What We Allow: a Birthday Meditation

Yesterday was my birthday. My 39th birthday, to be exact. The online well wishes began before I woke up. Rather subconsciously, I decided I wouldn’t gloss over the them, like I normally do. I made the decision to not only read every message, but acknowledge them and give genuine thanks and appreciation for the more meaningful ones. They came flooding in. I had to stop reading them mid-morning just so I could get some work done. I looked at the ones I missed after work. It was time-consuming to say the least, but I looked at ALL of them, and wrote back to as many as I could. I forced myself to. (Catch that: I forced myself to. It wasn’t easy for me, nor was it a natural inclination.) I made myself take in the reality of the people around me. It was at this point that I realized how often I don’t allow myself to be loved. Continue reading “What We Allow: a Birthday Meditation”

Why I Can’t Be Racist: Understanding Oppression.

One phrase I can’t stand to see or hear is “that’s racist towards white people,” because it’s a complete misnomer. “What do you mean?” you ask. “Anyone can be a racist. Look at the definition.” I did. According to Dictionary.com:

racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

This would be racism in its simplest terms: the belief that one race is better than others, and this definition would suffice if we were still in the fifth grade. However, a key component is left out of this definition: power, and this distinction makes all the difference in the world. Literally. Continue reading “Why I Can’t Be Racist: Understanding Oppression.”

Explaining Privilege.

The term privilege has been bandied about quite a bit over the last few years, with the assumption that people know what’s being talked about. However, their response indicates otherwise. We all experience some manner of privilege, although most will argue with you once you point it out. They assume you mean that life has been easy for them, that they don’t know any level of hardship. That’s not the definition of the word at all: Continue reading “Explaining Privilege.”

The Importance of a Chosen Family.

As an introvert, I often forget how much I still need social engagement. The worst thing a person dealing with depression or anxiety can do is isolate themselves. It allows all the false thoughts work overtime on your consciousness and pull you further into the quagmire. A support system is necessary. You need people who can tell when life is getting the better of you without you even saying it at times. You need people who are going to get you thinking and talking about things going on outside of your mind. You need people who will get you out of the house. You need a support system. Continue reading “The Importance of a Chosen Family.”

On Depression.

I know depression. I know the anxiety around discussing your pain while in the depths of it. I know the fear of not being taken seriously and being told “it’s a choice.” No one chooses to feel this low and despondent. I know the fear of sending people who care about you into an overreacting panic because they think you’re suicidal. Suicide would require more energy than you can put forth. Getting out of bed is an effort. Showering and putting on clean clothes is an uphill battle. Leave the house? Only if you can summon enough strength to dress yourself in the armor of a superficial smile that won’t cause people to ask questions. Continue reading “On Depression.”

August 9, 2014.

Some days–some periods in your life–you just don’t forget. They remained etched on your consciousness and you rehearse them at length every time something reminds you: a sudden loud noise, a tense crowd, the smell of burning buildings. The memory haunts you like a ghost, even when you’ve done everything in your power to cast it out. One incident has the ability to irrevocably alter your world. Such was the case of the afternoon of August 9, 2014. Continue reading “August 9, 2014.”

The Manifesto.

One of my newer obsessions (I have many) is listening to podcasts. I started with The Read and continued to stumble upon more that I found interesting. One such podcast is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She and her sister, Elizabeth Smart, weekly provide ideas to make life simpler and happier. On episode 76, they suggested writing your own manifesto. This initially sounded far too tedious and taxing, but once I heard some of what they had in theirs I decided to give it a try.  Continue reading “The Manifesto.”

Home Again.

Years ago, the initial iteration of cjayconrod.com housed Keeping Up With Conrod, my personal blog where I wrote whatever I wanted that couldn’t easily fit on twitter. However, times got tight and sustaining a website wasn’t at the top of my priorities. I moved my blog to tumblr and found some success there: wrote some rather personal thoughts and gained a few followers, however I found some sad truths about social media in the process and became uninterested in writing as much. Continue reading “Home Again.”