Who Will I Become?

Quarantine has given me a lot of time to think. These past few months have been a suckerpunch. But, on the other hand, I have been reflecting a lot on who I am in the larger sense of the world, and who I am in regards to my relationships to others, and especially who I am in regards to my faith.

Ultimately, I have been so consumed with focusing on who others want me to be, how I measure up, and who I can be to fit others’ expectations, that I feel I don’t really have a true sense of self. Okay, let me say it a different way: there are things I know that I like, that are easy to explain — I like crafts, I like low art like cartoons and comic books, I like romance novels… and there are things that I know I don’t like, which are also easy to explain–I don’t like sporting events, I don’t like literary or artistic elitism, I don’t like dressing on my salad. 

Then there are things that I know I like that are harder to explain: I like being liberal. I like being part of a church family, and I also like my identity as a queer woman. I like being with my family. I like trying to keep positive in the face of adversity. 

There are also things I know I don’t like that are harder to explain, that often leave me tongue-tied, and trying to backpedal: I don’t like to drink. I have no desire to smoke, ever. I don’t like change. I don’t like it when people criticize my sense of humor, because even though I know I sometimes struggle to get the joke, I also think I am pretty funny. LOL.

I know that I am a complex person, but I also don’t want to continue this life basing who I am off of what I hope other people will like. In my faith journey I have seen many Christians with a powerful, deep, unshakeable faith — no two look alike, and no two had the same journey to God. I think I’ve been so afraid to take the leap and truly devote myself to Christ because I am afraid of all the stereotypes that go along with it, that I have to look and talk a certain way. But ultimately, it’s not about the juvenile, prejudiced, skewed perception of Christians that I’ve long held, or that others have held. It’s not even about the perceptions that I’ve held or that others have held of the Church. It’s about Jesus, walking with Him and devoting oneself to Him. 

I’ve been waffling on this for so long! I’ve had these perceptions that I couldn’t be a bisexual woman and Christian, that I couldn’t be liberal and Christian, that I couldn’t write my truth and be Christian. But all of these things are me, and all of these things are seen in Christ. He has to be my top priority. No earthly desire for the admiration of others can stop His prevailing love. 

I’ve been praying, “Lord, help me, save me” for years — since I returned to my faith studying abroad in Oxford. Since then, I have been feeling such indecision and such anxiety, especially lately as this pandemic grips the country — but ultimately, I am leaning in to God. My prayers have been answered with an inner peace that only God can grant. I know I am seen and heard. 

So, here’s to the next re-invention. I don’t know what I will look like when quarantine is lifted and we walk bravely on into the new normal. I don’t know a lot of things – but that’s okay. I don’t need to know everything. I only need to know more of Him. 

Things To Do In Isolation

Hello everyone! I’ve been seeing a lot of lists going around of ideas for things to do in isolation during this health crisis, and I had some ideas too! I hope this will help anyone who is getting antsy and bored indoors. Let’s all take a deep breath and practice healthy habits!

  • Crafting
    • With A Lot of Craft Supplies
      • Make a zine
      • Make an abstract (maybe even 3-D?!) painting
      • Design a new board game, including playing pieces, original art for the cards, and a board
      • Design and make polymer clay jewelry
    • With Limited Craft Supplies
      • Collages with newspapers, old magazines
      • Make a collage from different images featuring your favorite color, or a collage of one thing like foods, or eyes, or purses, or shoes
      • Refuse scissors! Try to make an image in collage by ripping paper
      • Use card stock to make a little village of paper houses (check out PaperHolm to get inspired)
      • Pinterest is full of ideas!
      • Blind contour drawings with different colored/width pens one on top of the other – this always ends up looking really trippy, abstract and cool
      • Design a “mythical creature mashup” or design an original character
      • Write a letter
  • Baking/Cooking
    • Make golden milk with herbs and dairy or non-dairy drink
    • Try to bake scones or other goodies
    • Check what you can make with the ingredients you have in the house
    • Honestly comfort food is where it’s at right now!!
  • Digital Crafting
    • Canva can help you make a digital scrapbook of favorite memories/photos… you can also make yourself a new logo or design stationery letterhead for your favorite fictional places/people
    • Make a new ringtone or record a song on SoundTrap’s free trial – you don’t even need a microphone to make a cool mix with their loops
  • Writing Prompts
    • Write free-form poetry
    • Write a short story
    • Journal about your favorite memories
    • Make lists (like this one! LOL)
    • Make a family tree and write about your family’s history
    • Write a romance novel?! The cheesier the better! Link me when it’s done!
    • Write children’s poetry – extra silly!
  • Chores/Productive things
    • Get super duper organized
    • Learn EVERYTHING YOU CAN about something that has always interested you
  • Things you probably haven’t done in ages but should probably do
    • Clean your phone/the keyboard of your laptop
    • Clean out under your bed
    • Scrub down your bathroom
  • Self-care/beauty things
    • Take a steam bath
    • Do your nails
    • Face mask

The list goes on and on! Please add anything you think of!

🌟Exciting Announcement🌟

As of August 28th, I am back in the US. As of August 31st, I am officially part of the Wattpad Stars program! Over a year of hard work, determination, and consistency has paid off. When I got the email that I’d been invited, I couldn’t stop jumping up and down — my mom was home with me and I’m sure it was very annoying to listen to me chatter on about my excitement, but she listened like a champ (she is, after all, my #1 fan). Honestly, I can’t stop looking at the bright orange badge on my profile. I’m thrilled with this development, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

New Project: Magical Realism YA Novel

Hello lovebugs! 

In light of the limited interest for Orchid, I’ve decided to hold off on posting it online. I’m hoping that it will be picked up by somewhere and that I will be able to edit it with professional help, to eventually be traditionally published. I know this may come as a disappointment to some of you, as you were looking forward to reading the book, but I believe it’s just not a good fit to publish it online right now. 

Instead, I’ve started a new project, tentatively entitled Sea Glass Soul, about a young sound engineer and her manic pixie dream boy of a love interest. The story is magical realism, and follows the two teenagers as they navigate questions of identity, first love, music, God, and mysticism. The story is heavily inspired by my teenage years growing up at the shore, and I’m excited to share it with you. 

This was decided by a Twitter poll, so I’m very excited to be writing what I love and what the people (hopefully!) want. 

As for a timeline, I have the story outlined and chapter one is complete! I’m hoping to have it ready by August 1st in a sort of mega writing sprint. Then, I’ll be posting weekly to my Wattpad account, where you can read on Sundays. I’ll also be posting extras here, exclusive to Patreon. I’m really trying to not over-promise this time around, so suffice it to say most of the surprises will be online or printables. Nonetheless, I’m excited for this next chapter! 

Baby Rocket

Tomorrow is the summer solstice, which means it is the longest day of the year. In Oxford, that means it will probably be bright and sunny until around 10PM. In many cultures, this day marks an important change of seasons.

I see this day as a chance for reinvention. If I haven’t already told you, (which would be pretty weird because I pretty much told everyone I’ve ever met) I recently went with my friend Vicky and saw the movie Rocketman about Elton John’s life, and it kind of rocked my world. The idea of self-reinvention took root and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what it means to take a few new outfits, maybe a new haircut, or a new nail polish color, and totally change your outlook on life and who you are. I’m not planning to change my name (though for the record, if I did have a stage name I think it would be Baby Rocket… to honor Rocketman himself but also because baby rocket here is the name for arugula which is hilarious) but I am planning to change how I look at the world and how I act. I know I’ve said it numerous times before, but this time I think it will really stick. I’ve grown tired of trying to fit into any type or mold that I think should suit me. As Whitman said, “I contain multitudes” — and I’m tired of denying myself the joy of these contradictions. I don’t have to assign fun characteristics, jobs, and hobbies to my characters in fiction. I can literally go out and embrace those characteristics, apply to those jobs, and learn those hobbies. C’mon, it’s 2019. YouTube has tutorials on how to do pretty much everything!

My dear friend Julianna heard I was planning on embarking on this journey and was immediately in it to win it. If any of you want to join us as we re-imagine ourselves as who we want to be, feel welcome! I, for one, am off to write some rock’n’roll tunes and shop for some feather boas. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.