Outdoors

I prefer to be outdoors rather than indoors.  There is something so rich and tranquil about the outdoors that nurtures my soul.  It could be the crispy crunch of the fall leaves, birds swaying in the breeze, feeling the rush of wind brush across my face lifting my hair up off the back of my neck, or even the simple sounds of the trees.  I love it all so much.  So much.  Even fixating my eyes on a calm lake, witnessing ducks navigate through the water, and engrossing my self in the reflections the lake gives off from the sky stirs up happiness inside of me. Yes, I do struggle with cold temperatures, but who doesn’t?  Picture spring.  The radiant colors the trees and flowers nourish the world with.  Cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils, I believe they are all simply Gods gift to humanity.  To marvel at, enjoy, and seek pleasure in. How wonderful is that? One of my favorite times of the year is going to the Tulip Festival up in Mount Vernon.  I can only imagine what the tulips look like from above, thousands and thousands of colorful rows all intricately planted and blooming for the world to see. Another favorite place of mine is Discovery Park, overlooking the Puget sound.  The texture of the sand, an outrageously beautiful sight to see during low tide.  The wave-like ripples in the sand, aquatic life abundant everywhere I look.  Even the simple sound of the waves kissing the sand over and over again is enchanting.

Experience

When pondering my life perspective, I would have to say my experiences have definitely, most profoundly shaped it. Although there are lots of pieces in my upbringing that have shaped it to where it is today, I’d say there are more bits and pieces of my life experiences that have molded me. The list of life experiences are endless. Just off the top of my head I can think of when I was sick and how that shaped me, the death of my grandpa, witnessing my mothers grief, my brother becoming paralyzed, experiencing love, the experience of traveling to foreign countries, the betrayal of a loved one, the experience of feeling success, feeling lonely, feeling confident, feeling loved, and feeling proud. My life perspective is like play dough, it is constantly being challenged, manipulated, and pushed into new shapes and forms. How I see life, the world, and the people around it is most definitely the influence of my experiences. Though, now as I type this, I wonder to myself if I already had this life perspective as a child, and then had to relearn my perspective as an adult through my experiences. Interesting. I guess I’ll never know for sure.

Exercise empathy

I think it’s possible to truly see the world from another’s perspective. Perhaps some people are held so tightly in their own way of viewing the world that they are unable to see the world from another person’s perspective, but for some I believe it’s possible. Sometimes I find myself seeing the view from another persons perspective so deeply that I temporarily forget my own and get lost in their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. The word empath has been thrown at me a couple times and I believe empathy is a key ingredient to seeing the world from another person’s perspective. I think if one builds and exercises their empathy musclces, combined with their listening ears they can see the world from another person’s perspective. This doesn’t mean they are to necessarily agree with the perspective that’s being put out in front of them. This simply means they are able to temporarily look through the lens of another persons life and compasssionately, empathetically, and lovingly learn and listen.

What do you think? Do you think it’s possible to ever truly see the world from another person’s perspective, or are we held so tightly to our own way of viewing the world?

Hair

Everybody in my family has different hair. My Dad’s hair is as thin as a piece of string. And me, my hair is all over the place. One day it’s curly, the next day wavy, the next day frizzy like a poodle. Caitlin’s hair, like soft silk, straight, and beautiful. Always looking perfect. Chad who is the oldest, thick, and curly like cotton balls. And Connor, who is the youngest, has straight hair that flips out on the end like birds wings.

But my Mom’s hair, my Moms hair, like banana curls, like a slinky, her hair just keeps getting curlier, and curlier everyday. Her hair smells good, good like fresh flowers I get from my Dad on my birthday, good like fresh tomato sauce he makes on Sundays. One a stormy night, I’ll run as fast as I can like a flash of lightening, or when you see a shooting star’ to my mom’s room, so fast, that when you blink, it’s already gone. And once I get to her room, I’ll jump into her bed, like I’m jumping into a pool. I’ll cuddle up so close to her I can smell the sweet aroma on her pillow. Smells so good, I would never leave. Her pillow smelling like her perfume, smelling like the sweet spring time smell of lilies of the valley, or even better, lilacs; in bloom. Smelling like happiness, because once you get soaked up into her smell, all your troubles go away, as if you were sitting on a beach in Hawaii and listening to the waves roll in. Her hair wakes up the house in the morning. The rain, the coffee, and Mom’s hair.

Small crowded room

Sue, doctor, takes the blood pressure of a little four year old because she is a long time patient at Children’s Hospital. Your blood pressure is just right, as normal as can be. The girl smiles weakly and follows her to room three.
Lucky you came today, we’re not too behind schedule!
Her hair is brown, straight and silky, perfect just like Caitlin’s. And her skinny little legs, not skinny like unhealthy, skinny because that’s just her shape. She always seems to look and sound like she has everything together. But I think she really does sometimes.

Yeah, you guys aren’t too behind, just a couple minutes, I say. But now we move to my room, room seven. This is where she works, and this is where she will tell us what the MRI, CT, and x-ray pictures say. The room, the room is pale white, three chairs, window, x-ray screens, and an awkward examining table right in the middle of the small crowded room.

Take a deep breath in, she says. Another another, she says. One more time, she says. I never seem to find the point of what breathing in and out can do for a doctor. But she asked me to do it, so I do.
Okay, so your vitals are all great, let’s take a look at those scans.
You see anything? I say.
Hold on a sec, she says.
Hold on a sec? I think to myself. What does that mean? I’m so nervous I could jump out of my skin.
Well, she says. And takes a deep breath. You have a spot on your pituitary gland.
Okay what’s that supposed to mean, I say.
Well, it can mean a lot of things, tumor, cancer, swelling, anything, or nothing at all.
So what do we do? My mom barks in fear.
We will need to open up your head, and find out what this thing really is.
In shock, I start crying, crying like my life is over, crying like I’m going to die. She has a sad look on her face, almost like she knows what I’m feeling, but no one ever knows how I really feel.
Then she leaves, leaves me with things I’ve never thought about. And then I think to myself, “all this for one “spot” on my pituitary gland.”

Handle pressure

Do you think you handle pressure well, or do you usually fall apart?

It depends on what kind of pressure. Meeting deadlines and setting goals is an area in which I thrive in. Overall I’d say I’m a pretty great planner and avoid the pressure that may accompany me if plans change or fall apart. Perhaps it has to do with growing up at an early age, or being pre-exposed early on to the different pressures one may face when experiencing and witnessing health and physical traumas. After you’ve experienced that, certain pressures and stresses don’t seem to be as prominent any longer. I’ve been working a lot on discovering my inner peace and staying in that place through out the day. If I begin to experience pressure or stress of some sort I can revisit my peaceful place and stay there until that pressure or stress is relieved. I try not to buy into the “pressure” of society, though, to be honest it’s pretty hard! With the latest workout trends people pressure themselves into, electronic toys we feel pressured to buy to stay in the know, or the simple pressure of having specific materialistic goods is most often below me. I may seek them out of pure interest or enjoyment but not due to pressure.

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Myself

Who puts the most pressure on you — yourself or others?
I definitely put the most pressure on myself compared to others. I have extremely high expectations for myself and have been told often to not be so critical. Who doesn’t put pressure on themself? It’s hard not to. From a young age I was very interested in discovering my purpose, my “personal legend,” if you want to talk The Alchemist, or my true calling. That has probably been an area where I put the most pressure on myself, and coincidentally it’s an area that calls for a lot of time and patience rather than pressure. What can you do? It’s the way I am and probably the way I will stay.