I started reading Harry Potter kind of by accident, as one picks up any book. It wasn’t really like I knew what it would do for me. I was about 17 when I read the first book, and about 22 when the story finally sank inside me.
I wasn’t really sure why I loved it so much, I just knew it saved me. I needed something at that point in time to feel…to feel anything. And it gave it to me. And so I grew attached to it the way people grow attached to books and stories. It was my Bible. My best friend. My hope.
Then the last movie came out and I struggled with the reality of what it all meant. The story would only continue through me. The story would no longer be presented to me, I would have to present the story. I wouldn’t be able to let go of it, if I wanted it to live. I’d have to actively remind myself and others that it existed.
And with that came a strange nostalgic comfort. It wasn’t over. It never would be.
I never thought I would feel anything like that again.
One day, a friend of mine talked about a show called Doctor Who. It was the longest-running show in TV history, I remember reading somewhere. It was impressive, but too complicated to understand where the beginning was.
Then on Tumblr I started to hear it be mentioned over and over again. It became a fad, like Harry Potter had, and so many other TV shows. I watched the UK version of Torchwood and thought it was brilliant, the closes to sci-fi I had ever watched and truly enjoyed. I started to know the entire story, the worst spoilers of all, who died and who didn’t, who was who’s wife and if there was a child or not.
I decided I’d give it a go, and watched a few episodes with Eccleston and Tennant and I just couldn’t, I didn’t understand it. Couldn’t get close to it.
But it kept coming back in my face, over and over again, and there was always an interest, always a curiosity to know what this was. A story unlike anything I had ever heard in my life.
So I decided I’d give it a proper try…and started in 1963. I fell in love with Hartnell’s sass and attitude right away. And though the effects were cheap and Susan got on every single one of my nerves, I was hooked right away. It was like it had been with Harry Potter. I had picked something up without realizing what it would mean for me. I saw as many episodes as I could, tried piecing them together through YouTube clips, Netflix videos, and articles. It was Four that reeled me in and made me truly fall in love. It was he that pulled the strings of my heart, never to let go of again.
And today, February 24th, I have arrived at the very most recent Doctor. Eleven.
The regeneration broke my heart, Ten did not want to go. I cried first for him, then for myself. I was at the latest doctor. I would some day be caught up, and my waiting for the next story to unfold before me would be done. Doctor Who would survive, it was not like Harry Potter, the stories would still be given to me…but the end of my journey is close. I am happy that my love will continue for a while. I am happy with the thought that this has gone on for years with very little money, and I have seen the result of what its success has done for it, so I know it will going for quite a while. And even if I am caught up I can watch and re-watch every single series from before.
But I am here, with Eleven. I have met him. I have seen him and the men that he has been. I have seen the women he’s loved and lost. I have seen the men that have been by his side. I have seen his entire story as best as someone from my generation possibly could. I am sad to know the journey is ending, but as Doctor Who has taught me, it will simply regenerate into the beginning of a new journey. It does not have to be death, even if it feels like it. It is simply starting over with a different set of eyes.
And that…well, that… I can do.
Thank you Doctor Who. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I love The Little Prince. It’s my favorite book.
The thing about The Little Prince is that each planet represents a person. An archetype. A type of adult. And The Little Prince’s planet represents the child, I suppose. Or maybe the author. Or maybe the reader. The point is, the Little Prince teaches us one very important, essential thing.
And the thing with that, is that we are all essentially alone. We aren’t, really, because we’re born into a planet that has millions and millions of other living organisms, other human beings, animals, plants; and we use these as a way to seek companionship and comfort.
But essentially, inherently, we are alone. We are on our own planet, and no one else is from that planet. No one will ever grasp just why this moment is so important to you, and why hearing this particular song means so much to you, no one will be able to come up with a solution to your specific problem, no psychologist or therapist will be able to share in your pain with you. No friend or teacher will share in your solution, and everyone you know, since they are in fact human, will make a mistake at least once when you needed them not to.
No parent will ever be perfect, and those that nearly are will eventually die, no best friend will always be there for you the way you need them to or even fully understand, no partner will be inseparable, and there will be moments in time, blanks of thought, where you will be alone.
And in those moments, that space in time, no matter how short or long, it is essential that you find yourself whole in that moment. It’s important to not feel abandoned, or deserted, or neglected. Because if you do, then you will be more alone than you were to begin with. Feeling abandoned, deserted, and neglected, means you have abandoned, deserted, and neglected yourself. Because at some point in your life you will have an opportunity to feel those things, and the difference between someone who isn’t alone, and someone who truly is, is whether you yourself are there for yourself or not.
And this, my friends, is the hardest lesson I’ve had to face up until now. There have been other hard lessons, about being an adult, and dealing with society, but there was always a loophole I could take, a trick to help me procrastinate, to push away this lesson and pretend that it didn’t need to be true. Eventually, I found ways to meet halfway with life. As if Life were a mobster boss trying to get something from me, and if I just gave it a little it’d leave me alone, let me live in my fantasy.
But not this one.
Everyone eventually isn’t there.
And I have come to be an adult and have learned, in what seems like a very sudden way but if I think back I will see the hints and clues I gave myself along the way, that being alone doesn’t mean being alone unless you make it so.
No one will think you’re important every single second of every day, because that is emotionally dependency and it is incredibly unhealthy. If there are moments when people are unavailable to you, be grateful for those moments. Just as grateful as the moments that people are available to you. Because it is the balance of those moments that will teach you how to be there for yourself.
I say “you”, but of course you know I mean “me”. “I”. Because it’s all about us. It’s all about me. The world does revolve around us because you were there when you tripped and cut yourself and no one was around. I was there for myself.
You were there when you got the part, or the job, and no one picked up the phone. I was there for myself.
You were there when you were born, and you’ll be there when you die. I was there for myself, and I will be there for myself.
You will be your best friend and your worst enemy. So I suggest, dearest friend, the way I suggest to myself, that you start getting to know yourself, and asking the right questions, because you’re going to be around for the rest of your life.
And that’s a relief, I promise. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
One day…it will. If you let it.
You always talked about future plans, when you wanted to hide.
A cloud of smoke.
And you were g E T E N
o R D
n P I
e intothe a b y s s …’ G that
||||E X I S T||||
But it had not.
And neither had I.
you ran past them and to the telephone.
then maybe it shouldn’t have been made of glass to begin with.
I am in my second and last year at USM getting my masters in Spiritual Psychology. Except there’s not so much psychology and more study of the human mind, soul. There’s a lot of handholding and crying. And by the end of it, you will have refined your spiritual and emotional tools to fix your life.
Case in point, this year’s homework:
Life Project: This gives you a chance to make a life dream come true by giving you the emotional tools to get the motivation and resources you need.
Relationship project: Giving you the emotional tools to heal the most challenging relationship you have in your life (can be romantic or other).
(Plus two other projects)
But it’s the class itself where the magic happens…There’s a lot of talking about feelings, what “spirit” means, and stepping out of your comfort zone because oh my God are we seriously holding hands and chanting. You realize it sounds crazy when you explain it to others but that’s only because it is. You realize that means you yourself are crazy, and couldn’t be happier because crazy is where crazy happens.
In my class, (2013!) we are 250 students. About twenty of them are audits who graduated but had experienced such an amazing change, that they came back to do it all again. That’s a whole lot of crazy people.
The kicker is that it’s only one weekend a month. But that magical weekend is unlike anything you are likely to experience again. That one weekend…
That one weekend is roughly 28 hours spread out from Friday to Saturday,
talking sharing with other people; sitting closely together, hearing them get up and, —in a microphone- share with the rest of the class their dark secrets, or heavy secrets, or most painful secrets, and sometimes, an overwhelming mix of the three. You will hold the space for them and love them instantly and unconditionally. Then, when they get up and tell you about a moment of awareness, of beauty, of joy, you will laugh and clap and love them instantly and unconditionally. When you get up to share, they will do the same for you. If you cry in pain, they will love you and you will feel it and you will understand what love is, what God is, right there at that moment, and you will cry harder. When you cry out in joy, they will clap and cheer and celebrate and you will understand what love is, what God is, right there at that moment, and you will cry harder. Because you will cry. In the “Trios” (what we call the short “therapy sessions” that happen in groups of three a few times a day throughout the weekend) you exchange deeply hidden secrets to someone who is literally a complete and utter stranger. At least until you start to get to know more of your 250 classmates.
You cry, you fall to your knees, you feel, you love, you heal, you dream, you see, understand, you forgive, you let go, you pray, you praise, you believe. And no, never touching religion unless to speak about it as a theory or reference point. The words “God”, “Spirit” and “loving” become multifaceted and almost interchangeable, your vocabulary changes, you talk more about “Energy” and less about “why” (though never stop asking). You listen to people more, hear them better, care more openly. You listen to yourself more, hear yourself better, care more deeply. You breathe in from a deeper place, and breathe out to a more beautiful world. You discover the meaning of life, and see the other side of death.
You talk about your feelings and grab yet another tissue from the boxes that are placed under every other seat because you will cry.
You hug some more, get someone’s tears in your hair, break out into hugs at the checkout line during lunch break, have deep meaningful conversations without saying a word, ask about their day and care about the answer, then stare into their eyes until it’s not awkward any more, hug some more, and it’s Sunday and that’s a wrap!
So you go out into the “real world”, somehow both terrified and eager to do it all again 30 days later.
One time our science teacher (I went to a tiny high school) asked us to design our dream house so that we could practice using actual measurements or something. I don’t remember what the assignment actually was, I just remember being allowed to design whatever I wanted as a dream house.
Immediately my mind went to a Disney vacation my family and I took once where we went to the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. I remember walking along the rope bridges and running my hand through the rope that held the pulley that held the bucket contraption of some sort. I remembered how AMAZING I thought that would be, to live in in a tree with all these different wonderful contraptions around you.
And so for my dream house, I turned in a treehouse. My teacher didn’t say anything about it, but somehow classmates came up to me and said, “Did you make a tree house as your dream house?” and I looked at her and calmly said, “yes.” She kept asking me incredulously, and other girls did too, like how weird was I.
The thing is…I shrugged it off. I blame my mother’s consistent and unconditional love and celebration for the healthy self-esteem I had throughout high school.
It wasn’t weird to design a tree-house, it was creative. It was using my imagination to think outside the box. What was “weird” was that these girls were so perplexed with me using my imagination to fuel the idea of living in something that wasn’t an obsession but just a dream. I’ve never wanted expensive anythings, or fancy fountains of any kind. I just wanted to live somewhere cool. I didn’t want pretty and useless. I wanted adventurous and innovative. That wasn’t weird, that’s what got people ahead. Being shocked by that…now that was “weird”. And I celebrated that. I celebrated that I had blown her mind. That she had not been able to think of something so original, that it had taken my very basic idea to shake her world.
And in a way…I feel like that’s always been me. Sometimes there’s an unshakeable amount of doubt in my self. An overpowering feeling that tells me that I am not worthy, that I should consider myself less than others for not being where a 28 year old “should” be. That I’m not creative enough, smart enough, hardworking enough.
But the confidence that carried me through my childhood and teen years is still there, purring, keeping my above water when I feel like I’m drowning. That knowing.
…Now if I could just figure out what that knowing is…maybe I wouldn’t be so clueless.
that believes in God.”
Day 29 – A song from your childhood
I remember trying to catch lizards with my hands. I remember birthday parties and split pea soup, a stubbed toe and my father teaching me how to braid for the first time, like the sailor he is, on basically the only barbie I ever owned because My Little Ponies are where it’s at don’t you know.
I remember listening to the radio with my nanny, and repeating the lyrics around the house at the top of my lungs and being told that those songs weren’t “for children to sing” because it talked about sex I guess so I replaced the lyrics and sang that instead.
I remember Dominican Republic and Spanish music as the basic chords to every single one of my memories from childhood. That’s where my life started, in “D.R.”
This is one of those songs.
aun cuando se te haya acabado el tiempo.
So make sure you’re always listening.
The bird’s wing was scratched and bloodied but he wouldn’t give her a bigger cage because he loved her so.
she asked the mirror.
but still no sign of where they had buried the body.