My best self

The campaign to be your best self is gaining momentum. It’s established by psychology and human development studies, then made fashionable by culture. Like any form of self-help, becoming the best version of yourself demands that you call to action the long-dormant, inner and secret motivation you have to conquer addictions, break bad habits, get out of debt, or retire at the ripe age of 38.

A how-to article by Scott Barry Kaufman from the HuffPost blog describes your best self as someone who lives “a life rich in health, growth, and happiness.” Melissa Camara Wilkins writes that to be your best self you draw from your strengths, do things that make you happy, and act in ways that feel right.

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Muse Emporium

There’s a strip of street that I drive on daily that is somewhat run down and speaks of a time when businesses were popular in that area. They were perfectly located in a long-ago small town, but with the late outward expansion and developments, they look forgotten. Tumbleweed blowing down an abandoned, dusty street is a picture of the apparent desertion.

There is one particular store in that forsaken spot that was renovated and opened as, what looked like, a consignment store, thrift store, and ongoing yard sale. The owners—whoever they may be—made slow improvements. First came the inclusion of local art. Then came the updated outdoor space. Then a fresh coat of paint and new green awnings. Then a new sign and better name: Muse Emporium. Then the merchandise started to look less yard-saley. What sat as a forgotten and sad building has become a lovely place that breathes life again. (I have made all of these observations on my commute; I have yet to go in!)

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And the stars

I have always loved space. I love the science behind space exploration, and the pioneering souls who take on such boundless adventures thrill me. Last weekend I went to the Kennedy Space Center for the first time. I walked around wide-eyed and enchanted by everything I read and saw.

What I love most about space and what fills me with the most dread are one and the same: its immense and unceasing span. Space stretches on in grandeur for light years. It is endless.

20170701_170128NASA finds purpose and determination in this endlessness. We know that the Milky Way is a little blip of a galaxy among many others; we know that within the Milky Way, the Sun is one little blip of an average-sized star; and we know that Earth is a little blip of a planet in the average-sized star’s solar system. Since the Hubble Telescope launched into a low-Earth orbit in 1990, we have seen things we never imagined and learned things we never thought to know. Hubble data have given insight to astronomers, astrophysicists and engineers alike. But we want to see and know more. Continue reading