I’m in a weird, waiting space in a few big areas of my life right now. It’s not bad, necessarily, but it’s uncomfortable and I’m hoping I’m able to start moving again soon.

In the meantime, I’m dreaming, and I’m trying to figure out how to manifest some of these dreams. (I’m also thinking about how “manifesting your dreams” usually comes down to some combination of hard work and privilege.) What do I want my life to look like? What do I want to give more time and space to? Where is my focus shifting away from things that have taken up a lot of time and space historically?

I’m trying to stay on top of assignments for my songwriting class (which I’m super grateful for at the moment, because if I didn’t have those deadlines, I probably wouldn’t be writing much at all right now). There are dreams tied to that, too – when will I hit the point where I can save a little money to record an EP? Since 2012 I’ve written almost 175 songs; more than half of those have happened in the past two years. I’m sitting on a lot of material, and it would be nice to be able to put some of it out into the world in a way that feels more permanent than the (very) occasional live show.

I really, really hope I have some more concrete news to blog about soon. In the meantime, I am trying to learn to breathe through the discomfort of waiting. I don’t know that I believe that everything happens for a reason, but I am trying to see what I can learn from this liminal space. Patience is not always my strongest virtue, but I’m working on it.


Hello, dear readers, and apologies for the tardiness of this post! I am in the midst of last-minute cleanup in our old apartment.

I’m currently waiting for a junk removal service to show up to take away the old furniture that didn’t move with us. I’ve been cleaning the stove, oven, fridge, various walls in and around the kitchen, and I’ve been sweeping some of the empty spaces. It’s 1:15pm and I’m already tired. I just sat down on the couch that’s going to disappear in the next hour or two, and I feel like this may have been a mistake – I know I need to move and get more done, but I would much rather nap.

We’re so close to being done. There are things to haul down to the trash, and a handful of things we need to bring back to our new place with us. There’s more sweeping and wall cleaning to do. The freezer is clean, but the fridge isn’t yet. The bathroom still needs to be cleaned. A few closets and cabinets need to be swept out. But we’re almost there.

We have to be out by noon on Saturday. That’s less than 48 hours from now. It’s weird to think this place that we called home for almost 7 years isn’t home anymore. It was our first apartment together, and it served us well, despite the maintenance issues we had over the years.

I’m looking forward to really settling into our new space in the next few weeks. I’m hoping that will get easier when we no longer need to worry about this old apartment.

I think it’s time for me to drink some water and dive back into cleaning. Onward!

Changes in Motion

We’re moving!

Last night, my partner and I signed the lease on a charming new apartment, and we are so excited. (Also anxious and overwhelmed, but excited!) This new place is a ten minute walk from the Old Town School of Folk Music and close to the transit we need to get to work. It’s got a sun room, a built-in hutch, and a substantially larger kitchen than what we have right now.

We’ve been in our current apartment since we moved to Chicago seven years ago. It was our first official place together. It’s served us pretty well over the years, but it’s in need of some maintenance love that it’s just not going to get while it’s occupied. (I hope it gets it when we move out, but it might not.)

I’m going to miss our neighborhood. I’ll miss the proximity to some friends (though we’ll be closer to others in the new place). I’m anxious about moving and change and logistics. But mostly I’m excited. It’s a super cute space. It’s going to be good to have a fresh space to work with. It’s an excuse to go through our stuff again and hopefully get rid of some things before we move. It’ll be good.

Change is Disorienting

Last weekend, for three days in a row, I drew The Tower for my morning tarot meditation. 

The Tower is a card of sudden change and destruction. Traditionally, it depicts lightning striking a tower that is on fire and crumbling, as two figures fall from it. It’s not often seen as a positive card, because while it can be the catalyst for positive change, in the moment, it tends to hurt. 

Each one of the three days that I pulled The Tower, I was wrestling with a lot of anxiety. Seeing that card first thing in the morning didn’t help.

One of the days that I pulled The Tower, my parents were coming to visit. We have a complicated and, in many places, painful history, and I was already nervous that the relative peace we’d been enjoying recently would fall apart when we were together in person rather than just over the phone. I spent a lot of the day feeling like I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop and one of us to blow up. 

It didn’t happen. We actually had quite a nice time, and the exhaustion I felt at the end of the day had more to do with my unnecessary worry than it did with anything else. 

That night, I pulled The Chariot before I went to bed. The Chariot is all about moving forward, about making the choice to keep moving, about not clinging to the parts of the past that will hinder your progress. In this instance, it was a reminder to let go of hurt and bitterness and let what positive change is happening happen. 

It wasn’t until the next night that I fully appreciated the lesson to be learned from those cards. Change is disorienting, and that’s true whether it’s a painful change or a positive one. It takes time to adjust perspective. That’s okay. Trouble arises when we resist the change. After all, change is life’s only constant. Accepting that is what allows us to grow. 
So, I’m making a conscious effort now to let go of the anxiety around change of all sorts, despite the fact that I am very much a creature of habit. I am going to work to embrace change in my life, even when, in the moment, it might hurt. 

Thinking of Spring

We have once again reached that delightful time of year when I am frequently overcome by the beauty of nature (read: watery-eyed, sniffly, exhausted, and allergic to every blessed thing outdoors). As obnoxious as spring allergies are, though, I am thoroughly enjoying the warmer (but not-too-warm) weather, the sunlight we’ve had so far, the longer daylight hours…perhaps it’s just a function of the enthusiastic reproductive efforts of the local flora (and fauna, I suppose), but there seems to be a renewed sense of vitality after the drabness of winter.

I am finally getting around to dealing with some personal things that I have been avoiding for several months. I haven’t had a huge increase in energy, but some things that seem impossible during the grey and dreary times of year become possible when the sun and the green start to come through again.

This weekend, we have a friend coming to visit us from Minnesota. They are one of those friends whose company we don’t get to enjoy often enough, one of those rare souls who leaves me feeling emptied, renewed, and refueled after contact. The weekend promises to be intense and exhausting in some of the best ways, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

I’ve been thinking about relationships lately, and the defining characteristics of the various relationships I’m in with people, from my partner to my friends to my family. This season of renewal and rebirth has me contemplating a sort of social spring cleaning – not necessarily cutting people out of my life completely, but working on strengthening healthy boundaries when dealing with dysfunction, and taking stock of where I am most supported and most relied-on for support, so that I can balance the two. I think I spend too much time wondering how in the world to make new friends, and not enough time cultivating the friendships I already have.

I guess changes in weather bring out my contemplative side. There’s a lot of planning going on, and some big things coming down the pike this summer. It seems it is time to come out of hibernation so that I can enjoy the relative calm before life picks up again. If only I could do it without sniffling…

A Week of New Beginnings

It’s been a week of beginnings, and of reflections on beginnings.

Last Tuesday, I did something scary. I went to an Aikido dojo, and watched a class, and wound up signing up for membership for June and buying a gi. Sunday, I went to my first practice. While the fact that I never quite managed to execute anything perfectly was frustrating, I surprised myself by sticking with it the whole practice and not taking breaks. Everyone was really friendly, and there was a minimum of awkwardness around pronouns, and no one questioned my presence in the men’s changing room, so that was great. I intended to go back yesterday morning (it’s another Jewish holiday, so I wound up with two free days this week), but I caved to the desire to get some extra sleep. I will be going back tomorrow after work, though. I’m going to try to make two practices a week for the month of June, and if I decide at that point to stick with it, I’ll probably try to work in a third in coming months. (For the record, as I am writing this three days after the fact, I am still sore in places I didn’t know I had. I still plan to go back. This is a big deal.)

This Tuesday was my birthday. I am now 26, which is not a particularly exciting age, but it’s a new year, and there’s always something to be said for the beginnings of things. I never would have imagined, looking ahead as I turned 25, that the year would hold so much change. I got a new job, which has been infinitely better than anything I had hoped to find, and which is teaching me new things and giving me opportunities for growth every day. I’m working in a field I’ve always been interested in but never thought I would pursue for a career. There are certainly things about my job that are frustrating, but hey, that’s just kind of part of life, right? I have a great manager, a great immediate supervisor, and a work environment where I can safely be out.

Which brings us to another big change that’s happened since my last birthday: I started on testosterone. When I hit 25, I was only just barely starting to consider testosterone as a possibility, and I assumed it was going to be something in the distant future. Prior to last spring, I had written it off as something I should never try, because I was terrified of the possibility of my fairly well-managed Bipolar brain being destabilized. By August, I had been destabilized by the dissonance between my mental image of myself and the reality I saw in the mirror. I had panic attacks whenever I thought about going out in public. It felt like a snap decision when I made the appointment to talk with my doctor about testosterone, but by the time I started, it was clear that it was a necessary choice for the sake of my well-being. And I can gladly say that I am so much happier and more comfortable in my body now than I was a year ago. I can stand the sound of my own voice (I even enjoy it sometimes). I have some scruffy facial hair, including sideburns that my partner predicts will rather resemble Hugh Jackman’s sideburns as Wolverine when they fill in more (I can dream, right?).

I also started songwriting classes in the last year. I wrote songs in high school (quite a few, actually), but they were all pretty horrible, and I’d only made a couple of attempts since then, none of which were particularly great. It’s been fascinating to watch my progress as I’ve gone through 20-some weeks of classes. I can honestly say I’m proud of a couple of the songs I’ve written, and I can see myself growing less and less afraid of experimenting as time goes on. Between the weekly songwriting assignments and the weekly commitment to keep up this blog have been great for my sanity. I need creative outlets in my life, and it’s been so, so good to have them consistently.

As I take my first tentative steps into this next year of life, I am particularly aware of the fact that I have no idea what the future holds. What I do know is that I am excited about the year ahead. I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago, and for that, I am grateful.