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keeping myself accountable

way, way, waaaaaaaaay back now, i made a list of things  and slowly but surely i have been able to tick some off my list. if i’m being completely honest, did i think i would still be working on this list OVER 6 MONTHS LATER? no. no i did not. but i am grateful that i have not given up, not turned my back on these mini-projects that are making me whole again.

so a quick update on which i’ve “newly” accomplished: #4 { returning to yoga }, #5 { exploring various faith communities }, #9 { creating something as a gift to give away }, #17 {  learning a new skill from/with someone }, #18 { having a “terribly adult” conversation }, #21 { re-purposing something}, #22 { doing something wildly outside my norm }, and #28 { spending the day being crafty }.

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takin’ care of business: where-in many things on “the list” are accomplished

it turns out that when putting off writing a blog entry, it gets harder and more difficult to want to update the longer one puts it off. ah well, so this will be a more “guerrilla style” update.

below, you can read about the following things i have completed from my list of things embrace: #6 { reading a book outside my go-to genres }, #24 { hanging out with a new friend }, and #25 { making a mini altar }.

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#27, 20, & 23: one day-many yeses!

last week, i made a list, challenging myself to turn and face the strange.

yesterday was something of a “powerhouse” day, where i managed to accomplish 3 off my list. {for the record, just because it’s been achieved doesn’t mean it’s a one-and-done situation. this is suppose to help me grow, after all } i hung out with an old friend {#27}, shared my happy place with someone new {#20}, and practiced a random act of selflessness {#23}.

my friend K, whom i have known since living in the bay area over 5 years ago, and her significant other, A, just moved to our fair city from boston.  the spousal unit and i have hung out with the 2 of them a few times since they’ve moved…but yesterday, K and i had lunch/coffee, i gave her a walking tour of my favourite neighbourhood, AND then took her to my sanctuary/happy place. the random act of selflessness happened during the lunch hour–you will have to trust me that i did something because sharing details feels icky,boastful, and self-serving.

here is a picture of my happy place: it’s at a local park/beach about 1.5 miles from my home. i usually drive there because of steep hills, but i have walked there on days off. the beauty of water, mountains, and forest stuns and calms me.

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on the need to belong

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perhaps it is some sort of left-over, psychic residue from being adopted, but i struggle to feel like i belong anywhere.  i mean, in the greater, universal, scheme of things– i obviously feel like i belong in my immediate family…but that’s really about it.

growing up, i always had theatre. it was my loving, accepting family of misfits. as i age, i find it more and more difficult to discover that niche.

while searching for an image for this entry, i came across a quote that really resonated with me: “because true belong only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance,”{ brene brown }. normally, i think of myself as being full of self-acceptance…so why do i yearn to “belong to something greater”???

at work, there’s a large group of my peers that all attend the same place of worship. { that was weird in and of itself to me, getting re-use to people talking openly about their spirituality. never happened in california, THAT’s for sure! } i attended once, just to check it out, and because a good friend of mine happens to be the minister.  to put it succinctly- NOT MY STYLE. which is fine. but, it kinda hurts/aches/ makes-me-feel-left-out that they all attend there. and all find it spiritually satisfying.  i said to my friend & co-worker N today something tongue-in-cheek about not being one of the “cool kids” that attends there, and she said she maybe goes about once a month. and weirdly, i feel left out.

so, i’m left feeling a deep sense of non-belonging. even as an adult, it hurts.

be { ye } not afraid

i had a very over excited { read: emotional } night last night. like many people, i’m faced with crippling anxiety, serious self-doubt, and a general lack of direction in life. one too many worries must have been floating around in my head, because i snapped. all the emotional vomit came pouring out of my mouth, while tears poured down my face. in the midst of all this, my knight in nerdy armour { aka. spousal-unit, aka. husband } held me; comforted me. and he asked me a very serious question: if fear wasn’t an issue { that is, if it COULD NOT stand in your way }, what would you want to be doing?

i wish i could say i had a moment of clarity.

today at work, my co-worker R and i were catching up. in his “real” occupation, he’s a minister, and his calling is stories.  on one of his recent hikes, he was wrestling with the pull he feels to write. in a quiet moment, he felt a presence/heard g_d’s voice: “do not be afraid of greatness”.  and then R told me that i need that message too. perhaps i do.

 

{ below image is courtesy of r. wilson} IMG_2606

 

letters to friends lost/ letters to friends retained: part two

z,

this will { most likely } never be read by you. i am not sure whether i find that to be a blessing or a hindrance, but i suppose it is what it is.  perhaps it will allow me to share what has been weighing on my heart for the past 7+ years.

i’m not really sure where to begin— when we met? when i first felt utterly hurt/ betrayed? on the reflections i have made since that initial crushing blow? maybe i will begin with the question that has been weighing most heavily on my mind: were we EVER truly friends, or was i just a convenient “accessory friend” to keep around for awhile?

sigh. i am no longer sure what hurt the most. from the very first moment i met you, i felt i had found a kindred spirit. i stood up for you. i fought for you. i had your back when other students questioned your life decisions. i hated all the times that i had to take a backseat to your need to be the center of attention, because i was always willing to let you be, even when i needed it too. it hurt so much when, shortly after i was married { and figured, since you also married young & had many people second guessing your decision, we’d support each other, stick up for each other… } you joined in with all the other skeptics, and singled me out as the reason my spouse was now losing all his friendships. you were supposed to be my best friend! we had lived together, cried together…we had even stood up at each other’s weddings! at the time, though it hurt, i chalked it up to part of your need to fit in with the greater group, to maintain your position as center of attention….and i forgave you.

when i moved away, things got better for awhile. i felt we were repairing our friendship over our phone calls. i listened to all the difficult stuff you were going through at the time, and you listened to me. i figured the long physical distance between us was helping our friendship heal. i was elated.

then came THE INCIDENT. in all truth, i know longer remember the exact details…did you actually send me  a letter or email? or do i just remember it that way??? all i remember is that—out of no where—you made it perfectly clear that you didn’t want to have contact with me. i didn’t understand why at the time. i **STILL** don’t completely understand today. perhaps because of the detached way everything happened from then on???

so you sent me a letter. or email. or neither. maybe our mutual friend y told me everything over the phone.  all i knew is- for the time- or friendship was over. and it was somehow my fault. but i didn’t know why or how or what i had done. i THOUGHT i was being a listener/ support/ true friend but you felt very differently. there were months { maybe even years….it’s rather foggy now } of silence.  what felt like overnight, i went from still considering you my best friend to learning you sort-of hated me at the time. and now considered the aforementioned y your best friend. in fact, you had decided y wasn’t only your new best friend, that the 2 of you were the same person/ each other’s doppleganger.

i hated being cut off from you. i worried about you. i missed you. i didn’t understand what i had done wrong, why you didn’t want me in your life. { to this day, i still don’t know completely }

i moved again. to a new state. the same state & city as y.  everytime you called y, it hurt. everytime i had to hear about you from y, it hurt. and then came the nail in the coffin…i *FINALLY* got an explanation about what had been going on…. from y. because you had given her permission to finally tell me. do you realize just how painful that was?!?!? that you had decided i should finally hear what had really been going on, but you didn’t want to tell me yourself. that your new “best friend” got to tell me. and the worst part is, i still don’t get your reasoning.

that was 5 years ago. since then, i think we have seen each other twice. both times have been…fine. civil. even mildly pleasant. but they are a shell of what we were.

here is what i don’t understand: if you thought i was going to judge you, you clearly never really *knew* me.  the things that “drove us apart”…were all things i said/did BECAUSE i cared so deeply for you. and wanted what was best for you. and was always going to be by your side no matter what. and it kills me that y is now your best friend, not because it isn’t me, but because she is an enabler. TRUE friends are the ones who give “tough love”, but let you still be you….not the people who tell you that anything goes and you can do whatever you want. it kills me that we can’t talk about ANY of this, like it’s some deep dark past we’re supposed to ignore. it hurts me because i sooooo desperately care for you, even today, despite everything that’s happened and i’m so pleased to see the person you have become/are becoming and i have the knowledge that it’s all apparently one way.

i wish, sometimes, i could just write you off. a lost friendship.

letters to friends lost/ letters to friends retained: part one

a-

do you ever stop and think WHY are we still friends? i don’t mean to come off sounding like an ass, but i guess i’m more trying to get to the existential truth of how do we really define friendship. there are few people in this world that i consider counting among my true friends, and you most definitely are one of them.  and yet…when was the last time we talked?{not emailed/messaged/ what-have you, but actually talked?} or even saw each other? {i think over 2 years ago  this past summer???}.

i acknowledge, in part, that distance plays a LARGE part of this {2,025 miles according to google maps} so it’s not like i can just pop on over for tea. or like we can set up movie night or girl’s night or whatever. the last time we were close enough to do any of that was high school. crazy right??

i also acknowledge that time plays {perhaps} an even greater part in all this.and not just the obvious living in different time zones. but also the fact that i know time is precious for you– even more so than it is for me. the demands of your occupation {of which i’m still so incredibly proud of you for accomplishing!}, and having a beautiful family of your own, i don’t even know how you find time for yourself!

more than anything, i blame myself for not trying harder. in recent years, i’ve even let standard holiday cards slip by. {did i even send Hanukkah or rosh hashanah e-cards this past year???} i have yet to send you this book i bought ages ago, the intent being you could read it to/with your girls, especially since both there names are attached to it: the author’s name, and one of the characters.  i don’t think i have ever called you, unless we are in the same state, which happens so infrequently. i’ve never even asked if we can set up a time to skype.

despite all of this, i still consider us close. i still refer to you as one of my best friends. does this mean that i am failing as a friend, or does it speak to some greater truth, that i know deep-down, no matter what, WHEN i reach out to you, WHEN we have time, it will not matter how long it’s been since the last time we spoke/saw each other. that somehow, our friendship –though thousands of miles apart, with many time gaps in between–has survived going to different colleges, living in different states and countries, pursuing different careers…? i guess it must.

i want to believe this letter is just a first step. that i will try harder to be a better friend.

forgive me for not trying harder before.