Sunday, June 26, 2011

Write One Leaf: "Lost & Found"

Prompt: "Write One Leaf about something you've lost (and where you think it might be)."

I've lost so many things over the last two years: many of my "best friends", a boyfriend I honestly believed was The One, my mind. . . Most importantly (or devastating), I think, I've lost my joie de vivre, my energy - my spark.

It took a long time after I was hospitalized for me to laugh again. It took a long time to look in the mirror and do something other than contemplate peeling away my skin in search of the girl I used to be. The truth is, I haven't been "that girl" for years.

This self-loss started so gradually, it was almost imperceptible. I started isolating myself, sleeping too much, pushing people away... and here I am. Hiding. She started showing herself more lately, though. I can put on clothes and my makeup in the morning, explore a new town, smile and flirt with the boys at the movie theater and even write again. My confidence has increased and so has my sense of self-worth.

There are people and situations I have to avoid, but... I can deal with that. I'm rediscovering myself in the streets of this old city, in rosebushes and dappled sunlight. I can taste faint traces of my inner flame when I cook or watch movies. When I bike through town with my iPod at full volume or mix drinks with my aunt I catch myself grinning and soaking up life. I'm making a comeback.

I lost myself once when I fell down the rabbit hole and into darkness. Crawling back out again took every ounce of what little energy I had left, but I can see the sky again - and oh, how beautiful it is. I might slip a little on occasion as I scrabble for the last few feet and get out completely, but I am not letting go and I'm never falling through again. I've fought tooth and nail for this life over the last six months and dammit, I'm going to LIVE.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I couldn't breathe for a minute a few moments ago. Thank whoever's up there it was a joke.

I don't think I could deal with that. Not today.

Okay, get back to your lives. Real post later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home, or Something Like It

I've been in Oregon for a week, and already I'm torn. I absolutely love it here, but I miss home terribly. The funny thing is, I miss home in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong reasons, except one: I miss Kenzie. I miss her little voice in the morning and taking her to dance class and watching Tangled or Thumbelina with her on repeat. I really miss what a little love bug she is when she's tired - so snuggly. Yeah, I miss my baby something awful.

But I miss my old haunts more than the rest of my family. I mean, honestly, the distance is a godsend, we were on the road to killing each other. But my car, the park, the parking structures, Denny's, Rose and Kara... Those are hard to do without.

Mostly, I miss the inherent California-ness of SoCal. The smell of jasmine exploding into bloom everywhere you look, the warmth of the sun and the constant dry heat as familiar as an old quilt - irreplaceable. There aren't jacaranda trees here, either. Tons of roses and flowers we don't even have names for at home, but no purple trees, and no jasmine. Tomato plants here are pathetic to behold and the beaches!? Quaint, but cold and empty. The concept of beach weather is nonexistent (though the drive there and back is far more fun than at home).

Salem has plenty to offer, though. For once, my relatives actually treat me like an adult (thank God), which means I can use the car as-needed, run errands without being interrogated, dictate my own work hours (within reason, of course), and generally do my own thing provided I meet my responsibilities and am not offensive or destructive; easy. The bus system is also incredibly user-friendly, and "town" is so fun to explore. From zillions of coffee shops and tiny little boutiques to big stores like Khol's and Macy's - and everything in-between - this town really has just about everything (even a Trader Joe's!). The very heart of downtown is prime people watching and did I mention all the funky coffee shops? The Beanerie, Governor's Cup, IKE Box, on and on and on, I love it.

We've got a pretty good routine built up, too. I drive my aunt to work in the morning, wander around town for an hour or so, go home and work with Margaret, spend afternoons writing and then go pick up my aunt before Margaret and I make dinner. Then we kick back with a glass of wine and a pot of tea, and spend the evening watching comedy news programs and British dramedies (love the BBC!) before bed. So... it's not quite home, but it's definitely shaping up to be something like it.

Write On,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Love from Paradise

Yes, yes, I know, I've been away for a while and I'm a terrible person. BUT to make up for it, I'll have OODLES of time to post this summer. Because I'm in Oregon. And there's absolutely nothing to do in the Great Frozen North. I'm kidding, of course. It's gorgeous in the spring/summer months, and I'm quite busy working with my cousin and for my aunt and doing my own thing and seeking out that elusive summer fling, but I will still be able to post. And I have tons of reviews to update you on - I've been reading like crazy (as usual).

So I have a plan for the summer. Regular, scheduled posts that make some semblance of sense. For example, for my "Write One Leaf" projects, I could post those on Wednesdays. For updates on my crafting (knitting, crochet, embroidery, scrapbooking, other projects of note), I could post those regularly on Mondays. I could post reviews of books and movies on Thursdays, and my Salem Diaries on Saturdays. Of course, I'll post other things often in-between if I have some particular thoughts that need to be shared. And I'll be working on a couple of essays and other creative projects that I'll update you on, but... My aunt spoke to me about something interesting yesterday. We were on the deck talking about my writing pursuits and she said (I paraphrase): "So many people call themselves writers, but so few of them actually DO it. You write and therefore are a writer. You've said so yourself, W, that you must write every day in order to be any good, and that you must practice your craft. It's work, but it's work you love. You have to work at it." Taking this in stride, I've resolved to write every day. Like every writer I've ever read interviews of, I will write daily, in scheduled blocks of time dedicated solely to writing whatever I choose, so long as I write.

I'll keep you all posted as I continue fine-tuning my system and schedule.

In other news, I'm reading more and more e. e. cummings and finding that (*gasp*) I kind of like it... Also, it isn't raining at all.

“The very impulse to write, I think, springs from an inner chaos crying for order, for meaning, and that meaning must be discovered in the process of writing or the work lies dead as it is finished.”

- Arthur Miller

Write On,