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All of the Things I Can’t Do

Everyone can’t do something.

Here’s my list. (And I note it’s just partial.)

1. I can’t recognize you in the elevator, even if I know you, because I’m usually lost in my own world.

2. I can’t remember what you tell me verbally. I need to write it down.

3. I can’t tolerate a lot of noise, or crowds, or smells. Even good ones.

4. I can’t remember names. Like if you tell me your name, you’ll have to repeat it at least ten times.

5. I can’t follow inflation, deflation, or currency conversion, and I never remember which mark is “greater than” or “less than” in an equation.

Before you go off and feel sorry for me, here are some things I feel pretty confident about:

1. I can sit in a coffee shop for eight hours at a time. No problem!

2. I can read Tweets, retweet Tweets, and Tweet some more myself. For hours.

3. I can binge-watch any and all movies, television shows, and music videos produced between 1980-1988.

4. I can get outraged about injustice. Any of it. All of it. I get fired up.

5. I can wear any of my 15 different pairs of black pants, any day of the week — and always feel well-dressed doing it.

Now that is a somewhat humorous list of quirks, right?

But it’s also very true.

My point is, all of us, we all have “something.” Good, bad or indifferent — they’re what makes you, you.

The question is, how do you frame that wondrous picture that’s your personal “selfie”?

Consider a parallel: the word “old.”

Does biological age exist? Yes, of course it does.

Yet there are some people whose minds, and bodies, never seem to follow the laws of time.

Marathon runners.



Incredibly, somehow, ageless.

Please don’t think I am insensitive. I don’t mean to be, not at all, to the limitations that are life-afflicting, and against which so many people struggle for even the most basic level of fair and equal treatment.

What I’m trying to say, maybe incapably, is that all of us are frail in some ways. Some of us more than others.

And much of it, maybe most of it, on the inside — where others can never tell.

But I have come to see, over many years, that it’s those very limitations which make us beautiful.

The crack is what lets in the light.

What I’m trying to say, today, after a day when my own personal limits just chewed me up and spit me out, is this:

Embrace yourself as you are. Today, without any judgments.

In an angry, violent, shouting world, this is the beginning of healing.

By Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author’s own. This blog is hereby released into the public domain.

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