growinghumans


Wingless, Thus Silent
August 31, 2017, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

ant

I was in an antique store, glossing over vintage books when I came across an old illustrated insect field guide. I gently flipped the pages and marveled at how science can become art simply with the invention of a camera.

One figure in particular, the ant, caught my eye.

It wasn’t the extraordinary detail of the illustration. It was actually a pretty basic drawing. Three black spots with legs. My Tiny Human could make an ant using her small fingerprints.

It was the line used underneath to describe it.

Lasius niger. Black Garden Ant.

Wingless thus silent.

Wingless. Thus silent.

For some reason that line stayed in my mind and started to spin webs of ideas of how the world really works around us.

Is it true that the only ones who actually get voices in this life are the elevated and superior in mobility ones?

Sometimes it feels like it.

Sometimes it is easy to feel like an ant. I drive a used Kia Sportage. I buy my clothes second hand. I have nothing great to speak of about my life that deeply impacts the world as a whole. An ant that walks a certain line each day, does work, works with the common interest of the other ants, and walk the same line the next day. Quietly.

Silently.

Who am I, after all, to think that my voice is greater than anyone else’s? Why should I be heard? There are people out there

people with wings

who are already making so much noise.

 

These people float high above us and it would be amazing to say that they all say wonderful things with the gift they have been given; that they make a beautiful song, necessary noise that changes the world for the better.

But it seems lately that those who are being given the power to be heard above everyone else are the very ones that need to be silent.

Do not tell me that I am an ant.

Do not tell an ant that they must be silent.

Do not fill the world with the knowledge that to lack wings is to lack a voice.

Tell me that to have a voice is to grow wings. 

Tell me that if I want my own voice heard I have to elevate myself.

Tell me that if I want to see something change in my lifetime, I have to float to the top and make my own noise.

Wingless thus silent is not the way any world should work.

Wingless thus brave.

Wingless thus working on it.

Wingless thus persisting.

There is more than one way to fly, dear readers.

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Nightmares about Mean Girls
August 22, 2017, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ever have one of those dreams where you have it, wake up for a minute, and the when you fall back asleep it’s still there in your head happening?

 

I just had that happen.

And it was about mean girls.

 

The over under of the dream was that I was older middle school/younger high school–which is when I was bullied–, and that I was at some sort of sleep over camp. The original girls in my life weren’t there but my adult friends were. The friends I have come to know and love.

One of them in particular pushed me so far emotionally that my mother had to be called twice to come for me, which of course then caused even more girls to make fun of me.

When I was in middle school I dressed funny. I wore baggy pants, and bright colors with stickers all over my face. I once wore a beanie baby on top of my head all day and the next day two popular girls had started a rumor that I was a lesbian.

Girls are fucking mean.

They manipulate you. They gaslight you. They make you feel like you are wanted and then they ignore you. They make you feel like they care about you but then go radio silent for days on end.

No body really talks about how mean girls are. We send our daughters into school and tell them to be kind to everyone around them.

I was.

I was kind to everyone around me and I was bullied so hard in middle school that I would hide in the nurses office and pretend there was something extremely wrong with me. One time I was so convincing they took me to the ER to have my appendix taken out and when they did the ultrasound saw that it was not infected.

I know every single one of the girls that made my life a living hell at one point. Almost all of them have turned into lovely people whom I have no issue speaking with, but some I still keep an arm length away.

Sometimes mean girls turn into mean women, and I am very wary of this.

I am sending my daughter to the 1st grade in 6 days. Last year, in Kindergarten, she won “Most Thoughtful” and it is true. She has always been the kid in the classroom who wants to make sure everyone is happy and that she is pleasing to them.

I don’t know if 1st grade is too early for mean girls. I remember mine really started in 5th grade–that dissection of cliques–but maybe it’s time to at least give her a general chat that the only person she has to please in that room and take care of is herself.

 

 

So, yes, Tiny Human: The world can be a magical place and I never want you to lose that sense of innocence and wonder but as you progress down these hallways in this building I cannot be in with you, I need you to know that it is ok to protect your heart above all else.

The damage done to mine during those years have, unfortunately, become irreversible. But I’ll be damned if I let my little pixie of a child be eaten up by mean fucking girls.



Ariadne 1&2
August 15, 2017, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

1.

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

Olive trees loom around me, providing shade for certain parts of the day

but other parts, I burn.

Strange Cypress trees rise from the ground like silent sentries.

Keeping him in

Keeping me out

I sit here.

Waves of wind rustle the leaves and carry with it a far off sound.

Inhuman sounds

Human sounds

I cannot tell anymore.

My knees are raw from sitting on them

the skin, cracked and bleeding

sand working its way under my skin every time I shift my weight.

My  hands are empty.

They once held a wooden spindle

that never seemed to run out of thread.

My hands grew tired

and my heart grew heavy

as the days went by and I remained here

in wide open spaces

sitting on my knees

and waiting for him.

I sobbed and wailed,

pressed the spindle up against my little body

felt the sharp edges of it pierce my clothing

and then my skin

and then it disappeared entirely.

My hands are empty,

the thread being pulled from me now.

My own body.

From the softness of my belly.

I am no longer an anchor.

I am tethered to him.

Like an umbilical cord.

Like a stream between two bodies of water.

He churns and I feel everything.

Every step

away from me

towards a fight that might drag me along.

At least he gets steps

At least he gets fights

I do not like these wide open spaces anymore

There is too much air. There are too many trees.

I would feel safer in the tight walls of a labyrinth.

I do not know how long I have been sitting here.

 

 

2.

 

I do not know how long I have been sitting here.

There is a sudden tug on the thread coming from my belly,

Like a marionette

I stand up

Grab the thread with both of my hands and try to wind it back into me

I have one job

My whole life I have had one job

To reel in the thread when it was time

It is time

I am thrown side to side

I am forced to dig in my heels

To keep from being dragged into the fight

He has found the monster

He is battling the monster

I have one job

To lead him back out

To me

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

The violence does not seem to last very long

Suddenly the thread is very still

The air feels very thin

Quiet

As if we are all afraid to breathe

I feel a slight tug on my thread

He has done it

He has won his battle and now may come back to me

I tug on the thread to let him know that I am still here

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

But I am still here

I feel the thread start to grow slack

It is no longer unraveling from somewhere deep inside of me

It is coming towards me

Through the mazes upon mazes

Through the great labyrinth

I wait for hours, centuries

I lost track of time a long time ago

I see him, then

I see him emerge with the sand swirling around him and block caked on his knuckles

His face

He does not see me

I wave a hand

I run towards him

He walks right by me

Pushes me down back into the sand

“What is wrong, Theseus?” I wail at him

He turns his head, my thread still in his hand

And suddenly I know the answer to my own question

Theseus is dead

This is the monster

And he is dragging me around by the thread



L.L Bean Fall/Winter line 2017 (that probably no one cares about except me)
August 14, 2017, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know guys. I just spend like $25 at a thrift store buying my fall clothes, but let’s be honest…some of this stuff is going to end up being a “treat yo self” moment as my birthday grows near.

LET’S LOOK AT THE NEW L.L BEAN WOMEN’S LINE FOR FALL/WINTER 2017

 

ll bean 1

Signature Cotton Fisherman Tunic Sweater, Colorblock

$100 and freaking $9

But I don’t know guys. I love America, but I think I might love this sweater more.

 

l-l-bean-signature-cotton-fisherman-sweater-colorblock

Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater, Colorblock

A mere $99 for this one which is a much better investment than this one because while most people will look at this and think fall sports like rugby and football, I’ll be wearing it by the fire supporting Quidditch. Ravenclaw? Maybe? Yes. I would.

 

 

 

 

l-l-bean-lightweight-wool-blend-scarf-plaid

Lightweight Wool-Blend Scarf, Plaid

$49.95

I have about 38 plaid scarves and blanket scarves. But I do not have an OLIVE GREEN ONE. I bet you don’t either. Why don’t we go halfies on this one and share it? Great.

 

 

 

llbean hat

Women’s Ultrawarm Bomber Hat

$44.95

I’ll be honest. I want this hat so I can wear it and pretend to be Ygritte from Game of Thrones. Can’t unsee it now, can you?

 

 

 

hoodie

Road Trip Graphic Hoodie Pullover

$54.95

If you know enough to see that this is a wicked good hoodie then you probably need this hoodie, bub.

 

 

 

bean jacket

Traverse Water-Resistant Hooded Shirt Jacket Misses Regular

ON SALE FOR $84.99

This is absolutely the cutest utility and rain proof jacket I have ever seen, not even just on L.L Bean. This is an amazing deal on a jacket that is usually closer to $100. Put down the one from H&M and invest in your clothing.

 

 

 

blue coat

Ultrawarm Coat, Long

$269

This isn’t a new item on their list for this season but I have to share it because I have been lusting after this coat for years. YEARS. It also comes in, like, normal colors like black and white but OH MAN I WANT IT IN BLUE SO BAD. I can’t justify almost $300 for a coat like this while living in the south, BUT IF YOU CAN please go buy it in homage to my current humidity situation.

 

 

 

boots

Women’s Bar Harbor Boots, Tall

$199.00

These are usually sold out in, like, 80% of the sizes but one day they will be mine. THEY WILL BE MINE. I love how utilitarian they look compared to the standard Bean Boot but still absolutely adorable. Good for just a slushy, snowy, gross day. Or, I mean, a Wednesday.

 

 

Ok, 3 people who read this all the way through: That’s my yearly round up of the L.L Bean fall/winter line for this year. Yes, I know these things seemed over priced, but let me tell you–I wore a Bean rain jacket all over the UK this spring and it did not fail me once. It even kept my bum dry. So. There’s that.

What I’m saying is that sometimes you can buy your clothes from a thrift store, but somethings are worth the investment.

Treat yo self.

 

 

 

 



I Tried So Hard And Got So Far (but in the end it doesn’t even matter)
July 21, 2017, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A lot of people are talking about suicide today. They are trying to make sense of it, why someone–especially someone with so much to live for–would do such a thing. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it because really the only person who knows why is already dead.

I can’t rationalize why anyone else kills themselves. I cannot supply warning signs or techniques if you suspect someone close to you is nearing the edge of nothingness.

 

What I can do, however, is tell you about what my mind did when I brushed with suicide. This will be hard to write out. But I am going to do it anyway.

I remember being afraid; afraid of everything. Afraid of being alone because I didn’t trust myself. Afraid to drive my car alone. Afraid to be in the kitchen surrounded by blades.

I would line up all of my medications on the bathroom counter,  like a firing squad. I would google about lethal combinations. Google isn’t a great tool to find out how to kill yourself, by the way.

I would go through giant waves of emotion. I would sob for a whole day straight in a dark room in a lonely bed, curled up as small as I could make myself. I would sob and imagine everyone else out there in the world doing things. Making something of themselves. Breathing. Just breathing. I would sob knowing that I was damaging my daughter; knowing that I was not the kind of mother she deserved. She would bring me things as I remained bed ridden. Notes, stuffed animals, snacks. She would hold my hand, her skin cool to the touch and her large brown eyes showing no fear. This isn’t right, I would tell myself. This isn’t right at all. She is going to grow up damaged because she didn’t have a normal mother.

Other days, I would be numb. I would feel nothing and those were the days I was most afraid–not the hysterical days where I would tear at my skin screaming in a locked bathroom. The silence inside of my mind was terrifying. Those days I thought about leaving. Those were the usual days I thought about leaving.

Because, to me, suicide was not the idea of dying or killing myself. It was not some sort of cry for help.

The idea that lured me so close to the darkness was to just not exist anymore. To convince myself that I was doing more harm than good to the people around me, to the world. I would lie in bed and hope to sink into the mattress. I didn’t want some dramatic ending where someone would find my body. I didn’t want blood or vomit or mess or screams. I just wanted to fade away, go away, not be here anymore. The world felt like it was too much for me. I felt too small. I felt like I had no where that I belonged.

No amount of encouragement changed that, I am sad to say. I was surrounded by loved ones who would tell me to hold on. I convinced myself they were just being polite or felt obligated. They will get over it once you are gone, my brain would say to me each time. Lies. So many lies inside of my own head.

And what can you do when you’ve reached that point? When even your own mind has betrayed you? My psychiatrist tried everything. Every combination of medication she could think of; she even went onto a forum and asked for advice to save me.

I was sent to therapy. Therapy has never worked for me and this was no different. The therapist I was assigned wanted to do cognitive behavioral therapy–which sounded good during the initial pitch; to retrain my brain to react differently when intrusive thoughts forced themselves in. But there was no urgency. She wanted me to make a chart everyday of what seemed to trigger my suicidal thoughts and what I was doing to try and get through that moment. I felt like just handing her a piece of paper that said “EVERYTHING ALL OF THE THINGS” on it. I stopped going to see her after 3 appointments. I couldn’t deal with something like that. I needed a faster action plan. I was dying. I considered myself dying at that point.

Several times friends came close to bringing me back to the psychiatric hospital that I had been to years before. I thought about it. I legitimately thought about it. But no. I knew I would not get well in there. I would not be well in there.

I fell into despair. I know I blogged quite a bit about this while it was unraveling–how I felt like I was lost out at sea with no shore in sight, how I felt that I was face down in mud and someone kept pressing their boot against my back so that I continued to choke and suffocate slowly.

It was suffering beyond articulation. Everyday.

Entire churches prayed for me. Everyone was gentle to me. Everyone was trying the best they could to save me. But nothing was working and that made me feel like I was not meant to be saved.

Another lie.

I wanted to stay. I wanted to feel something stir inside of me to finally let some sort of joy in…some sort of lightening of the heart. Even a trip to Disney World could not bring me out of it. I remember walking through the park with my 4 year old who was all wide eyed and smiles and trying so hard to be happy. Trying to convince myself that I should be feeling happy right now. But it didn’t work. You can see it even in the pictures. I was a shell.

I don’t remember exactly how long I went through this. I don’t remember when it started or when it started to landslide. I have whole chunks of time that I can’t recall. I was put on so many different medications that I almost am not sure if the lack of memory is organic or a side effect. I still struggle with memory.

I didn’t wake up one day and realize there was so much to live for. I didn’t wake up and open the curtains and let the sun shine on my face and feel its warmth down to my bones.

The first thing that saved my life was my psychiatrist finally breaking down and throwing out her Hail Mary move–putting me on Lithium. Lots of it. That eventually stabilized me into at least not wanting to die. It was a painful drug. It messed with my entire body. But I didn’t kill myself.

What eventually brought me back to life wasn’t heavy medication, or a sense that I needed to take control of my mind and my life. It was much more nuanced than that.

It was a stirring of my soul. I had been trying to align my heart and my mind for so long that I had forgotten about my soul. C.S. Lewis has said that you do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

My body had betrayed me, yes. In every sense. But something in my life surprisingly reached out and shook my soul a little bit, waking it up. That’s when I started to feel lighter. That’s when I started to think about changes I could make to myself and the life around me to keep myself safe.

 

I guess what I am saying is that everyone has something to live for, but a quiet or loud mind can blind you against that faster than you can imagine. Depression lies. I know everyone says that, but it really does. It makes you feel not just insignificant, but worse; it makes you feel like a burden. It convinces you that nothing in your life will ever work out. It will make you feel unworthy of the things in your life that somehow did work out. You will feel already half gone because you can no longer rely on your body to work in your favor. You will no longer be on your own side.

But allow your soul to be stirred by something–no matter how small. Your soul is your backup generator. The power may fail but you are not dead inside.

You need to find something that will remind yourself that you are worth saving.

 

Everyone is worth saving.



To The Men Who Are Now Living In A Post Wonder Woman Society
June 7, 2017, 12:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Now, this is not for every man out there. I know there are plenty of men who are embracing this movie and the wake it is leaving in society.

But there are a few–some that I have even witnessed–who refuse to accept what is happening here.

So, for those few, allow me to explain some things.


 

I get it. I totally get it. You think we are coming for you. That an angry mob of liberated women is going to try and take over the world. I can see where that might be terrifying. People are always afraid of things they do not understand.

I can understand why you would feel left out or –segregated– when theaters chose to have special viewings of this film for women only. Don’t we have enough films tailored *just for us*? Lala Land? An Affair to Remember? Every Nicholas Sparks movie?

And now…NOW…we have come for your action movies. As if giving us X-Men and Black Widow wasn’t enough.

And to your point, yes, it is just an amazing super hero movie that is doing extremely well.

BUT to then also say that we are being dramatic and the whole smash the patriarchy thing is getting old and we need to calm down with the feminism…

Did we watch the same film?

Maybe not. Maybe you accidentally walked into Guardians of the Galaxy or something.

Let me tell you what this movie was about and what it means to women:

My daughter dressed up as Captain America for Halloween last year. Not a girl version of Captain America…the little boy labeled costume.

I have been taking my daughter to see action hero movies since she was 4. She knows every Avenger’s name. She knows who Ultron is. She loves the Hulk.

She refers to Black Widow as “the girl one”.  Which is fair. That’s basically what she is. That girl who sometimes shows up with Hawkeye.

As I watched Wonder Woman with my daughter last weekend and gasped as Diana climbed out of that trench and proceeded to take all of the fire so that the baffled and scared men could then finally advance towards the Germans-

As I watched a woman, who had just been told “no”, do exactly the opposite of that-

I had such a strong reaction that even when I recount the scene to my parents or sister on the phone or strangers on the internet I get emotional. That moment was a moment that I never realized I needed. I teared up and grabbed my daughter’s hand. I squeezed it and she squeezed back, her 3-D glasses fixated on the screen as she watched for the first time what a super hero could be.

This movie was a movie–a moment–that I never realized I needed. I don’t think any of us did.

This Wonder Woman was not sponsored by Revlon. There is no sparkle to her. No cutesy dialogue.  Instead, we were shown an entire island of women who spend all of their time training like damn Spartans. They were dirty, sweaty, not a lick of mascara in sight and hair thrown back in functional pony tails. They were Amazons in every sense: tall, lean and muscular, hardened in the ways of battle with absolutely zero need of men.

But they were beautiful. They were a beautiful and fearsome sight to behold.

We have been living in a world where strong women have been portrayed as an exception to their gender. When a woman is outspoken or has strong opinions she has to be labeled something BESIDES A WOMAN. Often she is called a bitch, a lesbian, or just plain wrong.

We have been living in a world where to be taken seriously in the eyes of the public, you have to strip away your feminine side. Harden up. Be prepared to be bullied by the men who have resided in certain arenas since the dawn of time. We have watched women be interrupted during their allotted time to speak. We have watched women be physically intimidated on live tv. We have watched women be literally silenced for doing things…exact things…that their male counterparts get away with doing every day.

But we have also watched these women persist. Resist. Rise up. Instead of complaining about being intimidated or slandered, they sit there with their eyes set dead ahead. Instead of being silenced, we have seen women continue on to prove their point that is merely stating exact facts. And every time this happens, it becomes a movement. Every time a woman makes a man look like an idiot, it becomes national news because the idea is so novel.

Diana Price–Wonder Woman (a title that is actually never used in the film)–is the harbinger of every thing these modern women are trying to trail blaze. She refuses to be silent. She refuses to go along with a male agenda. She literally cannot grasp when they try to feminize her so she blends in more with their society.

She does what has to be done and what she is there to do. She steps out in to no-man’s land…and perhaps it is aptly named…and does what men could not do.

She doesn’t do it to prove a point. She doesn’t do it because she is a woman. She doesn’t do it because she knows she has powers inside of her that remain untapped.

She does it because no one else will. When the men said “No” a woman said “Yes”.

So yes, gentlemen. You are living now in a society where women are feeling validated. Empowered. Bold.

We have sat through film after film of men doing what is right and saving the world. We have applauded them and enjoyed the movies and encouraged our daughters to be like them even if they are a different gender.

Our daughters have been taught that if you want to appear strong, you have to be a man. If you want to be strong, it is more socially acceptable to be a man.

And now we are a society where the word “woman” means nothing and everything. The word no longer comes with the string of other words that have been attached to it for so long and instead can now be associated with:

Power

Bravery

Justice

Compassion

Strength

A symbol has appeared in our society that will now rock the scale of what it means to be a hero and I feel sorry if you feel like that somehow infringes on the space that you have already rented out for every other super hero ever. I feel sorry for you if you think that Wonder Woman will require her own space in comic book movie cannon simply because she is the first of her kind to do something like this.

We are not here to diminish male super heroes. We are not here to say Wonder Woman is a better super hero than anyone else. We are not here to brag about how it is now the highest grossing female directed movie in history, dethroning movies like…Frozen and Shrek. We are not here to smash your precious patriarchy that you don’t think exists with our hyper feminist agendas.

We are just happy to be here. We are crying tears of joy to have received an invitation like this, like this woman, like this film.

Women are not here to take over the planet, gentlemen. We are here to help save it.

And a woman

–not a Wonder Woman–

just a woman named Diana

has now shown us that we do not have to change a single thing about ourselves to do it.



Scotland
June 3, 2017, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a funny idea–the notion of going on a sort of adventure in search of something. What drives us from the safety of our houses onto an unknown road trying to find something that we never knew was missing from us?

As I boarded my plane that would take me over the wide Atlantic I found myself thinking about the notion of finding what I was looking for or finding myself while over there. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I didn’t know what I was going to find.

I wandered deep into the Scottish highlands, standing in basins among gargantuan hills that, unlike mountains, had rolling crests like the profile of a dear lover’s face where glaciers had slowly roamed and settled.

I followed rivers for miles to find blue and green pools of water where surely fairies must have taken up residency.

I intrepidly maneuvered my way down to the edge of the pools, dipping my mortal finger tips into freezing and divine waters. I flicked a coin into them and watched as it settled down with the pebbles. The day was cloudy–the day was always cloudy–but somehow light reflected off of the coin that I left as an offering. A wish. A gleaming wish.

I turned around to see how far I had walked to get to where I was and the road wasn’t even visible. It was like I had fallen out of time and I wondered how far I could keep walking– deeper and deeper into the prehistoric wilds of Scotland.

Away from everything I had known. Away from lives that I thought I had wanted. Away from expectations and disappointments. I would vanish without a trace.

But I didn’t keep walking. Eventually I turned around and followed my own footsteps back to civilization and drove on, marveling at how many shades of green seemed to exist all of a sudden.

I passed lakes, the water’s edge so close to the car you felt like you could just reach your hand out and drag your fingers along their surfaces as you passed by, like a skipping rock or the kiss of a fish as it bobs up to catch a bug–just leaving a small ripple in its place.

I got lost in gardens, heard the bleat of thousands of newborn lambs, meandered through castles, smelled the cold and grey scent of open ocean.

I traveled through every season, every kind of terrain, every dream I had ever come up with.

I struggled.

When an incline was too steep, when my body had used up all of its reserves and I could feel my muscles eating themselves, I stopped. I bent over and gasped for air or tried to find a place to rest, to watch everyone else pass me by on their own journey, probably not even seeing me in my failed state; lost in their own euphoria.

A voice urged me on. I had to try to get to just the next check point, then rest again. It was always just a little bit away to the next check point. Don’t look at the big picture. Don’t look up. Don’t feel dwarfed. Keep your eyes on the path ahead of you, keep your eyes on your own feet and you’ll eventually find yourself in a place you never thought you could get to.

I did not find something that I had been missing in Scotland. I did not suddenly feel like a different person and realize some sort of personal potential while getting lost on roads with no names and highways that could only accommodate one way traffic. When I woke up in the morning and looked at myself in the mirror, I recognized the girl looking back at me. She was no stranger.

I didn’t find anything, but I lost plenty. I lost layers of myself that I had always hid behind. Missing was my connection to the outside world; my need to validate my experiences with other people who weren’t on that journey with me. That faded. Gone was my self conscious sense of appearance. I let the wind whip my hair into all sorts of disarray. My cheeks chapped in the cold. I arrived back to my room damp and disheveled more nights than not. I let go of my need for control. If I felt lost or defeated, I didn’t curl up into a small ball and start heaving and gasping. Paths are there for a reason, roads–no matter how small–always lead somewhere and if you don’t have a finish line, if you don’t have an agenda, there is no reason to ever feel lost or out of control.

You are never in control in the first place. I learned that as well. It will always rain. There will always be traffic. You will not always know where you are.

All you can control is your reaction to those things around you. Controlling your reaction may seem like a large undertaking; I know before this trip it always seemed easier said than done for someone with my emotional capacities.

But, here is what I learned about controlling your reactions:

It never means having to reel yourself in. Controlling doesn’t mean holding back or girding yourself from something you might have a large reaction to.

It means being brave enough to crack your chest bones and grabbing your own heart. It means giving yourself room on the inside to experience everything around you. Things only seem hard if you yourself are a hard person. Become soft and let the world around you seep in like damp sand during low tide.

Unhappiness, fear, stress, heart break–these things are only mirror images of preconceived notions that you thrust upon yourself. It is easy when you around jobs and technology and people to set up expectations–linear expectations–of what happiness, calm, and fulfillment feel like.

Don’t do that.

I stood in a world that over whelmed me and I felt full. There was no divide of emotions anymore–I felt happy and loved and calm and encouraged all at the same time.

It was all the same feeling, don’t you see?

It’s not that I found myself in the hills of Scotland.

It’s that Scotland took everything that wasn’t truly me away.  I had been under there the whole time, like a sleeping druid.

And when it was time to go, to board the plane and fly back over the ocean to where divided emotions ruled, it didn’t feel like a goodbye. It felt like an assault.

I wasn’t ready.

And I was scared.

What would become of me back in the world without all of my armor, without all of emotional defenses and notions? The world I was returning to was a hard world and I had just become a soft soul.

But I left, just the same. I let time and expectation rip me from that country, from those hills and fields. It all seemed unfair. It seemed like everything I had learned had been in vain. I felt like kicking and screaming as I drove across the border, back to the airport.

It suddenly felt like everything had been a dream.  Like a twist ending to some 60’s tv sitcom show. It didn’t feel like it had really happened. I looked out of my window as I drove through the hills, the lakes, the sea in reverse realization and discovery.

I memorized it all. It was real and no one was going to take it from me. No matter how soft I had let myself become, no one would rob me of this.

 

 

But still, I lamented.

 

“How can I leave you?” I asked quietly, as I left.

“But my love, if you don’t leave now, how will you ever return to me?” Scotland whispered back and it sounded like lullaby.