Ready Set Go

Writing feels like such a slog lately. How’s that for an errant thought I’d rather not examine too closely?

I wonder what you’re wrestling with, at the moment. Your pile — does it happen to include W-2s and 1099s? Mine too. It is about that time, isn’t it?

How about we make the executive decision to just sweep that stuff aside, for the time being. We don’t have to fill the empty space with anything grand, either. We can just make a little list. 1, 2, 3, go.

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1. If you have a creative bone in your body, there will inevitably come a day when you wake up to find that you are no-longer-feeling-it. Have not been feeling it for quite a while, actually. Don’t panic. This is okay. All you’ve done is carve out a little more room for something else.

2. Honestly — it might be time for a change. A new project, a new subject, a new lens. A new something. You’ll find it, you’ll figure it out. You might become the girl-who-quotes-on-Instagram, in the meantime. (There are worse things.)

3. Pay attention to the things that make you squirm. Pay attention to every word too hot and too close.

“She said this, which I love: some secrets are worth keeping. Sometimes none of the words and thoughts and feelings we wrestle with need to see the light, and that’s okay. It takes guts to get vulnerable, i.e. share parts of ourselves that we fear will result in rejection. But guts for the sake of guts feels totally…disingenuous. It shows security and confidence to pump the brakes a bit, and decide, on our own terms, how and when and for whom we’ll strip down for.” -Kelsey Boyte

Also these ones: “And so we exchange privacy for intimacy. We gamble with it, hoping that by exposing ourselves, someone will find a way in.” -Max Barry

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4. Resist the urge to delete everything you’ve ever written.

5. “It makes me sad that so many people feel they’re only allowed to show their best face. How else do we connect, but by commonality, by mutual understanding in life’s experiences? Whether it makes you smile or cringe, a truth spoken is a healing thing.” -Jennifer DeLucy

6. Read something real. Remember that real is a way in. The very best way, in your personal opinion. And experience. But remember, too, everything you’ve learned in the last few months. About boundaries + balance + all those things.

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7. Don’t cry over spilled milk.

8. Ask yourself what you want and what you need. If you had to whittle it down, what would you need? What would you really need?

9. Take however long you need to learn that home doesn’t really have an address. Home has a beating heart and sweaty palms.

10. “I think that one of these days you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there.” -J.D. Salinger

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11. Don’t settle. You don’t have a heart that does things by halves.

12. You’re looking for vibrations. This is a good thing to look for. There will be those again, someday.

13. There is a way to look forward to then and not be quite so twitchy about now. It’s perfectly okay to feel like something is missing. Do you know how many people feel like something is missing?

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14. Go out with someone. Contrary to how you may feel, going out on a date is not the most impossible thing in the world.

15. If no one ever asks…you might need to do the asking. Think of it this way: he might already have a girlfriend, he might not be interested (in which case you can absolutely hope for a gentle delivery), or he might have been sitting there, on the opposite side of town, just hoping you’d ask.

16. If you aren’t interested, you needn’t apologize for holding out for someone who can disturb your pulse. You needn’t apologize for wanting someone who can coax you close and crowd out every coherent thought in your head.

17. Keep getting out to places that make you feel small. Any place that makes the top rung of the ladder seems vague and unimportant is a good place.

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18. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather is NOT-RAIN and the temperature is POSITIVELY SUMMERY, you have a moral obligation to do something outside. We’re going to need to write a little quicker, today. Wrap this up.

19. Watch people smile. Conclude that this is the way to become abruptly, briefly, stunning.

20. Think some more about this: you can’t become who you are without letting go of who you were.

21. Repeat after me: I’m not one to consider pleasures vices.

22. Deliberately turn your back on anything that makes life feel toneless, flat, or dull.

23. “Experience life in all possible ways — good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don’t be afraid.” -Osho

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23. “Beware of all those in whom the urge to punish is strong.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

24. Beware of the pinch-y toe shoe, too. Why are you wearing these shoes?! Wear what’s comfortable. What feels like you.

25. Be clever. Please be as clever as you can be, because eventually there will come a time when people realize that clever actually is pretty cool, and life gets better for everyone after that.

26. Don’t spend your life kissing the boys sitting next to the boys you should be kissing.

27. Take photos of your friends. Take photos of their feet and their hands and their faces and the landscapes around them.

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28. Choose this life. Choose this body. Say yes to the beauty and the good and the ugly and the difficult. Say yes to all of it.

29. “This, you know, is a time for taking in — taking in friendship, conversation, wisdom, knowledge, beauty — and later, well, there’ll be a time of giving out.” -Lew & Mary Ann

30. “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see. Be curious.” -Stephen Hawking

31. “It is a joy to be with her because everything matters in her life. Nothing is shallow or trite or superficial. She’s very funny and smart and compassionate — a magnificent human. Because she’s been exploring her own soul for so long, she knows herself inside and out. She’s at peace, and it’s contagious.” -Rob Bell

32. “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” -Rabindranath Tagore

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{Tunnel of trees via @tannerwendell, falls 1.0 by @pnwonderland, reflections by @andy_best, Columbia River Gorge via @justin.watts, Haystack Rock via @mrtommyblades, falls 2.0 via @jaredetheridge, moon via @nature, Mt. Hood via @robbyzabala, sunset sky via @calsnape.}

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