the gift

Near the end
of a healing talk
yesterday,
I said,

“I have always felt
like I am speaking
a different language
using the same words
as true English speakers–
the words sound the same,
at the most superficial level,
but everything else is different,
and I have to spend so much time
and energy
trying to figure out
how to speak the real English.”

“But,”
I continued,
“I had the fortune
to recently discover
people who speak the same English
I do, so that I don’t have to
contort myself to
meet them
where
they
are; Continue reading “the gift”

comfort songs

A few months ago, deep in sustained despair for which I could find neither answers nor even good questions, I found something surprising:

a song that could transport me somewhere else completely–

a place unreachable by despair.

I listened to “Ghosts that We Knew” hundreds of times.

I couldn’t name this Mumford & Sons song’s magic for me, but I–perpetual, relentless seeker of words–for once didn’t feel much need to name it. Just to keep appreciating it.

I didn’t think of the song as a comfort song. I just … took comfort in it. Continue reading “comfort songs”

london joy, suffolk joy

When I booked tickets
for me and my older son
to visit England, I was clear
that I wanted a picture like this:
my friend Dana and I
right here.

me & dana

When I booked tickets
for me and my older son
to visit England, I was not at all clear
that I’d find what I really wanted
while wandering footpaths in
the Suffolk countryside.

wandering companions

What I found in Suffolk need not–
no, cannot–be captured in words,
so that London joy (freeing myself from
the struggle of seeking words
to match the experience)
is added to the Suffolk joy (of having
found what I wanted
simply wandering
along Suffolk
footpaths).

a mark happily missed

On Sunday evening, I failed to actually make dinner before it was dinnertime.

Wanting to hold our standing dinner time, I called my boys into the kitchen. As I alfernately cooked dinner and prepped the next day’s lunches, my boys played music and bantered. With each other.

I enjoyed both the food preparation and my boys’ company.

Yesterday evening, I again forgot to make dinner before dinnertime. The same as the evening before, then, I called the boys in to keep me company as I cooked.

Continue reading “a mark happily missed”

already unmasked

In January, I determined–with great relief to finally understand anything at all–that I’m neurodivergent. Somehow.

In February, a loved one shared their considered suspicion I’m neurodivergent in a very specific way.

Despite initial doubts (wouldn’t I know something like that by now?!), I began reading.

With each word I read, I became more certain my loved one was …

Continue reading “already unmasked”

deeply human

Last night, I realized I’d made a morning commitment I couldn’t keep.

While a small commitment, fulfilling it was important to me. Thus, realizing my mistake, I immediately turned that molehill into a mountain with only one possible “solution”: ghosting. That’d solve everything!

Upon awakening, I chuckled at last night’s idea of a “solution.” Instead of ghosting, I decided I’d connect with a friend at 6 a.m. about ways to see the commitment fulfilled.

And, wouldn’t you know it? That was far the sager solution.

Together, that friend and I found a solution (thanks to another friend) within–no exaggeration–90 seconds. At 6 a.m.!

And I’d considered ghosting, which approach would have left me feeling further disconnected
instead of simply, blessedly,
delighted to be so
deeply human in such
deeply human, deeply loving
company.

thirteen minutes

Asking for help has never been a personal strength.

My problem here isn’t typically in the asking, though;

more often, the problem is much more foundational than that.

In order to ask for help, I must first admit I do not have–and maybe cannot alone locate–the answers.

(Nooooooooooo! Not that! Never that!)

At work a couple weeks back, I encountered a small but impactful technical issue I couldn’t resolve. I spent a couple of hours independently consulting search engines in futile search of a workable solution before twin understandings dawned on me:

  1. I am not going to figure this out solo in an acceptable-to-me timeframe.
  2. There is probably someone here who already knows how to do this!

Having experienced this astonishing revelation, I searched for and quickly found just such a person. Said person not only had the answer (“Change it at the destination, not the source, just like this!”), but was also so friendly, my spirits were lifted by the conversation. Continue reading “thirteen minutes”

free

On Saturday morning, I attended two events I’d begun the day considering nearly identical.

Initially considering them identical, I showed up the exact same way for each. I was then perplexed to leave one feeling buoyed but the other dismayed.

For the remainder of the morning, I puzzled over the unexpected difference. What was the source of that gap?

When I figured it out, I was flabbergasted by the simplicity of the answer.

I was delighted, too. The answer to that question was also the answer to broader, pain-filled questions about my own incomprehensible-to-me behavior that have been plaguing me since October.

Most delightfully, my answer wasn’t only a “what” answer (what’s going on here?) but also a “how” answer (in any context, how do I now behave in ways that feel okay to me?).

I felt … free. Continue reading “free”