• A satchel dump, a purse dump, a backpack or a duffel dump are all names for dumping it all out on the table. No filter. No sorting. Just a jumble of randomness that represents bits and pieces of who I am.
• I have a tendency to start things and not finish them, to have grand ideas and big dreams, but to not follow through. This year, I am changing that. I’m setting goals and meeting them. Okay, okay… if I’m honest, I’ve only just almost met my first big goal, but at least I’m trying and making progress, and I’m not giving up.
• My friend’s birthday is on the 11th, and I wanted to do something special for him, so I decided to give him the best thing I could think up: his very own homemade art journal. I bought one of the black Dylusion journals at the store and began painting and sketching and collaging in it. I’ve been working on it for three months now, and I think I will finish the last page in the journal later today. I am so, so proud of myself. I feel buoyant, like I finally have the strength and determination to the tackle the things in life that are most important to me. I know he will read the words and look at the collaging and feel so much love crash over him, because that art journal is nothing if not full of love. ❤️
I’m going to start writing flash fiction. I keep bouncing the idea around in my brain. It’s like this pinball of thought that keeps making its way back to me.
It all started when I checked out a book from the library by Naomi Shihab Nye. In the past, I’ve really enjoyed her poetry, so when I saw her name on a book of very short stories, I snatched it up. A classmate of mine recommended flash fiction to me years ago, but it seemed so far out there. I’d never heard of it before, never read any of it and thought it was too different to be something that I could do that would be taken seriously. That’s pretty silly of me, I know. I mean, what’s so great about being taken seriously anyway? Wouldn’t it be okay for me to write whatever I wanted to write as long as I enjoyed the process of writing it?
Loop to the top. Long story short, I’m going to start writing flash fiction. I’m excited about it. I’ve been really enjoying this book by NSN, really feeling the possibilities of that type of writing open up for me.
Today, I cooked. I cleaned. I did laundry and dishes. I took care of the kids and went to Parent Day at their school and helped with their homework and shopped for new clothes for them. I did all these little things that needed doing, and before I knew it, the day was over and I still hadn’t written. Tomorrow I am going to try writing something while listening to music and drinking my morning coffee. Did I mention that I’m excited!?
I want to become vegan. I’m hesitant to announce this to anyone because I’m finding it takes a lot of planning and change. I can’t just reach for what I used to reach for when I was hungry. I have to come up with a new way of eating, of making old favorites or of making new favorites. I checked out a stack of vegan cookbooks from the library, and I’ve been trying a couple of new recipes a week. I bought a vegan veggie burger cookbook too. It just got here today, and I’m super excited about trying some of the recipes in it as well.
So far, my favorite new recipe is this Thai coconut soup that I made last week. It was really scrumptious, and I’m planning on making it again this week. I also made hummus yesterday for the first time. It turned out pretty good too. I’ve been using this cookbook called Vegan Planet. I really like it. It has 400 and some vegan recipes in it. I haven’t even begun to dip into them yet. I think I’ve made 4 recipes so far.
If I’m honest, the real reason that I’m interested in becoming vegan isn’t to lose weight or to be healthier, although both of those things are nice. The real reason is because I want to be kind to animals, and I’ve felt slightly guilty eating meat for years. I just wish I didn’t like it so much. Especially turkey. What does a vegan eat on Thanksgiving is what I want to know. I suppose I can eat stuffing and cranberry sauce. That’s a start.
I’ve gotta stop looking at the things that I wouldn’t be able to eat and start looking more at the things that I would be able eat, and I definitely need to stop going to McDonald’s. I get into nothing but trouble there.
While we’re on the subject of being vegan, something I’ve been thinking about for weeks now… Happy World Vegan Day! Apparently World Vegan Day is today, November 1st.
I’ve been silent, focusing on the physical me instead of the spiritual. I’ve been eating edamame, oatmeal, raw pumpkin seeds, chopped dates, yogurt and all sorts of other things to help make my body more healthy. I have neglected the part of me that sighs when the leaves fall from the trees in autumn, neglected the part of me that craves connection and meaning. There must be a way for me to find balance. It’s a struggle for me. For years, I’ve tended to do well in one area while failing in the other areas. What will it take before I can balance the things that matter to me? How is it that I’ve grown so lopsided?
This is October, my favorite month, the time of the year that makes me feel like change is coming, change for the better, a chance at a newer and brighter life. October feels like a time when the slate’s wiped clean and I get another chance at life. With each gust of wind, more leaves fall from the trees, and I feel like the changes are going to make a difference this time, this time I will turn the page and start a new chapter in my life. This time, it won’t just be more of the same.
It’s almost September, and I’m looking forward to the weather changing. I like cool, crisp fall mornings. I love sweaters and scarves and walking through crunchy leaves on sidewalks. I love when the leaves change colors and there are patches of yellows and swathes of oranges. I love pumpkins and hot cider, love hayrides and trick or treating.
I suppose it’s a little odd to be writing about fall when it’s supposed to be 83 degrees here today. It is still August, after all. I guess I just need something to look forward to, and all of those little things are things that make me smile.
One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail. I’ve written about it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m obsessed with writing letters, with connecting with someone through the written word. I wrote a friend of mine the other day, and I quoted that movie. These lines in particular seem to describe me too:
“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
This is me too. I’m cloistered, withdrawn. I have difficulty connecting with people in person. I suppose that writing letters is a way for me to communicate that is not quite so scary as communicating in person, and there is always time to allow an idea to percolate before having to share it. Sometimes I wish I lived a grander life, an exciting life, but I don’t.
I shop at little farm stands. The librarians know me by name. I know the one lane bridges on tiny country roads. I walk alongside the corn fields and pick wildflowers. I like baking pies. I know all these things about myself, but sometimes I still wonder who I am. I feel like the me that’s deep inside is the me that matters, and I can’t quite get her to come out of hiding.
* I have great taste in music.
* I make awesome instrumental playlists.
* I'm a good cook.
* I'm a great mommy.
* I'm loyal.
* I'm trustworthy.
* I'm kind.
* I have a big heart.
* I'm creative.
* I make nice jewelry.
* I love my poetry.
* I love how passionate I am.
* I also love how deeply I feel.
* I remember little kindnesses.
* I have pretty hair.
* I love fiercely.
* I'm compassionate.
* I have good taste in plants.
* My eyes are a nice shade of blue.
* I have freckles on my shoulders.
Today is one of those barely getting by kinda days, the days when little kindnesses go such a long way, when you’re grasping at straws when you really need either a hand to help pull you up or for someone to sit with you on the floor and pass you Kleenex while you cry or listen while you rage.
This book is about a girl named Holland Jaeger, who realizes her senior year in high school that she’s a lesbian. Up until this point, she’s had it all: she’s on the swim team; she’s president of the student body; she’s relatively popular, intelligent, and has a steady boyfriend. When she realizes that she’s falling in love with a girl, it turns her world upside down. She finds out who her true friends are, who will accept her for who she is and who won’t.
This book is both heartwarming and sad. I got so angry reading some sections of it. I felt myself reacting along with the characters in the book when they got hurt, betrayed or treated like crap. Yes, there is hate in this book, but there is also love and acceptance and so much joy. I read this book in two days. I stayed up late reading it. I didn’t want to put it down. I know I’ll wonder about these characters for a while, wonder what happened to them after the book ended. I give this book four stars out of five. I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it for teens who enjoy LGBT literature or also books about finding out what’s in your heart and following it no matter how the people around you react.