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A Small List Of Things I’m Intentionally Being Vague About

1. This is the good part. This is the part when being awake at 6 in the morning doesn’t feel like an inconvenience. This is the part where the sound of the paper flipping to find a crossword makes me smile and I don’t know why. (I do know why.) This is the part where four days feels unbearable and falling asleep is disappointing. This is the good part. This is the part where I want to live inside of moments and hit pause and just stay right here and I reread the sentence, “The rules are we have to be brave enough to name each feeling as if you are simply noting a change in weather,” 12 times and so I’m naming things like hope and okay and happy and trying to believe that they don’t have to feel far off. This is the good part. I want to stay in this part. Let me live in this part. Forward my mail, change the locks, close the blinds, don’t let anybody else in because they might ruin it, they might ruin this part, and this is the good part, this is the best part, and this is the part I want to stay in. Just five more minutes. Let’s just stay in this part.

2. The other day I accidentally called my mother and realized that she either got a new phone and hadn’t bothered to set up the voicemail, or she changed her number and didn’t tell me. It ended up being the former, she got very huffy when I asked (mostly joking) if she decided she didn’t want to talk to me anymore, but there’s this lingering thought about how the latter wouldn’t be that surprising. We haven’t really talked in a month. Not of anything of substance really. I love my mother, I do. We have the same eyes, nose, laugh, tendency to shut down when we’re upset. But I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to want, no, to need to tell your family things. I’ve always been the black sheep, the one who didn’t quite fit. Which as an only child was probably a little bit impactful—likely left some sort of mark. There’s nowhere to go with this that doesn’t sound dark and sad and a lot of things it isn’t, so I’m not going there. I’m just saying I wonder what it would be like to be able to talk to my family about everything, and not only that, but to want to.

3. There is a book coming out soon called How To Be Alone by Lane Moore and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve never really felt like I wasn’t, at least in some capacity, alone in the world. I’m an only child and not particularly close with my family, my circle of friends is very small, I’ve been told, “I know nothing about you,” by more than one person I thought I was letting in in some sort of intense way. The other week in therapy, it was brought to my attention that the things I do that to me are obvious gestures of “Hello, look I care so much this is me caring” are probably not picked up by anyone else. That even when I feel like I’m making an effort to connect, when I’m straining to connect, I’m still sort of isolating myself in the way that I do it. Maybe some of us are just destined to always be at arm’s length. Maybe there’s a space that can’t ever be fully filled. Maybe I’m always going to be a little bit alone. Maybe that’s something I have to remember is not the worst thing a person can be.

4. I’m always picking myself apart. Metaphorically and literally. I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know if I want to. I don’t know if obsessing over the picking in and of itself is another way to pick at myself. I don’t know.

5. I can’t see the finish line with this, but I think it’s there. I know there’s an expiration date, but I don’t know what series of numbers it has. I don’t know if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, if it’s a dead end, or if it just diverts to a new direction. I don’t know how this ends, I just know that it will. And that’s not being pessimistic, it’s just when have you ever experienced anything that truly continued to last indefinitely? Everything ends. I’m trying my best to remain in the moment, but everyone who’s ever met me wouldn’t exactly put “go with the flow” next to me as a description. There’s probably an ending somewhere, and I’m just doing my best to not go looking for it. I know there’s an ending somewhere, I know it’s heading right for me. But I’m rereading that sentence again. “The rules are we have to be brave enough to name each feeling as if you are simply noting a change in weather.” I’m scared of what’s to come. But I’m not scared of being scared. A progress. TC mark

Image Credit: Abhishek Koli

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Kendra Syrdal

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Time To Change Your Life

Over the past few years, Brianna Wiest has gained renown for her deeply moving, philosophical writing. This new compilation of her published work features pieces on why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.

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