Grieving Someone Who’s Still Alive

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I’ve always associated grief with those who have died—a kind of sickening permanence knowing you will never see a person again, share a laugh, or breathe the same air. But I never considered the different kind of heartache that comes with mourning the loss of a living person. Like someone very close to you who moved across the country and “got too busy” to stay in touch. Or a best friend for years who changed so much you didn’t recognize her anymore. Or a romantic significant other with broken hearts on either side, or the worse fate of breaking up while still in love, out of necessity (perhaps the one downside of college). Continue reading

Hating Yourself Isn’t Fashionable

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There my dad stood patiently, at the top of the lush, grassy knoll of our backyard in Washington state, holding it—the beast I feared so greatly: a pink, sparkly bicycle with flowers on the wheels and tassels flowing off the handlebars. Training wheels were nowhere to be seen… Fast forward ten minutes (a lot of angst and fear later) and I felt the exhilarating, flying feeling of riding a bike for the first time. The grin on my face stretched from ear to ear.

I’d like to think that confidence isn’t that different from riding a bike, that it can be learned. There might be fear leading up to it and perhaps even an unwillingness to try, but ultimately you can train yourself to love who you are through practice and patience. Imagine how much wider your grin would be if you could experience that for the first time. Yes, I’d like to think that confidence can be learned, but I haven’t proved it for myself. Yet. Continue reading

Picture This: The Power of Visualization

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Back when I played soccer, my dad–the soccer connoisseur of my family–always told me to visualize on game day. He’d joke and facetiously say, “Be the ball,” like you see in movies, but his words also held some sincerity. He told me that if I pictured myself running off the ball, having a great first touch, and kicking with firm precision, then I would better be able to actually accomplish those goals in the rush of a game. So on early Saturday mornings, with puffy eyes and fresh dew coating the landscape like a blanket, my parents drove me to my soccer games as I dreamt of little black and white balls in the back seat. And I felt ridiculous doing it. I can’t say for certain whether visualization ever improved my skill in a game, but I do know it has found an unexpected yet welcome home in other aspects of my life—and it should work its way into yours, too. Continue reading