Showing Up

I’ve been away a while. It was neither intentional nor a conscious effort to stay away, but rather an inability to show up. Last spring I went back to school full time, studying carpentry in an accelerated program that required most of my physical and mental energy. A few weeks in, my grandpa was hospitalized, diagnosed with terminal cancer, and died just a few weeks later. And that took most of my emotional energy. The tiny amount of energy I had left was then taken up in trying to keep it together for the next six months so that I could finish school.
I didn’t have the option to crumble and I didn’t have time to let grief take over my life so I put everything I had into school and I learned how to build a house.  Grief didn’t take over – instead it set in quietly. It took a seat and waited and slowly found its way into the small bits of quiet and stillness until I was full up and by the time I was able to take the space I needed there was no space left.
So I didn’t show up. I couldn’t show up. Not here, not with friends, not in the ways that I needed to show up. I tried time again to put my thoughts and feelings on paper or say the words out loud but it always felt too…something. My grief felt too dark, too private, the loss felt too personal, it all felt far too heavy to pick up and hand to another person and say, “here. This is what it looks like. This is what I’m chained to, this is what I can’t carry right now.” So, for a while I stayed put, stayed chained, in a small space. But I didn’t have to stay there alone and I didn’t have to do it for very long.
I have some truly excellent humans in my life. People who I love and who love me and who sat with me time and again. People who showed up, who cooked and ate meals with me, who gave me space to be sad or angry or confused or happy. People who found the tiny cracks and filled them with little bits of joy and laughter until there was enough that I could see the veins of gold running through the grey, holding it together, making it lighter, making the chain looser.
So now, here I am. Trying to show up. Trying to find and feel and see the little bits of joy on my own. Able to carry the weight or set it down and walk a little lighter. The last year has not been easy and I can’t say whether the next year will be any easier. But I can say that I will keep trying to show up.


Pocket Snacks

GEE WHIZ! Things are happening over here. Lots of exciting things. Here is a list of all the things:

  1. As I mentioned before, I have a new roommate-who-is-actually-a-gerbil. His name is Eugene. He seems to be frightened of bananas. It seems fitting that I would have a hella neurotic pet but he’s pretty cool.
  2. My boyfriend and I took a trip to Niagara Falls and acted like a couple of dorky tourists. We even got tshirts and shot glasses. It was great.
  3. I got my driver’s license! That’s right. I’m almost thirty-one and *just* got my driver’s license for the first time ever. Turns out, I super love driving and I think maybe I’m kind of good at it? Not sure yet, but I haven’t hit anything yet and I can do a three point turn. So that’s pretty neat.
  4. THE MOST EXCITING THING: I GOT IN TO SCHOOL!! In case you couldn’t tell by all of the caps, I’m pretty excited. I’ve been waiting over a year to be in carpentry school and now it’s right around the corner and holy shit. I am nervous. But I can’t wait to use some mothafuckin’ power tools y’all! I’d also really like to own some of those brown overalls. Or, really, any overalls. That front pocket is perfect for snacks.
  5. Also, it’s getting warmer out there, so I’m about to be doing all the hiking. Even though I almost died the last time I went on a proper hike, I can’t wait to climb until my buttcheeks hurt. I promise I’ll be careful this time.


New Roommate

I have a new roommate. His name is Eugene. I still don’t know much about him, except that he definitely does not like cucumbers, he’s super sweet and hella cute and I just wanna touch him all the time. Sadly, he is a little freaked out by it, so I try to give him space. We tried to watch a movie together last night, but all he wanted to do was eat snacks. Now he’s hiding. Also, he is a gerbil.

It’s all about balance.

Here are all the reasons I’m frustrated today:

My body hurts.
My stomach hurts.
My chronic illness makes it impossible to enjoy junk food.
I miss cheezees.
The hair at the nape of my neck is too thick and unmanagable and makes my neck itchy.
I’m not sure I know how to spell unmanagable. Is it even a word? I don’t know.
I want chocolate but I don’t have any chocolate.
It’s cold outside.
I do not own a cuckoo clock.
Coconut sugar is expensive.
My cute little succulent died and I’m not at all surprised, because I can’t raise a succulent for shit.
It’s cold outside.

Here are all the reasons I have smiled today:

I got to have a nice long phone chat with a faraway friend.
A plumber had to come to my house and, knowing that I can’t deal with strangers in my house, my boyfriend came to my house and let them in and dealt with all of it while I was at work.
I get to sleep in tomorrow.
I have a lot of plants.
Cats exist.
I can do ten push-ups.
Spring is almost here.
I have the internet and can therefore watch endless videos of penguins.


I really like cake.

You’ve probably noticed that my Thirty Day Challenge didn’t quite work out as planned. I missed a couple days, then I missed a whole bunch of days and then…well…here we are. Whoops. I feel a little bad that my original plan didn’t work out so I’m probably gonna have some cake later. BUT the good news is, it actually still kind of worked. The point of challenging myself to thirty days of writing was to get me writing more. And it did. I’ve written more in 2017 already than I did in all of 2016. To be fair, it’s not really saying much since I basically abandoned my blog for eight months, but it’s still a thing. It counts. And to celebrate, I’m probably gonna have some cake later. (I just Googled ‘cake’ to find a picture to add in here, and the internet made sure I knew where all the nearest cake can be found. That should make it easier.)



Penguins Do Have Knees

Recently, I was explaining to my boyfriend what it’s like inside my brain sometimes – trying to remember things I need to do, which reminds of a thing I saw that I wanted to tell him about, which made me wonder about another thing and then another thing and then I Google the things and that’s how we ended up Googling whether penguins have knees. Turns out, they do! But their skinny little knees are hidden under their fat little bellies. Also, a species of penguin was recently discovered to have existed a long, long time ago. They called it the Colossus Penguin, because it’s HUGE! Over six feet tall. It’s a tall-person-sized penguin! I wish I could see one for real. I bet it would be awesome to hug it. So squishy.

This is just a regular-sized penguin, but it still has knees.



As it turns out, I’m not great at dealing with transitioning schedules. I’ve just started back at work regularly after being off for quite some time and moving from a very flexible, very in-my-control schedule to something not so much in my control is proving a bit difficult. Mostly, the time and energy I have for things like writing and doing fun things has diminished quite a bit. I’m still trying to fit in the fun things and the writing, but this Thirty Day Challenge I’ve set for myself may have been a bit poorly timed.
Once I’ve finished my coffee I’m off to work and then I’ll probably be hella tired because I’m not used to sitting at a desk talking to people for five hours straight. My inner introvert is weeping. My always-tired brain and my always-achy body are weeping. But my sense of responsibility and my bank account are holding me accountable today. So, off I go.