090 // Sunday Night Rage

As usual, the weekend flew by too quickly and, of course, I didn’t get to even half of the things I’d hoped. My next chance won’t be for another 5 days now and, at this moment, looking down the long length of those five days, I’m filled with righteous indignation. Five days of every week I must give up and just two are left over for me? Half of which I need to use is in recovering from the five!

Sunday nights and all the required preparation only remind me how bleak and pitiless this reality really is.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

089 // Me and Myself

I’m surprised by how much I’ve come to enjoy my time alone. Of course, I miss my girlfriend, and the dog is here to provide a sense of security, but the silence rather than being unsettling is quite calming and comfortable.

I used to hate being confined to my thoughts but slowly I’m becoming one of my own favorite people. I’m enjoying my own company and seeing the value in companionship with myself. Me and myself have finally, it seems, come to a place of understanding, non judgement, and embarked on a burgeoning friendship.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

Currently // March 2019: Seeds of Possibility

“March is the Month of Expectation.
The things we do not know—
The Persons of prognostication
Are coming now—
We try to show becoming firmness— 
But pompous Joy
Betrays us, as his first Betrothal
Betrays a Boy.” 

― Emily Dickinson, March is the Month of Expectation

March has never been a month that carried much weight or meaning for me. There are no birthdays in March. There are no major holidays, or none that I am interested in anyway. The only thing that marks the month for me, is the long-awaited start of spring and the beginning of the part of the year when I feel the happiest and the most free.

This particular March was much more stressful than most but somehow turned better than most too. My fiance and I accomplished a lot together and I made a lot of progress on my own though not exactly in the ways I’d hoped. It wasn’t a good writing month, but it was a good learning month and a good planning month. I gained confidence in March and began to practice the art of discipline. March was a start, I hope.

And now it’s time for April, my favorite month of the year. My birthday month and the time when winter’s grip loses its hold, and the air grows friendlier and love buds in our heart as the leaves do on the trees. April is when I was born and constitutes a kind of second New Year for me. It’s when I begin the trip around the sun again and deep and fervent thanks for whatever may come.

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

Writing little blog things. I’m still finding my feet here and still trying to figure out how to revive Zen and Pi, but I’m not giving up. I’m still sharing my daily journals, though I have to stop letting the digital replace the physical, and working on drafts book reviews and personal essays. By summer, I’ll be publishing proper long-form blog posts. I’m exploring submitting to other publications again too and making writing my second job rather than something I do when I feel like it. I’m scheduling time rather than waiting for time and working at the hard parts rather than doing what comes easily.

Making an effort. There are things in my life I have taken for granted and gotten lazy about. My relationships, my goals, my home, my work, and even my health have all been slowly falling into a state of disrepair on account of simple carelessness and fatigue. I’ve let things go and left things half finished telling myself I would come back and when I didn’t I fooled myself by saying there was plenty of time. But when you leave things they do not wait for you to return, they simply fall apart while you are away. Though we may grow weary, there are just some things in life that require a constant effort. Like a heartbeat, if you stop, they die.

Planning a possible NaNoWriMo project! My last NaNoWriMo attempt failed miserably, and I haven’t had the courage to try again since but this year I’m rethinking not only the genre, topic, and feeling of my project but also intended audience and means of publication. Suddenly more possibilities mean more possible and I want to give myself the best chance by starting now. I want to throw my future self the life jacket she is going to need to stay afloat. I’m taking notes, collecting and cataloging ideas, and keeping an outline in mind.

Anticipating another awesome birthday month! Most people I know hate their birthdays. They dread them, minimize them, and treat them like any other day, and for the life of me, I cannot understand it! My birthday is the most important day of the year to me because if I had not been born none of the other things in my life would matter. I wouldn’t be here to love, to learn, to hate, to grow, to experience any of it. So I celebrate not just my birth but every year I have been gifted on this planet because there have been so many times I could have left it. This year I’m planning a big dinner with at least 12 friends in addition to the family dinners and a planned “perfect day” with my wife to be.

Reading Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, still. I expect to finish Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race within days, but Emily Dickinson may take the rest of the year or more since I’d like to analyze and understand every poem. I’ve just finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and have to say it was possibly the most beautiful book I have ever read. I had a hard time with it at first but once I chose to trust that Márquez was leading me the right way and that he would reveal the answers to my questions at the right time I had a much easier go. Next on my list is Notes From the Underground and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky and We the Animals by Justin Torres.

Watching American Gods on Starz and Barry on HBO in preparation for the new season premiere this weekend. I’m also watching The Magicians, my new guilty pleasure and Grey’s Anatomy my old guilty pleasure I cannot wait to be rid of. Honestly, though for the last few months, I haven’t been in the mood for TV but I know that will very soon change. Many of my favorite shows are returning this month including Game of Thrones, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Killing Eve, and The Chi. My weekends will once again be spent on the couch.

Learning a lot! I got to attend a conference for work and while I can’t say I learned a ton but I really was inspired and walked away with a lot to think about. I’ve also been making up for lost time starting my New Year’s Resolution to take some Massive Online Open Courses. My goal is to complete 7 for the year and I already have 2 done! Granted, they were short and sweet ones, but I’m already enrolled in 2 longer ones and I’ll start a 3rd next month. To keep track, and to encourage others on their own journey of independent learning I made a new MOOC list page to track all the courses I’m taking and the ones I’ve completed.

Feeling very tired. March might not have been important, but it sure was busy! We had my brother’s wedding; we made progress in planning our own wedding, and we spent a lot of sleepless nights stressing about both. Some of my family came to visit and my fiance was out of town for nearly a week visiting her’s. I already mentioned the conference plus we had spring break though we both worked through it. The city shut down for 2 days because of a blizzard and my fiance had 2 photography jobs to work and edit for. March was packed and I am in desperate need of rest though my expectations for relief in April are depressingly low.

Reflecting on this episode of The Partially Examined Life on Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. I had heard the name Hannah Arendt before but I never knew how influential a philosopher and thinker she was. I’m intrigued by her argument not that evil is common in the world, but that each of us is capable of doing great evil for no other reason but that we are stupid, strongly inclined to follow along, and far too eager to please. It’s far easier to fall into committing or enabling cruelties to occur than we are willing to accept and this is why we will go on committing and enabling them. She believes only through acknowledging this weakness can we prevent future mass atrocities from happening.

Fearing the next election cycle. I know it’s a bit early to be anxious but looking at the scandals rocking the current administration, the unwavering support of the far-right, the ever-widening field on the left, and the rise of hate and violence all over the world, things are starting to just feel bad. I don’t predict the world will end, but I do predict a lot more turmoil and a lot more lives lost. The scary part is when you look at who is being affected and whose lives are being lost you can recognize your own face in their place. I’m afraid, not just of what will happen to me but how my character may be tested too. I’m afraid for my loved ones, and for a future time when we will all be judged by subsequent generations. 

Hating the American healthcare system. If you’ve been following along, you know that I have struggled through the month of March to change from one medication to another to treat my ulcerative colitis. Because the medication is so expensive I have to apply for financial aid through drug companies, each with a different set of requirements and each with a different procedure for reimbursement. This time I had the added stress of my insurance provider putting a hold on my request so they could decide if they wanted to pay for it and all the while I’m slowly slipping into a flare. I’m happy it’s over, and I know it could have been worse, but I still hated it. It was still frustrating, stressful, and scary. The American healthcare system leaves you feeling powerless, confused, and afraid.

Loving my fiance. I love her every day of every month but this past month we’ve really had to come together as a team, support each other, push each other, and comfort each other through a lot. I don’t talk about everything here, some stories aren’t mine to tell, but I can tell you that I know I am one of the lucky ones. No matter what life throws at us, no matter how uncertain the world gets, no matter how much we fight amongst ourselves, we know there is somewhere where we are always safe. That love and safety has been crucial to my healing and enriched my life beyond words. 

Needing nothing but to believe in myself. The more I look at my life the more I see I’ve come quite accidentally to live nearly the life I want and need to live. I am lucky not just to have love, and work, and passion, but to have such small and quiet aspirations that can easily be pursued even if they cannot so be easily achieved. I just need to know I can do it. I need to quiet the doubts, silence the self-hate speech, and stop trying to divine what other people think of me. I have everything I need to be who it is I am trying to be, including the strength. I only need to believe it.

Hoping that more and more of our schools become places that are welcoming, supportive, and safe for our children. This month I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation on the benefits of moving toward a reflective and restorative based disciplinary system in our schools. Our current disciplinary system doesn’t teach kids to be disciplined adults, it teaches them to be compliant and complicit adults. I want to see more social-emotional training that teaches kids how to process emotions, build relationships, and connect with their communities. I’d love to see more schools, smaller, poorer schools servicing the most vulnerable youth being given the political and financial support they need to teach children not just how to pass tests, but how to live in this world, together.


So, yeah, all in all, March was a month of many things. It was busier than the two that came before and I have a feeling that while it doesn’t feel like it meant much now, come the end of the year I will look back and see that seeds of possibility were planted here.

But what about you? How did March treat you? Did winter hold tight til the last? What good did you do? What trials did you meet? Are you excited for April?

Let me know in the comments.


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

Photo by Damiano Baschiera on Unsplash

088 // Disoriented

I finished Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude today and I have to say, no other book has ever left me feeling so disoriented and wretched (in the best possible way) as this one.

I was so enthralled by the Buendía family and so ensnared by Marquez’s writing I more than half believed it was all true. Not just the events but the wisdom and the warning of it all. I lived through those one hundred years and witnessed such fascinating and terrible events only to wake up to this reality. What a colossal disappointment in comparison.

This is both the reward and the agonizing pain of a damn good book.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

087 // Drab Day

Today was unremarkable and uneventful.

Normally when nothing happens time drags on, but today was different. Perhaps those long days are only boring days, much is happening but none of it is what we want to happen. And maybe this unremarkable and uneventful day flew by because what happened coincided perfectly with what I wanted to happen and it just turned out that none of it was particularly grand or compelling.

I had just the drab day I needed.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

086 // It Could Be Worse

I was finally able, after weeks of back and forth with my doctor, my insurance provider, the pharmacy, and the drug company, to get my medication and now I find myself almost too afraid to take it! They really should try to find gentler wording to use in those warning packets they give you the first time, you know?

I wish I felt comfortable enough to share the outrageous cost of the medication here but I will tell you that after ringing up the bottle the pharmacist simply started at the screen with a look that was equal parts confused and astounded.

He wouldn’t even speak and only after I told him he was worrying me and asked him to please explain the look on my face did he ask me what I normally paid for the medication. I told him that whatever the cost I wasn’t the one paying; it was the drug company, and he sighed relief on my behalf. When the price came up on the card reader, I understood his shock. Even if it wasn’t my money, it hurt a little to swipe that card.

No matter what I go through in this shit show of a healthcare system I am constantly reminded that it could be worse. I could have had to pay that price tag with my own money, and in all honestly, that price would have been many times larger if I didn’t have insurance at all.

I’m frustrated for me but I’m wholeheartedly sorry for those worse off. I hope change comes soon and we all get relief from this cruel and unnecessary bureaucracy.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

085 // If Only

Today was day 2 of the conference I’m attending through work and though I still can’t say I learned a lot of new things I can say I walked away with a lot to think about and even more to be optimistic about.

It turns out that despite what you may see on TV or read on social media; the world is still moving toward the good. Kids are going to schools that are more compassionate, understanding, and open than ever before and becoming more so every day.

They are learning more than just facts. They are learning who they are, not being told, and to exist firmly and wholly in a world with other people. It’s beautiful and bittersweet. If only these studies, these policies, and these teachers had existed when I was in school…sigh.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

084 // Good People Are Needed at All Levels

Attended the first day of a “back to basics” conference my work sent me to and though I can’t say I learned a lot, it was eye-opening to meet with people from all over the state and to meet so many others who fill the same role I do in my district at theirs.

I sometimes feel alone, or unimportant in my position. I sometimes feel like my passions, my concerns, and my expectations for myself, my coworkers, and my department are too overblown and grandiose but today I met others who love what they do, take seriously what they do, and push themselves and their teams to do better because it’s the right thing to do and not because it will advance their careers. Quite the opposite in fact. They want to stay where they are because they understand the good people are needed at all levels.

That more than any new piece of information or concept has enlivened me and reawakened something I knew I had lost but thought I could never get back.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

083 // I Can Do Anything

Feeling low tonight, but at the same time, I’m feeling hopeful and excited too.

I’m trying something new. Whenever I feel scared, anxious, or worried I first tell myself that my fears are valid. I tell myself that I am absolutely right, that all the worst things I imagine could, in fact, come to pass, but after that, I always imagine what it will be like when I come out the other side of my fear, my anxiety, and everything I worry about having overcome it all. I imagine what a triumph that would be. I imagine the pride I will feel and what praise I’ll receive.

It may be strange but seeing yourself on the other side—even a narcissistic and shallow version basking in the glow of my loved one’s admiration—seems to help. The more I imagine her the more the possibility of being that girl becomes real and just like my worries and fears and anxieties can absolutely come true, so too can this opposite reality where I can am brave and can do anything.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

082 // The Week is Looming Already

Still feeling good about yesterday’s progress but the stress is slowly rising up again too. There are still so many more big decisions to make and still so little time to make them in. The time for celebration and congratulations are over, the shame of my procrastination has returned. We’re still so far behind.

And on top of that next week is looming bigger and scarier all the time. I have a work conference to attend on Monday and Tuesday and I’m scared. Not of anything in particular, but of everything, and for no reason at all. Nothing is expected of me but to go and learn, but it’s terrifying to be out of my comfort zone. I’m excited too but somehow that only adds to my fear.

Anxiety is so hard to explain.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren