Monday, August 17, 2015

Little Breaks

Gone To Carolina -- by which I mean I -- will be taking a short break while I try to figure some things out. The blog will resume on September 1st. In the meantime, look for me on Facebook, where I will be checking in with some regularity.  (If we're not friends on Facebook... Send me a request! Sheesh!)

Thank you for being understanding; you guys are the best. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Patience, Grasshopper

This is a short post, but today I was reminded that you have to let things happen. Sometimes you have to wait for answers, but answers always come.

It's not a bad thing to learn or to remember sometimes.

The answers ALWAYS come.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


There was a lot of ... funk ... going around in the office today. Very little of it was related to work. A lot of it had to do with sick family members, or martial discord, or challenging children. Yes, there was some yucky work stuff, but there were a lot of unhappy people in there, trying to get through the day.

You might think, well, that's all baggage that should be set down at the entrance to the office so that people can get down to the business of, well, business. That's what work is about.

You wouldn't be entirely wrong.

However, if there is a really wonderful thing about my office environment, it's that everyone supports each other like mad. I had a coworker once tell me that the company is a family, and that often feels true; the degree of helpers and friendliness and a willingness to give you a hand or a hug when that's what you need is quite wonderful.

It makes everything better, and it makes it easier to struggle through another day.

Which is what made me think about discouragement in general. The word discourage literally means "to cause someone to lose confidence or enthusiasm." I think of it as losing your joy. Losing your joy in family, in the moment, in your work, in your life. Feeling discouraged.

But then I remember that the word discourage? Contains the word "courage." It's brave, I think, to keep plugging along when you can't find your joy. It's a courageous thing, when you're struggling, to help someone else out. It's a superhuman, amazing effort...

....and I watched it happen all day.

People who one minute were telling me about their fears for an ill family member spent the next getting tea and giving hugs to someone who's adult child is refusing to speak to him. Someone who is having major problems with the details of a project willingly advised someone else who was struggling with staffing. All day long.

Discouraged people.

I hate it, by the way, when we are dismissive of all of the kinds of bravery that is needed to get through in this world. I see social media posts and memes that suggest that unless you have a fatal illness or put your health and life at risk in uniform, you lack courage. That simply isn't true. There are all kinds of bravery required to get through your time on earth.  You need courage to speak your truth. You need courage to live as honestly as possible. Some days, you need courage just to get out of bed.

And you need courage to reach out past yourself to take the hand of someone else when you're so far from your own joy that you can't even see it, and to offer comfort and kindness.

The discouraged people that I saw today are brave as hell, and I am honored to know and work with them.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Right Here, Right Now

Two years ago today I moved into my apartment.

This apartment was love at first sight. I mean, I was homeless so I was ridiculously excited to have an address again, but I adored this space immediately. It was cool. It was different. It was tiny and pretty. It had a freaking waterfall.

It was MINE.

Getting here was ... well.

Some journeys are not pretty.

That's what I want to talk about today, though. The ugly journeys. The difficult ones. The ones that have you wading hip deep through the shit life sometimes slings out, struggling in the muck, not feeling (or smelling) your best. The ones where you can't see what's up ahead. The ones where you wonder what the point is.

This is the point: life can be impossibly hard. You don't need me to say that -- you know it for yourself. There are days that just make you curl up and whimper because you can't process one more thing. I know. I've been there. We've all been there, I think. We have all struggled.

We've all also had pieces of our journey that are dappled sunshine and pretty flowers and lalalalalaaaaaa. We've had them and we should be thankful for them, because those parts of the journey are sweet.  At the same time, though, we should remember that it was hard to get there, and how we fought our way out of the muck and into the sunshine.

We should remember, as we turn our faces to the light on the path, that we are strong, and deserving, and worthy. We fought well and we never quit.

If you, right now, are in the middle of an ugly part of your journey, please know: you are not alone. You are strong and amazing and a warrior. You will get through this and because of it, you will be stronger and more incredible than you already are.

You will find the sunshine again.  I promise.

It is waiting for you to find it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saying Thank You

I've had some low moments in my life. People who don't know me well don't know this. Lately, I said something about wanting to be a motivational speaker to a new friend; she said, "Usually those people have been through a lot."

I've been through some things.

I've been assaulted while on the job. I lost my grandfather when I was supposed to be looking after him. I've been homeless and broke and afraid. I've been abused and alone and scared.

I've been through some things.

I could speak about them.

But the things that have impacted me most have been these:

When I was terrified and alone?  Someone offered me a place to stay.

When I had nothing? Someone started a GoFundMe campaign to make sure I would have options and possibilities and a visit from my mom.

There's no way, really, to express your thanks for that. But for the record?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I will keep trying to give back the things I've been given.

We all need to do this.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Because of where I have to park, I get a bit of a walk when I leave for work in the morning. I realized recently how much this walk reminds me of my freshman year in college: lovely brick buildings, narrow streets, and the adrenaline rush that is caused by wondering if this is the day I will finally get run over by someone going waaaaaaaaay too fast.

Except for the last bit, I quite enjoy it.

I was thinking today about how nice it is to appreciate this walk, as I'm twenty years older than I was when I was a newly minted college student, and how the things I liked about those days are what I'm relearning to appreciate now; namely, then I saw and felt how full of possibility all of the moments were, and now?

I'm figuring it out again.

I think that a lot of my most recent angst is not that complicated. Instead, it is the result of forgetting that you have to be open to possibility. It's easy to forget when you have bills and stress and life and illness layered on you like blankets that you are hot and sweaty beneath.

Remember that even if you can't throw off all of the blankets, you can usually stick a limb out and cool off.

Remember when you feel buried that you don't have to be buried forever. You have options. The world is filled with possibilities. Try to see them. Try to know they are there for you -- because they are.

When you realize that you can do anything you want? The thing you have to do right now becomes more bearable. You can breathe a little better. You can stand a little straighter.

When I was nineteen I thought that everything was possible.

Now I know that is is.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dear Person Who Checked Out My Social Media Profile In The Hopes That I Had Expired In A Tragic Accident:

1) As you can see, I’m still here, puttering my way through life. Lalalalalalaaaaaaa. Try not to be disappointed.

2) You should consider doing your social media stalking on websites that don’t SHOW that you’re doing it. Facebook, for example, doesn’t show you who is looking at your profile. This blog, also, doesn’t show me precisely who is reading it. Those are sneaky ways to see what I’m up to.  The site that you chose posts a great big photo and says “PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOOKED AT YOUR PROFILE” which is, um … well, you should probably not consider a career as a ninja. It’s not for you.

3) I wasn’t going to mention this, but since we’re being so candid – remember when your dog ate my brand new shoe and I laughed it off? I was really mad. However, my momma raised me to be polite and I didn’t want you to feel bad; I loved those shoes, though, and it irritated me that you thought it was funny.

4) I’m sorry that the idea of me still bothers you so much that you have to look into what I’m up to. It’s a little sad. Since I’m not going to return the favour, I hope that you are doing well and that you are happy.

5) Your hair looked nice in your profile photo. I just thought I’d mention that.

Anyway. Carry on with the stalking profile reading, and have a great day! (Just, maybe, keep your shoes out of your dog’s reach. He thinks they’re snacks.)