The hard conversations

I talked openly about sexual abuse with someone yesterday. And about body parts. And sexual intercourse.

There was no anger or wrong-making or freaking out. We just talked. Questions were asked and answered calmly, honestly, and genuinely. And the conversation eventually comfortably and naturally moved onward into something else.

And nothing was weird. And we both gained an unexpected degree of value from the conversation.

And wouldn’t the world be a better place, if we could have informative, open, and safe conversations about more of these traditionally taboo and sensitive topics?

My world certainly has improved since they have become part of my everyday life. It was really, really scary at first, and difficult. And awkward and uncomfortable. Now, though, it has become quite normal and easy. And I am grateful for that every time such an opportunity and conversation arise.

Post-a-day 2021

^Right in the middle of typing it, I caught myself, and so got it right ūüėõ

But, what about…?

Must we always feel that sense of doubt after doing something atypical yet important? We consider it in depth, and determine that action is appropriate and necessary. We determine carefully what action is best. We prepare ourselves, and we take that action, checking two and three times that everything is accurate and in place and appropriate and most likely to be effective in the intended and desired ways.

And then we are giddy with anticipation at the accomplishment.

And then we begin to question…, Did I really consider everything? Did I really check it over enough and say the right things, do the right things?

I think that sense of questioning and doubt comes not from a doubt of one’s own competency, but from one’s desire truly to make a positive impact through and by one’s actions. In other words, we doubt and question our decisions and actions directly afterwards, because we care, because we want to do what truly makes a difference.

Though knowing that doesn’t exactly remove the doubt and questioning, I suppose it makes them a bit easier to bear and accept and, thereby, release.


Post-a-day 2020

32,000 troops in New York Harbor

I just e-mailed a history expert in order to find a possible answer to two questions my mom and I had out of watching “Hamilton”.

1) How many men would have been aboard each ship?

2) How long was the journey from England to New York in 1776?

We wanted to know how many ships were in the harbor in order to produce 32,000 troops, as the line in the song says, and realized that we had no idea how big the ships even were and what their capacities were for men (and ammunition, etc.).

And that set of thoughts led us to wondering how long they had had to spend at sea.

And so, rather than put forth lots of effort in researching myself, I figured it smartest to reach out to an expert first, and doing further personal research second, if needed.

Why does this even matter?

Because we are total nerds in my family, and we care about things like this. ūüėõ

I mean, what else would one be asking after watching “Hamilton”? Haha

Post-a-day 2020


Do you ever have those super obvious facts and connections that just never occur to you until you ask a blatant question about them (and then feel kind of stupid for asking about something so obvious)?

They happen to me somewhat often, I think.

It’s like the other week, for example: I was watching one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, thinking about how they have British accents, and I suddenly asked myself, ‘Where is Port Royal, anyway?’

Immediately, upon asking myself the question, I emitted a sort of guffaw-snort sound, declaring it a duh question – I thought to myself, ‘I mean, come on: Pirates of the Caribbean?’

It was a good moment of absurdity, and not at all a foreign one. ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018

Mortification after Consideration

While on a summer symposium in high school, I had a very upsetting and memorable experience. ¬†See, we had a presentation-turned-almost-meeting one day with a man who had done highly valued things with his life so far, – it was a world youth leadership symposium – and he started off the presentation by asking us as a group, ‘Who are you?’ ¬†I was near the back of the room, and that was how the trouble occurred for me.

The first kids answered by the standard social behavior of giving his name, etc. ¬†I instantly commented mentally that he hadn’t answered the question. ¬†The man had asked¬†who he was, not what his name was or where he lived. ¬†The talking went along, one by one, around the seats in the room, heading back towards me. ¬†Occasionally, the man repeated his question, asking who people were, but not always. ¬†No one strayed from the name-giving routine. ¬†I grew anxious about how to answer. ¬†Was the man being the way so many people seemed to be, unaware of the actual words he was using, really only want to know our names and ages, and a bit of our backgrounds? ¬†Or did he mean what he was asking? ¬†Was he genuinely asking¬†who we each were?

Considering how everyone else had responded and reacted to his question, I was leaning toward the former. ¬†Taking into account that my mother and I were not exactly normal, and that¬†we would have meant what we’d asked with such a question, I leaned even more towards the former. ¬†I determined that I would answer his question, should he ask it to me directly. ¬†‘Who are you?’ he would ask, and I would reply nervously with an honest, ‘I don’t know.’

My turn arrived. ¬†I waited a few moments before speaking, waiting for his question. ¬†But it didn’t come. ¬†Thrown, I faltered and defaulted, stumblingly, to my name. ¬†However, I was very specific with my words. ¬†Rather than everyone else’s phrase of, “I’m [insert name here],” ¬†I said, “My name is Hannah.” ¬†No, it was not an answer to the original question, but it seemed to be the expectation. ¬†And I had answered honestly and consciously. ¬†I was not carelessly declaring that my name was who I was, but consciously stating that my name was, in fact, my name. ¬†I didn’t want to be any more isolated than I had already felt in the group of the symposium, by giving an odd answer. ¬†And especially when the person asking the question hadn’t wanted such an answer.

I never liked my answer, nonetheless.

After we finished going around the room with the lame (in my opinion) introductions, the man took up speaking again. ¬†He stated how it was interesting that he as asked us ‘who we are,’ but everyone had automatically answered with their names, as though he had asked their names – we had all unconsciously answered a question that wasn’t even asked, but assumed, instead of answering the question asked.

I still feel a huge sob within me, whenever I think about it, actually. ¬†I was simultaneously inwardly mortified and furious. ¬†I had made the incorrect assessment of the situation for one thing, and my conscious care of words had gone seemingly unnoticed. ¬†I felt scolded, and angry, and I just wanted to spit at his assumption and leave. ¬†And I still respected him and his work. ¬†I just hated how he had tied me to being unconscious. ¬†I’m not sure I have ever been unconscious about such things…

The things that stick with us…

Post-a-day 2017

Life goals(?)

I found myself tonight considering a conversation I had with my cousin several years ago.  People were talking about jobs and interviews and moving to work in different countries and kids, and all that jazz.  Reviewing it all in my head, as I prepared for bed just now, I wondered about giving things my all.  I feel that I never give my all for things.  I am certainly not certain of this as a fact РI just mean that I feels as though I never give my all on anything.  And I think that is tied in with passion; if I were passionate about something truly, then I would give my all.

But I couldn’t call to mind anywhere that I¬†have given my all. ¬†I give a great effort for different things and different times, and oftentimes a much greater effort than someone else has given or would give. ¬†However, is it ever my best effort? ¬†I think not.

Thinking about this, then, I began to wonder about where my passion lies, such that, when presented with it, I would give the situation my best effort, give it my all.

And then I remembered the conversation.

‘I want to make a difference for people in life. ¬†I want to help people.

‘Why do you want to do that?’

I am halted. ¬†I consider deeply. ¬†Eventually, I have a response. ¬†‘I think it is because I feel valued, needed, when I help others. ¬†And that makes me feel like I am worth it in life.’ ¬†If I am needed, then I am necessary and worth having around.

I’m not sure if I want to be upset by this or not. ¬†(Obviously, I want to be content, not upset. ¬†However, this is calling for some deep consideration, which I do respect.) ¬†Does this still drive me in life? ¬†It was years ago, and I consciously took action to free myself of the mentality, and then forgot about it until now. ¬†It just lived as a picture on the wall of a room through which I pass so often, that I’ve forgotten what decorations are even in it. ¬†And now, someone has asked me what I think of this picture on the wall….

I don’t know.

Post-a-day 2017