The Partial Truth of Virtual Relationships

September 24, 2021

Every friend and every relative, lives a whole other life inside our minds.  There, they occupy worlds that have nothing to do with reality.  These worlds are not play pretend, or unreal.  They just appear more real to us. They inhabit an intimate interaction with ourselves.  We can hear their whispers.  We ‘know’ their thoughts. We often believe our mental version of them more than their real physical counterparts.  But when the two versions come face to face in physical reality, we question which version is more real. I just spent a week physically living with 5 friends.  Prior to this week, the versions of them inside my head were more frequent visitors than their physical reality ones due to the pandemic isolation.  I had created very different impressions of them since I only had virtual data available to me before this week.   When the two came together I could not believe their differences.  My inner versions of them were at best partial.  Normally these versions get adjusted often, but since we have been isolated in the last year there had not been any recent adjustments.  The inner versions evolved without any real data, or real connection and interaction.  I gave them my own narrative, I wrote their words out, I came up with what they must be thinking. These women were so much larger, smarter, kinder, complex and brilliant than I ever imagined them to be inside my mind.  The version I was getting from the zoom calls was not enough. But it was enough to feel like it was all there was.  My dear friend, we have lost so much more than connection throughout this pandemic period of our lives.  We have been inside a part time adventure in relationships that can only go so far.  I don’t know how you will do this, but you must find a way to the physical counterpart of the mental version of the people in your life.  You must interact with both, but mostly with the physical one.  The mental version of your family and friends is influenced by either your fears or your dream versions of who you want them to be.  But they are never accurate, or true. The pandemic didn’t just take away our connection with the people we love or want to love, but their true version of them.  There was an imbalance that was invisible to us all. What a loss.  Even if it is with a mask, 6 feet apart, go and be a part of the physical world and experience people outside of the digital reality as much and as often as you can.  The loss you experience when this doesn't happen often enough, is so much bigger than you can imagine.  I am already planning my next adventure, in close quarters with some of my new best friends.    I hope you are too.  With physical proximity, Christina

Read More
0 Comments.

The Loss of Living A Singular Life

September 17, 2021

Where should I start from?  Where does the beginning sit in a new story?  Is the beginning at the start of the new experience, or at the end of it.  I have been away inside new adventures for the last few weeks.  I swam in turquoise waters in Greece.  I witnessed a rocket blasting off to space at Cape Canaveral with a friend inside of it.  My eyes going from one world to another, adjusting to the new view.  Something happens when you change reality dramatically.  Where nothing is left the same.  People. Places. Streets. Words. You.  Skies.  All speaking a new language.  Your inner compass becomes turbulent. Until it stabilizes. But the beginning is not here yet. I can’t find it.  The beginning is not inside the adventure. I looked.  Maybe there will never be a beginning to think about again, because I will not need to begin again.  Is that possible even?  We seek new beginnings because wherever we are, is no longer needed, wanted, chosen. But what if you made your life exist inside many realities, where you leap from one to another. A new beginning would become irrelevant.  Wouldn’t it? Loss would be minimized.  Love would become everything, everywhere, everyone.  You won’t have time to not love, as something new will always show up ready to be loved by you.  In the last few weeks I met people from all over the world, living lives I have never seen before.  Wanting things I have never wanted, because I didn’t know they existed.  Living in a singular world creates immense loss.  I am just realizing that a monogamous relationship with life is not healthy.  We have created the concept of a new beginning because living a linear existence meant that we had to end one world to begin another.  What if we don’t have to?  What if we exist in many streets, and homes, and places, and most importantly inside many stories. All at the same time.  I don’t want to end my adventures.  I don’t want to begin anything else.  I just want to continue whatever this is.  Because this right here, feels like coming home.    With no beginnings, and no endings, Christina

Read More
0 Comments.

Loyalty Is Rare

August 19, 2021

Heartbreak is tiring. Exhausting.  Consuming. Deeply confusing.  It is hard to understand.  You will often wonder why certain things have to happen.  Especially if you are a good person going about your day, expecting the best and doing your best.  It will be the most heartbreaking for the good hearted ones.  The lovers. The givers.  I am easily heart broken. I live in a constant invisible fragile state, especially when I am with other humans.  It feels like walking through a battlefield with bombs ready to detonate.  When my heart breaks it screams. It rolls in the mud.  It throws itself into the big ocean. It becomes a tsunami that doesn’t end.  An immortal fire.  It screams like a newborn.  I really don’t know anything anymore.  Life will surprise you and then it will change you.  It will kick you and then it will teach you how to tend to your wound.  It will hang you upside down and drop you on your head.  It will shock you and then make you forget.  It will put you to bed only to wake you up with the loudest alarm.  And all of this will come at you from every part of your life.  Even the safe parts.  The parts you didn’t expect to hurt you.  Those parts will break you the most.  Because you could have never seen it coming.  You would have bet your life on its loyalty to you.  But loyalty is a very rare value.  Almost an endangered species.  Because of that, I have built inner worlds with resting spaces.  I have replaced loneliness with solitude.  Venting with writing.  And loyalty loss, with personal integrity.  The more time on the battlefield, the more certain I am about myself.  As you are reading this, I am on the long flight to Athens where my sister picks me up to drive me to my parents home. It is time for me to go back for a while.  To close my eyes. I will also take a three week pause from writing Friday’s letter.  So I can be immersed in the experience of my one and only family.  Where unconditional love and everlasting loyalty is still there.  I hope you spend the last few days of summer with the people who love you and if that is not available, may you build worlds inside yourself that are safe, loving and loyal to you.  Being loyal to ourselves may be the hardest thing of all.    See you back here in 3 weeks.  With a beautiful breeze on my hair and a knowing about who I am that can never be shaken.  Christina P.S If you haven’t read all the past letters, they live here.  P.P.S If you are not subscribed to this letter go here.

Read More
0 Comments.

Living Out Loud At Long Last

August 13, 2021

When you inject life in your world it bounces off on multiple surfaces at first.  Remember if you are still in the Waiting Room and you invited life to come back, it will try to find you in the confined space.  Sometimes we step out of the Waiting Room in quick bursts.  On our way back inside, life comes in through the door with you.  Now imagine if you have been reentering for a few weeks, the life you are creating requires time for a new job, new friends, new home.  Dating. Clothes. Self care. Time to yourself. Meditation.  Life’s friends are many and the Waiting Room is too small for them. It is also why it feels overwhelming at first.  Why you will want to kick her out. Don’t.  Just start moving out of the Waiting Room slowly.  Spend more time letting go of the old schedules and routines.  Don’t let the survivor self convince you that you still need that friend who is rude to you but always apologizes. Just because you have known her all your life it doesn’t mean she gets a pass. Don’t be fooled with any thoughts in regards to your missing out on your old life.  One thing I know for sure is that when we say goodbye to an old identity we also say goodbye initially to the comfort of the familiarity of that self.  It hurts to change.  It makes you want to run back to yourself, back to that Waiting Room, back to the familiarity of those walls and the non living existence.  Life is painful and why we avoid it.  I have been reentering so much lately that it is a little scary at times.  My survivor self is keeping me up at night.  It is questioning me.  Can you really live out loud Christina? You won’t be able to keep up.  You will break.  I responded back the other day and said ‘If I break myself from living so loudly then let me break. Let me break inside a firework.  Let me exhale inside a big canvas.  On my way to the beach.  Inside the words of my new book.  In the midst of helping the homeless, the grieving, and living in the most unapologetic way.’ Now you know why I need a strong body, why I am training, why I drink all that water.  At 2 am last night I submitted my last homework for my first semester of my MFA.  I was listening to opera and witnessing myself showing up outside of that Waiting Room.  I will be working while traveling a lot in the next month and my mind is pushing back, but here is what I think.  My life could end at any moment.  It could leave me not just by my heart stopping but from any type of illness or injury.  One day I may not be able to draw, write, speak, help, live, sing, move.  But what I do know about that day is that I will have no regrets.  I am walking myself to my 50th year of life and I will skip, and skateboard, fly and live like my life depends on it.  Because it really does.  I hope you let life break you and end this journey one day inside a big and loud firework.    With life bursting at the seams  Christina PS. I hope you had the chance to listen to the conversation with my daughters about grief.  PPS. I speak in length about the Waiting Room in my book SECOND FIRSTS. I hope you have it. 

Read More
0 Comments.

Sign up to receive Christina’s Message in a bottle every Friday