icons8-journal-100

It was a long day. The kind of day you have to rush home and wash out of your hair, exfoliate off of your body, and drink away with a strong hard cider. Today was technically my first day back at work for the new school year. No, actually it was everyone else’s first day back and simply my first day seeing them all again since last May. Apparently, it’s going to take me some time to get used to them all again.


I’ve never read any of Toni Morrison’s books, a fact I am deeply ashamed of, but I certainly knew who she was. She was a black woman and an author and though I haven’t had the joy of her books in my hands. I look up to her. I want to be like her, and I am influenced by her.

Her books have been sitting on my TBR list forever and though it’s too late to love her while she was alive her words are still waiting for me and will be there whenever I am ready. I’m grateful for that, and for her lighting the way for all black women and for writers like me.

Rest on peace Toni Morrison and thank you. I’ll see you on the page soon.

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icons8-journal-100

It’s my last day of getting to work a fully flexible schedule, and my last day of getting to go home early so I’m taking advantage. 

It was a busy morning. We did more training, some testing, and scheduled more training and testing in the days to come. The rest of the week will be rough, but it will get better the closer to the weekend I get.


I’m spending the late afternoon cleaning and working on some blog things.

Inspired by Erica Avey I’ve been mulling over the idea of combining my Tumblr and WordPress spaces. I like having a space that is only for my words but having a place that encompasses all of my work as well as what influences me is an appealing prospect too.

There are pros and cons to both I suppose but I can’t know what works and what doesn’t until I try. So, I have a few new menu items: the Feed, which is simply everything I post, some of it mine, some of it belonging to others, Vade Mecum, which is like a scrapbook of all the things I see, consume, and think about, my Journal, bits of thoughts and feelings shared every day. Soon, I will be posting more types of writing: poetry, essays, short stories (maybe), and questions I want to answer, so there will be tags for those and additional tags for quotes, art, videos, podcasts, and music too.

Let me know what you think!

216 // Words Mean Nothing

I woke up this morning absolutely devastated. Another mass shooting less than a day after the last, this time in Dayton, Ohio. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to say anything at all because words mean nothing anymore. I’m tired of talking and hearing others talk, even myself I guess. I feel guilty for turning off the news but it’s all too much. They are showing surveillance footage on a loop and it doesn’t feel very good to watch people being shot and possibly killed over and over again. 

215 // Nothing Will Change

It was a perfect day. It always is when we head down to The Museum of Contemporary Art. We got to see the exhibit Clark Richert in hyperspace showcasing the art of Colorado artist Clark Richert and immersing the viewer into his philosophy and influence. I loved it but geometry, patterns, and art so having all three in one exhibit and artist was really exciting.


Just turned on the TV and saw the news about the latest mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. They haven’t confirmed the number of fatalities but the estimates on the injured are so high I suspect the casualties to be in the double digits. My heart is breaking but I’m also angry. I get angrier and angrier every time and the rage rival the heartbreak now. I’m tired and feeling hopeless too. With the anger comes a growing certainty that nothing will ever change.

214 // Seize This Time

It’s my wife’s last day at our district and the last day that we get to work together before she starts her new job on Monday.

We had a party for her where bittersweet words were spoken and goodbye cake was served. They gave her a beautiful plaque, thanked her for all her hard work and years of dedication, then stopped short of begging her to change her mind. The panic could be felt in the room though as the reality of her leaving and of the chasm of knowledge and professionalism she was leaving behind began to loom.

After all the tears my wife and I went home and opted to go out, do some shopping, and celebrate. We made it an early anniversary celebration, a celebration of her new opportunity, and a sort of make up date for all the long hours she’s been working. Part of me too is afraid of what next week will bring and I’m inclined to seize this time with her while I can.

213 // There Have Been Tears

My mind is on tomorrow, not today.

Tomorrow is my wife’s last day with me at work and I can’t help feeling a bit sad over it. I’m not the only one. She is the best of all of us and this place will certainly be worse off without her. These last few days we’ve all had to accept that she is really leaving and the reality is hitting home. We’re all seeing the long road ahead without her warmth, her intelligence, and her drive. We’re seeing our own shortcomings and we’re imagining the collective failures to come.

There have been tears, and I add my own to the deluge.

Currently // July 2019: Embarking on a Life

“My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is, July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July.” 

Rick Bass

July wore me out. It chewed me up, used me up, and spit me out disoriented and weak. It took all I had and left nothing of myself to give to me. July tested, exhausted, and stressed me beyond recognition. July was a hard month, but after all of that stress, this July gave me the most beautiful day of my life. This July and every July from now on will be a special month in my heart and memory. This July, after 17 years together, my girlfriend and I finally became wife and wife.

Planning our dream wedding meant that nearly every other aspect of my life had to be put on hold. I had barely enough time to eat, sleep, and shower regularly let alone read or write. I stopped seeing my friends and family. I stopped being able to think about anything but decor, attire, vows, cake, catering, and seating charts. I stopped doing all the things I loved in order to have one perfect day and while I know it was unhealthy but I am so glad I did it. It really was a perfect day.

But now it’s over, and so is July, and now it’s time to return to real life. I’m slowly picking up the neglected pieces of my life and getting back to some old self-care habits. July was supposed to be my fresh start, but it looks like August is when I will begin again. I’ve decided that after the summer I am taking time for me to get back to writing, reading, and learning.

But before I do, here is what I am currently…

Writing essays, really this time. I may have to wait a week or two before the first one is up, but I am determined to work on them every single day, even if I can’t post them weekly as I had planned I just have to work on them for a certain amount of time every day. If I just do that, I’ll be happy. I have a direction. I have a list of topics and a schedule. I’m so excited to get started and I to see where this “essay a week” journey takes me. I’m excited to explore the genre, to improve my skills, and to finally start sharing what I feel and love with all of you.

Making writing friends online and in real life. At first, writing may appear to be a solitary activity but the truth is that support, encouragement, and social stimulation are critical to growth and mastery of the craft. I believe that this (and a lack of will power and ample energy) is what I am missing most in my journey to authorship. I’ve noticed that my focus, enthusiasm, and confidence in writing has waxed and waned with my writerly or creative connections. I feel most stimulated after I have talked with other artists and writers and I am reconnected with my own purpose and passion. I’ve recently connected with a coworker who also enjoys writing essays and poetry, and I’ve joined a lot of Facebook groups for queer/women writers like myself in the hopes that I can get more done by relying on a community to encourage me, guide me, and hold me accountable.

Planning big renovations and projects around the house. For over a year now the place has been falling apart around us and for over a year we have been saying “after the wedding”, “after the wedding”. Now that we’ve finally come to “after the wedding” it’s time to fix up this old dump. The basement, the kitchen, and both bathrooms need to be completely ripped out and redone. The garage door, the front and back yard, the siding, and the roof have all gone into disrepair. We’re looking at loans and a whole lot of work but we are ready to take on a new challenge and begin to build our dream home.

Reading Notes from Underground, The Double and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, still. I have now fallen 7 books behind schedule in my reading challenge and am profoundly disappointed in myself, but even though I don’t expect to catch up (unless I get this Little Black Classics Box Set soon!) I am not giving up. August is when I will begin again and I will pick my nightly reading habit back up as soon as I pick up my nightly habit of going to bed on time again. I may move on from Dostoyevsky as him and I aren’t seeing eye to eye yet and I do have books I’m much more excited to start with them I am to finish with him. Particularly It by Stephen King and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Watching too many things, sigh. I finished the second season of Big Little Lies, a star-studded dark drama on HBO, and the 3rd season of the nostalgic sci-fi horror series Stranger Things on Netflix. I’m still watching the deeply disturbing teen drama Euphoria on HBO and I’ve just discovered Years and Years, an anxiety-inducing dystopian drama joint produced by HBO and the BBC. I’m trying hard not to binge the last season of the prison drama Orange Is the New Black but so far it’s been so much better than the last and I expect to be done with it in days. My greatest obsession though has been the FX channel drama Pose about the underground Black and Latino LGBTQ ball culture in New York City during the 1980s.

Learning how to learn again. I could go on blaming the wedding and planning for every goal I’ve stopped pursuing in the last month but the truth is procrastination and fear have been my largest adversaries. I have been my greatest enemy. Rather than getting to down on myself or giving up, I’m deciding again and always to simply try again. I think the fact that I want to learn and that I am pursuing learning actively in life is something to be proud of and taking a break, or falling behind is better than never beginning at all. So, in August, I’m simply picking up where I left off with Modern & Contemporary American Poetry and International Women’s Health and Human Rights.

Feeling stressed and depressed. Even though the wedding is over and there is no more planning to be done or decisions to make the worry we’ve carried over the last year has been slow to fade. To make matters worse, we have other bog changes on the horizon too. After over 13 years of working together at the same location, my wife is moving on to another school district much further away. It isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it is a change and change, no matter how small or good, has never been something I cope with very well. Besides my anxiety, I will simply miss seeing her throughout the day and getting to ride into work and back home together. I’ll miss hearing about her from other coworkers and getting to witness firsthand how amazing she is at her job.

Anticipating some time to enjoy the last of summer for a while. I spent so much time planning the wedding and worrying that I haven’t gotten a chance to enjoy myself at all this summer. I haven’t gone swimming, hiking, or camping once! I doubt I’ll get to do anything much before the school year starts and I’m back to my usual work schedule but I hope to get at least a few good trails in before the temperature begins to drop. I’m looking forward to some warm days downtown and night’s spent on bar patios with good friends. I’m looking forward to the sun, green trees and flowers, and freedom for at least a month more.

Reflecting on my relationship. My wife and I might have only just gotten married, but we have been together for quite a long time already. In August we will be celebrating our 17th year together and embarking on a life where we have been together for more years than we weren’t. I will have spent most of my life with the same person and I’ve been wondering about what it means to two people to grow as close as we have. Where do I end and we begin? Are all parts of me known to her, and her to me? Who would I be without her? How much of me is me and how much has simply molded to her? Does it matter?

Fearing driving, though less and less all the time. Since my wife and I are splitting up professionally we won’t be riding in together anymore which means I can’t rely on her anymore when I’m struggling with my driving anxiety. I’m afraid but this is honestly probably the best thing for me. I shouldn’t rely on her so much and I should be stronger, but I know I won’t be until I have to be. That is how anxiety, fears, and phobias work. It takes more than hard will. It takes having no other choice. It takes your life coming to a standstill, or the threat of life falling apart. It takes living with your fear becoming worse than the fear itself. I have to work and I cannot let my wife down. Not working and disappointing her by not working are worse prospects than my any outcomes my fear of driving has put into my head and so it’s time to face it. 

Hating the current Democratic party presidential candidate pool. I don’t mean that I hate the candidates themselves. I have quite a few favorites, candidates whose viewpoints and priorities align well with my own, but the field is far too crowded and the interparty attacks are starting to ramp up and, in my opinion, damage our mission and chances. We’re beginning to pull each other down. We’re beginning to sound like Republicans. More than that, I want the field to thin out to give each qualified and truly potential candidate space and time to reach the American people. The problems we are addressing and the solutions being proposed are complex and I hate that the details never reach the American people. 

Loving the current Democratic party presidential candidate pool. I know what I just said and I stand by it but I can’t help being a little proud of my party for dreaming big. The field might be crowded but only because so many people want to do the work to make this country a better place for people to live. It feels good to see people debate how to help the vulnerable, the downtrodden, the underprivileged, the forgotten, and those this country has exploited. It feels good to hear so many people give voice to the pain that so many of us experience every day. I feel very fortunate to be alive when I am to witness such political courage and love. 

Needing help. I’ve been working on recognizing my patterns and I have seen the good and a lot of the bad I do naturally and the ways I react both positively and negatively to the world around me. I can see where I am failing myself, but I recognize patterns is only the first step to correction and the next stepu201—building new habits, getting rid of what hurts, what distracts, and what holds you back, and find what works, what you need, and what you love—takes more than what we are made of alone, especially in a world where we have so much freedom, choice, information, and entertainment at our fingertips. I’m working on solutions to procrastination and building good habits. I need strategies, apps, and hard truths. I need more than what I can give myself.

Hoping that the coming school year runs more smoothly than the last despite all indications it will actually run worse. I hope we get these open positions filled, and that moral goes up and stress levels come down so that we can get back to focusing on what really matters, the kids! I may complain about my job a lot but it’s only ever the other adults who frustrate me. The kids give me purpose and joy and they all deserve the best version of ourselves we can be. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always given my best. I’ll be the first to admit that the grownup world sometimes sees into the world I try to make for my students and I struggle to give them back what they give me. I want to do better this year, and I hope that the people who are supposed to help me give my best to the kids get back to giving their best to me.


So, yeah, all in all, July was an absolutely beautiful month! I don’t care how hard it was, how stressful it was, or how much I had to sacrifice. It was all worth it to stand up in front of my closest loved ones, say my vows, and then celebrate my love. I realized one of my greatest dreams this July. I will never forget it and it will be a long time before I achieve or experience anything that will top it.

But what about you? How is the summer treating you so far? Have you taken any trips, gotten any camping, hiking, or road trips in? Have you made or realized any grand plans of your own? Have you found yourself distracted and doubting? How have you managed to pick up the pieces and move forward?

Let me know in the comments.

“[JULY IS OVER AND THERE’S VERY LITTLE TRACE]”

— Frank O’Hara


The inspiration for these posts comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love

Photo by Kassidy Sherburne on Unsplash

212 // A Coworker and Friend

Halfway there! Today was long. My body is feeling the effects from me pushing it the way I have. I’ve been working outside in the heat for hours a day and then going to bed way too late at night. I’ve been sleeping too much after work and not taking my medication the way I should. I’ve been stressed, anxious, and irritated and I haven’t figured out how to get out of my bad mood.

Tomorrow we wrap up the work we’ve been doing with the new class, and though I haven’t said it or expressed it very well, I’m very proud of my team. We’re fucking awesome and no one is going to tell us that or treat us as well as we deserve so we have to do it for one another and it has to start with me. I haven’t been a very good coworker or friend, and I don’t know why, but I promise I’m going to do better.

211 // Spending the Evening

Tonight it’s raining. The temperature is dropping, and it looks like I may just be able to fall asleep comfortably before midnight. We’re spending the evening with plates of fried chicken, glasses of white wine, two-and-a-half hours of Democratic debates, and each other. I hope the rain sticks around to cool the air and lull me to sleep in my wife’s arms when bedtime comes.

That would be a fine way to end a very long day.

210 // All Out of Sorts

Today was rough. Work has been rough since my return last week. I’m burned out on doing what I am good at but not what I love. I’m burned out on expectations and admiration. I burned out on being looked to and longing to work alone on what really thrills and fulfills me.

I went home early and had to nap after staying up so late last night. That may have been part of the reason today was so rough. I had a headache. I miss my wife. I’m worried about the coming year. I’m hot and hungry. I’m all out of sorts and I just want to be left alone to get back right but course, I have a busy schedule the whole week ahead and, of course, it’s up to me to make sure it all goes according to plan.

I’m trying to remember that I’m not stuck here and that this rut is only temporary.