Sometimes I think life would be simpler if attention were more straightforward. If attention were just attention, regardless of where it came from. And all attention were the same.
If when we were feeling lonely or unwanted, it were always a simple matter of having any human connection. If it could be fixed by someone — » Read more
You’ll never understand what you mean to me. That used to bother me quite a bit, but I’m starting to make peace with it.
Make peace with the fact that you look in the mirror and see some other person who bears no resemblance to the one I love.
That you don’t understand how capable and intelligent you are. » Read more
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to someone who ventured out into brand new territory, found that they absolutely sucked at the new thing, and were devastated.
I’m here to tell you: It’s 100% normal to not instantly be great at something when you’re new to it.
Yes, » Read more
I recently wrote an essay called “It Was Terrifying the First Time I Dated Someone Who Was Really Good to Me.” Here’s an excerpt:
I was used to being self-reliant. I had been conditioned my entire life to never ask for help because it meant being sharply criticized by others or told that I was weak for asking. » Read more
Back in high school, I was standing in line at the video store waiting to rent something. It was a long wait, as it usually was. So I was bored of course. Since this was way before smart phones, the natural thing to do was pick up VHS boxes and read the back of them. » Read more
A while back, I was talking to a woman who in general really liked her new mother-in-law. (As we noted in an earlier installment of these series, this is not uncommon; many women get along great with their mothers-in-law, in spite of cultural jokes that would suggest otherwise.)
However, the woman I was talking to had run into one hitch with her mother-in-law, » Read more
I’m sitting in a pew, attending mass at the church I attended growing up.
It’s been 7 years since I went to a service here, on another visit to my hometown, but surprisingly little has changed since then.
Actually, surprisingly little has changed from 30 years ago, when I was a small child doing my best to remain quiet and tolerate the unending boredom, » Read more
“You write an awful lot about other people, how kind they are to you, and how much you appreciate them. I find myself thinking that I hope you are as kind to them back. I hope you make an effort, too. And I wish you’d write more about what kind of partner you are, because I don’t like wondering about it.” » Read more
Look, I’ll just say it. Some people are really bad at picking romantic partners. What drives interpersonal attraction is often mysterious, hard to pin down. Perhaps it’s pheromones. Maybe it’s something within our genes deciding that we’d make good offspring with THAT PERSON OVER THERE (a phenomenon that strangely occurs even when it’s not biologically possible to bear children with a partner for whatever reason). » Read more
“What you do,” he said, “is just lie there with your thoughts. Don’t judge them. Just let them happen. Let yourself feel everything you’re feeling. Think everything you’re thinking. Without distraction.”
He didn’t call it mindfulness then. I wouldn’t learn that word until much later. From someone else.
Instead, my first fraught dance with my own mind wouldn’t have a name. » Read more