The beach is hungry, and does not discriminate between litter and your sunglasses.
I grew up in a seaside-beach-surfer community.
Almost Everyone knows not to bring valuables to the beach. It’s the result of hearing too many horror stories of lost wedding rings, keys, phones, brand name sunglasses, beloved sandals, and more.
Still, I’ve lost things in the past and wish I knew where they were now. For example: I would be so happy if someone returned the bracelet my brother gave me when he returned from Greece. I wore it everyday. It was a silver cuff bracelet with a woven design and fit my style perfectly. One day, I didn’t close the cuff tightly enough around my wrist and it slipped off while I was running to class. I soon realized it was gone, but it was too late. Another student must have picked it up. I retraced my steps, looked all over campus, asked my teachers, checked the Lost and Found several times for days. I was devastated. It was one of the nicest presents I ever received from him.
Now, I always try my best to find the owner of lost items. Or at least make it easier for the owner to find by leaving it at a Lost & Found, or with a local authority figure. How could you keep something, knowing someone is missing it?
My name into an adjective? No, thank you.
I deliberated for some time on whether or not to use my name on this blog. In fact, I still am. The purpose of this blog was to practice writing for writing’s sake, so of course the material here is subpar. In fact, I’ve fallen behind on the task completely this last week. I’m not sure if I want this to be associated with my name. It’s a giant leap of doubt.
I’d rather my name be just that: my name. Something to call me, to identify me. To assume responsibility of whatever meaning OTHER people attach to it, regardless of my permission, does not appeal to me.
Today’s prompt is a timely reminder of how fear hinders honest dialogue. It’s telling that only through tragic events can the #YesAllWomen hashtag remove such fears for some women. They feel liberated. Others feel justified. The many “I was so afraid to share” and “Everyone said I was crazy and told me to shut up” tweets attest to the silence of fear. Millions around the world could not be wrong. Or could they?
These are dark moments, kept secret because society said they are wrong. “Whatever you have to say is not the truth and you are blowing it out of proportion.” The purpose of these tweets is not to celebrate feminism, take down ‘the man’ or whatever. They are bravely sharing their stories in hopes that someone will actually listen. These tweets are calls into an empty home, hoping for a thoughtful reply. They are trying to open up an honest dialogue.
I always taught my students that a conversation is not only talking. You have to also listen. A proper conversation is an exchange of ideas. Giving and taking. Internalizing someone’s thoughts, understanding them through empathy. Only then can you reply meaningfully in order to offer your own thoughts in return.
Some understand this fundamental idea. Others don’t. This is the source of the war raging within the #YesAllWomen hashtag. The trolls refuse to listen, to internalize, to empathize. They hear, then focus on how offended they feel. They empathize with themselves first. Sounds illogical, right? That’s because it doesn’t even fit the definition of empathy!
So this is me, breaking the silence by paying it forward and sharing stories that are only asking you to listen.
And so many more.
I do not have vivid memories. Mornings melt away meaninglessly. Meals are stale marshmallow mush, rolling in my mouth until I swallow dry. The sun is only a light that neither burns nor comforts.
Good moments seep away, never the same.
Photos are second-hand freeze frames
that can’t capture what I actually felt.
But then again
The wind and rain and snow become mild inconveniences.
Anger dissipates into annoyance.
Tears were never shed.
Bad moments become lighter
and vagueness becomes a blessing.
Or maybe because I choose to make them so.
No one can deny the cultural phenomenon and power of social networking sites like Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest. There are so many more, but this is a small list of sites I’ve created accounts for recently. And I dislike networking, online or in person.
For the longest time, I only used Facebook to keep in touch with friends while shunning all others. I regret doing that. Now, I’m playing catch-up to other job seekers who have the “Google resume” down to an art. In my research, I’ve read many times over that a positive online presence is a deciding factor for some employers (considering how easy it is to Google someone’s name). I’m still sending out resumes to job postings, but now I’m also trying to make connections and put myself out there.
This whole venture has been out of my comfort zone. Making friends was so much simpler when I was younger. Why has it become more convoluted when, as adults, we should have this skill set figured out? I like to make real connections to people. I don’t want to think, “What’s in this for me?” or “What are they really after?” or worse: “Will this come back to bite me later?” Yet, real connections are a part of networking. A simple “Like” leads to a conversation and becomes more personable. It’s a strange paradox.
I dislike the idea of networking,
luring flies to my web
trapping myself in the web of others.
But I am open to chance meetings
random connections with shared passions
that could be something more.
How timely. I created this blog late last night on a whim, but didn’t post anything. The screen glare was destroying my vision and I gave up after my eyes stung and watered uncontrollably, tears pooling in my palms (maybe the computer turns back into a freshly diced white onion after midnight?). Tears were not shed in vain, though. When I woke up, the perfect platform from which to take the plunge was waiting in the form of today’s prompt from The Daily Post:
Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?
It must be a sign.
Expectation #1: Update a writing blog everyday
Or just write everyday. For ten minutes. Until 1,000 words. The key advice every writer hears and almost every writer gives. I’ve been trying to do this for years. Now it’s done and started.
I want to write something of substance, but it’s hard not to be intimidated. Feels like everyone else has a stronger voice or a better narrative. Even if that is the truth, I can’t let those anxieties keep me back.
Expectation #2: Acknowledge some posts won’t be the best-thing-ever and move on.
I also tend to agonize on the fine details, lose sight of the main idea, and end up with projects never seeing the light of day. I’ll edit and re-edit. Reread and re-edit. Well. “It’s not ready yet” is a phrase I’ll hide behind no more.
If I break the chain and don’t write,
then I have nothing to show for it.
And I will feel the same as I do now,
because I haven’t done anything yet.
It’s only up from here.