To those who feel like a burden

When we feel like we are a burden on those who love us, we’re usually blind to the fact that supporting one another brings us joy. “Being a burden” is usually a lie we believe that holds us down. We are worth far more than we realize.

My good friend Anne shares in one of her many honest and helpful posts about the reciprocal nature of friendship and help in times of need. She writes many words but they are worth the read.

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This is for those of you who feel like burdens to friends and who are valiantly trying to shoulder the weight of your struggles by yourself.

Please give others the opportunity to help. Please don’t fight alone. Please treat yourself as you would a dearly loved friend.

In the last year, I’ve had too many conversations with too many incredible humans who are hurting alone and who timidly come to me at the very end of themselves.

“I don’t want to be a burden.”

“I’m sorry I’m calling again.”

“I’m sorry to bug you.”

They don’t want to be burdens because they know how heavy what they are carrying is and they don’t want to involve anyone else. They don’t want anyone to feel the way they do or to be trapped in the same emotional struggle they are. They don’t want to reach out only to not find help…

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the nib growls

Yesterday I spent some time at the park doodling. I haven’t penned much in the past couple of years but it’s an activity I really enjoy and it helps me exercise the sort of creativity I don’t use when programming.

There is nothing quite like a fountain pen with a quality nib on it. I believe it was in my undergraduate years that I received my first such pen. Though I have never owned what one might call a “high-end” fountain pen, I have adopted a Lamy as a practical instrument and it does well enough for fun and profit.

Ballpoints have very little differentiation. They tend to fatigue me quickly as I struggle to apply enough pressure to get the solid lines I want. There are gel pens that make up for this, but they are clumsy and it’s harder to control their wide ink flow. The so-called “space pen” is a pricey improvement but still leaves one without pressure, width, and angle control.

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The missing disc and split in the middle of the nib is crucial for controlling ink flow.

Each nib differentiates itself on the width of the stroke, the flow of the ink, the flexibility or stiffness of the tip, and the reliability of operation. It’s the piece that draws ink out of the cartridge and directs it to the paper. Because the ink is wicked instead of pressed onto the paper it only requires a barely perceptible amount of pressure to get a solid line. Unlike the ballpoint, which digs a trench in the paper as it rolls and scrapes, the fountain pen leaves the paper virtually untouched (but painted) and that enables filling solid regions of color.

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Please pardon the typo if you find it. It slipped by me until after I finished. Ink is permanent.

Paper quality doesn’t matter as much with a ballpoint whereas you can probably see some excessive bleeding in the print above that’s due to the paper being cheap (a freebie notebook thanks to the great folks at SiteGround).

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#texture

Like having a pencil on paper, it’s about the feel, it’s about the texture, it’s about the blank canvas.