Hello and happy Friday! Thanks to all who entered the BenBella Vegan giveaway for a chance to win Love Fed. The winner, I am happy to announce, ended up being a person I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life; congratulations, Angela (entry #2)! BenBella will send you a copy of the book soon. Enjoy!
In other news, the blog has been sparse this month. I know it. There’s been a lot going on the last thirty or so days. Things that have kept me busy and a little off. Some good things, some not-so-good things, some terrible things, and some great things. Life is complicated in that all of those things can be true at once.
I already wrote about how I lost a dear friend, and goodness can that throw things. The truest thing you’ll ever hear about grief is that it comes in waves. I will get hit—walking down the street, listening to music, in the middle of a dream—with gut-punching, heart-squeezing grief. It’s not a constant thing, it can’t be. We wouldn’t survive if our bodyminds didn’t let us pretend to forget, every once in a while, that we can no longer see the face of someone we love. So although I’m not a weepy mess 24/7, the grief-waves knock it out of me in ways that make me not quite able to perform at maximum capacity. (This includes getting blog posts up regularly.)
School started about two weeks ago as well. I love teaching so so much, and so I am always very happy to get back to the classroom. I love that being an academic means that I will always get to indulge the back-to-school feels that happen at the start of September. How it always feels like fall, even if the weather is still warm (hi, hey, you can peace out anytime 90-degree weather). And of course, I am always excited to get to teach young minds about things that I am so passionate about (like how we can better name and resist things like racism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, and other egregious isms in our world). And although academia is full of so many problems, I know I am a lucky one to get to say that I love what I do, every day.
And that other thing I do and occasionally get paid for—yoga and sculpt—is also taking up a lot of time. I’m co-leading the Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training and it’s involved a lot of prep. This weekend I’ll be at the studio at least eight hours every day. It’s feeling a bit overwhelming, but it’s another thing that I can’t really complain about too much. I get to teach about and practice yoga and exercise and get paid for it! What dream life am I living?!
Speaking of dream life, I also got to go whale watching with a friend this past week. It was a beautiful and humbling afternoon.
And on that note, I’m going to get to the Friday Five. Four things from the internet plus a list of stuff that has made me happy this week!
I don’t know how much personal detail I will ever feel compelled to share on the blog, so I’ll keep this relatively vague. The past two years have been very difficult, and in my own pain, I have, in various ways, hurt some people who I love very much. I have been carrying the weight of this guilt like a bag of boulders on my back. The guilt from hurting one person put me in a place of self-flagellation that created a perfect foundation with which to hurt another person. Not forgiving myself has only led to more pain for others, not less. Punishing myself forever, turns out, is not working. And so I appreciated the candor of this article on Tiny Buddha about self-forgiveness, as it is a reminder that we, as much as we want to, cannot help people heal by refusing to heal ourselves. Give it a read if you can relate to any of what I’m saying. <3
Love this DIY project from The Healthy Hipster! I know there are some ethical ish’s with buying flowers, but if you stick to found flowers and/or fair trade flowers, I think this is a project worth doing! I love having (found and/or otherwise ethical) flowers in my home, but hate the act of literally throwing them away. I try to dry them, but it never seems to work. I will definitely give this a go!
Kim Davis is the homophobic Rowan County Clerk who was refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and then went to jail for it. I appreciate Yasmin Nair’s response to the many memes and articles that were praising the punishment and making jokes about her time in jail. Nair writes: “That so many prison memes and rape jokes have appeared on queer sites like Queerty and on the social media walls of many LGBTQ people is a sign that we have forgotten that prison is no laughing matter, especially for queer people. How is it that a community so quick to lament the forcible imprisonment and/or police harassment of queer people—from Oscar Wilde to Alan Turing to the Stonewall Riots and Boise—is so quick to forget the horrors of the system and laugh at what might happen when someone is jailed?” We have to find better ways to hold people accountable for harm. Jail shouldn’t be one of them.
I don’t know why, but lately I have been daydreaming about oatmeal with figs! This recipe from the Blonde Chef is nice and simple, and you can sub maple syrup for agave if you are a no-honey vegan!
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
whale watching!; delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals; yoga & sculpt; kitten snuggles; teaching students to confront their privilege, and think critically (and maybe angrily) about the systems and structures that enable that privilege to be real in the first place; winning at adult-ing (like finally getting to a doctor about my bad knee, and taking my car to a garage to get fixed); daydreaming about upcoming plans and visits; kale; dreams about J, (even if it made me sadder upon waking); watching J’s favorite show and laughing my butt off, partly because the show is funny and partly because I love thinking of him laughing at it; feeling the beginnings of fall, the best season ever!; good friends; big changes; acceptance; love; the smell of rain; & knowing i have the capacity to always be the best version of myself, everyday. <3
What made you happy this week? xoxoxo