Tag: support

500 Words on Communication

Speak up, it's okay, you'll be heard.

We humans are social creatures. We make connections with one another, and maintaining those connections requires communication. We’ve done it through letters (and honestly, I should write more letters), telegrams, telephones, and now the Internet. But throughout all of the iterations of our communication means, one fact has remained the same: it’s a two-way street.

We live in a world where, every day, it becomes more and more apparent that some of us are dealing with head weasels of various shapes and sizes. Some of them say that we’re not worth talking to. Others pull us back from seeking connection, or re-connection, out of fear or guilt or anxiety, be it rooted in reality or a creation of the weasel in question. People get wrapped up in work, studies, real-world concerns, or the static of emotions and thoughts that are no fault of their own, the echoes of trauma and anticipation of fresh wounds. Through this, one of the lines of communication goes silent.

Do we, on the other end, leave our line back to that person open?

For the most part, I say yes, especially if the person is someone we care about. In most cases, I prefer to make myself available. Sure, a person may seize upon that opening to try and cause drama, or express a toxic opinion, or otherwise attempt to undermine whatever progress I have made or am making. In which case, fine, eat my static. I’m not responsible for the pettiness of other people, save for my desire as a human being to bring out the best in other human beings. And, let’s face it, being petty and projecting upon others to avoid our own issues is far less than our best. I’ve learned to do better. I still have a lot to learn, for certain, but at least that’s crystal clear.

Enough about trifles. There are far more important people in my life than those who would trifle. I can’t help but see the potential in others, a strength or fortitude they may not see themselves. Worse, some of the people I see have within them the desire to overcome what impedes them, but don’t necessarily believe that they can. I want to foster that belief. I want to stoke that fire. I’ve had it done for me, by therapists and friends and loved ones, and I want nothing more than to turn around and do the same for those I admire, care about, and love.

I don’t want to put people on the spot, or name names, but… dammit, if you’re reading this, and it resonates, feel free to reach out to me. It’s okay. It’ll be okay. I will hold space for you and try to hear you out, because that’s what I’d want you to do for me.

Maybe I’m wasting my time in writing this, or this will go unread, or…

That’s my own head weasels talking.

And you, and I, can always talk louder than they ever could.

On Fridays I write 500 words.

Do What You Gotta

It’s an unfortunate truth: we don’t all have the luxury of doing what we love all day, every day.

Some do, and that’s wonderful. The world needs more people who come fully alive and do what they love for the benefit of others as well as themselves. I support them wholeheartedly. But we can’t all do that. Some of us toil. Some of us put aside what we want to fulfill our obligations and make ends meet in a more expedient but less satisfactory fashion.

You have to remind yourself that this is okay.

There’s nothing wrong with committing to a bit of the old day-in day-out. Being as present as possible where you physically are can help make a better future for yourself. Employers like to see reliability and adaptability in their assets, and these attributes can make future employment opportunities easier to secure. From that perspective, putting aside other ambitious is a worthwhile sacrifice.

You also have to remind yourself not to give up.

Our dreams matter, and are worthy of being pursued. Having goals beyond the mundane day-to-day helps us see beyond the inbox, work through the frustations that come from tasks that ultimately have no real impact on us, and give us hope for the future. Our problems are temporary. To paraphrase Theodore Parker (who was himself paraphrased by Martin Luther King Jr), the curve of history is long but it bends towards justice. If you can hold onto what’s good in your life, and strive towards your goals even if your steps on that journey falter, you will see that your setbacks and failures do not matter anywhere near as much as your joyous occasions and your successes.

In the end, our measure is not truly taken in the unfortunate difficulties that hinder us and the oversights and mistakes we are bound to make. We’re going to get in our own way. We’re going to leave aside what we’ve put aside for the sake of our sanity and decompression. These are forgivable, human, and ultimately temporary conditions. If we keep moving forward, if we persevere, if we eventually reach that goal towards which we strive, all of the frustation and all of the shame and all of the despair will evaporate, and satisfaction is all that will be left.

Tomorrow will be a new day, no matter how badly today might go.

Try to remember that, especially when the days begin to turn sour. You can make it. And you will.

Until then, do what you gotta do.

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