I have a little friend in Seattle.
She is just the perfect amount of tallness to wrap her entire self around one of my legs for a hug. And when she does, she squeezes nice and tight. Sometimes she even offers a reassuring little pat, pat, pat to my leg.
Just yesterday, this littlest friend and I were walking together in the neighborhood as we often do. As we passed other walkers, many an adult would see her and smile to themselves as they carried on.
1. Be somewhere that has a view
Our eyes and souls crave beauty, they need it to survive. So when you’re suddenly stripped of all your usual coping tactics and comforting friends, your insides will crave this beauty more than ever. When you have such a craving, drop everything and listen.
2. If it’s possible, find old friends who will take you in for a month or two while you sort things out.
(Warning: for this independent types, it can be challenging to receive such generous help like this. But if it’s offered, say yes, it’ll be beautiful.) Its best if these friends are cute and into questionable activities.
3. Buy the book.
So when you move to this new place, you must have come with some visions for what your life would look like once you arrived. You know, the things you wanted to conquer, take on, how you’d spend your time. The interwebs are good and helpful, but when in doubt, go to the used bookstore and purchase yourself the book that will accompany you as you live out your new reality. This book will become your friend.
4. Listen to yourself.
When people heard I was moving to a new place, many wanted to offer the best advice they had. And so I was repeatedly offered this: “just say yes to every opportunity that comes your way—even if you’re tired.” Being just a few months in now, I can now offer back a hesitant: “yes, I agree—mostly.”
When in a new place and context, it’s good to push yourself into new experiences and situations. Because most of the time, I’m sure you’ll smile and say, “yes, I’m so thankful those moments happened.” But whether you are in a new city or the city of your birth, saying “yes” out of fear is no good reason to say yes at all. Saying “yes” when you can, I’m coming to believe, is a much better life skill to cultivate.
5. Drink alone and don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.
This past weekend, something new happened to me. Something, that has never happened before. You want to know? I stood up in front of a room full of lovely people and read something… that I myself wrote. I’ve never done that before, never. The process of preparing and the experience that day was a mind-blowing experience, reminding me that we must struggle, we must create and we must share in community with one another. We must not do it alone. (But more on that another time.)
“There’s some about the spirit that’s out here. Something in the air. It’s different here. This land is still getting to define itself, live into who it is. That’s part of it’s crazy and wild beauty, you know? Because it’s still searching, still exploring. And so are it’s people.”
And with these words, I met Seattle. Read more…
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On one blazingly warm June afternoon, in the not-so-distant past of 2007, the United Nations General Assembly met together in New Delhi where they voted unanimously to mark October 2nd, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Who better to help us remember the importance of striving for greater tolerance, respect, and understanding in our world