What Words Mean

https://xkcd.com/1860/

I think it’s astonishing that the universe is contained in eight letters. Or that love is contained in four. It’s one of the things I adore most about language. We can build entire worlds with the correct assembly of lines, dashes, and dots. We can bathe in the deep black of the galaxy with stars whizzing past. Or fall into a pile of red-dusted leaves in the autumns of our childhoods. I can make a whale orbit the sun or a blade of grass tickle your ankle as you walk towards the beach. Even just a single word can pull you into a litany of half-remembered moments–the breeze of the ocean, and light of the sun through the trees, the image of Saturn’s rings from a book.

But words are also tricksters. They mold themselves to fit sentences and preconceived notions, creating misunderstandings and stripping nuance from even the best-formed phrases.

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Question Words

Question DoodlesWho. What. Where. When. Why. How. These are the words at the foundation of human curiosity. They allow us to express our desire for information. They allow us to express our desire to know. And boy do I want to know.

I find myself stumbling over two of these words more frequently these days. As much as I would love to know the where and the what and the who of my future self, it is the why and the how that seem to matter the most. These two questions might just uncover the elemental nature of being – to expose the underlying force that moves the world.

Why am I here? How do I reach my goals? 

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Wannabe

IMG_20180113_103931_034.jpgIt only took two steps before a doorframe broke my fall. Two more steps before my legendary grace and poise were manifested in near disaster amidst a room full of strangers. Thankfully a set of bleachers intervened before I was fully parallel to the floor. I adjusted my center of gravity and delicately placed my weight back on the wheels I had inexplicably strapped to my feet. My earlier enthusiasm and bravery were long ago consumed by the sheer concentration it took not to fall on my face. Just as I found my balance, the color drained from the room. My gaze slid from the floor, tracking each new addition to the battalion swaggering around the rink. The thrum of skates against the arena was at once both entrancing and formidable. Beginners they said. No experience they said. That is not what I saw. What faced me was the most intimidating, humbling moment of my recent existence.

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Observations & Generations

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Some days seem more important than others. There are days we remember with complete clarity, days we capture in pictures and stories: first days of school; first time driving a car. First days of college. First days of work. The first time we fall in love. Today was one of those days. Today, for the first time, I walked through the door of a house that belongs to me. Today, I became a homeowner.

After a month of frantic paperwork and a day of impatient waiting, I found myself sitting on the floor of my empty living room drinking celebratory champagne out of a paper coffee cup. In this quiet moment of joy, I have never felt more loved.

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Stories I Tell in My Head

Monday was the day the universe tried to swallow me. It came in slyly – appearing first as the insulated silence of the middle distance. I could feel a great cacophony of sound and chaos building just outside my peripheral vision, but the lacuna had my rapt attention. The cursor blinked ceaselessly before me. Blink. Blink. Blink. Mesmerizing.

All at once, my throat caught and panic slipped across my mind. Reality crashed in around me. Just for a second. Then, focus. My eyes found the monitor in front of me and I was once again alone in a quiet office. The clock barely ticked past 7.30, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the panic I felt appeared in the form of coworkers and deadlines. One breath in, one breath out.

That was the same day I decided things needed to change.

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Fat Girl Running: The Honest Truth About My Half Marathon

When my coworkers ask me how my race went last weekend, I tell them it went well. I tell them I’m surprised I’m not more sore. I tell them the course was hard, and I didn’t quite make my time, but that’s okay. I tell them Yellowstone was beautiful. When I first sat down to write this blog post on Monday, I built such pretty structures to tell you how much I learned and how this race was a profound metaphor for my life. But in the end, the reality is far less appealing.

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