Wednesday, October 21, 2015


If someone in their fifties said to you "I haven't changed since I was a kid", would you think that was positive or negative?  Is consistency a better quality than ever changing growth?   If we aren't learning from our experiences and allowing those experiences to change us, what's the purpose of being here?  Is the purpose for our life just to exist?  To just 'be who we are'? Is the idea of not changing at all evidence of great self confidence and self knowledge or is it a sign of extreme stubbornness and ignorance?

If change is inevitable, than why do we as humans consistently make the same mistakes? Why do we make choices that are contrary to our nature? Why is that we do what we don't want and don't do what we do want?

What is the purpose of relationships? To change us? To grow us? Or to exist together and be who we are? If relationships and experiences don't change us and our entire goal in life is to 'just be', then wouldn't extreme hedonism and selfishness be hallmarks of our lives?

Obviously, I lean towards the life is all about the changes opinion.  How can we possibly just remain the same without letting the experiences of our life change us?  Is the purpose of our life to become more of who we are with each encounter we have with ourselves or with others?

I want to change. I want to leave behind the insecurities of my youth, the lack of ability to care for myself. Change is paramount in creating a life that makes sense.  Change is required in the effort to become the best person I can be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Learning To Love

This has been a week of newness and discovering much about love. What it is and what it isn' me. Love is commitment and action. Feelings come and go, but when you love someone you keep loving them, even in their absence, even when you don't understand why. On the bus yesterday I sat across from an "only in Seattle" couple. A bio female person who was quite masculine paired with a bio male person who was quite feminine. A complete reversal of "nature made." This couple was probably somewhere near 60, the wedding bands on their hands long ago creating deep indentations that even if the rings were removed would remain. The comfort they showed with one another, the ease with which they moved in unison, the whispering in one another's ears to be both heard over the bus noises and to be heard only by one another, the emotion that poured from their eyes. Yes, I was's a bad habit of mine.

I got off the bus and ended up taking a long walk instead of the two blocks home. I wanted to feel the wind moving about me, sit with that love flowing on the bus. I didn't want to let it go just yet. I don't have that kind of love in my life. I don't have someone who loves me and allows me to be fully myself.

What Would You Say To Your 18-Year-Old Self

I did something today I’ve never done before: I picked up a hitchhiker.  He was on the highway right outside Elisabeth’s work with a sign that said “Portland”.  Traffic was stuck and I spent a few minutes just watching him. His other sign said “Just Showered” – that one made me giggle.  He was a kid, I guessed him to be 20 or so. I have no idea what inspired me to pick him up, but I did. I pulled over, he came running to the window and I said, I can get you close, within about 40 miles. He smiled, and said “Anything’s better than here, right?” I popped the trunk and he threw his incredibly large but very well and tightly packed backpack in the trunk.

As he jumped in the passenger seat, he said, I’m Jack and stretched out his hand.  He’s 18 and this is his college education.  He graduated from high school, came to Port Angeles for a family reunion with his family. When they flew home to Akron, OH he went into the woods for some solo camping. He made it from there to Seattle and from Seattle to Lakewood.  He doesn’t know what he wants to do, so he’s traveling a bit.  He figured why waste his parents hard earned money on a college education when he doesn’t even know who he is or what he wants. Smart kid – he’s getting an education by seeing the world and meeting people.  After a few minutes of introductions and the basics, there was a moment of silence and then Jack, with sincere desire for an answer, asked:

If you could say one thing to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
I blurted out, “Don’t get married!” I followed that up with what I really meant: listen to yourself.  Don’t ever ignore that voice in your head, the feeling in your gut, the tightness in your throat.  Trust yourself more than you trust anyone else.

When I got married at 18, I knew it was wrong.  That single decision to ignore the sound of my own voice, the tightening in my throat, the feeling in my gut  shut down the voice in my head for the next 27 years.  My voice was silenced and replaced with the desire to please men and their voices became louder than my own.  The next 27 years were spent riding a roller coaster fueled by the lack of ability to hear myself.  It took almost complete devastation, getting my heart broken in a million pieces, having my reputation tarnished and getting physically assaulted before I was broken open enough to once again hear the sound of my own voice.

The past two years have been spent in a great deal of alone time learning to recognize the sound of my own voice, to ask myself what would make me happy and learning to trust in my ability to make decisions.  Learning to once again trust in my gut and respond to the tightness in my throat.  Learning to recognize what I sound like.

In an effort to correct some bad choices, more wounds have been opened but in the end, it’s worth it.  Doing the right thing rather than the easy thing is not painless, but it is much more rewarding.
Jack is coming to hang out after his time in Portland before he takes the next leg in his journey.  I’m proud of both of us for trying something new. Him sticking his thumb out and me sticking my neck out.  I believe I entertained an Angel today.