“the transition is the posture”: a special hiatus-breaking friday five

I kept waiting to blog again. I kept waiting for life to be more stable. To have more time. To figure out stuff with my job. To get to the other side of coping with loss (of relationships, another grandparent, my childhood dog).  To get there. Things were too in flux for me to write. I wouldn’t know what to say. Every time I sat down to write it felt like it would ultimately be a version of, “I’m happy and doing really well in so many ways, but then I remember how my foundation is weaker than it’s ever been before, and I fold in half so easily.” It felt inauthentic to write about anything I felt, when how I felt just changed so much. And I didn’t have it in me to write about the kale salad with frozen broccoli and nutritional yeast that I made every night three weeks in a row. “Hey readers, isn’t this kale salad so great?!” No. No this kale salad is not so great. It is a symbol of my inability to find stability in anything in my life other than the fact that I can still go to the store and buy a good head of kale and put it in a bowl without fucking it up. (…That’s not exactly true. I have stable love and support from family and friends, but sometimes a lack of control in one area tricks you into thinking you have a lack of control in all areas, you know?)

…So, I stopped blogging.

But then yoga happened. Yoga, of course, happens everyday, but sometimes something in the yoga room slaps you in the face. This particular moment came in the form of a verbal aside:

“The transition is the posture,” a fellow teacher and friend reminded all of us in the 105 degree room as we changed from standing head-to-knee pose to standing bow-pulling pose. It was one of those moments when you really hear something and it feels like ice on your back. You wake up to it. The transition is the posture, I repeated in my head, and then again, in my head, everyday since.

20140410-230530.jpg

dandayamana-janushirasana —> dandayamana-dhanurasana

In other words, ‘there’ is now. In between point A and point B are a million moments that are devastatingly simple to take for granted. Somehow we trick ourselves into believe that real life actually only starts after some goal is met or some decision is made. But, it’s all happening (now).  And it’s with this reminder that I’m back. I still don’t know what’s going on with my employment in the fall. I still have not fully coped with the loss of a relationship and some friendships. I am not ‘over’ the death of my grandparents or our dog. But I have been able to find moments of such happiness and joy and excitement, in spite of (because of?) the tenuous nature of my five-month plan. (People in academia without tenure-track jobs are not allowed to have five-year plans.) And this blog has always been a place for me to be accountable to gratitude. A means of documentation that insists those in-between moments are something special and worthy of attention.

So I’m back to blogging. I’m toying with the idea of changing things up a bit. This blog started as a means of escape. Although I proclaimed a commitment to intentional (food and body) politics, there were plenty of posts that were more, “Omg, this vegan dessert is the best, NOMNOM!” And sometimes that’s helpful for me. But other times I really just want to write about the other stuff I care about. Like being a queer femme. And how I spend a ton of time thinking about how to fight against capitalism and cis-heteropatriarchal white supremacy. Or how I love making music playlists, but how it also makes me sad that mix tapes are no longer a thing. ETCETERA.

With that in mind, I’m thinking of making this more…. “Rebel Grrrl Living.” What do you think? More all-encompassing (and a little homage to Martha, to boot). Admittedly, expanding the scope of the blog worries me a bit. I get very self-conscious about sharing stuff about myself on the internet. First, I worry about it in terms of being discovered by students and employers (which is why I keep my last name far, far away from this space). But I also just generally worry about being judged. And that’s something I really want to get over, especially because, when I stop thinking about other people’s opinions of me, the blog is something that brings me a lot of happiness. So, you know….#yolo.

Because it’s Friday, to start off my post-hiatus return, I thought I’d do a Friday Five.  And to honor the new “this is not just about food and yoga,” the list will include stuff that I’ve been digging on a variety of subjects. Plus, of course, a list of Stuff From the Week that Made Me Happy.

***

Lacy Davis

I’ve mentioned Lacy before, but I’m featuring her in the FF again because, friends,  this woman is a woman to know. We met through the blog and our internet friendship is growing strong. Speaking of strong, I bring her up again because she’s back to blogging at Super Strength Health and every blog post is full of wisdom, and empowerment, and the kind of raw honesty that we don’t get enough of these days. Her take on EDs and ED-recovery is probably the most relatable I’ve ever read (for me). Her last post, for example, on “doing the work,” had me in tears. (The work came when I decided intimacy was more important than my waistline.”) And her path to recovery has this awesome feminist, queer, punk ethos that makes it all the more amazing. Go read her blog, for real!

get it, grrrl.

get it, grrrl.

*

Triggers and Pedagogy

So this cool thing happened this week. I was asked to be a panelist on a CBC morning show. The staff found me because a few years ago I wrote about using trigger warnings in the classroom, then a couple articles quoted that blog post, and I suddenly became a professor worth talking to. Cool! I said “um” too much and didn’t get to say all the things I wanted to say, but overall, it was a pretty solid panel. You can listen here!

*

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

I KNOW THIS IS YEARS OLD AND I AM REALLY LATE TO THE PARTY BUT THIS VIDEO MAYBE CHANGED MY LIFE. Well, by ‘changed my life’ I mean it made me really really really happy when I was really really really sad. It cured me of the blues and I now it’s my go-to if I’m ever feeling a little bit down. If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a treat! If you have seen it, watch it again! And then watch the sequel!

"guess why i smile a lot?...uh, 'cause it's worth it."

“guess why i smile?…uh, because it’s worth it.”

*

Good Box

This is the most delightful little company ever. The good folks at Good Box create care packages that you can send to anyone you want. Each box has a theme and a set list of items that are included. They have boxes like “The Hugger: A Sustainable Sympathy Care Package” and “The Slow Jam: A Care Package for Lovers.” I sent my dear friend, Melody, a box called “Ladykiller” that included: a feminist zine, locally made recycled patch, jasmine pearls tea and organic honey sticks, a photo and profile of a bad-ass American lady, and a surprise item! They emailed me right after I ordered and asked me to fill out some questions about Mel so they could better personalize it. Mel loved it! This is perfect for those of us who might sometimes be too busy to compile an entire care package, but really want to show support to a long-distance friend or family member. The company is queer-owned and has a mission to be  as sustainable as possible. Totally worthy of support, go visit their site and order some goodies!

*

Stuff From the Week that Made Me Happy

my students (they said some amazing, humbling stuff this week)

this soup. i ate it for dinner three nights this week!

finishing Season 3 of “Girls.” OMG, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!

spring weather, finally!

relatedly: only needing a jean jacket when I go outside

yoga

doing that radio show!

planning a trip to NYC with my mom for her bday!

making summer plans with special people

this song. and this song. and this cover.

screening “The Punk Singer” in my class

(and the private Bikini Kill dance party I had later that night)

***

 

What made you happy this week?

xoxox

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18 thoughts on ““the transition is the posture”: a special hiatus-breaking friday five

  1. melody says:

    1. Five-month Plan: yes!
    2. I failed on the pix–sorry! But yes, everyone should go buy their loves a Good Box because they are AWESOME.
    3. Stuff that made me happy this week: my students, you.

  2. dboothsummers says:

    so much <3. did you get my texts in response to your VM? in short: it was amazing to hear your voice, i totally understand and am not pissed about the mix up, and major life decisions can't handle you, love. Think of you often and sending you Owen snuggles from NC.

  3. Jess says:

    Welcome back. And congratulations on the panel. Your students are super-lucky to have you. Always love your posts—and your musical asides : )

    Rebelgrrl Living sounds fantastic!

  4. FoodFeud says:

    Hi Raechel!
    Congratulations on the panel and the increasingly cool words about yr students. I would have loved any teacher who showed us The Punk Singer! It was a really great doc.
    Rebel Grrrl Living sounds great. Yr right, sometimes it seems too trite to talk about food when there is always a ton of stuff going on in the world, and in our heads, but this blog is yr space and you should always feel free to talk about whatever you want. Plus, Rebel Grrrl Living sounds like simply actively living. Living is a constant fluctuation and transition. Sometimes it’s not that easy to just BE. Plus plus, I love martha stewart.
    All the best to you…

    • raechel says:

      Yes, it was a super good documentary and a really important part of Third Wave feminism that my students had no idea about! And thank you for the encouragement, friend. : )

  5. Rey says:

    Hey Raechel! I definitely relate to the “in flux” nature of life. My life has been very similar until recently when I finally found a path I’ve been able to wander for a while. Sometimes when things feel out of whack for me, I remember prana breathing and the idea that “if you can control your breath, you can control the universe” – it’s a little mantra that I stop and chant to myself. It always makes me feel better.

    I think Rebel Grrl Living sounds like a fabulous idea! I even think Rebel Grrl “Kitchen” could support that theme – the kitchen is always where so much life happens.

    Anyway, thanks again for the shout out! Can’t wait to meet ya!

    Rey (Good Box owner)

    • raechel says:

      The kitchen *is* where so much of life happens, so true, Rey! I was happy to spread the joy of Good Box…I hope you get some Rebel Grrrl customers! So looking forward to meeting you soon!

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