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on being alone and being enough

It’s funny how immediately after starting this blog, I was flooded with worry about what other people think. How did I seem? Is this self indulgent? Is any of this relevant to anyone but me? I am, if nothing else, a people pleaser.


I was especially preoccupied with whether or not I was talking enough about social issues in these posts, being a good enough activist. “Who cares about your thoughts and feelings, talk about wealth inequality - or climate change!” my inner self says, “have you even mentioned abolishing ICE yet? What kind of monster ARE YOU?”


I mentioned this worry to my partner and he said “the thing about writing, or communicating even, is that you can only focus on saying one thing at a time. And who you are and what you believe is in your perspective, so all those things will eventually come through in what you write if you let them.”


Sometimes folks, having a person around who knows you really well and can give advice in your language, is like having the exact food you’re craving in your cabinet.


Also, it occurs to me that I am not necessarily the person to write the most eloquent and perfect and well-researched manifesto in regards to each and every social issue that currently needs to be addressed. To assume that would be self centered and arrogant. There are so many incredible artists and advocates in the world, and I will try to point to ones I am excited by as they come up (today it's Glennon Doyle, who's an author and philanthropist - I just finished her most recent book UNTAMED and was a big fan).

All any of us can do is write what we know in the ways we know how. I don’t believe I will stop obsessing about whether or not this blog is worth anything to every person who sees it. But I will try to let go and trust that what comes out of me is enough.


...


I’ve been alone a lot lately (as I’m sure so many of us have) which has been both good and hard. I have trouble being alone with my own thoughts and feelings sometimes. I find sitting with those things is easier with my people by my side. I love people, and I especially love mine. I reach out to them often. I spend time with them often, way WAY more time than I intentionally spend with myself. There is a difference between a community supporting you, and using your community to escape from the things you’re afraid to face alone. I have trouble with telling the difference.


I sat alone outside yesterday, wanting to mediate, to sit with myself. But I’m really bad at quiet and meditation, so I got out my phone to turn on a song. I settled on “Father Father” by Laura Mvula. The version that began to play was a swelling orchestra accompanying her voice. It was beautiful, but something about it didn't feel like what I was looking for. I tried to keep listening but it felt busy, with too many parts. I was looking for simplicity, a theme of solitude to reflect my state. I looked at my phone and realized I was listening to a different version than I was used to, one with a full orchestra. I scrolled, searched for the original version, clicked. The simple and pure piano flowed into my headphones, as Laura’s words came through, clear and comforting.


Let me love you

Whisper all your deepest fears

You can trust me

And when it's over we can begin

Finally to make amends

Try to save us


Let me love you

Let me love you

Let me love you

Let me love you


I sat, appreciating being alone with myself. Appreciating that I hate being alone with myself, but that I am learning, slowly, to trust it and love it and call my body and mind home. And to trust that there is some thinking and learning that can only be done once you allow yourself to be totally, deliciously, painfully alone.

Orchestras are great, but there is something to be said for a single instrument.

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