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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Deep Dark Woods, or, A Place at the Table

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When I began to write this it felt familiar, so I scrolled back and discovered that I've written three similar pieces in the last two years alone. They all have a slightly different flavor, but the same salient central theme: the importance of learning to deal with your shit.

In a previous version of my life, I was crying in therapy because I'd recognized but couldn't seem to overcome my preternatural attraction to unhealthy men. Like Ebeneezer Scrooge, I've often found myself confronted by the ghosts of life past. Most of my "self-work" has been operated under the naive assumption that once I'd learned something, I was done! Got it! Every time I'd find myself revisiting a theme, I would read this as a personal failure and be awash in bitter shame. One of my favorite teachers, Paul Weinfield, wrote this supportive, apropos note today:

'Try to see your life as a spiral, circling around the same issues, the same problems, the same feelings, yet wit…

Unfolding Your Own Myth, or, Born Worthy

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At the end of the first week of my first "real" job as an adult, my manager checked in with me to see how it went. I looked her straight in the eyes and with bewilderment in my voice said, "I have to come here everyday." This didn't last long.

In retrospect, I see how this early exposure to professional work left a sour taste in my mouth. I was employed by a for-profit education corporation that tasked me with keeping students in school even if they really needed to be, say, going to rehab (many of them did). The school also encouraged students to take out large loans that they would never be able to repay with the low wage jobs they would be qualified for upon completion. Despite working with some excellent people, the environment was predominantly unhealthy. It took less than a year for me to jump ship for massage school and a helping career that didn't involve shoes or a cubicle.

In the 10 years since, I've done an eclectic smattering of work that&#…