The Ego Whack-A-Mole Game

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My ego gets very confused about what’s important in life. Since ego, according the dictionary, is one’s sense of self-esteem and self-importance, ego can be a force for good in some doses, and can easily get out of control.  My ego desperately wants to look good, to be seen as smart and helpful. It really wants to be important, and is quite tied to how my hair looks. It drives me crazy with all of these concerns, confusing me about what is really important in life. It’s not all bad, though; it’s also my ego that gets me out of bed in the morning and to work on time.

But just when I think I have tamed it or tamped it down, when my ego has agreed not to get attached to something, like the number of likes on a post or a job title, it immediately pops up somewhere else, circling around in a new disguise.  It gets self-congratulatory about how enlightened it is. It gets attached to accomplishment, even when it comes to meditation (ironic, I know).  It gets self-congratulatory about how enlightened it is.

It feels like a never-ending whack-a-mole game: it’s just you playing yourself, for eternity. (read more…)

The Changes We Choose

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When I moved to San Francisco in 2012, I didn’t have a plan. I’d been living in Dublin, Ireland for a few years, and my Irish visa was running out. I had to return to the states. For reasons too silly to mention, I considered only New York and San Francisco, ignoring my home state of Texas and all the others in between. In the end, San Francisco beat New York due to cold weather blues and a glitch on Kayak.com when I went to book my flight. The promise of a job in tech lent some vague credence to the idea, but I had no clue what I was doing. I mustered just enough hope to get me there. Luck took care of the rest.

With this move, I wanted to make a home in a place with possibility because I felt trapped living in sleepy Dublin. In truth, I was in a rut because most of my friends lived in other countries. I hadn’t made much of an effort to create a social life in Dublin, but I blamed my boredom on external factors. Something had to change. Why not the city? We all have blind spots. I told myself could DO ALL THE THINGS in San Francisco. New city, new life, right? (read more…)

“Quit Slacking Off with Your Baby”
5 Fathers Discuss Paternity Leave

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I’m part of a group of women who come together to discuss current issues in feminism and gender equality. At a meeting a few years ago, we discussed paternity leave and discovered that many of the husbands of group members with adult children had taken little or no time off when their kids were born. When I got home that night, I asked my husband if he would take paternity leave if we had kids – and he immediately and reflexively answered “no.”

While his answer might be different if I asked him today, the swiftness and surety of his response startled me. Since then, many of our peers have started having kids of their own, so it’s a natural time to re-examine this issue and take a close look at how and why men make their decisions about parental leave. (read more…)

Innocence is the Crime

The Subway_George TookerSometimes I wonder, if I had been alive during the Civil Rights movement, who would I have been? Would I have marched on Washington? Would I have traveled to protests? Or would have simply watched on TV and read transcripts of MLK’s speeches printed in the newspaper?

I fear that I would have sat by, agreeing with the movement, but going about my life, the weight of day-to-day living overwhelming all else. This seems most likely (especially since I can count the number of protests I’ve attended on any issue on one hand), and I am not proud of this. I am not proud that I have done nothing to protest the many police shootings of unarmed black men and women. I have not even done superficial things to show my solidarity and belief in the fundamental validity and value of the movement, like tweeting #BlackLivesMatter or changing my Facebook icon. (read more…)