It’s my birthday today, friends. I’m 29.
So here are some of my favorite posts I wrote as a 28-year-old. Turns out there are more here than I expected, but it’s a nice little retrospective. I find that the posts I like the best are the ones where I didn’t really concern myself with my audience (even though I love you dearly). Whenever I was trying to be “helpful” I found my posts flat and kind of uninspiring. Writing for myself was much more fulfilling, and then you, my darling readers, can take the ideas for your own. I wrote it for myself, and you can have it for yourself.
These are the posts that stayed with me, and if you have others, let me know!
Admittedly, the powerful parts of this post are not my original thoughts. But I think of these excerpts often, and they never fail to soothe my soul. The Latin root of the word “decide” is caidere which means “to kill or cut” (Think homicide, suicide, genocide). Technically, deciding to do something new without killing something old is not a decision at all. It is merely an addition. But killing something old is hard, and we sometimes don’t take the requisite time to mourn.
I still think of this post often, because I struggle sometimes to remember that being lovable (or desirable, or sexy, or successful, or whatever) doesn’t require that I be found lovable (or desirable, or sexy, or successful, or whatever). Can I not only give that to myself, claim it for myself, but also resist the impulse to let other people take it away?
Still true for me. I’m a terrible eater. In fact, I feel this way about most activities that have to occur daily. Can’t I just do it once and then have it self-sustain? So I still remind myself that part of the practice is to come back, even when the results don’t live up to what I imagined in my head. What’s that line from Anais Nin? “You live out the confusions until they become clear.” And that leads right into another favorite:
Yet another post I think of often. I love this essay by Henry Rollins (and also every essay by Henry Rollins). It’s true for me that some things persist until they’re no longer needed, and then I can release them with ease. And when they persist even when I don’t want them, it’s not because I’m a failure; it’s because it’s not ready yet. Deep breath.
It’s never about the food. The food is a go-to, a coping mechanism. It’s a really effective one. But once you’ve taken away the unconsciousness of your food habits, at some point you’ll have to look at the underlying emotional issues. Assume legitimacy.
I don’t actually think this post is one of my best, so you don’t have to read it. The important part is this:
There is NOTHING about today that can explain the emotions I’m feeling right now. But there’s nothing about these emotions that I’m ready to NOT feel. There’s nothing about this story I’m ready to let go of.
And maybe that limits me, but fuck you.
Those are possibly the truest words I’ve ever written.
I loved thinking of meals that mattered, and I particularly love and have memorized this quote:
Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next—and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.
My first heartbreak. I’ve never read anything more soothing than this essay on pothos,
the longing toward the unattainable, the ungraspable, the incomprehensible, that idealization which is attendant upon all love and which is always beyond capture…. we see that pothos is the motive force that drives desire ever onward, as the portion of love that is never satisfied by actual loving and actual possession of the object. It is the fantasy factor that pulls the chariot beyond immediacy, like the seizures that took Alexander and like Ulysses’s desire for “home.”
We are what we reach for.
Bitch Boss and Boss Bitch. Still large and in charge, but in a trusted advisor kind of way :)
The important parts of this post are really the poems. I think that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to recognize that, if you’re reading this post, your life is probably not in any immediate danger. So don’t put yourself in a survival response. Your appetite is not a weakness. It’s not a threat.
Because sometimes you’re in a situation that’s f*cking bullsh*t, and you’re not wrong to think so. Don’t make yourself wrong if someone else is acting like a jackass.
I’m still surprised that I wrote this one, to be honest. I’ve never had a clinical eating disorder, but this is what happens in my mind sometimes when I feel absolutely powerless and out of control and try to compensate using food.
I have to be very mindful to not let the Old King take over for me. Sometimes I still default to rejecting what I can’t control. Aren’t we fortunate to have many opportunities to learn? :) Be big enough to accept all of yourself, even that part that seems like chaos.
I’ve been thinking of this post recently, particularly the idea of tolerating discomfort. It seems to me that “tolerating” might be the wrong word, because it implies resignation with an endgame. Ok, I’ll tolerate this stuff for now, but I’m only doing that so it can go away.
Sometimes feeling what we’re feeling and really letting that truth rest in our bodies is necessary. When the Supreme Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case a few weeks ago, my only response for at least a week was, “What the actual f*ck?” I needed to mourn that decision, not spring into action.
And my latest. I can’t get enough of this idea that divinity requires a human anchor to exist on earth. We are the ones that must come to consciousness and let the divine move forward. And that these opportunities often come nestled in between mistakes.
So thank you, Me-From-Then. Thank you for writing. I’m looking forward to seeing what 29-year-old me has to say.
And thank you, friend, for reading. I hope sometime today you can take a break and drink your favorite drink or eat your favorite food or otherwise demonstrate self care. I love you very much.