Yes, I’m guarded. No, I don’t need to fix that.

I’ve long had an issue that I’ve verbally chased but mostly keep to myself, and it’s this: I’m a guarded and typically emotionally distant person, and I wish people would believe me when I say that I’m okay.

No, I’m not okay every minute of every day, but who is? I just wish people wouldn’t take a bad day, or a tendency to write rather than speak, or a refusal to change a particular habit, or my refusal to talk about what’s bothering me, as me needing to be fixed. They insist I’m in denial, that deep down I’m hiding some sort of fear. If I say, “But I don’t feel afraid,” they’ll tell me it’s buried.

And I have to admit, when people try to insinuate that they know me better than I know me, people who have answers for all my objections, and that have determined that I need fixing, and that if I don’t agree, I’m the one who’s in denial…it does piss me off. Quite a bit, actually.

Newsflash: The quickest way to shut down a guarded person is to call out their guardedness as a sign that something is broken and needs fixing.

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I’d rather lose you than lose my way

I saw a friend of sorts a week ago. Someone I hadn’t seen in fourteen years, but have been speaking to more and more over the last two years or so. Our relationship began in our childhood and has been rather complicated, at times intense and messy, at times distant and cold. What keeps drawing us back together, aside from shared history, is a pattern of abuse that we both suffered as children. Abused kids don’t always do adulthood well, and in her case this is particularly true.

Turns out, she thinks I’m boring. I am the reliable, predictable and at times complacent and content person that she doesn’t want to be. She tried to rouse me out of that state, a bit unsuccessfully. But she has no idea why she failed.

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It’s important to stop and look at the owls

I was a bit late to work this morning because I stopped at the end of the street to watch a large owl that landed on a neighbor’s roof, and proceeded to look around excitedly for a while. I leave so early in the morning that there were no other cars around, and I could safely idle in the middle of the street for a bit.

Yesterday while taking a break and walking over to a local coffee shop, a coworker and I stopped to watch a squirrel fight with a crow. The squirrel won, though the crow was twice his size. The spat was over a piece of food that it appeared that the squirrel had found and the crow was attempting to steal, so a fair win for the squirrel.

We have some really fragrant flowers blooming on campus just now, and I intentionally take certain paths when walking to meetings so that I can enjoy them.

It occurs to me that while this won’t solve all the horrible things going on in the world, it certainly helps recenter things in my world. Our president has a way of inspiring existential dread, and my Lupus caused me to have to drop a class because I couldn’t handle it. I’m pissed off about living in a country that will elect a hateful narcissistic madman then applaud when he drops bombs that he shouldn’t be dropping. I’m pissed off that I have limits to what I can handle because of my damn immune system.

That’s why it’s so important to stop and look at the owls. Even if all it does is remind you that Not Everything Is Horrible…well, that’s a pretty big Something, I think.