Excerpts from my journal; Early August 2017

August 1

Happy August. Happy, happy, blessed, long-awaited August. The beginning of Fall, the life breath I needed to get back on track. This morning I meditated. This morning I got up and wrote 350 words. This morning I felt peaceful and ready to write again.

I measure the success of my life by how willing I am to write, and whether I actually do so. I can be eager about it or feel like I’d rather pull my hair out, but if I actually sit down and write my novel, I’m in a good place.

Until last night though, I hadn’t even wanted to think about anything even remotely novel adjacent. I was okay blogging. I was okay thinking about blogging. But thinking about my novel was just depressing. I didn’t feel like working on it. I didn’t like it anymore. I’m still out of love with it, but I’m in love with the idea of using it as practice. Practice revising, practice editing, practice working on something I don’t love. Good practice. I’m giving myself more grace as well to wait it out. I wanted to have it published this year. That won’t happen. Maybe not next year either. Maybe never for this book. And that’s okay. If I can revise and edit a whole novel, I’ll count that lucky.

Honestly, summer camp has been a huge mental hassle for the past three months. In May I started seriously planning for it, and with the end of school approaching at that time it was hectic and stressful, not even knowing what I needed to do.

In June, with the end of school upon us, I was busy trying to get everything done I could do, figure out the trip to NZ, and also finish up the semester well. It was intensely crazy and stressful.

Then in July I had my vacation, which was amazing and a much-needed break, but what with getting sick and figuring stuff out, and the impending loom of the imminent summer camp with the lack of days to plan, that was just the worst. I went down a deep dark rabbit hole of self-hatred, confusion, and guilt.

So, now that we’re a week in, and it’s gone well, and I don’t have to worry about anyone blaming me for not working hard, I can finally get back to the place I was in April. A soft, happy place of peace and writing and meditating and focus. At least a goal.

Today it all goes away. Today I get my nails done, eat Subway, work out and get back on track.

August 2

Today has gone well. Yesterday went well. I went out to get my nails done with friends, bought two pairs of indoor sandals on sale, bought snacks and moar hazelnoot coffee, and got the novel study schedule down pat. As pat as it can be. I never know exactly how long a book will take me to read. I can read a three hundred page-ish book in two-ish hours, but that’s a lot of ishes. But I have an order and I have the steps, so as long as it takes me it takes me.

I’m excited about it. I hope it will help. I know that analyzing novels is an excellent way to get better at the craft, but never having done it before, I don’t know how excellent it could be.

It seems like this year is a year of experimentation. Experimenting by traveling with the brother to a totally new place. Experimenting dating more than once. Experimenting with my hair and makeup. Experimenting with writing, editing, and studying. Experimenting having a really good guy friend and working on a new project with someone else. This is all very good. I need to expand more. I’m still working on not living like I still live with my parents. 

The past few days I’ve hit an all-time energy low around 2pm. The hottest part of the day indeed. All my energy just goes right out my feet and slips soggily onto the floor.

August 4

Today is the last day. That makes it the best day we’ve had so far. I’m hiding in my room, because while I could go down and run around checking on everything all the time, in the end, this is the teacher’s’ job. I don’t need to get involved. I did my bit, now I’m done. I just have to lead the stupid presentation. It’s not like I’m nervous about presenting, it’s not like I’m even a little bad at it (I’m amazing at it), it’s not like I wish someone else would do it. I just want it to be over. That’s all. I want to stop being in charge and take a damn breath. I want to go home and eat chips and watch TV and read my book and breathhhhhh. 

Last night I had a shock of memory looking a picture. It wasn’t my picture, but the angle and the subject were so similar it triggered it.

I remembered the spare room where I always stayed in my granny’s house. She had kept her kids’ rooms the same, so I was sleeping in my Aunt’s room. It was all white and pink, with a rickety metal bed with a white coverlet that was such a pain to make I had to have my mom help every time.

My brother stayed in our dad’s old room, paneled wood and so 70s. He had a gun rack, and old board games and an electrical wiring kit for kids. Even back then he knew what he wanted to do, I guess.

August 8

It’s been a few days since I wrote last. Huh. I guess those days were good.

Saturday, the 5th, I met up with friends and we went shopping. That was fun! We had to wait like an hour and a half for food, which was not so fun, but I bought some cute stuff and the food was excellent. Last cheat before eating healthy. More on that in a minute.

Monday was the best day though. I did play some games, but I also set goals, got my calendar set up, cleaned up, cooked, made an awesome health plan, exercised, and basically got my life back on track. It was like making New Year’s Resolutions. I decided how I want to feel for this semester. I want to feel focused. I want to feel forward moving. I want to feel ready to go home by the end of it. I want to feel flexible and expansive, allowing changes to come into my life with grace.

It’s been good. I got back to writing and even wrote physically on note cards for the first time in a very long time.

I also started the life coach book study! Finally. I don’t know why it was such a block in my head to do that. Maybe since it’s been so long since I did any studying, and my mind has such bad memories of school. But it was fine! And even fun! I’m glad I discovered bullet journaling. I can make my notes pretty and it helps me take more time with them.

Today was full of meetings. No joke, we had a meeting every period, pretty much, until 3:15. By that time, I had no energy and no strength, so I just faffed around until 4. The meetings are mostly unnecessary. The useful stuff took around an hour or two altogether, not the five we spent. Too much gubbins.

But I’m happy. This year will be easier by far. This year I’m not going to be in charge of any events, and so won’t have to think about anything but teaching. I want to try to get better at that. At the planning and activities and such. I’m already really good at the leading and style of it.

Here’s to meditating every day. Here’s to prayer and getting back on track and fulfilling dreams. Here’s to the rest of my life!

August 9

Here we go. Another round of meetings. Hopefully not all day this time. I would like to get some school work done, thanks.

I’ve meditated three days in a row now. I forget how much it helps keep my overall state of wellbeing calm.

I’m not sure about the shirt I’m wearing today. It’s more complicated than usual. I like big baggy shirts or flowy comfortable ones. This one has full sleeves, is nipped at the waist and has a loose peplum. All serving to make me feel more self-conscious than I usually do. It’s a good exercise in not caring what I wear. The color is nice though, and my hair turned out amazing.

It’s daunting to look at the previous teacher’s stack of binders and materials. I’ll need to go through it slowly, but I can’t even get started until I know I have a few good hours to do it. I hate doing projects in bits.

Most of my creative classroom organizing work will come after school starts. I don’t know why, but that’s typically what happens. I think I have to get through the moment of beginning, and then things will calm down into the routine for the rest of the year. But right now is too full of anticipation to relax in. I need another month.

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