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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

Life

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

HUMANS 101

Support yourself through mindset, self-awareness, and health

No one wants to ruin their life, but some people manage to do it. Ruin, by definition, means to “damage irreparably,” and I’ve seen doctors, attorneys, promising young writers self-destruct as a result of unmanaged bad habits, drug and alcohol abuse, and illegal behavior. When we see it happen, whether it’s a celebrity or someone we know, we’re often surprised, but when we look closer, it’s most often been a slow burn on the way to the wreckage.

That intrigued me, so I asked my friends on Facebook and my contacts on LinkedIn, “What is the best way for someone…


Goddess Lilith teaches us to let go of society’s expectations and follow our instincts

To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves. — Clarissa Pinkola Estés

You likely have some dreams for your ideal life. It could be a nomadic existence, a self-sufficient homestead, or a conventional marriage and family. Or maybe you have no idea and are eager to try out a few different options before settling on one. But sometimes it can be challenging to embark on an unconventional path. It’s not easy to break free from the expectations of others, like your family…


THIS IS US

The stories we tell ourselves can make all the difference

I’ve been happy since November. Yes, I understand that happiness is a subjective concept. I know that it’s not the end-all, be-all in life. I absolutely get that it’s only been six months which shouldn’t even be that big of a deal. But it is to me, dammit.

Tonight, I listened to Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke while I danced around the grocery store at 10:00 at night. An older man with a kind face stopped me to ask how long it had taken to do my hair.

“Six hours.”

“That seems long. Mine doesn’t take long at all.”

He…


LIVED THROUGH THIS

The father who never accepted me is dying, and I’ve already moved on

“You go on in there and talk to yo Daddy.”

My mother is whispering but emphasizes the word “talk” with a squeeze of my hand as if she thinks some sort of deep revelation between my father and I will break a levee between us, setting free a long-ago dammed-up river of love. I’ve come back to Ohio and am standing in the nursing home where my father lies dying in bed just down the hall. I don’t even want to be here to tell you the truth. I feel little to no connection with the man lying in that…


THIS IS US

And I have to make peace with the wind

When Covid-19 hit, I was living in a city in the north of England. It was a great city, with lively bars and clubs and restaurants, along with wonderful music venues, museums, and galleries. But during shutdown, everything closed. And a city with everything closed becomes a concrete prison.

During that prolonged Covid-19 shutdown, my yearning for open spaces was almost unbearable, and I started looking for alternatives.

After an internet search, I found this windmill for sale in rural Wales, took a virtual video tour, and knew I wanted it. Travel was banned, and the purchase had to wait…


On digital heirlooms and ongoing conversations

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “The Family Heirlooms That Our Children Don’t Want,” apparently resonated with millennials, as many of my peers were sharing it on social media. The gist is that boomer parents have a lot of stuff, and often, for various reasons, their adult children don’t want the stuff. This dilemma raises some complex emotions for boomers, but ultimately, many of them come around to realize that millennials already have their own stuff, and what’s deemed valuable or important to one generation isn’t necessarily viewed as important or valuable to the next.

When my parents died five…


LIVED THROUGH THIS

A veteran’s musings on leaving Afghanistan and the killing fields

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell. — William Tecumseh Sherman

“Do you still think about war?”

I let my finger hover over the keyboard after I fire off the text message. I expect the responses might be slow or nonexistent, but a green bubble appears.

“I swore I would never be this person, and yet, I think about it every day,” my old…


I love it but I wish I didn’t

Cigarettes are my best friend. We live together, work together, look up at the stars, walk along the beach, sit through sunsets, stay up late watching movies, and escape the world when we are alone. When I am sad, cigarettes pick me up. When I am happy, they never harsh my buzz. When things go wrong, they are where I turn first, and they’ve never abandoned me in a time of need. When I need to think, they help me formulate my thoughts. On hard days, no one bothers us if we need to take some time together away from…


Humans 101

Discontentment begins and ends in your head

Recently, I sat with my wife in our back garden, a small fire burning in front of us, smoke curling up, the earthy smell of peat hanging in the cool air. I looked up at the stars and planets, sparkling bright in the clear, pitch-black evening sky. A peaceful feeling wrapped me like a warm blanket. I felt so good.

After about an hour, my wife said she wanted to go inside. Seconds after she left, my mind kicked in: “Why is she going in? She should stay out here with me. If we were on a date, she wouldn’t…


This Is Us

And I’ve got a plan to make it happen

I can’t shake the feeling that no one really cares for me. I worry that everyone I know is just tolerating me until I go away or eventually die. This may or may not be true, but wherever I go, I can’t escape the feeling.

It’s possible that what I’m feeling isn’t completely personal to me. It may just be run-of-the-mill, normalized indifference in a world that has grown increasingly distant and isolated. I can’t really tell.

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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