The Hard Pack - It's Killing You

A preface for the Feral Hearts among us:

You’re about to embark on a post that contains words like “divinity” and some of the language is basically evocative of creationism, or maybe that was just me? In any case, I will admit to being fairly skeptical at first pass, but I’m just going to go ahead and implore you to kind of like hang in and suspend the feral-ness of your own heart, and if it’s helpful I can lead you through a meditation to really get you in the zone so you can dig into this post while preserving your cynical integrity. That's a thing now, PS, by the way.  

Okay, so imagine you’re under a pine tree or something, and then some rando in the throes of an existential soul search wanders by and just sits near you, not even looking at you - like they're clearly talking to themselves - and you’re just kind of over here, feeling awkward and also excited (because eavesdropping is your favorite pastime) and (oh! it’s also important to pick your creature, like what kind of creature is your feral heart embodying under the tree? This is important. Did I mention it's important? Well, it is. You wouldn't be a human under a tree, you need to be a creature about it. Mine’s a badger 9 times out of 10...do badgers even crawl under pine trees? I don’t know, it’s fine.)

Okay, back to it. So you’re curled under this tree, you’re a creature, the self-talker is IN it, you're hearing all of this and trying hard not to laugh because the second-hand embarrassment alone may kill you. And then like halfway through, the divinity, the slightly over-reaching metaphor, the when-the-world-began speak drops away. It was arguably necessary to get to where we are now: nodding right along and still so feral-heartedly dubious.

Something will maybe/probably click somehow roughly 3-18 months out.

Or never. Either way. 

Okay, bye and xo and things like that,
M.

I find dogma unappealing, an automatic set-up for division and failure. When we attach ourselves to immovable stories, heels get dug and we can't hear anything over our own certainty.

But there are a few things I believe in all the way , and this right here is one of 'em. Because it helps me visualize the ways in which I think we're all the same. It helps me remember that underneath our layers of self-projection and inherited patterns, your core looks just like my core looks just like their core. 

So here's what: we all contain a piece of divinity. Every single one of us. It sits in our middles. It is heavy. It is golden. It is the piece of us that knows everything we will ever need to know. It is the piece of the Universe that was implanted into our DNA when the skies went boom and this gorgeous and tragic place became our home. It has always been there, and it can not die because it is not of us -- it is of the divine.  

As our lives begin to happen, depending on our circumstances, sometimes dirt gets tossed on top of our golden middles. Sometimes it's just a touch, easy enough to sweep away with good friends and a healthy dose of self-belief. But sometimes, it keeps piling. Sometimes, there's so much dirt that it starts to get dense and hard. Our middles become totally obscured.  We live unconsciously in darkness, under the hard-pack. 

But then a small miracle: we start to realize that something feels off -- we're unfulfilled or scared or angry. Then -- right then -- it is our job to dig. We start with ourselves -- we're useless to others if we haven't dug ourselves at least some of the way out -- and then we move on to our people. We collect our people, and we dig. Sometimes it's slow and arduous. Sometimes it's frighteningly quick.

We dig and dig and dig. It's late-night conversations about marriage and parenting. It's making a meal because their cat died and that's real and you get it even though you're not really a cat person. It's saying, "I know," when they tell you they're scared they might never love themselves. It's celebrating a win they need to tell you about but don't feel they deserve. 

The digging gets messy because dirt can be dirty. But you show up anyway because there's a part of you that knows this is the only way to live that's really worth it.

And then one day we look up and notice there's a light. It's running straight up and down. It's in us and it's in them. We've dug down far enough so the light's creeping out and the light's creeping in. There's a crack in the hard-pack.

This might make us weep.

The weeping is good.

Because the light and the water -- that's how things grow.

*E

We Need More Safe People

 I know the feeling of thinking they’d be better off without you.

I know what it’s like to think that’s crazy and to think it’s completely true.

I know the feeling of wanting to unburden others from my me-ness, from the work it takes to be in relationship with me, someone so unsettled and uncertain and unsure. 

Being a person who struggles with maintaining consistent emotional equilibrium comes with so many challenges. 

When I hear about people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade I first think of them with love and empathy and so much understanding. “The belief in the ‘they'd-be-better-off thoughts just got too real,” I think. And then I think about their children, about how certain I am their children don’t feel better off and how brutal that juxtaposing reality is. 

What could have helped them? What could have kept them here? While I have never experienced suicidal ideation, I’ve had they’d-be-better-off-without-the-weight-of-me thoughts and have experienced the fear of saying those words out loud and then — the relief that comes when someone can hear it and not assume you’re planning to harm yourself.

What I think I’m staying here is that we need to be able to talk about all of the thoughts that come before the suicidal thoughts. I don’t know if that could’ve helped Anthony or Kate or any of the roughly 3,000 people who sufferingly choose to end their earthly lives each day. But I know that for me, speaking heavy words to safe people helps me feel like I belong. And belonging keeps allowing me to stay. 

Be a safe person for someone. Please. 

More and more the individual suffering people are enduring is just ripping my guts out. I want to sit in the middle of it, just surround myself with it and hold it in my body and my energy field and touch the arms of the people who have to carry it and just sit there together and be surrounded and stay, together. 

It’s so hard. 

My god, I know it can be so hard. 

And we need you even when it’s hard. 

Especially then. 

A Well-Lived Life'll Hurt Sometimes.

Yesterday I learned, once and for effing all, that depression is a real-life thing that can knock you solid behind the knees and make you feel like if you don't run far away from your family, they will self-destruct simply from being in your presence because they are good and you are not and GO SAVE YOURSELVES.

And then, last night, deep in the well without sight on the top, I learned that Abraham GD Lincoln (likely not his real middle initials) was depressed for most of his life - and for all of his history-making years.

"Whatever greatness Lincoln achieved cannot be explained as a triumph over personal suffering. This is a story not of transformation but of integration. Lincoln didn't do great work because he solved the problem of his melancholy; the problem of his melancholy was all the more fuel for the fire of his great work."

That mofo used his melancholy fire for the fuel that it was, instead of letting the fire consume him. Which is, I suppose, the lesson. Keep the fire - or the pain - and just choose to use it instead of letting it use you.

The quote, by the by, is from page 162 in a book called Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom For Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens, Navy Seal. My step-mother bought it for me Christmas. It's the best writing I've read since my late uncle, Jack Falla, wrote Home Ice.

I picked up the book while my computer was updating and eyes-closed opened it, praying for the message to be the one I needed. The first line I read: "There is a time to be unhappy." The last line I read: "That tension and worry is part of a well-lived life."

And then, I thought: Lean into the hurt, Em. Lean so far in you tumble right into it. The tears you feel coming don't feel any different than the tears you cried for your dad; maybe they're the same ones, just again. You are hereby granted permission to actually do the thing you support others in doing: feel your feelings. You can feel them without believing any of the thoughts you're attaching to them. Just feel that aching, terrifying pain you felt today. Run safely away from your family so you can weep. The tears, just like the tension and the worry - they're markers of a well-lived life.

xo,
*E,
aka The Girl Who Survived The Day

On Strangers, Flashcards, and Fights About Forks.

I can't remember where I was when I heard the loud call back to this space. "It's time to write again."

"Okay," I said silently, surprised.

I don't know what I'm doing back here. I don't know why I've been away. But I'm already tired of speculating, and would much rather explore what can happen when I start to think less about the whys of myself, and more about the things I don't yet know.

Let's start with what's current.

I'm at my highest weight since having babies. This happened quite by accident. Although 'accident' seems like I was oblivious to what was happening, which isn't entirely true. What's really real is that I've been enjoying eating all the things I love, haven't been working out regularly, and have been living in well-crafted denial about the inevitability of the scale ticking higher and higher. And because I love a good bandwagon as much as the next person, I've used the end of the holiday season as the marker for a new beginning.  

I joined Weight Watchers when I needed to lose post-Dad-dying grief weight, and it worked like a charm.  Rather, I worked it like a charm, and so was successful, -- which, it's becoming clear, is perhaps the whole point of this conversation: I gotta work it. And by "it", I mean ALL OF IT. I won't stay sober if I don't work my recovery. I won't get strong if I don't work out.  And I won't ever fit into my jeans again if I keep eating fudge for dinner.  

These things aren't complicated, but man can they be hard.

Oprah convinced me to sign up for Weight Watchers again (WHY IS SHE SO MAGICALLY MAGNETIC AND AMAZE), and this morning, I got up before 5:30 to work out in my living room. I'd slept in my workout clothes to dodge any "But changing into a sports bra is so hard...eh, I'll just go back to sleep," sort of excuses; I am excellent at convincing myself that the Universe is conspiring for me to comfortable and lazy at all times. Here's how things went down:

Me, pre-workout: "Let's kind of do this; I'd rather be in bed."

Me, first circuit: "You are too out of shape to do this. You will never be stronger or leaner. It's okay if you want to quit."

Me, second circuit: "Oh, those burpees were a bit faster than the first set. Maybe you just needed to warm up. Getting stronger takes more than twenty minutes, remember."

Me, third circuit: "That's nice, but YOU SHOULD BE STRONGER AND LEANER RIGHT NOW."

Me, pre-fourth-circuit, on my knees: "Help me. Those voices aren't you. Help me do this. I know I'm not supposed to pray for myself, but..." Maybe you're not getting stronger for yourself. Maybe you're getting stronger so you can better serve others.

Me, fourth and final circuit: *Owns the hell out of it because maybe her mind isn't the best place for Emily to spend her time.*

Me, post-workout: *Sees sons flash cards on the island. Smiles and says thank you.*

 The aforementioned flashcards.

The aforementioned flashcards.

The mental space I've been in lately feels familiar; just like pain is pain is pain, anxiety is anxiety no matter which way you look at it. My anxiety used to manifest itself as obsession over whether or not I had a drinking problem. Then it switched over into believing I was ruining my children simply by existing as their mother. After that I moved on to how many people followed me on Facebook and how many likes each post got. Now it's me being terrified of what's on the other side of commitment to a sustainably healthy lifestyle. Well, it's fear partnered with my aversion to being out of breath and not getting to eat cake any time I want it. But mostly, it's the fear.

I've been in this place many times before - I'm getting healthy! It's Paleo/vegan/WW time! And exercise time! I'm losing weight and I feel great! I then fall into the trap of thinking I can maintain said great feeling by completely abandoning the practices that brought me there - phew...glad that's over. I've arrived! This is the pattern I'm working to break. I'm digging underneath the self-loathing that so often causes me to diet and sporadically exercise, in search of the root of the thing. 

Which brings me back to fear. Is it fear of failure? Fear of watching the number on the scale continue to grow? Nope. This fear is both more complex and far more basic: I'm scared of meeting the me that's on the other side of this lifestyle change. Because it's not about my pants size or the number on the scale; me sticking to a new routine will signify a major shift in self-perception. It will signify healing. And for a girl who's used to defining herself by her broken parts -- who's long suspected that there's something bright and powerful on the other side of her own healing -- coming face to face with a self-created stranger is an anxiety-provoking prospect.

WHICH IS FUNNY BECAUSE MY ANXIETY IS BEING PROVOKED.

:::

My husband and I once got in a fight about a fork. That's the only detail I remember about that argument - it was precipitated by a fork. I'll give you a moment to get your head around that before asking the obvious question: do you think we were really fighting about a fork? Of course we weren't. The fork was simply the object that provided the illusion, that distracted us from the real issue, whatever it was. And illusions aren't real magic - they're lazy miracles. 

I'm not interested in illusions anymore. Instead, I'd like to meet the stranger I'm working to create.

It's never about the fork, loves.  I repeat: it's never about the fork.

Happy New Trip Around The Calendar,
*E

When Worlds Collide

 Look! 

Look! 

Please note the massive collision of worlds happening here; my husband's company, Threshold Building Co., is doing a renovation at my home away from home, Hope & Olive, and can I just tell you: having him gone for 16-20 hours a day in order to meet deadline is, like, you know, kinda cray. (How's that for creative punctuation?)

How am I keeping myself sane with a full-time job, two kiddos to love on, a house to maintain, bellies that need to be filled, a dog that needs to pee every so often, and the imminent and thrilling start of a yoga teacher training? I'm so glad you asked!

1). Run the washing machine, even if it's not totally full. I am a washing machine jammer. It drives my husband crazy. I like to fill it to the point where it shakes the whole house when it's wringing the water out. This week? I'm running it constantly in an effort to maintain a status of No Dirty Laundry. I don't know why, but having empty hampers helps me feel sane.

1a). Repeat with the dishwasher.  Except with dishes.  BECAUSE WE JUST NEED CLEAN THINGS, PEOPLE.

2). Let go of the idea that all of that clean laundry is going to be folded anytime soon. I've been climbing into bed at the same time as my kids this week in an effort to rest up for this weekend's yoga teacher training; the laundry just ain't getting folded. But instead of letting the baskets pile up, I'm combining all of the dry laundry into as few baskets as possible, thereby tricking myself into thinking the job will be a cinch when I actually get around to folding, you know, like around Halloween.

3). Remember that you get to drink coffee again tomorrow morning. I am not even kidding: last night I got a shiver down my spine and broke out into a girl-in-love sort of grin when I remembered I was going to get to drink coffee again when I woke up this morning. Coffee Joy really is its own breed of joy.

4). Remember that all those other pesky details seem to work themselves out with a few deep breaths and some gently-relaxed television rules. There's always something to eat and the dog never ends up peeing in the house and some school-night TV never killed anyone.

Pretty sure this right here is what Emily Ley is talking about when she says, "I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection."

Cheers to that, sisters.

Happy Friday, loves!
*E

Guess What Time It Is? It's Reality Check Time.

On my drive to work this morning, I started thinking about my life, really focusing in on the details.  "Get real with yourself, Emily. Be honest."

So let's do it.  Here's a small glimpse into my reality:

  1. I live in a town I love.  The people I've met since moving there seven years ago are my people.  They love me. They laugh at me when I'm funny and they imitate my ridiculous excitement with love in their eyes and smiles on their faces.  The restaurants in my town are the best restaurants.  The coffee in my town is the best coffee.  I walk around Greenfield and almost cry sometimes because: home.  I found home and I get to live there.
  2. I'm married to a dude who gives a damn.  My guy cares a whole lot about being the kind of man we need - emotionally aware, honest, funny, hardworking, and even-keeled.  He's a straight-shooter; he calls me out when I need it and forces me to ease up on myself when I need that instead.  My husband and I have decided to choose each other again and again.  The story of us is the story of chosen devotion. Also, he's an undisputed babe, which is, you know, pretty cool. 
  3. My children are miracles.  I got pregnant when I wanted to, had two easy and healthy pregnancies, and delivered my children at home in exactly the way I'd dreamed about. They can run, they can talk, and they love me in a way that makes my stomach hurt it's so much.  My babies are alive and I get to hug them and kiss them and love them and they do that back to me.  It's almost more than I can handle sometimes, the miracle of them.
  4. I got my perfect parents.  There is no one else on earth who could have loved me just the way my parents do and did.  I am who I am because of them, not in spite of them.  The day I realized that all of the challenges we've faced have actually been generous gifts because of what they've taught me?  Well, that was a game-changing day.  Instead of spending any more time wishing my parents were different in some way, I've realized that I picked them just like my kids picked me, and for the same reasons: because they're exactly who I needed to become who I am. (And psst: that's why you got the parents you got, too.)

This isn't me being a braggart. It's not me ignoring the challenges I face or the hard feelings I sometimes feel.  This is me opening my eyes to the incredible reality in which I live. It's me breathing it in, taking a swim right inside of it.

"Real talk" isn't just the hard stuff, lovebugs.  It's also the miracles, the gratitude, the holy shit, I don't know what I did to deserve this, but thank you

Life is happening for us, not to us.*

And boy: things look different through that lens.

*E

*I'm watching I Am Not Your Guru again, and I paused it to go to sleep last night just after Tony Robbins said that; I haven't heard it said any better.

A Life Update With Photos & Exclamation Points

HI, HONEYS!

How in the everloving world are you?  Holy sheeshwhoa has it been a long time.  I'm not sure why I'm not writing.  I don't want to psychoanalyze it, but I will say I MISS YOU and I MISS US and I WANT US BACK LIKE WE WERE.  Except not just like that, because that involved Facebook and Facebook is ick.  Or maybe it's my anxiety around Facebook that's ick.  Something was ick.  I'm working on it.

Anyway, I'm still getting married to Instagram, so have been playing over there.  Here's a snapshot (hee hee) of the past little bit. 

  I can't stop smiling - this meme GET'S ME. ::: Let's keep being confused about life together, 'kay? ::: image via @scottstabile

I can't stop smiling - this meme GET'S ME. ::: Let's keep being confused about life together, 'kay? ::: image via @scottstabile

  NO CHILL when it comes to an unexpected lunch date. NONE. (Locals: The Gypsy Apple in SF is only open for lunch for now, and it's TIGHT. I'm so spoiled by the Hope and @fiveeyedfox that most places disappoint. This meal did NOT. Steak frites for me, salmon for Tim, espresso over ice, mocha mousse with cream. Fuuuuuck. RUN.)

NO CHILL when it comes to an unexpected lunch date. NONE. (Locals: The Gypsy Apple in SF is only open for lunch for now, and it's TIGHT. I'm so spoiled by the Hope and @fiveeyedfox that most places disappoint. This meal did NOT. Steak frites for me, salmon for Tim, espresso over ice, mocha mousse with cream. Fuuuuuck. RUN.)

  Feeling super hyper disillusioned about the 9-5 grind after a day spent in a chair looking at a screen plugging numbers into Excel. Feeling the ick feelings of envy and resentment when I look at all of the women who are making tons of money as branding and life coaches. I wanted that, but couldn't make it feel right. And now I feel like the only responsible option is to do something uninspired, something grown-up, something "most people just need to do". It's actually making me sad today. This isn't natural or enlivening, this world of Outlook and desk work. I said yes to the Universe when I took the job that was coming at me; I know there's invaluable information in here. I know there's something for me to learn about myself. But it's scary, thinking about months and years full of Excel sheets and meetings and approval processes and not enough time with my kids. I'm scared I'm missing my life and am accidentally playing it safe. Trusting is hard sometimes.

Feeling super hyper disillusioned about the 9-5 grind after a day spent in a chair looking at a screen plugging numbers into Excel. Feeling the ick feelings of envy and resentment when I look at all of the women who are making tons of money as branding and life coaches. I wanted that, but couldn't make it feel right. And now I feel like the only responsible option is to do something uninspired, something grown-up, something "most people just need to do". It's actually making me sad today. This isn't natural or enlivening, this world of Outlook and desk work. I said yes to the Universe when I took the job that was coming at me; I know there's invaluable information in here. I know there's something for me to learn about myself. But it's scary, thinking about months and years full of Excel sheets and meetings and approval processes and not enough time with my kids. I'm scared I'm missing my life and am accidentally playing it safe. Trusting is hard sometimes.

  I was going to write some bullshit caption about the different shades of green grass - how just because someone else's grass is greener than yours, that doesn't mean yours isn't green. And why has brown grass gotten such a bad rap? Why are we telling ourselves stories about one color being better than another, anyway? - you know, some brutal, quasi-philosophical thing like that. Instead, let's try this: if you like the color of your grass, jump the fuck up and down and shout about that shit - because, YAY! If you don't? Maybe plan some time today to feel whatever shitty feelings you need to feel about the state or the color of your grass. You don't need to pretend it's a different color, okay? For serious. ::: I basically ruined what could've been a fun evening with my kids last night because I got swept up into the martyr mother story; I don't need to tell you how that story goes. I got dressed for work this morning knowing I needed an all-day reminder to have fun, play a little bit, maybe chill the fuck out for a sec. So here's me, standing on my some-shade-of-green grass, dressing my way into the kind of day I want to have. Hope it's a real one, lovebugs. xo.

I was going to write some bullshit caption about the different shades of green grass - how just because someone else's grass is greener than yours, that doesn't mean yours isn't green. And why has brown grass gotten such a bad rap? Why are we telling ourselves stories about one color being better than another, anyway? - you know, some brutal, quasi-philosophical thing like that. Instead, let's try this: if you like the color of your grass, jump the fuck up and down and shout about that shit - because, YAY! If you don't? Maybe plan some time today to feel whatever shitty feelings you need to feel about the state or the color of your grass. You don't need to pretend it's a different color, okay? For serious. ::: I basically ruined what could've been a fun evening with my kids last night because I got swept up into the martyr mother story; I don't need to tell you how that story goes. I got dressed for work this morning knowing I needed an all-day reminder to have fun, play a little bit, maybe chill the fuck out for a sec. So here's me, standing on my some-shade-of-green grass, dressing my way into the kind of day I want to have. Hope it's a real one, lovebugs. xo.

  Throwback to that time in the mid to late 80s when you were way ahead of the fashion curve.  Also of note: 1). How cute is my sister? Oh my God I can't - so cute. 2). Huge shout out to Mickey in the background, one of the best dogs to ever roam a front yard. He was my dad's soulmate-pup, and when my parents got divorced he left him with us, for us. It makes my heart crack a little bit to think about how hard that must've been. ::: This picture was taken right around the time of said divorce. Everything was changing or about to change. My heart breaks for the girls I see here, girls who really have no idea how hard things are about to get; there's still some youthful innocence in those smiles. ::: I'd like to mother these girls for a moment - *Dear Girls, Things are going to get hard for awhile. I know you probably don't want to hear that, but it's true. And I think you're smart enough to understand the truth. Actually, it's what you deserve. After the hard stuff, things are going to be confusing. But you're going to find your way; you're going to be amazing. Trust yourselves. Lean on each other. Share yourselves completely while protecting the perimeters of your hearts. Take deep breaths. Slow things down sometimes. And remember that sometimes the greatest impacts are made in the smallest moments. That last part? Make it your mantra. Love you, love you, love you.* ::: And I love you, too. xo, *E

Throwback to that time in the mid to late 80s when you were way ahead of the fashion curve.  Also of note: 1). How cute is my sister? Oh my God I can't - so cute. 2). Huge shout out to Mickey in the background, one of the best dogs to ever roam a front yard. He was my dad's soulmate-pup, and when my parents got divorced he left him with us, for us. It makes my heart crack a little bit to think about how hard that must've been. ::: This picture was taken right around the time of said divorce. Everything was changing or about to change. My heart breaks for the girls I see here, girls who really have no idea how hard things are about to get; there's still some youthful innocence in those smiles. ::: I'd like to mother these girls for a moment - *Dear Girls, Things are going to get hard for awhile. I know you probably don't want to hear that, but it's true. And I think you're smart enough to understand the truth. Actually, it's what you deserve. After the hard stuff, things are going to be confusing. But you're going to find your way; you're going to be amazing. Trust yourselves. Lean on each other. Share yourselves completely while protecting the perimeters of your hearts. Take deep breaths. Slow things down sometimes. And remember that sometimes the greatest impacts are made in the smallest moments. That last part? Make it your mantra. Love you, love you, love you.* ::: And I love you, too. xo, *E

  You guys you guys YOU GUYS. Writing is happening! WRITING! Like, in the way it used to happen, when words would just pop out of my fingers without me needing to think too hard about it. Real writing! This is THRILLING ME! Note: for all of you who find my big, vigorous enthusiasm a bit much, please know that I seriously considered using many more CAPS and exclamation points here BUT RESISTED. And I know "you guys" is passé, but I still love it so there. Writing!!!

You guys you guys YOU GUYS. Writing is happening! WRITING! Like, in the way it used to happen, when words would just pop out of my fingers without me needing to think too hard about it. Real writing! This is THRILLING ME! Note: for all of you who find my big, vigorous enthusiasm a bit much, please know that I seriously considered using many more CAPS and exclamation points here BUT RESISTED. And I know "you guys" is passé, but I still love it so there. Writing!!!

Writing is still happening!  AND IT'S STILL EXCITING!!!

Hoping your summer is delicious like chocolate.  (If it's not, go eat some chocolate.)

Loving you like stars love being far away (You know, like, a lot.),
*E

Expand Like You Can't Help It.

'Everything happens for a reason' is cowardly. Anyone who's gone through tragedy - which is, eventually, all of us - learns this.

My dad didn't die for a reason. My dad died because he was a human who behaved like a human: imperfectly.  He was driving a large machine on a winding road.  (I actually don't know if the road was winding.  I don't even know the name of the road or what part of town it's in or exactly what town that unnamed road is even in.  Does it matter?  Would it change one single thing if I could pinpoint the spot of land on which he went from being my breathing father to my dead father?)  He swerved or he veered.  He knew it was coming or he didn't.  Then the phone rang in the middle of the night just like we all wish it never will.

Looking for deeper meaning in the why of it - which I did for years - was simply a distraction from the horrifying reality of my grief.

The answer to the question of why is actually quite simple: because we are living life on earth as human people. Things like car accidents and cancer and betrayal and unmet expectations - these are all products of being born a person. They are not bad and they are not good. We label them to help us understand our feelings.  

Hard feelings are given a bad rap.  Uncomfortable feelings - feelings that make our bodies ache and shake and cause noises to come out of our throats, that make us again elemental - honey, that is the stuff of life, of human person living.  Do not miss out on a fundamental part of the reason you're here because you're hellbent on being comfortable.

You weren't put here to be comfortable.

You were put here to expand.

*E 

Things You Think About Writing About When You Haven't Really Written About Anything In Kind Of A Really Long Time

  1. How hard it is to start writing anything.
  2. How you probably don't even know how to write anymore.
  3. How amazing other people are at writing.
  4. How maybe getting back on Facebook was just a good excuse to keep not writing because LOOK AT THIS SHINY NEW TOY.
  5. How surprising it is that becoming a full-time administrative assistant in a very corporate industry is making you happy.
  6. How even though you like your new job, you sometimes kind of wish your kids had wanted to homeschool because you miss them.
  7. How insane the idea of homeschooling is because being home all the time schooling your own kids is probably kind of actually insane.
  8. How enlightened you became when you deleted yourself off of Facebook for a few months.
  9. Ha ha ha ha ha.
  10. How it's actually not the job that's making you happy - it's you.
  11. How you're looking for ways to reach for other people and connect again.
  12. How you want to get better at asking for help.
  13. Wait, are you okay at asking for help?  Scans psyche for evidence that goes in either direction.
  14. Laundry.
  15. The psycho-emotional awareness of eight-year-old girls.
  16. How irrational your love for sleep is lately.
  17. Work/life balance.
  18. Ha ha ha ha ha.
  19. No, but seriously - things are actually pretty balanced.
  20. How much you need to sit down and figure out what your kids are going to do all summer while you're at work OH MY GOD CAMP IS SO EXPENSIVE.
  21. How much you wanna hug the necks of the women - YOUR WOMEN - who are still reading this seemingly endless list.
  22. How that's what you've realized - that they + you or you + them is all you want out of the writing or the Facebooking or the whatever-you-decide-to-do-together-ing.  You just want them.
  23. How maybe you'll be able to do this again after all.
  24. Coffee.
  25. Yay.

xxx,
*E