Sonder, and other fake words for really real things.

I happened upon this graphic not too long ago, one of the many things produced by a simple scroll through my Facebook feed. Except this one made me pause longer than a funny meme or a cat video. This one spoke straight to my nerdiness, to my inner word geek, to the language lover within. It got me all a-tingle.

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If you took a read through, you likely found yourself in a state of perpetual “A-ha!” moments. All twenty-three of these words express complex emotions or states of being that otherwise have not been summarized into a single word, until now.

For me, “sonder” was the one that stuck out the most, and I couldn’t wait to look it up. Word entomology is crack to me, essentially. I’m fascinated by it. It’s so, so good.

Anyway, when I looked up sonder, it turns out …

… None of these words are actually real words.

Insert pouty, disappointed, cynical face, mixed with Resting Bitch Face, here.

Well, in short, it sucked to find that out. Because, after all, the words seemed so incredibly perfect. So vital, so necessary.

So … real.

I was legit pissy. After all, I hate falling for deceptive internet fodder designed to do nothing more than to be a hoax so someone can get their troll jollies. (Damn trolls.) So, like any mature adult, I pouted for a bit, then I scrapped the picture from my iPhone’s album and vowed to never think about it again. I wasn’t going to let the bullshit of hipster Tumblrs steal any more of my purposely less millennial, sunshiny rays of life. They’re pretty vital to the inner workings of the universe, after all. Duh.

And I did just that–that is, until I got in the car the next day and saw other people.

I saw a lot of them–people driving (some better than others), people working, people waiting, people getting me my French vanilla iced coffee, sweaty people running, patient people standing, seemingly happy people laughing, and yes, even a (baby) person crying. They were all around me, these people. In and out of my view and life trek faster than I could keep up. Some brave enough to show me their eyes and look at me, some preferring to remain as unnoticed as possible. And much as I tried, I kept hearing it in my head, like a bad song hook you can’t escape:

Sonder.
Sonder.
Sonder.

I realized, in that moment, that whoever crafted the word, “sonder” wasn’t a horrid human being after all. See, that one, simple word that kept ringing in my head withdrew me from a contained state of mind, where my problems and desires were the axis of the earth. It struck down my worries, if only for a moment, to realize that others worry too. Other people dream. Other people wish, and feel. Each person, a complex individual with intricate lives like my own. Favorite foods, pet peeves, wild ambitions, hobbies and pastimes, loves and hates, vibrant joys and burdening heartaches. Each of those people had a story, and not just a short story–novels. And I was featured in each one. If only for a brief moment in time, I became a part of their complexities as much as they became a part of mine, and together became a, “we” instead of apart just a, “me.”

How did words begin, anyway? Were they not once created with the purpose to express something, and then used until they became the cultural norm? If a word has the power to affect someone like it has me, is the impact less only because of its roots? Or, say: If you received a profound piece of advice from someone, would you discount it solely on the basis of that person never attending college? If you did, that would be kind of shitty.

Kind of like how I was kind of shitty to discount sonder right away, because it lives outside of the almighty dictionary.

I wonder how much better of a world we could each make if, right away, we didn’t immediately judge each other’s worth based on roots, or on position, gender, class, education, affiliations, or job title.

That’s some real occhiolism right there.

 

 

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Parenting is:

Parenting is a mysterious, continual pendulum of irony, unabashed joy, and utter devastation. A hedge maze of epic proportions, a funhouse with boundless mirrors that reflect doubt, guilt, and worry.

Parenting is feeling everything and nothing, all at once. Parenting is endless questions of worth never voiced, tears hidden to conceal taboo inner turmoil, and momentary bitterness laced with vats of self-reproach.

Parenting is beautifully ugly, raw blooms of euphoric dissonance that electrocute every chord on every heartstring. A twisted medley that breathes life as it takes it, breaks as it heals, steals as it fulfills.

Parenting is the cause and the solution, the single question with many answers. Parenting is the why  when you need the how, and the where when you need the when.

Parenting is the long race ran with unlaced shoes, the calculated leap made with no place to land. Parenting is exuberant celebration despite quiet mourning. Parenting is smiles take less muscles than frowns, but frowns take less muscles than heartache.

Parenting is pure elation from nearly nothing, unbeatable highs riding on the coattails of rock bottom. Parenting is beautifully crooked clay on a wheel, growing and changing, shaping and creating-becoming.

Parenting is a profetic sonnet penned in a language yet to be learned, a piece of detailed art observed from behind a veil, a haunting song never fully played but already cherished.

Parenting is tired eyes and strong souls, weak bodies and powerful words. Parenting is something felt by many, but never meant to be completely understood.

Parenting just is.

The Curious Case Of The (Good) Monday

My house is now uncharacteristically quiet, and I’m alone. Before you go thinking the worst of me, no – I did not take any drastic measures to accomplish this. By 9:30 a.m. today, I was up, dressed, my hair made about 80% acceptable for typical hygiene standards, done my first cup of coffee, all without a hint of complaint. Also, the kid was up, dressed, fed, and gone on her adventure for the day.

For me, this is some sort of record, one I can’t help but question. No begrudging from me on a Monday? A fluke. No groaning, whining, or other forms of protest? Unheard of. But here I am, sitting in unusual silence, wondering if Mondays are really all that bad.

Now, before you sharpen your axes and break out the pitchforks, let me just say that of all the days, Mondays (usually) is the one I would care less if it were obliterated from the calendar permanently. In fact, I would venture to say that no one in the history of Mondays has probably ever really liked Mondays. After all, Mondays are pop quiz days, backlogged voicemail and email days, “Surprise, Parents! My science project is due today!” days, death of vacation days, the days of empty promises made over endless cups of coffee, four out of five of your team called in sick and now you have to do their job too days, and PTA meetings at night to dread all day days.

Hence why I’m surprised at my nonchalant view of the day today. Therefore, I propose we, society, as a collective whole, bring positivity into Monday’s identity to change public perception and to reinvent our thinking toward it. I mean, maybe we’ve been giving Monday a bad rap all these millennia. Maybe it’s a misunderstood day, an emo day that is still trying to figure out who it really is while acting uber annoying and cliche. Maybe, maybe we could all give Monday a chance. Maybe Monday (love) is really all we need.

So, I’ll start! I won’t make Monday a scapegoat any longer. Let me go check the weather and see what’s going on on this lovely day today! Maybe we will go to the park for a picnic tonight. Wouldn’t that be a great way to end a Monday?

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… Touche, Monday. Touche.

 

 

 

The Perfect Hello

 

I’m at a loss, really, of how to start this blog. I’ve erased quite a few witty titles, and even trashed a paragraph of mediocre writing. But don’t feel sorry for me – there are far more important things to consider today, such as: Will Michael Phelps win his 87th gold medal, or will they actually let him eat, sleep, and take a poop break? (Because after all, that expression is a little more than just plan ol’ Resting Bitch Face. I’m just saying.)

So here I am, drinking diet soda when I’d rather have a lager, contemplating a quintessential introduction while listening to my kid talk to herself in the bathroom. (… I’m now realizing an odd miniature theme in my train of thought, but I can assure you, there will be discussion about topics other than the bathroom here. How many, though, I can’t guarantee.) In an effort to maintain my flimsy shroud of maturity, I won’t highlight the events that transpired between me and my husband shortly before writing this. However, I will say that it involved a “not it” gesture and a bit of victory dancing.

I suppose saying there’s a “flimsy shroud of maturity” around me is a fair way to put how this blog might turn out. I say “might” because I have no real clue how it will end up. It could end up being witty and edgy, something people will want to read. Or, it could end up like a (surprisingly striking) pasta necklace pin you saw on Pinterest. It starts out as an interesting DIY prospect, saddled with unrealistic hopes of greatness and innovation (because, look at what that person was able to do with ziti). Only, after you begin, you realize that even with using fancy floss thread, all you’ve made is a string of large, uncooked noodles dying a slow death in Mod Podge and micro glitter. Therefore, I conclude that through this blog, I’ll either be a well-loved snark, or the maker of gaudy macaroni bling.

So to the five people who might read this:

Hello.
Sorry (just in case).
Thanks.
Enjoy (but don’t be an airport if you don’t – no need to announce your departure).

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