I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
-Henry David Thorough Walden
**Originally written January 2015
I hate “reasons why I haven’t been blogging” posts – I’ve had my fair share.
So I wont.
Let’s make a list!
Tulips and spring and negative 18 air temp. grad school and french and future plans and current plans and past plans. anxiety and waiting and waiting and hoping. eiffel tower photos and remembering a little town in the south of france. africa and d.c. and chicago and north dakota. students and office hours and smiles that somehow wake me up. new friends and neglected friends and potential for something new. texas and minneapolis and nostalgic for summer fruits. bills and paperwork and need to buy a file cabinet. wishing it were a more steady summer.
Oh dear friends, how I survived, I will never know.
Legs the weight of bricks around mile 11, non-existent mile markers, a make-shift ankle brace made out of the headband you can see I am wearing in the “before” picture above, and a lot of “HO-MY-GOD-CAN-I-STOP?!” Moments along the way.
Oh, and pulled hamstrings on Monday, a plantars fasciitis flare-up on Tuesday, a switch of shoes on Wednesday, and a partridge in a freakin’ pear tree.
This has been on my mind for a long time, on a list, actually, THIS LIST, and last Saturday, I was able to cross off one of my most anticipated milestones. I signed up for this race while in France, longing for American sidewalks and nature as my running companions. Running in France was…public. I was always seen, my breathing heard, and my ONE sports-bra that I brought probably smelled.
This race was a victory for my spirit just as much as my body. I only wish I were more knowledgable on the workings of the body, the dos and do NOT’s. For example: do NOT only train 9 miles before a half, do NOT put up with your old running shoes hoping they’ll be fine, do NOT sign up for a race in the middle of nowhere because you’ll be forced to curse at your cow (literally, I saw cows)-cheering squad and ask strangers who have gotten off their tractors to clap for you how much farther you think you have.
A marathon you ask? Why yes, from sitting inside air-conditioning, not having run for several days and just polishing off a slice of banana bread, a marathon sounds great! The discipline, the long stretches of running paths, the community, mmm, how good that sounds.
I’ll keep you posted.
I am transitioning from one state to the other, one country to the next, one unwashed towel to a clean one. It’s constant movement, and there really is no end in sight.
Then again, I am a 20-something, and according to buzzfeed, random blog articles, and Louie CK’s hilarious bit about them here, I am supposed to feel fragmented. That’s fine. I don’t always expect to have my life together, but when my rent is due and my car needs some work on it and I want real groceries rather than boxed noodles, it all just feels like too much.
Then again, would I want it any other way? To have gone to a community college school, maybe lived at home, saved money, graduated early, gotten a job along the way? Only to end with a degree
I finished this post a year ago, and I wish I could say things are vastly different, but alas, that’s not how life works. Yes, things have changed, but I’m still very much in the same stage of life. The only thing I can see that is noticeably different is the strap on my purse in the last picture broke, yet I still continue to use it, so, there’s that.
I was sifting through some old pictures on my computer when I realized how much of a cliche I am.
I openly admit this in instagram posts, passing comments to friends, and to myself in the shower when I do most of my serious thinking (apart from running – see previous post). Sadly though, looking through my pictures, all I could find were close up shots of coffee mugs. Blurred at the edges and terrible lighting: the perfect combination for an English/French major with an anthropologie apron.
I thought it might be funny to make a compilation of sorts, for maybe my own sake. To purge myself from the cliche that is my collection of mugs.
This was the first mug-shot (HA! Bet that joke’s never been made before..) with the intention to be artsy. I made this mug myself at Paint Yourself Silly, which is a place in downtown Lincoln to paint pottery! The inscription is, naturally, a lyric from a Flaming Lips song. Judge away.
I guess mugs just make me feel at home, rested, like I know there’s time to collect myself. There’s a sense of calm that spreads through my heated fingers as I wrap them around a mug of black liquid. I may seem like one to reflect due to all of the writing and journaling I claim to do, but I have discovered something about myself: I don’t reflect unless I have to. I do not take advantage of mini-moments to stop and really think, to ask myself hard questions.
I am not implying that everyone does this (I hate to call myself an ‘exception’ in any regard), but I often wonder how I can tear myself away from the distractions to really just think, even if it’s just thinking about what I want to do that day. Coffee in the morning has always been that time for me, albeit brief, but there, just in case I want to sip my thoughts.
I have high expectations for myself as a writer, a pseudo-blogger, a perfectionist who currently resides in the academic world. I try to keep up with several mediums of writing – journaling, first and foremost, as it has been a habit since I was six. I mean it, I was six. It’s not impressive, but it does eliminate the possibility that I lack self-awareness. I’ve got enough to induce an irrational (probably insecurity-driven) panic attack of any magnitude.
I also have blogged here and there. I’ve referenced links in other posts on wordpress, but today, sitting in a friend’s apartment, overstaying my house-sitting welcome, I revisited my little internet home. What I found were a bunch of drafts – DRAFTS! Perfectly imperfect posts that were not lengthy or filled with witticisms, but good enough to be published over a year ago. It did not surprise me because I judge myself based on how a really critical hipster-y third-party would judge me.
I couldn’t stand the thought of not enough artsy pictures or an excellent, beginning-middle-end post. I’ve been taught that quips about life are meant for pathetic Facebook-dwellers, not sophisticated bloggers like me (snort). Though I have little to no traffic on this site, that did not stop me from acting like my mini-posts were not worthy of publication.
SO! That leaves me with a string of posts that I will try to post successively after I publish this one. I think it’s a bit taboo to post more than once per day, but in this case, I’m throwing all judgement of myself out with the filters I refuse to use these days.
This song is what I’m referring to in my title. Relaxing, good writing music.