Tomorrow puts me one week into my 29 Before 30, and I’ve already been making good progress on my list!
Although my only fully completed task is #1’s start a blog, I have stuck to both of my daily goals and have been writing in my journal and taking at least one photo (usually more) per day. These seem like such small tasks that I’m sure most people do daily without even thinking, but for me the initiation had to be much more intentional. All throughout middle school, high school, and college, I was in the habit of writing most days. Sometimes this writing was an account of my day, sometimes it was stream of conscious ideas and goals, and sometimes it was more prosaic or even poetic in nature. But regardless of the form, it always felt good to get my thoughts down on paper. It helps to make the present not seem so fleeting– because of the permanence, you can always go back and revisit a good day, reconnect with a past you, or even remember a heartache.
Writing is and always has been how I best express myself, at least when there is something important to think through. There is something too anxiety-ridden for me with phone calls– like I just wait to escape the conversation even when it’s with someone I love. They tend to be reminders of the distance between the two voices, and all I do is pace and twirl my hair when I’m on the phone anyways– something both my mom and sister do, too, so maybe their feelings on the subject are mutual. In person conversations have the added element of whatever is laying thick in the air during it– whether that be tension or passion or laughter. Emotions, whether mine or someone else, can tend to wash over me and cloud and sometimes twist what I say and especially what I hear.
I’m one of those people who thinks out loud in conversations, and my mouth is just a leaky hole for the thoughts in my brain. The thoughts pour out as they happen, which can often lead to me saying things I don’t really mean. When I write, I actually have time to process those thoughts a bit before turning them into words on the page. I think that’s why I want to write letters to my loved ones this year about why I love them, and I why I want to send them Christmas and birthday cards– to better convey to them just how much they mean to me. And to put it down for eternity.
As for taking photos, I have always been THE WORST. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to not be selfie-obsessed, and I never have to worry about missing the great thing that’s happening in the moment because I’m too busy posting photos to Facebook, but I have definitely regretted not committing certain experiences to at least a quick iPhone snap. I’ve let some great stuff get away, like the time my dogs shredded a whole bag of powdered sugar and their faces and my house looked like a scene out of Scarface. I’ve had the most amazing friend in my life now for five years, and we don’t have one photo together! That’s criminal. That changes this year!
I’m also a little over halfway through my book 1/10, Lena Dunham’s I’m Not That Kind of Girl. So far, it’s exactly the super-quirky, sometimes uncomfortable, but crazy honest narrative you’d expect from her, so it may not be for everybody, but I have really been liking it. It’s made me laugh out loud more than a few times, and it’s a really good fit for me at the moment because we are the same age and I relate to a lot of her stories and reflections.
Oh! And last night, I watched the first of my “And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to…” films, which was Terms of Endearment. The tagline for the movie is “Come to laugh, come to cry, come to care, and come to terms,” and let’s just say, I did that and then some while my husband, who was cooking in the kitchen, kept poking his head in to look at me with a sort-of-puzzled but mostly judgey face. But OMG. Shirley Maclaine. Perfection. And not only is Debra Winger’s acting incredible, but her late 70’s-early 80’s fashion is ON POINT. I need some high-waisted bellbottoms stat.
Cheers to this first week! I’m celebrating by cooking my weekly new dish…and posting these cute pictures of Gunner and Georgia.