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24 October 2014

A new series for my very own good- similar to, but different from, love/joy- this is my attempt to [weekly? monthly? semi-regularly?] express gratitude for all the petite and wondrous gifts that fill my life, no matter the circumstances. Here we go...

+ Clothes felt comfortable today. Isn't it nice when you just feel comfortable? A tiny, but persistent thing for which I was grateful.

+ I have a growing rapport with a co-worker. It really breaks up the day. We email about quirky office environment things that make us laugh. I sent her this Onion article at lunch and enjoyed hearing her laugh bubble up from her cubicle.

+ It is the weekend! I don't have to pump breast milk in a windowless storage room again until Tuesday! Boobie vacation!

+ I read this article today and was reminded of this post I wrote last summer and how priorities change and how beautiful it is when they change together with someone. I used to want to move to NYC and live life sprinting. Now, I am so thankful for quiet evenings with Jake and Alice. My favorite moments are those spent in bed, the three of us, undistracted, cuddling and laughing together.

+ Another weekend realization? Now that I don't work (i.e. get my paycheck via) the arts, my weekends are suddenly real weekends. I don't have to work evening gallery openings or weekend matinees. No covering a dance class on Sunday morning because the instructor is sick. Mmhmmm, WEEKENDS!

+ Time with an old-ish/new-ish friend tonight. Dinner with friends tomorrow night. Hiking with my sister's family on Sunday. Hey look, we live in community with really stellar people. That is an awesome gift.

+ A dear friend of mine turns THIRTY today. Thankful for all 30 of her funny, creative, cat-loving years and the ones that I've been able to be part of.

I'll stop there. Have a wonderful, grateful weekend. Feel free to leave a little something for which you're grateful in the comments. 

rummaging

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23 October 2014

Life is stabilizing- we haven't had any jarring upheavals in the last couple weeks- so, I catch myself fanning embers of discontentment. I'd love a new couch. A new wall color, too. A new front door even. My boots are getting pretty scuffed looking. I wish I had money for new ones. Thankfully, I am relatively strong willed and frugal. I am not prone to impulse purchases. But, it is sad, isn't it? And it's not honest. Do I really "wish I had money" for new boots? No. I don't really care about my boot scuffs. I like my boots, just the way they are.

The issue here is not really the stuff itself, nor is it the temptation to buy said stuff. The issue is the heart that finds itself wanting rather than resting.

Why can't I rest?

 This is a place of vulnerability I sidle up against again and again: identity. Who am I? More truly, in what do I root my identity?

Stuff is a mere distraction. It is something to shift my attention from the reality that I am not where/who/what I want to be. I have always rooted myself in what I do. This is pretty common, I think. We meet people and we ask what they do. We have LinkedIn accounts. We put our occupations on our Facebook profiles. Ya' know. This is not ground breaking. But, I am weary of fully and deeply identifying myself in this way. "I am a theatre artist." Am I? Really? Theatre is a part of my ability, an outlet and a tool I have invested myself in, an occupation for which I have studied and been paid, but is that who I am? And, if so, what now that I am not spending my paid hours doing that very work? Who am I now? An altogether new person?

Well, no. I'm still me.

And who is that again?

Nora Ephron, in all her wisdom, addressed this in a more lighthearted fashion: “We have a game we play when we’re waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe yourself on a piece of paper. When I was [in my twenties], I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single. Ten years later not one of those five things turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny. Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy.”



Ten years ago I was a freshman in college, about to turn 18. Clearly, I had much more hair, was into making dramatic faces, and would occasionally temp dred said hair for added effect. My words would have probably been something like: actor, writer, passionate, seeker, Christian. Now? I'm not sure. As I have already made somewhat overly clear, I'm rummaging through this prompt right now myself. Still, here is my current draft: mom, wife, daughter, seeker, wrestler

What are your five words?

"It is a fact, however surprising."

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20 October 2014

Sitting in the Washington, D.C. airport, I wanted to shout "my life was just changed!" It was days before Christmas, December 2007, and I had just landed back on home soil after studying abroad in East Africa. The isolation of my experience was overwhelming. I wanted to announce my personal reality to those around me.

And how much more now, as a new mom, I feel this every day. When I am with Alice, she serves as a flashing, neon, drooling sign to my place in the scheme of things. When I am without her, the idea that those around me do not know that THIS is my life, THIS is how I have been so recently upheaved- they might not have any insight whatsoever into my emotional, physical, spiritual exhaustion- it fills me all the more with the isolating shadow of experience. I do not know whether to hang a sign around my neck that reads "new mom," or to delight in the anonymity.

Oh, the immaturity that experience reveals! This is reality every day, with every person we meet! How can we possibly know their unique battles and accomplishments, their very personhood. We are mysteries brushing shoulders in the grocery and speeding past on the interstate.


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