The Impact of Kindness

November 23, 2016

The Impact of Kindness

This is a guest post by my friend and fellow road tripper Kara Perez.

There’s a line that’s been bouncing around in my head for the past few months. Tennessee Williams wrote it for his play A Streetcar Named Desire. The line reads: “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.

The play is technically a tragedy, but that line is a triumph. The kindness of strangers is a whole world of kindness. And to have always depended on it means that the kindness has always been there. What a wonderful thought – that people have been kind since forever, and that the kindness is always available somehow.

2016 has been a tough year. Prince and David Bowie died, Americans lost their minds in the presidential election, and Brexit shocked the world. Yet I find that the kindness of strangers is alive and well. In fact, because 2016 has been so hard, I think kindness might be thriving in certain ways.

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50 Things to Be Grateful For

November 21, 2016

100 Things to Be Grateful For

Despite the fact that I’ve bought and been gifted dozens of them, I will admit that I have never been good at starting or maintaining any kind of regular journalling practice. I always have the best of intentions, when I crack the spine of a new notebook. And I’ll usually write at least a handful of entries. But even on my road trip, it only took a few weeks for me to shift from writing daily to not at all. (The final entry was on Day 30 of 49 and the last sentence is still incomplete.)

I have come to the conclusion that I may never be one of those writers who leaves behind boxes full of journals, and that’s ok. However, a few months ago, I did get into the habit of writing down a few things I’m grateful for at the end of each day, and the effects of doing so have been life-changing. At the end of each year, I usually write a post that recaps all the changes I’ve made in different areas of my life. Instead, this year, I’d like to share 50 of the entries from my gratitude journal… just in time for American Thanksgiving!

These have been copy/pasted from my journal (which is a digital file in Evernote). I’ve purposely not added further clarification to any of these, but am happy to do so if you have questions about any of them! My hope in sharing this list is that you’ll see how easy the process of starting and maintaining a daily gratitude practice can be. You don’t have to overcomplicate it, and in fact you shouldn’t. Simply write a few words and watch how your mindset can shift to one that is more positive. <3

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What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

November 14, 2016

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

I wasn’t going to publish a post this week. The truth is, I don’t know what to say right now. Every time I try to put even a few words down on paper, I hesitate. My brain tells me I’ll say the wrong thing, so don’t bother, because you don’t want to offend anyone. What good will my words do, anyway? And with that, I close my laptop and push it away, before I can complete a single thought.

I’ve been in this place before. Not in this exact situation, of course, but in this place where I haven’t known what to say. Last spring, it took months for me to process the fact that everything I had once believed would exist in my future was being thrown to the wind. I didn’t know how to navigate the new reality, and the unknown had me questioning everything. What would the next 1 month, 3 months and 6 months look like? Who could I turn to? And where did I really belong?

The situation consumed me. I tried to write, but I always hesitated. My brain told me I would say the wrong thing, so don’t bother, because you don’t want to reveal too much or hurt anyone in the process. What good would a blog post do, anyway? With that, I always deleted the draft, closed my laptop and pushed it away, before I could complete a single thought.

One day, in the middle of my road trip from Boston to Washington, DC last year, I found myself sitting on a train unable to hold back the tears. I happened to be texting with David, when I finally broken down and shared all of this. I hadn’t given up hope, but because I couldn’t see past this dark period in my life, I had no idea when I would finally see the light again. So I surrendered to the pain and confusion, waved my white flag and said, “I don’t know what to do anymore.”

His simple reply was one I’ve never forgotten:

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