All posts by Emily

Close Your Mouth

I’m an open-mouthed sleeper, which often results in chapped lips.

You know, from drool.

(Someone married me!)

To remedy this problem, I have asked Eric to please close my mouth for me while I sleep. As any husband would do for his wife.

Me, this morning, upon noticing my lips are chapped: “Ugh, this is all your fault– you didn’t close my mouth in my sleep!”

Eric: “I prefer to close your mouth when you’re awake.”

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The Difference Between Me and Eric

Eric: “The woman breeding our future puppy was so nice when I spoke to her on the phone, and she really just breeds for the love of it– in fact, once the dog is ours she wants us to keep her updated on how he’s doing, because she cares that much about each of her pups, she just likes to know what they’re up to. How nice is that?”

Me: “You mean we have to keep talking to her?”

Literally The One Thing

Therapist: “I’m starting to notice this about you– you tend to start things from a place of assumed failure. You approach new things, even new conversations, or small tasks, as something you’re going to screw up. And immediately starting from this assumption puts you in a space of feeling defensive, like you constantly have to prove yourself. And that’s why it’s so hard for you to get started with things. And, quite frankly, why you’re so exhausted.”

Me: <stunned silence>

Therapist: “Big ‘Aha!’ moment for you?”

Me: “It took you 7 years to notice this about me?!”

It’s literally the one thing I was born knowing about myself

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Conditions for Eloquence

I gave a speech at a friend’s rehearsal dinner last weekend and someone came up to me after and said, “You are an extremely eloquent speaker.” And it got me thinking, you know what, yeah, person I don’t know at all but who is now my new best friend, when it comes to verbal communication, I am extremely eloquent!

….as long as I have an entire 16-size-font, double spaced script in front of me (rehearsed for a minimum of three weeks and approved by no less than five trusted individuals), have at least one glass of wine but no more than three in my system, I am not interrupted once, it’s neither too hot nor too cold in the room, there are zero weird noises, no one looks at me funny, I’m not hungry, the lighting is friendly, I am feeling good about my outfit, my acne is under control, I’m not PMSing, and I remembered to take my Prozac.

Otherwise when I talk it’s this:

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Donna Chang 

Me: “With everything going on in our country right now, I’m honestly just so horrified and saddened as a human in general– but as a Jew in particular, as I know you can relate–”

Therapist: “Oh I’m actually not Jewish.”

Me: “You’re NOT?! But your last name–”

Therapist: “I know. A common Jewish last name. People often assume I am Jewish.”

Me: “But I feel like I’ve had all these insider only-jews-would-get-this kind of exchanges with you.”

Therapist: “Hmm. I didn’t interpret them that way.”

Me: (silence)

Therapist: “What are you thinking?”

Me: “Oh, oh nothing. This obviously doesn’t change anything.”

I just have to re-think every piece of advice you’ve ever given me.

donna chang

 

And Then Sometimes The Future Looks Promising

Working on a summer newsletter writing project with a middle schooler….

Me: “So what do you think you want to write about for your editorial piece? What’s an issue you are passionate about?”
Student: “I was going to write about about making the food in the school cafeteria better, because it’s pretty gross.”
Me: “Oh, great idea!”
Student: “But then I changed my mind, but I don’t know if you’ll let me write about it.”
Me: “Ok…”
Student: “I really want to write about what happened in Virginia, and how sad it makes me feel, and how I think we should all spread love and not hate. And how I think racism is wrong. And I know this might be weird but can I add an obituary section? I want people to remember the girl who died, Heather. I think she was a good person and people should remember her.”
Me:
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I Will Be Proud

When my future children ask me what I did in this moment of our nation’s history, when our president openly defended white supremacy, and likened the morals and actions of neo-nazis to the morals and actions of those standing up for equality, I will be proud to say I publicly denounced it.

I will be proud to say I donated to the ACLU.

I will be embarrassed to say that I knew that wasn’t enough, but I didn’t know what to do next; that my disgust, outrage, anxiety, and yes– privileged white guilt– momentarily crippled me.

But I will be proud to say I swallowed that paralysis, and that I turned to you, to my peers, to my elders, to my community, and to my soul to ask the question “What else can I do?” and I trusted that together we would find ways to make positive change.

I will be proud to say that when my student asked me if I heard what the president said, instead of replying, “I cannot talk politics with you,” I recognized this was not politics at all, and said, “Yes. And I disagree with it wholeheartedly, and I think that we as wiser, kinder, more humane people have a responsibility to speak out for equality, and against racism, at every turn.”

I will be proud to say that I knew, if nothing else, not to stay silent.

I will be proud to say that I continued to search for answers, even though I felt a deep sense of hopelessness and despair.

I will be proud to say that I did something, even if that something was small.

I will be proud to say that I knew doing nothing was not an option.

What will you be proud to say?

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