Gripping Sand: Thoughts on Vulnerability, Control & Letting Go

October 14, 2016

I feel like it’s slipping through my fingers, and when it does, I won’t get it back. 

It was a tear-filled conversation with a best friend and a trusted soul: I didn’t know how to lose the fear and anxiety surrounding reopening myself back up after years of heart-guarding. It was harder than I thought.

People, places, habits & tendencies, addictions– in the act of leaving of them, our tender hearts can bruise.


Heartbreak is, in its own way, trauma. A hit to the soul, a carving and cleaning out a space deep inside that once was filled, though imperfectly so.

Even if it’s the right choice, our hearts may crack anyway. Just because you chose  to go, choose to stop, choose to leave, it doesn’t make it any easier.

She advised me to hold these things loosely– to cup my hands lightly, as though a small bird is resting its downy head on the tip of my fingers. Tread lightly, she said, walk softly– be gentle with myself and this beautiful, fragile thing, whatever it was I was worried about, just cradle it.

Because, like sand, if I squeeze too tightly it will all fall away.

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Two Footprints: The Gift of Loneliness

October 11, 2016

I think God gives us the gift of lonely nights every now and then.

I think He gives us gifts of un-asked-for solitary darkness, moments to wrestle and ponder. Gifts of the no-one-is-home, no-on-is-answering-my-calls, do-I-exist? variety. Gifts that appear to be packaged with tears and heartache and emptiness, tied together with a bow of discouragement.


Gifts. Yes, gifts.

I encountered one of these such gifts just over a week ago. It was cold outside and I was tired, trying to solidify one plan while finding hurt and frustration in others that fell through, in mismanaged expectations, in loneliness.

I ran through my list of contacts, scanning my inner and outer circle for someone to cling to, to fill me up– but my go-tos were busy, were out of town, living in other cities, living in the city I moved from, living across the country in different time zones.

So instead of talking out all my worries, I had no choice but to turn from the screen and instead face whatever it was I was trying to hide from.

Loneliness has a way of nudging us realize our rawest, most human desires.

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I’m Not a Lot of Things

October 5, 2016

I am not a city person. I grew up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, attended a small college by the beaches of San Diego. I craved nature, not concrete.

And then I moved to San Francisco.


While growing up, we are instructed to learn about ourselves and share that with others. We show-and-tell what brings us joy: our favorite food, places we want to explore, what we like to do on the weekends and if we’d rather watch a movie or read a book. Introvert? Extrovert? Science and math, or creative. Messy, clean.

Either or, this, that.

We fit ourselves into neat categories– it makes life easier. Humans, the cognitive misers we are, dislike wasting energy on decision-making. A strong sense of self takes away much of the need to decide. We like what we like, don’t what we don’t.

But there’s a danger in leaving the unexplored, well, unexplored forever. Of sticking with chocolate and never again tasting the vanilla.


Making Peace: A Return to San Diego

September 26, 2016

Last weekend I learned it was possible to make peace with San Diego.

I learned it was possible to add another home to my list of homes, three of the most beautiful places in America (I’d like to think, at least). I learned it was possible to drop the leftover remains of heartache away and inhale the salty air with a certain lightness I haven’t felt in a while.



Make peace? What?

Well truth be told, I didn’t know what it would be like to finally venture back to SD after I moved away. This past weekend back was my first real return, and though I still remain close to my best friends there, the place itself used to stir up all the feels:

Would I miss it too bad? Would I have any twinge of regret over what I left behind? Would it still feel the same?

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When the Prescription is Rest

September 12, 2016

OK. I am going to be brutally honest here– This. Past. Month. Was. Hard.

It was a challenge in a different sort of way. Life was bumbling forward as usual, and then bam. I was knocked out. Well, down. Down in my bed, that is.


Several weeks of pure exhaustion swept in along with the kind of illness where you know something is wrong but you can’t exactly place your finger on what.

With no prescribed cure, and no real idea of what was going on, there was only one thing left for me to do: rest.

But how do you slow down when the world says speed up? 

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