I know I have said this before, but I feel like it’s really easy to write when I travel/have an aha moment, etc. One thing I’ve been talking about with my favorite English professor lately is the hang-up of feeling like you have to wait to write until you have something “worth” writing or “worth” reading. Which is kind of a gip (jip? I’ve never known how to spell that…) because then you rob yourself of the cathartic experience of writing and remembering, and for what? The .2 people that *MIGHT* come across your words and not like them or not understand?
We’ve been talking a lot about remembering that as a writer, you are also first reader – meaning your words are first and foremost yours. You can trust other people with them without feeling you have to edit yourself or what you have to offer. Just let your words be your words. School kind of does the opposite, and it’s been life-changing to have a professor who pushes back on that cookie cutter kind of editing and believes in the individual voice. And if anyone is reading this, you might be like, cool story bro.
But IT IS A COOL STORY, BRO. It’s been an absolutely transformative process in accessing my voice again as I write papers for school, propose my capstone research, and gather the stories of others for that research. It’s been a little slower to trickle over to my blog, and in an effort to help myself remember that I write my blog for me, and therefore anything that is worthwhile to me is worth writing, I want to start doing lists every Wednesday of at least five random things/life updates/whatever. One, because lists are therapeutic, two, because I actually love Wednesdays.
- Somehow we’ve found ourselves in Southern Utah at some point in the weekend… for the last three weekends. And I’m not that mad about it. (But maybe our gas money budget is a liiiiittle mad about it.) First, for family pictures, then for the Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival (which has my heart like you’ll never know), and this last weekend to help Brittany and Richie move and go horseback riding in Red Canyon. HOLY. COW. I have missed horseback riding so badly. It is so much a part of who I am, and always takes me back to that purest place of myself and my interests and passions. I feel like when you get older, it can be easy to forget the things you genuinely like and enjoy and just get caught up in all there is to do… and then how much do I want to do something extra after just keeping up? Not that much, a lot of the time. I’m working to slow down and be intentional with my free time – like with studying, reading, hiking, serving, or if I need to rest, experiencing MEANINGFUL rest – instead of just mindlessly scrolling and sitting (but it’s so tempting, though!) because I want to keep feeding myself and my dreams and my passions, instead of getting sucked into what it is easy. HOW’S THAT FOR A RANT?
It was such a beautiful, soul-stirring experience to see that canyon, which has been a backdrop for so many of my best memories, from that perspective. Also, our wrangler JUSTIN is my new BFF I’m pretty sure. He had twinkly blue eyes and a flannel shirt and wrinkles so deep that I just wanted to take black and white pictures of his face and all it held. Is that a weird thing to say? Probably. But it’s how I felt. I wanted to adopt my horse Pepper. Cody’s horse was named BEAN and I don’t know why that made me laugh so much the whole time, but he was an ornery little bugger who hates all other horses except Pepper. Every time we go horseback riding, Cody gets the grumpy horse who always wants to stop to eat. Another quirk about Bean is that he was a trail-blazer and would literally go off trail and take whatever route he thought was easier…. hahaha. So sometimes I’d look back and BEAN would just be doin’ like Bean does, 200 feet away on another hill. I was dying.
P.s. Please enjoy my white trash rolled sleeves. :/ I want to tell you I was trying to get an even tan and be cool, but in all honesty, it was so, so hot before we got higher up that I literally rolled them in an effort to stem my pit sweat (which was like pit waterfalls) because it was dripping down my rib cage. Hahaha. TMI? I don’t know, but that feeling drives me NUTS, so you know. White trash pictures resulted. If you feel somehow offended… plz think of your own pit sweat and STOP IT. Thx.
P.p.s. If it looks a little like wrangler Justin and I went on a romantic date and Cody was nowhere to be found… the reality is, my hands are too sweaty to hold a DSLR camera in 90 degree heat six feet off the ground. WHOOPS.
- While we were in Southern Utah, we ran to Walmart for Father’s Day cards on very little sleep and just got SO slap-happy after a long day in the sun. We just got the giggles so bad and everything was so much funnier than it was. Like muscle tanks with patriotic cats or beer logos, and even reading cards in weird voices until it got to the point that we were shaking the chains on a dollar deal treasure chest talking about gift scenarios where this would make a good father’s day present, and just CRYING laughing. I know it doesn’t do it justice to hear about it at all. But it was just one of those really good moments. See picture of Cody, collapsed on the floor of Walmart (yikes a BILLION) laughing for proof:
Last Friday was my first experience with an actual event for my internship with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It was awesome! I have never been to a Relay for Life, and learning more about the symbolism of that event, why it goes all night, what it means, etc. really touched me. It was also humbling to look around at all the sweet families affected by cancer and to know that my internship allows me to be a small part in the resources available to them. Cancer has touched some of the most precious people in my life, and I really feel like it’s where I am SUPPOSED to be, you know?
- I needed to finish my capstone proposal for my undergraduate research this week, and I was feeling really nervous to approach my English professor to be one of my committee members. I’ve struggled to find someone on the English side of things that I REALLY felt could be onboard for my project, but I decided Monday before class that I was going to do it. I love my American Lit professor (talked about her at the beginning of this post) and it felt right. I know it’s her job, but it felt like a big ask to invite someone on a project that I’m creating, that will take months of work and input. NERVOUS.
At the beginning of class, she asked a question about how the compassion writing workshops we’ve done this semester have affected us, so I shared that it had influenced the direction of my capstone. I told her I was researching how personal storytelling creates compassion that makes public policy personal and accessible for lawmakers – making people go from a number on a bill to real people – and enacting real change in public health. Her hand shot up and she said, “First, can we use the compassion workshops we’ve done in class as narrative research for your project?” And my classmates all gave their permission! And then she said, “Second, can I be on your committee, pretty please??” I had literal tears in my eyes, people. MY GASH! God is so good. I was like, “Oh hey, I was JUST going to ask you that after class.” Tenderest of tender mercies.
Cody’s been out of town this week with work, and while I never love that anyway, it’s an extra bummer in the summer (unintentional rhyme and also the name of my new hit song! LOOKOUT!) and also, I am just so ready to leave Utah County. Hahaha. It’s just time to move on, and even though we move north in August when our lease is up to wait on our house being finished, and that’s so soon… every day with Cody gone I’ve felt like, IS IT AUGUST YET? But! I took a nap after class this week and woke up to the loveliest cloudy sky, crazy blustery warm wind, and the smell of coming rain in the air. Oh man. I don’t think I could have loved our apartment and our street and our spot in Orem more than I did at that moment. It was DELICIOUS. So speaking of delicious, I was hungry! I decided to go run to Little Caesar’s for a Hot & Ready. Listen, y’all. I will miss living two minutes from a Lil C’s. It is my jam But anyway, grabbed my pizza and I came out to warm, pouring summer rain. AHHH. My favorite thing in the world. The smell of hot pavement in a summer rain, and warm rain all around you. It’s therapeutic and envelopes you, and for me it’s every good feeling at once, falling down around you – total peace. Also, that SOUND on your windshield or your roof. IT’S SO SUMMERY. For me, it’s the weather equivalent of a lemonade stand.
This week I started a Prana Yoga class, and I am in love. I am probably the least flexible person alive, but I really love yoga. I took a class last year for school and it really resonated with me. The meditation and positive affirmation were SO awesome spiritually. This class is two and half hours and not for school credit so I was kind of like…. wait, wait, wait. Am I legit enough? But everyone else is mostly beginning too and it’s a beautiful class. This week we talked about the seven chakras and actually drew pictures and wrote about how they felt, how open or closed we felt they were within ourselves, etc. It was so wonderful to meditate and move and be creative in that way. It reminded me so much of the breath work we did in my theater class, and just how creative and open and self-aware that helped me to feel at that time in my life. I can already tell it will do wonders for some of the anxieties I’ve been struggling with lately, and I totally had spirit chills the whole time. So I’m basically a yogi master at this point (SUPER SARCASTIC) and will probably drop out of college and get big into OHM-ing and world peace. (I joke but actually, that sounds like the dream to me and my senioritus, tbh!) Anyways, this is basically me now:
Hahaha. Kristen Wiig. That armpit hair. TOO GOOD.