• Black Friday. It's that time again. A time of gratitude, turkey (in the US), and crazy purchasing mania that makes me nauseous. But I'll save you the lecture I really want to give about externalities, sweatshops, and consumerism. My Black Friday mantra? Just say no.

    Ever since the one time I went Boxing Day shopping as a teenager, I will admit I've had a strong aversion to big sales and blitzes. The hungry crowds are too much for me. But nowadays even though the internet would let me easily avoid the mayhem, thanks to the blessing in disguise of a home with little storage space and the budget consciousness bestowed upon me by my health collapse, I've been working on being more conscious and conscientious about what I spend money on.

    I like to make most decisions based on these factors:

  • When Vivienne announced later in the summer she'd be doing a special edition of Be Your Own Beloved called "Beloved Body" in the fall, focusing on seeing our bodies with love and compassion, I was pretty excited. 

    BB Day 1: embarking on a very long day with compassion

    As part of my health and healing adventures, I've been working towards not seeing my body as the enemy. Even more challenging, I've been exploring how not to see my body as separate from my self or my mind, feeling like "it" is ruining all my plans and all my fun and getting in the way of things. Instead, I'm starting to see it as an ally and support that's doing its best every day, appreciating it for all that it does for me and how magical being alive at all truly is.

  • It was so timely that a friend posted this short talk by Brené Brown today, on not focusing on your critics. Just last night, while we were getting ready for bed, I said to Bruno, "If people think writing and talking about health problems and friendship changes and life challenges is so negative, why is it those topics exactly that I get such an intense response to?"

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    I've had a few people confront me over the last few years about being "negative" online - I'm sure a lot more than that have had the same thought. And I guess I can understand why some people might find talking about challenges to be a negative thing. Trying to have your life appear perfect to the outside world is pervasive, both online and off. Perfect and pretty is nice and everything, but the truth is that connection doesn't happen over the fluff. Not real connection.

  • When we decided to try and extend our trip to Belgium, part of that included having time for a side trip so I could see a bit more of Europe. I agonized over where to go - flights are fairly cheap, and everything is so close together (and Bruno was fair game and let me have my pick)! In the end, I really wanted to go back to Berlin...

    Berlin

  • I started weeding through my trip photos from September a few days ago because there are some really wonderful ones I wanted to share. I ended up splitting the side trip to Berlin into a separate post because there were just far too many!

    Oostende

  • I've been thinking a lot again this past week about friends and community building. I think it's partly something that's been in the back of my mind for a while, and partly that my friend who I mentioned last time's memorial gave me a lot to think about.

    She really left us all with some strong and important messages about love and choices and embracing life - especially not letting the past or even present circumstances hold you back. She had also been one of the people who had encouraged me the most to keep writing and talking about friendship and its challenges.

  • So, I was thinking this morning... life is weird. Stupid small things seem so important when they're not, we fuck up on the most critical stuff all the time, we hurt each other, and love each other, and it's all so fragile and gone in the blink of an eye. 

  • Last weekend I went to (half of) a portrait drawing workshop led by Mandy Tsung at Hot Art Wet City gallery. Yay drawing! (I missed the first day because I was feeling crappy, but managed to get to the second day with a ton of support from Bruno, and I'm very glad that I did!)

  • There are so many posts I should write, I could write, but sometimes something just gets under my skin and I have to get it out. Regardless of who it may offend, though it's not meant to...

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    I keep seeing more and more communities, events, online projects, hashtags, etc. that are targeted towards women and branded with infinite varieties of "moms" or "mommies" or "mamas".

    On one hand, I can understand that motherhood is a HUGE and identity changing shift in a woman's life. But I hope that the women who organize and participate in and promote these realize how in-your-face the exclusion of women without children it is.

  • I didn't post a 365 post yesterday. I made it 72 days in, a fifth of the way, and I'm taking a break - maybe permanently.

    I feel like the last month I've just been going through the motions. There's other things I want to do, and I feel like my guilt over wanting to quit this project - and let's face it, half-assing it lately - is weighing too heavily on me. I don't want to start feeling negative about art just when I started to get into the swing of things.

    Maybe I got too ambitious deciding to take this on, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I just don't want to force myself to do things that I should be enjoying but am not anymore, so I'm not going to. 

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