Letting Your Creativity Breathe

Some of us create because it is what we want to do with our lives. Others create because it makes life a lot more interesting. Regardless, we are all creative creatures, whether that’s creating on a canvas, creating in the kitchen, or creating with a camera.

Deciding Who I'll Be

Fast forward seven years: I sit in an English classroom as a young, impressionable seventh grader, soaking up every word from my teacher. After years of devouring books, read alouds, scripts, and writing poetry on love (which I knew so much about) and stories of an adventurous squirrel (which entertained my entire family), I made another career choice: I would be a seventh grade English teacher.

Reclaiming the Wild

Wild. That is the name of the book I brought with me to Norway this past week. A memoir by Cheryl Strayed that was made famous by a movie starring Reese Witherspoon a couple of years back. A story about a woman whose answer to her spiraling, drug-induced, sex-addicted life was a one hundred day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. A hope for change and reconciliation with her own grief drove her deep into the wilderness of California and Oregon. The book is compelling because of Strayed’s boldness in baring even the darkest parts of her humanity, but I was drawn to it because she gracefully gave a voice to a part of my heart that I often feel the need to keep silent—the part of me that is disconnected and restless until I am reclaimed by my need to be wild.

Digging In To Your Dreams

Most people would say that I lack follow-through, but I would say that I lack digging in. I can dream about the garden I want to plant. I know what kinds of flowers and vegetables I will watch sprout out of the dirt. I have done all the research, made all of the to-do lists, drawn up the blueprints. I am excited and ready and nobody can tell me that this garden cannot be planted. But then fear pops into my head.

Seasons Never Last Forever

It seemed like everywhere I turned these past few months I heard that I was entering the strangest year of my life.

I heard the word miserable more than a few times, confusing and wonderful used in the same sentences. Now, on the other side of this first untethered month, I get it. There’s no end date on my job description, no promise I’ll return to what’s been normal for the past four years.

On Giving Yourself Permission to Rest

But I think it helps me to go through the events of the last couple of months and remind myself that it was a lot, that it was busy and stressful and took a toll emotionally as well as physically. To remind myself that it’s okay to be tired, even after two weeks of doing very little. To remind myself that there’s a process of recovery to take place now, after four years of studying are over and my identity is shifting away from "student" and into something new.

On Being the Quiet One

I have always been the quiet one. I’ve never spoken up in classes, never could talk to the person standing next to me in the elevator, never been described as bubbly or charismatic. Every start of a new school year, ever strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, I had one resolution.

Just talk more, I'd tell myself. Be outgoing.

Post-Grad and Anxiety

“I am so anxious.”

Every May, thousands of graduates adopt this mantra as their go-to response to the incessant question pf “so, how are you?” As someone with a close familiarity with anxiety, I am hyper-aware of its sudden increase in use in daily conversations. This is the phrase I hear countless friends use, and very aptly so. We are anxious in every connotation of the word: we are excited, nervous, shaky, unsure, ready to get it over with, and ready to begin. We are all caught in the uncomfortable company of this ambiguous agitation, some struggling to get past it and others simply living in it for all it’s worth.

Creating Space for Simple, Part II

But how do I bring this simple home with me, pack it away in my carry-on and roll right through customs with? How do I bring simple home to jobs and bills and relationships and a mind that is ready to pick up its worry torch and begin its hurried dash once more?