Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The blog has moved!! It's now at Intrepidness.wordpress.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

One of my favourite poems + advice

A poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesnt mean leaning and
company doesnt mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contacts
and presents arent promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head
up and your eyes open with grace of an adult
not grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s grounds is too uncertain for plans
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if
you get too much
So plant your own garden and decorate your own
soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and that you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
with every good-bye you learn.

Back in the days when I used Myspace some guy posted this in a bulletin and I loved it so much I saved it on my computer. So I'm very sorry I can't remember his name and give him proper credit for this.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; Oh never mind; you will not understand the power or beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at the photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked... You're not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind...the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life... the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary... Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either- your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can... don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time it's 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


It rained the entire week after you died. I wondered if God was crying with us, but how could he be when he has you? So maybe it was his way of giving us a mourning period. A way of which we could feel in a sense that the world was grieving with us, that it had also suffered a great loss and in doing so realize we were still here. Still connected, still on earth and apparently still living. So that the grey skies matched our grey moods, the thunder matched the aching of our hearts, the lightning matched the insane injustice we felt and the rain matched our tears. And then when the sun came out the following week, maybe some of the pain and the bitterness could be seen to have washed away. And when everything dried up we would find the world was still spinning with us on it and this sorrow we felt wouldn’t always consume our lives.

Grief is like a rock thrown into water. It pulls those hit by it down to the bottom but it also causes ripples that spread out across the surrounding. That’s what it’s like for me...I’m the one getting hit by the ripple. I see her breaking under all this pain and there is nothing I can do about it. There are no words I can say that will ease it, nothing I can do that will stop her hurting. It’s like she’s out in the middle of the ocean in the midst of this huge storm and she has no idea how to sail the boat. And I’m standing on the edge of the shore watching her, but I can’t shout out instructions to her because she can’t hear me...and I don’t know how to steer just as much as she doesn’t. So I just stand there with my eyes fixed on her because I feel like the moment I blink she’s going to capsize. I can’t do anything. I’m no help at all.

I think in these situations you’re supposed to believe that they have the strength to get through it. And she’s the strongest person I know. So I guess all I can do is believe that. Believe it with everything I have. And let her know that I believe that. Because maybe she’s forgotten that, or maybe she’s questioning that and your belief and your faith is going to be the lighthouse that shines through the storm clouds and illuminates the path through this.


Intrepidness to me is liberating ourselves from intimidation and our fears, so that we can erase the limitations we put on ourselves and in doing so live our lives fully, wholly and completely.

Intrepidness is being brave enough to realise when someone isn’t worth it and act upon it. To realise that the people who turn a blind eye when someone hurts you, try to silence you when you cry out and continually let you down aren’t really your friends. Intrepidness is having the courage to walk away from these people even though it might mean being alone.

I think being alone scares us all. We all want to have someone or some people in our lives. But when you think about it, sometimes it’s a better option. Because that loneliness you feel, that isn’t permanent. You might be alone for a month, for a year or more, but it’s not going to be forever. And in that time you won’t be having to look over your shoulder to see who is stabbing you in the back or think through every word you say in case someone is copying and pasting it to someone else.

Intrepidness is not believing those who put you down. So many of us love someone who cheats on us, swears at us, belittles us and puts down our dreams and I think it’s intrepid to realise they’re wrong.

I think the majority of us stay with people like that because there’s that annoyingly persistent voice in our heads saying we deserve it, that this is the best we can get. Because we can stand in front of a mirror and see a flaw in every single thing about us and it makes us question why anyone would ever like us, let alone love us. Or maybe there’s a masochistic part in us, where we love people who repeatedly hurt us.

It’s been said that we accept the love we think we deserve. But I really don’t think that love exists where it seems someone’s main goal is to break you. And those tiny moments where you can breathe amongst the pain and the put downs, that is not enough. No one deserves that.

There is no good that can come of investing yourself, feelings and time into someone who puts you down. We’re all human and we all have feelings, and if someone can’t respect that, can’t respect you enough not to swear at you or yell at you then they aren’t worthy of you. And life is too short to spend it caring about someone who puts you down and belittles you and your dreams. Life is too short to waste time on people who can’t see your true worth.

It’s always going to be hard to walk away from someone you care about. I know. And I know that memories of when they were nice flood your mind like an endless silent movie. I know it’s scary because your friendship or relationship with them is familiar and you reassure yourself it must mean something because once upon a time you felt something profound with them. But things change, feelings change. And as hard as it is, we have to learn to move on when things get bad. As Alan Cohen said “There is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power.”

Intrepidness is reaching for things even though the chances of failing are high. Intrepidness is not letting our insecurities shadow our lives and limit us. It’s disappointing how often we shy away from things because we think we’re unworthy. It’s there in all of us. We all have times we haven’t gone for something we’ve wanted to do because we didn’t think we were talented enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and the list goes on. But I think intrepidness is reminding yourself that no one else is you and no one else can bring what you have. And intrepidness is remembering that there are always going to be times we fail, but trying beats the hell out of not every single time.

Intrepidness is realising your worth and believing that things will get better. Intrepidness is having faith that things will change. Intrepidness is having the courage to change things for yourself. Intrepidness is not settling with people who don’t care about you because it’s easy. While you waste time with them, you miss out on people who could be so much better for you. Intrepidness is being open and unafraid.

Marianne Williamson wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Intrepidness is not being afraid to shine.