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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Run Dottie, Run!

About 2 weeks or so ago I decided I would go for a run. I don't "run".  It's never been my favorite thing to do. But much like Forrest Gump, I just kept running. I even signed up for my VERY FIRST 5k!! Whaaaat?

Anyway, I was running today and started to realize that something was different. I wasn't dreading putting on my running shoes to go sweat. How did an activity that I have always despised become something that I looked forward to?

Let me paint you a picture of what running has always been for me. If I was forced to run or decided to not be a lazy jerk, you would find me running in the following locations: 
  1. The dusty boring track at my high school during soccer practice trailing behind the dudes. We didn't have a girls soccer team and I didn't know how to play field hockey so I played with the boys. Naturally, I sucked.  
  2. The finger print covered communal treadmill in a gym filled with the smell of rubber flooring, lighting that made you feel like you were in a mental ward, and a wall of tv's scrolling captions to either Fox News, Food Network, or TLC. 
  3. The impossible hills of my rural hometown consisting of pavement, dirt curbs, and lots and lots trees. 

I hated the feeling of it. The feeling of how dry and sticky my mouth would get while I gasped for air. The pinching in my achey knees and the burning in my lungs. The cramps. The way my cute pony tail that started high on my head would endlessly swish back and fourth until it loosened to a mush of barely contain hair. The whiplash of the harsh bouncing of my boobs. The way the elastic on my pants would roll down below my stomach or my shorts would get twisted between my rubbing thighs to inevitably get caught so far up between my legs that I'd have to pick my front wedgie to avoid looking like I was wearing and adult diaper, only to have to repeat this process every 5 to 8 strides. 

I tried to run to music. "It makes me forget about all the shitty parts of running and just think about the tunes...man." Sure, sounds good-- this is what everyone does. But now I cant find the right 
music-- This song's too slow, this one is over-played, this one has dumb lyrics, this one actually sounds like cats on nitrous being zapped by lasers. 

So not only am I struggling to breathe and picking my pants out of my crack every 30 seconds, but now I'm getting angry at the music while I attempt to skip the track on the sun-reflecting phone screen attached to my bicep with the unsteady hand of a person who is running. 

Okay, no music. And you know what, no shorts. This is what I wear now: Target leggings, a basic cotton t-shirt, two sports bras 😉 , a low pony and a baseball cap. Boom. No more wardrobe malfunctions--the honest to god biggest distraction for me. 

Running without the distraction of music made me focus on the running. Yeah, "Duh",  I know. And why would I want to focus on it? I just listed off several things that I physically didn't like about running. But here's the thing. Instead of trying to ignore those feelings, I listened to them. Not sound too "hippy crunchy granola" (as some people refer to me) but your body is speaking to you when you are feeling those things, you should listen. Knees hurt? Try to run a little softer. Lungs burn. Slow down, man! Mouths dry? Breathe through your nose ya dummy.  

So I took music and clothing discomfort out of the equation and somehow I was left with a whole lot more. Each time I run I'm discovering something new. The smell of a hot lawn baking in the sun and then the contrast when you turn onto a cool, tree lined street. The crunch of acorns under your feet. The sound of late summer crickets and gossipy birds. The juicy smell of Concord grape vines (I found three in town do far!). A persons tastefully designed front porch. The neighbors overgrown lawn and plastic toys. The grave stone that reads the last name "Smart" and you think "Would it be so bad to take a photo of that and photoshop the word "wicked" above it?".  All of these things take you somewhere. Down a road of interesting thought. And every time you visit the same places on your route they are different from the day before, even in just the slightest way. 

Thats when I realized I didn't hate running, and I didn't just tolerate it for the exercise. I just might be starting to enjoy it.

I ran farther than I think I've ever run today. 3.25 miles. Not much, and I'm only a 12 min mile. But I got to enjoy all 41 minutes of it.





Friday, February 17, 2017

Ignorance is bliss but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

chrys·a·lis
ˈkrisələs/
noun
  1. a quiescent insect pupa, especially of a butterfly or moth.
    • the hard outer case of this, especially after being discarded.
    • a preparatory or transitional state.
      "she emerged from the chrysalis of self-conscious adolescence"


The title of my blog represents the idea of growth and change. When I initially started this blog it was fueled by the personal changes in my life. Ending a 5 year relationship, leaving the comfort of friends and family to experience life in a city, figuring out what it means to be a 20-something woman in this world, etc. While the latter is still a work in progress it's lead me to a new chrysalis. The chrysalis of social norms that we just accept without questioning. Specifically those that are detrimental to our environment. 

Let me start by saying I have always considered myself an environmental advocate. But it wasn't until my need for community/using my free time for something good drove me to volunteering at a local non profit for marine conservation. Being part of something bigger than you that has a greater purpose is empowering. So that, cocktailed with the recent election and massive mobilization of protesters and activists, and a pinch of binge watching Adam Ruins Everything, is how I decided to spend more of my time speaking about issues that I think are important. Whether it's annoying my coworkers about how they shouldn't automatically put straws in customers drinks or if I'm making a social media post, or if I simply drop bits of knowledge onto the unsuspecting ears of a person I've just met. 


I want to be more of an activist than an advocate. I want to work to actually make a real difference--calling out businesses, corporations, and representatives. Demanding that they take responsibility for their impact and that they use their power to make big changes and to do what is good and right. If there is change at those levels, that's when we will see change all over. 


I call on you to do the same. And I realize, from personal experience, that it's not really that easy to be the person who questions, the person who stands up for something that they know is right but goes against what people have become accustomed to. You will be teased, mocked, and definitely ignored. Because, let's be honest, ignorance is bliss, and when you talk to people about reality and you take that bliss away, they get kinda pissed. But rest assured be it big or small, in some way, you will make change. You will inspire, and you will teach and motivate. Just as I was inspired and motivated by the strong activists throughout history and of today. Ignorance may be bliss but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! 

Take the time to learn the facts about what is important to you. Talk to friends, family, and your community about these important issues. THEN...(and this is a reeeeeal critical part) talk to the people with the POWER about these issues. State representatives, big (and medium and small) businesses and corporations need hear our voice. Not just your friends on Facebook or Twitter. 

Now go! (But also please come back) Break through that chrysalis!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Improvising With a 4 Year Old

When I was in high school my friends and I would get together and make movies. Nothing crazy, just fun stuff.  We would dress our friend Joe up like Oprah, complete with hair and makeup and have him interview us. We called him Joprah and thought it was hilarious. I was a reoccurring character named Bubooshka. An outspoken Russian woman with a thick accent and lots of advice, and lipliner, and blush... Any school project I was assigned I wanted to submit in movie form. I traveled with the XC team throughout their season and made a movie for them to look back on. You get the picture. 

I would record everything using the video camera my Dad let me borrow. I'd take the footage home and spend hours editing. I LOVED it. Cutting right at the perfect moment. Inserting music to set the tone.  Etc., Etc.

For some reason I never stuck with it once I was in college. I guess I was just preoccupied experiencing new things. Nothing productive or creative at all. But that's a whole other blog post.

Last August my 4 year old cousin, Maya, and I made a short film. Hanging out on the porch playing with toys that my siblings and I played with when we were her age and inspiration struck. "Alright Maya, grab your favorite little people. Lets make a movie." We hit the lawn and started improving as I recorded with my iphone.  A little editing later and this is what we got. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29th


December 29th
a poem 


You surprised me this morning,
Illuminating every window with your cold white.
Time for tea and oatmeal,
they both warm my hands and my heart.
The dishwasher churns and the tree illuminates the corner.
I sit at the table observing the change and
Through the window, cars silently roll by.






Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas >Stocking Hunt >Journal K Hole > Christmas

"Christmas comes this time each year."- The Beach Boys, Little Saint Nick.

Wow. What an amazing quote. It's so true--Christmas really does come this time each year! And you know what that means. Searching your parents house for your sentimental belongings that you haven't been keeping at your house because you aren't sure how long you're going to be living there, you don't have enough space, or both. 

This weekend I was on the hunt for my amazing Christmas stocking that my friend, Lydia, made. I knew it was somewhere at my parents' house because that's where I keep the things I don't need all the time or things I don't need ever and will never use again and should just throw away but I get anxiety thinking about the task of combing through everything deciding what I want to keep and find room for and what is garbage. #resistingadulthood #responsibility #thanksmomanddad

So my stuff is spread out into various places that, unintentionally, correspond to a time in my life. The attic has stuff from when I was a little kid, the basement holds things from my more recent moves of early adulthood. The garage, middle school and high school years. 

Like any normal person, I began my journey by spending an hour and a half with my head in the very first bin of junk I encountered, reminiscing of a time that I kind of remember.  Scrap books, pictures, old ceramics and wood shop projects. Oh, and journals. Lots of journals. The place where one writes about their experiences and feelings, presumably as if no one was reading. Although I found that growing up as a Catholic I wrote sometimes as if maybe someone might be reading. #catholicguilt

So there I stood in the garage of my parents' home as an adult-ish type person reading and reflecting on writings of my 14-year-old self. 

There was a lot that took me back to specific times that I remember well. And also a lot that made me think "Who the f8ck is Billy Joe?". (If you are reading this and you know who that is, please tell me! If you are Billy Joe, I am so sorry you were significant for me to write about in 8th grade but then forgot about you years later.). 

"Me, Myself & I : An Introspective Collection of My Innermost Thoughts and Feelings" was the cover title to one of the journals I came across. I'm pretty sure this book was a gift from my Mom and not something I myself picked out......The first entry that I opened to was a very distinctive memory. But the detail that I documented in my journal was clarity that I've lost over the years. It was an entry from February 10th, 2005. My junior year of high school, 10 years ago. It was a wintery stormy day and every school had a snow day accept Mascenic. We were let out early just after being dumped on with snow. This entry has an extra special sentiment to it, because one of the friends mentioned has since passed away. The entry was as follows:
    "       Thursday                      Feb 10, 2005                                10:03pm

           Today I got into my first  (and hopefully LAST) car accident. I was driving down Greenville Rd. (too fast for road conditions) and I started to lose control. I tried to steer away, but the car seemed to be moving faster in the direction of the telephone pole. It seemed to happen so fast yet I can remember mostly everything that I was thinking. Of course I wasn't thinking " Let off the brake!", I was thinking "Oh my God!". The weight of the car seemed so heavy as it slid across the road and "THUD!" right into the telephone poll outside of Cooper Riggs' house. I can remember looking at the telephone poll before I hit and thinking that I knew I was about to hit it, and I couldn't do anything about it. I was in shock at first, that I had actually done this with my car. I never thought I would be in an accident. And for as hard as I hit I came out with a bruised nose , or sore @ least, bruised chest from the seatbelt, and a burn on my arm from the air bag (which are turquoise with purple stitching).

         So, I can still Hear the sound in my head of when I hit. It was like bumper cars x1000 and there was smoke and air bags. I can still taste the awful smell of the gun powder. The car was still running when I got out. Which I did as fast as I could b.c. I had no clue if it would explode or something...I saw smoke!

         Anyway, my guardian angel, Cory was driving behind me...I got out of my car and walked over to his window, tears welling in my eyes, and Sam handed me her phone. I called mom. Everybody stopped by. First Cory then Christian Lund, Kevin and Joe, then Gina and Diane. When Gina came, you should have seen her. She was crying and she said that she was sorry she didn't wait for me. I told her it was okay (she was coming over my house). Anyway she hugged me really tight for a while. It was nice. 

        I feel so bad about the car though. I mean dad was going to plan this trip to the mountains and now we can't go cuz of money and stuff. I feel sooo horrible. About everything. At least I'm not like disfigured or anything. Thank you, God! I just don't know.   "


I feel like I should note that in retrospect I'm more glad that I was alive and not just "not, like, disfigured".  Also, my "guardian angel", Cory Iodice, has since passed away. We were very close at a certain time in high school. I think of him from time to time and hope he is resting in peace, wherever that may be. 

I did find my stocking, It was in none of those aforementioned places. 


                                                                                                                                                           

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tonight my boyfriend is down the road visiting his man friends and I'm home ADDing on the computer. I have 10 tabs open on my browser right now: Healthcare.gov, Minutemanhealth.org, Facebook, What are your most used words on Facebook?, 15 child stars who grew up hot (I'm fighting my urge to lie and not include that one...),  22 Absolutely essential diagrams you need for camping, Pinterest, Thegrommet.com (Unique Gifts For Him),  The History Behind the 12 Days of Christmas, and Breaking through the Chrysalis.

As you can probably see by the dates included with each entry that I make on this blog, it has been approximately 9 months and 8 days since my last post. It would have been longer if I hadn't been confused about my health insurance and decide to open my "Notes" to write all of my questions about the plan I'm interested in. I had many more saved notes than I do open browser tabs.

Scrolling through those notes was like scrolling through time.  Like this one, when I first moved to Somerville to "gain perspective on life" and I measured everything in my tiny new room so I would have just the right furniture and it would be PERFECT!

April, 2014

Get from home:
Wall art
Food processor
Photo for license

35 wall to window
22 floor to window 
43 wall to switch
50 1/2 wall to door
88 long wall to open door
1x2  radiator 3 ft hight
8ft wall to radiator 
18 in corner to window by radiator
29 1/2 window inside (31 1/2)
40 1/2 window outside

Detergent
paint
cleaning supplies
mop
rubber gloves

Clearly I had to do some cleaning to do as well. Anyway there was also a note in there reminding me to write back to a friend. So tonight I jumped on Facebook (the tab was already open) and FINALLY wrote back to my friend--9 months later! Do you know how much can change in 9 months? Like a whole new person could be born in that amount of time. 

When I pulled up our conversation on FB her last message to me was about my blog and how she enjoyed reading it. I felt guilty. Not only had I waited 9 months to reply to her message, I had also not even given her the impersonal conversation of an entry on my blog.

So here's a super brief update:

  • I live back in NH but in a brand new town close to the coast. (I heart emoji NH)
  • I'm in LOOOOOOVVVEEE (the real deal kind) with a truly amazing person.  
  • We live together. 
  • I've TRAVELED to far way lands with beautiful soft sandy beaches and blue skies and boats and lizards and fish and tents and drinks and music! (if you scroll alllll the way down to 2 posts ago, you will see I've been longing to travel) 
  • John MacGillivary (last post) was memorialized at Harlow's Pub and we drank whiskey and it was lovely.
Now back to the 15 Child stars who grew up to be hot.











Wednesday, February 11, 2015

He said I was a badass. He put me at the door and told me "Don't take no shit from anyone, and no dancing". He showed up every day at 7am with his maroon red van idling. It was summer but the morning was still cool. We would lift rocks and fetch water. We mixed crete and poured it into into the frame. Slowly the rocks would grow higher and higher. He was proud. We rolled down 101 in his van. He let me smoke one of his hand rolled cigarettes. Bugle Boy. He kept them in an Altoids tin. I breathed in the smoke. It was clean but it burned. I felt like a badass.

Farewell MacGillivary. You always made me feel so much cooler and tougher than I ever really was.