7 Things Sunday

I discovered at some point as a teenager that people feel comfortable confiding in me about their problems. Sometimes people I barely knew would message me to hash out whatever happened to be troubling them. And still today, whenever someone tells me, “I haven’t told anyone that before” I feel slightly astonished that suddenly I’ve been picked to be on the receiving end of such intimate knowledge. I sat next to a lady on an airplane who told me about how she’s felt alone her entire life. My friend and I were checking out at a gas station really late at night and the cashier just started telling us about her failing marriage. I was reading alone on a park bench once and someone I had gone to school with came up and went on to tell me a really messed up life story that I won’t repeat here. I can’t tell you why this happens. A friend once said, “You just have one of those faces that makes people feel like they can word vomit on you, and you’ll still be smiling.”

Don’t get me wrong. I will still smile if you vomit on me, metaphorically…or literally for that matter. I do genuinely care about people…even random flight buddies and gas station strangers. I do genuinely enjoy listening. I’m happy that my face potentially has some sort of invitation stamped on it. BUT this also means that from time to time I hear information that I didn’t want or need to know. There are no precautionary measures I can take. Words get said and then they’re out there. There’s no going back. They just float in word space for a few moments before they make themselves at home in my brain. And this is what happens every time: I keep cool as a cucumber in the moment. But after a few minutes/hours/days of trying to be really okay, mature, handling it like a champ, etc…I.freak.out.

This sort of happened recently. I called my sister. This conversation ensued:

Me: “X was telling me about Z and I thought I was fine. I really did. But then it just totally threw me off my game and I’ve been in a funk lately. I can’t figure out why! I don’t want to do anything with anyone. I sleep all the time. I slept for thirteen hours yesterday. THIRTEEN. I want it to be fine. It’s so annoying. Gaaaahhhhh.”

Sister: “What do you mean you can’t figure out why? It’s because you’re a human with feelings. You’re not a rock.”

Right. She’s such a cheeky little voice of reason.

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So, for anyone else out there who finds themselves in the same place: HEY. Shit happens. It’s going to affect you. Let it. But then maybe you can think of some things that make you feel fierce and do them. Here’s my list:

One. Stress cleaning! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this) Clean out the fridge. Refold everything in your dresser. Organize that drawer you put everything that doesn’t have a home in.

Two.  Cook. Ordering take out when you’re bumming is oh-so-tempting. But cooking forces you to focus on what’s in front of you. Whip up a favourite or try something new. Take some satisfaction in making something with your own hands. Plus, call me crazy, but I find chopping vegetables kind of therapeutic.

Three. Get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Hike. Bike. Walk. Run. Swim. Downward dog. Just go stand and breathe somewhere else.

Four. Feel the rhythm of the night. One night last week I was walking to a friend’s flat, had my headphones in, and was listening to a song that pretty much demanded dance moves. So, as I approached this street lined with empty bars, I unashamedly danced past the bouncers, who were thoroughly entertained by my mad skills. I also rediscovered this gem thanks to Spotify, which took me back to 2009 when I drove around in a giant metallic blue pick up truck and practiced my Lil Jon voice. Its just so unnecessarily aggressive. I die of giggles every time.

Five. Pray. Praying tends to stop the me, me, me and I start meditating on something far greater. I focus on people I love or causes I care about. And I listen, but it’s the kind of listening that doesn’t deplete me in any way.

Six. Do one thing you’re passionate about. I hadn’t painted in forever. I couldn’t bring my paints with me. I don’t have money to buy new ones. But I was talking about this to an invigilator at the City Art Centre and he told me there’s an art room that’s technically for children, but I could use it any time I wanted. So, I did! And it felt sooooo good.

Seven. Force yourself to do something social. I think pretty much everything we look for in life can be found in knowing and loving other people. In a world that shouts at us about being independent, the reality is that we need community. I’m all for taking time to be alone. Sometimes I need it to reenergise. But when I get stuck in a rut, I find that ususally all it takes to shake it off is being in good company.

Love,

Taylor

PS- on a completely pointless and unrelated note…did you guys know that Brad Pitt’s brother looks exactly like the lovechild of Zach Braff and John Travolta?

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Bits & Pieces

“You’re not,” he said.

“But I used to be,” I protested.

He looked at me intensely and unafraid saying, “Yeah, but you’re not. Not anymore. You’re not.”

I felt my chest tighten. Little waves rising in my eyes.

I stood up and walked out of sight. My chest heaved forward while the little waves began their descent, crashing into my cheekbones.

I have always been told what I am. 

Until this specific moment, no one has ever told me what I am not. What I can’t be.

Not anymore. I’m not.

..

There is a place that I find to be truly sacred.

This is the place I am most alone.

This is where pray. When I remember to pray, it is almost always here.

This is where I think about what is next or what just happened.

This is where I make the call.

This is where I scribble down what I want to remember.

This is where little pieces of my life lay strewn about.

This is where I have had deep conversations with distraught teenagers. And shallow conversations, too.

This is where I have been kissed goodbye.

This is where I sing.

This is where I try to practice silence.

This is where nearly everyone I love has sat next to me.

This is where I pack everything when I move.

This is where I stay to cry, or rant, or sleep when I don’t want to face the world yet.

This is where I roll down the windows and breathe deep.

This place takes me wherever I need to go.

..

One nice thing about enduring something sad is that it opens up the possibility to re-discover happiness.

When you’re sad, everything in you is saying, “Please! For the love of God. Let me find something happy. Anything. I’ll take anything.”

So you do. You seek out joy in every tiny thing.

You find yourself freaking out about how huge the moon is.

You laugh too hard at everyone’s jokes.

You experience genuine euphoria while adding toppings to your frozen yogurt.

You get overly excited about how kick ass your Excel spreadsheet is at work.

You fall in love with something about everyone.

You live for that first cup of coffee in the morning. Just the smell has you beaming.

You could cry about how adorable that baby is.

You become zealous about taking on any sort of project. All of the sudden you might want to learn how to play the ukelele or become an avid kite flyer.

The way the sun is shining or the wind is blowing could ignite sheer bliss in your soul.

When you’re craving happiness, you can find it everywhere.

Isn’t that great?

 

Love,

Taylor