I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for almost 7 years. And now I’m prevented from seeing him thanks to COVID.

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https://unsplash.com/@nrdoherty

I received a call from my partner’s niece and I remember it like it was yesterday. She said, “I heard you are going into lockdown.” I said, “Lockdown?” It was the first time I heard that word and I had no idea what it meant.

My partner and I have been dating since 2014. The most we have been apart being 6 or 8 months maximum. We have flown back and forth to each other for the past 6-7 years.

Australia closed their borders and urged all Australians to return home in March of this year. …


Most of us are not born with a language for love.

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Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

We learn love.

We have a language for grief.

We have a language for looking good.

We have a language for success, but no language for failure.

We have a language for life when it’s working, but no language for adversity.

We have a language for certainty and no language for uncertainty.

We have a language for partnership and family, but no language for the self.

We can speak into reality the language we would like to have shown up.

Like when you are a child and you say “I want a doll.” Sometimes that doll would show up by just speaking it.


Death was all around. I watched the colorful leaves fall outside the window. Like a spectator watching the color float away. One by one. It began that summer and lasted all through winter. Good, kind, happy people. I wondered if this was the start of a trend that would somehow envelop us all, slowly, but surely.

He insisted on having a mistress, Margaret told me. She would never be able to have his children or be his wife and they discussed this at the beginning. …


Opening up space for others

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Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I am in the middle of a job transition. I just recently completed a contract assignment. One thing I have noticed is I want to be around people who leave space for others to show up.

The worst situations in my life happened when there was no room for me to be. I have noticed that tense feeling. You know the feeling you get. That knot in your stomach that you are not in the right place. That expectation. That fraudulent way of being that seems to take over in most offices. …


The way to get out of a rut is to transform and employ a transformational work culture

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Photo by Daniel Schaffer on Unsplash

There is much to learn from when working for corporate America. Top-Down organizations have a few leaders who speak of corporate values. Usually, you will see leaders saying things like innovate and disrupt. The problem is, that when you try to disrupt a corporate structure, you get gaslighted, or worse, you get on the HR chopping block.

Companies with old corporate hierarchies do not encourage true communication, or they just continue to listen to the same few people they always have.

This is where they are failing.

Most people are not ready for change. They want to keep their old ways, and they find you annoying when you point out what isn’t working.


The algorithm will tell you who is a threat or a risk.

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Photo by Daniel Schaffer on Unsplash

Who to hire. Who to fire.

Who is in debt.

Who has lived well.

But the algorithm can never tell you about life.

The algorithm will never tell you about the person who held his dying grandfather’s hand while he was on his death bed.

The algorithm will never share information about the time the person got up from her seat to let a disabled woman sit on the train, nor will it tell you about the person who yelled on a crowded train for another person to get up from their seat so an elderly lady with a cane can sit down. …


Reminiscing on Orchard trees, PC boards, and Microchips

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Photo by Katie Baumez on Unsplash (De Anza Hotel, San Jose)

I grew up in the Silicon Valley. My first office job was working as a receptionist at 3H Industries working for three Israeli men Halfon, David, and Moise in Sunnyvale, California.

My father worked as a Computer Technician. I was charged with logging system issues and working in Accounts Payable. One device we created was the Gradient Amplifier. It was a part of the MRI machine, which was a machine I knew nothing about back then when I was barely eighteen years old.

One of the men that worked with my father started a company called Body Glove. They asked me if I would like to model for them. I was doing other modeling gigs, but unfortunately, I did not know enough to take this job.


It’s the last time I will cross this bridge for a while.

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Photo by Patrik Larsson on Unsplash

This was the bridge to a new career.

This was a bridge to my own healing.

It’s the last time I will try to avoid the guy sitting directly above me with his laser-focused camera hanging and affixed tightly to his mini scooter on this rickety bus surveying whatever oddities he can chronicle.

The last time the bus will get cut off and I will hit my head against the plush seat in front of me. …


Sitting on a platform floating across the Bay

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Photo by Guillaume Merle on Unsplash

Filthy dirty walkways leading to nowhere.

Green hazy light casting the glow of death on unsuspecting faces.

Mustard yellow and browned seafoam green seats envelop humanity like a hungry mouth.

Marijuana haze is the only air offered.

Adrenaline high and news of missiles in the air.

Not one face is smiling. All are just surviving.

A loud hum echoes with noise from the conductor explaining why we can’t be home on time.

Everyone has too much work but the paper convinces us we are lucky to make just above the minimum wage.

No one trusts anyone else and your neighbors are jealous if you own a watch. …


In the Silicon Valley, each bet you make is weighed and counted.

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Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

The land of 1’s and 0's.

Where bets are made on the winners and the losers are abandoned.

Everyone wants you to be free.

But they just don’t want you to be more free than they are.

The algorithm counts it all and tells you which bets to make and which to avoid.

No heart involved. No humanity considered.

Just a computer screen which tells you how to live, how to be, which horse to bet on.

You take your side. All else is avoided.

We’re so far from each other now that we no longer trust eye to eye.

We are suspicious and doubtful and overrun with our analytical minds.

I will bet on this horse. I will bet on this boyfriend. Will this employee make me look good or not? …

About

Kelly Burns

Italian American, animal lover, traveler, dreamer, downhill skier. Avocado appreciator. Sensitive to random noises. I've been told I talk too much.

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