If This Were Your Last Moment

Hello, and happy Monday! Yeah, I know, I know, Mondays aren’t exactly happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed. I know.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, a reset of sorts, every single week. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“Stop, breathe, look around
and embrace the miracle of each day,
the miracle of life.”

// Jeffrey A. White

Sometimes I do this thing where I pretend that I was popped into existence just this moment and in seconds I am going to pop back out. This moment and whatever setting I am in, whatever people are around, and whatever thoughts and feeling I have are all I’m ever going to have. I look around and wonder if this was the last moment I was ever going to have, would it be enough?

It may sound like a strange or even morbid practice but forces me to be mindful and to take quick stock of my life and where I am at. Every time I have don’t this I have found that instead of being disappointed by wherever I am and whatever I am doing, I feel grateful and I see more beauty around me than I otherwise would.

In those moments I realize what is important to me, and it is always surprising. It doesn’t matter as much how many adventures I have had because if I were to pop out of existence just now, none of it would matter to me anymore. What matters is who and what I am leaving behind and who and what I will spend my last moments seeing. I thank the universe I got to be alive at all and hope the people who will live after know I loved them with every part of my being.

Then I pop back into being regular old me, feeling my regular old feelings about my life. I still feel guilt, and shame, and regret, and jealousy only now it’s a little less.

It’s a useful practice and gives me a bit of perspective, but it would probably be exhausting to live every moment of your life that way. For all the woo-woo talk of the “enlightened,” I don’t think the average person can or should. What I think this practice does is teaches your brain that it is okay not to spend so much time “elsewhere.” On what you wish you had, or what you hope you have, or what you shouldn’t have done, or what others think. None of this is now, and none of it is helping you.

None of this will matter when your last moment comes.

What matters, what I think and what I hope will matter in the last moments is the beauty and miracle and love of it all, and all of that surrounds you every day, you only have to get outside of yourself and the bullshit. Sometimes you have to see a patch of grass, or a cloud crossing the sky as the miracles they are. Hear your breath, feel your heartbeat, listen to the voices around you and remember how rare it all is. This world, you, and whatever you are doing, are some of the rarest things in the universe.

Of course, life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. This sink full of dirty dishes, this pile of work on my desk, and the complaints and critiques we hear in meetings and at home don’t feel much like miracles or wonders of the universe, but they are. You don’t have to love them, in fact, I encourage you to do what you can to change what you don’t like, but you still must acknowledge the beauty of every moment and the privilege you have to be there to experience it.

These unpleasant moments usually come and go either unnoticed or unwanted. I moan about my life too and wish it were something else until I force the realization that this is the only life I have and it is a very beautiful and special one, especially when you consider that there are so many who get no life at all.

There are vast stretches of the universe where no life exists. There are some who had life yesterday and don’t today, and there are many who aren’t alive today to see what you do but will be another day when you no longer are.

This week, just take a few moments from time to time, to look up from your screen and find some beauty and wonder around you. It is there, I promise, no matter how much you hate work, or your commute, or coming home to dirty houses, grouchy spouses, or demanding children or pets. I promise there is are wonder and beauty to be found, in this moment and throughout your life.

Take time to find the good, and work on making more of it, slowly, every day, every minute, when you can. Imagine what would matter, how would you feel, or what you would look to if this moment was all you had.

Maybe another day at the office isn’t the worst thing. Maybe a patch of grass is a miracle. Maybe the swirling dish water is beautiful. And maybe every human you know is the most important thing in the universe and you should feel grateful, special, honored, to be a witness to such marvelous and transient moments.

Attention must only be paid to what is around you, now.

***

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People are People, Just Like You

Hello, and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Each Monday is a reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

People are simple, and stupid, and complex, and feeling, and wise, and fallible, and beautiful, and dark, and ugly, and so much more than we can ever convey with words. We know this because we know ourselves and deep down we know other people feel and think and go through what do, even though we rarely act like it.

We know we have rich inner lives, profound thoughts and feelings, shades of emotions, wants, and needs that language can scratch the surface of. We know there are reasons behind everything we do that rarely ever fall fully to one side of good or bad, selfless or selfish. There are more shades of human motivation and reason than there are stars in the universe or grains of sand on every beach but humans aren’t good with subtle shades of being or thinking.

We know that our psyches are deep and varied and we know that because of this, because every thought and action and all that we are is a product of all we have been through and sometimes all that many generations before us have been through, we know we are deserving of understanding and patience. Somehow, we know this, but at the same time, we know that other people are simple beings with simple and often nefarious motivations for doing what they do.

We forget that people are people, all over the world and all throughout time, same as we are.

They have the same thoughts, the same questions, the same failings and triumphs, the same daily, grueling, inner struggle between who they are and who they ought to be. They share the same complex inner life and painfully vague understanding of why they do what they do. They are hurt and hoping and fucking up, and we should be working harder to understand their needs and motivations, the way we would ask them to do for us.

We are too quick categorize and condemn each other in ways that are radically different from how we think of ourselves. They are mean. They don’t care. They aren’t good enough. They are stupid. They are trying intentionally to sabotage and set me back. They are the enemy, but it isn’t so simple. They are human, and so are we, and they do all the things they do for the same reasons as us. Because they don’t know any better.

 

Of course, in all the ways we are the same, there are as many ways in which we are different, and that is where the work of understanding happens. Besides the fact that we all come from different places and were born in different times, besides the fact that each of our parents was raised in a time with different struggles and different values, besides the fact that no two perspectives can ever be the same, we all simply have very different brains. We have different thoughts, needs, motivations, wants, and ideas about right and wrong and every shade in between.

Even on our best days, when we are listening well and using language as precisely as we can, no human language is articulate or exact enough to ever explain who we are, what we feel, and what our motivations and reasons may be. Each of us no matter how we reach out and to how many is alone within our own minds. We can never be understood and we can never fully understand, but we can try harder, and do better, and stop treating each other like simple beings and react with simpler solutions and emotions.

This week, before you judge who is right and who is wrong, who is worth listening to, and who is worth compassionate understanding, or friendship, just know that each person you encounter is a complex mix of history, culture, experience, emotion, and wisdom that you will never fully comprehend.

We owe it to ourselves to treat one another better. To owe it to each other to understand each other better. To step into each other’s shoes isn’t so hard when you stop acting as if you are the only one who can be right, who can be hurt, who can have needs, or can make mistakes.

This week, try to understand that you have no right to presume to know who a person is, why they do what they do, how they ought to act, or what help they need or don’t. Get to know people and do the hard work of letting them exist on a spectrum rather than at the easy to categorize extremes.

This world has become far too black and white, I’d love to see some grays, and one day, when we are better people than we are now, we might even be comfortable with color and hue and brightness too.

***

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Remember What the Work is For

Hello, and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Each Monday is a reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“I want to read and write and be very quiet.”

— Martha Gellhorn

Sometimes I forget what I am supposed to be working toward. I forget that it’s not the accomplishments or acknowledgments, those are simply a means to and end. The end is the life I dream of, a life where I can be free of societies norms and other people’s expectation.

My dream is to live a life where I am surrounded by ideas, with plenty of time to think them over and through, and then send them back out into the world with a little of myself in each one. My dream is to live a life of reading, writing, and quiet.

Sometimes I get caught up in reading all the marketing and productivity blogs and trying to do what they do. Sometimes I get caught up in networking and social media and blogging and promotion and hashtags and groups and fan pages and the photos and it never seems to be enough. I feel like I spend all my time doing a whole lot of things that at the end of the day don’t feel anything like what I wanted to be doing with my life.

What is it all for if I never feel happy? What is it all for when it’s all about other people and their posts and their pictures and whether or not they will please follow me or like this or share this? When is it about me? When does it start to feel good and right and meaningful? When do I stop chasing the means and finally get to the end?

I think the time is now. Or maybe, some of the time is now.

This week, I’m going to carve out time that is for living the life I want to live now. My wants aren’t too complicated or costly. I just want time to learn and think and share there is no reason I cannot have that today. There is no reason why any one of us can’t carve out just a little bit of our future dream and bring back here to the present reality.

This week, live a little of the life you always wanted to. Plan a small trip, take a small step, pretend you already are where you always wanted to be. Do it because tomorrow is never promised and you don’t want to spend what little life you have chasing a dream you might never get to see made real. Do it because you deserve a little of that happiness now dammit!

Of course, reality will fly back in and remind you that you need to be creating, selling, sharing, and marketing. It will remind you to get up early, post to this timeline or that, set your SMART goals, build good habits, and make progress every day, but never forget what it is all for.

It’s all so that you can be who you want to be and live the way you want to live, one day, some day, and for a little while, this day.

***

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Currently // March 2017 or I’m Done with Waiting and Watching

March, that month of waiting between the harshness of winter and the hope of Spring, is finally over. I have no feeling one way or the other about March for me it’s simply a place of waiting and watching, and I’m happy to get on with doing.

April brings warmer weather and birthday celebrations around here. It’s a time of reflection for me but also of joy and pride. I have always been happy to be an April baby. April has always felt like the real beginning of the year. It’s when we all begin emerging into the world anew.

And here is what I am currently:

Writing about all the sad things happening all over the world for the A to Z challenge. I know this year’s theme is a bit of a sad one, but I hope it won’t discourage you from reading. I felt it necessary to deliberately look at what I try so hard to ignore. I felt it important to spread the word and help wake people up. I hope you’ll stop by throughout the month and check out what I have to share.

Planning a summer project. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you have probably heard me mention projects here and there that never seem to come to much. It’s okay, I’m awful at following through, I know. This summer I want to work on that. I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between a to-do list and a plan. A plan is a road map. A plan isn’t just for the day, it’s for the week, the month, the year. I’m going to start practicing by coming up with a project, something with a deadline of the end of summer and finally learn how to follow through.

Making a new art journal from this tutorial! I made one before, but I didn’t follow through with it (are you sensing a pattern?) and now when I look at it all I see is the Art Journal of Failure, and I can’t start again. So, I’m starting a new one, and this one will be the Art Journal of Finishing the Things I Set Out to Do!

Anticipating a whole month of birthday activities! That’s right, around here people get a birthday month. It might sound excessive but I have a big family and lots of friends, and it takes a few dinners and nights out to make the rounds. And anyway, the day you entered the world should be the most important day of the year and celebrated by doing whatever you want for as long as you need. I need a whole month. There’s no guarantee I’ll get another, you know?

Reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf. Not exactly what I expected but I’m glad for that because what I found is infinitely more wonderful! I finished another reading of George Orwell’s 1984 which was colored very much by The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which I read previous to that.

Watching Samurai Jack‘s beautiful and brilliant return! I mentioned being excited about the return of one of my childhood favorite last month, but after watching it I am grateful to the creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Cartoon Network for giving the Jack, and the little girl in me the closure both deserve.

Feeling a little down, to be honest. My body is hanging in there, not 100% better but no anywhere near as bad as I was at the beginning of February. I’m still waiting for my medication to either start working or for confirmation from my doctor that it isn’t and we have to try something else. This whole thing has been pretty depressing. *sigh*

Needing a little direction. I’m doing things. I’m submitting some work. I’m reading, and I am definitely hungry and wanting for some small sliver of writing recognition, but I have o idea how to get there. How do you go from a blogging hobby to being a freelance writer making money and getting published by the big names? I know I’m still kind of a crap writer, but I need direction on that front too! Gah!

Loving my girlfriend. I know that is so cliché, but she really has been amazing these past few months. Sometimes I am so damn happy to be with her I feel guilty about it! Like, why me? What have I ever done to deserve such support and love? I don’t feel too guilty, though. We have worked so hard and been through so much to get here. I just everyone could have it too, that’s all.

Hating Donald-motherfucking-Trump. I am trying not to have to write his name in this space every month, but goddamn he is really taking over the hate chamber in my heart. The only thing keeping me going is that fact that a lot of the bad things he’s tried to do has failed but right now he’s working on trashing the environment and Obama’s legacy, and I can’t help but be filled with rage whenever I see his stupid face on TV. GAH!

Hoping that this medication I’m on starts working soon. I’ve been doing one of the few things my doctor told me not to do, reading a whole lot of ulcerative colitis horror stories online and worrying about having to take harsher medication or multiple types of harsh medication at once. I’m so afraid it will be years before I feel normal again, or never! But, like she said before I left her office, we are not at those stages yet. We are here trying this and hoping.

All in all, this month was a good, especially compared to the first two months of the year. My body is getting better, my mood is improving, slowly but surely, and I am looking forward to the future. The road is still rocky, and I am still having some bad days, but I feel safe and comfortable and able to do whatever I have to do to keep improving. Like I said, I am pretty lucky.

So, how about you? Was March good or bad to you? What are you looking forward to in April? Are you going to buy me a birthday gift? Let me know in the comments :)

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps?

The inspiration for this post comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image via Unsplash

Perfection is not Attainable

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Each Monday is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“For whatever it’s worth, I believe we’re born imperfect, and perfection, whatever that may be, is unattainable by us mere humans.”

— Liza M. Wiemer, Hello?

I’m not perfect, but I never thought I would be. I had been born too flawed and been too fucked up by my parents, and boys, and women, and love, and failure to ever be perfect. I felt sorry for myself, watching everyone on their way to being divine human beings while I am stuck with a life, a body, and a mind that will never be any better than it is now.

I have low self-esteem, obviously, and like all things in our minds, knowing it doesn’t change a thing. I spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways I don’t measure up. I think about how clumsy I am, and all the wildly imperfect things I say and the incredibly wrong decisions I make. I think about all the people who don’t like me, don’t care about me, or who are burdened by me. I think about how much I will never measure up, and I feel so small and so stupid, and I feel it nearly all of the time.

I know I measure myself against an impossible standard, against accomplishment no one has achieved. I measure myself against what people show, say, or post online without letting myself believe that they too have work to do toward becoming a better version of them too. I want to be perfect but I’m learning perfection is not attainable, not for me, but maybe not for anyone?

How can it be when we are set up so perfectly to fail against the standard?

Not one of us is born with a road map. We aren’t told what the right path to take is or how to deal with the flawed parts of ourselves that persist even after education, reward, punishment, and culture and the law. OF course, our parents tell us they know the way, and our teachers say they know the way, and TV and blogs say what we should do, but o one really knows, and no path will work for every person or geographic or economic location and level.

So we each waste a whole lot of life making a whole lot of mistakes on our way to somewhere we get never get to. You wouldn’t even recognize it if you did anyway since none of us can agree quite what perfection looks like anyway. Think of every contradiction you have ever heard from your parents, your friends, your teachers, your spouse, and your idols. Think of all the ways you have been told to live and all the ways you have hurt yourself trying to do it all. It just can’t be done.

There simply is no such thing as a perfect human. We haven’t even been able to accept being basic human. We spend all of our time repressing and suppressing who we are that we move further away rather than towards perfection. We can’t be our best selves when we don’t even know who we are. I would argue we’ve done nothing but be our worst selves in our misguided efforts.

So, I’ll say it again: Perfection is not attainable! It is something you can never achieve, and therefore you should stop trying so damn hard and feeling so damn sorry for yourself. We should let go of the dream human being and start working on being the most us, the most human, we can be.

You can only ever be a better you and only in some ways, not in all. There is always a give and take because there are only so many hours in a day and neurons in the brain. You gain something you lose something, and you can only hope that what you become makes you happier with yourself and your life than what you were before.

Perfection has gotten us into a whole lot of trouble and kept us from a whole lot of love. We hold so tight to it, we do anything for it, we give up anything for it, and we miss out on what makes us great and wonderful. We forget how good it feels to be comfortable with you are vs. how soul crushing it is to spend your life trying to be something you aren’t.

This week, take a moment to let go of perfection and get to know and accept yourself as you are now. Meditation and mindfulness can help with this. Mindfulness reminds us to live in the now, not in a past or a future that can’t be changed or may never come. Meditation teaches us to accept and gently direct our thought and wants. Take 10 minutes a day to sit and breath, be gentle and aware, or just forgive yourself for you next shortcoming and remind yourself that it’s normal and beautiful to be who you are now, flaws and all.

Don’t give up on improving yourself. Don’t give up on learning more about who you are and what this thing called life is. Don’t give up on working hard and finding your happiness. Just change your idea of what “perfect” is. Let go of it completely and focus on being a better you.

Start with just being a human. Feel your feelings fully and explore who you are. That in itself is a life long journey! Don’t waste time comparing yourself and trying to be something you can’t. You can be good. You can be a you that is open and aware of the world. You can be wise, and compassionate, and successful too. You can be loved, and admired, and remembered, but you can never be perfect.

You can only be you, imperfect, boring, beautiful you.

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

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More Women of Color for 2017

“Two friends and I set up a rule — no more white women for 2017. We are not accepting friend requests online or in real life. We don’t have the energy required to vet people and then wait for the other shoe to drop.”

— Graeme Seabrook

Earlier this year, at work, I overheard a woman a white woman complaining about her families struggle to pay for her eldest child’s college education. They had applied for many scholarships, but either hadn’t received enough or any. This woman, in her frustration, and with no shame at all, told a room full of people, “If my child’s last name had been Gonzalez, things would be easier.” Sigh.

This woman didn’t understand that when it comes to private scholarships, white kids tend to get them more, and public ones, like the Pell Grant, are need-based, and minorities tend to be poorer. So, it has nothing at all to do with race and more to do with income. The fact is, this woman makes too much money, and her kid didn’t meet merit-based requirements, that is why she didn’t qualify. None of this is the fault of anyone named Gonzalez.

Now, I already didn’t like this particular woman, but what killed me was all the other white women around her nodding along. Women I’ve known for years who swear they are not racist, who swear that they don’t see color, who swear that times have changed and we all need to come together in love and cooperation. White women nodding along to a racist statement like that are in fact racist themselves or cowardly. Neither type of woman is I want, need, or have time for in my life anymore.

This isn’t an isolated incident either. Things like this happen around me all the time, and no amount of running to HR or speaking up stops it. They never stop thinking people of color are lazy, or getting something they aren’t. They never stop assuming darker skin means you don’t belong here, or that you are guilty, or stupid. They never stop blaming everyone else when a little of the suffering and hardship of the world touches their lives lightly and for the briefest moment. I am tired.

There have been so many white women I counted as friends, women I thought of as open-minded, tolerant, understanding, and compassionate. I never know they were racist until it’s too late. That is, not until after I’m emotionally invested in the relationship I had—and subsequently lost—when they expressed their true feelings. I don’t mean to say this is everyone’s experience, or even that it is typical, only that it is mine and many others and that it is hard.

My anger has been bubbling, I will admit it. It was on a slow burn before but this last election cycle has left many angry, bitter, and even more than that, exhausted. And now, between the hate I hear on the news, the voting demographic breakdown, and the kind of crap I hear and see from white people on a daily basis, I can’t take much more. I just can’t.

This is anger, not hatred. I do not hate white people, I do not blame all white people, but I am exhausted by white people, even the allies, at times.

It’s been bubbling for a while, and I am trying to find a way to care for myself without saying or doing things I will regret later. I am weighing what is best for me against what people will think of me, and I realized the latter shouldn’t matter. I am the one who has to live with me, and I am the one who has to carry the pain of my past and the anxiety of my future in this country, alone. I have to do what feels right, for me.

Last week I read a story on Medium by Graeme Seabrook about her own anger and exhaustion and her need to do what was best for her regardless of the feelings of white women in her life. She, like me, isn’t full of hate, she just hurt and tired. She said something in that story that has stuck with me, she said her and her friends have a rule: “No more white women for 2017”. I read the story, and I couldn’t get those words out of my head.

Those words frightened me. This is not how we are supposed to react. This is not how we are supposed to think or feel. This is not the “right thing.” We are supposed to be bigger and better than that, right? But the more I mulled it over, the more I understood it. It wasn’t about hate, it wasn’t about exclusion or racism, it was about prioritizing. It was about the kinds of people, connections, and even media that we seek out and demand. It was about who we let take up space in our lives and minds. It’s about diversifying your life for a while.

I have many white friends I adore. Friendships I would never give up because they add value to my life. Hell, I am half white myself. I was raised by a white woman. I am engaged to another half white woman who was raised by a white mother too. I couldn’t exclude or hate whiteness without hating myself, my loved ones, and where I come from too. It’s possible but it’s not me. Instead, what I aim to do, is stop making whiteness and white voices the default, the norm, the prized, and the protected, in my life.

In 2017, I am not entertaining white questions, concerns, or criticisms especially on the subjects of race, gender, sexuality, politics, or religion. I am not letting them think it’s okay to be ignorant anymore and I am not letting them force me to educate them in exchange for their compassion. I am not letting them slid by doing the bare minimum or nothing at all. I am not accepting ignorance, fragility, or innocence as excuses. I am not accepting apologies so easily anymore.

I’m looking for new friends and new connections with women of color, from all cultures. I want to read more from women of color. I want to donate money to and buy more from women of color. I want opinions, advice, and stories from women of color. I want to follow, reblog, retweet, and reply to more women of color. I want to be among more people who look the way I do, feel the way I do, live the way I do, or suffer the way I do too. I want to help people who need me.

I think all of us should seek these voices, regardless of our own race, gender, or sexual orientation. Let’s all make women of color a priority in our lives and see what we learn about ourselves and the world.

But even as I write this, even as I feel so sure this is what is right for me, I feel that familiar guilt. I am making assumptions. I am not giving the benefit of the doubt. I am dividing people. I am accusing people of feeling things they don’t. I am judging books by their covers. Except, I don’t think all white women are racist, but I know some of them are and I just don’t have the energy to wait around to find out who is who.

I know it may sound harsh, and I may be hurting some feelings, but I’m only working out what I need. I want to try something new. I want to change the way I see and experience the world and the people around me. I want to find safer spaces, different spaces, and hear new points of view. I want to know what the world might be like if whiteness didn’t command so much of my time and attention.

So, sometimes when someone is hurt, vulnerable, and maybe even a little afraid, or at the very least just tired and in need of a little space, we should give it to them, even if it hurts us to do it. I’m, not cutting anyone out, I’m just cutting different people in. I’m not trying to hurt anyone or hate anyone, I’m just trying something different, for me!

And I am not apologizing for it.

I do not have the time or energy to accept you now and wait for you to hurt me. I have chosen to put myself and my emotional safety first. I have chosen to center women of color in my life in every way.

I do this BECAUSE I have been judged by the color of my skin every day. Suffering does not automatically make me a bigger person. It just hurts.

— Graeme Seabrook

P.S. I am sure many of you will have thoughts on this post, and I do welcome them, but please remember this is a place for me to express my feelings. I am under no obligation to reply to hatred or harshness. I reserve the right to delete and block, and you have the right to create your own internet spaces to write how you feel too. Thank you for reading.

***

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Featured image via The Root

Currently // February 2017 or Spring Will be Here Soon, Right?

Wow, February has come and gone already, and for a short month, I sure managed to pack a ton of emotion into it. The beginning was hard, the middle was sweet, and the end has been full of joy and hope. February was one of those months that changes you a little bit. It didn’t go by quiet or calm, and it won’t ever be forgotten. Before it’s all over, I wanted to take a moment to share with you how I’m feeling, all the changes I have made, and everything I am looking forward to in the coming month.

Here is what I am currently:

Writing something for Femplain‘s newest project, Aloe, “a self-care focused community.” I got the news just this past weekend that my application to be a contributing blogger was accepted and I am so excited for this opportunity. I hope to contribute monthly if they like what I have to say, and I hope you will check them out and support what this amazing community is doing.

Planning more blog posts and more big projects. April will bring the A to Z blogging challenge and, if I can get my life together in time, Write_on, a letter writing challenge, so I’ll be in planning mode for a long while yet. If you are participating in A to Z, or if you’d like to get a letter from me (no promises!) drop a note after the post and let me know so we can link up.

Making time to start doing the things I love again. Spring is coming, soon, I think, I hope. It’s been so long since the world didn’t feel dead….and I want to make sure I have a calendar full of events to attend. I’m going out movies again. I have all the museum free days down. I have the roller derby bouts saved. I am even keeping on top of upcoming protest marches, art events, and ballet and theater performances. I want to make the most of my time before winter comes around again.

Anticipating everything! I feel really anxious to move forward, learn new things, and try something different in the coming months. I’m not entirely sure what those things will be or what they mean, and what I do know I am keeping close. Just know I am out here, trying to create value and connections and I am very excited about it.

Reading Plato’s Republic, still, ugh. I am finally over the halfway mark, but it has been a real struggle. Luckily I had the bright idea to buy myself a little incentive to finish. When I am done, and only when I am done, I get to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in preparation for the premiere of the TV adaptation on Hulu in April. I also bought Orlando by Virginia Woolf, referred to as ‘the longest and most charming love-letter in literature’ and written from one woman to another.

Watching Big Little Lies on HBO and the entire collection of Samurai Jack episodes on Hulu in anticipation of the show’s return on March 11th after something like a 13-year hiatus! Bonus: Check out the Big Little Lies soundtrack. There are some real gems in there :)

Feeling so, so good! I am feeling better, good things are happening, and we are on the downhill side of winter. There is still so much bad going on in the world, but I feel energized by the way I see people coming together. I see so much more compassion and awareness all around me every day. I have a feeling that we will come out of these bad times better than ever.

Needing a vacation! We are experiencing a bit of an employee shortage at my day job site, so management has decided to crack down on time off requests. I was hoping this year I would be able to treat myself to a few extra three and four-day weekends here and there, but instead, I am working more than most. Luckily Spring break is just over three weeks away, and they can’t take that from me!

Loving my newest productivity app download called Fabulous. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I really feel like it’s helped me find a set of habits and a routine that helps me get shit done. I don’t think it’ll work for everyone, but it is well made, gorgeous, and worth a look if you are looking for reminders, inspiration, and timers all in one place.

Hating Donald Trump, still, every day. Actually, that isn’t fair. I also hate Kellyann Conway, Tomi Lahren, Betsy DeVos, Paul Ryan, Jeff Sessions, and Rex Tillerson too. I hate people who are “taking back” an America that never belonged to them. I hate their lies. I hate them for holding us back. I hate them for the harm they cause. I make no apologies for my feelings.

Hoping for a big win for transgender rights next month in the Supreme Court. The LGBTQ community is already so vulnerable, but transgender youth are the least protected among us. We should all be fighting to make them feel comfortable and valid and helping them get through what is an already tough time in life. We should not be telling them to use bathrooms they aren’t comfortable with or safe in and we should not be isolating them in bathrooms that set them apart as “other.” The left needs this win. Compassion needs this win. Our children need this win.

All in all, this month was a good one, in the end. I learned so much about myself and found a new perspective and a new motivation. I am looking forward to March. I’m looking forward to working harder and seeing bigger and bigger results. I am grateful too for every opportunity and privilege, and I hope to start paying my dues and making this world a little bit better.

How was your February? What did you do, learn, love, and hate? What are you looking forward to? Drop a note below

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The inspiration for this post comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image via Unsplash