It’s funny how it hit me: Tonight, I had to write.

I’ve been putting it off for ages, trying to find my voice. Writing is my passion, but there is never time, never the place. There are always things in the way — things of higher priority — and there are bills to pay. Blogging doesn’t help much with bills.

And then there’s topic. What on earth do I want to say? My little brother got married a few weeks ago. I cut my finger so deeply I could see the tendon. I started a new job working with young kids. Traffic is insane in the Bay Area. The weather is different here. Homelessness is everywhere here. And, and . . .

People are people. It’s what I keep coming back to. Here in Berkeley the population is incredibly diverse. There are black people and white people and red people and yellow people. There are people wearing saris and turbans and skullcaps and blue jeans and pant suits and rags. We are all so different, and yet . . . forever the same.

And that’s why I love you . . . and you and you and you (especially you, hatted boy). I love you because I am like you. I breathe and cry and laugh and try and fail and try again just like the rest of you. I am sick when the world is evil but thrilled when love calls my name. (Thank you, sweetie…)

I am human, and I will thrive. Until my dying day, I will thrive.

And you will, too.

I know it.


36 thoughts

    • And I know too few people see it that way. If we’d all just take a step back, and take a deep breath, and look outside of ourselves… I’m glad this touched you. I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  1. So true, Jess. We’re all so different, yet so much the same in many ways. It sounds like a complete change of scenery where you’ve moved. It’s always a bit overwhelming taking it all in, but so exciting at the same time.

    Missed your posts, glad to see this one. Writing. I struggle so much with picking a topic each week for my blog. What to write about? These days I let the topic pick me…like I’d lie in bed each Saturday morning thinking about culture and where I’m at in life, and the topic seems to come to me. And then I will think, “Maybe I’m meant to be a writer after all.” :) Love you Jess, hope all is well.

    • You are so sweet! Mostly I just need to stop waiting for the perfect time to write because, honestly, it’s never going to come. I just need to make writing a priority and realize that time in front of my blog is as valuable as time spent elsewhere. Sometimes it’s hard to see it that way, especially when those around you don’t see blogging the same way I do.

      I’m glad you relate. There certainly are a lot of things to inspire blog posts in Berkeley, so hopefully I will post more soon! And goodness I’ve missed reading your posts, too! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      • That’s so true. Things are never perfect in life and if we want something, we have to go for it. We have to create it, create what we want out of nothing but the feelings within us. You’re a great writer, Jess. I’m sure you’ll be able to get around to writing and writing and writing very soon. And blogging too. And writing that book you promised us :)

        I’ve missed reading your posts too. Have a good week ahead!

  2. This is so cool to read first thing in the morning (so your timing was perfect too). I only wish more people felt this way, or at least recognized that there are times that should inspire us to feel this way. Thanks for the inspirational nudge!

    • Thank you, Dan! So glad you appreciate my view. I agree that I wish more people would take a step back and look for that bigger picture. The world would be a happier place if they did… Hope you’re having a great day!!

  3. Looking forward to reading about your new life. I read a photographers blog this week and she said when she gets ‘shooters block’ she takes pictures of the things she loves, so as a writer I think the same thing would apply…

    • Oh I believe you’re right, Fraggle. Mostly my problem hasn’t been writer’s block but finding time — or dedicated it — to write. Sometimes blogging doesn’t seem productive, but, actually, it really is… I hope to start writing a lot more regularly (again) here in the coming weeks.

      So good to hear from you! I need to check in on your trip to the States!! And thank you for the “like” on facebook!! :)

  4. When I do my first century research I come up with much the same conclusion. So many years, so much confusion, so many political ramifications, so much evil, but still a lot of good, and yes, people were motivated or depressed, happy or sad for the same reasons we are today. In a way it makes me wonder about ‘progress’ but at least one side of the conclusion is positive…one’s individual attitude makes a difference in success or failure regardless of background. Money has never proved to be a genuine ‘happy’ factor it is more accurately a ‘convenience’ and many times we would have been better off without such convenience,

    • Oh my goodness, Marie. You and I are on the same page exactly. My time abroad left me with the same ideas about perspective. What is considered success in the US, for example, may not be in other countries. And as far as conveniences go? Shoot. Comfort has nothing to do with happiness or even, in some cases, quality of life. Taiwan taught me that…

      Thank you for your sweet comment!! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  5. Beautiful piece. I like the combination of what’s very personal to you — the writing and the difficulties you’re facing there — and the global. Pretty much every word you wrote here matches up with my own struggles and beliefs. All of the things that make it difficult to find the time and energy to write. My desire that we stop labeling people and looking at the differences and instead just recognize that we are all humans. And, of course, the importance of love. Thank you for writing this.

    • And thank you for reading!! I’m glad you recognized my effort at both personal and global. I think good writing needs both. If it’s all about me, you will lose interest. (Who cares about me?) The best writing is writing that tugs at the heart and finds its way into the soul — of many.

      It’s reassuring, too, to hear that others struggle with similar things. My blog is important to me, but why? Sometimes even I struggle to see its value in the pressure of the day-to-day.

      Thank you for the lovely comment. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      • I started this blog in 2012. When 2013 started I committed to writing at least one blog post every day. I made it to July and then stopped, but I still blogged just about every day. Then, a few months ago, I slowed down. Now, I post once or twice a week and it’s exactly for the reason you stated. My blog is important to me, but why? When I can answer that question, I post something. When I can’t, I don’t.

        More important to me is my fiction, which is where I have the daily struggle you describe. With a full-time job, teenagers at home, bills to pay, and all of life’s other distractions, I simply don’t get to write as much as I want, which the last couple of months has led me to simply not write at all — out of frustration, out of spite, out of something. I’m starting to get back into it now. but, yes, it is a day to day struggle.

        Hope you find a way to keep doing what you enjoy.

  6. Glad you’re writing again. I liked the little picture of the bird, but whenever I saw it….well, I knew you must be too busy. Hope it’s a bit less hectic now.

    • I just said a great big, “Awww!!!” Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m not sure what you meant about the comment of the little bird, but… It doesn’t even matter. I hope to keep the writing up.

  7. Nice to hear from you again. True! We are all one yet so different. There is a fragile balance between those two things that I struggle with every day. I am like you and that is awesome but I am also unlike you and that is awesome too. I would like to share a saying that has brought me solace over the past few years.

    It isn’t better. It isn’t worse. It is just different.

    Have a wonderful day and take care of that finger! I’ve cut down to the bone before and I still have the scar 20 years later. Lasting memory.

    • I completely agree with that statement. That is what I learned in Taiwan. Taiwan wasn’t better or worse than what I was used to. It was just different. And that was okay.

      Great to hear from you, too, Matthew. Thank you for your continued friendship, and my finger is much better thanks to my dad’s handiwork! Thank you for asking. :)

  8. Berkeley really is such a melting pot, had a lovely 3 months there. I know what you mean about getting the time/motivation to post, something always gets in the way.

    • That’s really cool! I didn’t know you’d spent time here! Wish I could say the same about the Czech Republic. And glad to know others relate to my frustration in looking for balance! Hope your week is off to a great start. :)

    • Thank you. I’m not sure why I picked that photo. It’s one I took on a bike ride in the Berkeley hills a week or so ago. Somehow, being active just fits in with thriving for me… Hope you’re having a lovely day! Thank you for reading!

  9. The cultural diversity in the Bay Area is astounding. I am glad to see you have such a wonderful outlook and perspective. I also could not agree with you more about the traffic here though. So overwhelmingly overcrowded. At least it is not as bad as LA. Just another reason for me to genuinely dislike the whole Los Angeles region. Anyway Jess, it is good to see you here again. As busy as you are doing life, take every opportunity to get out and ride, or sit quietly and write. These things are amazingly powerful forms of therapy for when life tries to sink it’s gnarly teeth into us. Be well friend.

    • Thanks, John. It’s good to be back. I can’t seem to find the time to put together a decent post during the week, but I’m trying… Writing and running and riding are all good therapy for me, for sure. :) And yes, the Bay Area with its diversity and amazing weather are all great sources of inspiration! I can’t get over how cool it is here compared to my hometown only a few hours away!! I love it. You take care, too.

  10. I am happy to see you post a bit more lately.

    So how important can your site be anyway? It is not as popular as other blogs. So it is probably meaningless that you find the time to write, correct?

    I have a lot of friends on my Facebook page that are former work friends and management types. I posted a short version of my post today on Facebook. I received one response that made my day. There was an employee who worked for me that was a good guy but he needed a kick in the right direction. So I challenged him a lot. As he matured, I convinced the others to give him a shot in management. Now he is a pastor.

    He wrote a thank you note and told me that my management style lead him to do better. Which lead him to his role as a pastor. I never knew I influenced him at all.

    Getting back to my mean spirited comments in the second paragraph…

    Your writings can be doing the same to someone else in the world. Making someone think or giving comfort. You never know what your impact is.

    You do not have to be the biggest to be important.

    Have a great weekend Jess!

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