To walk through

Late last Spring, I read a paragraph that sent me tumbling into despair.

Leaning into that despair was the best thing I’ve ever done,

a fact most profoundly clear this last week.

Late one Spring afternoon, I was curled up in bed reading a book on self acceptance. I reached a chapter on trauma and excitedly dug in: Great! Here’s where the healing will really start happening!

Paragraph by paragraph as I read, I felt something unpleasant building within me, until at last I read one that released a landslide. I felt myself tumbling away from my body,
falling,
falling,
falling.

My body knew that feeling. I’d felt it time and time and time again in the face of violence I alternately witnessed and endured as poverty, abuse, and predation throughout my childhood.

I’d just never had a name for it before. Thanks to the pages before The Paragraph, though, I had a name for it. The fact it had a name meant it was real, and the fact it was both real and named meant I could not simply run from it anymore: Continue reading “To walk through”

A bandana the right direction

On February 28, I was delighted to vote in person for the first time ever. I wrote about that here.

By then, I already had enough information to know this was Not A Good Idea.

The signal just wasn’t on my mind.

About a week before I voted, I was talking with a fellow fan of author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I asked if she followed him on Twitter. I explained I’d stopped scrolling through his tweets several weeks back, but that he remained my favorite author and tweep. Continue reading “A bandana the right direction”

This new-shaped today

On Saturday,
I ordered something special
for my younger son’s mid-week birthday.

(Since he can’t be with his friends
bodily
this year,
this was one way to
make the day
merrier.)

The special package
was scheduled to reach us
yesterday.

Yesterday came;
the package didn’t;
seems it hasn’t
even
shipped
yet.

My sons,
disappointed,
threw around the word “liars.”

I acknowledged their disappointment,
but explained it’s
(probably)
not really lying.

A month ago,
the shape of
yesterday tended
to give us a good idea
how tomorrow
would be shaped.

We could reasonably say,
“Yesterday, and for thousands
of yesterdays before,
we knew it would take
two days to pull an item,
package it, send it,
and have it reach
its recipient.”

“Today, 
yesterday’s estimates
will often no longer work.
But we haven’t lived long enough
in this new-shaped today
to yet accurately estimate
how long it will actually
take to do this or that,
in this world.

“They’ll learn.
We’ll learn.

“So, are they lying?
I don’t think so.
They just haven’t had
enough time yet to
learn the ropes in
this new-shaped today.

“And, besides:
We’ll still have
cupcakes, and ice
cream.”

For old time’s sake

Yesterday morning, I sat in front of my computer waiting for more bad news to appear in my Twitter feed. Some part of me felt it was critical to remain constantly informed, regardless of my inability to actually do anything with most the news I’m reading.

Out of the blue, it dawned on me: This is not healthy behavior! So I stepped away from the computer with the twin intentions to (1) do something kinder to myself now and (2) check news only intermittently and briefly throughout the day.

But what was there to do?

My eyes landed on a couple of journals on a dining room curio cabinet. Continue reading “For old time’s sake”

Believe

In 2009, my Black now-husband told me the baby I was carrying–our baby–would experience racism someday.

I laughed him off. Racism? In Los Angeles in 2009? Was he confusing here and now with 1960s Arkansas? I figured it more likely he was hyper-sensitive than that racism was a broad present-day concern hurting brown-skinned people every single day in the U.S. of A.

Since then, I’ve seen and learned more about racism than I could ever hope to fit in a series of books, let alone a single post. I won’t even try, though I will tell you my oldest son was only three when I first saw him subjected to overt racism, and that he was only three when he started making statements reflecting that he was internalizing messages from classmates on darkness equaling badness. Continue reading “Believe”

Plenty

In about an hour, my kids will wrap up their second week of school-at-home. Their teachers are providing virtual instruction and managing schoolwork, so it’s not really homeschool. It’s just regular(ish) school, from a distance.

The first couple of days last week were challenging for one reason. While my littler one already knew exactly what to do and got to work doing it, my older one had heaps of work to navigate based only on an email or two. Fortunately, he’d found his footing by the end of the week. Continue reading “Plenty”

Today I’ll live today

When I was about ten weeks pregnant with my older son, I started bleeding one day at work. My then manager rushed me to the nearest emergency room, from which I called my now husband, Anthony.

At the time, I was working in California’s Orange County, the county just south of Los Angeles County. Anthony was working on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory much further north, deep into Los Angeles county. His drive to reach me would be long and traffic-heavy, meaning I’d maybe be alone facing what could end up being some devastating news.

I remember calling one of my sisters while I waited, and then another dear friend. I remember sobbing on the phone. I remember Anthony suddenly being there, and the doctor eventually delivering the news: there was a fifty-fifty chance my pregnancy would last the next 24 hours. Continue reading “Today I’ll live today”