Posted in Life Musings, This is real life.

Zoom out.

Proper focus is something that alludes even the best of us. Like taking a picture of yourself with your phone in the mirror, we know that things aren’t always going to come out looking complimentary because we’re using a bad technique.

This is a super-old pic from college, but it illustrates my point PERFECTLY.
This is a super-old pic from college, but it illustrates my point PERFECTLY.

See? Not good. You can’t even tell that I’m wearing a Coco Crisp shirt (the most delightfully named baseball player to ever live, btw). To get a truly good picture of what you’re looking at, you need to use the right equipment and the right…perspective. Too far away and you can’t get a good look at yourself. Same problem with getting too close – you can’t see all of you.

Take a couple of weeks ago, for example. I spent an hour and a half in a “focus group” about insurance, and I swear, half the time was spent complaining about politics, money, or the weather.

Really. The weather.

And perhaps my fellow group members were having trouble focusing on our questions because we were all came in focused on the $100 gift card we were going to get at the end of the evening.

These past couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to keep my focus on the positive.

This isn’t new for me at work: it’s a constant struggle, because when the kids are being awesome, the adults normally aren’t. But when the adults have their shit together, you can bet that it’s time for one of my kids to get arrested…or at least cuss me out in class. Or, you know, it’s today and there’s drama from all sides. Party party party.

Now, however, I find this problem filtering into my personal life. And even though I know where it’s coming from, and why I find it harder to deal with than usual right now (and no, it’s not because last week was Valentine’s Day), that doesn’t change how I feel. If only my emotional and logical sides could live in harmony.

I doubt that will happen soon, which is fantastic news for my therapist.

In all seriousness, I need to keep looking at the big picture instead of the tiny details that are in front of me.



The tiny details of my life right now include the following: living on a strict budget, wearing clothes that are way too big or a little too tight, having too much paperwork to keep track of, fighting to keep things I deserve, wanting to paint my kitchen when it’s too cold to open the windows, missing my far-away friends, and suffering from a lack of friends at the same point in their lives no matter where they are geographically.

But the big picture? Totally different.

Let’s zoom out 4-8 months to find: my Harry Potter-themed 26th birthday party, celebrating my first year of home ownership, a completed TV-bar in the kitchen and self-made picnic table in the patio, accompanying scars from finishing those two projects to make me more interesting, hitting up Vegas with my sis and bestie(s?), and hopefully owning clothes that fit now that my size has stabilized a little.

Zoom out even further to a year from now, and we find me: filling out my application to have my loans forgiven by the government, applying for grad school and a transfer to a high school position (best case scenario: only one works out so I don’t have to make a tough call), credit card debt under $500, and actually exercising regularly- a lofty goal for my clumsy, unathletic self.

Of course, we could zoom waaaaay the eff out to 5 years or more and find me sitting with a remodeled bathroom, a paid-off car, more photos from international trips on my wall, and hopefully a different job, because the past month or so has really changed my perspective on whether or not I’m valued for who I am where I am.

Now, you may notice that I don’t mention a lot of people facts here. And that’s because you can’t control others, as much as we may want to at times, you can only control yourself. So my real picture may feature tons of new friends or a few old ones…maybe even a significant other or two. Who knows? That’s the surprise part of my future, but if I like all the rest, then I’ll be happy. And happy people attract other happy people. So I’ll be good to go if I can just get through this spring.

Clearly, I need to spend less time asking for closeups and think about artistic framing. It can only improve my outlook.



We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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