Glenn Greenwald, author of a new book on Edward Snowden’s revelations about goverment intelligence gathering and abuses, gave a glorious, detailed interview on NPR’s All Things Considered this week. I highly recommend listening to his explanation for how/why he chose to reveal details about the government…and why Snowden is not a coward for fleeing the U.S
I’ve been very open in the past about the more difficult, downer moments of parenthood- sharing the hard times is immensely freeing emotionally when the chaos is neck-deep and you honestly don’t know/believe it will ever get easier. So, in the interest of balance, I want to be open about the high times too.
Cause right now is a high point for us, as a family, and for me personally. My little TaterSnot is almost two (but not yet Terrible Two), and becoming gently articulate and responsive. She knows me now and she gives me neck hugs with a joyful abandon that I know can’t last- so I’m soaking up every single one. We get a respectable amount of sleep (though it means our household is frequently always in bed before 10 pm) so I’m not a grumpy zombie. Eva enjoys daycare each day, so I can work at a job I love without feeling guilty or worried. And that moment at the end of the day, when I go to pick her up and she turns and sees me- I don’t know what language has a word to describe that kind of joy.
It’s going to sound sappy and cliched, but it’s 1000% true- she’s changed me utterly. I noticed the other day that my list of ‘needs’ has shrunk in the last two years to exactly this: Whatever it is I need to take care of her and my husband is all I need. That’s it. Money-wise, time-wise, energy-wise….if I have enough for that, I have enough. Not in a abstract,unicorn-y way. In a visceral, bone-deep, primal sort of way.
I can’t explain it without sounding ‘holier-than-thou,’ and it’s not my point to (“Oh, no, who could possibly need more than parenthood? That Kate Spade purse? Garbage, compared to the transcendent joy of changing diapers. My life was meaningless before babies…”). I’m trying to explain in words that this is working for me...and I didn’t know before if it would. There was a time in the not-at-all distant past when I didn’t know if I could do anything more than just handle the day to day reality of parenthood without losing parts of me that I really didn’t want to lose.
Having said that, I’m pushing to gather more friends (I have a few gems in my life right now) and really cultivate some female friendships (always my weak point). There are still plenty of things I want to do, but for this moment, for the first time since before puberty, I’m content. I’ve got a life I want. And that’s no small thing.
I’ve written in the past about one of my favorite sources of inspiration: Sarah Kay.
(Interesting note: in that last sentence, I first typed the word “information” instead of “inspiration.” In my mind and heart, she is a source of both. She’s informed me of things about the human condition that I’d forgotten I ever knew.)
Her poetry is magic to me.
Her new book, No Matter the Wreckage, is now out on Amazon. It’s her last ten years of poetry, and it’s like psychic food. I bought it, the second I found out about it. I’d encourage you to do the same.
Okay, so we’re not really hunting hipsters. They’re out of season.
But my NYC trip is going to include a visit to an open-air market in the hamlet of Williamsburg, which is apparently a hipster breeding ground. I’ll get to see them in their natural habitat, and I’m excited for the chance, since they’re basically in captivity back in Atlanta (what else explains Midtown and Little Five Points?). Seriously, though I make fun of the hipster tribe, I’m quite in awe of them as a social phenomenon. People watching is already one of my favorite habits, so NYC is a type of paradise for me. And hipster-hunting is just one way of telling New York how much I love it.
This trip is likely my last time visiting The City for quite a while. I have a good friend who lives there, but she is moving this year and I mostly come here to see her, so a trip back is not likely. We get to see each other in person about once a year, if we’re lucky. Once she moves, I’ll go visit her wherever she goes next. In the meantime, I plan to eat myself stupid this weekend. That’s one of the best things about New York City- any type of food is available. Pretty much right now.
I’d go visit her anywhere she lived, really I would. But the fact that she happens to be living/working/living her dream in one of my favorite places to visit ON EARTH is an undeniable bonus. I LOVE NYC. I could people-watch for days (and I do) every time I go, and the exoticness of always leaves me feeling giddy. I could never live here, and I know that. But a 3-4 day visit is just fine for me to taste a piece of what the city offers and then race back to my family and life in Georgia.
So between the food and the good company, I will be returning home with my personal cup-o-needs filled to the brim with down-time, mental space and complete sentences. Healthy for me- mind, body and soul. And, come Monday, I will be more than ready to see my family again.
After all, what kind of a day is it if I don’t have black beans and baby snot on my pant leg?
I’ve got nothing to contribute to the Universe tonight except a restless soul and a tired body. Oh, and raw cookie dough. I’m a giver.
I’ve been wanting to share a bit of creative energy with the world, but first I’ll start with my slow crawl out of credit bondage. And I mean S.L.O.W. Recently, I’ve reached a place of financial and physical security where I feel like I might not always be running from behind, so to speak. Now, I thought I’d hit it a bit sooner than my early 30s, but such is the condition of our country/economy that most of my generation finds ourselves desperately struggling to hit some of the same hallmarks our parents did with (dare I say it?) a bit more ease. Regardless, I’m almost there now, and the smell of it- the psychological promise of it- is intoxicating.
I’m almost debt free. See, I’ve had some sort of balance floating on credit cards for most of my adult life. Never much- no, I’ve never had a problem with it. It’s always been perfectly manageable. I’ve just always seemed to have something come up- a car repair, a new bill, something insurance wouldn’t cover- so that I couldn’t quite pay it off each month. Periods of carrying a small balance have been with me for most of the past decade. A small but consistent inability to be totally free of that nagging little bit of debt. Always so very close. It drove me NUTS, but now it’s almost gone. So you might or might not see a bit of drunk posting when that last e-bill is finally paid. Consider yourself warned.
Aside from that, I’m restless tonight and looking to throw a few things out into the Universe, since my previous creative ideas have, as it turns out, already been done. I was going to write a social media e-book for work- then I found out that about three dozen other ‘social media professionals’ had already beaten me there and written about the same damn thing. Opps. I was going to take up knitting again- then I remembered it bores me tremendously. Opps. I was going to design my first tattoo- then I remembered I hate needles. The list goes on.
But my little TaterSnot is getting up to interesting things again, and leaving her little marks all over the house (I have to say that her little marks are far cuter to find lying around than, say, her father’s not-so-little marks. Sorry Babe, it’s true. Tiny socks trump adult socks.). I’ve found that trying to catch those little bits of her presence are a delightful challenge. I think photography is back at the top of my interest list for now.
So here is something for this day that’s almost done:
And lest I go to sleep without sending out an affirmation:
My dad once told me to avoid deep thinking after midnight. “Any idea you have after midnight, no matter how brilliant it seems, is likely terrible.”
Experience has corroborated this: My idea to start a ‘Mommy Blog’- 5:18 am. Deciding to try knitting- 2:47 am. That haircut I got in college- 4:10 am.
Side note: This isn’t normally an issue, since I try to avoid being up any time between midnight and 7 am, just as a matter of principle. My little human alarm clock is absolutely reliable, and I’ve discovered that one can’t be a morning person and a night owl without working meth or Red Bull into the equation. Both will kill you. So I’m a morning person.
But while up late one night/early one morn with a head cold recently, I had an idea. Several, actually. All involved a computer. I decided I want to step up this blog- move it to my own domain and customize it more. I want to learn Illustrator and InDesign (graphic design programs). I want to learn CSS and HTML (computer coding languages). I want to get back into photography. I want to develop these skills so that I can grow the job I have into the job I want.
If you’re not familiar with any of the things I just listed, it’s the rough equivalent of deciding to teach myself advanced trigonometry, tap dancing and scuba diving at the same time, using only resources from Craigslist. It’s like taking three years worth of New Year’s Resolutions and trying to do them all…in two months. It’s a bundle of good intentions riding a speeding train with no brakes straight into Busy Town.
And I’ve got to do it. Professionally, it’s the next step. Personally, I’ve been wanting to do more with this blog for a while. The time is now, so off I go. I’m going to move this blog to a domain that I’ve got stored up. I’m going to figure out how to monetize and track stuff. And I’m going to start asking people I know to help me spread the word about this blog.
Not yet! Not yet- it’s not ready. But when it is, I’ll be asking for the help of anyone and everyone who enjoys my writing style.
In the meantime, I’m asking for some feedback- what sort of topics would you be interested in reading more about? Education? DIY? Current Events? Ice Cream reviews?
I spend a fair bit of professional time on YouTube, tweaking channels for my company. I control almost 20 YouTube Channels. Oh, yea, I spend a lot of time on YouTube.
So when I find something A.W.E.S.O.M.E., I pass that medicine on. We all need more of it.
Here’s one about healing conversations that we need to have more of:
Women Talking About Aging and Death in Modern Culture
See, there’s a lot of shit on YouTube, but as people are looking for more light in the world, stuff like this pops up, proving that everything in this life, even technology, is exactly what you make it, what you choose to focus on.
I forget that dozens of times a day and give in to the clawing, shrieking voices of Not Enough. It is so hard to ignore those voices.
I don’t know any women who don’t need this space to be, to talk, to listen and to hear. I don’t know any women who don’t need a bit more compassion in their lives, towards themselves. I don’t know any women who don’t do battle every day with a culture that tells them their worth is always conditional on their ability to please others. It’s draining and terrifying and damaging, and THAT is why things like this- spaces like this, messages like this- are so vital to a part of us that is just as important as brain, blood and stomach.
So this is my attempt to put something out into the world that will be a light. If you like it, pass it on. There’s more to come.