// mom’s coffee

I made mom’s coffee today

after picking up

then putting down

a small plastic cup that would probs

end up in the ocean anyways.

I read grandmother’s letter today

I could hear her words

through the tight lines of flowing cursive

always apologizing for hurting my eyes

with her meaningful, delicate strokes

if only she knew.

How much the joy triumphed over pain

combing through her letter.

I realize I’m becoming more

like the best parts of my mother every day

and cherishing the parts of my grandmother

that are tucked therein also.

I add creamer from the packet

and pour in my my two-minute microwaved water

toss in some sugar

and sit down

and remember.

// non, je ne regrette rien

Is it crazy of me

To want to go outside among the mist

Of cars racing past

Their wheels kicking up water from the dirty street

To want to feel damp to the bone

And watch as the raindrops

Dance down the windshields of the cars under the street lamps

Is it crazy of me

To want to fly down the road

Windows down

With the rain pouring in

A complete and utter blatant disregard for the saying of old

You’ll catch cold out there!

Especially if

I’m already sick

I’m already cold

I’m already catching it.

Is it crazy of me

To want to start everything at once

And then unabashedly decide

That I want none of it

And then just revert

To watching old Ellen re-runs

Until I muster up courage

To try again?

Is it crazy of me

To repeatedly put my independence on hold

To reach out again

In solidarity

In friendship

Towards a brick wall

That avoids communication of any kind

Mistaking caring

for interest

And understanding

For desire

Is it really that crazy of me

To hold on to the sliver of hope

That we can civilly come to terms

with who we are

And what we want?

xx

// when it rains

“This weather is disgusting.”

A disgruntled mutter comes from behind me

I look up from my stupid phone for a minute

And listen

as the tires rub their treads against the asphalt that is now shiny and slick

I watch

as the red and the gold and the green lights show off

streaming their reflections far beyond their mechanical parts

to highlight the ground under my footfalls

I glance upward

at the grey blanket of consistency that sheds a dull, even amount of light on everything

And feel the water that, with every drop against my face,

threatens to steal my mascara.

I let the cold, putrid scent of traffic fill my lungs

As I walk the white stripes diagonally to the other side

Looking briefly ahead

Behind

Beside

Thanking the clouds

and praising my hood

for granting me

just the right amount of anonymity

How can such disgusting weather

be such a beautiful escape?

xx

// dirty dishes

It’s wild, I think to myself

While doing the dishes

Watching the suds rise and fall

How much you consume

off my plate

Unaware

Of how much I

continuously

unabashedly

senselessly

hopelessly

set out at the table.

 

But

for what?


I scour the plate
Halfheartedly calling out

rhetorical questions

Won’t you stay?

For a drink?

For dessert?

For conversation?

For an extra helping of reconciliation?

I turn off the water

Much to my chagrin
and you’ve headed out

wordlessly

Mysteriously

 

It’s time to move on, time to dry!

But I’m not up for it

I cast the towel aside,

Draped neatly over the bar of the oven

And fix some black coffee instead.

xx

hello, february

It feels like forever since I’ve put something in this space.

I’ve been busy, I’ve been distracted, I’ve been feeling, I’ve been doing, I’ve been dying, I’ve been thriving. But no matter how many things I’ve been “doing”, this still remains a nice little corner of solace amidst all of it.

Just a bit ago I saw a really accurate piece of art/words by Mari Andrew that resonated with me— January has felt like it’s lingered around so long:

[From Mari Andrew’s instagram. She’s a brilliant writer and artist too, check her out!]

So shall we?

read/reading // writing // here!

Reading these gems, Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey [still!], and Deviced!, by Doreen Dodgen-Magee

learning // the value of heavy silence, of mindful ignorance. The clarity of honesty. The futility of searching for something [someone] who never existed in the first place. That love contains folds and corners that, while are absolutely worth exploring, can be difficult to understand and navigate.

doing / working on //

  • self-care. It’s a continuing process. And I feel like I’m starting to make steady progress!
  • re-aligning, reducing, ans re-designing my life through increased good habits
  • furthering the hunger initiative at my university’s campus ministry
  • doing design for an upcoming conference regarding mindfulness in education, as well as design for a program series here at our university’s library
  • raising funds for my STUDY ABROAD IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!! 😁😁😁🎉🍀
  • trying something new! I got to pose for a couple sessions for friends of mine who are trying to build up their portfolios and it’s pretty cool! I’ve never done something like that before–normally I’m the one behind the camera, normally I like to be the one crafting the scene and making the edits–so it’s SO cool to be just able to chill on the other side and see what happens and their artistic choices come to life! 😀
  • Going to the gym. Ha. Who even am I LOL

eating // a lot better. I’ve made it a priority have *some* sort of breakfast when I leave the house, and the

drinking// coffee, trying to drink more water, milk!

listening // …to a lot of lovely, new music. Have a listen ❤


https://youtu.be/V4E1AvbNPg4

being inspired // constantly by the people around me. Sometimes you just look up and everyone is just killing the game and falling into place and it’s so exciting. Also being inspired by the topics and bits and pieces I get to read in the in-between moments.

laughing // more often. I think right now about the weather outside my window– it’s really 55 degrees in January, that’s crazy. I think about how much happier I feel in this warmth, in this sunlight, in these moments of bliss that could completely be overshadowed by some polar vortex in a day or two. I wish the weather didn’t have such a big impact on my mood.. and for the most part, it doesn’t normally; I’ve definitely had moments of pure joy and euphoria amongst the greyest, the coldest of days… but this is definitely a nice little pouch of delight to have at the moment.

thinking // about my financial responsibility, about the framework I still need to set for this summer, and how everything is going to work out. I’m also spending, admittedly, way too much time thinking about people who I can probably guarantee are not doing the same. Just this morning, actually, I was reminded about this curious phenomenon. In a lesson about how Jesus returned to his hometown to preach, how he was doubted, how he was turned away in the minds of those listening…and, most notably, how he left in peace. No pushback, no beating people over the head with what he had to say. It’s true, what they say about people having to be “ready” to listen. Unless the other party is fully receiving your words, there’s not really much you can do in the way of speaking, of convincing, or otherwise. Just something to think about moving forward, I suppose.

trying // my best to push forward, not according to the words of others, but according to what I am feeling, what I am meditating on, what I am perceiving to be the best course of action.

hoping // “zat ze weathzer stays zis mild!!” But honestly. It’s gorgeous. I’m also hoping to crack down a bit more on my to-do list so I can have room for the creative outlets, some of which I hope that I can use for a purpose, for a passion.

loving // all of the beautiful opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Sometimes it takes a moment of looking up and looking around in the immediate surroundings… and that’s when it hits, cognizance of the abundant that exists right. There. In front of you.

praying // for more clarity, more peace, more focus. I’ve felt it, I know I have. I’ve had a taste of what I can do, uninhibited and my focus laser sharp on what matters. However, I know there is still work left to do. So I’m praying for strength and patience, and mindfulness, too.

Happy February!

xx

groundhog day

I met my husband onstage

through a series of nostalgic bops

that, with each bass note,

vibrated my entire being.

closure included a mad dash to the metro

abundant with fangirling and complaining that my feet hurt.

Mass confusion ensued–

which trains were leaving when?

an even bigger confusion–why was the train *still* sitting still after 15 minutes?

Sometimes the universe surprises.

I laughed aloud

Unable to reach the top bar on the train, vertically challenged.

laughter continued with each lurch

suddenly–making me lose my balance

falling backwards onto my friends.

You and your friend sat quietly

observing the spectacle

eyes crinkled and brilliant smile

pointed in my direction

like your long, outstretched legs.

One glance at the floor revealed the most intricate cowboy boots I think I’ve ever seen.

light-hearted banter

best bars in the area

reciprocated all too well.

It couldn’t have been

more than 10 minutes

but in that time

I saw the approach of our final stop.

I wondered:

“Will I regret this?

walking off another face,

a mere blip in another’s existence?

Funny thing-

I felt it come from within:

“of course you will. What is there to lose?”

The lunar eclipse is in full swing

And the wind is bitterly cold

as I fight to keep my keyboard alive

with wit and spontaneity far too long on sabbatical.

I wake up

at an ungodly hour

for coffee that turns into breakfast

frozen hands

a stroll along the wine aisle

as Shakespeare dominates the conversation.

Before departing I stood on steps that made us even.

Something out of a scene of an 80’s movie in New York.

Just even enough.

// forcing habit

It’s been a week!

I guess I can write this now!

So. In my earlier post about saying no to things so you can say yes later and whatnot I referenced a few things I was doing to kind of get myself back on track and pave a smooth way for the semester.

And I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot during that process.

So! A recap!

This week, I:

Said “no” to coffee, and “yes” to water and tea.*
I woke up with a cup/glass/or water bottle every morning this week, because I want to embrace the positive effects a hefty dose of water can have on your metabolism in the mornings.

Some observations, though:

  • It kinda threw off my body’s schedule LOL
  • I’ve noticed a small difference in my ability to focus and in the quality of my skin. [I had headshots taken yesterday so this has been a mild blessing!]
  • It has made me aware how little I drink water now. Because I start my day with it, and because it seems to be a memorable part of my mornings now, I think about it more. And I also seem to have a subconscious thought of “oh, welp! That’s your water for the day!” So I’m hoping to override that.
  • I did break my non-coffee regimen 2 times this week though [1.5 if you wanna get technical about chai tea lattes]. I will say though! These “breaks” were backed with purpose–
    • one “coffee” event was spent getting through a difficult, yet rewarding as hell conversation
    • the other was a purposeful consumption of an espresso iced coffee to power through a video editing session. I totally got in my “flow” state and absolutely reached hyperfocus as a result.
    • [EDIT: annnnnnd whoops technically I guess I also had a break today I totally forgot about–I ordered a Matcha latte at work today because I’d never had one before and I wanted to see if I’d like it. Does that count? LOL]
  • I guess the biggest thing for me with regards to the coffee is that I wanted to consume it more mindfully, and more purposefully, rather than just having it be my “given” for the day. And on that front, I think I succeeded. [:

I said “no” to notifications, and “yes” to waking up more mindfully.
I don’t think I really realized how much my mind raced in the morning until the end of last semester. Over winter break there wasn’t quite as many commitments, so I was able to wake up with notifications and skip the mind racing, *but* I was then able to fall into the trap of endlessmindlessscrolling (I didn’t have a class to race off to, so of course I was able to just sit and absorb. At least, I told myself I could). So. By keeping airplane on all night, I knew for a fact that nothing would be able to get through.

Some notes though:

  • I did violate my rule once this week because we were expected to get a ton of snow, and, let’s be real, I didn’t want to miss the university closure texts.
  • This habit MAJORLY helped in that it gave me a clear mind for the morning to breeze through my other tasks, such as drinking water, making myself a smol breakfast, and getting ready for the day [I should time myself on all those things, actually, just to see how long they *actually* take and now how exacerbated they are when interrupted with screen time! :D]
  • It also just gave me a nice…buffer? I guess? A little extra time between being asleep and immediately “on” and awake.
  • I’m able to more accurately process my mornings!! I am here, writing this post because I *remember* my mornings– not just as a rushed blur of mundane, but as a little more *mindful*! That’s exciting!

Said “no” to “checking in” and working right away, yes to observing my breathing and bringing back my wandering thoughts.
I was probably worried the most about this one.  Mediation, I knew going into this, was going to be the one I was most averse to for this week. I didn’t do that well in terms of setting aside a solid 5 minutes to watch my breathing. Rather, I made some observations:

  • I traded sitting cross-legged on my floor or on my bed for walks to work without headphones.
  • I declined music in the shower, opting instead for a 5 min timer and just embraced the fact that my mind was going to wander and made an effort to enjoy it.
  • I did a few brain dumps. On paper. For me, this is highly meditative for some reason.  I started with a blank sheet of paper and by the end of 10 mins or so, I had built a complete list of thoughts and notes and “to-do”s and by the end my head just felt SO MUCH BETTER. Chris Bailey quotes a lot, “your brain is for having thoughts, not holding thoughts.” That’s what the meditative brain-dumps are for [;

There were a few other things I did pretty consistently this week that I hadn’t intentionally set out to do,  though, and they surprised me!

I made my bed every morning.
Anyone who has seen my room knows I’m pretty scattered. But I’m actually super proud of the way I’ve been able to keep it tidy over the past week. Among my morning hustle, I try to make my bed look made just so I have a good thing to come home to. But also because it’s hard to lay out clothes and spread out what I need for the day on a mangled up tangled ball of blankets :B

I made myself breakfast every morning. 
The routine as of late? Oatmeal + egg and cheese. I whip up the oatmeal [it’s instant, we’re getting there LOL], and then make an egg with shredded cheddar to get that protein in. I cannot TELL you how many times I went last semester [especially towards the end there!] without eating a single thing in the morning. [Well, I did have a single thing– and it was coffee. #yikes] If I was running late, I opted for something more portable [I think that only happened once this week] like a granola bar of piece of fruit. Otherwise, I carved out time for breakfast. And, on super late nights like last night, I did the prep work in the evening so I could be prepared and get the extra sleep in the morning. [I know it all probably works out to be even– the time I spent prepping was taking away from my sleep time, but in my head this makes sense and it *feels* like I get to sleep more, LOL].

I did all of the above with the help of a “Gmorning” checklist! 
I love lists. I don’t know where I would be without them. What started as a way for me not to lose track of all I had to do in the morning turned into a daily event. I would take a piece of paper, write out my tasks for the morning, and write something encouraging on the top of it. The cherry on top? Leaving Lin Manuel Miranda’s book, “Gmorning, Gnight!” right on top of the list so I could flip it open to a random page to be inspired. I think positive self-talk, especially early in the morning, is super underrated. I’m not quite to the point of confessing love for myself in the mirror yet LOL, but I am finding that reading just a blurb of something positive each morning has a really nice effect on the day.

The crazy thing? There were points this week where I felt myself pushing back on all of this. Where I wondered, what’s the point?  Heck, today I saw someone reference today as “Ditch All Your New Year’s Resolutions Day,” as if we’re supposed to just up and lose motivation on the 15th of the first month of the year.

But the funny thing about routines and habits– you come to expect them. You come to think about them during the rest of the day, and even look forward to them. So much so that when you feel like you’re starting to veer off the tracks, you seek solace in them again. And it’s like come on we just spent so much time getting this together. Why stop now?

…And when you see that they’re starting to work, starting to pull you up and help you rise, you’re inclined to give them another chance every time the sun rises. [:

What about you guys? What 2019 energies are you keeping up with?

xx

 

brilliance.

They say

“there’s no light without darkness”

But sometimes

it takes a while 

for the two to coexist.

Sometimes it takes a while

to get up from the table

the bed

the floor

And make your way over

to your light switch

and flip it

subsequently flipping your life upside down 

in the most pleasurable,

surprising way imaginable

they don’t tell you

about the moment

they don’t tell you

about the vast,

overwhelming brilliance

the super power that enables you to see for miles

over hills of bullshit

through valleys of ego

under waters of clarity

beyond shadows of doubt

all to find

you know you’re still you

you were you when you danced

you were you when you sat in the dark

you were you when you emerged

among fraudulent, hollow stagnation

glowing and triumphant.

xx

—-

I read something the other day [what else is new LOL].

Something along the lines of “it’s easy to be over it when it’s distant. When you don’t have to look at it. It’s a whole ‘nother story when it’s closer. When you stare right at it.”

If 2018 was the whirlwind of a year of escapism, 2019 is the year of walking right up to it. The difficult. The challenging. Taking it out for a drink, and staring it down.

I suppose it’s clichee but it’s *INCREDIBLE* to be able to look around, and think, and feel, and comb through your heart, and scrutinize your routine, and investigate habit, and delight in breadcrumbs that you, so strategically and caring, scattered for yourself and yourself alone…and finally arrive at a loaded, liberating, completely uninhibited exhale that says: “LOL look how far this has come!

we can be good at math

Between being sick, and trying to figure stuff out for how to re-align my life for this semester, I managed to wake up late this morning…..BUT! I made it 1 minute before my first class started at 8am!! #yay

This class…is a math class.

#notyay #butYESYAYbecause #override #anythingispossible! #readmoretoseewhy

I am in my 3rd year here at university and have avoided it for this long [LOL how]. But like 2019 is turning out to show and teach me every day– there’s just no hiding anymore! ((-:

The last math classes I took was in high school. It was AP AB Calculus in my junior year, and AP Stats senior year. With regards to the Calc, I was in that class because it was the only thing left I could take without stepping down the ladder in terms of math difficulty, and because I was pressured into it by myself (“why not take another AP to impress colleges hmm??” ) and friends (“why not take another AP to impress colleges but also lowkey upholdyour intellectual status at this school and unrealistically inflate your GPA like the rest of us  hmm??”)… and parents (“why not take another AP to impress colleges hmm??”).

Needless to say, I did not want to be there.

This negative outlook stemmed, I think, from a lot of different things, and I really only started to understand it last semester.

This particular bout of introspection came when we were discussing epistemological beliefs within my practicum as I was training to become a digital learning center tutor.

It’s a big complicated phrase [and I may or may not still have trouble getting it out of my mouth without tripping on it somehow LOL] that basically talks about how we as humans conceptualize our own knowledge, and how we think about learning and its processes.

Do we think that learning is about facts and knowing? Do we believe that learning is a continuum that constantly evolves with time and experience? Do we believe that we can learn differently? Are we stagnant in our learning? Are we certain that things can only be a certain way, and that we can’t learn any differently?

In my case, I always told myself I was bad at math. Not gonna lie, I did this because I wanted to assimilate myself with my mother growing up, who had always said she was bad at math.

I have absolutely no issue [in fact, it’s *so* encouraged!] to make mental notes and observations about what you’re good and not so good at.

But I was telling myself I was bad at math like it was some genetic issue, not because I had legitimately tried time after time and fallen on my face repeatedly during my math courses. I mean, there’s no doubt I fell on my face in a variety of math classes, but I also had to step back and look at this in itself: “falling on my face” meant getting slightly lower grades than my peers.

At no point was I ever legitimately “failing” math. I think the worst grade I ever took home was in the high D/ C range. But no matter what grade I received, there was always a tiny voice that seemed to just ramble on without any real precedence, “I’m just not good at math”.

In the practicum it hit me. My learning, especially as of late, thank the Lord above, has been anything but stagnant. It’s been anything but “you’re just not good at X”. Hell, these past few years? I’ve been telling myself “how do we make X happen?” and then I just…do it. [A lot of this refers to procrastination issues but LOL that’s a tale for another time.]

Putting limits on the way you learn is such a sad thing to even think into existence. There’s almost *always* more than one way to do something, and I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised when I walked into my 8am math class today.

Not only was the professor so nice, so spritely, and passionate about the subject matter… she made it very clear to us that she loves teaching, that she’s an adjunct, that she gets a personal thrill every morning at 8am to be here in her ripe age of 65. Add in the fact that she’s very blunt and candid and brash with a southern twang?!?

LOL.

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed math more. She reminds me of my mother and my father’s mother all rolled into one and LOL it’s a fantastic combination.

But as I was sitting there, I was reviewing concepts that had fallen by the wayside, that had gotten rusty, that were a bit fuzzy on the edges. But I did the stepping back and was honest with myself. It’s been what, 3 years? LOL. Time to read up!

And it wasn’t bad at all! Stepping back to look at everything objectively, with confidence in myself [and a bit of hyperfocus**], I was able to think about how this was totally doable, and totally in my reach.

Malcom Gladwell has made the statement that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be good at something. Who says that something can’t be totally new? Or totally foreign? Or something you thought you were terrible at, but now have the courage to revisit?

**I refer to [surprisesurprise] Chris Bailey here. Another reason I think I did so “poorly” in math in middle and high school was because I was *not* in control of my attention at all. Phones and other tech at that age had… a bigger impact on my ability to focus and do well than I ever thought at the time, and so being able to see how to reign in my focus for things that are important to me, for things I want to succeed in, has been *such* a help.

What are *your* epistemological beliefs?

Better yet…How can you flip them upside down?

Onwards!
xx

here we go…!

These past 48 hours have found me feeling so sick and so dead– there is something wrong with my tonsils or lymph nodes I’m sure of it, and it’s creeping up into my ear making it hard to swallow.

The fun part? All of this is hitting at a time when I’m supposed to be getting “in it” again, re-energizing for school, re-aligning my goals, and getting back on track towards plans I can live with, plans that are ultimately my desire paths and will lead me in the directions I want to go.

I don’t like being sick partially because it means I have to kind of force myself to do nothing [if my body hasn’t already forced me to stop doing things, anyways], which is aggravating to me.

It also puts into perspective just how much I take my body for granted sometimes– this whole winter break I was around children and germs and wow my body has done nothing but fight that stuff off.

The highlight of my day yesterday was taking a shower– there’s something so great about taking a hot shower to temporarily relieve the pain. And it was in that moment where I stopped and I thought about the year ahead of me– the semester ahead of me– how beautifully full it was going to be and I just couldn’t return to moping around in bed after that.

It was meds and gargling and doing all I could to get my Google calendar in order. Sure, being sick you should rest and I *did* rest– plenty– but there’s a point where it’s like really? I sleep at night too. I don’t want to spend today a zombie– I already kind of did that a lot in 2018. Without being sick, though. Ha. Fun. 

So.

Tomorrow, all things considered, is a pretty easy day. I’m probably gonna be able to squeeze in a trip to the health center to figure out what’s actually wrong with me. (-:

It’s just funny because I think I put 2019 on a bit of a pedestal, something I’d reach for, something that was all shiny and new, and this sickness is bringing me a really interesting perspective on some things:

  1. our bodies are fragile, fricking BEAUTiful temples. We should love them for all they do for us.
  2. Just because 2019 has started out with sickness is humbling. It’s not how we end up with the sickness, it’s how we react to it. Me? I just scheduled a health appointment, I’m gargling on some saltwater, and chugging warm tea with *loads* of honey, and then– my school day starts!!

So onward and upward– and Happy Monday!

xx