Christmas Nostalgia

I always knew, somewhere deep and small within me, that the delight and joy of Christmas had faded as I got older. I tried every year to feel that same childlike joy, but it has never been the same. I have been trying to concoct magic for myself every year when the tricks have long been revealed. And for a second it was the most sobering realization I had all year; my head spun, and I got deeply sad, yearning for a time I would never get back. But when I immersed myself in those Christmas memories, all the small ones- I remember one year it was so warm and grassy that I rode my brand new bike outside, or our tradition of waiting until midnight Christmas Eve to open one gift and then opening the rest after we slept, or just feeling the immense elation, like a pressure in my heart, of watching someone tear open a gift you spent time ruminating over, watching their face for the moment of surprise-I realize I was lucky to have these to look back on in the first place. And until the nostalgia wears off and I begin my own Christmas traditions, it will be enough to tide me over. A festive liminal space if you will.

Merry Christmas. 

Women

I love women who are hard, who are calloused, whose fingertips are yellowed from cigarettes, who never divulges into their vulnerabilities until they give you little conversational snippets that you don’t dare pry into, who are aggresively maternal regardless of if they have children or not, who are rough and tactile and smart. 

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The Summers of Adulthood

I’m a child of the hot July sun.

I couldn’t wait to peel a wet bathing suit off my taut skin after a swim. I wanted that first feeling of realizing the sun was still out at 9pm, knowing the season had just begun and anything was possible. I wanted blackened feet from being barefoot all day and bike chain grease on my calves. I wanted sticky popsicle hands that I would only rinse quickly under a hose. I wanted to collapse in bed after a full day outside and finally realize how exhausted I was. I wanted to put potato chips in my sandwiches. I wanted to sit by a crackling bonfire and feel the intensity of the heat. I always felt like I could sit right in the center of the fire and not be burned but feel alleviated.

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The Perils of Productivity

For a long time, I prided myself on being a productive person. I used my spare time efficiently, writing to-do lists and finishing every task on them. I managed my time well and left no room for error. Unfortunately, I’m human, and so errors would come up, and when they would, I would internally combust. Being thrown off schedule and not being productive was worse than death to me. I would struggle immensely if my mind and body were telling me to rest. I would fight it, still try to work through brain fog and period cramps to achieve at least one thing on my to-do list, so at the very least I was a little bit productive. I thought this was admirable, something to be proud of. I’m slowly learning that it was not.

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Right Person, Wrong Time?

I truly don’t believe there is such a thing as “right person, wrong time.” This is an age-old debate that brings up numerous perspectives and opinions, all of which are intriguing and valid. I have just never gelled with the idea that you can meet a person who theoretically ticks off all your boxes and the only thing standing in your way is “timing.”

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To Live is to Create

I come from a big, artistic, eccentric family. I grew up around painters and instrumentalists, tarot card readers and poets. Creativity looked very specific to me. Creativity was reserved for those who could swipe paint onto canvases and awe their audiences. It was reserved for those who could pick up an instrument and play a soulful tune with ease. Creativity was a label you earned, never something you could claim yourself. Creativity looked like passion and excellence. I had none of this.

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Freshly Fallen Snow and Viscous Vanilla Scents

There is all the joy in the world to be found in the inconspicuous, seemingly meaningless intricacies of regular life. I am a devout advocate for enjoying the small, in-between moments. I refuse to be the adult who counts down to the weekend, to their vacation days, to some irrelevant time in the future. I refuse to have societal blinders on so tight that I can’t appreciate the simplicity in front of me everyday.

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This Year

This year, I got a taste of a type of introspection even I am not used to.

This year, I have lived (and am still living through) a global pandemic. I must admit, the lockdowns and closures did not drastically change my way of life. A true introvert, guilty as charged. But, assimilating into keeping our distance from everyone, even loved ones, wearing masks in public-I adopted these practices without a second thought. When I started dreaming about forgetting my own mask when going out and being confronted at work with people without one was when I realized that this entire pandemic has scarred me deeper than I’d like to admit. I’m beyond grateful that everyone close to me is healthy, but the amount of microtraumas we are all experiencing, along with the mass amount of death, makes me weary for us. We have much undoing for ourselves in this decade. Yet, I am oddly hopeful.

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My Journey with Veganism

November is world vegan month and it has me thinking about my journey with veganism. It’s been over four years for me as a vegan. It was the first real, conscious choice I made for myself as an adult, one that involved looking at my values and morals and having my actions be in line with them. That’s what adulthood meant to me, breaking away from your parent’s lifestyles and deciding what was good for yourself. I had gone vegetarian at 16 solely for health reasons. There are tons of scientific papers explaining that red meat and other meats are detrimental to consume over time; there’s no disputing that. So, I stuck with my reasoning for not eating meat as a health thing. When I became vegetarian, I was actually adamant to tell people I wasn’t this tree-hugging, animal-loving hippie. It was a logical decision based on my health. Then around 18, I started reading into the treatment of dairy cows and chickens. I didn’t eat meat, so I assumed I was in the clear, since I wasn’t eating animals, and therefore not contributing to that blatant sort of cruelty i.e. them being killed. Little did I know of the horrible treatment dairy cows experienced. Being forcibly impregnated over and over, having their babies taken away from them so they can be milked until they’re spent, and then their exhausted bodies being slaughtered for us to eat. I learned about how most baby male chicks are dropped into grinders basically after birth, since they can’t reproduce. Even though I didn’t eat pork or beef, learning about how pigs and cows cry in fear before they’re killed was traumatizing for me. I watched countless slaughterhouse videos. I watched cows walk to their death, their entire bodies trembling and pure fear in their eyes. I watched pigs be crammed into trucks, transported to be killed. I looked into their eyes, and they know they’re being taken to their death. Realizing the sentience of these animals we deem as food is what instantly converted me to veganism. It was outside of myself. I had gone vegetarian for my own good, deeming it healthier for myself, but I went vegan because it was the greater good to be done for the animals.

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