My pinboard with the "music is always the answer" index card on it.

Wait a minute . . .

It occurs to me that I’ve never publicly answer the question I ask everyone, “What makes you whole?”

Uh, well . . . I don’t know.

My first thought is writing. It always centers me even when it frustrates the shit out of me. But self-expression is part of my core, and I do it best in writing.

My second thought is helping people understand themselves. I’ve long advocated for self-awareness, as I’m convinced it makes life easier even if the process is hard.

My third thought is music. I have a neon yellow/green index card on my pinboard in my office that I wrote this on: “Music is always the answer.” When my mental health spirals, I put on one of three playlists: Peter Gabriel, Mumford and Sons, or my Anxiety Soothers playlist that heavily features Marconi Union. It’s comfort and grounding. But I also almost always have music on in some way. Right now, I’m listening to my ’80s and ’90s playlist, and sometimes, I drive around aimlessly just to listen to music because I seem to absorb it best in my car.

I think my last thought is connections particularly family and loved ones. My brain does this neat (sarcasm font) thing where I imagine the deaths of my loved ones, and I end up bringing myself to tears. It’s brutal to do to myself, but it also serves as a reminder not to take them for granted. I would be *shattered* if I lost my husband, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, or closest friends. I don’t feel human without them.

So, yeah. I imagine there are more things (chai), but those are the things that come to mind immediately.

I always turn the question back to you. What makes you whole?

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