Posts

No Hard Feelings (October 2020)

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I've pulled a few things from social media that I thought could inspire different posts, but as I stare at them off to the side here, my brain wants to call them pieces of the same puzzle.   The first one is this: Then there's this: Finally, there's this: That last one is obviously from a Timehop of mine -- a quote from an episode of  This American Life  that bangs like a drum through my healing process:  Sometimes we're not ready to let go of the lie that preservers our existence .  Yes, Ira Glass.  Yes, sir. But that sentiment ties back to the notion of the first meme I shared:  so many broken children in adult bodies .  For where else do we learn that we're less-than besides our childhoods? Where else do these patterns get established and engrained?  Where else are we told more that  we are resilient  than in our childhoods?  Kids just bounce back.  They're too young to understand.  What we say or do now will be meaningless because they won't ever remembe

The Kirk Fox Effect (May 2020)

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In the past couple of months (let's call them Quarantine), I've averaged daily walks of about seven and a half miles.  Often that's broken up into two sessions: a mid-morning and an evening stroll.  They're not high impact -- there's a lot of literal stopping to smell the flowers and stare at a cool cloud formation or wonder at the expanding wildlife I'm discovering in this inner-ring Cleveland pseudo-suburb.  While I walk and contemplate the beauty of the world around me, I listen to podcasts.  God knows how many I've blazed through during this bountiful alone-time.  It probably helps me feel more connected, honestly, because many of the podcasts I enjoy are conversational:  You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes  and  Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend   and  WTF with Marc Maron  -- even the more political automatic downloads, like  Love It or Leave It  (hands down the best podcast in the current rotation) or  Pod Save America  or  FiveThirtyEight  are pretty ch

The Practical Application of Chemistry in Everyday Life

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I am terrible at math. You might (wrongly) assume that I'm being hyperbolic about this -- but when I tell you my addition-subtraction-multiplication-and-division skills are lost in a box in a subbasement of brain power somewhere -- I really mean it.  This morning I was watching an old episode of The Wire  where Bubbles, a heroin-addicted street hustler, presses his new teenage business partner (business partner?) to do the quick math of 5x4 plus 6x7 and shakes his head in disgust when the kid can't immediately spit out an answer. And it made me feel a certain way -- for I, too, couldn't do the math that fast. Bubbles would never want me working his cart with him. Say la vee. And while part of this is simply by virtue of being, oh, twenty-something years out of my last math class, part of it is how I've always been.  Math was always a challenging subject for me in school.  I struggled to see how the quadratic equation applied to my everyday life.  And I thought the best

What's Your Problem, Anyway?

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Recently, I met up with a friend of mine from MSASS and had an incredible four hour lunch where we caught up on our lives and talked about what's teaching us these days.  Near the end of our time together, my friend was talking about how she sometimes falls into this "therapist" role with people to help them "solve their problems."  And I smiled at her and said, "Let me throw this at you and see how it sticks: what if, instead of the problem-solution model, you used Asset Based Community Development?  What if instead of deficits, you thought about strengths?" My friend grinned at me because she knows my affinity for ABCD, so she indulged me as I explained: "I think in my own life, I've struggled a lot with this idea that I should 'get over stuff.'  That there's a pressure to 'get over' a relationship or a traumatic event or really anything.  What does that even mean, 'get over it'?  Who does that language benefit? 

How I Passed the LSW Exam on My First Try

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Y'all. Taking the LSW was a real challenge for me.  And I mean that literally sitting in that chair for three straight hours, staring at some Helvetica font while my stomach tried to scramble up into my throat, was hard .  I had studied as much as I could and felt decently prepared, but when that first question flashed on the screen and it was formatted a little differently than any of the practice tests I took and didn't have answers that seemed like the "best" option I was supposed to determine, I thought my ship was sunk. But I took a breath.  Answered the best I could.  And advanced to the next question.  Then the next and the next and the next.  To be honest, I never fully relaxed.  Typically in situations like this, I self-regulate quickly and my anxiety dissipates.  But not today.  Maybe somewhere around Question 95 I surrendered to the god of "it is what it is" but as the questions neared the final one -- 170 -- I started to feel almost nauseous.  At