2015: A Year in the Life

Some time ago, in the middle of summer it may have been, back when there was heat in Wisconsin and I still worked at a place that ate my soul, I walked out one night to a road not far from our apartment, a silent and rarely-driven road, and I lay down in the middle of it. There were stars out, the kind of clear points of light that seem to lead you somewhere. The kind of clear points of light that are so much brighter down in the southern hemisphere.

I lay there for minutes or maybe hours and I thought.

2015 has been the best year of my life so far. It has also and not coincidentally been the most difficult. For the first six months of this year, I was surrounded by the people I love, studying ideas that I loved, and in the best relationship of my life. I knew absolutely who I was and where I was going. For the past six months, I’ve felt absolutely un-moored, a diver at sea who no longer knows which direction is up. I went through a messy and complicated break-up (my bad), quit my first job out of college, and had multiple serious break-downs. At one point the therapist I was seeing at the time asked me, “Who are you?” and all I could think of to say was, “A sad girl.”

But that isn’t who I am. I am a writer. I am a fixed point of light. I am a believer in the greatness of humanity for all its flaws and short-comings. I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a champion. I am my best self and my worst self, controlled by inner demons, riddled with inner light. I am learning from every mistake I make and growing from every obstacle adulthood places in my path.

In 2015 I was broken and defeated and I was resplendent and triumphant. I walked across a stage to accept the culmination of four years of hard work, and I cried alone in my office with no one around to hear me. I ran down a steep hillside straight into the Pacific Ocean and I lay down in the middle of a road in Wisconsin. I was alive and numb and hurting and growing.

In 2016 I will do all this and more. I will travel the country again. I will move cities again. I will start new jobs and make new friends and hopefully see the old ones as much as possible.

The things I’ve learned: I love people, I receive the most joy when I can be outward facing rather than inward facing; I am strong but most of the time my strength comes from my friends and family; I am not motivated by money although I don’t mind having it around; when I act out of emotion I end up hurting other people; blackbirds can be territorial; I love biology; I love recommending books to others; I love being painfully and stupidly alive.

It has been a year, an idiotic, cruel, and amazing year. What a terrible year, what a beautiful year. Let’s make 2016 better. Let’s be kinder. Let’s be less judgmental and more forgiving. Let’s be our best selves. Always.

Let’s look up into the clear sky, with the pavement against our backs and the wind in the trees, and become the people we were meant to be.

 

 

 

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Laura Tries to Say Something

TW: Profanity. Discussion of the state of the world.

I’m going to try to keep the cursing to a minimum because someday I want this to become a professional-type blog? Not to mention a wise person once said, “Profanity is what you use when you lack creativity”.

But there is the slight problem of there being several things that have happened in the world that both break my heart and drive me to a near manic ferocity. Such as:

  1. The shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis.
  2. The attack on Paris by Isis.
  3. The subsequent backlash against Muslims world-wide and the particularly virulent hate being spewed in the United States.
  4. The attack on a Planned Parenthood in Colorado.
  5. The massacre in San Bernadino.

And this, of course, is only what I’m aware of through my painfully limited knowledge of current events. There are, I’m sure, thousands more atrocities occurring outside my Western-centric worldview.

I wanted to write about each of these incidents separately, but they all sort of happened before I could process the first one. I’ve also been worried about my gaping ignorance. I will probably say something wrong and therefore my whole argument might be dismissed.

But this is my whole argument: let’s love each other.

There is enough hatred and pain and suffering and fear in the world without us adding any more to it. Love your friends, love your family, love strangers who you’ve never met before. Love the people you don’t want to love, because it’s the only thing that’s going to make this stupid crazy world any better.

There are all these historical and societal factors to overcome: the history of racial oppression and violence in the United States, the history of Islamophobia, the history of misogyny, the appalling and FUCKING RIDICULOUS lack of gun control (THE SOLE PURPOSE OF A GUN IS TO KILL PEOPLE. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY WE CONTINUE TO SELL THEM IN THE UNITED STATES), and the many other complex and real issues that cause hatred and violence in the world.

I do not have the answers. I am trying my best to learn more and to speak up when I can.

But come on, just be better. Love more. With your whole heart if you can.

Fight for Black Lives Matter. Fight to protect Muslims in the United States and around the world. Fight to provide women the right of physical autonomy. Fight with love and only love.

That’s all I got.