All posts tagged: humans

She

She felt herself a victim of the world, of this cruel and unequal place into which she was born without a say. She was told she had to conform to society, but society was difficult and unfair and chaotic, and not at all what her mind, body, and soul required to achieve that inner peace to which she was told she must strive. There were too many pressures, constantly and from all sides, enough to make any human go mad. She thought herself a fighter, always seeking to do justice, but felt cut short not by her own faults, rather by a lack of resources. She craved time, yet never felt she could afford to make it. She would watch others attempt to follow their dreams and would think, “Oh, what fools!” She would see them fail and fall and dust themselves off and try, try again, and again, and again, until finally she would stop paying attention from the dizziness it caused her. Whenever she paused to think and re-consider her path in life …

Did I Really Just Meet The Real-Life Carrie From “Sex and the City”?

…Yes, yes I did. I’m not kidding. If Carrie hadn’t married Big and wasn’t living in a multi-million dollar New York City apartment, she would be living in San Francisco, have a boyfriend, and would be running her own successful business helping companies craft their stories through creative writing. And she would be THE BOMB. Real-life Carrie worked as a journalist for 15 years, both in newspapers and in magazines; at one time, she was the editor of Elle. Like most women that have lived in NYC, she can rattle off crazy dating stories like it’s her job, and she’s quick to smile and laugh, just like fictional Carrie. They share a subtle similarity in voice tone, and they are both tiny, fit and, simply put, badass. Real-life Carrie has been in San Francisco for 7 years after pausing her career to get an MBA with a focus on sustainability. As a journalist, she discovered she didn’t like the objective gap needed when interviewing others; instead, she wanted to side with the people she met, feel …

We Can Do More

“That man is always in a bad mood!” I said, annoyed. Brando smiled back and, with a you-should-know-better-than-to-say-that look, he responded: “Well, I would be, too, if I had to sleep on the pavement every night.” Aaaaand that is how I was promptly and swiftly put. in. my. place. Touché Brando. You win. For the last month, I’ve been volunteering at Glide, a non-profit that, among other things, has one of the biggest free daily meals programs in San Francisco: they serve over 500 people per meal three times a day. Once a week, I join other volunteers and help serve breakfast to poor and low-income residents of the Tenderloin neighborhood. I’ve found it to be very rewarding thus far, which is why I continue to go back, and Brando, the Free Meals Program Manager, and everyone else I’ve met has been wonderful. Glide’s clients, as they are referred to, range from being quiet and distant, to bubbly and outgoing, to pretty aggressive at times. No matter the circumstances or the mood, as a volunteer …

Our Only Home

Humans don’t need to keep re-inventing the wheel. Similarly, writers don’t always have to try to re-write what someone else has already penned beautifully. In honor of the climate change discussions held at the UN last week, in honor of the peaceful protests held worldwide urging our leaders to act now in order to save our precious planet, in honor of Nicholas Stern’s insightful Ted Talk, and in honor of the wonderfully and exquisitely made show, Cosmos, which I am now watching for a third time on Netflix (yes, I’m a nerd. If you haven’t watched it yet, I really don’t understand what you’ve been doing with your time), I decided to recycle Carl Sagan’s words, found below. As a communicator, as a writer, my job is to spread the word about things that matter. As a human, though, it’s my responsibility to alert those around me, as best as I’m able, to the dangers of inaction. As a friend recently said, we have a hard time understanding the consequences of chains of events spread widely …

It’s Your Turn to Fly

You’re going abroad for a year to volunteer at an orphanage in Sri Lanka and at a middle school in Bali (OK, for real though, you’ll probably be surfing half the time), so to say that I’ll be living vicariously through you is a huge understatement. We’ve already discussed how proud I am of you for having won this scholarship and for having had the courage to chase an adventure of such magnitude. What you will live, the experience you will gain, the consequences of this monstrous decision are as of yet unknown… But you had the guts to follow through with this dream anyway, and that’s what impresses me the most. I’m sure you have specific responsibilities and things to do/blog about during the next few months as per UNC’s request, but, in addition to all of those formalities, allow me to create an unofficial –yet still extremely important—list of things your big sister wants you to do, because she said so. Ready? Pay. Attention. I want you to play, and explore, and laugh until you …

We Forget

“Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” – Ernest Hemingway We forget to look up when we walk around a city, failing to notice the beautiful handiwork and craftsmanship of architects. We forget to admire breathtaking views when we are out buzzing like bees, too busy to even realize we haven’t taken a full, deep breath in a very, very long time. We get too used to the things around us, and we don’t humble ourselves enough. We forget that we are nothing in comparison to the universe that surrounds us and of which we are part. We forget that we are not the center of anything, except of our own limited perspectives. We forget to be thankful for the life, the opportunities, …

Giving

Giving. Giving. Giving. Giving. The word has been tumbling around in my mind lately, pushing me, clawing at me, peeling away at layers I’ve tried to conceal. Unfortunately, I’ve struggled to shake the feeling that I’m simply tired of giving… That I’ve had enough of it all. I hate this feeling. As humans, are we even allowed to entertain it? Certainly, I don’t think it’s fair that I do, yet it’s that time again when all I’ve been wishing for is to be able to pause a few areas of my life and just lay down to rest, with no pressure to give of my time, energy, faith, love, patience, effort, etc., to anyone or anything. None of that. A vacation from giving, if you will. But as they say: we are our own worst enemies. In my mind, there is no possibility of rest. It’s simply not acceptable. I have to continue on, never stopping, never faltering, always giving and giving everything and all that others require of me, all the time, without ceasing. …

Go Do

How would you define “love”? When I look up the definition on Dictionary.com, I’m given the following options: noun 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. 3. sexual passion or desire. 4. a person toward whom love is felt; a beloved person; sweetheart. I understand that coming up with just one, solid answer for a concept so complex is not realistic; however, am I the only one that’s not satisfied with these options? Allow me to share an excerpt from a beautiful blog post that was shared with me (I will think of it as “paying it forward”): “Love isn’t an emotion or even a noun. It’s a verb. Better defined as giving. As putting someone else’s needs above your own.” Love is a verb. Love is something that you do to another human being, not just something that you feel. That is probably the simplest, yet most powerful phrase I’ve read in an extremely long time. Of course, …

Then, As Now

Syria has been on my mind these days, somewhat of an unavoidable topic, since I have been consistently bombarded by every possible news outlet in existence, as well as my Twitter newsfeed (a beast in and of itself), with the atrocities being committed there. Truthfully, I have no idea how this conflict started, or when, or why it has escalated lately.  As a former journalist, I accept that I fail here. All I’ve picked up on this side of the pond are cries of “chemical weapons” and “let’s go to war.” Sounds all too familiar. It still amazes me, to this day, that humans have such an uncanny ability to forget the lessons of the past, as if thousands of years of brutality against others hadn’t taught us anything. One of the most poignant moments of my career as a journalist was the night I completely broke down in tears to my boyfriend of the time, practically yelling at him – the poor thing!—because of how upset I was. All I did at the online newspaper …