosing this path. I’m not allowed to complain or feel anything other than bliss and joy and gratitude, right?

Blah.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I don’t think you are supposed to use Blah in writing, but that’s all I can think to type right now. Life is hard, but it’s not. The future is scary, but it’s not. I need to breathe, to ground myself in the present moment.

But sometimes I feel blah. And I feel like I’ve been tossed by a wave. I want to cry. Is that okay? Am I allowed to cry? To rage, even if only for a minute?

(deep breath)

To anyone feeling the pounding in your head tonight, the tears hot behind your eyes—here is your permission to do whatever it is you need to do. Breathe. Rage. Meditate. Drink wine. Whatever it is, do it. Whatever you feel, feel it. Sometimes the dam needs to be set free. Sometimes the wave will come. Thankfully, relief follows. Grace and self-love and the reminder that every day is a beautiful gift comes. We’re only human. Blah or bliss, tears or smiles, let it be. Just let it be. 

On Community

Community is not found but built.

It does not often look like parties, dancing feet and wild laughter (although sometimes it does). Community warms your skin. Like the fading sun on a sweet summer night, it pours gently on the walls of a tiny room, enveloping the few who gather with open ears and honest hearts.

Community sounds of stillness, of gentle tears, shed over raw, scary truths. It sounds like silent cheers and kind permissions; space created, so we don’t have to face life alone.

Community is everything we need, and it is everything we fear. It requires us to show up in ways that stretch our souls and expose the truths we work so hard to hide.

And community is grace. It is having grace when grace isn’t given. It is showing up, despite humanity, and believing in the power of interlocked fingers and tender hugs.

Community is built, not found.

Plants

What if we lived as plants, at ease with the changes that come with every season? We would bend and flex to our environment, drinking in the rains and strengthening our bones for drought. We would let our leaves grow thick and heavy, extorting life and fruit for no reason other than to exhale beauty and joy. And then we would let it all fall—we wouldn’t even care—exposing our bare souls and truest selves to the most dangerous cold. Even on the darkest nights, when the world would feel at its end and frozen in time for eternity, our hearts would hold their beat. We would be at peace with the winter stars.

And the sun would eventually show its face; we would know this all along. Life and time, it comes and goes, we flourish through it all.