I’m grateful for light and yellow. For a longer walk with the pup. For movie indecision with the boyfriend. For family and friends. For trees and leaves. For turning a corner and seeing something that makes you think about the beauty the world has instead of a lot the ugly we are faced with day in and day out. Also I’m grateful for apple pie and whipped cream. #gratitude #thanksgiving
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.
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.
yesterday, i was grateful for teaching again. i got another rejection. as is normal. as is a part of my career. for the second time this week, i got a rejection while teaching. i can't tell you how good it is to be doing something you love when you get bad news.
today i am grateful for new work, surprises, and people willing to jump in
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.
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.
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.
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.
i'm grateful for long walks.
i've been known to walk 30 or 40 blocks just because.
especially when its chilly but not too chilly.
i've gotten to see manhattan that way. how i learned the streets when i was a teen.
sometimes i just don't want to fight with bodies on the subway.
so i wa;l.
i'm grateful for cooking.
i don't do it often. i want to do it more because when i do it, i feel good. i feel healthy. i feel productive. it helps with the anxiety. and today i chopped vegetables and melted butter. i put some things into the instant pot and other things into my dutch oven and made two soups. i put some in the freezer so i can enjoy them over the next few weeks. i put some in the fridge for dinners this week. i am not usually a soup person but the weather turned cold and i just wanted something i could easily warm up. it only took a little over two hours for it all to be done and the kitchen to be clean again and for me to find my lazy butt to the couch.
now, i may not have the soup tonight for dinner...but it will be there tomorrow. waiting for me. and that's good enough.
i'm grateful for days spent with good friends.
i spent the day with my friend rachel. we saw my kid's play, we had lunch, we stopped by the wing, and then we went to a museum. along the way we talked about things big and small. many of my oldest friends don't live near me anymore so i'm happy to get to spend the day with them as they come through town.
i'm grateful for boxing.
i'm not that great at it and the classes are expensive and sometimes i wonder if i am improving, but there is something so lovely about hitting a bag sometimes. this morning i was in a foul mood and hitting that bag for 45min was probably the best medicine. i was still craptastic all day, but it saved me from being a full on jerk.
i'm grateful for breath.
deep breaths that attempt to calm me down.
try to anyway.
i'm grateful for slow days.
today was a slow day. i don't feel well and so i was mostly home. i did some yoga. did some reading. it was a slow day. i don't have very many of those anymore so i appreciate it when they come through.
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.
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).
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.
today i am fighting a cold so let me live in these memories.
i'm grateful for running.
i haven't run much this year. last year i ran so much. i think i was tired of it. and my body needed to recuperate. i still have pain in my foot when i run so i know i shouldn't be heading out on a marathon training run anytime soon, but...
today i put on my running shoes and went for a 2.62mi run in honor of those running 26.2mi today for the New York City Marathon. as i ran, i remembered why this filled my year last year. there is something nice about feeling your body move, feeling your breath, letting your thoughts travel. i finished feeling a little better, a little healthier, a little more prepared for the day.
i became a runner seven or so years ago after a really tough year. running has been with me ever since. i've run 9 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and a bunch of 10ks, 5ks, etc. this is the first year in a while that i haven't run some sort of race...and today i set about changing that by signing up for a jingle bell jog in a few weeks.
anyway, running, thanks for existing and pushing me to do better and be better.
today i'm grateful for life.
on facebook tonight, i noticed that someone i went to elementary school with--someone i haven't spoken to in years but was friends on FB with and used to follow on instagram--passed away a few weeks ago. she had an eleven year old daughter.
thinking of her made me remember another kid we went to school with who passed away when we were in high school. i think about him often.
tonight i was sitting on the couch. i was feeling guilty about my lack of eating well and weight gain. i was feeling a little craptastic and ugly. and now i am thinking about how stupid that is. really stupid.
i'm grateful to be here.
to have spent the day teaching and meeting and drinking wine. to now be on the couch with my boyfriend who is singing along to a song.
to be breathing.
i'm grateful for another day, another breath.
i'm grateful for yellow.
it is 70 degrees today. in november. and if i think about that too hard, i get worried for our lives and our planet, but it did allow me to throw on a favorite yellow dress of mine and walk around the city feeling like its spring instead of fall.
"you're right. you really do like yellow" someone said to me today.
it has been a journey.
but yellow is nice and bright and happy and also it means slow down and watch out. and i kinda like sending out those messages as i move from place to place.
it feels like me. i feel like myself in yellow. i love other colors, but i never quite feel like myself in them.
there is something about the yellow that feels like home.
i'm grateful for my students and the opportunity to teach/mentor.
i really love teaching and being a teacher. i'm not sure if i am good at it. i hope i am. for their sake. but i love it. i love listening to them discover new things, make new connections, dream up new ideas. i love supporting someone as they encounter a problem, something they feel they can't solve. i love seeing when something clicks. i love seeing someone who is super talented and may not even know it yet. i love aiding. i love learning.
i love it. even after its hard and my students are tired or don't understand what i am saying and i get scared that right then, they are realizing that i am a hack. i love how it changes and isn't easy and how no students are the same.