The Gorgeous Contradiction

human heart

Dear Humans,

Let’s talk.

Let’s talk matters of the heart.

A striking paradox. A gorgeous contradiction.

Hard and Soft.

Dark and Light.

Fragile and Strong.

Timid and Brave.

Leaden and Lithe.

Tethered and Wild.

Each a fractal. Mosaic. Part of a whole.

A force resolute with the spunk of a rebel.

So let’s acknowledge the shadows and summon the flames.

The murk and the mess. The gleam and the grace.

They all beat together. They all have a place.

There’s beauty. Creativity. And transparency too.

It lives just inside, gasping for a breakthrough.

Let’s feel it. Not fear it. Let’s uncage it for flight.

The heart pants for freedom. Clamors for the heights.

It wasn’t meant to be fettered and snared.

The heart is wired to cavort in midair.

It’s poetic but doesn’t rhyme.

It’s musical but sings off-key.

It’s artistic but smears the canvas.

And within that enigma, you’ll forever find magic.

So accept the absurdities. Don’t scorn the complexities.

Because the heart was made fearless. Stamped for eternity.

13 Reasons Why this Life Thing Still Matters

13 reasons why

Hi. My name is “Sucker for Netflix.”

Sure, I can admit that. Why fork over $10 per month and never use the subscription, right? I get my money’s worth. And like most Millennials, I have binge-watching down to a science.

My evening workouts rarely occur without a Friends marathon streaming in the background. My hubs and I finished Stranger Things over the course of just one weekend. And my little heart did somersaults when the Gilmore Girls reunion dropped a few months ago.

Yeah…I know. Said almost everyone in my generation ever.

But there’s one Netflix series I can’t bring myself to get behind. And unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past several weeks, I think you can piece together where this diatribe is headed.

Three words.

13 Reasons Why.

The show that launched a thousand controversies—and even more opinions. The latest buzzword trending on social media, dominating water-cooler debates, and sparking Facebook rant after Facebook rant after Facebook rant. 13 Reasons Why has everyone talking. But it’s the people watching who I’m concerned about.

Because I watched it too. The entire season. Binged all 13 episodes in under a week. And that’s a decision I regret.

First, lemme preface that I’m not persuading you to agree. Nor will I condemn you for grabbing the remote and hitting “play.” I’m just adding my voice to an important conversation because people are going to watch—and their reactions could be visceral, painful, irrational, even detrimental.

Bottom line: these triggers are no joke. And they’re igniting aftershocks of despair in a world that struggles to find the hope.

This plot is fiction. The characters exist on-screen. But their episodic drama is the inescapable truth for actual names and faces. Human beings who’s experiences, narratives or traumas are being slashed open and torn apart by “fabricated” events with fatal implications.

It’s not just a show. It’s the current of our culture. It’s reality. But it’s not prompting change. It’s breeding conflict and cynicism.

And pain. So. Much. Pain.

I recognize what the producers were aiming to accomplish, and I maintain their intentions were positive. 13 Reasons Why does cast a fierce, urgent limelight on rampant social issues which often don’t get the emphasis or attention they deserve.

Rumors. Bullying. Self-Harm. Depression. Sexual Assault. Drug Abuse. Suicide. Real adversities with tragic endings. These need to be addressed—but where’s the redemption, the endurance, the courage to survive, the intensity to overcome?

The show’s theme of retribution turns death into a mode for seeking vengeance. For wounding those who caused your wounds in the first place. A corrupted form of justice without the vindication.

Life’s fragility. Death’s finality.

The heart breaks. The spirit crumbles. You oust yourself. It’s over. The end.

But…wait. No. There should be more to a story than just one chapter interrupted mid-sentence. What about the resolution—the conquest, the triumph—on the last page? That’s our motivation to keep reading. Persisting. Living.

Because we all can pinpoint 13 reasons to quit now and peace out from the wreckage of this world. But we have a million reasons to press forward, to confront the mess with a wink and a smirk, to focus on what’s good. 

So I propose a different message. 13 reasons you’re needed on this earth. Whoever you are. Whatever you’ve been through.

1. You’re a unique, multifaceted, extraordinary individual.

2. Your words and actions convey a poignant message.

3. Your influence or significance could never be replaced.

4. You’re creative, imaginative and brimming with talent.

5. Your idiosyncrasies fascinate and attract other people.

6. Your spirit of compassion enriches deep connections. 

7. You’re light and love in a dark, jaded, cruel society.

8. Your resilience today becomes redemption tomorrow.  

9. Your merit isn’t based on size 0 jeans or 100 Instagram likes.

10. You’re here to fulfill a purpose designed for nobody else.

11. Your temporary struggles make you permanently stronger.

12. Your story will empower and encourage other broken hearts. 

13. You’re not a victim who succumbed but a victor who continued.

Life is our platform. Our testimony.

Ours.

And what’s ours is worth fighting for.

13 reasons why 2

Just Some Pre-Marital Musings

getting-married

image courtesy of The Knot

Less than one week from now, I’ll be attending my own wedding. Two days from now, I’ll be boarding a plane for said wedding destination. And that’s more information than my brain can absorb at the moment.

I don’t respond constructively to change. Never have. And this arguably is the most monumental change I’ve encountered thus far in my 25 years. Becoming not just someone’s partner, but their most significant relationship on earth—hello…pressure!

Now is a good time to state for the record that I’m a perfectionist. Like the most perfectionistic perfectionist you’ll have the discomfort of meeting.

I think too fast, and I think too much. I enforce impossible standards and crave the competition—the intoxicating rush—of pushing harder,  going further, reaching higher, being greater. I use independence and individuality as defense mechanisms against the indelible wounds that trust can leave behind.

Nobody’s gonna tame this free spirit or crush this spitfire persona. That’s been my attitude for longer than I care to admit. Not exactly the conditions you’d associate with marriage material.

But I’ve realized something: when I approach the altar next weekend, I’m changing more than my last name, street address or relationship status on Facebook. I’m casting aside over a decade’s worth of deluded—and because why pretend otherwise, isolating—thought patterns.

This union doesn’t just signify a circumstantial shift…but a heart shift. Or in my case, overhaul.

The guy I’ll soon call “husband” is about a hundred traits I don’t deserve. Patient. Gracious. Romantic. Sincere. Devoted. Understanding. And then there’s me. Compulsive. Rigid. Obstinate. Snarky. Unemotional. I’m a complicated wreck of a human, but he accepts those complications without hesitation.

My anxieties have driven other men away, and still he remains. My sarcasm would be a deal-breaker for the average person, and still he forgives. My stoicism can alienate even the thickest skins, and still he gazes past the facade. These barricades don’t dissuade him, so why this power struggle to relinquish them?

That’s the million dollar question—with a deceptively basic response.

I’ve never considered myself lovable. Which makes receiving love an awkward proposition. But only two options remain: force him to the brink with my neuroses…or invite him into those chaotic, imperfect spaces most people don’t know exist. And believe he’s prepared to take that plunge.

The decision is mine alone. So, from this moment onward, I’m choosing “door number two.” Because a wedding passes in just a blur. But a marriage—that’s for life. Might as well make it meaningful.