onward and upward


I feel kind of weird writing about this, because I suppose it’s not something I talk about a lot.

I remember listening to my friends and family who had been through separations from lengthy relationships saying, “Yeah, it took me about a year to start dating again…”

That felt real to me.

To be honest, I thought a year would never come, nor did I think I’d be ready to start down that path again.
So much has changed in my heart. What I want has shifted, as well as an entire world of options laid before me.

There were times where I did the online thing. I still dabble, every now and then.

Then I do the app thing on my phone.

Then that feels weird and I delete everything and feel ridiculous.

I have met some seriously amazing people. I’m more so encouraged that I have some decent social skills. Not that I doubted myself, but I was always so used to being in the background of a conversation rather than being the one initiating conversations myself.

That’s been something I’ve had to work on. Now, I find myself babbling at the person sitting across from me like I’ve been cooped up for years. I suppose I’ve always had a lot to say, but I prefer to listen than to talk in most scenarios.

I guess now is the time that I start pulling my head from under the sand a bit. I’m cautious. I’m sure I will be for quite some time. I don’t really know how to go about this.

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I put a lot of thought into these things because I haven’t seriously dated in like, well, a long long long time.
Being alone has its perks. I’ve learned what things drive me crazy with my own personal habits.

“Who’s been leaving their toothpaste crap in the sink!?”

This guy has.

So I’m a little more aware of my own actions.
I clean up well after myself, usually.
I’ve never had a problem with doing dishes.
I cook nice meals quite often.

Making my bed is a piece of cake, considering its tiny twin frame that only fits my whole body if I lay on my back.

Hear me out. This is not a cry for help or attention.

I am though, considering the motions of all this again. I feel rusty. Slowly gaining confidence of my appearance. In fact, I might just only be fitting into myself a little more every day.

I feel a little silly, so I will begin my conclusion.

Many circumstances are unfortunate. I have gobs and gobs of lovely and sweet things to be thankful for.
So begins this weird, and mostly liberating time of looking beyond that horizon I always think about.

I get a little nervous again.

I am excited for this forward momentum and what it means for the things going on in my tiny world.

As I say to myself and others quite often these days,

onward and upward

and I reckon’ it’s about that time.

to hannah, on your graduation day


Hi Han,

I used to write you a lot.
Even in India, we would write back and forth, share playlists and stay out later than we were allowed. And the year we spent long distance, shooting back and forth emails and songs and letters.

We got married, chubby and with pale skin.

We lived together for about five years. Ate a lot of good food. Had hurtful, imaginative and life-giving conversations. I used to feel guilty about not understanding the way you thought, like maybe I wasn’t fast enough or mature enough. You helped me out of those ditches. You brushed me off.

You were hungry, so I fed you.

I ended up being okay as a home cook.

You supported me pursuing that life, which meant being alone a lot during the day and night, but also getting to benefit from experiments at home, and to also let it fill our bellies when it wasn’t so great.
I was more than a cook. I took the role of comedian and listener and ball-buster and doubter of things I deemed ridiculous. I suppose that’s a role that goes back and forth.

But you loved to eat good food. And you loved that I was southern.

thank you.
you were the reason I started to cook. 

And we grew, and grew. Sometimes more chubby. A little less in certain seasons. But also like branches, out from their tree.

You went to a place I couldn’t follow. A place only you yourself were able to explore. A place that I felt you moving towards, even before that morning, where we both wept in our perspective resting places. My brown chair. And that Ikea couch where you fell asleep almost every night. You always said it was brown, but it was definitely a shade of purple. Something we never had agreed upon, jokingly. Fair enough. It belongs with a 2nd grade teacher now and I’m sure her kids don’t care all that much.

You were in school most of our marriage. A decision that was made through some financial stability, as I somehow became the manager of a coffee space in downtown Portland. You would have the space to go back to school, and it was something we both felt you needed to do.

And you did so well, even through all those damn reflection papers. Straight A’s all the time. Always putting my shitty ‘C’ average to shame. We would celebrate often, as every couple should do. Celebrate any time you can. Celebrate good grades and promotions and half anniversaries. Celebrate each other.


So now, even as we find ourselves on a different road from where we started, I am finding space in my heart to celebrate you, today.

There are nights that I find myself choking back tears, because of some anger or a picture of you fell out of a book. Or through a rogue letter caught somehow in an old drawer.

I know you’ve worked hard.
And I know this was one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.

In many aspects, I will know you in ways no other person has.
People never leave us. Ya know?

As I like to imagine that scene in Harry Potter where Sirius points to Harry’s heart and says, “We’re hereyou see?

You will be walking in a gown, I assume. With a silly hat, looking much like a professor at Hogwarts.

And I will be doing what I do. Probably dishes. Or putting a plate on the pass waiting for a server to come scuffling over during the rush.

But I am close, Han.

And I am sending you light and love.


                                                   — Josh




light and angles


I still get choked up when I talk about some of the hard stuff.

I do this thing where I’m in the middle of a word, and my nose starts to burn and I lose all the saliva in my mouth. Then I cough, regain composure, and finish what it was I was trying to say in the first place.

Usually something like this:

I really miss it.

By the way, don’t ever watch the movie, Her, if you’re in the middle of a divorce of any kind.
Or do, actually. I thought it was a beautiful, sad, and melancholic movie, but an important one. The computer asks him at one point, “What was it like to be married?”

‘Well, it’s hard for sure. But there’s something that feels so good about sharing your life with somebody.’

Sometimes it feels good to be sad.
To not having anything to say on the matter.
Just to sit in the wonderful melancholy of a good song,
or what it was like to hold hands on a walk,
and to see the sun catch her angle just right.

I really did like being married.

One of the hardest things, is seeing the people you grew with, still in theirs.

I ache because I feel like I should be with them in this process saying, “Yeah, marriage is tough right?!” while we sit around and drink too much wine and contemplate our next house project.

I feel like so many people are hurt in these things. I sensed it made my married friends hold more tightly to one another at the end of the night, and to be thankful they weren’t experiencing what we were going through.

You think about that a lot. What other people think.

Nobody can stop you from doing that. You will even tell yourself to not compare your relationship or failures or whatever it is you want to call it. But you will. And it is there you will have to meet yourself with some grace and humility.

oof. that was really loud.


No one ever hops into a relationship to feel bad about themselves, or to break each others hearts. You do it because you want to experience that wild and infatuating type of love, where the idea of losing the other person makes you tear up. And then they fart out loud, and you laugh saying, “Sheesh…dude!”

Loving another human being deeply is always dangerous. I kinda love that. You’re making a statement that you aren’t afraid of what that will do to you. It’s an insane, kinda love.

When you have it, you know it.

And with that knowledge, there is always the tiniest little part that knows at any moment, the world could open up under your feet. But I’m reading a book that says love is staying together and choosing to stay together regardless, because it’s a promise.

Yeah, there are certainly limits to that rule, and many relationships just need to go their separate ways. We seem to think we are doomed, but really it’s about changing and shifting together. That’s hard. It’s the hardest thing to do besides figuring out which person is in charge of dishes, or cleaning the bathroom.

I lost a person in this whole thing.

I lost her touch and intimacy and willingness to grow alongside me.

But you gain things too.

That’s how losing someone or something works.

You gain humility. The light that is in good things becomes brighter. Sharper. Consistently wonderful. At times, painfully nostalgic.

You’re always, always, always learning.

The energy — the thing that brought you both together isn’t wasted, but it is transformed into a new trajectory. Like space jetsam and flotsam colliding — getting launched deeper into the cosmos.

It’s a balance of give and take.

I really liked being married.
There was something nice about spending your life with another person. And it is hard.

But sometimes, life creates an abundance of grace for you to waddle in when things go astray.

It is there that you will see the light over the horizon.

and you will drive, endlessly into it,

eager to lose yourself in its beauty all over again.



Word of the Day


Today I want to talk about words.

I suppose one word in particular.

At the beginning of everything, the word “divorce” was terrifying. In my mind, I saw scenes of a courtroom. Both sides are furiously throwing around passive aggressive statements. There’s the scene of the dad (or mom) with all of their things taking off down the road, while the kids are left waving goodbye. And this is a story more often true, than not.

Divorce conjures up a lot of imagery. A lot of it is painful from my past, and my present.

I guess to say it out loud takes a lot of work. People generally start out with “separation” and “splitting” and eventually get into that nasty word.


A huge separation of life and spirit.

It sounds a bit violent to me. Unfortunately, it is the word we have deemed necessary with the action.

I’m sure it derives from something in Latin. I’m sure I could just google it, but I’m not.

I’m writing all of this because I wish I could’ve read something like it when I was going through everything. Well, I still am, actually.


Those of you who read this blog often know that I started writing about my pain almost instantly. There wasn’t any way around the fact that I was going through a very hard time. At one point, I just had to say it out loud, “I’m going through a divorce.”

And that was all it took to have everything come falling in on me. It’s such a sad word. Don’t let me take anything away from the seriousness of this decision. These things are important. The weight of words are important. But I wanted to take a minute to explore its weight.

Divorces are not all the same. Kids, no kids. Some both agree it is for the best. Some are knock down, drag outs. And some have to deal with money and property.

Whatever you’re going through, try not to lump yourself into something you can’t grasp. It is a very personal thing, but don’t hold it in. I’m not saying be proud of it, but if it’s a word that’s making you sick, take it out and examine it.

You and your partner are getting a divorce.

If I could have talked to myself eight months ago, this is what I would have said:

Let me be the first to say how sorry I am.

I will not give you a silver lining to look towards, because they are temporary.

How are your finances? Are you okay with bills? How can I help you in this transition? Who’s feeding you and are you taking care of yourself?

If you want me to, let me sit beside you in the darkness and I will listen to the parts of your pain.

I can tell you that things will get better with time, but you don’t want to hear that either. You know things will get better. But right now, you’re really hurting.


No one in history knows your pain. And you are right. We are wrong.

Your pain IS unique. There are lots of variables and emotions that we all have to embrace.

People will be there for you, and then they won’t. And then they will. They have their own lives and their own battles, but it doesn’t mean they’ve also abandoned you. Your community is trying to figure out how to handle this as well. Have a bit of grace with them, especially if we are young and inexperienced with these tough things.

Let me buy you a drink.

But I’m going to make sure you don’t get out of control, and know that some nights, taking the edge off helps you to sleep better.

It’s going to take a while, and I’m sorry.

You are going to come out of it so much stronger. So much wiser.

But then, sometimes, it will hit you like a wave and you will have trouble getting out of your pajamas.

Let’s go get a cheeseburger.

You are loved and thought about. You are going to wake up tomorrow. It’ll still probably sting. But each day is a new way to process your pain, and you will. You will move and grow and change. You will be capable of such a deep love that the idea of having it again will excite you.

And some days, you will also imagine what it would be like if you were alone the rest of your life.

There’s no best way to go about these sorts of things.
If it seems like you need to do something hard and emotional for the sake of clarity and forward motion, DO IT. Your throat will get tight and your belly will burn, but it will make you stronger and softer.

The truth is, your story can go anywhere.

And this is me not giving you a false hope, but only to open your heart up again. Because you are needed in this world. And we want you to add to our lives just like you did when you were married. We want you to spend time with our kids and cook food for us and go out to get a drink, even if you are a third wheel. Trust me, the married folks you hang with will love on you. It will change, but they will, with time, love on you.


You are not damaged goods. We are all damaged goods.

But we are good.

And the piece of earth that shattered under your feet will be bumpy and raw for a while, but things will still grow. Greener. Taller. Deeper into the earth, through the cracks that will always be there.

Be free of God’s judgement and the judgement of your family and peers that watched you get married. You did not fail.

Go easy on yourself.

Accept the love people want to give you.

Go with what feels safe in certain times. If you are cautious about something or someone, give it some time. Because you will have opportunities to fulfill your needs, and with time, it will all become more clear.

Yes time, as much as you hear people telling you, will indeed heal a lot of things. You will still feel pain, but the sting becomes less and you become more.

And that’s the truth.

But for now, take it easy on yourself.

Use that scary word when you need to because it will get smaller and smaller.

It is a part of your story now, in a way you never thought it would.

You my friend, are resilient and the world needs you.

You my friend, are endless.