Tuesday, June 23, 2009


If you follow my blog regularly, I wanted to let you know that I am expanding it and moved it to another site:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yes, IF

In October, I will be moving overseas to serve as a psychologist in a pediatrics department in a large hospital. The move has really invigorated me, allowing me to let go of my anxieties regarding "the direction my life is heading" and "what do or where do you want to go?" Reflective in nature, my brain often suffocates in over pontification, the victim of too many choices and vast land of possibilities saturate it. So, I've let go a bit. Stretching more into my life, having energy to partake in activities I've hankered for in the past and bringing them to fruition. Joined a hiking group, been talking to this charming guy at yoga (The inflexible girl CAN bend!) strolled around farmer's markets tasting Bacon Ice Cream, going on dinner cruises. Perhaps it is the summer, the long light warming my spirit awake to notice how trees stand like Titans and the small sparrows chirp in contstant hunger. Or maybe it's because I know that my time here is limited...and I trusting that "carpe diem" will fulfill me. And yet, single people do move more...this constant state of moving may give others hesitation "I don't want to start that (relationship/project/class) because I won't be here in three months."
In many ways, I am the opposite, plunging myself headfirst into the small community around me. I threw a sock and salad swap last week at work, arranging guests to bring a pair of socks and salads to "share." We're doing appetizers and accessories next. I want to engage, I want to continue building friendships...and others seem to say to me "but you're leaving soon..."After my late twenties, I recognized that the working individual is faced with a tough challenge of building relationships, especially if most of your colleagues are married with children. The friends of mine who are married with children that I share an intimate relationship with are those friends where we solidified our bond prior to them becoming married/with child. "Would you start a relationship right now?"Of course I would...My mantra right now is to BE OPEN. If I start living "no, because" (no, I can't go out with him because he has facial hair) instead of YES, IF (yes, I will take that class if it ends by 8pm tonight), my life would be less authentic, and a perception of DEFICIT would persist. Don't use a stage of your life as a excuse. In the end, you'll end up starved.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stronger than you know

You are stronger than you know...

The words dripped out of my fat, beloved pink Sharpie and stained a yellow office post it. For some reason, many times through out the day, the drudgery of life nabs my attention. I am impatient, anxious, addicted, weak. And this tendency to parent myself with criticism ("don't buy that, use your manners, stand up tall and make a good impression!") is often inauthentic and inaccurate.

Because I am strong, bad ass chicka!

The post stands and am taping it here...Leave a comment, naming three things you have done this year in 2009 that required strength...

Here are mine

1) Gave up my treadmill when it was clear that I was running due to compulsion and not for my health

2) Waited for a job in ambiguity, and then accepted one overseas beginning in THREE months

3) I signed up for backpacking trip by myself

This is part of Operation Beautiful. I am committing to putting up THREE sticky notes in the hospital today in random places. They will say



WHO you are matters more than WHAT you are

What three things have you done or are than make you strong?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking LONGER than Expected

Task #70: Complete a Puzzle
“30 Year Old Women don’t sit around working on puzzles,” the first few words were stressed, with a slight upturned “not when they should be out there trying to find a husband.” While her statement could be verified in a certain light, I also didn’t see a lot of puzzle passion sweeping across any US demographic, save for the slobbered, bulky shaped puzzles that are gifted to Einstein toddlers. People just don’t have the inclination to clear offexpansive flat areas in their homes for such a feat. They don’t seek out opportunities to dismantle tiny pieces in order to merely put them back together again. Adult life has enough of such serious, oftenfrustrating, business. But the times when I do get swept up in popular hobbies, don’t always deliver on their promises. In fact, they often ended in disaster, despite their reputation (one word: perms…the fear should be revered).
I am not a patient person. I do not tend to notice details. I do not like stopping at GO to collect my prize. But I had never put together a puzzle before, and this appeared to beas good a time as any to resolve such a horrific hobby deprivation. Not puzzle making was akin to being robbed of the throng of a plastictube circling around one’s pliant middle or the exhilaration ofjumping through orbiting strings while one skipped musically.
There was no planning beyond the goal: complete a puzzle. The 1000 piece pattern did not overstimulate. I didn’t cherish the pattern. It merely was “there,” but not in a distracting sort of way. I purchased it figuring completion would take a long weekend. That bubble burst when I ferreted out the border pieces that first Saturday morning (3 months ago!), expiring hours as the pieces grew and the simmering border proliferated larger and larger, demanding more and more surfacearea. Who knew tiny pieces would mass together to occupy such significant space?My method was haphazard—rooting through the box first for edge piecesand then sorting them into somewhat similar colors. Frequent distractions (such as, “I think I saw that piece over there’) impaired my intuition to establish some kind of technique. I often shoved pieces together in desperate attempt for connection in those earlystages because just turning pieces over didn’t satisfy enough. Aftermore than a days work, the enormity of the task dandruffed plans for a quick completion.
The process of puzzle making demands release of a checklist mentality. Moments of satisfaction glowed when an expected connection occurred,when my fingers upturned a piece randomly and its unintentional orientation triggered instant adherence. Futile efforts wasted time by my narrow focus, my forced precision often impairing progress. Whenthose little cardboard units audibly clicked, my right forearm wouldshoot up in celebration. Who knew making connections warranted such physical recognition? Within this process, I uncovered unknown reservoirs of faith. Not just with being okay with not feeling like I was making progress, but trusting the effort as valuable nonetheless. The puzzle underlines the ageless wisdom that the journey IS the destination. And the chaos of the unexpected way refines direction. In an age where out sugar-rush hobbies promise immediate gratification, in a time where we are all in a hurry to produce something of tangible worth, this 30 year old single woman found asimple pastime that feed more than a desire to be entertained. In puzzlemaking, connection is the key. It nourishes engagement---literally. And isn’t that what husband-seeking is all about?
I think I sense a new fad coming on here…

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Discovering Love

Two or three times in my life I discovered love
Each time it seemed to solve everything
Each time it solved a great many things
but not everything
Yet left me grateful as if it had indeed, and thoroughly, solved everything
Mary Oliver

I am discovering love.

I recently embarked on a new kick (those who know me, understand that I become intensely passionate about certain things for a season)...right now, I wake each morning to a new poem, setting my intentions for the day. These words greeted me, and immediately, my vision bombarded me with images.

There's my friend, a mother of a curious, precocious 14 month old, who had to cancel dinner theater plans last night due to his cold and her steadfast vision of duty and care. There's the yoga teacher who touches my forehead and blesses me after morning class on friday, the only real touch I encounter in a week. There's the card from my aunt, recognizing a small victory, arriving late but at the moment of exacting insecurity. There's the blogger I know just beginning to recover from a relapse, slowly nourished by words or the gestures of those who know her and those that do not. There's the biting reprimand of a loved one leaving my stomach irritable in validation of its truth.

These moments appear in a flash, solving everything...mirroring the moment mom scooped me up in her arms after falling on my bike (again) and her embrace masking my failure and her kisses healing my shame. And then, gossamer and fragile, their irradescence evaporates, and the gap between me and mother is not solely geographic.

I am discovering love...more the love of this tension, this mystery, this me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting out of Debt!

Task #21: Pay Off one of my student loans:

I paid off my private loan from my Harvard master’s! How awesome is that? For all of us overeducated ladies out there, who pride ourselves on our formal learning accomplishments, this goal signifies a validation of some sort...that I am a woman that honors my debts. Month after month of putting away extra chunks here, of cutting back on cable there, of not going out to eat or analyzing whether a movie was worth $10, I am now out of the high interest rate loan I had to take in order to enroll in the program.

. I had full scholarships for my undergrad, and thus wasn’t upset about taking loans for the master’s…but the federal loans didn’t cover all of the costs. When I decided to go to Harvard, I was very distressed that my parents couldn’t help me financially…so, I took a personal education loan at a 8% interest rate…

Of all the loans I’ve taken to complete the PhD and other masters’, this loan is the most sentimental. The loan served as a token that I am supremely blessed to be born a woman at this time in history, in this country, to obtain multiple higher degrees and be trusted that I will “pay” it back both economically and socially. But since I did it on my own, it signifies that I am capable and quite competent, to find the resources necessary to meet my goals. And PAY them back WITH INTEREST.

I might not be able to meet all of my needs, all of the time…because there will always be wanting, the bitterness always tangible….

What I take, I give back….and I give back leaving more than I took….

Ah, what a life well lived.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Sauntering. My perusing skills only unfurl themselves fully when traveling, or browsing through famer’s markets. A slowness envelopes me, as time dissipates and agendas humidify, I step into an awareness of that which pleases me.

This past weekend, I ramble happened to walk into a independent bookstore seller while on a day trip to some Oregon beachside towns. Imagine it…the romance of the pacific northwest coastline…ah….and then the reality is…the local mirrors the atmosphere of all the other beachside towns you’ve ever encountered. Only this one is new to you…you get to rediscover it.

And I figured out through browsing. That the destination today paled as murky as the cloudy overhead, and the experience of meeting people, mingled with exploring on my own….whipped together a recipe for “boy, I am digging life right now.”

I signed up for a group trip that provided transportation to the beach towns. Coccooned in the back of the 10 person van, my seat sharers and I buckled in at 6:30 on a Saturday expecting a 2 hour drive….unexpected detours 5 hours later, we emerged philosophically satiated…discussing politics, leadership theory, resilience and value development.

And then, I panted for solo exploration. I embarked my own pace, set my the pulsations of my irregular curiosity of my own pace. I spent 53 seconds in a leather clothing store where a lady chirped “all natural leather, everything TWENTY dollars” three times before hightailing it out of there. My mood stretched high to the heavens meeting a crew at an organic coffee shop resemebling a comedic chorus in a Greek play….giggling about Tai Chi Karoke and different acidity…I snapped a memory, and they returned the favor as I slipped for a brief moment into the ecstasy of rich espresso, the first lick of caffeine after 5 hours taco-ed in a tour bus….heaven!

After reading the backs of 20 books in an independent bookstore, the owner and I collectively welled water filled eyes as we paid homage to our blessings…the gratitude of being female…a lover of words, capable and free to satiate our hungers…for travel, for words, for connection…any time we pleased…as so many women remain locked in oppression, barred from books, even. (Plus, purchasing a book recommended with such passion from the owner herself…the reading is forever woven with the image of sharing a spiritual sisterhood…my geek version of the blood tipped finger smearing ritual of 8 year olds)

And at the end of the day, balance crested…between the expense of strangers and seatmates that I shared myself with and the shalom of my independent mosey-ing. In both places…authentically allowing the promenade to lead…
Sauntering solo, yet engaged and tuned into others.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hardwired for Singlehood?

“There has always been something wild about you, making you the perfect person for such an adventure, striking out to a new country on your own…you go, girl!”

I found this encouraging remark from a loved one uplifting, provided to me upon news that I will fulfill a position at a large hospital in Germany in October of this year. It’s true that I possess a precocious personality. Having my name announced on public paging systems does not startle me following years of disappearing in the mall as a youngster. You will rarely find me itching to try to return to restaurant or a travel, even if the experience tingled my soul. I define myself not by my surroundings, but by how much I can explore and grow.

A person pointed out to me that my ability and excitement to go work overseas is attributable to being single and not “tied down yet.” But the more I consider it, the more I think it is truly about my temperament, something built in and innate to my personality.

Don’t get me wrong…I am a gal that is currently longing for intimacy. It’s been a while since my last relationship, and I miss that feeling of belonging and connection. But I also know a “perfect union” is an illusion. Even if you are partnered up, sooner or later, you will feel lonely, misunderstood, and that you aren’t known.

I recognize that there is a beauty in making someone’s lunch and knowing exactly what will satisfy and I honor that pinching when that someone fails to comfort you when you are defeated.

Still, my personality evokes independence. Sure, I cared what my peers thought about me in high school, but I was more interested in achieving and my own goals than anything. Perhaps, I am hardwired to cope better with singleness than a person who finds her surroundings more fulfilling than goals. I point out specific attributes I appreciate in others, but I never was a jealous person who longed for more public displays of attention. I like to travel with others, but really need my reflection and assimilation time.

A beloved poem catches my longings to the core:
The Summer Day
Mary Oliver
Who made the world?Who made the swan, and the
black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has
flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is
moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with
her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly
washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know
exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto
the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to
stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what
else should I have done?Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me,
what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?
Am I single because I am independent? …..

About Me

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PhD in clinical psychology. Single. Pushing 30. Suffering Whiplash from the Roaming 20s...Who am I? What do I want? Where do I belong? Welcome to my self-induced treatment, a testament that we can all be a little crazy in our search for significance.