Stop Kony 2012? Stop Trending and Educate Yourself…

Stop Kony 2012? Stop Trending and Educate Yourself….

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Choices

On her blog, Undecided, Shannon Kelley states: “Choosing one thing means you’re killing the possibility of having the other. And when we’re raised on the idea that anything’s possible–and every option is available–we see choosing anything as settling. And, of course, it is–it’s settling for something less than everything.”

Which is true. Saying yes to one thing means saying to no to an unknown number of other things. This would not be a problem if we knew for sure what we wanted out of life. When you know what specific job, house, and friends you want it is easy to go and find them and make them yours.

But as Americans we have been told that we can have and be anything we want. So small children say they want to grow up and be soccer balls, birthday cakes, or hippopotamuses; and we laugh, say how cute, and know they will one day grow out of that belief. But these are logical decisions. They can be anything. No exclusions. We told them so. And then our young adults leave the confines of the education system and fall into depression or ADD because they can’t decide what job to focus on, what city to live in, and whether spending every day with the same group of people is worth their time.

These are worthwhile considerations. The world is a big place. There are lots of great ways to live.

I’ve been laughed at (in a kind-of, ‘oh how adorable’ sort of laugh) for wanting to do everything. I honest to God would enjoy a fulfilled, happy life as a bed and breakfast owner in Santa Fe, as a rancher in Montana, or as a shepherd in New Zealand. Those jobs would be AWESOME.

But you know, after I denied my humanity by dreaming my life away in high school, and after succumbing to anger at my humanity in college, and after the bargaining I did with the universe, and after the depression I found myself sucked into, I have no choice left but to accept. Accept the fact that we can’t do anything, be anything, have everything.

I have one life, one chance, one story. I can have a long story, yes. But only one. And while a choice to take a job, or rent a house, or even, gasp, get married means that there are other jobs, homes, or possible life endings that I cannot experience, I have to offer myself some grace and allow that possibility. As I’ve noted before, all we truly have in our lives is the opportunity to choose.

Yes, settling is a terrible word. However, living  life in the world of what-ifs and dreams is a worse fate. And keeping options open unfairly strings along all the bosses, girlfriends, landlords, boyfriends, and adventures that we can’t commit to.

You can’t have it all, but you can make a choice. And live the hell out of the choice you make.

 

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Hold On

An Open Letter to the Trees of Washington D.C.

My dearest vegetation,

You cannot begin to understand how much I care for you. And that is why I have to say what is written here.

Now I know it is unusual for a mere human to be advising Mother Earth. There are so many lessons mankind can learn from the plants and animals. And what I have to say is not a lesson I have fully embraced myself. Yet I beg of you to please heed my words. I love you. A lot. And I deeply want to see you succeed, prosper, and eventually return the goodwill to myself, and the other humans that take time to notice and appreciate you. Which is why I beg of you to be patient.

Oh sweethearts, hold on to your precious petals! It is not time to bloom. I understand that it seems safe now. You feel that the circumstances are ripe for you to reveal your true beauty. But don’t give up your buds so easily. I am aware of forces that you are not, and thus I know that now is not an okay time to blossom. You see, while the air has been so mild upon your branches, and the soil a warm, nourishing soil, there is still the possibility of a freeze. And if you cannot wait to show your face, it will be coated in ice and die. Please wait. Know that I want to see you so bad, oh I do. But I want to see you healthy, alive, and thriving. So I want you to wait a little longer to greet me. Keep sleeping, learning from the earth, and growing my dears. And once the earth moves a bit closer to the sun, it will be safe to fully emerge. Cherished ones please wait.

Until then,

Hannah Ricks and Jessica Rodgers

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Hold On

An Open Letter to the Trees of Washington D.C.

My dearest vegetation,

You cannot begin to understand how much I care for you. And that is why I have to say what is written here.

Now I know it is unusual for a mere human to be advising Mother Earth. There are so many lessons mankind can learn from the plants and animals. And what I have to say is not a lesson I have fully embraced myself. Yet I beg of you to please heed my words. I love you. A lot. And I deeply want to see you succeed, prosper, and eventually return the goodwill to myself, and the other humans that take time to notice and appreciate you. Which is why I beg of you to be patient.

Oh sweethearts, hold on to your precious petals! It is not time to bloom. I understand that it seems safe now. You feel that the circumstances are ripe for you to reveal your true beauty. Unfortunately, I am aware of forces that you are not, and thus I know that now is not an okay time to blossom. You see, while the air has been so mild upon your branches, and the soil a warm, nourishing soil, there is still the possibility of a freeze. And if you cannot wait to show your face, it will be coated in ice and die. Please wait. Know that I want to see you so bad, oh I do. But I want to see you healthy, alive, and thriving. So I want you to wait a little longer to greet me. Keep sleeping, learning from the earth, and growing my dears. And once the earth moves a bit closer to the sun, it will be safe to fully emerge. Cherished ones please wait.

Until then,

Hannah Ricks and Jessica Rodgers

Seeking the Source

Seeking reconciliation, peace, justice, or any type of “healing” suggests a brokenness, tear, or conflict. So what happens when you can’t figure out what is wrong, and it is obvious that something hurts? How do you heal an undefined wound?

We tend to blame our pain, emptiness, confusion, whatever, on a recent break-up, a current bad—abusive or too superficial—relationship, or job loss. Therapists like to blame our upbringings and parents. Parents like to blame us for being unmotivated or irresponsible.

So we turn to alcohol, serial dating, food, movies, music, exercise, church, change of scenery for relief and sometimes answers. And it doesn’t work; the pain is still there.

Sometimes the wounds heal leaving scars. And we celebrate the scar as a sign of survival. Proof that we are strong enough, wise enough, old enough, brave enough, to succeed. We look to our scars as reminders to not let the same thing happen twice. Yet there will be a new pain. If not tomorrow, it will hit someday with a force so powerful we lie in bed all day listening to songs of heartbreak and wondering why life is so unsatisfying.

I have to believe there is an answer somewhere. I have found some answers—to the breaks that have a source. Conflicts ending in loss of/abuse to personal property or threat to/loss of personal safety arrive at a restorative justice circle if they are lucky, or show up in our court systems and one side takes responsibility while the other receives compensation for the pain. Conflicts involving a loss of self-esteem end in alcohol or over-drive sociability. But for the brokenness that stems from nowhere in particular, from what I can only attribute to the curse of humanity? I have no answers.

This is what kills me. This is what makes the brokenness so unbearable. If only we knew why, then we would be able to address it and make it stop. Without that knowledge, we have to accept it, and live on despite it. True strength I guess is not surviving, but thriving in the midst of brokenness.

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