If I Knew Then What I Know Now

When I was a kid, I really wanted to need glasses.

I distinctly remember the way that my elementary school did eye exams. During P.E., one at a time, they would call us out into the hallway to meet with, who I assume was, an optometrist. She would have us stand a certain distance away from a chart on the wall and read the lines in the order she called out for us (this is eye exam 101, of course, but bear with me here).

I don’t know how often I did it, but on certain occasions I remember failing the tests on purpose, missing this letter, but not that one, reading one line just fine, while bombing another—all in an effort, in my 6-year-old mind, to grant me access to the world of the visually impaired.

In retrospect, I didn’t know what I was doing. More often than not, my answers were inconsistent and the optometrist saw right through me, but I never stopped wanting glasses. Even when I got older and clear lenses became a trend, I got a pair of my own so that I could have an opportunity to wear them when I wanted.

It wasn’t until last year that I actually began to need them.


Who Are You, What’s So Wrong, and What Am I Owed?

I’ve been thinking a lot about privilege this week.

As a white, heterosexual man, the irony isn’t lost on me that I occasionally write and post content that aims to draw attention to the incredibly wide divide that exists between people like me and, well, everyone else, siding in most, if not all instances, with the unrepresented minority. But, and I could be wrong, I feel like it is a responsibility of mine to not only feel these things as a human person, but express them when I feel them, because as a white, heterosexual man, it is something for me and everyone like me to recognize that things shouldn’t be the way that they are. I shouldn’t have more privilege just because I’m white. Or straight. Or a man, or because I have or am anything else than anyone else from simply being born.


Resolutions for the New Year: 2019

Being an adult has made me less of a planner.

If you know anything about me, then my saying that may surprise you. I procrastinated while in school, I’m late to almost everything, and, even creatively, I’ve always tended toward tossing seeds out and seeing what grows rather than building in a linear course.

I’ve never done a great job at planning.


We Opened a Shop!

Big news everyone!

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I wrote up a post about how important it is to take a step back and reevaluate the reasons behind what it is we do and, more importantly, in what ways those things make us happy. It’s something I think too many people don’t consider, and understandably so, because we’re busy, we have other priorities, and too much else has to be considered before we think about the things we could live without. But being happy and enjoying what it is we do shouldn’t be something we toss to the side. When working, it should be something we strive to achieve—that we might do good work, accomplish great things, and love what we do while doing it—but being happy looks differently to different people. I’ve written about it before but work and our satisfaction from it exists on a wide spectrum of value, and how each of us values our work, our goals, and our desire for busyness can and will look differently from, possibly, anyone else.


Sometimes, You Just Have to Take a Step Back and Breathe

A lot has happened since I last wrote here. By no means was it intentional, but when I published my last piece back in June, my interest in finishing the half-written posts I had waiting to the side sort of just dropped off all of a sudden. I wasn’t enjoying it.

Writing is something I’ve always done for different reasons at different times. When I was in college I wrote because I had to. After college, I wrote to make money, but the longer I’ve gone and considered myself a writer, I’ve found myself writing for the art of it all. The experience. This blog has served as a field on which to do that, where I can tackle any topic, air any issue, and make any list that I want—because I enjoy it.

But back around the time I quit writing here, I wasn’t enjoying this anymore, or much of anything else, to be honest.


The Work Does Not Define Us

Let’s talk about work. I don’t mean “work” the verb, but “work” the general noun, work the job, work the thing you do day in and day out, love it or hate it—that work. Because work, your career, the job you’re doing, is all too often the central part of who you are, who we are, a badge we wear to tell the world, “Here is my worth to not only myself, but to you and society as well.” We introduce ourselves as “Hank the chef,” or “Susan the optometrist,” never “Hank the occasional garden grower,” or “Susan the comic book collector,” because our work is so important to how we live, where we live, what we drive, the time we have, the places we go and the things we own, that it seems all the more important to us—even if it isn’t. (more…)

Something Needs to Change

Surprise is a funny thing. Be it a monster or a party, surprise is a moment in which something that doesn’t normally happen, happens, and everything we’ve come to expect from an established set of normal dissipates for a moment to reveal something…different. Surprise isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s a reaction to what we know, what we’ve been taught to know, and anything that surprises us typically falls outside the set points we’ve been given.

A couple of days ago, a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida killed 17 people, and as horrible a sentence as that is type, it isn’t in the least surprising, the reason being, school shootings, church shootings, concert, nightclub, movie theater shootings are not outside of the set points we’ve been given any longer. They aren’t outliers. They aren’t uncommon. (more…)