Original draft: January 23, 2015
If you love me, don’t let go.
Original draft: January 23, 2015
If you love me, don’t let go.
Original draft: July 17, 2014
I love the idea of a handwritten letter. I think it’s something so personal that’s truly been lost with email and social media. You can tell so much about a person’s mood by their handwriting: cramped and rushed; smooth, slow lines awash with care; loopy script of the daydreamer or the harsh, angry words that tear a page in frustration.
I have a journal that I write in from time to time, holding musings and ideas that I can’t even put on here. Sometimes it’s just a train of thought, sometimes it’s poems, and sometimes I doodle, chasing inspiration across the page like a cat after a mouse (or a fly, if it’s little miss). At times I write letters to people, things I can’t or won’t say out loud, but things I wish I could say if given the chance. There’s one that I wrote a while ago, but am only now
I’ve been angry, and hurt, and depressed, and everything in between. I’ve tried to pretend you don’t exist and I’ve looked for you every single morning, even though I know we won’t run into each other again, not like we used to.
At the end of the day, it was the right time for me to meet you, but it wasn’t the right time for you to meet me. And that’s okay, really. But I’m not going to wait around for you to change your mind or send my things back. I’m just going to move on and if you come back, that’s great. And if you just send my stuff back, that’s great too.
I meant everything I said, whether you did or not. I really, really hope things are better. You deserve that. You deserve everything. But then again, so do I.
Original draft: September 7, 2015
As we sat and watched the lights, the simple, silly things I’ve seen so many times before, I felt a huge bubble start to form in my stomach. I sat with it for a minute, singing along to the not-at-all shocking soundtrack of Katy Perry, and eventually as I watched the fireworks bursting, one, another, another, I wiped a tear away from my cheek.
Original draft: August 18, 2014
A few weeks back, my team at work attended a writing seminar, a full-day of learning new writing tips and techniques, and obviously competing with each other to win a grammar quiz (I think I came in 4th). We took most of the advice seriously, but as a team full of snarky individuals, we let a few jokes run away with us. In particular, the woman leading the workshop chastised us a little for the colloquial use of the adverb form of “hope.” E.g., at one point, I mentioned “Hopefully they bring lunch soon, I’m about to eat my notebook” and her response was “They are not going to bring us lunch in a hopeful manner.” We let that be the joke of the day, calling each out for saying both “hopefully” and “hopelessly” in any context, like “you are not eating the last Reese’s in a manner devoid of hope” and “that document is not, itself, full of hope.” As the joke has died down in the weeks after the workshop, I’ve continued to notice how often I use both hopefully, as well as hopelessly, in context that I’m sure would get me chastised by that instructor all over again.
I am the product of high school sweethearts who still love each other almost as much as I love Sun Chips, and the byproduct of a generation raised on Disney princesses and rom coms. My extended family is rambunctious and loud and we all adore each other, relishing our “small family get-togethers” that practically require a banquet hall. I’ve watched two friends stay in love over so many years, despite ups and downs, and I’ve watch two friends meet and fall desperately, quickly and completely in love. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by all of this amazing love throughout my life. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I have a tendency to let my imagination run wild with the possible notion of a love story of my own. I am, what some would classify, hopelessly romantic.
It’s an interesting way to describe someone, qualifying romance with something that inherently means “causing despair.” In that sense I think it’s a good term though.
The funny thing is, I’ve had all the makings for these amazing wonderful stories, college love, the boy on the subway. And I suppose for a time they were, in their own way. But as the aforementioned byproduct of the princess and happy endings generation, I never accepted that the stories continued long after the characters find each other against all obstacles and fade to black with true love’s kiss.
My GOODNESS life is getting busy around these chronicle parts. It’s making it quite difficult to keep up with posting full entries, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed by my rambling entries that are usually in need of a good proofing. It got me thinking, as I’m staring down the barrel of the busiest of all my months in 2015, how I was possibly going to keep up with this blog, while keeping track of my life, and maybe somewhere in there trying to sleep, too.
Something I’ve done since starting this blog is to capture absolutely everything into a draft as soon as inspiration strikes, be it a photo, a quote, a headline; sometimes I hear a song lyric, or I have a thought pop into my head that I think could turn into something someday. Sometimes it’s the ending of a post, or the beginning and the end, and on occasion it’s been a single word that I feel the need to write down, knowing it may turn into a sentence and possibly a paragraph from there. Now that we’re coming up on two years of the blog, this type of haphazard drafting means I have 30+ drafts just sitting, waiting to be full entries or at this point, just waiting.
Rather than try to overwork my brain any more than it’s already overworked this month, I’m going to take a little time off from a full blogging schedule and put up what I’m calling…. the Draft Series! I’ll still include a new entry here and there, based on time and inspiration, but I think it would be fun for you, as my loyal readers, to see my process, see what inspires me and see how posts come together. Plus I really need to thin out my drafts folder before it starts getting completely out of hand, like this is already a little difficult to navigate.
So look for posts this month with the title “Draft Series.” Some of them may have actual titles, some may not. Some are a half sentence, some are full paragraphs, some are photos and some are nearly full entries that I never found the inspiration or courage to complete and post. Sometimes there are notes to myself like “Insert intro” or “make this sound better” and sometimes the posts trail off completely, likely interrupted by arriving at my subway stop. So I can’t promise they’ll make sense, or that you’ll even enjoy them.
But I do hope you’ll be able to see me in all of the words, be they many or few. And I hope the Draft Series are something you enjoy.
XOXO, lovely readers:
There’s a power in the stillness of a steady yoga practice. There’s this awareness that builds, slowly but so quickly, when you force yourself to stop for a moment and breathe. When you sink slowly into yourself, breathing into long shapes, moving without thinking, yet consciously aware of how every fiber around you connects; there’s a power that can’t be replicated, yet carries into every piece of your daily life. Tuesday this week was the first time I’d gotten on my mat since Saturday, following the big weekend and its subsequent recovery period, and in those few days away from practice, somehow everything and nothing happened. At work on Tuesday, I couldn’t get my mind to focus. In that strange time between everything and nothing, anything else seemed uninteresting, and I could feel the slow slope of despondence start to creep back into my head, a familiar creep that is what you could call step one to my convincing myself I ‘don’t need’ to practice tonight, because really how much better is it going to make me feel anyway?
Okay. I’m going to cut the dreamy speak for a minute and just be real. The past few weeks have fucking sucked. There, I said it. My back is aggravated again from an old yoga injury, work has been crazy, I had a reality check about the things that matter most to me in life, and I can’t go into context here but let’s just say if I hear one more fucking person tell me “You never know what’s going to happen in a year!” or respond to my joking exhaustion related to weddings with “Don’t worry it’ll be your turn someday” I’m going to FUCKING LOSE IT. And actually, last night as I was sitting on my couch after everything and nothing, I did just that. I grabbed a pillow and screamed into it, just screamed, like a toddler having a tantrum. I cradled the pillow between my arms and my chest and dug my fingernails into my arms and just screamed until I lost everything, lost the breath in my lungs and the will to fight this battle that I was never going to win.
Once I was done screaming and I cleaned up the blood from where I managed to break skin on my arms, I sat and stared at my mat that I’d rolled out ambitiously when I got home from work like it was a cockroach in the middle of my living room. In all the screaming, I think I’d finally given up on something that I’ve held onto like a talisman for so many years now: hope. I just couldn’t put the energy into being a hopeful person any longer at that moment. I stared at the mat, gently calling me despite my resistance and sighed, eventually dragging my bloodied and hopeless self to lay for a minute against the cool material of my happy place, and let my carefully curated Yoga Pump Up playlist drift over the mini speaker. As I lay and breathed deeply, I started moving slightly, stretching my arms out, and up, and over, stretching my spine convex, concave. Finally I told myself to get up and stand in a Downward Dog, and then I could go back to wallowing alone on my couch, like always.
And then this song came on while I was stretching “just a little,” and I stopped. I listened for a minute while I took deep breaths in Down Dog, maybe the first real, deep, honest breaths that I’d taken in a long, long time. I let the lyrics run through me like shattered glass and like butter, and I closed my eyes and started moving with the slow beat of the song, forward to plank, rolling into a backbend, opening shoulders and hips and hamstrings and heart. It’s a song that I’ve listened to so many times before, but as I moved and stretched and listened, I realized that I don’t know what the song was about – like it’s written so you don’t know if she’s sighing about how love saved her or how it destroyed her life. The best conclusion I could come to is that it’s both: the words spoke to every end of the spectrum I’ve experienced: the melody played real, true love, and it played to a lost love that feels so long ago. It reminded me how your heart skips at the start of anything, new friends and new beginnings, and how hard it sinks when those things finally come down, pieces scattered like broken memories. As I listened to the song, really listened to it, I let my body move, in total focus, deep breaths, doing what felt right, up to a headstand, down to a split; the whole time the song played behind me, or maybe around me, or maybe through me, and when I finally stopped, I could feel the stirrings of hope come back to me, and I knew everything was going to be okay.
There’s a power to a steady yoga practice. There’s this awareness that builds, slowly but so quickly, when you force yourself to stop for a moment and breathe. There’s a power that can’t be replicated, when you let yourself surrender for just a minute, and become aware of the present moment, and what’s happening right then. Because it’s easy to dwell on the What the Fucks and the Why Mes and the endless, endless parade of shit that storms on all aspects of life over time. It’s easy to live in the past, and try to fix something that can’t be fixed. It’s not easy to look forward all the time. But for me, that night, a few minutes in Down Dog is a way to start looking in a different direction, at least.