Blog post

I just have a lot of feelings

Hello, friends. I want to talk about kindness.

On the surface, being kind may seem like the obvious thing to do. I am here to tell you this: being kind is an act of revolution.

From small things like holding the door open for someone, or paying for someone’s coffee who is behind you in line, to donating money for people in need, no act is too small. Random acts of kindness warm my heart and fill me with so much hope for humanity. For a little while I see that yes, we are capable of so much good. We have so much potential to be better than we are. Embracing our emotions and expressing our feelings when everything else is telling us to suppress them is incredibly brave. Letting yourself be vulnerable around others is courageous. Holding others up when they are on the verge of crumbling is in direct opposition to the vitriol that says we should let them fall apart.

I try to be that person. I want to be someone’s safe space and comfort, and make others feel valued. There is too much casual cruelty during day-to-day life to spend my time and energy tearing others down when I could offer a hand to hold or shoulder to lean on. Perhaps I am too aware of this to a fault, because it is nearly always on my mind. I constantly look for ways to put others at ease and take the phrase “Be the change you want to see in the world” very seriously. I am so mortified of the idea of making someone uncomfortable that I rarely initiate anything, which is a ridiculous notion, because these things work both ways, and that also undermines the autonomy of others.

My point is, I want to strive to be better and braver. I want to open up more, and live more vulnerably while also developing a thicker skin. I spend so much time trying to read others’ emotions while keeping mine carefully tucked away so they experience minimal bruising. That makes it difficult to fill my day with kindness, and even more difficult to make new friends when I am worried about seeming too forward or enthusiastic.

I cannot think of anything more admirable or badass than being kind when opportunities present themselves. Even better, create your own opportunities. Surprise someone. Be their moment of calm, even if just for a few seconds. Be a small revolution.

 

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Blog post

Having a Community

Several weeks ago, many members of the North-Central Ohio Writers group attended a retreat, and I was fortunate enough to go.

Others have already made posts about their experience and what occurred (see the previous post I linked to on this blog), so I will spare the recap of the activities and ramble about my thoughts/feelings/emotions.

You may have noticed this blog is rather quiet, and that is because I am still going through that weird Ominous Feeling and questioning my abilities. You know, the whole “maybe I’m just good at coming up with concepts and ideas and not skilled enough to execute and make the words happen.” All my works-in-progress are stalled because that doubt  gets to me every time I open a writing file, or jot an idea in my notebook, or think about editing something.

Going to the NCOW retreat helped push some of that doubt away. I could not ask for a better community of writers, and am so glad that some of our newer members joined us, too. I felt safe to share my ideas and worries, and wish that we had more time because being around that group is incredibly comforting. At thirty, I am still looking for a place where I feel like I belong, and while I still have a desire to live in a bigger city, being around these people always feels like I belong, like an extension of Home.

I learned things about myself, my writing, and got to know this group even more. Being creative in general can be so exhausting. Sometimes that exhaustion is great and fulfilling, and sometimes it’s more tiring and feels like a weight holding me down. When I feel like burning all my writing, I think of them, and their kind words, and tell myself that there are people who actually want to read what I have written.

I would have given up by now if it weren’t for these people. Maybe not entirely, but the motivation from these people makes me think that I have a chance, and that someone cares about the stories I want to tell. On top of that, I am so excited to see all of the wonderful things this group is going to produce, because damn, do we have an amazingly talented community.

Thank you, Carma, for planning all of that for us, and thank you to everyone else who attended and helped organize and contribute. I am so lucky to be part of our growing community.