I always like to think about how younger versions of ourselves had once passed through places that older versions of ourselves now pass through; a grocery store, a mall. How we hold things that other people have held, at other points in time.
My grandma sent us a newspaper clipping from 1983, when she and my dad were in nursing school together. It’s crazy to think that she, 37, and my dad, 18, once held this in her kitchen, in her house, in Parma, in 1983. And then she held it again in 2006 the car, at 60, as she moved from Cleveland to Las Vegas. Then she held it at 71 and mailed it to us. And now myself and my dad, now 51, hold it in 2017.
And it hasn’t changed, but we have. And it’s traveled through all this time, and so have we, but in a seemingly different way. It makes time seem so abstract to think that I now hold something that younger versions of other people have held and touched at some other points in the time loop. And I say ‘loop’ because I truly believe that, eventually, everything comes full circle.
After all, the newspaper has found itself back in a kitchen, in a house, in Parma.
I’m always that middle man, the intermediate, the step between needing and loving. I’m the pit stop where people come and unload their problems but forget that a person resides in the teller’s box. I’m the halfway point between falling apart and getting it together. Don’t worry. Stop here. Tell me what’s wrong. Use me for your own devices. Take and take. Don’t ask if I mind. You and I both know that’s not your concern. Your concern is yourself. You need to get back on track, clear your mind, unload your emotions. You need advice. You need direction. You need me – but only for a moment. Only until I satisfy that void. Only until I fix you up.
And then you go. You leave and carry on your way. You forget that a person resides inside the teller’s box. A person with a life, with feelings, with thoughts and hopes and dreams and problems of their own. You forget. You never knew in the first place. Because you never looked.
So carry on.
Until we meet again.
How can I help you?
An inner monologue I had a bit ago:
There’s so much out of our control. People use that to their advantage or disadvantage and sometimes they create explanations just to fill in the gaps. I think that’s why some people have such a hard time with God. Because when you think God, you think a person, a human like us, up in the sky out in space. But our brain tells us that can’t be true because humans can’t live forever. The thing is though, the human body can’t live forever. Science is right about that. Our cells have an expiration date and one day, that’s just it for our cells. But science has no theory for soul. And no one ever said God was a body. A body is just a thing, a place-filler, just like time is a measurement and space is the absence of place-fillers. But soul isn’t defined, it’s infinite like space. And we as humans can’t wrap our minds around that because we can’t fathom that there are things out of our control. So we try to define things, like religion, and make right and wrong and limit things and put them in this tiny space that we can understand, and when we can’t we make up what we wanted to happen. Aliens might be souls just like us who just happen to look different. Souls are being, not body. God is being. Space is being. I totally think there are aliens and parallel dimensions and things we haven’t even thought of yet. I just wish more people knew how small we really are and how much more there really is. Perspective is just a matter of perspective.
I like that moment just after the rain clears. I like the feeling of coziness that accompanies Christmastime. I like when nature can take my breath away. I like looking into someone’s eyes and finding them there, looking back. I like when you can be silent with another person and still be comfortable. I like when touching by accident isn’t awkward. I like meeting someone for the first time and instantly feeling like I’ve known them my entire life.
I like that moment when you first wake up and your bed is so comfortable and you feel completely relaxed. I like the feeling of spring. I like capturing memories with pictures. I like when I’m not the only one who feels something. I like when I’m reading and I have to put the book down for a moment because a sentence just resonated that deeply with me. I like being able to create something out of nothing.
I like the sound of a piano playing. I like when making eye contact isn’t awkward. I like when people laugh. I like thinking about how big the universe is. I like noticing little details about people. I like when people notice little details about me. I like the feeling of a brand new book being opened for the first time. I like how clean a fresh journal looks.
I like that split-second at the top of a roller coaster right before the drop. I like happy accidents. I like words of affirmation. I like transformative moments for characters. I like when I can say hi to a passing stranger and it isn’t weird. I like looking at the stars and pretending I’m in a snow globe. I like how your cheeks burn from the cold after a fast sled ride down a hill. I like feeling someone else’s heart beating.
I like that moment when a conversation suddenly becomes real and alive, dissolving the layers of irony and sarcasm both people have been hiding under. I like when someone says something that grounds me, and for a moment I don’t feel so at odds with the world. I like when an every day moment seems so irrelevant at the time, but when I look back, it was an essential turning point in life.
I like making eye contact with someone from across a room and having that one little action speak more volumes than their words ever will. I like when someone hugs me for a second longer. I like when all the things that were left unsaid are finally said. I like putting recognition to these little moments that happen every day, but that people rarely take notice of.
I’ve decided to do two things in 2017. They’re not necessarily resolutions per say, but more like a change of mindset.
- Find something lovable in everyone.
I really believe that there is something to love in every single person. I’m making it a point that every time I meet a new person this year, I’m going to make a mental note of something positive or lovable about them. It’s so easy, especially with women, to instantly and usually unknowingly, negatively judge a person right from the start. We notice how their hair is an odd color. We notice how her boots don’t match her outfit. We notice how he is wearing the same hoodie that he wore yesterday. Let’s notice how nice she always is. Let’s notice how lively he is when he tells you a story. Let’s spread some love.
2. Say ‘Yes’
I decided to do this after having read Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. I never realized how much I resonated with Shonda and had in common with her. Shonda had decided that, for one year, she would say ‘yes’ to everything that scared her or pushed her out of her comfort zone. She describes her experiences in her book and explains how helpful this process was to her.
So many times while reading her book, I’d think to myself, “Yes. That’s me. I do that.” And I wasn’t always proud about it. The best way that I can describe myself is an introvert who can sometimes be an extrovert socially. But I’m inside my head a lot. I’m always thinking and analyzing and wondering things. That’s not always a bad thing, but I realized how detrimental my own thoughts can sometimes be to myself, especially when anxiety stems from it. So:
Yes to meeting new people.
Yes to meeting that person for coffee.
Yes to going new places.
Yes to doing things that scare me.
Yes to doing things that push me to new levels.