We are inching ever closer to our move date, and the number of packed boxes in our apartment has increased since last week. We’ve been coordinating some maintenance needs with the new landlord so that we don’t need to have them come and fix things when we’re actually there.
We’re down to the wire for packing now, though.
My partner has been in Minnesota for the past few days, hanging out with his parents before borrowing his dad’s car to drive to Song School. He gets back into town this afternoon. We leave for Song School tomorrow.
I am so excited for Song School, for seeing dear friends and digging into the practice of songwriting. I am also worried that I’ll struggle to be present, knowing that we move two days after we get back. I’m hoping I’ll be able to set that aside and fully engage while we’re on this trip.
On that note: there will be no blog next week, as I will be in Colorado and off my phone as much as possible. The next time I write a blog will be from our new apartment!
Hello, friends! First things first: there will be no blog next week. That’s because I will be in Colorado, attending Song School, and will not have internet access (or time to blog).
The past week at work has been pretty ridiculous (read: extremely frustrating). It has frequently felt like every little thing that could go wrong has done so. I am beyond ready for vacation. I am trying really hard not to mentally check out before I actually leave. Today is my last day in the office for about a week and a half. I have one meeting to get through this afternoon, and I’m sure there will be a few last-minute things to sort out. I just have to hang on until 4:30.
I am so, SO excited to be heading back to Song School. My partner and I attended for the first time last year, and it was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with friends we made last year, and meeting new folks, and learning enough that I feel like my head will explode. It’s going to be great. This year has been extraordinarily productive for me from a songwriting perspective, so I’m excited to see how that impacts my experience of Song School.
I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about in two weeks, when I’m back to reality. For now, though, I’m on vacation. 🙂
It’s a musical time of year.
Monday night, I had my first gig in about four months. I was nervous, but I actually ended up having a lot of fun. There were some magical moments where the whole room went silent while I was playing, which was super gratifying.
The downside of Monday night gigs is that Tuesday is a work day. I didn’t get home until about midnight Monday night, and I struggled to wake up Tuesday morning. It was worth it, though.
Tuesday night I had songwriting class. Usually I end up writing my song for the week’s class on Sunday or Monday night, but I was weirdly on top of things last week (knowing I wanted time to practice for Monday), and had written my song on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to remember it. Thankfully, I had a quick voice memo recording on my phone to refresh my memory. I love my songwriting class – I love the community of songwriters that I am part of. They’re good people. Class is always a highlight of my week.
And somehow, we are now only a couple of weeks away from Song School! I am excited and nervous and am planning to sit down this evening to start making lists to help mitigate the nervousness. We met so many wonderful people and had such a fantastic time last year, and I can’t wait to be back in Colorado.
I’d love to hear what is bringing you joy this summer, friends! What fun are you having these days?
I am writing this post on the bus on my way to work. This is mostly because I had no idea what to write about yesterday. I still don’t, but it’s Thursday, and therefore I need to write something. So how about a quick list of things from the past week?
- I saw Wonder Woman. Again. This time, my partner joined me. It was just as great the second time around.
- I’m almost done reading a book I bought last week – The Library at Mount Char. To say that I like it would be…if not inaccurate, then an oversimplification. It’s a weird book, and I’m pretty sure it’s crossed my usual threshold for book violence several times. But it’s riveting. There have been a few times this past week that I completely lost track of my surroundings while I was reading, because I was so deeply engaged in the story. It’s definitely well-written. It’s weird. It’s pretty gruesome a large part of the time. I haven’t felt this unsure of my opinion of a book in a while. I guess we’ll see how I’m feeling in another 65 pages, when it’s over.
- I am extraordinarily grateful for our little window unit A/C. It’s been hot and humid in Chicago all week, and I am not enjoying it. If we didn’t have that window unit, I’d probably be a super cranky mess all the time.
The summer solstice was on Monday – the longest day of the year.
Summer is an interesting time of year for me. I love the longer days, I love the sunlight, I love the green and growing things. But the heat and humidity of midwestern summers can make me physically ill.
The long days of summer make me think about where I’m putting my energy (and where I want to be putting it), because it feels like there’s so much more of it to go around than there is in the darker times of the year.
I’m thinking a lot about the fact that top surgery is happening in under four months, and one of the places I want to be expending more energy than I have been lately is to get myself feeling healthier before that happens. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that means, what that looks like.
I’m thinking about where I’m wasting energy, about things I’m putting off because as much as I want them done I don’t want to actually go through the process of doing them, which creates anxiety, which is an enormous energy dump.
Summer feels like it’s full of potential. In some ways I’ve been feeling very stuck lately, but there are reminders out there that progress is possible and in some cases is actually happening. I just need to pay attention.
My brain is feeling pretty fried this week (not helped by the sudden spike in temperatures and humidity outdoors), but as we flew through spring and seem to be arriving rather abruptly at summer, I’ve been thinking about things I want to accomplish over the next few months. Here’s a sampling:
- Read more. I’m about halfway to my Goodreads goal for the year of 17 books, but I’m hoping I can surpass the goal this year (unlike last year, when I finished reading the last book for making my goal late on December 31). I’m currently on the third book of Maggie Stiefvater‘s Raven Cycle (which I’m thoroughly enjoying, but trying to savor, as I’m still 28th in the queue to get the final book from the library). I also need to pick Janet Mock‘s Redefining Realness back up, and work through some of the other queer books on the shelf that I haven’t gotten around to yet.
- Spend time outside. Over the weekend, I discovered that I am more allergic to sunscreen than I used to be, which is depressing, and I’ll need to find an alternative at some point. I’m also allergic to basically everything outdoors, so spring was a little rough. But the longer, sunnier days and the greening and blooming of everything outside has me feeling a lot happier than I have in a while, and I feel a lot more centered when I have the chance to spend time getting a little fresh air. So bring on the antihistamines and natural sun block!
- Knit all the baby things. And some socks. We have two knitter friends expecting babies this fall, and I’ve finally decided what I’m making for them. I’m bad at deadline knitting/knitting for people other than myself, so the sooner I get started, the more likely these projects are to be done by the time the babies arrive! I’m also busting through all the toes of my socks (I’ve gained at least a full shoe size since starting on testosterone, and now all of the socks I bought in the women’s department are too small, but men’s department socks are still too long), so I need to work on remedying that, as well.
- Write more songs. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be taking a songwriting class over the summer (though I need to figure that out ASAP), but regardless, I have a long-term project I’m experimenting with (the first installment of which is up on SoundCloud), and I want to keep working on churning out new music.
- Write more, period. I want to do a better job of keeping up with the one pen pal I still keep in touch with, as well as writing to some other friends, because there’s nothing quite like finding a friendly note in one’s post box. I want to get back into playing around with storytelling (fiction and non). I want to try writing poetry that doesn’t need to be accompanied by music, which I haven’t really done in years. words make me happy, and I want to get back in practice using them for more than electronic correspondence and the occasional creative project.