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They call you indecisive when they don’t like the choices that you make.

Don’t fall for it.

Miracles of being

I go tender at the sight of new leaves.

Something about such tiny perfection sparks a wave of love and awe in me. Surely, we walk among miracles. I don’t talk about it much these days, but the act of sprouting, the way a seed gives rise to new life, has always been the only proof I’ve ever needed for the existence of a loving god.

I know the science of it, but I find it miraculous despite knowing the explanation. Science is miraculous, wild and weird and wonderful. Our interlocking adaptations, the niches within ecology. There are mushrooms that eat hair soaked with the inky tar of spilled oil, digest it, and spit out life again. It’s beautiful. It’s a miracle of being.

Is it any wonder I find life so sacred? There is so much to protect here.

More notes on process

I felt the need to draw this morning, so I looked up “woman martini,” hoping to find reference photos of, you know, women holding martinis. Instead, I found pages and pages of cartoons of women sitting in martini glasses. Apparently this is a thing. Why? Who finds this sexy?

I have a post I’ve been really wanting to do, about the rise of selfie culture, and why it’s probably not as bad a thing as it’s made out to be. Unfortunately, this is not the day for that post. I want to spend time doing actual research (citing my sources!), so I’ll save it for another week.

I’m slogging through the book, slowly but surely. Yesterday was spent doing almost nothing but transferring my chicken-scratch first draft into a computer document. For whatever reason, I just can’t do first drafts on computers. Something about the immediacy of fingers on a keyboard, I think. I type much faster than I write, but my brain needs those extra seconds it takes my fingers to scrawl out words in ink, to come up with sentences.

I’ve discovered a new world, halfway through this novel. It’s a land called: My Book Sucks and All My Ideas are Dumb and I’m a Talentless Hack. I’ve read articles written by people who have also written novels, and these articles assure me that this is not an uncommon thing.

After spending so long with this idea, I’ve become convinced that it’s utterly uninspiring. My plot seems to make less and less sense the more time I spend with it. I guess that’s what second drafts are for. I can’t wait to get at everything and rip it apart and really tighten it up.

But first, there’s still more heavy lifting to do. For now, I’m just slogging through the first draft, making rough forms of my scenes to be tweaked and polished later.

Dear god, I can’t wait till there’s an end in sight. When I finish this draft, you can bet your life I’ll be celebrating over martinis. Maybe someone will even take a picture.

On Leaving a Job

It strikes me sometimes, that to say “yes” to anything means saying “no” to a plethora of other things. So it is with my job. I was feeling the need for a break, to recharge. I needed a way to have less stress in my life. Someone once described chefs as “adrenaline junkies,” and yes, yes we are. I doubt it’s the last turn I’ll have in professional kitchens, but that’s all for now, folks.

Yesterday was my last day at Babette, the restaurant where I’ve been working. While it wasn’t a teary goodbye, I felt a twinge of… something as I wiped down those counters for the last time, turned off all the lights and locked the door on an empty kitchen. A kitchen that’s been my playground and my hell and my workspace for the past year. So long, guys. You will be missed.

But a quote from a poem by Rumi struck me, as I was shutting that door for the last time. To paraphrase, “Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes back in another form.” I feel it. It’s the hope I have for the future.

This is what I think people don’t understand, sometimes, when I have this conversation with them. The conversation goes something like this:

“But I thought you liked this job.”

“Oh, I do. Very much. In fact, I love this job.”

“But you’re leaving?”

“Yup.”

Granted, I’m not particularly forthcoming with my feelings or thought-process with strangers, but the gist of it is this: I feel very, very lucky when I can leave something I love, in order to go to something else that I love. I’ve loved all of my jobs. I’ve met some brilliant, amazing, inspiring people through my work. But in order to have all the experiences that I’ve had, I’ve had to leave many, many places. 

I think it says something wonderful about both sides of the equation when things can work out this way. Amicably, with respect and admiration on both sides. What a beautiful world we’re building.

Other Prayer

Her hair shines in lamplight, hangs down to the floor. She kisses the hands of the old.

She brews water late into the night, makes the kettle whistle in the silence, utters strange prayers through hands splayed wide like the wings of doves.

She weaves apologies into her hair and tries to remember that nighttime is not a death sentence; the sun falling below the horizon in no way resembles the executioner’s blade.

Mouths are beautiful to remind us to speak beautifully, to talk kindly and bless each other with our mouths. She reminds herself that fingers are so long and fragile to allow us to gently cup fallen birds’ nests. They’re soft so we can caress the curve of another’s body.

Hands are for helping and feet are for walking gently on this earth.

She feels like the cup of tea tipped over on the shelf, Earl Grey leaking out and pooling at her feet.

She feels like the rabbit the gunshot killed.

Stop fear mongering on the internet

I’m tired of social media. Man, I’m tired of the shit that pops up on my newsfeed. I’m friends with a bunch of activist-types, and don’t get me wrong, I love that. I love that I know people with that burning, that desire for change. People with their hearts in the right place.

But for God’s sake, please, please, please check your facts. Things are bad enough without your making it seem worse. Please don’t post an article with a sensational headline and extrapolate from there. Read the article. Do your research.

Please don’t post things that are straight up not fucking true and stir up both your outrage and the outrage of your fellow man, for all our sakes.

Please. Things are bad enough here on planet Earth, but even so, I’m glad we’re here. We are privileged. We are blessed.

It’s okay to accept your privilege. Say thank you. Be grateful and gracious. Use it to help if you can. It’s so much worse to try to deny it, and you see it all the time amongst my demographic, especially living where I do. Kids pretend to be poor, to be more hard-up than they are in order to avoid being lumped in with the Big Bad Wolf. 

You’re not wolves, and it’s okay that your parents could provide for you. It’s okay that they can help you still. Now don’t be a brat, and come out from those furs. We’re all here. Just be who you are.

Stop complaining for a moment. Stop fear mongering on the internet. Learn about things. Learn about computers and how they work. Learn about electricity, alternative energy, gardening. Learn all you can, little loves. We’ll need people like you in the fast-approaching future.

Move It, Shake It

I’m lucky to have the father I have, though we speak rarely. He’s a bastion of strength, a serious force of goodness in my world, and I’m thrilled to have him on my side.

Big things have been happening, sweet reader. I’ve been moving and shaking things. A couple weeks ago, I said that I am tired of doing work I don’t love, for people I don’t love. Well, that has been my rallying cry for the last two weeks. The more I thought about it, the truer I realized it was. I want to live up to the future I see for myself.

Things have been falling into place. I’m on the verge of being offered a new job, in a line of work I never considered before. This job is everything I have been looking for and then some, only it came in a package I never would have recognized, a form I wouldn’t have chosen. It’s funny how life is like that.

As wonderful as this opportunity is, I’m still feeling some uncertainty about leaving my current job. I’m not good with change. I don’t like it. I’m an anxious creature, and routine makes me feel safe. Leaving the comfortable for the unknown is scary. And that’s where my dad comes in: “It’s not about the money,” he told me. “Life is too short to do work that doesn’t make you happy. And too much stress will make you sick.”

Yeah. Yes, exactly. This is where I get it from. It’s comforting to know that people are rooting for me. There are always more people rooting for us than we realize, but it’s nice to hear the words sometimes.

So, full steam ahead, I guess. Like steampunk. Expect to see a lot more of me in the coming year.

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