Showing posts from April, 2021

if the curve of you was curved on me

I am a creature of habit. My morning routine is kicked off by dogs petitioning for breakfast. I brush my teeth, take my vitamins, get dressed, make my toast, play the silly addicting puzzle game on my phone in the early quiet while I eat and then I'm out the door to move my body. It's always the first real thing of the day, my brain doesn't function until I've shaken off the night with sweat. Once I roll back in, I cook a real breakfast and usually make it to my desk with my first of nine billion cups of mint tea no later than 8:30 or 9. I'll pause for lunch and a bit of sunshine, then back to work until it's time for the walk-puppies-their-dinner-my-dinner evening circus. The day ends crashed out on the couch with my laptop, trying to fish a few more hours of writing out of my head before I stop asking is it too early to go to bed? and just go.  Years of ironman training beat a structured lifestyle into me. I basically eat the same three meals every day, not be

if anyone sees me dancing

My grandma was one of the best people I've ever known. She died almost six years ago, now. I've tried to use the shape of her memory to guide me, particularly in times when I feel the most at sea. I'd like nothing more than to know that I am making her proud. I wish I could have called her when I started my PhD. It would have tickled her to know that I was going to be a 'doctor.' She would have told everyone, including the guy who made her Quizno's sandwich every Friday and her morning mall-walking friends. Some of my earliest memories are of her protecting me, keeping me safe. A few months after she and my grandfather passed, I got a tattoo in her honor. I wanted a constant reminder of what's most important in life, what I'd like to embody: always learning, always growing, always evolving towards light. For a long time, a big part of the reason why I stopped writing in this space was because I didn't think I had anything new to say. I felt like a se

in the water they can't see you cry

The only place in my life where I ever feel graceful is in the water. I certainly don't look  graceful. I've got the general build of an oompa-loompa: short thick legs with all my extra weight around my midsection. I feel dumpy in a swimsuit, especially a one-piece, I wear earplugs and hide my goggles under my cap and I'll just never be anything even remotely close to Liz Hurley when I'm wandering around on the deck with my arms full of swim toys (#triathlete) waiting for a lane. It's probably why diving in will always be my favorite moment. Gravity stops yanking all my flab down into the planet and instead I'm held, balanced, smooth, strong. Always starting with six dolphin kicks, then surfacing and settling into the rhythm of the stroke, succumbing to what feels like tranquil stillness, centered in a constant fluid motion.  I learned to swim when I was maybe 27 or 28 and nursing my umpteenth running injury. An old friend taught me most of it and we had plenty

when the daylight comes

If you had told me a year ago what my life was going to look like today, I might have hauled off and punched you in the mouth. For the past few weeks, I've been rumbling with how to talk honestly about where I've been. It's been so hard to see anything except the brokenness of the world. How much I've suffered, how much I've lost. My life last spring and summer (and fall and winter) was a frightening Venn diagram of misery. I recall writing in an email, if I can study for and pass comprehensive exams in the midst of a global pandemic, the brutal dissolution of my marriage, and a race revolution, academia is going to be a piece of cake; writing a dissertation sounds like a margarita hooker sparkle bounce house of easy living right now. While I do want to be genuine about the struggle, I've been dissatisfied with how to tell the tale that it feels like I need to tell. Thanks to my bud Taryn, I recently watched one of those music video photo compilation things. It

the best is yet to come

I got my first shot of the COVID vaccine last week (what a weird and wonderful world we live in). Every state is handling it with a different level of chaos, but my "turn" rolled up in the distribution matrix and after a few days of refreshing five different pharmacy websites, I managed to snag a spot up in Loveland on Friday morning. When I got there, the line was long, there was only one pharmacist and everyone was pisserpants about the wait. I was stressing about making it back home in time for a Zoom interview, and started doing my nervous-extrovert thing which is talking to anyone who will listen, at speed. Pretty soon I had made friends with everyone in line. Someone's son is studying entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago, someone's aunt sells leggings on Facebook (sigh). I bored the poor guy behind me with what's going on in my life (spoiler: holy shit LOTS!) and just like that, I was up. The pharmacist was frazzled and I could tell that I was defin