- stop button mashing even if that’s your primal instinct!
- be patient.
- observing can be as important as taking action.
- rather than focusing only on your own character, remember that it’s even more important to watch your opponent first.
- both your offensive and defensive strategies should come from what your opponent is doing.
- timing is everything!
- high blocks, low blocks, and throw escapes only work if you’re watching what your opponent does.
- run in the right direction.
- sometimes you have to protect yourself rather than attacking.
- rose, if you resort to button mashing again, you do worse!
- stop gripping so hard, you’re just causing more stress for yourself and it’s not going to have the impact you want. just hold the joystick like a wine glass and relax.
- remember to have some fun, it’s not that big of a deal.
- seriously, learn how to throw a fireball.
I often forget my age. People still indicate their surprise at it, tell me I look “so young.” Which I don’t mind, I hope they will always say that. The edges of my eyes have deeper creases now, but I am happy that they have been carved by the ridges of joy. I still feel young, I still run into the water and leap across puddles when wearing rain boots. The main thing is that I fight harder to get to a place where fear isn’t so large anymore.
Hope is larger.
I love the summer: the never-ending daylight, the it’s-too-hot-not-to-eat-ice-cream weather, everything in the middle of bloom.
This is how I feel about my age now. The middle of bloom, and filled with the sort of hope balanced and made wise by the clumsiness of past seasons. It will be a strange, beautiful decade. I am approaching a time when it’s very possible that the life behind me is as much as the life I have ahead of me. I’m more aware of mortality: my family’s and mine.
I’ve arrived at more crossroads than I care to count. This has been a groundbreaking year filled with change and uncertainty. In some ways, I have never felt more grown-up and ready. In others, I have never felt like such a novice.
I keep a list of ongoing resolutions on the last page of my notebook. I don’t make new ones for my birthday, but the one thing I’ll say for this year is: spend time on love. Say it out loud and more often before the day you won’t have a chance to.
As we get older, the number of trials that love puts us through increases. I stumble a lot in finding patience, and I dwell on the past. Forgiveness is difficult, vulnerability sometimes even more so; yet love asks you for both. The awkwardness and tears and stiff moments during which silence hangs in the air like a brick wall: they will all be worth it. No condition lasts forever: the friction we face, the disease that a loved one may survive or not, the agility of our bodies, the argument we initiate, the exhilaration of novelty, this life, this body, this heart, this youth. What will you hope to be (for your loved ones, for yourself) on the other side of it all? Dear Forgiveness, if not now, when?
In the past, I have often let my fear get in the way of love. Not sure who wrote it, but this note captures it well.
“Very often the things we fear most are not only bearable, but transformative.
We will all, many times over, have to reconcile the life we planned with the life we’ve got. And usually the life we’ve got is better.”
My life at 32 is so different from what I planned it to be, but I would not exchange it. I’m taking the leap, I’m all in.
E. convinced me to try it as we sat in his living room one night, while eating chocolate-covered figs. He retrieved a Swiffer from the crowded broom closet and taught me how to paddle. He sat down next to me on the couch, handed me the Swiffer, and we pretended we were on a boat. I expressed my doubts. He shrugged and suggested that all the guys who do it are really fit and good-looking. The whole situation was comical, and I bought into it. I mean, there were chocolate-covered figs involved. Of course I was tricked!
The next day, he texted me at like 8:23am and asked, “You awake?”
Ugh. So I pulled on my stupid tiny bike shorts and geeky waterproof shoes to trudge downstairs for my first dragon boat practice. We arrived at the World’s Fair Marina, already drenched in sweat. The heat was nearly unbearable, even for me(!) I felt my hair immediately growing lighter, my skin growing darker.
We got on the water. I felt like I couldn’t breathe after every run. But E. was right in the end. All the common suffering buoyed us, and I just reminded myself what he promised (tricked?) me: “Yeah, it seems like you’re doing to die and you won’t make it through the sprint. But TRUST ME it will make you forget all the suffering your heart is going through.”
… yeah. sho’ did. For a hot minute.
Before we went out on the water, the very fit and good-looking guy in front of me (that part wasn’t 100% a lie) turned around while the boat was still docked and introduced himself.
“Hi, I’m Jack,” he said.
“Hi, I’m Rose,” I replied.
“Oh man. It’s like… Titanic! We met on a boat together!” he ventured, grinning. Which makes this the first time in history a guy has initiated the cheesy part of the Titanic reference with utter sincerity. “Just promise me you’ll never let go.”
You really can’t make this up, even if you wanted to.
So yeah, um. After that, I paddled the sh*t out of that race, my eyes following his paddle the whole time (I got lectured later about the difference between paddling and rowing).
That evening, my roommate brought home a whole bag of Jamaican sweet currant rolls and asked if I wanted any. I told myself, I deserve this.
And yes, I believe I do. I deserve this life. My heart sure will go on.
You can’t have everything at once. But give me one of each: the sun on my face, the water, a way to paddle to another shore, and the ability to write myself out of any storm.