The Power of Narrative

I am an atheist: born, raised, and practicing.

I’ve mentioned this before, and eventually I’ll get around to writing a post on why I’m not religious (and react to the idea of being religious as vehemently as I do, AKA the Fax Machine Analogy).  But my secularism is relevant here.

See, I don’t believe in gods.  I take no comfort in the idea that someone out there knows more than I do about the way my life is going, or has any great plan, or values me– I have my family and my friends to love me, and I don’t know this Jesus dude.  I am very much alone right now, but I have no desire to find community in a synagogue or church.   Religion just does not do it for me.  But I’ve been coming to terms lately that there is something I believe in besides science and humanity.

I believe in stories.

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I Can Bend And Not Break

2014 was a pretty horrible year for a lot of people.

I don’t know what it was.  Globally, a lot of tensions just seemed to come (almost) to a head: we had all that shit happen in Crimea, radical Islam took it to a whole new level (and that hasn’t stopped), the Republicans got a pretty good grip on power, school shootings are still on the rise, it was the warmest year on record… Oh, and Kim Jong Un freaked out over The Interview.

Anecdote-wise, the amount of friends I have who started a battle with cancer, were diagnosed with degenerative diseases,  lost dear pets, or dealt with living situations from hell just skyrocketed.  Several of my relatives nearly lost battles they’ve been fighting for a while, or started new ones.

Personally, my entire immediate support system destabilized over the course of 2014: Among other things that I won’t talk about on the blog yet, I lost my best friend of over a decade for absolutely no reason.  He called me up while I was in the middle of those other things, told me he no longer thought we were friends, and that despite that he was going to be living with some relatives of mine who– unlike my apparently-selfish parents– wouldn’t be charging him rent.

Oh, and back in April my boyfriend cheated on me. That was really fun.

But it’s no longer 2014.  So now we need to deal with the aftermath.

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August 23, 2010

Publishing a portfolio piece today because I’m still mid-move.

Every couple of years I decide I’m going to try and write one poem a day for a full year of my life.  I have never actually succeeded, but it’s resulted in a couple cool snapshots of me at certain ages that I really like.  The following poem was written when I was 19, the night before my parents dropped me off at college. 

I dropped my parents off at the airport yesterday after moving, once again, a third of the way across a very big country.  This still fits.

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Look at Me, Adulting All Over the Place.

This time next week, you’ll be getting a filler post (a poem I wrote in college) as I settle in to my new apartment.  It’s by no means my first apartment, or my first time living away from my parents’ house, or even my first time living in this particular faraway state.  I can change a tire (on any car but my own– my damn wheels appear to be stuck on by forces you usually only find in a Harry Potter book), I can shut off a water main, I can cook without burning down the house and do my own coin-operated laundry.

My family has always been highly independent, so dealing with my own problems and my own schedule has never been a problem.  I’m a mature, responsible grown-up.  I’ve been dying to move out for months.

There is no reason for this to be a huge and terrifying move, but it is.

Why?  And how do I deal with that stress?

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