Posts in "Writing"
Summertime Sadness
Summertime Sadness | Freckled Italian

It was a balmy 92 degrees this weekend in Charlotte and my brother and his girlfriend were staying at our house. Everything about it was cozy and sweet--exactly the kind of thing I picture when hosting out-of-town guests: pouring iced coffee in the morning, sitting on the back patio with our dogs, making burgers and guacamole before all of our friends came over for a cookout, taking them to our favorite places for lattes and crepes and gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches, sprawling out on the couch together under blankets after a long day of entertaining. Ender loves Sean so much so every morning I would wake up to him crying outside of the guest bedroom door, hoping his uncle would either come out and play or let him in to snuggle.

And then Sunday evening arrived and my brother and Jane packed up their stuff and loaded the car as big dark rain clouds rolled in, and I found myself getting so incredibly emotional that they were here and now were leaving. Summer is so exciting sometimes, and even though it's not my favorite season I can feel the magic in it, and the emotional highs and lows that rise and crash like waves on a beach. Long weekends slam into work weeks, and sunny mornings are wiped out by afternoon thunder storms. Summer is so joyful and fun and charged with energy, and for an incredibly sensitive person like myself, it can be exhausting. 

Lately I've been feeling a little burnt out, so I'm trying to look at this summer as a highly creative experiment in being kinder to myself, and allowing the room to get what I need. Working from home often makes me feel like I need to be hustling 24/7, but I've found that these weekends where I don't even pick up my computer have been so good for my soul and my mind, especially when I'm relaxing with people I love. So I'm going to do more of that, and I hope that something beautiful will follow. 

It's almost summer. It's time to slow down.

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Catching Up
Catching Up | Freckled Italian

We moved into the new house on Wednesday of last week and since then it's been a frenzy of boxes and carloads of random things that were in a closet of our apartment and so many recipes for this cookbook I'm so close to finishing. 

Usually when we move it's the only thing on my plate, and I tend to be super sentimental and need time to process change. But this time we moved in and kept hurtling forward, so every now and again, in a quiet afternoon moment I'll find myself feeling sad that I'm not sitting in our South End apartment with the big bathroom and the grey granite countertops and the super bright bedroom with a citrus-green wall. I'll be sitting at the kitchen table in a sunny room full of light that I dreamed of for months and wish, not to be back at the apartment, but for something.

I keep forgetting how long it takes for a place to feel like home, and even though I love the house and the yard and the big open kitchen I suddenly feel nostalgic when Rob walks through the door after work and Ender isn't quite sure where to greet him. This is our first move from one place to another in the same city, and I almost feel like I'm channeling some of those new state vibes, even though we've been in Charlotte for almost two years and only moved ten minutes down the street. We had such a routine in the apartment, and now we're in the house but only slightly unpacked, so it feels like a great many different things, and none of them are really home yet.

Also, I'm tired.

I have written 118 pages in three weeks and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. What an opportunity though, to write a book--as soon as I catch my breath I'll take the time to properly acknowledge the fact that one of my most passionate dreams came true.

Until then, some thoughts from a woman up to her elbows in Brussels sprouts and boxes, for you on a Tuesday. 

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Playgrounds and Outer Space (and Long-Distance Friendships)

My friend Daci and I decided to do an email-powered writing club in 2016 because we love writing but don't do it enough and also I think because we miss each other a lot sometimes and this might make us feel like we're sitting together at Spyhouse Coffee as the sun streams in across our Moleskines and we sip lavender lattes.

She sent me a care package with coffee and pencils and a cookie cutter in the shape of Minnesota. There was also a notebook that says Fucking Brilliant on the cover in really fancy gold calligraphy. I cried while I rummaged through the box, because she wrote "2015 was the WORST. Here's to 2016 being a million times better." in the card and it meant everything to me because I think she meant it for me even though she didn't mean it for her, since 2015 brought a brand new gorgeous happy healthy baby to her life.

And then a day later, a text: "Can we do like a virtual writing club? Or is that what blogging is already anyway?"

Two good questions. Our text messages are often just inside jokes or very random things that made one of us think of the other, like the fine line between cute and ugly jumpsuits or the time Andrew McMahon walked into a Minneapolis restaurant with his baby like it was no big deal.

It's probably not surprising to anyone that January is almost halfway through and I haven't written an essay for our writing club yet, but I do have notes in my Fucking Brilliant journal. I wrote them when I was half asleep one night:

STORIES 

College

  • Wes and Playground
    • First night
    • After breakup

Good enough, I guess. (Wes is a friend of mine from college who I used to go to this playground with, by the way. As I'm sure you can tell from my very detailed notes, there's a story there.)

So I was going to write the essay about my friend from college and the playground, but then Star Wars Episode VII came out and Rob and I spent a few days re-watching the old ones before going to see the new one, and I realized that never did it occur to me that any of the characters were in outer space, which is a big deal because I'm actually really afraid of outer space. If a meteor were headed towards Earth and we all needed to hop on a spaceship to escape safely, I'd stay. Like, Gravity came out and I made Rob go see it by himself while Daci and I probably ate French fries. So naturally I G-chatted her about it.

i realized when i was going to see it though that space in star wars doesn’t scare me
why is that
very important life question here (M)

hmmm maybe because its not real space?
like you’re scared of the space movies where actual humans that live in our world are trapped and feeling actual feelings and thinking about actual Earth things that are familiar to you
such a good life question
maybe space should be a prompt (D)

that’s exactly what it is
those people in star wars are supposed to be in space
they’ve just always lived out there
but yeah i like space as a prompt (M)

theyre in their element
maybe your fear isnt space (D)

just bein a wookie (M)

its feeling lost
#DEEP (D)

Because whether it's out there in the great beyond or somewhere in the ocean (another great fear of mine), nobody wants to be flailing around, gasping for breath, trying to figure out which way is up. And whether you're writing about a playground or the terrifying rings of Jupiter, sometimes you just need to get started and figure it out from there. Two writing prompts and a blog post. And a reason to text my friend in Minnesota. Better than nothing.

But I think we'll write the essays anyway.

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