Category: what a day

Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day means to me: celebrating women. Doing and being me. Taking risks. Exploring. Standing up for myself. Listening to my inner voice and meeting my needs. Raising up other women. Disengaging from stuff I don’t believe in, stuff that tears women down. Being strong in and out of the workplace. Not listening to the “shoulds” anymore. Smirking when people tell me solo travel as a woman is “brave” (eyeroll much!?)

It’s stepping alone over snake tracks in the desert despite my fear, and marveling in the sunrise.

Making my own map, and my own destinations.

It’s celebrating the beauty in unexpected places. 

Much love to all my women and those who support us.

😘😘😘

 

solo women's travel

Catching sunrise in Death Valley

The Book is Done.

OMFG I finished my book.

Book. is. done.

Me, finishing my book.

“Finish” is a strong word, of course. I  still need to have it edited, picked up by an agent, publisher, edited by them, etc. etc.

But! The biggest, hardest, baddest part is done. And:

I WROTE A NOVEL Y’ALL.

It clocks in at 296 pages, 113,496 words. WOO doggies! Now THAT is a BOOK!

I did a mad push the past two weeks. My life-coach-friend “Portland” kind of called me out on sniveling my way through my third year of writing this thing. I *was* working on editing the beta draft. The pieces to the dress were cut out, it just hadn’t been sewn together yet.

Of course, he wanted me to finish in a night. There IS a solid balance between creativity, burnout, and leaping over roadblocks (self-imposed or otherwise.)

Why bother with this book?

I heard something in this time that smashed through one of my “blocks.”

“I procrastinate because I think, ‘why bother? it’ll never be good enough. it will never reach my standards of perfection. who’s going to care, anyway?'”

Ooo ee. Was I there for that!

It was nice to learn that I’m not the only writer that feels this way.

I wasn’t finishing my book, and I knew it wasn’t because I was lazy, didn’t like my story, had ‘writer’s block,’ etc. etc. There was SOMETHING else going on. It felt like a squishy foam pad over a trap door, but I couldn’t identify it.

I have read so many books: Artist’s Way, Bird By Bird, On Writing.

Still didn’t really tip it off.

But then a friend, sharing on why he procrastinated at work, said the above.

Zing! Beautiful. Totally Tetris’d into place for me.

Just sit down and write

For me, I’ve always known the very ‘easy’ answer: “Just sit down and write.” But crawling past my mental harpies to do it has, at times, been incredibly difficult. Especially when the task seems Sisyphean. Like … writing a book. You have no idea how many more pages ‘to go.’ So you just keep going.

Forty-five minutes to the nearest grocery: Notes from Cascadia

Out in Cascadia, living in the beautiful solace of aquamarine lakes and mountains also means a 90 minute round-trip drive to the nearest store, gas station, and showers.

Diablo Lake

Worth it, right? Diablo Lake. Yes, it’s really that color! Tiny debris from glaciers (“glacial flour”) reflects the sky & light, which makes it that color.

Travel Life

Finally found the showers. They were at this chi-chi campground outside the park and past town. I drove right by them yesterday because the place had recently been bought and the name changed.  The facility was actually really nice. It was newly remodeled and your $5 got you into what looked like the bathroom of someone’s house. The showers weren’t on a timer, either, so I took a big long one 🙂

In town, I also found free wifi! It was from this modular building that served as the library, though its hours were really limited so I just sat on the steps outside. Downloaded ten audiobooks, and talked to a few friends for a long time. I checked some emails, IG, FB, and texts. It was nice to plug in again … I guess ;).

The Sights

I then did the river loop trail and trail of the cedars and walked around the town of Newhalem, as well as the Ladder Creek Falls and the Gardens back there (very citizen kane, if you ask me), as well as checking out Diablo Lake again. I listened to the entirety of Mogul while I did that, and then Marie Forleo’s interview with Daymond James.

Skagit River

Skagit River from Trail of the Cedars bridge

Trail of the Cedars

Trail of the Cedars bridge, North Cascades National Park, Washington

 Details of the Day

The weather has been perfect: sunny and 75. It gets just cool enough overnight that it’s good for sleeping, but I don’t need tons of layers or blankets. Bless!

I wrote for 45 minutes this morning, too. Getting any kind of daily habit while moving around so much, and doing all the physical work of setting up the campsite, etc.

Came back and listened to a ton of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.

Colored while making dinner and actually until almost 9:00 pm. It makes me feel better. Listened to Stardust until nearly 11, and then went to sleep listening to a guided meditation. Overall, I slept pretty well.

My air mattress is losing air more rapidly, but having the foam pad underneath has been helpful. I may have to take it out and see what’s up; it’s the one thing I didn’t take apart and clean in Missoula, so it may be time.

Nighty night!

T-Minus 31 Days: The Creative Muse Knocketh.

Good morning.

/ argh!

I *never* get out of bed if I wake up in the middle of the night. Usually I just pop a soothing video on YouTube & shut my eyes until its gentle sounds carry me back to the Land of Nod. But, no matter the amount of ASMR or meditation videos I watched in the last 1.5 hours, I have not been able to even start to close my eyes. Like, I made coffee when I woke up. At 12:30 a.m. That’s how futile I could physically feel my body saying it was to attempt sleep tonight.

I suppose I could blame this on the full moon, or the stress of the previous week, or the impending moving, or the excitement of my upcoming trip. Maybe the two homemade brownies from the pan my GED program supervisor made for us, and/or whatever the heck my foam roller stirred up. (Despite being miraculously physically FINE all day, I twinged my left sacriocillac muscle somehow, which is now messing with the bottom of my left shoulder blade. Lervely.) But, I’ve also been into this pattern of like, 6 hours of sleep a night, since I started stirring up my possessions & prepping for this move.

So, I guess now I stay up or wake up and write. Really late at night.

Like, my eyes are burning right now more than my brain is sleepy. I may actually be able to fall asleep because my eyeballs revolt & are like, “we can’t take being open anymore, mate! Fuck off to sleep now, would ya?”

This weekend, I was telling my mom about my fears of staying up too late when camping (mostly bc of fears, ie ‘what was that noise?!’) & then napping midday. She was all, “but, Circadian Rhythms!”

But, it turns out I may be on to something.

I have always been a night owl. In my wise 30s, I’ve sometimes practiced Arianna Huffington–style sleep hygiene and force myself to to sleep at 10 p.m., because I’m forced into this stupid 9-5 structure, and I’m at least learning, so that my productivity isn’t utterly shot the next day. (I’m starting to realize that has more to do with lack of inspiration at work …) But I usually feel like I could take a nice siesta from 2-4pm, and on my days off, I seem to follow a “get up and go, lull, go” pattern. I wonder if people survive on 4-6 hour nightly sleeps, with a 2-4 hour midday nap. Guess I will have literally all the time in the world until I run out of money to find out!

But, lately, call it alignment, call it whatever: the creative muse appears to be knocking and cannot, will not, be ignored. It feels like she’s Tinkerbell, in that scene from Peter Pan where she gets locked in the cupboard and is knocking about, sparking rage and sparkles everywhere.

That’s fine*.

Especially because it means I will be able to update, and back date, some of the stories from the previous 10 days or so that I’ve missed because of my uncle’s passing and my subsequent road trip to MI. So, in the interest of full disclosure: I’m writing on 4/14 the posts from 4/11-now, and not publishing any posts for 4/5 – 4/10 out of respect for my uncle & my need to grieve during that time.

Xo

LJP

*Except …

My internet isn’t working right now. Now! It picks this moment. Thanks, Mercury Retrograde 😉 (&Comcast. I just put my check in the mail! It’s not due for a few more days! WTF!) By this moment I mean apparently the entire hour and a half 3.5 hours now I’ve been up writing this.

So even if I wanted to, I apparently was not going to be able to watch any more videos in bed. I heed the call, and back date the blog with 3,000 7,000 words. Fortunately there’s Microsoft Word that I can save my musings into, until I figure out WTF is with the Internet. [Realizing things like “1700 words per hour + readthroughs … not bad, right?” affirm that my writing Tinkerbell was indeed a-knockin’ for a reason, and sometimes I think this is more valuable than sleep. J]

T-Minus 54: Of crystals and check ups

Heyyy!

So, first up: I had therapy today, which was its own damn curative.

I took today off of work, the first in a step of surreptitious steps to start to combat this flow of WTF!!? fear.

I got my car checked out – all good! Woot, as it is sort of literally the nucleus of this trip.

While sitting in the dealership, I was required to do some work (IT’S MY DAY OFF #reasonsI’mLeaving.)

Then I did work on moi – started posting things to Craigslist (bless! that was such a relief. I realized – I think – it’s more about getting the stuff out than the money. We’ll see. I have 24 more days til I really start needing to MOVE shit.)

Then I also started building an Etsy shop for my paintings. Same idea – I want them to move. I have like ~40 canvases here. I don’t really want them to languish in storage!

Then I had the Ladies’ Worst Nightmare appointment from hell. Yes, it was actually so bad it gets its own post. Lovely. 

Fortunately, therapy was right after that. It was good talks: about the break up (hey, for day 4 I’m doing pretty damn awesome, okay?!) About the fears inside of me that the breakup talk broke open, which don’t worry my little Drs. Freuds, I will outline in a future post.

And we talked about the whole art & creating thing. He encouraged me to continue to “be creative.” I haven’t touched a paint brush in a minute, and I can imagine my throat closing up as I think about the external demands on my weekend time (already?!) … but. But but. I will make space. Or I won’t, and I’ll do it on the road.

Anyway, the point of that whole talk is one I’m still processing, but it had more to do with the “after” or the true point of this trip (more breaking open!) which is to fully inhabit my calling/body as a “creative.” I hope to fuck this blog counts 😉

When put that way, it becomes this piece of light that, holding up things like “the job,” “the most recent relationship (er, all past [with the exception of “the“]), and future decisions … wow. It’s like … idk. What’s some sort of thing that measures if a thing is a “fit”? I’m losing steam here. Anyway. I liked it, and it was illuminating and helpful in re: standing in my truth. And that’s the point of this trip: “truth is, I just don’t like it here anymore. Truth is, I want to travel.” Etc. (That’s should be the new name of the blog … “Truth Is …” LOL)

He also was like, “you’ll be able to get art supplies, it’s not like you’re going to Mars,” and *I* was like, “for me this IS Mars! Nature, and no schedule, and no obligations, and no income, and totally indulging in what I want to do. Dude!”

It’s like … Mars of the soul. Which is pretty damn exciting. 

And some of those weekend plans, are, like the “hitting my fav spots” below, part of the goodbye tour. SIGH – and I see why people do it all at once.

Then I went to Jaleo for a “last meal” sort of thing (yes, food is a soothing and reward thing for me, but I’m also LEAVING the place I lived for 10 years so I want to hit my favorite spots while I can. I only ordered like, 17 orders of their bacon-wrapped dates. Bless you, Jose Andres.) There I did some more work on photos & sorting through my external hard drives. I had to leave when my battery died – conveniently at the same time the local happy hour was starting to rip, ~6pm. I got there at 4:30 and it was empty. 5:30 was still fine, but right around 5:45 it was about a dull roar. Omm … (There was an entertaining character at the bar I definitely took notes on because he was such a personality. For instance, he kept inserting into his responses, “I’m OG!” “But, I’m OG! So …” … yet he was with 3 younger colleagues. And I think he was – he was talking about Studio 54 … so, emphasis on the O part, anyway. He had a nice suit on, though.)

I swear to God, if I get nothing else done on this trip, it will be to achieve the most organized & digitally “cleaned” EXHD & Google Drives of all time.

I then went to Sacred Circle & spent “too much” money, considering that I should be spending no money – on crystals, or fancy Spanish tapas, etc etc. But: treat yo self. And it balances out the tsunami of insanity that I generally feel is running at a low roar in the background of the operating system of this meat sack. (y’know?)

Funny thing: I realized Target still has the crystal jewelry that I adored in the fall, so I filled my cart with $250 worth of that, and then realized that was wackadoo, so I got it down to $100 & will sleep on it … SIGH.

BUT: Crystals. That & tarot are definitely things I’m drawn to. Earth-y things, storytelling things, curative/healing things. The witch continues her studies …

Oh and I love love love love the owners of Sacred Circle, Anysia and Tom. Tom showed me some Malachite, and he was like, “The stone finds the wizard!” which I took as a great compliment <3 :="" nbsp="" p="">
OK, bed time. UGH WORK TOMORROW. I seriously contemplated just deucing out early, but financially that’s not the most prudent, and also, guys: there’s External Hard Drives to organize 🙂

Grateful for the opportunity to do some of my own shit at work …

xoxo
LJP 


PS – I just added up just the two blog posts I wrote tonight (not to mention all the Etsy/CL/emails/texts/etc) and that’s 1,937 words. Sooo … #creative ? #Creativity? #CountingIt!xo. (ok, now it’s 1,975, but I can’t do much more than that. I’m sorry! What do you want from me?! Go to sleep, loves! Xo xo, mwah!) JK, two more words and: 2000.

 

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