I sat down to write this last night and found myself unable to. Then the other post just…came out. So, I’m trying this again.
It was a good weekend. My roommate (hi SB) was in town for the first time in a while and she humored me with an all day roomie outing. She got her hair done, we went to the mall (turns out I’m not a mall person), we saw Gosnell…that was a doozy. And ate soup at one of my favorite bars in Cincinnati, The Blind Lemon.
Yesterday we went to Mass and then had some girls over for a Fall indoor ‘picnic’ (the weather was gross) which was cozy.
We also went to Trader Joe’s for the first time since I moved here (it’s a bit out of the way) – I forgot how much I love that place. It’s such a lovely shopping experience and their products are so fun! We got #alltheFallthings for our picnic (I think my favorite were the pumpkin biscotti) + truffle cheese which is incredible.
Anyway, it was a good weekend.
It’s a bit difficult to muster up much excitement early on a Monday morning but I know if I’m struggling chances are you may be too so hopefully we can get through this together – #teamwork.
Here are five things I’m excited about on this dreary Monday morning.
If I had a dollar for every time someone had warned me about the Ohio winter….I’d be sitting ‘somewhere on a beach’ right now (as Dierks Bentely would say). It nonetheless came as a shock when suddenly I woke up one morning to 50 degree weather – it’s in the 80’s right now in Charleston. Additionally, it stays pretty gray here, which has possibly been more of an adjustment than the cold. Regardless, I’m attempting to embrace this change. I want to make the most of it. It’s been fun trying different ‘Fall’ foods (there is such a thing as Pumpkin Spice popcorn), lighting alllll the candles, wearing big sweaters, listening to indie music and cozying it up with blankets and a book. I’m not necessarily thrilled about this shift but I think there are ways to make it pleasant and even to have fun with it, and I’m determined to do just that.
I’m not sure if it is just the rain or what, but recently I have been listening to a lot more indie and folk music and have found it soothing and meaningful. In the past I didn’t really have time for this genre, I didn’t have the patience to discern the meaning behind their lyrics or to get past some of the dissonance they tend to use. I preferred songs that were less subtle and more harmonious. Yet through various playlists (and a little help from my friends) I’ve come across several songs that I really love. Some of my favorites are:
Something I’ve tried to do with our apartment is to be really intentional about decorating it. There are a lot of cute things out there to choose from (so so many), but I wanted to choose things that meant something to me. This brand helped me do just that. I bought one of their prints and framed it to put over the mantle. It’s one of my favorite parts of our home and has so grateful for shops that make products that are thoughtful and beautiful.
The past couple of years have provided many a trial for me. It honestly felt for a long time that I was barely surviving, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started to feel okay. I realize ‘okay’ isn’t exactly a high standard to have for well-being but I think ‘okay’ is a good place for growth. Once out of survival mode – but still keenly aware of all the room for improvement – we can actually start to take steps toward betterment – instead of just getting by. I know I have a long ways to go in so many areas of my life, but I finally have a profound sense of peace with exactly where I am. It’s a peace that coexists with anxiety, because it’s deeper than the fears that like to follow me around. There is distress but it’s overwhelmed by a confidence that I am where I need to be and that all will be well. For the first time in a while I can say ‘I’m okay’ and it feels good.
“The beauty that will save the world is the love that shares the pain.”
I’m not sure who said it, Alanna quoted the line in this video and I realized that it is something I have suspected for so long without being able to articulate it; finally these words brought a newfound clarity.
All this time I understood this at a level I wasn’t consciously aware of: the reality that empathy and sharing in the suffering of others brings an incredible amount of healing. That’s why I write what I do. It’s hard, honestly. As much as ‘vulnerability’ online may feel like a joke, it is difficult to share thoughts and feelings that are so close to me. I do it because the hope is that someone, somewhere will be affected by what they read in a way that brings about understanding to their own thoughts and feelings. This understanding may help with alleviating some pain, too. Every once in a while I’ll get a comment or message in which someone shares that what I wrote deeply resonated with them, it is these few instances that bring meaning to what I do and encourage me to keep doing it. Because of one person is helped in some regard by this, then of course it is worth it.
Well it’s still Monday and it’s still dreary but at least you have a few songs to listen to now, have a good week!