Monday, June 9, 2014

nos étoiles contraires

"I have a 30," my mom replied, "and a 45, and a 10. The first two are creams, the 10 is an oil, if you want it." "And I have a 30 spray" added Diane. We'd gotten to the beach early, and there was still a chill in the air; endless options for sun protection, too.
{Lake Tahoe, California}
That was this past Saturday, less than two days after I "officially" moved back to the United States.

Among other things, I'm going to have to get re-used to the plethora of choices in this country of mine. There are just so many--sunscreens, coffee orders, high fructose corn syrups, guns. We so closely align personal freedoms with the ability to independently choose what we take care of, and how we harm. It's quite different from particular French ideologies. This is not to say, of course, that the French don't fight their own battles with obesity, legislation, and the market economy... but differently, nonetheless.

Then there are other choices, at least for those of us who enjoy access to them. By mere chance, I've been lucky in that I was born in a country built on egalitarian ideals to a family that provided me with opportunities to develop my ideas about its imperfect realities. I've been lucky, too, to have had experiences to refine such criticisms abroad. They've made me want to come back, to do something about it, however small my individual prowess; and I can because forward-thinking ingenuity and innovation is rewarded here; encouraged even, with the support of those who I'm fortunate to have love me. That said, it makes reintegrating myself into Amurica all the more challenging. Reverse culture shock is such a thing. So this is where choosing how we perceive and react to that which we cannot control comes in, I suppose? I do hope I'm able to choose as wisely and softly as humanly possible.

The decisions that we so often define our lives by can be overwhelming. In my case, they've also been stressful as I'm almost always concerning myself with the right and wrong, better and best. Even still, I'm finding that these concerns were never meant to be part of the equation. Maybe what matters most is that we choose at all, to keep cultivating our selves and potential. Albeit thoughtfully.

By the way, I read a book on the beach: The [much acclaimed] Fault in Our Stars. It was kind of perfect reading; John Green's easy writing style with heavy subject matter that allowed me to make the most of my transition-amplified emotional tendencies. Not to mention it spoke to certain choices that are and have been close to my heart. "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you." (Side note: I recently shared my thoughts on marriage on my friend's rooftop, how the trick is to keep choosing the one you love. I simultaneously realized how good of a friend he is to entertain my unmarried opinions). And thus, ideas were further sparked about what else we have the privilege in choosing. I ended up with SPF 30.


  1. 1. I felt the same way when I was back in the US last week: why were there so many deodorant options?! it was all too much.
    2. I keep wondering if I should read The Fault in Our Stars and this is the second blog post in two minutes I've read that has recommended it. Kindle, here I come. thanks for the rec (and especially for that quote -- OH! that quote. you know why.) and hope you are well love :)

    1. 1. YES.
      2. Highly recommended! Hope you enjoy and please keep me posted on your thoughts.

      Hope you're well, too, my dear! xo

  2. OMG. I just saw the trailer for "The fault in our stars" and it looks like an epic film. Will definitely purchase the book soon.

  3. Can't wait to see the movie. Haven't read the book but since books are usually better than movies based on them, I'll start with a movie :)

    1. Good thinking :) enjoy them both! I hope to see the movie soon.


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