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writing prompt:what is true about you that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

welcome to the start of a new series–this one is DIRECTLY inspired by 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose { over on mark manson dot net }. the entire article is incredibly thought provoking and out of the ordinary, usually self-help type questions all end up sounding the same: what do you dream of? if money wasn’t an option, what would you do? etc etc etc. so, i’m starting by answering his question number 2: what is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

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nuggets of wisdom: “the noonday demon”

this is part one of a new “series” of posts– quotes or passages from books i am reading that i don’t want to forget.

i’m currently reading The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression { by Andrew Solomon }. it is part memoir, part scientific research, part sociological & culturally-anthropological analogy. only 42 pages in and i’m gaining so much insight on myself, and on how humanity deals { or doesn’t deal } with depression.

anyways, here is the passage i wish to share, from page 17:

It is not pleasant to experience decay, to find yourself exposed to the ravages of an almost daily rain, and to know that you are turning into something feeble, that more and more of you will blow off with the first strong wind, making you less and less. Some people accumulate more emotional rust than others. Depression starts out insipid, fogs the days into a dull color, weakens ordinary actions until their clear shapes are obscured by the effort they require, leaves you tired and bored and self-obsessed– but you can get through all that. Not happily, perhaps, but you can get through.

help me { i’m an } adult!!!

adulting

it may have reached meme status, but–I’M DONE ADULTING!!! i’m truly at a loss as to how i’m supposed to get decent sleep, eat well/healthy, practice self-care, work, do laundry, pay bills, pay back your student loan, save money for the future, have something that resembles a social life…and NOT end up in a frothy attack of sheer anxiety.

today, 2 bills and my student loan payment were/are due. have i paid them yet? nope. what have i done with my day? stuff that ACTUALLY brings me joy. something i rarely do.

look, i know the reality is that *no one* has their shit together, but why does it feel so much like i’m failing??? like everyone else has at least ONE thing figured out in their life. that everyone else has mastered at least ONE aspect of adulting.

i want to get in shape- mentally & physically.

i want to eat nourishing, healthy foods.

i want a direction in which to take my life: career or otherwise.

i want to not be so damn sleepy all the time.

i want to have friends i do things with, and not like i’m some lonely hermit because i also want to stay at home.

i want to feel like i belong somewhere.

i want to not have raging panic attacks.

mostly, i want to go back and be a kid again, so the only worries i have are trivial.

 

meditations on ashes & dust

i have always loved the liturgical season of lent. a drawing within; deep introspection and solitude in anticipation of easter. i attended an ash wednesday service last night–for the past 3 or 4 years, it is one of the only times i still attend church, the other time being good friday. during the service, a blessing was shared, and i continue to reflect on its words even now:

{ from Circle of Grace, by jan richardson }

Return
Remember.
You were built for this,
the ancient path
inscribed upon your bones,
the persistent pattern
echoing in your heartbeat.

Let this be the season
you turn your face
toward the One who calls to you:

Return, return.

Let this be the day
you open wide your arms
to the wind that knows
how to bear you
home.

i went up to receive the imposition of ashes { when the pastor/minister places a small cross in ash upon the forehead to remember/contemplate both our origin- dust/ash, and our destination- dust/ash } and then returned to my seat. later, as i drove home, i was reminded of other writings which speak to just how marvelous ashes & dust can be, which i will leave below:

  • I would rather be ashes than dust!
    I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
    The function of man is to live, not to exist.
    I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
    I shall use my time.  { jack london }

 

  • The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. { carl sagan}

 

  • The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust. { neil degrasse tyson }

 

envy & blessings & regret

it’s phenomenal how often in my life these three things { envy, blessings, regret }become inexplicably intertwined. the “negative” states of being force me to remind myself of what blessings i have, but reminding myself of said blessings makes it painfully clear the things i am lacking. and i’m not even necessarily referring to tangible objects. here is what i’ve been reflecting on recently….

BLESSINGS

i’m not one to usually divulge such information, but since it will put it painfully into perspective, our family { self, spousal unit, 2 kitties } officially made under $8,000 for the fiscal year of 2012. that’s not a typo. under $8,000! with unofficial income { aka cash } that puts us up to maybe $10k at best. and yet, we never went hungry. we always made rent. we paid our utilities. we were able to move. we were able to insure our car and keep gas in it. because of supportive family and even strangers we have been able to keep going. what a blessing indeed! and yet, there are still huge unresolved financial burdens { old medical bills, student loans, the constant use of our one credit card when times get tight } that i mire in worry & doubt about how much longer can this continue? i have tried to take steps to become more financially stable { my job is at best 25-30 hours a week and is under $12/hr….but with awesome benefits } but the harsh reality of the economy, and my marketability have so far gotten me no where. which leads to…

REGRET

i regret all the little “life altering” decisions that, if i could go back in time and change them, would put us in a better life situation. i find myself regretting what i studied in college, or even that i WENT to college, and sometimes even that i decided to pursue my master’s degree…which seems to have made me LESS marketable instead of more.  i regret that i didn’t take more advantage of opportunities that were before me during my academic years: i should have studied abroad more, done more internships, submitted works for publication or consideration at conferences.  i know i can’t change any of things, which can hurt so deeply and { for me at least } makes it difficult to move forward with my life.  i get overwhelmed by the people around me, whether they are total strangers or people i have known for decades who seem on the surface to be struggling less than i am; than we are. which leads to…

ENVY

the inner beast. the peculiar thing is, as previously mentioned, i don’t feel/think i’m envious of tangible, physical STUFF. as a clear example, i will reference someone i recently reconnected with through the magic of social media. { i will try to keep it as anonymous as humanly possible } i can not remember a time i was not jealous/envious of…let’s call her uma. i met her in college, and she radiates warmth, vivacity, joy and is impossible not to like. i wanted to BE her { not in the creepy SWF way }. she had a childhood i could only dream of–uma’s parents were missionaries { which, in and of itself, i’m not envious of. i had a hard enough time with my own father who had ALMOST become an ordained minister. } which meant she grew up in far-away exotic countries, was well-traveled, and truly “worldly”. she was, and still is gorgeous- in part because of those qualities she naturally radiates- but also because she doesn’t try to be gorgeous. part of my collegiate envy was professional–i was a theatre major, and was certain at the time, that acting was what i was going to pursue. uma was not a theatre major, but was involved with theatre, and we regularly would get called back for the same roles….and they would go to uma. it was heart-breaking– particularly *because* of the fact that she did not want to professionally pursue acting, and i did. how was i supposed to gain experience, and hone my skills and get better if i was never given the opportunity? and uma was? sigh…fast-forward to the present day and reconnecting. she is still gorgeous and radiates this odd inner joy/peace/vivacity/beauty that i’m both drawn to and am envious of. she lives abroad…which i am envious of. not only that it’s not HERE, but that’s she has lived in so many places that i want to visit & experience for myself. and cannot { at least now } afford to. she has 2 beautiful children, and while i am not envious of the having kids { i really don’t think i ever want any }, i am envious of the capability to afford children. the more i find myself filling with envy over other people’s lives, i realize because it HURTS SO BAD that my life is lacking those things.

i’m not really sure where i am going with all of this. it is so difficult to make heads or tails of it all.

bucolic weekend

 

 

 

collage_b_1-27-13

the ability to have a weekend away from all the hustle and bustle of the modern world is a true blessing. i was fortunate enough to take advantage of the gorgeous state i live in and escape {if you will} to one of the many islands–and the above collage is just a taste of the indulgences of nature, time and local charm in which i partook. how difficult it is to return to “everyday life”…the desire to become a modern day thoreau is overwhelming when surrounded by the quiet and awesome power of nature.