Identity: How we are seen, how we see ourselves

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

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Todd and I have been talking lately about our next car. Like the responsible ISTJ he is he managed to pay off his car loan early. I think close to a year early actually. So having not had a car payment for quite sometime and the recent addition of a large dog into our home he has started thinking about the next vehicle and what makes sense. He has decided we need a size upgrade so when he is ready he is going to look at SUVs. I must admit a piece of me is jealous.

It’s not just that he will get to drive an SUV while I am stuck in a car (I have never liked cars since being in a bad accident when I was 14). It’s the fact that I already know when the time comes for me to get another car I will be getting a minivan! It is what makes sense for us though. By the time I am ready for a new car we will either already be one child in or at least ready to start having children. When I was in high school my cousin and I always used to say we would never be “minivan moms” we were going to be the cool moms who drove SUVs. Well uncool or not I have grown up and watched my girlfriends struggle with baby seats in the back of their SUVs and cars plus at times not having enough room for all the extras you tote around not to mention trying to fit additional people in your vehicle. I realized it just doesn’t make sense.

Todd and I were talking about minivans and my silly ideas about them. Believe me, I know they are silly I do not need to be told. What would be more ridiculous though is not getting a minivan when the time comes because somehow I have attached my identity as a person to the car I drive. Or I allowed my ego to get in the way of what makes the most sense for my family. Anyway, Todd says Volvo makes a minivan so at least I have that. Half kidding, I do kind of love Volvos.

This whole idea of feeling less than because of the car I drive got me thinking bigger picture about my identity, about individual identity in general. What do we think of ourselves? Where does our self-worth stem from? How does this compare to how others view us? Are the two ideas in line with each other or are they incredibly skewed?

For example, They say the clothes make the man, what do my clothes say about me and how much do I let what I wear speak for me?

I think my style is feminine, relatively conservative and comfortable but always put together. I will usually pick a colorful flat over a heel to save my feet but I am not a t-shirt and jeans girl.

So I wonder what kind of first impression I give? What I always strive for is approachable. And in thinking about it I do identify with what I wear. I am not proud of it but I can honestly say I don’t feel as much like myself running around in a t-shirt and jeans, I actually don’t really own any t-shirts. I acknowledge that there is a degree of superficiality in allowing my mood to be affected by what I am wearing but I do care about how I represent myself in public. While I accept that this makes me superficial on some level I also feel it is about self-respect though and possibly even being respectful of those around me.

Let me elaborate a little, if I know I have a meeting with someone I will dress accordingly. It shows that I care, showing the person I am meeting with I take them seriously therefore have shown up put together. Not to mention in terms of the work world most companies care about how the people they hire represent them. I realize when I am out in the world I am not just representing myself but others as well. That means something to me.

When it comes to my identity, I do not want to be defined by material things ultimately. My car, clothes, jewelry, phone. I have never been into status symbols etc. I also don’t want to be solely identified by the roles I play in life.

Mother, Social Worker, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend. I have talked many times about wanting to be the same version of myself across the board, striving for authenticity. My hope is that as I go through life I am able to stay true to who I am in all of these different roles and that come across to those I interact with. I realize my children will only ever really thinking of me as their mother but I hope as they get older when they think of me it is more than just “Mom”. I hope my affection, support, empathy and compassion shines through.

I feel this way about all of the roles I will play in life. I don’t want to just be “Jill the Social Worker” or “Jill, Todd’s wife”. When people think of me I hope who I am transcends just the title I hold in their life.

 

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How soon is too soon to have “The Talk”?

birds bees

My parents and I never had the birds and bees talk. Maybe they were waiting, I don’t know. I ended up figuring things out on my own and not because I was curious about boys, but because boys became curious about me.

I remember the first time I heard the word “sex”. I was 9 or 10, in the third grade and in my best friend’s bedroom. I was sitting on a stool in front of her open closet doors listening to her and our other friend talking when I heard the word “sex” and immediately said, “Don’t you mean six?” She replied that No, she meant Sex to which I replied, “What’s sex?”

Both girls started laughing. I was immediately embarrassed. Apparently I was a dummy for not knowing, I wanted to disappear. My best friend then proceeded to explain to me that sex is when two people are naked in the same room together. I remember thinking to myself, “I didn’t know there was a name for that”. What I said to them though is that I had sex lots of times, like I had sex with my brother when we younger and we used to take baths together. At first the girls gave me a strange look but I asked them, “Didn’t you used to take baths with your siblings when you were little.” They agreed they had. And since you are naked when you bathe we all agreed that we had all had sex with our siblings. Thank goodness we did not go around saying this to people! Can you imagine?? For the record, I have never had sex with my brother. haha.

Needless to say a few years later when we reached the age in school for sex-ed we ALL realized we had never had sex with our brothers like we previously thought. It didn’t matter by that point though because we never talked about it again after that day. Not for any particular reason, there was just no interest. It’s like we had the conversation and then went right back to dancing and singing to Madonna tapes like we always did. Who cares about being naked with your brother when you were little anyway? Not us, that’s for sure.

Sex-ed really didn’t help further my understanding of the act of sex much. I did find out about periods though. That was an awkward couple of days following. Periods were all anyone wanted to talk about. Every time a girl would get up to use the bathroom everyone would start to whisper, “Oh so and so must be on her period”. I didn’t go pee at school for a week. It made for a very long week.

By middle school my Catholic upbringing had helped a little with my understanding of sex. I had a very rudimentary understanding of what happens, thought it was disgusting and knew that I didn’t have to worry about it until I wanted to get married anyway. Thank God, one less thing to worry about in middle school. Sex didn’t come up again until 8th grade when I was in the girls restroom before home-room one morning with my girlfriend that I rode to school with. Two other girls we knew walked in gossiping about how one of the boys we knew from class brought a “condom” to school in his backpack and was showing everyone. I made the mistake again of immediately admitting my nativity to this new word I had never heard before. And again I was met with laughter. Humiliated by sex once again, good grief. My friend explained what they were for and we all agreed that was gross and he was gross for carrying one around.

A few months later one of my best friend’s who had a boyfriend, a very big deal for my group of friends as none of us were really allowed to date, explained in detail about how when they went to the movies over the weekend they didn’t exactly watch the movie the whole time. Nothing too terrible happened, they made out and he tried to get to first base. I had no clue there were bases. (Big surprise- clearly I was the last to know anything about this sex stuff). This time I chose not to ask questions. Knowing that he tried to grab her boob made me uncomfortable enough, I didn’t want to hear what else is involved in these bases. I never did like baseball much anyway. At that time I still called my boobs my private parts. Growing up Catholic that’s how it was, these parts are private. They didn’t even really have names. Everything under my clothes were pretty much collectively “my private parts” and you were not supposed to let people see or touch your private parts. That was fine by me because it was a non-issue. At that time I thought there was Sex and there was Kissing and no in between. When I suddenly found out there was this gray area where boys would want to touch your boobs I was terrified.

Most things were like this for me growing up. What I mean is, I was naive and things were very black and white. At least that is how I understood them. Drinking is bad, this was very black and white. Drugs are bad AND they are all the same, Marijuana is equivalent to Cocaine. This was very black and white. Sex is for when you are married and no one is ever allowed to see or touch your private parts. This was very black and white.

I am not even necessarily saying this is what my parents told me or taught me directly. These are the lessons the church taught us growing up and my parents never contradicted it nor did we have conversations about any of it. I think this may partly be because I never asked. I think had I come to them they would have discussed any of these topics with me, we have always had a very open relationship. I also think it is because my parents have always played a very active role in my life so they felt they knew what was going on with me and if anything came up where they felt these talks were needed then they would have had them.

All I can think is they knew we, my brother and I, were good kids and they didn’t think the talks were needed yet. The thing is though it doesn’t matter how good your kid is. If you don’t tell them, someone else will and someone you don’t want telling them. Better to hear it from you than the pimply faced kid that has no clue what they are talking about and is suddenly going to introduce the element of peer pressure that your kid is not prepared for. Sure, it is an uncomfortable conversation but your kid is curious and maybe  too embarrassed to ask, wouldn’t you rather they hear it from you?

Looking back at it I absolutely wish I had a better handle on a lot of things before I was in a situation where I was ill-equipped to deal with what was going on around me. Luckily things turned out alright for me, I made it out of my teens alive and in tact but that isn’t completely true for everyone. I am absolutely not saying it is the parent’s fault either when something goes awry. I am speaking strictly from my own experience when I say I just wish I had been better prepared. I love my parents, they did great. This is nothing on them but for me, when I have kids, I might do things slightly different.

 

 

Emotional Throw Up

jordan crane

One of the challenges, for  me at least, that comes with being a feeling personality type is when I have to stifle whatever I may be feeling at a given moment for social/professional reasons or for the sake of someone else. This usually happens in times of sadness, fear or worry. I have to swallow whatever I am feeling and push past the overwhelming surge of emotion that has bubbled up.

Over the years I have become skilled at doing this but no matter how good I get the same outcome is always inevitable; if I have to bottle up too much the bottle will overflow. When this happens I call it an emotional throw up.

You know  that feeling of being ill and feeling queezy? You think to yourself, if I could just vomit you would feel better. It feels the exact same way. It starts with negative vibration inside of me, like all the bad I haven’t been allowing myself to feel has started banging around inside of me. This feeling won’t stop until I let it out. I need to cry. I need a good hard cry.

I don’t like to be around anyone when I know this is coming, I want quiet and solitude. I have been known to go into a dark closet and sit amongst the hanging clothes if I can find no other place to be alone. I just want to feel like I am the only person in the world at that moment. I need to feel exactly the way I want/need to feel without having to answer questions or have someone worry for me.

This is incredibly personal, more so than what I would normally share but it is what I feel compelled to write about today. Primarily because yesterday after work I needed an emotional throw up. There has been too much that I have had to push through and not feel in the last week and my sensitive system cannot handle all of the negative feelings it has been forced to hold back.

Todd’s lost a loved one over the weekend. That is where things began.

We spent the day with my family and did not leave my parents house until late in the evening. On the car ride home he offered to drive (we had taken my car). I thought this was unusual because we both kind of hate the long drive home from my parents house, I thought he was just being sweet. I know now it was because he was about to share bad news with me and because he knows that I am sensitive and emotional he did not want me to be driving when he did this. He made a good decision. I was surprised when he told me and did start to tear up but this was his loss not mine and I felt the need to be stronger for him and not give into the way I was feeling. Todd just lost someone, it didn’t seem fair that he should have to console me as well. In fact, it should be the other way around. The rest of the car ride home he talked and I listened.

The week started OK after our sad news, the days went by normally. Tuesday Todd called me on his way home like he usually does but this call was slightly different. Normally our after work call consists of him saying he is on his way home, me asking how his day was, him asking what is for dinner and me telling  him I cant wait to see him. This time he asked if I had a few minutes to talk because he has to tell me something. That is how Todd starts bad news, “I have to (or I need to) tell you something”.. To hear those words twice in one week immediately rattled me. Without sharing too much he has a health situation we are having to deal with. I got off the phone with him and called my administrator to let her know I would not be in the next day so I could be with him while he has tests and appointments. He got home and I went into nurturing mode. My main concern was for him not to feel anxious or worried, the whole time pushing down those exact feelings in myself.

We got through the next day OK but no answers yet, there is more to do and it may be a little while before we know definitively what is going on. I have had to suppress all the nagging “what ifs” in the back of my mind in order to have a strong front for him and keep him from giving into the “what ifs”. Plus, I of course am trying to keep a positive outlook on the whole situation. It is so  hard though because they are there in the back of my mind dancing around and begging for my attention. I would feel better just having a private moment to worry and cry and get it out of my system, knowing full well that he will be fine and this is just my anxiety kicking up.

The icing on the cake came at work last night. There were two instances of the wrong thing being done by two different patients.  In both cases it was out of my hands to fix, it was bigger than me. Both instances came up at the end of my shift which is the worst because that is the note my day ends on.

I am always telling Todd when it comes to work I could have a great day and feel very fulfilled and successful with our patients but if something goes awry at the end of the day that is what I am left with. Just like I could have a terrible day with everything going wrong but if I have one good moment at the end that can change everything, especially my mood when I leave the office. That last half hour of my shift really affects me I guess.

I left work feeling defeated, helpless and frustrated. A very sour combination of emotions. When I stepped out onto the sidewalk I noticed the entire sky was flourescent pink and orange from the sunset, this lightened my mood slightly. I thought to myself, this is perfect I will just focus on the sunset while driving home.  I drive west in the evening so I knew this would help distract me from what just happened. No such luck. By the time I was on my route home the sun was already beneath the horizon and the sky was black, appropriate I suppose given the way I was feeling.

Everything inside of me started banging around, the bad needed to get out and I needed to give in and let it. I knew this was the only way I would feel better. It was actually OK timing as well because Todd would not be home for another hour so I would have peace to let my emotions out finally. Again, no such luck. The tears would not come. I felt so bad and needed to release it but I couldn’t. I was thinking too much and not allowing myself to feel the way I needed to feel. It made me feel increasingly frustrated, I wanted all of this negativity out of me and this is the best way I know how. I felt bad, I needed to throw up.

When I got home I turned on the City and Colour Pandora station and started making dinner. Slowly the negativity began to just melt away until it was gone completely. Between the soothing music sung by forlorn poets and the catharsis of chopping vegetables (I chopped a lot of vegetables) my emotions were quieted. It wasn’t the release I intended but I was happy to feel soothed.

By the time Todd arrived home I felt better. All my bad was gone and I felt like myself again, playful and excited to see him.

This feeling of needing to expunge the negative feelings I’ve absorbed is not unique specifically to me. I know everyone feels this way, one can only endure so much before it becomes too much. I know my limits and I know what will make me feel better when I reach my limits, every person is different in that respect I suppose.

The Introvert at a Party

introversion

When I was in high school I did not go to parties. I would occasionally receive an invite but I always had an excuse, something else to do, somewhere else to be. I did not drink and I did not like crowds of people so the whole idea of being crammed into a house with a bunch of drunk teenagers really didn’t interest me. Ironically I met my first boyfriend out of high school at a graduation house party. Looking back on the situation I can see how misleading this would be for him.. By meeting me at a party I’m sure he felt it was safe to assume that I was the type of girl who went to parties, this is in fact completely untrue for me. When I met him I was drunk because my friend that dragged me to the party knew I had never had a drink before so deliberately over served me to be a part of the experience of my first time being inebriated. Some friend. I ended up sick in front of my parents house later that night. To this day I do not understand the appeal of being drunk. I don’t like the feeling of being out of control of my body and I certainly don’t enjoy being sick, kind of ruins any fun you were having earlier in the night.

Parties have always been a point of contention in relationships for me. To me it seems like such a silly thing to get hot about but to others they are apparently very important. It has never been that I refuse to go to parties with whoever I am dating at the time, the issue has always been me feeling left to fend for myself in a sea of drunk people, most of whom I do not know on an intimate level meaning small talk is mandatory for survival. Small talk with a drunk person when you are not drunk.. Does anyone actually think that sounds fun??

Think of a person who did not learn to swim until later in life. Sure they may eventually be able to dog paddle or learn to float but they are never going to be completely comfortable swimming in the deep end on their own. That’s how this has always felt for me. I will go to a party with you but I am a weak swimmer so, at least at first, I need to be not be left alone trying to swim in the deep end. I will flail and attempt to keep my head above water but inevitably I will start to drown.  After being involved with a certain group of people for enough time I would develop more intimate relationships with a few of them so parties became easier, I essentially became a stronger swimmer. But in the beginning when I would get to the point of drowning I would just leave. I realize this may not have been the best way to handle the situation but I have never had the ability to fake how I am feeling very well. I am a feeler. I wear most of what I am feeling on my face, it is very hard for me to hide when I am uncomfortable, upset, sad.. Any of those negative feelings, as well as the positive ones  for that matter. Because I know I cannot hide how I feel, especially if I am feeling something very strong, I have never really tried to. I am pretty up front and honest about what is going on inside. So in my defense before I would just peel out on my date I would let them know I was feeling uncomfortable. If I was still left to fend for myself after that point, I would bail.

I cannot tell you how many arguments were started because of something as everyday as going to a party. It was not until I dated Todd that things changed. I remember when he invited me to a party for the first time in order to meet all his friends, my first thought was Crap. I thought I would I have more time until this came up. We had only be dating a few weeks. I really liked him but I had been in the same position enough times with others to know it never ends well. I told him I was not quite ready for a party but encouraged him to go. That night we stayed home, listened to music and just talked all night long. (A much better alternative to a party if you ask me). It wasn’t until months later I discovered Todd feels the same way about parties as I do. The only reason he asked me to got to that party so early on is because he didn’t really care to go and wanted company. Since then parties have not been a problem because neither of us are left on our own in the deep end to drown. Not to mention at this point in our lives we have widdle our circle of friends down to those who share the same values and interests. Neither of us are heavy drinkers and neither of us are comfortable in situations where we are being made to feel lame for not drinking heavily. Those relationships eventually faded out.

I bring all this up because I am just days away from turning 30 now. I have to say I have been more excited about this Birthday than any other I have had up to this point (including my 21st – as you can probably imagine that one did not mean much to me). I feel good about how I ended my twenties. They may have started a little rocky but the middle was great and they are ending with me finally having a sense of self thanks to years of mistakes, learning opportunities and self discovery.

30 is like 21 in a way because it is one of those birthdays that has a bit of pressure out on it to do something BIG. The truth is I have thought about it but it’s not what I want. If I had some big party and invited everyone I know (my close friends and the few on the outskirts- coworkers, social friends I have made at the bars over the years..etc) I would be doing it for someone elses reasons. All I have wanted to do for my birthday is spend time with my very best girlfriends, my family and Todd which is what I have decided to do.

Friday I have off from work so Todd and I are going to Movie in the Park at a local garden near our home and then out to dinner. Saturday I am having dinner with my girlfriends at a local Tapas restaurant that is known not only for their food but the incredible cocktails they create. Then next weekend we are having the entire extended family over to celebrate me and my grandmother who is celebrating her 80th birthday as well. I am very excited for all the plans that have been made.

I am not condemning parties or saying that they are not great fun for some people, it just isn’t usually my preference. Sometimes I feel like the world is driven by extroverts and those of us with quieter voices can get lost in the noise.

(Photo from Pleatedjeans.com)

Utterly Run Down

heart break

Today was a long day. I was up at 5:15, out the door by 6:30 and did not return again until after 5:30 in the evening. We were short-handed at work and had twice the call and fax volume as yesterday not to mention most of my day was spent putting out fires. It felt as though I was dealing with nothing but issues and complications today. None of this has anything to do with why I cannot get out of my own head tonight though.

We diagnosed a patient with cancer today. Moments like these are what stay with me over the years. Being a part of someone elses life changing moment gets burned into you. It leaves an imprint. I ache inside for this woman.

I am completely humbled by it all. Suddenly you are standing there in the midst of a person’s ground zero, suddenly the smallest thing can mean so much. I am ripped open emotionally by these moments but they are so significant and it’s when kindness and compassion are most important. Whether it is offering to help with whatever small thing needs to be done in that moment to providing a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold.

I recorded Atonement off the TV a few days ago and watched it after work tonight in a feeble attempt to distract myself from the day. As I watched my mind kept wandering back to our patient though. Is she OK? Does she have family surrounding her tonight? Will she be able to sleep after getting such terrible news? I hope so, with my whole heart I do.

 

hiding behind the veil

The popularization of the internet has made room for a new breed of coward, Mr. No Name. Anonymity many times is used for ones own safety, like in the event of having to report a crime or some other wrong doing. The hope of law enforcement is that people will be more willing to speak up when they see something if they do not have to reveal their identity. Anonymity has also been a useful tool over the years in other ways, think anonymous donations or anonymous good deeds. People who want to do something for someone else just because they feel it is the right thing to do and they do not want a big show about it.

In recent years however, I think the word has become more synonymous with hiding ones identity while on the internet and for me the word now has a bit of a negative connotation.

I was having a conversation with my girlfriend Tuesday about my blog, she was surprised to hear that I use mine and my fiance’s names in my posts. I understand her concern, the fact that I do this does make me vulnerable for a few reasons. The main two being;

1. There is no denying that this is me. That is my exact reason for this decision though. My name keeps me accountable for my words. I cannot type anything on here that I am not 100% willing to explain if asked about it outside of this forum. My name forces me to own what I am putting out there which in my opinion is how it should be.

2. It makes it much easier to be found by persons I may not want reading my blog. In truth this did worry me in the beginning. The first post that I wrote that made me feel truly exposed was hard because I was making a difficult admission and I was concerned about judgement if “the wrong people” ever stumbled across my writings. As time has passed I have become less concerned. I do not like to edit myself, it makes me feel uncomfortable and allowing myself to be vulnerable here has been therapeutic in a way. If someone from my past did find my blog and actually chose to read it I have no control over that. I made a conscious decision to put myself out there by posting my words to the internet and I own all of what I say.

Overall I do not regret my decision to be me on this site. I do try to keep a level of anonymity for my friends and family when I talk about them on here but honestly I am not always very good about that either.

I have been thinking about the internet anonymity issue for a few weeks now. It started when I was watching the Brene Brown/Oprah interview a few weeks back. Brene Brown was talking about the level of criticism she received after her Ted Talk and how hard it was for her. The thing is, these anonymous comments that were being posted about her online had nothing to do with her actual talk, people were making cruel comments about her weight and physical characteristics. I don’t get it. Why? Are some people just so miserable in their lives that they sit around on the internet behind their shroud of invisibility and pick at others like this? Brene was admitting that at first she was hurt by the negativity but then saw it for what it was, cowardice. The way she sees it is that if you can’t put your name on it then it doesn’t count. If you can’t say it in front of my kids and own it, it doesn’t count. She went on to say something to the effect of “if you do though watch out, because I will come out swinging”.

The Brene interview started my thought process about the topic but then it was the most recent case of Bullycide locally. Like so many cases in recent years it was the internet harassment that pushed the girl over the edge. I do not know the details of this specific case well enough to say if the bullies did their bullying online anonymously or not but either way it is the same idea of hiding behind your computer screen and not truly owning your words and actions. I can say with certainty that in the research I did last year about the bullying epidemic that plenty of “kids” (I use this term  VERY loosely because in some cases we are talking 20 somethings and in one case it was a parent) do hide their identity online when abusing their victim.

What brought this topic home for me and ultimately led to this post is my realization that this really is a big issue. I am talking strictly about using anonymity as a way to be negative or abusive and not take ownership for your actions. I understand, for example, that some bloggers rely on being anonymous because they are talking about the work they do and being honest about aspects of their job that maybe their employer would not appreciate. I do think that is slightly different. Yeah, a piece of me still feels like they are not owning it but I completely understand why. However, for some people online, and offline for that matter, this ability to be invisible is like the highest form of passive aggressiveness.

Look at the woman in Canada that sent the anonymous hate note to the family of an autistic child, in my opinion she is an absolute coward. Own it lady.

How about the Catfish of the world? It may not be the exact same issue but I still say you need to own it sirs and madams.

Or the multitude of critics just spewing general negativity all over the place. Oh you think JcPenneys shouldn’t be working with Ellen DeGeneres because she is gay? That’s fine. By the way, I didn’t catch your name.. That’s what I thought.

It really is everywhere and it is a cancer. Unfortunately as opinionated as I might be on the topic I don’t have ideas on a solution.. Well except for maybe the obvious, people owning their words and actions.

The Eruptive feelings of an INFP

I have made mention before of how strong I score on the “F” part of my INFP personality. I have also mentioned through much work I have become better at controlling my emotions, negative especially. A few minutes ago I burst into tears at my desk because of something I saw online and while this is not uncommon for me anyone other than Todd that would have walked into the room at that moment would probably be completely befuddled by my current state.

At times I can become deeply effected by the sights, sounds, smells and other sensory details of my environment. For example, I can be driving along and everything is great. Maybe I got an A on an exam that day and was very successful by my standards at work and am on my way to meet Todd for date night. Then all of a sudden Let It Be comes on the radio and I am crying. Not sob crying but crying none the less. This song does this to me every time because of the association my brain makes with a memory that is sad. Anyone who sees this situation from the outside would be lost. “Wait, you had a great day? What’s wrong with you?” The answer is nothing. I just cannot help but be impacted. My emotions are strong and can come on without warning and there I am crying in the car.

The reason I bring this up is because today while on Pinterest looking for an  Ellen Degeneres quote about compassion that I like I came across something that led me immediately to tears.

What I was looking for was this, compassion

 

 

 

What I found first was this, lennox.

 

I just started crying. Poor Lennox. Even as I read this he is no longer here. Poor thing probably never even knew what was going on. I am sure some people think this is ridiculous but it is really that easy.

Yesterday when I was driving home from work I drove by a park near my house and braked as a man who looked to be in his early thirties crossed the street to the park. When he got to the side-walk I watched him put both arms in the air. I was puzzled. That was until I looked a little further down the sidewalk and saw the happiest toddler hobble-running towards his daddy, his little blue super hero cape blowing in the wind. The sheer look of jubilation on this little boys face from seeing his daddy just hit me. I just got to witness a private moment between this father and son and it meant something. As that little boy gets older I bet Daddy will never forget the special moments like that.

And this season on Project Runway (my favorite show) I cried during the finale when I Heidi announced my favorite designer had not won. I felt for him in the moment so much. He was the sweetest thing, so gentle and kind. He is the kind of person that you just want everything wonderful for. When he went back stage to see his family his mother told him how well he did and how proud she was of him and how just by being himself he made so many people fall in love with him and she was right. We, as a society, and moreover as a human race, are lucky for the gentle ones. The people who do not take, who never ask for anything and only want to give of themselves. It was impossible not to fall in love with the sweetness and the sincerity of his character.

In a previous post about my former battle with acute depression I made mention of how I have gotten a handle on my emotional outbursts but that I still cry pretty regularly but that I am OK with that because sometimes I just need to let things out. This is exactly what I am talking about. Small things like this, everyday things invoke such a strong emotional response from me I cannot control it. Furthermore it feels unnatural and wrong when I do. It is not a sad cry it is just me being effected by my environment and allowing myself to feel.