Dawn LOFB BadgeA lovely talk by rabbi Jackie Tabick on compassion versus something she calls “compassion fatigue”.  The latter is where I’m at.  But it’s time to move past that.

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UI have a pretty big confession.

A really really big one.

My legal name is not Noa Gavin.

I used a pseudonym on here for a couple of reasons. Anonymity, of course, and the fact that my legal name is FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE to pronounce and to spell. I spelled it for my dry cleaner the other day and I got Burkell BlueSky. Trust me when I say that is not my name. Not even close.

The biggest reason? I wanted to be Noa Gavin. So so badly. In my real life, I was pretty shy and boring. I didn’t say what I really felt. I didn’t do what was right for me, always yielding to the will and desires of others.

Noa was a goddamn badass. Noa did what she wanted, when she wanted, and how she wanted. She was brash and cool and caring and passionate. She was a comedian. She was a writer.

Noa was everything I wanted to be.

Over the years, the line between Noa and my original personality blurred. I became her. I became confident and outspoken. Passionate, compassionate, and focused on my own desires and goals. I became a comedian. A writer. I am brash. I think I am pretty cool. I wear a lot of leather.

I am Noa. I am no longer the girl I was when I started this blog.

I am Noa.

The balancing act between those lives has gotten tiring. I no longer have a need for the name I was given when I was born. I have outgrown her, become someone new. Become the person I wanted to be. I am Noa.

This week, I began the process of erasing this balancing act by applying to legally change my name. I no longer need my original name because I’m not that girl.

I am Noa.

UIf there’s one thing I’m horrible about balancing, it’s other people’s emotions.

I take everything as a personal mission.

Are you sad? NOT FOR LONG.

Are you happy? SWEET.

Are you angry, but totally not at me? I AM SO SORRY.

This ridiculous habit of mine comes in handy sometimes–I can fix things. I love to encourage and to help people. I am the friendest.

And it has its downsides. Namely, I worry about how people I shouldn’t give a shit about think about me. All the time. Always. Constantly.

I rethink every decision I make for people who don’t matter to me, people who are mean to me even. I question my own emotions because of other people. I question my life because of other people.

That is really really tiring. I hate it. I hate being trapped in that space of constantly making myself subject to how other people feel about the decision I’m making for my own goddamn life. I cripple myself with anxiety over everyone but me.

In the words of my fantastic therapist: Fuck That Shit.

I reached a point of peace last week about my decisions that I have never reached before.

I don’t have to justify my decisions to others. 

As long as I’m doing what’s healthy for me, then I’m ok. I’m making the right calls, as long as the decisions are healthy. I’m doing the right thing in my life, as long as I’m doing what’s the most healthy for me at that moment.

I am doing the right thing for me. The balance lies in how healthy I am, not how healthy other people think I am. I know my story. I know my life. I know who I am.

Dawn LOFB BadgeI am NOT good at taking risks. A part of me likes my security, and my habits, and my safe and small world.   I like being right, and I like not failing, and what better way to not fail than to stay where I know everything and everyone and I know I can succeed?

Except… I know that’s not enough. I know that risk is required for growth. I know that staying in my safe and small world leads to staleness and stagnation and small-mindedness. So I fight that instinct all the time. I challenge myself to stretch and grow and fail. I have to find ways to balance my need for security with my desire to grow and change and evolve. I’m working on it, like I am with so many other things. This post by Andy Bondurant at The Collective gave me a fresh perspective.


I had a rough day today. It looks like it’s gonna be a rough week.

I needed a pick-me-up of inspiration, and I found it in one of my favorite authors of all time.

Margaret Goddamned Atwood.

Click the link for more, and feel better.