Somebody's gotta be interested in how I feel, just 'cause I'm here and I'm real.

Movin’ On Up

I’ve debated this for the last year. I vacillated. I returned and walked away.
Now,  it’s finally time.
It’s time to let go of A Blog of Her Own.

I’ve created a new blog under my real name, email me if you have trouble finding it.

Thank you for reading, you truly are the best.


This message will self destruct in 10 days. 

The winter finds me in the kitchen. Southern Virginia has been wet and chilled, the frost on our windshields in the morning reminding us that it’s not yet spring, no matter the 50 degree afternoons. I’ve been fighting off the doldrums with recipes. Complicatedcupcakes, school night risotto, flavorful pork chops and weekend briskets are the mediums I’ve been painting with these days. Food is what I’ve been creating, aside from poetry-and that doesn’t really count to me. I feel like I exhale poems these days, they’re so engrained in my daily life. So, I’ve been creating in the kitchen, trying new recipes and enjoying (with the exception of the brisket) the fruits of my labor. I’ve found that as I try my hand at new recipes I’m simultaneously drawn to old favorites. PB&J toast for breakfast, tuna salad over baby spinach for lunch, a quart of strawberries with a semi-sweet chocolate drizzle for dessert.  It’s nice, the balance of the new and the old flavoring my days. It’s flowing over into other areas of my life too.  I’ve purchased 4 volumes of poetry in the last month, all of which I’ve read on the couch after spending the dinner prep and clean up time with episodes of Mad About You. I’ve gone back to the tried and true fitness calculators- BMR calorie charts, My Fitness Pal, but have been doing my heavy weights and varied cardio at the workplace gym (networking). I’ve begun a very intimidating “How to Write Your Novel” class, while continuing to put down roots in the local poetry scene. I’ve felt very balanced.

It’s odd. I do feel balanced. I also feel completely flummoxed. Every calendar page we turn brings us closer to our plans of beginning the journey to expand our family and the universe of unknown sitting just over the horizon has me characteristically nervous. It sounds silly, but I’m intensely curious about myself. I mean, it’s not like I have any experience in this area. Think about it, it’s so inherent to ourselves, yet most of us have no idea about our abilities. I can’t even remember how my body reacted naturally, not that it would still behave the same as it did when I was 18.  I have to reacquaint myself with all of that-which I find fascinating and kind of sci-fi if I’m being honest. It’s so strange that I know how many push-ups I can do and approximately how my body reacts to a variety of chemicals, but I have no clue about my own reproductive abilities. Like, how weird is that? Am I alone here? Doesn’t anyone else find it odd? I think it’s one of the only things about myself I can’t even make an educated guess about.  It’s a total crapshoot. Realistically I know that all these thoughts are probably for naught and it’s more than likely-due to age and good health, everything will just unwind like it should. It’s just a strange thing to think about.  It could be immediate or it could take years.  Any you don’t know until you’re in the middle of it. I can’t think of any other situation like that.

It doesn’t help that some days I’m completely on page Baby and others I feel like I barely survived the workday and OMG How Can I Add A Child Into The Mix?! Sometimes I think those who came to be parents accidentally have it better. Deciding to go down this road feels so weighty and impending.  I know it’s something we want, but it scares me to death. I guess that’s a good thing. Scared is good. It’s better than a false sense of security. And of course, all of this is just going through my head. It’s all talk and thought and day dreams so I feel silly even sharing it, but I know someone else has to be feeling the same way.

So that’s where I am these days. Balanced in body,  flummoxed in my head.
Where are you?

Own It

1. In my world Star Trek>Star Wars. I don’t care about your argument. I like what I like.

2. I unapologetically enjoy The Big Bang Theory, Anne Hathaway, the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice, fake sugar (chemicals be damned), Ke$ha songs, sitcoms from the 90’s (Why isn’t Mad About You Season 6 available yet?!) and the underpopped pieces of popcorn.

3. Though I want children, the thought of making my parents grandparents is terrifying because my brain equates grandparents as People Who Will Die and I’m not ready for that to be a reality.

4. I don’t really like music. I buy one or two cd’s a year. Yes, I still prefer to buy cds. I typically only listen to music in the car. Usually it’s the radio or Ani Difranco.

5. I hate when men tell me to smile, but I love when the security guards greet me with  “Good morning, beautiful/sweetheart/darlin’!”

6. I kinda want a juicer, but I think that’s because I want to be the kind of person who would use a juicer, not because I actually want to drink a lot of juice. This basic premise is the refrain to my life.

7. I have to trick myself into making phone calls. Weird ones, like making an appointment or calling a relative. Most of the time I have to write myself a script and give myself a deadline before I can ever bring myself to dial.

8. I’ve been married almost three years and I’m still remarkably selfish in many ways. This past weekend my husband had a cold and I couldn’t stop myself from being grumpy about his illness keeping us from doing anything fun on those unplanned beautiful days.

9. I like to swim laps at the gym once in a while, but I can only do it if someone else is in the pool. Otherwise I start to imagine sharks or whales swimming behind me and freak myself out to the point where I have to get out.

10. I’ve been reading a lot of long distance hiking memoirs recently and I’ve been completely taken with the idea of doing a long hike one day. Then I went for a chilly walk with the dog this weekend and I realized that my intense desire to be comfortable will probably not jibe with a grueling all-weather trek across the wilderness. See also: the reason why “Give Me All The Drugs, Do You Still Do Twilight Births In This Establishment? I Want That, Please!” will probably be my birth plan one day.

*This post idea stolen shamelessly from my blog big sister, Brandy

The Case For Gossip

I think gossip gets a bad wrap.

It’s like eating carbs or pouring that third glass of wine; for a moment the thought that we shouldn’t do it rolls through our brain, but it just feels so damn good.

Today, I’m giving you permission to gossip. Do it. Talk about your family members, your friends, your high school nemisis. Don’t feel bad about it. Pass your judgements, make your observations, gossip like there’s no tomorrow.

Then sit back and reflect a little bit. Match up your emotions to each piece of gossip. Do you envy Susan and her commitment to juicing for a healthy lifestyle? Does Sally’s most recent social media bitch fest make you re-evaluate how much complaining you do online? Is dishing about Jim’s parenting style breaching the conversation between you and your partner about how you want to parent your own kid one day?

Through gossip we learn about ourselves and each other. We create our own list of socially acceptable behaviors and are constantly revising and addending them to fit our ever changing social group. Just the fact that we deem some things worthy of gossip and others uninteresting provides inlets to our own value system. Often we focus our gossip on the areas of our own lives where we feel lacking so pay attention to what news you’re spreading. You might just figure out what you should spending more time on in order to make yourself happier.

I’m not saying that we should bad-mouth each other or be malicous or hurtful in our gossip. Slam books and mean websites are never ok. Instead I’m proposing that act of talking about the affairs of others is more about ourselves than the subject of our gossip and that we should stop beating ourselves up for something so natural.

Gossip can be a good thing, as long as you know how to use it. Who and what do you find yourself gossiping about lately? How does it make you feel? What discovery can you make from it?

Give yourself permission to gossip.
It’s ok. Really.

Refilling my reusable tumbler with water, I noticed them out of the corner of my eye. Warm rings of golden brown fried goodness, pub style onion rings nestled in the warmer tray behind the slanted glass of the cafeteria line.

The image of them borrowed into my brain, pushing out the other mundane workday thoughts, until I was completely consumed by the thought of them. Immediately, I tried to guilt myself.

“You don’t need those. In fact, you shouldn’t have them. You have a lunch upstairs. You have an extra ten pounds. There will always be more onion rings.”

This last statement is something I’ve taught myself to think in the grip of temptation. I meant for it to be a warrior’s whoop for when I find myself surrounded by food I love and “shouldn’t” eat. Pizza, cookies, brownies, onion rings. And it’s true, there will always be more. The world won’t cease to provide these foods, there will always be another party or potluck. I don’t need to have them this instant for fear that I will miss the opportunity. Call it the fear of missing out: food edition.

So I followed my own advice. I walked away. I returned to my desk. I sipped on my newly refreshed, zero calorie water. I tried not to think about onion rings.

Then I stopped trying not think about them. I wanted those god damn onion rings. And I was going to have them. Today. Right now. Because there will always be more onion rings, but today there was nothing in the world I wanted more.

Five minutes and two dollars later I sat down and savored every greasy bite.

I have no regrets.

We need to stop “shoulding” all over ourselves. It’s toxic, it sets us up to fail, it’s a complete waste of time. Let’s all stop dictating to ourselves about what we should or shouldn’t do. Just do it because you want to. Or don’t.

I’ll start. With onion rings.

A Mic and A Niche

Last night I ventured out of my comfort zone. On a Monday night ( a school night! How fancy!) I traveled into a less than stellar part of my metro area to attend a local open mic night.

If you’ve not attended an open mic night before let me explain the basics I as understand them:
1) A number of people show up
2) Most of them believe they are talented
3) Usually, most of them are wrong.
4) It’s worth going anyway. There are diamonds in the rough. There are entertaining failures.

Last night I experienced one of the best open mic nights of my life. The talent was huge and varied. The singers could sing. The comics got a few laughs. Most of the poets left me in awe. I was rarely bored and never contemplated leaving.

I got on stage toward the end of the 3 hour show. Shakily reciting a new poem I love but haven’t shared with anyone yet. I’m trying to get better at performing my pieces. My spirit loves being on stage but it seems my body doesn’t. My knees knock and my voice quivers. I can hear it happening but I can’t control it. I get frustrated because I’m not afraid, I like being on stage. I love sharing my writing, but my body doesn’t obey me. I’m afraid my delivery was lacking last night, but I was assured by the wealth of compliments I received that the work carried me through.

Tonight I’ll be on stage again, in a different venue, reading different work. At this juncture I can not feel anything but love and gratitude. In the last year I’ve found a community of creatives that I love and my circle is ever-expanding. I’ve been inspired to write pieces I’m proud of and I’ve struggled to finish work I couldn’t get quite right. I’ve grown as an artist and I know I’m getting better. I’m taking more risks and trying new things and mostly failing, but every day I fail a little better.

I want to keep it up. I want to write read more, write more, publish more; but mostly I want to perform more. I want to carve myself a niche in this creative community and flourish. The next step? Spend more time behind the mic.

I’ll see you all next Monday.


When I leave work today I’m  headed to the grocery store. My list is made up of mostly produce, a nod to the new year and the fresh start it always encourages in me. I’ll pick up my kale, sprouts, apples. I’ll debate chia seeds and flax. I’ll briefly consider the return on investment of a juicer.Then tonight, after I finish my veggie and protein packed meal I’ll probably have some chocolate and wine. I’ve resolved to be better, not perfect. I’ve resolved to try harder, yet still keep the joy.

I’ve always been a goal setter but my track record isn’t good. I fail. Over and over again. I start off strong and then as time goes on my will power or interest wans and I end up failing somehow. I’ve learned not to attempt any month-long challenges. I’ve learned not to tie my self-worth to a number or a specific goal. Big, vague ideas work better for me. So, this year instead of setting a hard and fast numerical goal I’m just shooting for ranges. I’d like to publish more poems and fiction than I did in 2012. I’d like to read more novels than I did in 2012. I’d like to weigh a little less, run a little more, and make it to yoga with more frequency. If January 1st rolls around again and I’ve not published 5 pieces, read 75 books, or lost 10 pounds?  Well, at least I tried. I refuse to worry about the specifics.

I’m also learning that what I think I like doesn’t always make me happy. I’ve always thought I needed to work out 6 days a week to keep my emotional well-being. If I missed more than one day of working out I’d feel guilty and sad and completely unattractive. After I ran the Thanksgiving race this year I took some time off and before I knew it, Christmas was here. Somewhere in December a switch flipped in my brain. I didn’t work out all month and I refused to feel guilty about it. I made myself enjoy hanging out on the couch with the dog and my husband, instead of feeling guilty about not making it to the gym that day. In turn, the stress about what I should be doing made disappeared. I was a happier person to be around, which made my husband happier, which alleviated a lot of the worry I manufacture about my marriage. Just by changing my mindset about exercise I set a domino effect into motion.  My body might be a little less firm, but my marriage is strengthened and I’m happier. Plus, I’m really excited to start moving my body again!

I’m trying to keep this atmosphere of unworry going throughout the year. I’m not going to try to anticipate my future. I’m going to keep applying for jobs that sound interesting, without the panic of the unknown playing the leading role. I’m going to eat more of what I want and not spend so much time thinking about food as a constant battle I have to fight. I’ve noticed that when I stop focusing on what I can and can’t have or what’s good or bad I naturally make better choices. I’ve had a half-gallon of my favorite ice cream in my freezer for over a month and since I’ve been telling myself “It’s ok, I can have some if I want,” I find I don’t really want it. (I know, I’m sure I’ve read this exact tip hundreds of times but it’s just now sinking in).

2013 is the year I’ve decided to stop shoulding all over myself. My number one objective is to be happy and live with less worry. Maybe I’ll run more races and write more poems. Maybe I’ll eat less flour and watch less tv. Maybe I’ll land a dream job or maybe I’ll get knocked up and quit working all together. Maybe not.

I’m not worried about it.

An atmosphere of unworry, that’s what 2013 is all about.

What are you resolving this year?


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