Why I unfollowed you on Instagram

I unfollowed you on Instagram because we haven’t talked in years, are unlikely to talk again, and the pressure of remembering your spouse’s name and where you went on vacation last summer or what you had for dinner last Thursday is more than I can fold into the creases of my pink, pulpous mind.

I unfollowed you because we see each other all the time and I’d rather see the sparkle in your eyes and hear you hold back laughter as you mimic the expressions your daughter made as she tasted a lemon for the first time while I press the thin, plastic rim of a cup of house Pinot Grigio to my smirking bottom lip.

You see, I unfollowed you because I love the way you use your hand to cover your mouth when you laugh and the self-conscious way you run your fingers through your hair when you’re telling a story…but I don’t love the content you create for mass appeal enough to ingest it daily alongside my probiotic-rich, locally-sourced sauerkraut.

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a painting is never finished

The other day, I was working on my latest impressionist landscape of Fairfield, Enjoy the Beach, when I looked over at the recently completed painting While the Kids are at School hanging on the wall. Suddenly, a few spots that bothered me a bit when I declared the painting “finished” were bothering me a lot.

With paintbrush in hand and a close-enough colored daub of paint already resting on my palette, I made a few simple adjustments that completely changed how I felt about the painting.

I’ve heard the saying before, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (though I’m doubtful he was the source) but this was the first time I’ve had the nerve to potentially “mess up” a “completed work.”

I didn’t mess it up, though. The issues I’d had with the work couldn’t be solved alla prima, so I declared the work “good enough,” called it done, let it dry, posted a photo and explanation of the work online, and even hung it on the wall of my studio. Signed, sealed, delivered.

good enough

Good enough is the grace I give myself in my paintings. In my weavings, in my DIY projects, halloween costumes, I let “better than before” be my guide. During my magical mornings, I do the same thing every day because I know that who I want to become will be built through the identity that these practices foster. I do yoga not just to flex the impressive hand-balancing pretzel poses I’ve trained my body to do, but also to relax into foundational poses in preparation for putting myself in positions I have not mastered. When I do HIIT training at my local gym, I push myself to lift heavy but I know that if I’m straining or my form is suffering, I will go down to a lighter weight.

Through therapy and self care, I’ve learned “good enough” is a gift of softness to myself. However, this softness, this grace does not extend to my writing.

My biggest aspiration for the longest time has been to be a published author. Yet, I don’t publish a thing–not even on this platform, where I have the freedom to share whatever and whenever I please.

Therein lies the problem.

too much creative freedom is stifling.

This may sound counterintuitive, but I firmly believe that creativity is best expressed within boundaries. I’ve got a great example for this: Robocop.

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Poem: As Seen on TV

I was dismayed to learn of Bob Saget’s passing. I grew up fatherless and his role as Danny Tanner on Full House was important: it showed single parenthood as “normal” and nothing to be ashamed of. For thirty minute segments, he stepped in as a positive father figure where I had none. This feeling was so engrained in me that the first time my husband sat down with our oldest son when he was upset to have a heart-to-heart my first thought was, “Huh, like Danny Tanner,” and my second was, “Oh, like a dad.”

In November 2019, I was processing my childhood traumas and the complicated relationship I have with my parents when I wrote a poem that referenced this. I figured now is as good of a time as ever to share it with others.

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2021 & done

I went digging through old journals to uncover what the intention was for this year and I came across something dorky that’s better left private (but champagne is now involved, so no holds barred): “2020 was the year of mental health, 2021 will be the year of the glow up.” 🤓

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The Anniversary of my Cancer Diagnosis

Twenty-nine years ago on this date, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was so little. There’s no way I could pronounce Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, nevertheless understand what was happening in my body.

Childhood cancer is unique in that it doesn’t disrupt the patient’s life like it would an adult’s. The foundation of life isn’t yet there for disruption: a young child experiences the first hospital stay, the first round of chemo, the first spinal tap in the same way that children experience their first day of kindergarten, their first time riding a bike, and their first time tying their shoes.

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The Epilogue

I am a storyteller, 
through and through
A childhood defined by
Long afternoons spent around
a kitchen table
Listening
Learning

A bellowing laugh
Between sips of sweet tea
Faded fast-food mugs
In topographical hands
Mountains, valleys, creases
a story of their own.
Age and wisdom
To have both
A story in itself

Receiving
My own stories
Before I could
Decode
Lines and curves
Connected on a page
Before I could connect
A written story to my own

Once upon a time
A parental loss
A sick child
Left to fend,
to fight battles
Illness and Ill will
A tale of
defiance and defeat

A tale of force
Into my story
Into my body
An ink spill
Permeating the pages
A did
cannot be undone

A mystery
of madness, mania
A page turner,
the answer
Escaping on the breeze
of your exhale

An epoch of war
disguised as romance
An era of fear
disguised as family
An age of harm
disguised as home

The reveal
The rise
The run for your life
The strengthening
The escape

The heartache of another
More painful than my own
History repeats itself
Every fairy tale
Begins with tragedy

The hero’s journey
Metamorphosed
Metaphorical
mountains to climb
Led to literal
Landscapes of grandeur

The epilogue is
written
spoken
painted
in technicolor
shades of a
post-storm sunrise
Illuminating a new day

Is it time to disappear for a while?

In August, I resurrected this old blog with intentions of getting back in the groove of frequent posting. It struck me that my youngest would soon be in a threes program at a local preschool for three and a half hours, three days a week. I could now expect to have ten and a half uninterrupted hours a week to position myself toward some long-term goals and create new habits that weren’t accessible with a lack of childcare.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy to add more to my plate. There’s a lot of hoops to get through to maximize time when you’re time-blind and enterprising. I did some research into planners for folks with ADHD minds and found a planner that I thought would suit me best. I got geared up and started working with it right before my oldest son’s first week of school.

Despite this, things didn’t go as planned.

Continue reading “Is it time to disappear for a while?”

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