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Creativity + The End of Rookie

5 Jan

Image via Rookie, of course

 

Rookie closed down last year.

Rookie as in Tavi Gevinson’s creative project. Rookie as in “look, art can exist on the internet!”

It’s a sad time for the internet.

For me.

I read Tavi’s final letter in its entirety the morning she published it. All six pages. I’ve always loved her words, her insight, her honesty. How is she 22?

Rob asked me if she was a genius and I stopped for a second.

Yeah, I said. I guess she is.

Man Repeller analyzed the ending of Rookie in its typical cerebral way.

I appreciate it and I also wonder who talks like that.

I’m surrounded by intelligent, thoughtful people!

This is another level.

My takeaway from the analysis was that Leandra (the founder of Man Repeller) derives pleasure from the internet game.

She gets that it’s a game, and yet, at her core she wants to make the game meaningful.

She doesn’t give it all up and just sell products to her followers. She wants to create community. To take what could be clickbait and make it human.

She says:

Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if there was no Man Repeller, and in many ways it would be much easier, and in the short term probably more financially lucrative because I’d have more time to earn those influencer dollarz.

But what enables me to get out of bed every morning and say bye to my kids is this deep-rooted recognition that as our lives become more digitized and further isolating, and as my heart breaks over and over again watching things that I don’t care about anymore — like fluctuating traffic or a diminishing interest in “time on site,” I actually have the power to fix it by pushing our work forward. Truly connecting people. Inspiring them. Making them feel good and hopeful in a world that is largely driven by fear — fear of being irrelevant, uncool, alone.

It’s an admirable cause and I salute her.

And yet.

I am Tavi.

At the end of it all, Tavi saw Rookie as her art project. She didn’t want to play the game, and the internet requires you play the game.

I don’t want to play the game.

I get stressed out sometimes thinking I should want to play the game! Wondering if I should worry about followers or boosting or clicks. How to convert it all into something.

But I hate the game.

I’ve tried to play it and I’m terrible at it.

The game is all stress and pressure to me.

The game is no fun.

There’s a part in Big Magic where Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a woman who takes up ice skating in her middle age, not because she’s ever going to be a professional ice skater, but because it brings her joy.

There’s this strange thing that happens when you’ve pursued a creative path for your career.

That suddenly the only “success,” the only thing that counts is if you become a professional.

This becomes your full-time job.

The success of skating in your middle age just because is lost.

That’s been my big takeaway from the Great Therapy Writing Challenge.

I’ve been writing every day just because. Not to try to propel a goal, but writing as some people go to the gym. For my brain.

And as I’ve done so, my whole life has been filled with creativity.

I am making homemade cards for Christmas. Cards with individualized drawings and vintage stamps.

I did Gilmore Girls Week on Mormons in Media, a true delight.

I am spinning and buzzing and excited and it’s all because creativity, that’s what counts to me.

This is all my arts and crafts project.

I LIVE for an arts and crafts project.

I want my life to be one big, messy, delicious one.

I saw Elizabeth Gilbert recently. In the program for her talk, there’s a little message from the author.

I think it about sums it all up.

Or something close to all of it.

She says:

Sometimes I wonder why I care so much. What does it matter to me if people are making art or not? Who cares whether anyone out there is writing novels, or learning new languages, or dancing or singing or growing or transforming?

Well, in the end, I think it comes down to this: we appear to be living in a universe that is constantly creating and recreating itself. The evidence for this is literally everywhere. Nature is always changing from one form to another. All you need to do is look in a telescope and you can see galaxies being born. Look in a microscope and you’ll see bacteria evolving and adapting right before your eyes.

The whole thing reeks of a giant cosmic arts-and-crafts project — an infinite, ever-unfolding experient in constant creative response. It appears to me that energy only wants one thing: to create. And you, of course, are made of energy. So start creating! Because once you start creating, you will step into alignment with the direction that the entire universe is heading. You will be in the flow of life itself. And that will make you happy. That will make you healthy. That will make you beong.

That’s why creativity matters so much to me–because i want a healthy belonging for myself, and I want it for you too.

I was talking to a friend recently about all of this.

About Tavi and Leandra and Elizabeth.

About creativity and the internet.

She asked me where this left me. This knowledge that I’m a Tavi. That I don’t want to play the game. The internet game. 

I said:

I think that leaves me here.

PS: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness taking up figure skating for the pure joy and drama of it is so very, very Big Magic

My Word for 2018

30 Dec

This year my grandfather passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly.

In a lot of ways, this has defined my year. The shock. The trip home. The shifting of priorities, of family dynamics.

A deeper understanding of grace.

I presented at a church workshop the week after the funeral and my final slide was my grandfather dancing at my wedding.

I talked about grace and how when someone passes away you can see their life clearly–the highs, the lows, the reality of the human experience.

And yet, with my grandfather’s death, my main takeaway, the biggest feeling I was left with was simply love.

A friend said,

God smooths over the rough places in our life and resurfaces us with love.

I saw this firsthand this year.

I saw grace in action.

I think my word this year is adult.

I’m growing older. My first grandparent has passed away. That’s a thing that starts happening now, I guess.

People I love age and struggle and shift.

I am aging and struggling and shifting.

I went to the grocery store every week this year.

Can you believe it?

A few years ago I was going to the grocery store once a quarter, at best. Every time I pushed my two carts out to the parking lot, an employee would ask if I was throwing a dinner party, or perhaps a medium-sized wedding.

No, no. I would say.

No, no.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in adulthood it is this:

You must go to the grocery store weekly if you want to eat well at all.

I’m sorry. To all my younger readers still on the quarterly plan, I’m so sorry for this news.

I hate the grocery store.

And yet.

This year, I went every week.

My word for this year is adult “I think” because I couldn’t come up with a better one. It’s as close as I could get to what this year was about.

I considered responsibility.

That’s a nice sort-of synonym?

We adopted Dolly this year.

We are responsible for a 5 lb living, breathing squeaky toy who crawls on my lap first thing in the mornings and flops and meeps for attention.

Rob suggested motherhood was the word for the year but I told him that was too far.

Too far.

And yet.

There was a shift.

A gaining of responsibility, of adulthood.

This year was the year of Dolly.

Recently Facebook popped up with the picture I shared back in February when we adopted our little marshmallow fluff.

I announced “Rob and I are parents! Meet Dolly Purrton!”

My grandfather commented, as he always did. He was the King of Comments.

“What a happy family!”

This year I didn’t move!

Two consecutive years in the same apartment, baby!

Since I came to LA in 2012 I’ve lived in five different places.

This year I didn’t move and I lived in an apartment that is functional and decorated and furnished.

This is the year of adult, after all.

This year I stayed at the same job!

Two consecutive years at the same place of work, baby!

Not that this makes one an adult.

A lot of really adult people I know freelance or shift with the wind. Change income-sources like I change mumus.

But for me it was a sort of settling down and settling in.

I love my job.

I am incredibly grateful I have it.

And I stayed there.

The last time I sat down and had a real conversation with my grandfather was fall of 2017.

I shared my shiny, new wedding pictures with him and my grandmother.

Here you are dancing

Here you are again

My grandparents dancing was a highlight of my wedding. It was a highlight all weddings they ever attended. The two of them would dance in any situation. Music came on? There they were in the middle of it all. Smiling. Cha-cha-ing. Glowing.

At my wedding, my grandpa did complicated footwork to You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, jumping and leaping, landing it all as the crowd cheered.

At his funeral, we played this footage on a loop.

2018 was the year of adult.

It was the year I started to craft in a real way.

The year I announced I was Mormon on the internet.

Both of those feel adult to me.

The embracing of who I am, who I have always been. The owning of it. The return to the core.

2018 was the year of therapy.

The year I started most conversations with, “My therapist says.”

My therapist says she’s seen me change this year. Start on a path. A path towards what, is the question. That’s the word I’m looking for.

Is it responsibility? Honesty? Dolly? Grief? Crafting? Therapy?

I think my word this year is adult.

At least, that’s what I’m going with for now.

To read the obituary I wrote for my grandfather, click here.

 

PS: My words for 2017201620152014, 2013 and 2012

The 10 Best Things I Ate in 2018

26 Dec

In no particular order.

Inspired by this post

1. Rob’s Teriyaki Chicken Pasta

A copycat of Rob’s favorite dish from his favorite hometown Italian restaurant. I can definitively say Rob’s version is better than the original. I have been to the original. It is excellent.

Rob’s version is glorious.

For my birthday I chose this dinner and then proceeded to eat an entire pound of pasta myself with no regrets or sadness, only love and light and 31 years.

2. The Chocolate Sparrow Soft Serve Ice Cream

A Cape Cod classic, their chocolatey drinks are special, but I got their soft serve almost every day we were on the Cape this year. Maybe every day come to think of it?

There is something about good soft serve that simply cannot be topped, and this soft serve is great.

3. HiHo Cheeseburger

The best burger in LA. I live right by Father’s Office, often touted as The Burger out there, and let me tell you no. And not just because of the stressful Father’s Office atmosphere. HiHo is melt in your mouth better. (And the choice for Rob’s birthday meal.)

4. Costa Grande Carnitas Wet Burrito with Green Sauce

I travel to the Valley for this burrito. It’s known to my coworkers as my Valley Burrito. It is so enormous, the size of about an eight-month-old child, that I usually bring half of it to work the next day and people ooh and ahh and say, oh Jill got her Valley Burrito yesterday.

5. Cafe Du Monde Beignets

They live up to the hype.

6. Sidecar Doughnuts Breakfast (Eggs Benedict) Donut

Hear me out. A donut stuff with a poached egg, ham and basil. It’s a real thing that sounds maybe iffy? And is glorious.

7. Sarita’s Pupuseria Papusas!

This restaurant was featured on La La Land and now has a picture of its movie scene right on the cash register which takes away a bit of its charm, but the pupusas remain THE PUPUSAS. The only thing you really need to do in Downtown LA.

8. Los Agaves Chicken Chile Poblano Campestre with Agave Sauce

Los Agaves is my favorite restaurant in the entire world. The restaurant we went to right after we got engaged. The restaurant on the top 20 best reviewed restaurants on Yelp. Like 60% of the reason we go to Santa Barbara so often. This is my order plus beans + rice + guacamole.

9. Parasol’s French Fries and Gravy

Is there anything better in this life than french fries topped with roast beef and gravy? In New Orleans?

10. Crack Shack The Firebird

Rob’s best friend lives in San Diego, and so Rob has been raving about Crack Shack for years. It finally came to LA, and to a place we go often, at that! Any excuse I have to get this spicy, melty chicken sandwich I take, eagerly. I have a lot of excuses.

A Day At Church

26 Nov

I gave five hours to church on Sunday.

I am not in a leadership position. I am no one exciting. Just a member of the congregation and this is what I gave.

Five hours.

It’s a job. A day’s work.

As a child I used to say I was churched out.

When my family would sit down to read scriptures or when there was yet another youth activity I would sigh. I can’t, I’m churched out.

I am often churched out.

I wonder how many of us feel this way?

I’ve wondered if this means I don’t like it?

Or like, with everything else in life, there’s bad to get to the good?

The first hour I spent at church practicing the organ.

This is actually an improvement for me. When I was first asked to be the ward organist I would come at 7:30AM and use my key to unlock the green gate. I would turn on the lights and for the next 2.5 hours I would stumble through, my feet bumbling the pedals, my heart racing.

It almost doesn’t matter if I practice, I can never perform it how I’d like.

It’s the ultimate test for a perfectionist and I get it every week!

Lucky me.

A podcast I listen to once talked about church as something that most every single time is boring and semi-horrible and then occasionally, BOOM, that great spiritual experience. And we go and we slog through for the BOOMS.

This is true of most anything.

I love to read, and yet most of the books I read are just fine. But then, wow, when you get a great one.

BOOM.

BOOMS.

The second hour of church I spent actually playing the organ for the service.

I played four pieces.

Prelude.

Postlude.

It went about as well as usual, which is to say at least 20% less than I would have hoped.

Recently I listed all the things I have going on in my life.

There’s a lot.

I load myself up with projects and side projects. With relationships and goals and to-do lists and I am on edge a lot of the time because I am nowhere near accomplishing everything I want to.

Rob points out that I have a lot on my plate and I say, “Yes!” But I want it all there!”

Except for church.

The church stuff on that list often feels like an obligation.

One I take on willingly.

But an obligation, nonetheless.

The third hour of church I teach a group of 4-5 year olds about forgiveness.

We read stories and color pictures and sing songs.

(I do this at work all week.

Now I do this on the weekends too.)

I sound negative and I know I can be about church.

I am, after all, someone who is churched out quite often.

But there are so many good things I’m not talking about here.

About some of the best friends and best people I’ve met through church. About the way the community came together and fed my family for a week when my grandpa died. How people I’ve never met have showed up and helped me move my house countless times, simply because I asked. And because we share this thing.

I don’t mean to be negative.

The fourth hour of church I play the piano for all of the primary children (12 and under). I haven’t practiced and don’t know the songs beforehand, but luckily this isn’t the organ.

I debated publishing this piece.

Will it be controversial? Sharing my experience?

Sharing anything when it comes to religion seems to be controversial. Some people only want to listen to the good. To tell me to try harder, have more faith. Others only want to swirl in the bad. To tell me to leave, that it’s all nonsense.

My church experience exists in tones of gray.

In kind people and long meetings.

In purpose and community, in disappointment and heartache.

In slog slog (slog) (slog) (slog) (slog) BOOMS.

The fifth hour of church I stay behind and help a friend pick out a solo for the upcoming Relief Society Christmas dinner.

I’ll be accompanying her on the piano.

She has a lovely voice.

Slog slog slog

(No booms today.)

 

Thanksgiving 2018

23 Nov

We watched Parks and Rec all of Thanksgiving week.

It wasn’t planned.

In fact, we had just started Homecoming after wrapping up The Haunting of Hill House. We were hitting all the big names!

And then we watched an episode of Parks and Rec and it was just so…nice. So…fun?

I have 38 television shows on my “Shows” note on my phone. These are the shows that I’d like to watch or finish or watch the next season of or or.

And letting go of that list, letting go of an acclaimed show or a recommended show or a new show to just watch something I’ve already seen for the fun of it? It feels like the biggest lesson of 2018.

Why on earth am I making goals around my television shows?

Television is meant to entertain!

I subscribe to 45 podcasts.

That’s a real number too.

I counted after I saw a Millennial Bingo that said “Subscribes to five podcasts” and I was like FIVE? PHEW. MY GRANDMA subscribes to five. Try 45!

And then I realized wow.

I have also turned my podcasts into some sort of goal. Achievement.

I have also lost the entertainment in my entertainment.

Last week I asked people to brag about something they were proud of in 2018. It was the best thing I’ve done in a really long time and I definitely recommend it. Ask the people you love!

Ask yourself.

I am surrounded by the greatest humans.

Humans who start book clubs and change their car brakes on their own. Humans whose movies are now streaming on Amazon, whose books will hit the shelves soon. Who overcame bad relationships or opened themselves up to good ones.

Humans who adopted cats.

(Wait that’s me. I’m a cool person, too!)

But the interesting thing was, after I put that question up, I had many people reach out and tell me that they couldn’t think of anything to say.

One friend told me she hadn’t achieved anything in 2018.

“Hmm,” I said. “The question didn’t ask you what you had achieved, it asked you what you were proud of?”

“Hmm,” she responded.

Hmm.

That was a moment for me too.

Am I only proud of my “achievements?”

What is an achievement anyway?

Isn’t sending a finished book out, one you’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of days working on, something to be proud of, even if it’s not hitting the shelves next year?

Trying something new?

Persevering anyway?

(The answer is yes. But why is it so hard to believe?

Why am I subscribed to 45 podcasts?)

This year I am proud of a tiny Instagram account I started called Mormons in Media. We’ve been talking about it for so long and we finally did it. Almost no one follows, and we did it.

I am proud I publicly wrote about being Mormon.

I am proud I opened my heart to little Dolly.

I am proud I got my flu shot for the first time ever.

I am proud.

This time watching Parks and Rec I’ve realized that I am Leslie Knope.

It’s a strange thing, because I always identify with the Eeyore, the Meredith Grey, the moody moodster.

Leslie is all positivity and energy.

She is also an obsessive overachiever who loves her job, makes binders for her binders, wants to connect to friendships and people so intensely most don’t know how to handle it.

Yes, I am a Leslie.

I am also a moody moodster.

Moody Moodster Leslie, if you will.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Rob made artichoke dip and we have some Parks and Rec to watch.

Just for fun!

What an idea!

A Call to Words

15 Nov

My therapist has given me strict instructions that I am to write.

That’s her prescription, that’s my task.

We made a list of everything going on in my life and the areas I’m feeling good about and the areas I’m not and at the end of it all she said, OK, your number one priority is to write.

Want to work on your depression?

Write.

Want to tackle these other things?

Write first.

I remember reading about a woman who had a very busy week. In that busyness she decided to give herself permission not to clean her house that week. She would let her mind focus on other, more important matters.

As the week went on and the mess in her house grew she grew increasingly agitated.

She was failing! She spiraled! She would never get it all done!

(She cleaned her house.)

(She felt better.)

(She got more done.)

In this story writing is my clean house. And I am this woman.

Times, oh, 700 million?

I often put off writing because I am busy.

I am busy! This is true. But putting off writing doesn’t help.

And filling that time, that writing time with other (good!) (great!) things is actually making me feel worse.

Tackling my health may begin with writing for me.

Tackling my relationships or finances or or or

Maybe I begin with a clean house.

Maybe I begin where I know I need to begin.

I’m Mormon. Hi! Did you know?

27 Aug

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I keep thinking about an article I read. An article on Mormon women and polygamy.

I’m Mormon. Hi! Did you know?

You probably knew.

I’m from Utah. I have four siblings. I don’t drink alcohol. The signs were all there! And yet, I avoided forever and ever and ever (six years) talking about it on this blog.

I didn’t want to be a Mormon Writer. I didn’t want to be judged. I didn’t want have to defend the Mormon church for things I disagree with it on.

In fact, I already wrote this post! Here it is:

Reasons I’m scared to write about being Mormon on the internet

  • Polygamy
  • Fielding any question at all about polygamy
  • Feeling like I must field religious questions in general
  • Judgment
  • People thinking less of me
  • People suddenly disliking me?
  • People thinking I agree with everything the Mormon church does
  • People wanting me to talk about everything the Mormon church does that I don’t agree with
  • Angry people who hate Mormons
  • Angry people in general
  • Being attacked for something that is so personal and so intricately linked to who I am, who my family is, my history, my culture, my language

Reasons I’m posting a list about being Mormon on the internet:

  • This is my experience
  • This is my story
  • I am Mormon
  • Even if I never talk about it, or write about it, or blog about it…I am already a Mormon writer, a Mormon blogger, a Mormon person

Whew, feels good to put that out there.

Or does it?

I’m wary about opening this part of my life up at all online. The internet can be a dark place. The Mormon church can be a dark place for many people, sometimes for me.

But, as a good friend pointed out to me, I am already a Mormon Writer whether I ever talk about being Mormon.

I am a Mormon. I am a writer. It informs my background, my choices, the words I write.

Whew.

Here I am.

Now, back to the article.

I didn’t think I would reveal my Mormonism by talking about polygamy.

Polygamy is something I would prefer to never talk about. Ever. Remember my list?

(And to clarify. The Mormon Church does not practice polygamy. I only have one mother, thanks for asking.)

But this article.

It’s an interview with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Mormon feminist at Harvard. She actually coined the phrase we see every women’s march, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” She talks about how the quote has been taken out of context, how she supports the new context too.

It’s an interesting article, should you decide to read it.

You should, probably!

But it’s actually the non-polygamy stuff I keep thinking about. (Surprise! Angst and embarrassment, remember?) It is the stuff she says about religion in general, and our religion specifically that stood out for me.

Recently I was on the sidelines of a conversation about religion and, well, how dumb it is. How it’s all made-up and arbitrary and it’s ridiculous that people believe and worship and follow these made-up, arbitrary rules.

I hear the people in this conversation and what they are saying.

I understand the people in this conversation and what they are saying.

And yet, Laurel said what I wish I had had the words for in that moment. What I wish I had articulated. She said:

My study…doesn’t turn me toward abstract questions about the nature of God so much as it turns me toward deeply meaningful questions about how human beings manage to live together in the world and to make reasonable lives out of inscrutable suffering. Those are such contemporary and profound questions.

“How human beings manage to live together in the world and make reasonable lives out of inscrutable suffering.”

Pow.

Wow.

She goes on to talk about her relationship with the Mormon church. She says:

It gives me many, many grounding values in my life, particularly the values of community, of sharing, of not being invested in being important or wealthy in the world. I don’t always live up to those values, believe me. I try very hard, and they – and I come back to them constantly. And it also – some of the most profound issues have to do with the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of human beings, the sense of fatherhood and motherhood of God that we’re in this together, and we’re in this world to, I think – and this is just such a difficult thing to say – but we’re in this world to make it better.

That to me is a fundamental revelation that Joseph Smith delivered. And believe me, he didn’t always make it better, but the value that he taught and that has been passed on through many generations to those of us who are privileged to have had that faith tradition is, you know – we’re supposed to try to improve things in whatever way we can in the world around us.

Well my golly, my gosh, look at me using Mormon terms here, but pow. Wow. That’s it, isn’t it?

I’m Mormon and I’m trying to be better.

I’m Mormon and I am privileged to have had that faith tradition.

I am Mormon, hey, did you know?

(You probably knew.)

My Protected Writing Time

11 Apr

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I’ve been sick for four months.

I’ve been sick for four months not in a chronic, (or) real, (or) life-threaning way, but in that awful way where you’re blowing nose on everything and you’re losing your voice and people are like maybe you should be at home? And you’re like, listen if I were to be at home every time I felt like this I would be at home every day, SIR.

I’ve been sick for four months.

It’s a bum start to the year.

2018 is that very pretty vintage car that looks so nice, but every time you try to get it going it kind of begins and putters out. Begins and putters out. And you spend all your time in the shop thinking, wow this is it?

This is what’s happening?

I’ve been sick for four months.

Apparently I’m not alone. A girl I follow on Instagram keeps giving updates to her own illness.

stillsick.com she says on her beautifully lit photo of a green plant

stillsick.net I say.

I’ve been sick for four months.

At one point I thought I would do a library blog. I even own the space.

jillianlibrarian.com

It sounds so great, right? I want to do that!

I want to be that librarian! That person!

I could do a post on National Poetry Month! On my book spine poetry lesson! And my magnetic poetry boards! The blackout poetry interactive station!

I want to write about that.

And I want to do so much else. I want to do it all and there’s no time and I’m at a place in my life where I have the most time I’ll ever have and there’s no time for jillianlibrarian.

And so I sit here writing nonsense on jillianlorraine.com in my 35 minutes of protected writing time. My 35 minutes set on a timer.

And so I sit here and waste the timer time on this time. Timer.

I’m watching Home Town. Now that Chip and Joanna are gone I have to do something to fill the achy brrakey void. I have to emotionally attach to strangers.

Rob refuses to be the HGTV couple with me.

It’s not that hard, I say. We’ll just move to a small town in the South. Restore it home by home. You’ll have to pick up some carpentry, maybe construction skills. I’ll use my natural design eye I’ll soon acquire.

It will be a hit! I’ll be a maximalist who loves color, a unicorn in the white-everything world!

We’ll buy homes for $30k!

Does it depress anyone else to watch people buy homes for 30K? Like what? What is happening? That is a decent rent for a year, fools.

I am the fool for living here.

We are all fools.

I have 16 minutes left on that writing timer I told you about. I could be working on the two books that I’ve begun in the last year. Or my wedding stuff that I keep avoiding. Or maybe a deep personal essay that I could send somewhere.

But here I am talking about Missisippi real estate.

Here I am, being me.

I did begin my wedding writing. It goes like this:

It has been over seven months since that day in Cape Cod.

Seven months in Santa Monica.

Seven months of meal planning (seven months more than ever before).

(Seven months of marriage.)

In those seven months, I’ve consistently had on my to do list, “write about the wedding.”

I know it’s some of the most important writing I’ll ever do. Writing that I’ll want to look back on again and again.

That’s probably why I’m avoiding it.

(Definitely.)

Because it feels so Important.

This writing will live on. Long after the memories have faded, long after those who karaoked forget exactly what they sang, my words will exist, telling people what it was like. Informing our children, and our children’s children.

Oh gosh, I’ve spiraled.

It always comes back to that maybe.

This is what I get for having a mother who is big on family history. I see how words live on. How an obituary is what we remember of a person. How a poem about an absent father informs how I see a great grandmother.

Words are powerful and they are something I have to offer and so I sit here paralyzed.

There are 13 minutes left on my timer.

Me Too

21 Feb

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A few months ago I sold my gold bookshelves on Craigslist.

The way it all worked out, I was home alone the night my buyer could pick them up. I did the things I know how to do instinctively.

I gave several people information about where I was, who I was meeting, and when to worry.

I turned on all the lights in my apartment.

I pulled out my mace and had it in my hands when I opened the door.

I was greeted by a woman, about my age, holding the exact same pink breast cancer foundation mace I have.

We looked at each other and our ready mace and laughed.

“Mace!”

“You have mace!”

“I have mace!”

Our relief was so palpable we hugged.

By the end of the transaction I’d helped this new sister strap the bookshelves on her car. Learned about her relationship with her grandma. Laughed again.

We were friends. We were safe.

I’ve thought about that moment a few times since. How I prepared myself for the worst-case scenario. How another woman felt the same way. How we live our lives prepared for the worst when it comes to our safety as women.

I haven’t written about the Me Too movement. I don’t write about a lot of political things here and then I wonder if I’m doing it all wrong.

A podcast I listened to shortly after the election quoted something along the lines of, thank goodness Anne Frank didn’t write about trees.

And while I know I am not even remotely at all ever in any way in the same situation as Anne Frank, I’ve wondered about what I write. Am I avoiding the important stuff? Am I only writing about trees?

And feel-good television?

And spring cleaning?

I think about this mainly when I imagine my future children. Young girls asking me about this particular moment in history.

What was it like when women started to speak their truths? How did it feel?

How does it feel to be a woman in this political climate in general?

The important questions.

And so.

I guess I’m here to begin in some small way.

To say Me Too.

Me Too in countless ways for countless reasons big and small.

Me Too like every woman I have ever met.

Me, me, me, Me Too.

Yay for me

25 Jan

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Inspired by a segment on this great podcast

Yay for me!  I cleaned out my medicine cabinet. That sort of crazy clean where you toss out everything that’s expired and realize, wow, medicine expires a lot quicker than I toss it out.

Yay for me! I wore my mouth guard last night.

Yay for me! I made a hearty Italian soup on Sunday to prep for the week which brought up bigger questions like am I only prepping to live and never really living? And yet I perservered through the existential crisis and prepped to live and live I shall, with hearty soup, every lunch this week.

Yay for me! I’m finally reading a book a friend gave me years ago and it’s really nice to slow down and enjoy what I already have.

Yay for me! I got rid of that blue hoodie I kind of hated.

Yay for me