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TS Jul 15
Who decided that the top of the mountain was the goal in climbing? I mean, I guess I understand the concept of why but thinking more abstractly, who decided what the rules were?

People.

Just people.

We are people, right? Does that mean we decide the rules? Not always. Most of the time the rules and goals are set by the mindset of the masses. Whoever is loudest or has the most connections sets the trends, makes those rules, and decides the goal.

Why?

Why are people so looked down on for going against the grain of the popular mindset?

You go to high school.
Okay - that's the law.

You go to college.
I mean, I guess.

You borrow tens of thousands of dollars from the government and even private banks to go to college.
Well, I don't really want to do that.
Well, you have to or you won't get a good job.
Well, why?
Because education shows you how things are done and how to do them right.
Okay, I mean, I get that. But what if that isn't for me? What if I don't thrive from that and instead of learning and growing, you are just creating bad habits, watching your confidence tank, and thousands of dollars go in the toilet.
Well then go work a minimum wage job.
Okay.

You get a job. Or not.
Okay, I guess.

You work to save up money to buy a house but you still have to pay rent which is very expensive.
Well, I guess that's okay but won't it take me forever to save?
Yes, with the job you have from a lack of university education, yes.

You spend years saving.
Cool.

You buy a house.
Awesome! My first house! But I spent all this money that I spent years saving and now I am locked into this and if anything ever goes wrong, I'm *******.
This looks like it will happen sooner rather than later with how cheap this house was.
Well, that's all I could afford.
Well, maybe you should get a better job.
Well, I can't because I don't have a degree.

You work until you are 70.
Oh yeah, I've had to give 10% of my salary to my 401k in order to pay for my future without working. But, inflation is a thing and now all that planning puts me back at the amount I needed 40 years ago, not what things cost now.

You move out of your house and into a cheaper apartment.
Well, I guess this is all I can afford at this point.

You live out the rest of your days there and pass away.




What a life right? Sounds like a book I would read - NOT.

Give or take a few privileges and/or road blocks some people may have, this is pretty much it. Even if you pay for the college education, you still don't have much of an advantage. You pay off years and years of college debt - so unless you make 6 figures, that will take you until you're 70. This means you will likely get your house much later and also just be stuck in the same ending.

Why?

Why is this the path we are 'supposed' to take? Who decided this?

We do.

Every day that we get up, WE decide our actions that day. WE determine our own future - not the societal mindset.

Sure there is more friction going against the grain. It's hard. But is it harder than living a life that doesn't bring you fulfillment?

Think of mountain climbing. The goal is to get to the top right? Wrong. The goal is decided by each climber. If you want to go to the top, great. If you don't, also great. Each climber has a different way of getting where you want to go - some take an incline (upper class, money, prestige), some people pay a guide (university education), some people drive (start your own business), some depend on others to carry them (disabled, poor), some are the ones who carry others (volunteers, charity, servants). No specific way is wrong and no specific goal is wrong. If your goal is the top, then to the top you shall go. Your path may have different pitfalls, you might go a different speed, you might die before you make it to the top; but some people don't even go to the top. Some people take their time.

My goal isn't the top. I want to live for the views as I climb, whether clouded by blankets of green or the most crystal clear blue sky meets the horizon. I want to find beauty in the little things around me, not just rush to the top because its the option chosen by many. I want every hammock tree spot, every waterfall creek pool, every season change from a soft layer of snow to the sloshy mud underfoot, every critter discovery, every art-inspired shot. I want to settle in a place that other might just rush by but only settle for a little while - until I want a new view.

People say that the best view is the one from the top where you can see it all - but I disagree. The best view is the many you will see along the way - the little details on each tree, each rock, or on the ground. From the very top, you don't see the detail - you see the bigger picture. I'm sure the picture is great, but rather than buy the print, I would prefer to do the puzzle - that would be far more fulfilling for me.
TS Jul 15
An unexpected trigger arose today. I won a brass mirror in a raffle that I was able to take home to use in my house. The staff helped me load it into my car, but now I have to get it into the house.

I helped my friend, who won a shelf from that same raffle, load it into her car. She took it home and her husband helped unload it and put it into place.

All of a sudden, a wave of sadness washed over me.

I don't have that.

I don't have someone to help me carry in the groceries, someone to sit next too while I talk about my day, someone to offer me a hand with the dishes, or someone to help with the heavy things.

There's some sort of double meaning there that one could uncover. How I not only have to carry the truly heavy things alone, but also how I have to carry the emotionally heavy things alone.

So much of my life I have been independent - practically taught to be that way from a young age. It was expected that if something needed carried, washed, or felt, I had to handle it alone. Typically I would consider independence a good things, but this one wrecked me. It reminded me of how truly alone I am in this life.

Of course I have friends to talk to, people who can help me move if planned far enough in advance, and friends who I can have dinner with - but every one of those things is circumstantial and temporary.

I consistently try to be comfortable with who I am enough that I don't NEED anyone but honestly, sometimes that isn't enough.

I may appear fiercely independent and self sufficient, but inside, I am still that little girl who feels forced to do the hard things alone. The little girl who was taught that help and companionship is a luxury only some people find. You can't buy it, you can't manufacture it, you can negotiate it. There are just some things in this life that alone-people will never have.

It reminds me of this movie I saw where the main character is so used to being alone that she invents things to make her life easier as an alone-person. Specifically she makes a device that helps her zipper her dress without the help of another person. Its so sad to me that the world and the way it works is created for community, its created for people who have people. True self-sufficiency doesn't exist.

Now I'm forced to sit here with this mirror in the backseat, reminded by it's presence that I am alone, at the core, in this world.

So I'll walk out of here, go home, and sit alone on my couch, eat dinner alone, and cry alone, while the mirror stays, unmovable, alone in the car. Like me, forced to understand that without help, you can never truly be powerful enough to be completely independent.  





-t.s.
TS May 2021
A ******* stone surrounded by a faint light greets me. It's presence brings with it heaviness and lifelessness. I feel my chest lighten as the breath escapes my lungs. I gasp for more air but there is none to hold on to.

Impending doom creeps around me, surrounding me on all sides. The weight of it's energy drags me to my knees. I fight to stand but the earth quakes beneath my feet.

I reach up as to latch on to something, anything to help me pull up. But everything is gone. There are no people, no furniture, no walls, no earth, no sky. Only the stone inching closer to me.

I collapse fully under the weight of the unobtainable air. The darkness drifts over me, swallowing me whole. I evaporate out of existence, consumed by the pain I carried, engulfed by the sorrow my heart held.

I am no more. Finally, peace.






-t.s.
TS Jun 2020
Sitting on my porch with a messy bun atop my head, wearing shorts and an oversized t-shirt, spiral bound notebook in hand, and my knees up to my chest.

Reflecting on the years past, the bridges that I've built and the ones I've burned. It's interesting how seasons play such a big part of our lives. The weather is just one of those. It's cold outside, we change our clothes to warmer ones, light fires in the fireplace, drink warm drinks. It's hot outside, we change our clothes to cooler ones, swim in cool water, drink ice cold drinks. We are constantly trying to be exactly the opposite of our surroundings. Why?

Besides the general scientific fact of hypothermia and heat exhaustion, we not only change who we are in season of weather but in seasons of life. When we are in high school, all we do is long to grow up. When we are grown, we miss those carefree nights catching fireflies in our backyard. When we need friends so bad that we would do anything, even reject who we are, to be important to someone. When we recognize our importance and that quality over quantity is key.

Life holds so many twists and turns. One can look back on the last 5 years of your life and see just how much you've changed, how those around you have changed and the changes that will come in the path ahead.

It's okay to not be the same, feel the same, or want the same things as you did 5 years ago. You didn't disappoint your younger self, you just grew. You grew into someone new that has been seasoned by life experience. At 17, maybe all you wanted was to go to college, get drunk, have tons of friends, and be free. At 32, all you need is a quiet home with space just for you and your art. You yourself are a season and it's perfectly okay to change.



-t.s.
TS May 2020
When the world gets too loud
for you to hear your own thoughts,
  turn it off.

When the violence grows
and the fear bubbles over,
  turn it off.

When the pain of a nation
weighs too heavy on your heart,
  turn it off.

When you have no other option
but to board up your windows,
  turn it off.

When your heart starts to race
at the thought of tomorrow,
  turn it off.

When the words in the air
grow to heavy to bear,
  turn it off.

When your dreams are overtaken
by death and despair,
  turn it off.

When it's too hard to find beauty
in this world anymore,
  turn it off.

When you have no more strength
to hold up your head,
  turn it off.


Closing out the heaviness of the world is not cowardice or ignorance, sometimes it just necessary. Don't judge others or feel fear about giving yourself time.



-t.s.
TS Mar 2020
Some days I'm the dragon,
Others I'm the knight.
But most days I'm the peasant girl in the darkness searching for light.




-t.s.
TS Mar 2020
I'm 25 and my shirt glows in the dark. A skeleton rock on symbol lights up as the world darkens around me. That's always been me though, never growing up fully, and I would never apologize for that result.

Responsibilities ****. Showing up every day only to do it all again tomorrow can get pretty **** tedious and is constantly boring. But when we find the little things that bring light to the darkness, who are we to turn them away. Of course we can't always have the light because we wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much. Sure, we will have those things that take up space, the things that we have to do in order to live, but that is not our definition. Our dreams perpetually change - we have no definition. Our best bet in this world is to find those things that bring light and hold on to them.

So wear that glow in the dark t-shirt, wear those dinosaur footy pajamas, jump in puddles, watch cartoons, eat sweet cereals, draw horribly, sing innocently, get excited about the little things. Because life isn't one whole big thing - it's made up of millions of smaller pieces - collect the good ones.



-t.s.
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