Monday, June 22, 2015

fatherly advice

i had an amazing weekend with friends: my housewarming, a birthday for sam, an early birthday outing with anthony... but i also was feeling sad this weekend. sad about a situation not going the way i wanted it to, sad about not being able to see my family this weekend, and sad about texts with lydia who was going through her first father's day after her dad died.

best cure for feeling sad? more best friend time, obviously.

and listening to their advice.

we can receive valuable lessons from many places: parents, siblings, friends, and of course our own intuition. in all cases, we have to be willing to hear it, though.

this post is for lydia: you're never alone.
this post is for adi and martina: thank you.
this post is for all my friends going through rough times (xo erin).
this post is for me. for all of us.

i am notoriously bad at taking advice: for some reason i seem to prefer to learn things the hard way. i buck up against being told what to do. i'll come up with all of the responses for why i shouldn't listen to what someone else tells me. and, after struggling through the situation on my own for a while, i'll finally be ready to hear it.

my dad seemed to always know this about me; he is highly adept at offering soft words to me over and over until i can hear them. just like his gentle replacement of three sets of bicycle training wheels (because i leaned so heavily on the right wheel that it would bend and be rendered useless) until i could learn to ride on my own, i am grateful for that repeated support as i push my way through the world.

but what would it be like to take advice, to learn lessons, to grow... without so much struggle? what would it be like to lean on others just a little more? to ask for things when needed, to listen to what is offered?

i suppose i don't really know. except that when i started to let adi's words sink in yesterday, when i started to let them wash over me a little more, when i started to really be in them instead of fighting them, i felt safe. i felt loved. i felt a little more ready to take on the world.

advice in.

love out.

listening: tuned to on.

Monday, June 8, 2015


subtitle: "i'm not sorry. and i'm very thankful."

a few days ago i watched this clip: amy schumer's "i'm sorry." if you haven't seen it, or if you don't have 3 minutes to watch it just yet, it pokes fun of women's likelihood to apologize too often. and it's very funny.

i know i say things like "sorry, but would you mind getting me a straw?" or "sorry, but could you repeat that?" in other words, i put the word sorry in front of most requests. i have two friends that apologize so much that i sometimes ask them to rephrase their statements to me without the apology.

watching that clip last week really got me thinking about my words.

two weeks ago i was in honduras with friends. i don't speak any spanish. i know how to say "thank you," and so i said that in response to most questions. luckily i didn't need much spanish in roatan, but my friends kept trying to get me to learn spanish. my reply of "gracias," but with differing intonations (think gracias pronounced in an "excuse me?" sing-song), was pretty comedic... though i'm probably lucky i wasn't there longer than five days. i think my friends would have gotten over the novelty of how funny i was after that.

upon return to the US, standing in line at customs in NY, a five year old girl from roatan (that lives in NJ) was chatting with me. she asked if i had just come from honduras. when i said yes, she asked me to speak to her in spanish to test her skills. i laughed and said, "gracias!" she smiled and replied in spanish. i went on to explain to her how i had been using "gracias" to mean everything. she laughed and said "at least you're polite!"

true. that.

how nice is it to say thank you? how amazing is it to be grateful?

cut to two days ago. saturday i was at a hash camp out with about 99 of my closest (and about-to-be closest) friends. we did a long, hot outdoor run. once we returned, i got in the hot tub to relax. i started to feel a little weird so i got in the pool to cool off. i remember sitting in the pool just kind of looking around at everyone laughing and thinking that something was wrong. so i got up and went back to my tent to lie down. i tried to drink some water and take a nap. a restless hour later, i felt so hot that i tried to get out of the tent. however, i was so dizzy and weak, i couldn't. i flagged down help and got someone to find my friends. within minutes i had three friends taking care of me: one trained in first aid and two assisting. they were cooling me down, trying to get me to sip water, and monitoring my levels of consciousness.

i was keenly aware that my friends were missing all of the fun camp activities: hashlympics, adult slip-n-slide, pool time, volleyball, hay rides... you name it, they were missing it. i kept thinking in my head "i'm so sorry you're missing the fun!" but, being so conscious of the "i'm sorry" epidemic, i managed to suppress my apologies. every time BS wiped my back with cool water for evaporation cooling purposes, i said "thank you." each time PR went to try to find more water or ice, i said "thank you." when AM volunteered to drive us all to the hospital, "thank you."

both BS and AM spent most of their evening getting us to the hospital and providing support. PR spent all night and day at the hospital with me. and when PR and i began to worry about getting back to the campsite to get our stuff together before everyone started to leave, we received a magical text from BS and AM saying they'd pack up all our stuff, reorganize the car situation, and come to pick us up at the hospital later that afternoon. "THANK YOU."

the really funny part about all of this is that while BS was sitting there with me, he actually said to me something like "don't worry about us, or about what else we might be doing right now. just worry about what you need, spring. what do you need from us right now?" and, although i was completely unable to laugh because of my intense pain and weakness, i know i smiled. it was like he had heard my internal struggle of trying not to apologize for my state. my reply? "thank you."

so gracias. to BS, AM, PR. thank you times a million. i am grateful for your kindness, your selflessness, and your overwhelmingly beautiful souls. all my super-heart's love to you. ;)

and gracias to all my besties texting and calling and checking on me as well; your support is soothing my migraine.