Yes!

July 14, 2014 at 10:18 pm (Uncategorized)

I was talking to a friend the other day about paradigm shifts and the way that your whole life and outlook can change in a moment. By paradigm shift I mean the tilting of your outlook – all of a sudden your existential ground has shifted right beneath your feet, and you’re never quite the same. We can’t help the dynamism inherent in existence. Regardless of whether you actively seek change or do your best to avoid it, these metaphorical (and metaphysical) earthquakes are unavoidable.

There’s a certain fear and excitement that accompany those moments (and the anticipation of them), because you never quite know when it’s going to happen. Sometimes you realize what’s happening in the moment, and at other times it isn’t until later that you realize everything changed. Both are really interesting to me. I think about some of the people I’ve dated, for instance; I knew that something was going to happen with Chelsey after seeing her at graduation our junior year of high school. She was wearing a green dress, and I had a premonition that something big was in the works. She turned into a great friend and challenged me in just about every way possible. I credit a lot of my growth towards the end of high school to her. I had a similar moment with Kristin, and our relationship and friendship certainly altered the trajectories of both our lives. I had another moment (not with a person) but when I saw Avery perform with Phi Mu Alpha my freshman year of college – I knew that I was going to be a part of that organization and it changed my life in almost any way you want to look at it. In all those instances, and many more, there was a realization in the moment that a change had to happen. I don’t know if it’s fate or wiring, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice – the moment I felt the pull was already the moment I was falling into what my life was going to be. 

In my personal opinion, you have to embrace those moments. Change is coming, and we can either say yes to it or we can fight against it. Saying yes is always the better option. Embrace what your life can be, and will be, because you don’t necessarily get to choose the raw materials, but you do get to choose what you’ll create out of what you get. There’s a quote by Eckhart Tolle that I really like: 

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

We will all have times, after which, our lives won’t be the same. We can either fight the new reality and try to live in our old paradigm, or accept that things won’t ever be quite the same. I’ve been taught that lesson over and over – with each moment in my life I can choose to be better at going with the flow instead of swimming against it. I wouldn’t have picked some of the breakups in my life, I wouldn’t have chosen my parent’s divorce or my brother’s illness or the jobs I didn’t get, but to get angry and hang on to what I wish my life would be like in any given moment would be counterproductive. Getting angry, wishing for something else – those keep you blinded to reality. At the end of the day, life is about paying attention. I can’t pay attention if I’m wishing for life to be something other than what it is. In all honestly, would I really want it to be any different? Happiness lies in my reaction to life, not the circumstances I’m given. I also know that I’d miss out on the good times if I didn’t take the bad along with them. 

I know more change is coming – I’ll be ready to say yes. 

 

 

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.” – Anatole France

 

“If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.” – Hazel Henderson

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Take Care

July 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm (Uncategorized)

For the most part, I’ve been eating incredibly (for me) healthily. Case in point: breakfast was oatmeal, lunch was cherries, salad, and some almonds (which I also used as a snack during the day). I was all set to have a turkey & avocado sandwich for dinner, but then my avocados weren’t quite ripe. My roommate suggested pizza, and it was so hot in the kitchen that cooking sounded awful.

That’s how I found myself with a mouthful of pizza roughly 35 minutes later. It was delicious. Also I imagine that I’ll be eating pizza for lunch (along with a salad!) the next day or two. It’s been an adjustment, but hopefully with time it’ll become second nature to eat less and eat better. What I’ve been trying to remind myself is that getting more fit or losing a bit of weight isn’t going to make me happier in and of itself – it’s about being a more authentic self, and about respecting myself enough to make smart choices. I have to be happy with who I am as an entire person, or nothing else really matters.

In semi-related news, I’m going to be running the Portland Marathon this year. I wasn’t really planning on it, but when your grandmother asks you if you’ll do a marathon with her (that she’s only doing to prep for ANOTHER marathon) you don’t say no. I think we’ll probably run it together, so I am fairly confident the pace will be manageable for me. It’s also good timing with me running another half at the beginning of September.

Next step: learning to run in the heat.

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For the First Time in Forever…Reprise

July 6, 2014 at 11:37 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve officially fallen off the wagon. After several months of drinking almost nothing but tea, I have had a cup or two off coffee almost every day this week. I blame California. I’ve also been really good about drinking lots of water, though, so maybe it’ll all work out for the best.

Plans for the day: Run 5 miles, get a haircut. Heady stuff.

 

Yesterday I briefly took a look at a quote by Emerson –

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

I needed a bit of time to think about it, but I think I might be ready to say something. Not insightful things, but things.

The idea of the self is something that is constantly in flux. I am not the same person day to day, even though there are obviously some things that about me that remain fairly consistent. The past couple years have found me in a state of “inbetween-ness,” caught between my first lengthy period of being out of a relationship, my parent’s divorce, my brother’s illness, and the general early 20s “what the hell am I doing with my life?” among other things.

I think that maybe what’s most difficult is that there will be many (mostly well meaning) people that want to pull you in all kinds of directions with your life and who you should be. You’ll be bombarded by life and culture telling you to look a certain way, act a certain way, feel a certain way. You’ll see the backlash against that, and in their own way they are espousing a certain kind of life as well. People will try to make it “Us vs. Them.” Not because they’re bad people, but because that’s how we’re wired as people. By nature we’re a little bit tribal. The trick is to find out what YOU want, and authentically chase that. I need to know that I want to be healthy, and that’s why I work out and eat better – it’s not just poor body image that’s thrust upon me by our society (although that’s at work too). I need to know that it’s OK to be a bit directionless right now, and that I’m moving in a direction I think will work (but still have the flexibility to change should the need arise). I need to know that there will be people out there who won’t like me because I sing in public, or because I look a certain way, but that I will eventually find people who will love me for me (and be grateful for all the people like that I already have in my life).

I want to believe that it gets easier, and maybe it does, but I think that my natural inclination to please will always come into conflict with who I actually am at times. It’s something to work towards, though. Baby steps!

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For The First Time in Forever…

July 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I finally watched Frozen today – it was totally fun. I realize I missed the bus on the whole “becoming a cultural phenomenon” thing, and I’ll confess that I’m not sure it deserved all the attention it got, but I enjoyed it. As you might have guessed from the title of this post, Let it Go is not even CLOSE to the best song in the movie. Sorry not sorry. Idina Menzel has got hella pipes, though.

Anyway, I’ve been mulling around writing topics in my head, and I figured it made sense to start with the place I spend most of my time – my desk at work. It’s not too exciting as far as desks go, and in fact it might be labeled more a table than a desk if you (like myself) feel that a proper desk should have drawers. In the center is my computer, the hub of emails, spreadsheets, databases, and all kinds of volunteer recruiting/researching/spreadsheety/emailtastic goodness. I have a small lamp that faces upwards and towards the wall – usually those lamps (there’s one at each desk in the office) are the only artificial light in the room. It at times makes it a bit dark, but we get enough natural light, and I find that I rather enjoy not working under halogen all the time. Above me on the wall is a cork board filled with quotes I’ve written out (I try to add one every week) that I use for motivation and focus. Anyone that knows me knows I’m fond of quotes; they help ground me when I’m feel unsteady. To my left is a file cabinet that I use somewhat sparingly, though it helps keep the clutter on my desk to merely unreasonable levels.

Here’s a picture:

desk at work

The quote board:

Quote Board at Work

The quote that ultimately I’m going to be writing about today:

Quote

 

Being yourself is difficult sometimes. It seems to me that some people are birthed into this world with purpose; they know exactly who they are and what they want to be. For the rest of us, it’s a bit murkier. I guess what’s tough sometimes for me is being who I am, rather than who I think other people want me to be.

At the moment, who I am is scattered. One of these days I’ll write something worth reading – but for now I’m getting some words down. A little bit of progress at a time.

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Doctor My Eyes

July 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm (Uncategorized)

I was all ready to blow your mind with the power of my prose, but then I began TO LITERALLY MELT.

By literally, of course, I mean figuratively.

So instead I will sit here as naked as possible without actually being nude and make this more a “shitty bullet points” type entry. I am writing, though, so I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

  • The verdict regarding avocados: delicious. That’s always been the verdict, but would you believe that I had never tried guacamole until college? My dad’s not into them so we never had it around the house. Nothing like making up for lost time!
  • “Doctor My Eyes” is a criminally underrated song.
  • I discovered, as I attempted to create a “Doctor My Eyes” station on Pandora, that there is a Jackson 5 cover of this song. It’s not as good as you want it to be, but it’s not bad, per se.
  • I then google’d Doctor My Eyes in a brief panic that it might have originally been a Jackson 5 song (It’s not – which feels like it should be clear but I’ve been wrong about things like this before).
  • Having a water bottle makes it about x1000 more likely that you’ll drink water. Who knew?

 

I’ve been trying this week to wake up early and write. Thus far I have been unsuccessful, and my guess is that it will be a challenge again this morning as I have no doubt the heat will keep me from sleeping. Gonna keep working at it, though – one of these days I won’t hit the snooze button.

 

 

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