This is not a post about ambition.
Murder by Neglect: Extend the metaphor, as you see fit.
How do you bring a dead plant back to life?
First thought. Lol after yet again killing the plants. I’m sorry father. Though I have failed you, I have not let you down in many, many many many other ways. (In addition to the dead flowers I have neglected while my dad was out of town, I also killed this exotic looking plant I got at the beginning of the summer from The Plant Shop (awesome place). But, despite having killed several plants, I have also kept three others alive!)
But to the question. How do you bring a dead plant back to life?
You can’t. Some things, if you stop watering them, they just die. And there’s really nothing you can do about that damage.
If you’re coasting, you’re going downhill.
All things take effort. (Mindfulness, disassociation from ego/self, self-love, relationships, etc. etc. All things I have to work on and should practice constantly.)
Something you can do
There’s not nothing.
You could plant another seed.
Takes a lot of time though to grow back.
How about just not killing the plant the first time around?
When does something officially count as an addiction? Like what is the threshold? The frequency or level of usage or engagement that I have to take part in for something to count as such?
Today, the cashier at Chipotle asked me, “Is Chipotle your favorite food?” What she was really trying to say. Damn girl, I see you here like every other day.
Yes. I go to Chipotle a lot. And often chuckle in the car, before walking in, knowing as I struggle to open the mammoth of a door, the lovely people behind the county are thinking, yet again, not this bitch. Yes! I have arrived for my dinner!
Sometimes, an addiction is such, because our environment is reduced to a limited set of options that (un-paradox of choice?) essentially forces us to pick that thing time and time again.
These words that I write have been carefully (okay sometimes, not so much) crafted and pieced together in an incredibly intentional and thoughtful manner. I am trying to express myself, but also trying to fill an idea in the mind of a reader to convince them that what I’m saying is of importance or worth. Because I want you to read on.
Writing is manipulation.
The lyrics in songs have been curated in a way to express or induce (imbue?) emotion.
Text messages (well, when you are trying to impress (which is bad! stop trying) are often concocted, edited, and refined.
Writing is manipulation.
If writing is manipulation, what is speaking? Speaking mindlessly? When are we not manipulating?
As a sort of rite of passage into the world of professionalism, I have gone on more coffee chats this past year than I would like to count. (I have, in fact, counted.)
Sometimes, my heart is pounding. (Especially when it’s the first day at your new job with a senior team member. Or an attractive man. Hah.) Sometimes, I’m overanalyzing the agenda of conversation. What are we going to talk about? What could we possibly have in common? Sometimes, I’m overthinking the positioning of my body. Do I sit up straight or lean into the back of this deeply inclined chair? Where do I put my hands without seeming awkward?!?! Ahhh.
Despite the anxiety, at times, of spending 30 minutes in a fairly intimate setting with another human being, demanding their attention and giving my own, I have deeply enjoyed the norm in the work world of coffee chats. So beautiful.
I am exhausted. Like drained. Like you should see the look (GRIN) on my face the second I dive into bed to slip into a state of unconsciousness. Like in desperate need of a month off from everything. But I also feel so incredibly full, and so surrounded by a community of people who I love and adore and admire. And that makes every second of this exhaustion all worthwhile.
Shooting + Violence
In case you don’t have to deal with the ominous threat of violence in your life, here’s a reminder that other people do.
There have been several shootings near my home. Trigger warning, so please move on if you are triggered by explicit violent language.
A mother was shot in the head while driving, her kids sitting in the back seat. Several minutes from my house, on a street that I frequent twice a day. (Luckily, the boy was arrested and I hope you rot in hell if you blame the gf who snitched on him and told the police.)
A young girl, a CPS student, was shot, unintentionally, after someone targeted the man in the seat next to her.
On my drive home, usually at night, after 9 or 10pm, I often hold my breath, heart pounding, until I pass the areas my dad has told me to steer clear of. (A path that, defiantly, I choose to take because it is so inconvenient to do otherwise.)
As a result of the shootings, there has also, recently, been a haunting presence of police cars parked on every block, outside fast food stores and filling bank parking lots. Does not help me feel safer. (Until I realize several days later that the cars are EMPTY. People learn quickly.)
Second. About two weeks ago (full moon), I headed to my friends’ house for a party. Driving down Indiana, I was stopped by a street filled with blue lights and red tape. Antsy and frustrated, because I’d spent an hour in traffic for a trip that usually takes 22 minutes, I drove to the next block, cut through the alley, and backed into the street, parking down just a few houses north of their place. Still confused, I called my friends, my frustration worsened by the fact that no one was answering. Until they did, and I got inside, to learn that a shooting had happened outside their house an hour before I got there. 3 people shot, 1 fatal.
In a state of disbelief, I did what any normal person trying to survive would do. I pushed the resurfacing thoughts, of gun violence in Chicago, of how these murders impact people, traumatize people, of the root causes of violence and how not enough people were working to address them… and got on with my night. And though I couldn’t really push aside what had happened four houses down (literally, I could see the police lights beaming of the back garage outside), I really tried.
Luck + Effort
Or serendipity matched with intention.
More the latter.
How most things, at least for me, play out in life.
The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. - Erich Fromm (via readings by bell hooks)
I wanted to write a post about “love.” for a while now. The world of love and lessons learned. About what it feels like to care deeply, for another human being. (So beautiful, and yet so incredibly painful.) About how love energy shifts, mutates and transforms as we grow. That it exists mutually exclusive of the reciprocity you expect to get back. That it is an action. It is what you do, not what you say.
But to avoid being trite (for isn’t romantic love a thread lining much of modern media and pop culture) I instead want to pivot, and write about the immense rush of platonic love (absent of physical or sexual desire) I’ve felt, recently, towards other people.
The feeling. Of running into a friend, unexpectedly, on the platform of the Metra. Sitting by the lake with someone who you haven’t caught up with in a while, watching the water flirt with the concrete ledge. An 8 pm call that leads to a 2-hour life update and rash decisions. (The role of my friends is to convince me to do rational shit that sounds scary and irrational to me.) Cross office exchanges about everything and nothing at all.
I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of love. I think it stems from the understanding that love, right next to fear, is one of the most powerful forces/emotions known to humans.
Thank God that aging (or say, wisdom and getting older) has made the concept, one influenced by a dictionary of young adult novels, romance movies, and the remnants of love it’d seen between my parents at home, much more dynamic. (In say, rejecting that love was something I found within another person (more specifically, a romantic partner) and that it was something I found outside of myself.)
P.s. RANDOM. Read an interesting book and stated, Some people would never fall in love if they never heard of love?
Is it true? How much of how we love is a social construct?
Dear White People
There is no place or space I see entitlement (well, besides senior year hs when college decisions come out) play out more strongly than in the overcrowded bathroom of a bar. (Why I need to stop hanging out north of Roosevelt!!!) If I am in line, trying to pee. (Obviously, why else would I be WAITING in line in the bathroom.) I can’t tell you how many times women have literally walked in the bathroom, looked at me, and walked right up to the stall I was eagerly awaiting to empty my bladder. Maybe it’s because I’m 5’2. (Nope, I don’t have this issue on the ss.) Maybe it’s because my kind face suggested you could simply take a spot I’d waited several minutes for, though likely not. My mask in these spaces: scowl.
I guess me and Middle America do have something in common… feeling like everyone’s cutting us in line? (Though one is actually accurate and the other rooted in ignorance and racism.)