Day 7: The Struggle Bus

30 Dec

Today has been a tough day, primarily because of some emotionally charged conversations with people I care about. Nevertheless I want to get a blog entry in so I can continue to stay on track. I have to believe that these small efforts will pay off in the future.

Three Sources of Gratitude:

  • Card Games: I have a lot of wonderful memories involving card games. Both on my mom and dad’s side of the family it’s a common past time. A simple deck of 52 cards has such versatility and manages to engage and entertain. Playing cards were invented in Imperial China, interestingly.
  • Access to Fresh Food: Today I was in charge of dinner. Luckily I was saved from doing something overly ambitious by the genius suggestion of doing veggie burgers. With only two exceptions my mom’s fridge was full stocked: fresh bell peppers, lettuce mix, red onions, cheese, jalapeños the works. And for that we are lucky– to have fresh and healthy food that is affordable and conveniently located. My friend Y introduced me to the term “food deserts” in college. Ever since I’ve attempted to show a greater appreciation for the food on my table.
  • Photography: I really appreciate having photos as a way to pass on memories and to share the world. My mom’s AppleTV got on a screensaver mode that flips through all these beautiful stock nature photos. I admit it’s kind of silly, but the pictures are so beautiful I immediately wondered where they’d been taken. And that got me thinking about how photos have helped make nooks and crannies of the world accessible.

Journaling One Positive Experience: I took a nap this afternoon, somewhat unintentionally.  I awoke to a some very excited shouts, which I quickly realized were from mother. I realized my family was playing poker and my mom was basking in the piles and piles of “money” she had just won. It’s pretty great how into games she can get while she playing them, but once it’s over it’s all left at the table. She gets so excited when she wins and makes such funny noises of disappointment when she loses. It’s pretty great.

Exercising: I went on a job/walk with my cousin. It was bitter cold out but we prevailed! We also caught up on some much needed cousin-cousin bonding. Overall a cold but pleasant ordeal. I think I really like exercising when it’s done with people I know. I think this will be harder to replicate once I go home but it’s a good point of learning that I’ll tuck away for the future.

Meditation/Reflexion: I have a tendency to dump. Growing up it used to be I’d keep my feelings inside of me until I exploded into bouts of rage and anger. Now I realized I do the same thing, except instead of bouts of unintelligible  emotional angst, I have very intelligible word vomit. I’m like a shaken coke bottle spewing my feelings all over the place with not enough regard for how they’re being processed by the unlucky listener. I used to think this is healthy, an emotional catharsis. It might be healthier than shouting but it’s actually very irresponsible. Stashed in my memory (i.e. stolen from some writer or speaker) is the notion that to be an adult means to take responsibility. Emotional catharsis is effective but immature. This connection is helping me realize just how much I need to work on thinking (usually in the form of writing) before I speak.

Random Acts of Kindness: A is an old friend. We used to be best friends and then something happened. We drifted, specifically I think we got on different pages about expectations related to our friendship. I think I never found the words to describe how I was feeling and it got the better of us.  But she is a wonderful person. She is kind and very genuine and is always trying to improve. She’s had some really hard times in her life and never gave up. It’s one of her finest qualities. I believe, given the current state of our relationship, it would be very presumptuous to send her an e-mail of praise. Instead I will send her an e-mail thanking her for being a good friend to me and for the memories we’ve shared, for they are good ones.

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