Moving Forward, Moving On

This past weekend my girlfriend and I moved into a larger, much better place.

All of this moving has got me thinking about all of the movement in my life. Physically, psychologically, emotionally. It’s funny how the word ‘moving’ can have different connotations. Moving forward, backward, or in one place. I’ve need to move forward and move past people and decisions and disappointments.
I’m almost a professional at physically moving. This is the fourth time I’ve moved in about 4 years. Moving past disappointment has been the hardest for me. Getting close to getting a job, and then having to move past the rejection, frustration, and sadness of not getting an offer.
It’s strange feeling like parts of your life are moving in the correct direction while other parts are stuck in place. My organization is going steady. Moving to a nicer place with my girlfriend of 2+ years is definitely forward progression. Having a steady job for almost a year and contributing to bills and paying off loans is positive. Being two years into my recovery and working towards bettering myself is forward momentum.
But for some reason I’m feeling stuck in place. Big parts of me are moving forward but I can’t get unstuck from the disappointment of not getting a position in the non-profit world.
I guess I didn’t realize just how terrible I was at focusing on the many positive parts of my life. I didn’t want to become a person whose job defined who they are, but here I am being all mopey about a job that in reality isn’t all that bad.
It’s time for an attitude adjustment. I need to train myself to not dwell on the negatives and to solely focus on the plethora of good that it’s in my life.
I’m doing well. And that is good.

In My Mother’s Shoes

Empathy was one of the earliest lessons I remember my mom teaching me. “How would you feel if someone did that to you” or “What do you think someone in their shoes would do?”

I can say with 100% percent certainty that without that crucial lesson from an early age I wouldn’t be the person who I am today. My mom taught me the gift of empathy and I’m forever grateful. It’s lead me down a path of activism and knowledge, compassion and a drive to do better. Always thinking how my actions affected other people for better or for worse.

I’m very lucky to have the mom that I have. I know that some people today have bitter or bittersweet memories of their own mother – including my mom. My grand mom wasn’t the most loving towards my mom, and my grand mom definitely lacked any ability to be empathetic towards my mom, or really anybody else.

My mom could have very easily reflected what she experience (or didn’t experience) from her childhood onto her children. It actually would have made a lot of sense. Luckily, however, it made her determined to instill in her children the importance of thinking of others. Of trying to think like others and trying to understand how they would feel.

My brother teaches math in under-served communities, my sister is focusing on bullying prevention in doctoral work, and I created my own non-profit organization. Yes we could have done all of these things without the kind of mom that we had, but her emphasis on trying to understand others, even if they didn’t think or look like us, was quintessential.

My mom has given many great gifts over the years, but the most important has been the ability to see the world outside of myself and drive to try to make things better than I found it.

Happy Mother’s day Mom, I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

27 and Counting


My cake looked a lot better

I’m a little behind, but I figured I would dedicate a post to my 27th birthday.

I really haven’t cared too much about my birthdays. I’ve gotten slightly more excited about them over the last couple of years since my girlfriend’s birthday is the day after. But, I still really have a hard time enjoying birthday celebrations geared towards me.
There was a lot of stuff that happened when I was a kid, especially around my birthday that did not make me exactly feel excited for the day. I’ve been using that excuse, but in reality, I’ve had very good birthdays for probably the past 10 years.
It’s not just indifference, I could understand indifference. Once you turn 25 and rent a car without extra fees, there really isn’t a monumental birthday.
I can’t think of the right word, but the closet word that I come to describing how I feel on my birthday is ‘uncomfortable’. Not uncomfortable because I’m getting older, but I think due to the unknown.
I know no one knows their future, but they usually have a good idea of wear they want to generally be at a certain age. And they’ve had these plans for quite some time. I feel like I’m making up my life plans as I go along. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this far, so my childhood and young adult wonderings really never made it this far.
Does this give me some weird advantage, that I can’t be disappointed because I didn’t have any goals? Maybe if I had some longer term goals, I would have a better idea of how to move forward in my goal to work in non-profits?
Does it matter?
I think the real reason I become so uncomfortable and anxious on my birthday is that I become way to retrospective and caught up within myself. Instead of focusing on surviving and thriving for another year, I find myself stuck in the murky past or the hazy future.
I probably will never be very excited about my birthdays, but the goal for my 27-year-old self needs to be focusing on the present, and celebrating the victories. So when my 28-year-old self comes around, I might just look forward to April 22.