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Lost Christmas? This May Help Find It…

A good reminder. There’s an element to giving that goes beyond just altruism…it’s a chance to become more, and not less human, something that helps us in all aspects of our life, professional, personal, spiritual, etc…

theinnerwildkat

Ever feel like you’ve lost the spirit of Christmas? I have. As joyful as the holidays can be for most, circumstance, loneliness and various other things can make it difficult to see past your own pain to the beauty and joy of the season.

There’s something so pure and sweet about this performance of “Where Are You Christmas?” Maybe it’s the fact that this young girl hasn’t been overly coached and trained and that the music is allowed to speak for itself, but it definitely reminds me that the spirit of Christmas is found in allowing love to fill your heart.

So if you see someone struggling this holiday season, take a moment. Do something kind for no other reason than it may help someone else feel better. Spread the Christmas cheer… You’d be amazed at the difference a smile can make to a stranger. Or the generosity of letting…

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Men, Women, Tech: Building structure that acknowledges how things are + how they could be

I have a hard time watching women cut other women down to size.

For me it’s painful because I recognize that the hardest thing to overcome in any group of humans is when an insider or influencer calls out someone else as “not a real [line in the sand of your choosing].”

I wrote a more personal piece about this back in April when I addressed my discomfort with Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.

In that model the very thing that’s supposed to ensure legitimacy — hey, this is someone who’s been there and done that, truly one of us — is used as a weapon against or seperator of other people in the group.

For women in American culture this is a constant problem and it’s embedded in a variety of forums, including the workplace.

As a member of the startup / tech ecosystem, I think about these things a lot. Even in a very far forward part of the economy the concepts of access + “how it’s done / what’s normal” are still strong currents, and instutionalized “isms” are at play. I won’t get into a huge discussion of how that works here, since there are other people doing it better (for a thought provoking, but NSFW [language + trigger warning] run down, check out @Shanley’s piece on how women in tech end up reinforcing patriarchy. I don’t agree with everything she has to say, but there are some indictments there that are hard to refute.

Continue reading Men, Women, Tech: Building structure that acknowledges how things are + how they could be

TaGQ: Shall ye friend first then date, or just date first?

A friend was telling me about her experience with online dating recently and mentioned that she liked the fact that she got to go on real dates right from the start, as opposed to how some men simply ask her to hang out informally.

I’ve been on a couple of first dates (at least I think they were dates) in the last month. Kind of like this article I find myself enjoying some of them, but unsure of how to followup. Actually, I recently came to the realization that unlike my friend mentioned above, I don’t really like dating that much. Contrary to what you might think this doesn’t mean I’m anti-social, in fact I get a long with a variety of people and with the exception of extremely formal events I’m comfortable connecting with new people. Basically, I like building friendships.

Continue reading TaGQ: Shall ye friend first then date, or just date first?

I remember this

The birds stretched their beaks out and rocked back on their heels.

I stood on the railroad tie, locking glances with the wires opposite as you touched my palm with your fingertips.

Either we were in love or we were dead but we could not be both.

Do You Remember? Our concerns were someone else’s problem and We Knew that love would be enough but we hadn’t considered that it might not matter if we lived on it if we couldn’t stay alive couldn’t drive couldn’t keep our breath going in, out, in, and out again.

This was before the economy crashed, before our parents fell apart, before our love turned to dust on that shelf we’d carefully stowed it away on. Now we’re bound to statistics, to the last few black and white stories in the last few black and white papers, to the roots we’re not sure belong to us.

I remember this, and more.

Dialogue on fears of romance at 6 am

Self: Why are you so hesitant about a potential romantic relationship?

Inner self: Because I don’t trust women, they’ve hurt me.

Self: Dig deeper, that is a surface answer only.

Inner self: I’m afraid because I gave myself completely once and she did not treat my heart with care. Conceptually, I’m stuck between “no relationship” and “relationship but no control and unlimited potential for hurt” and while the first is not ideal the second is terrifying.

Self: But you love yourself?

Inner self: Yes, I do. There are things I’m still working on, as is the case for any human, but I like who I am at the core.

Self: Then what are you waiting on?

Inner self: I don’t know. I feel a bit like Steve Carrel in 40 year old virgin, where he says “I respect women, I respect them so much that I avoid them completely.”

Self: Answer, what are you waiting on?

Inner self: I guess I feel like I am waiting on the right kind of person to show up. It sounds cliched.

Self: Good things take work. But work does not always make them obvious, sometimes you have to seek them out.

Inner self: Yes, but part of my problem is that I’m sick of the standard power structures between men and women. For example, a friend of mine told me that someone I know likes me and would go out with me, but that I should be assertive because she is hesitant. That frustrates me, because I did make an effort previously and while I value clarity and try to practice it I don’t like the idea that “it’s the man’s job to start/direct things.” I feel that the kind of woman I would like to spend time with would reject that notion. Is that fair?

Self: Certainly. But it does not excuse you from making any effort.