The Dream

Though my dreams and aspirations have become somewhat fuzzy these days, I realized that a core desire still remains.

My “what do you want to be when you grow up” answer has ranged from being a mother, to being an event coordinator, to being an author, to teaching English in Japan. Realizing that I currently don’t know what I want to do and that my interest in any previous 5 year plan has flatlined, is both discouraging and confusing.

Years ago, one of my dear cousins and I were looking for locations to do photo shoots. Various abandoned buildings presented themselves but one lives in my memory, solid, to this day. It was the most beautiful brick instrument factory. Sun reflected off of the large multi-glass pane windows, vines climbed the exterior elevator and the sturdy front door: stained glass window and rich finish on the dark wood, provided contrast to the pavement and metal.
It was for sale. We dreamed of buying it and renovating the inside to be full of conduits for potential. There would be various bedrooms, a library, a professional level kitchen, a music studio, art studio, dance studio, workshop and room for more. The building was large. The vision was that people with cohesive personalities and interests could live there in community and create through the different avenues. It would be our place.
Of course neither of us had much money at the time and the lot was bought by someone else. I don’t know what became of that building. I’d like to think that the new owner did something beautiful with it instead of knocking it down and building cookie cutter condos. In my mind, it is what we dreamed it could be.

My more recent idea for a small business, I’ve realized, would fit into that fantasy as well. I want to create experiences for people who, like me, are stuck in the 9-5 grind and wish they could live a different life, but can’t. Boxed escapes brought to you not just by me, but by partnering with local artists and other small business creators. One of the reasons it hasn’t happened is because it requires a massive amount of prep, organization, community and time.
A different dear cousin is visiting me this weekend and she spoke of her roomate, an author who “collects” other artists. People supporting and working with each other, like minded, creating beautiful elements that, as a whole, reach the desired outcome. It brought me back to that dream of the abandoned instrument factory.

Admittedly, these particular people don’t fit what society deems normal or typical but there is a richness in individuals working to understand each other and support growth, even painful, in each other. It’s not something that I’ve felt comfortable sharing here before but I am what some call neurodivergent. It roughly means that my brain doesn’t work the typical way. There are a lot of people who fit into that descriptor and it’s still highly stigmatized. When we are able to share with like-minded individuals, unafraid to be ourselves, it is so beautiful. Safety to exist as you actually are in a community is not something that everyone has the occasion to value on the same level. Meaning, if you fit into societies expectations, you aren’t consistently putting energy toward presenting yourself in a way that is comfortable for others.

I may not know my solid, attainable dream for my future right now but I do know that having the support from people who understand me, and the ability to create and essentially share my heart with people in that way, that’s the dream.

Thank you for reading, strangers and friends.

Pinterest board for the factory is here.

Fear and Fantasy

There’s a storm brewing. I can feel it in the air as I right my toppled zucchini plant. It’s warm, windy, and the wildness creeps into my bones. I want to be wild and free like the flying leaves; soak up the adrenaline and be at fiery peace.

Tomorrow, my favorite weekend escape opens. I can be another version of me in a different world. Going to Renaissance Festival has always given me that feeling, the one I can’t quite put into words.

My imagination is renewed and a match held to the wick of my creative spirit. Maybe it’s that I don’t have to be what most people want me to be. Keeping to myself offends no one and I can slip between groups of people like a shadow, all the while taking in such delicious details.

I’m a little afraid of my excitement. A lot has changed since I was last able to attend, and I’m afraid it won’t infect me with that restful, childlike inspiration.

Do you ever get scared by being excited for something, just hoping it is as wonderful as you remember it?

Have a lovely weekend strangers and friends. Here’s hoping you get to revisit pleasant dreams and fall asleep to the sound of a storm.

Ordinary Peace

Getting last minute approval to leave your windowless office job early on a Friday feels oh so lovely, like you’re getting away with something as you step into the sun, removing your facemask.
I’m sitting on the slab of cement cherished as my patio. Partially shaded, but with the warmth soaking into my legs from the rock, covered by my skirt. A loud crunch/pop sound breaks the songs of crickets as I open a cold can of V8 juice. I’m trying to have more vegetables in my diet and I already treated myself to a creamy nitro cold brew, laced with salted caramel this morning. Normally I don’t spring for nitro but it truly had a different flavor, richer and darker than the regular.

It’s the perfect day as far as weather goes. A cool clear, morning growing from the low seventies to the low eighties with a breeze shushing through the leaves of the trees. Come to think of it, it’s probably frogs, not crickets I’ve been hearing, since it’s not yet evening. Either way, I’m not worried. Normally I would be, thinking about my never ending list of things to do and accomplish but I’m happy, at peace just existing for a change.

Whatever kind of week you’re coming out of, I hope that you’re able to experience peace in the ordinary beauty of life.

Thank you for reading, strangers and friends.

My Farm-stay Morning

This morning, 5am greeted me without alarm and I followed the suggestion of one of our hosts for enjoying garden-side bunny frolicking. Wrapped in a fleecy blanket, I quietly prepared a small french press of coffee before slipping outside to settle into the front seat of an old car by the barn. Steam rose from my cup as a chicken wandered past, no doubt wondering why I was there without it’s breakfast.

After some more sitting, watching the cottontails in the dewy grass, I visited the chicken coop, gave the goats some good head rubs, and went back inside the cottage to my cozy bed. Sleep overtook me once more and I woke a few hours later, sunlight seeping through the cracks in the curtains.

Leftover pancakes were reheated on a charming white dish and the rest of the french press drained while a fresh egg sizzled in the small cast iron skillet.

There’s something so lovely about sitting outside, shaded from the sun, with a cool, fragrant breeze stirring the pages I write on and enhancing food’s flavor. Two, towering, evergreens stand nearby, their branches swaying ever so slightly. Ants file past my bare feet on the smooth wood of the deck. A moth flits from wildflower to wildflower. Oh, what peace.

The Perfect Life

Hello friends and strangers,
I must apologize for my extended absence. Life has been complicated lately. I know, when is it not. Battling burnout at my job, taking a wonderful trip from which I had to return, exhaustion and getting sick, focusing on my immediate space instead of the cerebral, and quite frankly, lack of wonder and inspiration in my everyday life; these are the things I blame for my lack of posting.

My eating and sleeping have been most impacted. Vivid dreams leave me tired and confused when I wake up. Interest in food or the energy to make it are in short supply.

This morning though, staying home to stream church instead of exposing people to whatever my body is fighting, I found that pocket of contentment. Nothing is perfect. I dropped my beautiful cheese toast face down on the rabbit-fur-covered rug. My stomach is still upset, but I was able to enjoy sitting on the ground by the windows, soaking up the sun indoors, since the smoke from Canada has impacted air quality. The black berries and crisp pickle slices, that escaped the fall, were refreshing and Clove convinced me to hand over some of the fur-covered toast, allowing me to fit in a few smoothings of her velvety soft fluff. No, things are far from perfect but, life can still be good.

Toasted sourdough, dill havarti, prosciutto, with blackberries, dill pickle slices and coffee.

Thoughts; Out of Place

This blog originally, was meant to push me towards my dreams. Those dreams seem both unclear and out of reach these days. I know I’m making progress, have things that I’ve dreamt of, and if I put in the effort and work, more could happen. I don’t know what is wrong. It’s like I’m stuck in a cycle of not belonging in my own life. That sounds crazy when you say it out loud but no other description quite seems to fit; always feeling out of place in my own existence.

Having time to rest, as well as get things done this weekend, has left me motionless. It’s not a comfortable lack of movement. Instead, I have no interest in things that, even a few hours ago I was excited about.

I started working on cutting out squares for a memory quilt of t-shirts that I no longer wear. It was really fun at first, taking up most of my focus, even hiding the fact that I needed to eat lunch. But as each new piece brought up memories, my mental energy and excitement from finally working on this project drained; processing multiple aspects of the times past. Being a very sentimental person doesn’t seem to have an advantage at any point in time. There’s a large chunk of time that I miss how things were, though they were hard. This is a different hard I guess.

Maybe it’s because a milestone birthday is coming up for me and I don’t see the change that I want to. Maybe it’s the fact that the things I want and don’t have, won’t “fix” this.

Anyone else experiencing a strange, empty, stuck feeling as we are slowly coming out of the pandemic? The general public that I attempt to assist during the week at my job, definitely appear to have been affected. Almost no one seems to be able to process the changes happening without taking out stress and frustration on others. I digress.

There it is: Existential crisis, a world in crisis, frustration with myself for having a hard time despite everything I’m blessed with.
As I’m coming up on a new decade of my life, do you have any tips for a future that seems so uncertain? If you have felt the way that I am, what helped you?

Thank you for sitting with me, friends and strangers.

Pajama pants worn many Christmases, a favorite of my dad’s dress shirts, a very bright childhood shirt, and a shirt from one of the years riding the MS-150

Escape into Reality

I’m sitting on my patio, iced tea creating a wet spot from the sweating on the cement next to me. Clove is tethered to my ankle, free to explore the length of her leash but close enough that I can be there before a dog or hawk. It’s a perfect 73 F only partially spoiled by hesitant grey skies and light mugginess.

Weather like this makes me sleepy and unmotivated to do anything except lay in bed and scroll TikTok or Pinterest. Actually, that is exactly what I was doing before this. I came across a TikTok of someone who was told that if they feel that way, to go for it, just outdoors at a park instead.

I have found that taking care of others is vastly easier than taking care of myself. Why that is, I’m not quite sure. I do know that the way I perceive things has a large sway on their impact. I have used my imagination to escape from real life as longa s I can remember and never once did it occur to me until this week that I could use my imagination and creativity to actually change my reality instead of escape from it.

“Bad” feelings are still meant to be felt. Greif, pain, anger, are not meant to be ignored and pushed down. Instead of beating myself up for feeling more than happiness all the time, I need to learn to process the emotions that are generally frowned upon, remind myself that they are ok to feel, just don’t wallow in them.

Maybe you came to this realization long ago or maybe you don’t relate to my same feeling of needing to escape life at times. Either way, I hope you’re finding a way to take care of yourself.

Thank you for listening strangers and friends.

(written May 23rd but forgot to actually post it)

Climbing

To make a dent in my never-ending to-do list, sometimes I have to trick myself with external motivation or a reward system. If I do a load of laundry, then I can eat an extra tasty meal instead of whatever is around. If I haul my trash out, I can sit and pet Clove for a little while and not think of anything else. A clean and organized living space is sometimes reward enough in itself. Attempting to push myself to get back on my grind today, I put on some upbeat music and blasted through cleaning my kitchen. Finishing that up by leaving an old potato in the little patch of forest behind my apartment, hoping that it will deter the critters there from feeding on my newly planted herbs for a little bit longer, it struck me. I really wanted to climb a tree.

So I did. Sap welcomed the grip of my hands on the branches and bare feet, testing my weight with each new step. The feeling of being a child again washed over me and I couldn’t help but smile as the breeze lifted a strand of my unrestrained hair to catch the bark. Looking out at a different height, far above my usual, the sun broke through the clouds and all of the little spores and seed fluffs floated past me, like a flock of fairies, merrily on their way.

I plan to climb that tree more often. It totally counts as exercise and certainly provides outdoor endorphins! Why is rock climbing normal for adults to do but it’s kind of weird for us to climb a tree?

I wish I could bottle the feeling that I was given climbing that tree barefoot, package barely noticing a scratch on my leg as I perch, transported to a different world within my own.
That really is the idea that lives, nebulous in my head, if I ever start a business: Small boxes that give people a taste of different adventures through products that capture that essence. Include a written glimpse of story to go with it and suddenly you’re baking bread in a cottage while your cat swats at a butterfly through the open window. You’re perched in a tree, unafraid of falling because you’ve lived in the forest your whole life. The hem of your cloak follows your steps down the corridor of the castle as you make your way to convene the council. It is a beautiful (and far more detailed) goal in my head but there is much to do before starting a business. Maybe someday I can bring that dream to you in the world we live in.

Thank you friends and strangers for coming on this current adventure with me. Do something that revives the child in you this week, okay?

Keep climbing, friends and strangers.

Outdoor Ambitions

A breeze keeps blowing my loose strands of hair into my face and if I tilt my head just right, I can see a threading of web reflecting light through the blades of grass. The smell of someone grilling and the sound of birdsong mix now with the quiet clack of the keyboard. I am somehow in a different life but it is my own.

I haven’t read an actual book in maybe, over a year. Someone was kind enough to send me one off of my Amazon wishlist, suggested by my mentor. It’s so beautiful outside today again, after most of the week being rain and snow. Going on a walk is suggested but the mentally tired bug bit me earlier today and was not shaken. Resting outside, reading for the first time in forever, carding my fingers through the velveteen fur of my rabbit, has melted the work day away.

It’s not just any book either. It’s not an escape (which I am constantly seeking) or a cover up. It requests that I face reality and ask myself hard questions.

we need to figure out where we are before we plot a course forward

Bob Goff – Dream Big

I am urged to open my eyes, take a clear look at everything I think about myself and why, sort through my desires and ambitions as if doing an internal spring cleaning, and truly put in the work to make my life what I long for it to be.

No more doing what merely occupies, entertains, and numbs us?

Bob Goff – Dream Big

Can you be honest with yourself? How difficult is it for you?
As the light fades into evening and the breeze becomes chilled, I will go back inside but take these questions with me.

From only three chapters into the book, I already highly suggest it. Have you heard of it? Read it? Dream Big by Bob Goff

Sunshine on the mind

Today, finally, was wonderful. Living with chronic illness, on any level, makes every small accomplishment a victory and today I felt well enough to do a full-on deep powerclean of the apartment. I’ll admit, it really needed it but being able to make so much progress, visible progress even, felt amazing.

The sun was shining beautifully earlier and people were out in force to soak it up. Anything above 30 degrees (F) here is tropical right now. You should have seen the lines for car washes! It’s supposed to snow a lot again tonight I guess. I don’t mind as long as it stays “warm” and doesn’t ice over.

This week was quite something, just weird. I tend to have trouble keeping my days straight anyway but it feels like a whole year went by. Speaking of time passing, I can’t believe it’s already March in a couple days. What an interesting time we live in.

What was hard about your week? What fills you with energy? I hope that you are able to enjoy your weekend. More to come ~