a month of gratitude - twenty & twenty-one

i'm grateful for sleep and for journals.

sleep because sleep is amazing. and i don't sleep well, but yesterday i was exhausted and as soon as my boyfriend got home, i kissed me and fell asleep. i'm usually the one up until midnight and i was out around 10:45. and i slept through the night mostly and for the first time in days, weeks, i feel well-rested. huzzah!

and for journals because i'm trying to do the artists way again. i never get past the first week, but someone else i know is trying and why the hell not? it's not like i'm busy or anything, lol. but for serious, i could use a little connecting back to why i do this thing called writing. and how it is and can be for myself and not for all the opportunities i apply to or the theater and tv people i interview with. so. here's to reconnecting. and, anyway, morning pages are a great idea even if i don't make it past week one again so maybe they'll stick. 

a month of gratitude - nineteen

i'm grateful for this quote from jim carrey: i realized that you can feel at doing something you don't love, so you might as well do something you love.

i spent a lot of day editing a play of mine. not because of a deadline or an application. just because. and it felt good, even as it was a struggle. 

oh right, i thought. i like this writing thing. i do it despite the constant fear of failure. because i love it.

a month of gratitude - sixteen

i'm grateful for fellow artists.

when we support each other, it is amazing. 

i'm not always good at this. lately i've been annoying pissy and grumpy and envious. mostly to myself because i can tell i'm going through something that has nothing to do with anyone else. i am trying to work through my own shit so i can truly show up for people the way they show up for me.

but when my craptasticness is taking a break and i am in a space with other artists and we are really supporting each other...it is a beautiful thing. i am so fortunate to have people in my corner and i realize again and again i am a writer today and will be tomorrow because they won't let me give up. 

a month of gratitude - fifteen

i'm grateful for the opportunity to teach.

last night, i stood in front of an improv class i was teaching and talked about how, for me anyway, improv, getting comfortable with public speaking, etc. is all about working through my nervous knots.

i'm sweating right now, i admitted. every time i go to teach a class, my stomach fills with nervous knots. are you sure you want to do this? my stomach and mind ask. why are you making us do this?

but i love teaching. i am nervous and worry i am actually good at it, but i love it. students young and old are my favorite. i'm sure it has to do with my nerdiness and my desire to learn more and more and grow more and more. i love when i can pass that love along. i've loved it since i made my dolls and stuffed animals sit in rows in my bedroom as i taught them what i had learned in school that day. i loved teaching yoga in philly. i love being a guide. and i'm so grateful to have the opportunity to do it. 

this morning i received the email below from a student. 

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here's what i said about it on instagram: "#whenyourstudentsmakeyoucrybefore9am I’m not sure I’ve taught this student anything but if I have given them the opportunity to write a play they are proud of, gotten them excited about writing, shown them that there’s a beauty to telling stories and finding your voice...then I’ve succeeded in some small way. That’s what so many of my teachers have done for me and all I want to do is pass it along. 
Also, not gonna lie. I needed this email this morning. I didn’t know I did. But I did."

i did need it. i'm grateful for the chance to be a teacher and to my students for joining me for the ride. 

this week is a week when every day i'll get to teach in some way. at a college, at a company, at a museum, and at co-working space. different environments. different lesson plans. different students. same love.

 

a month of gratitude - fourteen

i'm grateful for friends that reach out to check in and for therapy.

i feel like i've been in a deep hole since august. every time i think i've dug myself out, i realize i'm still there. today i felt it. really felt it. and it was overwhelming.

and i posted a little about it on instagram and a friend sent a short, quick email just letting me know she was there. and that was amazing.

and then i went to therapy and it was 50min of emotion and frustration and tears that wanted to fall but didn't. and at the end, i felt myself go "that's it?! i get no answers??". and of course that's not how it works. but voicing it is a start. even if i have to voice it over and over again.

a month of gratitude - seven

i'm grateful for lunches with my boyfriend.

right before my boyfriend started law school this summer, he suggested that we plan on having weekly lunches together. he is working full-time and then attending law school at night. his schedule is now beyond crazy. add my non-traditional schedule that sometimes has me running around all weekend and you get two people who sometimes only say two words to each other in a two day period (okay maybe 20 words, but you get my point...). so he suggested lunches.

because i was away a lot, the weekly lunches didn't get started until last week. so far we've only had two, but i can already say i think it makes a difference. 

today it allowed us to talk about thanksgiving and what we were going to do, while also discussing my yearning to escape social media. it wasn't even a full 45min, but we actually spoke to each other. we weren't just sitting on the couch in our own worlds, doing work. being present with the one you love is so important. i'm sure this is obvious, but these times together act as a reminder...one i'm grateful to receive.

some people have date night. we have lunch. 

what to read, what to read (2)

it has been a while so i thought i'd write a little about some of the books i've loved as of late.

author that i'm now obsessed with:

celeste ng. i read her books everything i never told you and little fires everywhere this august/september and they both gutted me in the best of ways. i don't know how she does it, but she draws me into these families and these people with a lovely subtlety. with both of these books, i found myself staying up late so i could finish them...not able to wait. i will be waiting for a new book of hers forever.

for those who love poetry:

electric arches by eve l. ewing. this collection of poetry and prose and art filled me with so much joy on a sunday afternoon. i dogeared some poems that i need to return to so i can write down the lines and have them somewhere that i can see them on the daily.

for those who are tiptoeing into reading about politics:

unbelievable: my front-row seat to the craziest campaign in american history by katy tur. this wasn't the most amazing book in the world, but it was a good first step for me into reading about last year's election and beginning to see what lead us there. if you are well-versed in this subject, this may come across as too focused on tur's experience specifically and not enough on the actual nitty-gritty but for me, it was good. it forced me to think about some things i try to forget. 

a book that surprised me:

stay with me by ayòbámi adébáyò. i wasn't expecting to be sucked into this book. i sort of started it because i needed a book to read but soon enough was reading it instead of writing my work. the story is heartbreaking and beautiful. the main character feels complicated and the situation she is in feels complicated and it is amazing how, in a short book, we hit on some many life-altering events. they didn't feel overdramatic either. this was a book that stayed with me a long time (pun not intended but accepted).

a month of gratitude - six

i'm grateful for memories.

right now, there is a song playing at the place i am working. it is from pretty woman. i know that movie so well, i can picture the scenes from the movie as the song plays. before that they played spice girls and everyone was bopping their heads and feet to the song. and before that there was some mariah carey and some whitney houston.

maybe this is a post about being grateful for music.

anyway, this weekend i was reminded of a matchbox 20 album. i'm not saying it was good to reminded of a time in my life when i played this particular album over and over. and i'm not saying the music was particularly good...but i am saying the music brought me back. suddenly i was a freshman in high school and i felt all the weird emotions i did then and it was a bit of a mindfuck.

i am grateful how memories live in us and they are stirred up and yes sometimes it is less than pleasant with some memories, but sometimes the memories hit and you realize how far you've come. you realize how much has changed.

a year ago today, i ran the nyc marathon. two years ago, i got this tattoo on my right arm. 

today i am fighting a cold so let me live in these memories.