Blogjune: I’m Not Ready for Radical Love

They say the sometimes the universe will reveal things to you exactly when you need it. Earlier tonight, YouTube’s algorithm slid this video my way. In the video, the actor Zachary Levi talks about radical love and forgiveness, and how people must learn to love their oppressors. It’s the length of a podcast but it’s worth the watch.

As I understand it, to practice radical love is to always see the humanity in people, and to let the empathy you feel for them as a fellow human being drive how you relate to them. Levi insists that this doesn’t mean you have to want to spend time with a person who has hurt you, because there are usually valid reasons why we choose to keep our distance. Radical love asks us to step outside of our respective camps and have love for all creatures, including those who have hurt us. Especially those who have hurt us.

I’m not there yet.

But I think I can see how I might get there.

Blogjune: Saguaros and Successes (or the lack thereof)

green cactus
Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash
It’s 4:20am, and before you make a joke about that hour, let me say that presently, I’m more sober than a church. I’ve waited hours for the thoughts in my head to stop careening, but they’re no closer to settling down than Bubba is (that is to say, not at all). I feel like a saguaro looks — ill-tempered and prickly. It’s only been 24 hours, but I’m rooted here, unmovable, no closer to sleep than I was at noon on Sunday.

I’ve had a post about stepping off the ambition escalator sitting in my drafts for months now. Until a few days ago, I thought I’d finally have reason to publish it. However, events didn’t pan out the way I wanted them to, and I am once again feeling helpless and hopeless. Other library-related folks tell me they appreciate what I bring to the profession, or how I’ve helped them see things from a unique perspective. I’m grateful that they say these things to me, even though down deep I don’t believe them. So, here I sit with a fresh wound of rejection that is just starting to scab over, knowing that if I put myself out there again, it’ll be the equivalent of picking at that scab until it becomes infected. My ego feels as sore as this wound.

The little hater that lives in me tells me I should abandon any hope of finding fulfillment in my career, and that to think I could be anything other than ordinary is laughable. But I can’t quite let go of this dream I have in my head of truly making a difference in this world and being paid handsomely for it. Yes, capitalism is a curse, but this is the world we’re living in, and I really want to kiss my girlfriend under a rose-gold sunset while the warm ocean laps at our ankles.

Blogune: You Can Talk to Me

Lanie and I talk to each other every night, something that I know is a regular thing for many long-distance couples. However, the “talking every day” part of that situation doesn’t come natural to me because before her, there was no one I talked to by voice every single night.

I type to my friends on the computer, and for an awkward introvert like me, it’s a method of communication that I’ve grown to think of as just as valid as face-to-face interactions. But a voice call? In this economy? Couldn’t be me.

black and brown rotary phone near gray wall
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

But as I get older, I’m learning more about myself. Part of that learning is coming to the realization that while I am a misanthropic recluse regarding the larger society, there is nothing I enjoy more than spending time talking to a small, trusted group of friends. I come alive in that environment. Anyone who has hung out with me at South by Southwest or when I swung through their town for a job interview knows this.

Yet, I’ve been alone for so long that this state has shifted from being a lifestyle choice to a behaviour that I need to correct. So don’t be surprised if I send you a link to a group FaceTime call. You’ve all been warned.

Blogjune: I’m Participating in My Heart

I’ve started this post at least a dozen times, and each time, I start off with an apology. I feel bad for not writing more, not because my heart isn’t in it, but because of some pretty nasty repetitive stress injuries I’ve been nursing. A few days ago, my boss said, “It’s okay if you take things slow, Cecily. You don’t have to do it all right now.” I’m sure she was talking about the work I get paid to do, but I also think she was hinting at this compulsion I have to do more even when my body tells me that I should do less.

I have this idea that if my library is to become a more equitable place, then it is up to me to be involved in the process. I don’t believe things will improve for me in the ways I need them to improve, but I’d like it if the librarians of the (not too) distant future could peacefully exist as their full selves in a way that I haven’t been able to do.

But I’m so tired.

Blogjune: My Love

A photo of Lanie, Cecily's one and only love. She is wearing a blue and green ombre suit, and is making a peace sign at the camera.

I’ve started and deleted so many blog posts about my relationship with Lanie, but every single time I delete them. No one could possibly be interested in my love-drunk musings because I have nothing profound to say about this coupling.

But you guyssss…she makes me so HAPPY. I am a giddy teenager, still. When she runs her hand through her hair, I swoon. When she looks at me, my face gets hot. And that’s to say nothing of how I feel when she touches me.


I’ve been in a lot of pain lately. I’m not sure if it’s because my desk setup sucks or because my RA is getting worse. Earlier tonight, I had a meltdown while talking to Lanie because I realized that if my disease is getting worse, it means I’ll have less time with Lanie.

I realize I should be grateful for any time we get together at all. This crush could have remained unrequited for another 30 years (who am I kidding), so any time we get to spend together as partners is a gift.

I am not a gracious girl.

I am hungry, and needy, and wanty. I have gone without love for so long, that the very idea that the bliss I feel when I’m in her arms could in any way be cut short sends me into a cavernous sadness. How could the universe have me go without her for so long, finally bring us together, but deny me just a little more time with her?

I have never adjusted to injustice, and I don’t think I ever shall if the way my body is feeling is signalling the beginning of our end.

Blogjune: Nostalgia For a Past Self

(An aside: 1000 Words of Summer is a lofty goal, but it isn’t sustainable for someone like me who thinks in short bursts. I want to continue challenging myself to post (almost) every day in June, and to be less precious about the whole process, but (1) have you met me, and (2) HA!)

I’m in a reflective, nostalgic mood tonight because I’ve been in a lot of pain these last few days, and the pain has kept me from being able to write as much as I’d like. I know voice dictation software exists, but I always find dictating text and editing it later is one step too many, and the words never flow quite the same way when I speak versus when I write/type.

No wonder I was born caesarean!

I’m feeling nostalgic about having a body that didn’t know pain. One where it didn’t matter how I slept or for how long, I’d be a beast the next day, ready to take on whatever the world threw at me. Now I wake up, take inventory of which parts hurt, which ones don’t, and do some mental math to figure out how long it’ll take me to get out of bed.

I miss not needing two different pairs of progressives (and at least 3 pairs of reading glasses) just to watch tv, use my computer, or walk through my apartment.

I miss not having to carefully consider the consequences of something so mundane as going for a 30-minute walk or having sex with my girlfriend. I miss being carefree, reckless, and a little irresponsible.

But the things I’ve gained because of aging into this body — the wisdom, the unshakeable sense of self, the ability to luxuriate in and celebrate those things that others would have me feel shame for — I’d never give any of those things up for knees that didn’t creak or a neck that doesn’t get stiff when it’s too cold.

And now, away with you — I have Salonpas patches to apply everywhere.