Blogtober #16: How it started/How It’s Going.

Started on the left, Going on the right

This is the latest trend I’ve been seeing on social media, the how it started and how it’s going challenge. I don’t do the trend thing, by and large, but this one I like. Seeing your growth, seeing your changes. I’m all about that self-assessment life.

Your Square Peg was about 8 years old on the left. Newly arrived to the US, about to start school, grinning for her Dad’s camera. On the right, still here, missing Dad but hopeful for the future, still grinning. I’ve come a long way. Happy to be here.

Bon Friyay.

Blogtober #14: How Do you Sleep?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I sleep with the television on. Yeah.

So ever since I was a wee Square Peg, the quiet of night didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t take it. Being a light sleeper since childhood, I can hear everything. Everything. (My Dad worked at night and loved to point out that he knew who would be waiting for him when the front door opened in the early hours of morning. Yours truly.) Unfortunately, that also includes silence. And nighttime silence has never been comfortable for me. It’s way heavier and ripe with the possibilities of my very active imagination. So, yes, I’ve always had issues with sleep; not sleeping well, not getting enough hours, so on and so yawningly forth.

Enter the television. And yep, I know it certainly doesn’t help with rest and incites the movement of my mind when I should be dreaming. But I need the white noise, y’all. Or episodes of Chopped, at least. I’ve tried the sleep sounds with falling rain and thunder and all that and…didn’t work. But what works? The TV. Utterly bizarre.

How do you sleep?

Blogtober #13: Do Your Thing.

Since returning to my natural texture almost eight years ago (naturalversary is in December yay), I’ve had many, many, many hairstyles. Natural hair opened an experimentation door for me, undoubtedly; from varying lengths to color changes to everything in between, I managed to diffuse any boredom with styling and not shock my mother too much with my changes. All that said: I made a ‘lil natural hair compilation video: from 2012-2020. Music: Do Your Thing, ‘*NSYNC.

Bon Tuesday.

Blogtober #7: 14 Facts About Me. (that I haven’t already shared yet. I think.)

A mouthful of a title, no? But let’s go over fourteen facts about yours truly that I likely haven’t discussed on TSP. I should say that I don’t tell y’all everything, because the Internet, but these are fun and/or interesting factoids (to me, anyway) that I don’t mind sharing.

1. Naturalistas will know what this is referring to, but I don’t hair-type my strands. I have about three different textures on this head so I’d be three different hair types, for one, and two: I don’t see the point of categorizing my hair. Some say the hair types help determine what products to use but look: the hair journey is allll about finding the right products. Being 3A, 5Z, whatevs won’t change that. (And some folks assign a level of “difficulty” based on the hair type. I don’t care for that. All hair is good hair. Work with what ya got.)

2. Needles. But for why? The fear is real.

3. My kingdom for a bagel. I first experienced true bagels in New York City when I was a young TSP, and nothing will ever live up to NYC bagels, but there are close seconds. A longtime favorite.

4. She doesn’t know how to roller skate, ice skate, or ride a bike. Perhaps my parents knew that I would rally against the loss of being on solid ground. I love solid ground.

5. I speak in my characters’ voices when I’m writing a story. Helps craft them better. Plus it’s fun.

6. I will forever associate Harrison Ford with Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and for those reasons, I’m prepared to love him forever.

😍😍😍

7. Ocean life is so creepy to me. It just is. 😳

8. I watch reruns of Law and Order every single day. This is not an exaggeration. (The original, not SVU or CI.)

9. My obsession with ice cream sandwiches culminated when, in the 8th grade, my banker told me that I owed her $14 (14 shows up again) for borrowing the money to buy said sandwiches during lunch. I sadly informed her that my 13 year-old self had no money. What a moment. She dismissed the fee. *exhale*

10. Favorite superhero is Superman. I mean, can you blame me? (Christopher Reeve and Henry Cavill, in case you’re wondering.)

11. I once got locked in a restaurant bathroom. The door got stuck and I couldn’t get out. My sis and her friend had to jimmy the door. There may have been screaming.

12. Pinterest is literally serotonin for me, if you haven’t noticed. I adore pinning. I think the combination of bulletin boards and lovely inspo is what does it for me. Smiles galore.

13. I had to Google what “lol” meant when it became a popular abbreviation. I verbed (not a word) it at first. “Why are people lol-ing?”

14. Oxford comma? Yes, yes, and yes. (See what I did there?)

Thanks for stopping by Fun Fact-ville.

Autumn Promises (#4)

Dear Autumn,

This morning, as I took my daily walk, I was immediately transfixed by the cool breezes awaiting me. With the bipolarity of the atmosphere here in Texas, I stopped short of fully declaring that it was finally fall, finally you (especially since it will be 90 degrees tomorrow, goodness), but I embraced your autumnal morning for what it was and walked happily in it. So, thank you for that. Of course, I then was reminded of the promises I tend to make during this time of year (past promises are here, here, and here), so let’s go over a few.

I promise not to allow 2020 to dim my wonder of welcoming another autumn. This year royally stinks, but it’s still fall, my absolute favorite season, and you’re worth seeing as you are and not through the lenses of this very disappointing year.

I promise to drown in vanilla-flavored chais and delicious carbohydrates without feeling one ounce of guilt and imagining the bursting into flames of my overused check card.

I promise to seriously consider participating in Blogtober this year. (We’ll see; it’s been a long year and it’s only been nine months. Le sigh.)

I promise to do some creative writing. It’s been a while. (Le sigh #2.)

I promise to officially announce that I got a promotion at the j-o-b! This is the official announcement. I’ll discuss further in another post but 1,000 yays for entering autumn with this personal and professional milestone.

I promise to…well, it’s not easy to hope. I’ll try.

I promise to not spend every day looking like a bum. Honestly, other than dressing up for my weekly Zoom worship meetings, I’ve been walking around this house like a lunatic.

Are you nursing any autumnal goals? Please share.

Shall We?

Yes, let’s.

Recently, I watched a heartwrenching video of a woman on social media who tearfully spoke of her frustrations while looking for love. Wanting to find the right one and that not happening. Being eternally and repeatedly ghosted. I highly identified with her. In a follow-up video, she spoke of some of the comments she received from others who had viewed the original video. Many were of the “love yourself” variety; others told her she should stop looking and it, love, would come to her. I saw some of the comments. I typed my point of view. Here’s a run-down of my point of view.

Me, basically.

Wanting love and loving yourself are not mutually exclusive. People, people, people. A person can love themselves and still want to find love at the same time. Both things can happen at the same time. Sure, many look to love and partners to validate them. That happens a lot. But to assume that someone wanting to find a partner means they have no self-worth and don’t love themselves is absolutely shortsighted. Many of the comments in the video spoke to this. To them, her tears were a symbol of someone in I-need-validation pain, not someone in, quite simply, It’s-really-hard-to-be-alone pain.

Speaking of being alone… Commenters were very adamant about her needing to accept her aloneness, to enjoy being by herself. But what if she does enjoy her own company and still wants a partner anyway? See where I’m going with this? This weird separation of things. A person can be fine by themselves and still want to be with someone. The two things can exist together. For me, they do exist together. The realities are that I’ve traveled alone, dined alone, movied alone and have loved every minute of those things and still wanted to share those very things with another person.

Stop looking!” Oh, lawwwwwddddddd. Many comments were in this vein. Just stop looking. It’ll come to you! I know, I know: it’s a thing. You stop looking/caring/obsessing about something, suddenly what you stopped looking for/caring about/obsessing over comes to you. Sure. But the opposite can be true, too. You can keep looking and caring (not obsessing, but hey, it happens) and it comes to you. I’m sure many of the commenters felt like since she’s been doing things a certain way for so long, maybe not doing things the same way will result in a different conclusion. Could be. But it was still worthy of discussion, in my estimation.

Obviously, I was emotionally tied to this woman because I know what she’s going through. It’s why I commented, both to show my solidarity/encouragement and to also put a kibosh to some of the unhelpful things I was seeing in some of the comments. She replied and thanked me for saying what I did. And that’s all I wanted: for her to feel heard and understood.

Quarantine Check-In.

Quarantine Life. It’s been a thing. Here’s a round-up.

apple devices books business coffee
Photo by Serpstat on Pexels.com

Professional Life. I’ve been working from home since mid-March. It was initially a huge adjustment for me; I’ve worked remotely before, many times, but in a space where it’s happening 8 hours a day, 7 days a week–there were a lot of tough moments. Structurally, I’m one of those folks that doesn’t mind being in an office. I learn a lot when it comes to nonverbal cues and in-person conversation in general, so I think I struggled with not being in an active people space when it came to the day-to-day. Doing everything from behind a screen–from working on projects to discussions with colleagues–wasn’t always easy. But with time, it’s gotten better. And boy, am I thankful to even have a job with everything that’s going on and an option to do it from home. So yes, continuing to gratefully take things one day at a time.

Goals: have a more thoughtful workspace. Right now, I’m at my dining table with my desktop and laptop. It’s not the most ergonomically sound or practical space, but it works. I’ve been perusing Pinterest, naturally, to make some changes. We shall see.

african american woman performing in darkness
Photo by Fillipe Gomes on Pexels.com

Personal Life. It’s been tough. Life pre-pandemic wasn’t easy for this singleton who longs for her Person and struggles with deep loneliness, so I’m sure you can imagine (or perhaps you can’t, and that’s okay; what words and sharing and hopefully empathy are for) that life during a pandemic and being on quarantine has been pretty hard for me. But there are always lessons. For one thing, I’ve learned–even more than before–that my peace of mind is priceless. I protect it fiercely. Which means the abundance of noise–social media, news stories, on and on–has become too loud for me, at times. So, I intentionally shut off and shut down. I need to. Another thing: videoconferencing is…interesting. Who would have thought that living in an age of so much connection would almost make all that connection so exhausting? Perhaps it’s because the power of choice isn’t there; pre-lockdown, we could choose however we wanted to connect. Now: it’s all on video and that’s it. Managing it. But I also say no a lot to invitations via video, all for the purpose of decompression. Overall, prayer has been key for me. Communicating my frustrations to a close, trusted, understanding friend or two really helps, as well. But I won’t sugarcoat it: the one day at a time sometimes has to be handling things one hour at a time.

Goals: I’ve been longing for a dog forever, y’all. Always put it on the back burner because, to me, it wouldn’t be fair to leave a dog home all day while I was at work. But now that I’ll be home for a while…seriously considering it and researching my readiness. I’ll keep you posted.

close up view of an old typewriter
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Creative Life. I’ve been writing, actually. Working on my latest project, for one thing, and also managed to squeeze in a pandemic-inspired sci-fi short story that I’m pretty proud of. When all of this began, I didn’t even bother to wonder if a creative surge would come; after years and years of living this creative writing life, I recognize that, eventually, the ideas and desire to write will come. And as the pandemic days continued, they did. Ideas came. Stories came. Desire came. We’ll see how it goes.

Goals: finishing that project mentioned above. What’s it all about? Mum’s the word for now. Just know that I’m enjoying every bit of its creation. You’ll be the first to hear when it’s complete.

So, yes, that’s life for me so far. Hope you’re making it wherever you are.

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