"You like your tea cold."
"No, I like my tea hot, I tolerate it cold."
Hearing other person's perceptions of you is often very interesting.
I took a Covid test today. I have a runny nose, likely from the change in weather and a change in my exercise level, but a runny nose is a runny nose, and that means taking a test in the Era of Covid. Based on recommendations from various experts, I followed the Chilean process of swabbing the throat first. I did not follow up with swabbing my nose, but I'll try that next time.
And "Well, that's an interesting ..."
I had seen the result, took the picture of it, and had turned away. In true Kitt Style™, I became distracted by words as I was reading the results, and hadn't realized I was speaking out loud.
"WHAT? WHAT? WHAT IS THE RESULT?" "What was it?" "What happened?"
"Oh, sorry, negative."
I was having a conversation with R--- today, about boundaries, about loss, about grief. The conversation wandered through various levels of discomfort before I admitted I didn't want to do something because it made me feel uncomfortable.
"Well, get comfortable with being uncomfortable."
And there it was. The key. To boundaries. To honesty. To growth. To life.
Accepting the uncomfortable, sitting with it, letting it exist. Don't avoid it, don't run away with it, be with it. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I appreciated the comment so much that I added it as a bingo square for this year.
I often wonder, when I look back on this site, what others are going to think about it.
Sure, I write as if I'm talking to someone in particular, but I write for me.
Yet, if I have, say, someone working for me, or someone I'm mentoring, or someone investing in me, and they see me as human, that I've struggled, that I've succeeded, that I've failed, that I've learned, will they think less of me because they know my flaws along with the story I project? I've had a couple people recently actually say the words, "You seem so strong, but you're struggling, too," to my face, and I'm puzzled with the why of the first part, and the why I wouldn't be with the second part. I write things here that are true at the time, and reread them days, weeks, months, years later and wonder what the hell I was thinking when I wrote it. I grow. I regress. I consider. I reconsider. I change my mind. The whole process is part of being human.
And yet, I still wonder. I wonder if I'm going to have regrets for posting something, if that something is going to be offensive to someone though I said the something in an innocent way. Good lord is that moment going to suck. Good lord has that moment sucked.
Living without regrets seems like a great way to live, but I do not believe that one can truly make the absolute best choice every time. A local maximum good choice every time, sure; the best choice one could make given the information they had at the time, yes; the absolute best choice very time, no.
So, my plan for this year, when I wonder if I'm making the right decision, when I wonder if being fully open and honest with people is the right choice, is to remember, this is who I am, strengths and flaws and all, and to remember what I thought when I joined the guys for a topless photo-shoot on Union Glacier this past December, "I was wondering if I'm going to look back on this and regret it when I'm older, and then I remember, I'm already older, and I don't regret it."
Come on, 2022, let's do this.
As the year was ending, I was thinking, no, the whole thing wasn't terrible, just much of it.
Upon further reflection, I realized I did have a number of high points in the year. In this case, "high" had multiple meanings, one being very literal.
Top of Mount Baker, July 2021
Top of Flat Iron in the Superstition Mountains, September 2021
Virginia Pass, Hoover Wilderness, October 2021
Mount Vinson Base Camp, December 2021
Turns out, when looking through the my photos, I noticed the photos in which I looked the youngest, the photos with my most joy, were the ones with me on a mountain. This surprised me, and didn't surprise me. N has told me many times to self-identify as a mountaineer, to believe that I am no longer an ultimate player, I am a mountaineer. The fitness and muscle adaptation that result from mountaineering training (steady pace, heavy load, go all day) is different than for ultimate (sprint endurance), and I'm learning that difference.
The loss of one identity comes with the emergence of another.
I was going to post the four images on various social media platforms, but realized I wanted to keep them here. So, I didn't post them there. And I'm happy with this.
Misogyny is alive and well in our "modern" era. I mean, when you're reading about this amazing find of lapis lazuli in a medieval woman's teeth, and you come across the paragraph,
"But art experts were still skeptical. Some dismissed the idea that a woman could have been a painter skilled enough to work with ultramarine. One suggested to Warinner that this woman came into contact with ultramarine because she was simply the cleaning lady."
... how can you do anything but
Of course a woman must be the cleaning lady, because heaven forbid a woman could be accomplished, then erased from history.
Reminds me of Arnaud, actually.
F---ing asshole men.