Tea Lights

No introduction, no clever segues — not today. How about we just skip straight to the good stuff? I’m figuring you won’t mind.

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I’m wondering whether you’ve experienced it: the mostly nameless moment in which it dawns on you that you’re comfortable with who you are. I could fumble around here for a minute before reaching for a certain analogy about a light bulb and a moment, but truthfully, what happened didn’t feel like anything so obvious.

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It felt more like someone had flicked off the overhead light and made the equally excellent decision to light dozens of little tea lights at the same time, all around the room. It was a relief to have the too-bright light gone, and an unexpected delight not to be plunged into inky darkness. Candlelight might be my new favorite light. It’s so soft. So gentle, so warm.

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It is inconceivable now — to think I spent so many years so uncomfortable in my own skin. Sucking in my stomach, shying away, shaking my head no. What terribly sad things to get good at.

I want to be good at other things now. Poaching eggs. Dressing for my body type. Painting my right hand with my left one. Meeting for coffee. Putting other people at ease. Making friends. Listening (really listening). Packing picnics. Planning day trips. Taking pictures. Writing letters. Telling people I love them. (Miss them.)

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I wonder — and I suppose this is a logical thought pattern — what it would be like to be this comfortable with someone else. It must be wonderful. It must just be the best thing.

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“I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.” -Leslie Jamison

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“I think about how quickly things have changed for me. But that’s the personality of change, isn’t it? When it’s slow, it’s called growth; when it’s fast, it’s change. And God, how things change: some things, nothings, anythings, everything… all the things change.” -David Arnold

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“Grace is thoughtful. It considers a back-story, an upbringing, the entire person, and not just a tiny single slice of their life.” -J.S. Park

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“I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.” -John Green

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“Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” -Jodi Picoult

“I’m here to tell you that if you get broken, it’s possible to put yourself back together. I’m here to tell you that if you get lost, it’s possible that a light will come, dancing, on the horizon, to lead you home.” -Nick Lake

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{Birch trees via @robbyzabala, PDX sunset via @grether, maple leaf via @bethanymarieco, downtown PDX via @justin.watts, foliage trail via @withhearts, forest trail via @fursty, Big Pink via @portland, Mt. Hood via @robbyzabala — all on Instagram.}

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One thought on “Tea Lights

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