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april, 2021

1. spring has sprung sprang sproink spank sprank

Oops, I did it again. Nothing fun and sexy like the song, no – I overbooked myself and felt exhausted for a week, as I am apparently wont to do at the beginning of the quarter. What is it about ease that is so difficult for me? Is it that I think of myself as being either good or bad at everything, including finding ease and contentment and peace? Why do I say yes to so many things? Am I ambitious, or do I just think I need to do Useful Things for Other People to achieve some sense of worth? Would I be less neurotic if I weren’t so self-aware of my neuroses? (I think, in another life, I could have been a tortured and vaguely wealthy white man, and that positioning enables me to fill absolute gallons of novels with endless questions like this.) So, yeah, April started off like that, and I want to say it ended a little better. I got better throughout the month at saying no to things to take care of myself, and I’m trying to keep that up.

Also, I think I have allergies now. It’s horrid.

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march, 2021

1. aging is a gift, woman pleads with self in mirror

March is my birthday month, and as someone who cares a lot about beginnings/endings/arbitrary markers of time that humans make up, I’m always in my feelings this month. This year, I don’t think I can say I’m in my early 20’s anymore. That’s a bit of a jarring and uncomfortable thought to have – the early 20’s are the most romanticized, hopeful, lively time period, at least in most media I’ve consumed up to this point, and I feel as though I spent my younger years thinking that these years would be some magical halcyon days. There’s some stuff to unpack here about me living in my head and daydreams instead of in the moment, as well as some stuff about having a shitload of unprocessed trauma and baggage that I thought would perhaps go poof once I hit my hot as hell 20’s. (Still waiting on the hot as hell glow up.) But I think I’m starting to genuinely believe that aging is a good damn thing that I’m lucky to experience. So many people pass before their time, and hasn’t this year made that even more apparent? I don’t want to sit around being ungrateful for the days I have, scared about the years others lose. I heard this quote from David Bowie recently that goes like, “Aging is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been.” It’s been percolating in my head for a few weeks now, and I really like that thought. With each year, we grow more into ourselves, more comfortable with who we are, and we were always meant to feel this way. And looking back at where I was, who I was, a year ago, I can definitely say I’m glad I’m me-today and not me-a-year-ago, or two-years-ago, or three. I’m fairly certain I’ll feel the same way a year from now, so why not just trust that process and enjoy the ride? I’m trying to seek out ease a little more, and not make things harder for myself than they have to be – so this is my birthday month and I’m older and that’s where I’m starting.

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february, 2021

1. here for a bad time, not a long time

February, my lord. The shortest month got me. What do I even have to say? It’s already the second week of March, and February was a blur. I think I felt extra scattered during this month, but I also think that’s maybe just ‘normal’ right now. My daily life is fairly routine at this point in the global pandemic – I work and go to school from home, I take a walk outside, I go to get groceries, I hang out at home with the same couple people I’ve had for company for a year now – so I think I feel as if I should be optimizing for productivity, given that I have a regular routine and am lucky to have that? And that’s why I think I feel more scattered, when maybe it’s just normal to feel scattered. My therapist and I talked about this recently, when I told her I was surprised I was so irritated at something that wasn’t a big deal. She said that right now we’re all operating at a higher constant level of stress and anxiety – if the baseline is 8, it’s easier for smaller things to bump us up to a 10. I think that’s a good way of thinking about it. I’ve been at an 8 for so long, and it’s exhausting. I’m trying to be gentle with myself when I have a weekend where I’m not productive at all, and not immediately equate “not getting things done” to “worthless lump of coal”.

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december | 2020

1. good riddance

It’s the last month of the year, thank god. 2020 has felt very slow and very fast all at once, but as the saying goes – the only way out is through. So I’m glad we’re at least through. In December I zoomed through the last bit of fall quarter (ha ha ha pun unintended but much appreciated) and stumbled into winter break. This month has felt like this year in a microcosm for me. A lot of work to try and distract from absolute tragedy and chaos, a lot of breakdowns, a lot of being grateful that I’m somehow still kicking, a lot of mess and trying to find pockets of OK-ness and laughter within. I had some wins this month – I did yoga for 17 out of 31 days this month, which is the most regular I’ve been in a bit. I started reading a book for fun over winter break, and that’s a nice thing to do. I decided I want to move out on my own sooner rather than later, and it feels good seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t an incoming train.

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the last few months (september, october, november) | 2020

1 – still doing the best i can with the shit i have

My god, is December here already? The past few months have truly run away with me. September was my last month being out of school, so my last ‘summer’. If I somehow manage to get a job after graduation, this is my last summer ever (probably, maybe). It felt odd to not be doing the regular ‘summer’ things and all the stuff I had planned for this specific summer – traveling, mainly, but also, you know, going outside in cute summer dresses and not being afraid about pandemic. Since the academic year started for me the first week of October, I think all that summer baggage just felt a little extra funky because there was definitely zero chance Summer 2020 would be alive and fun again. In November we had an election in the US and are still in the midst of post-election everything. It’s been a bonkers year.

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august | 2020

1 – time isn’t real

I don’t even know what to say in these anymore; time is really difficult when working from home and isolating. I think I’m in a shrinking group of people still doing the stay-at-home, shelter-in-place thing, so I feel a bit like a wet blanket but also liiiike yeah no do I really value in-person restaurant hang outs more than people’s lives and health? I dunno. I don’t think so. Some things which happened this month to mark the passage of time did happen though! I gave myself bangs at 1AM, and, you know, they’re alright. It was a Difficult Adjustment and I thought of many different drastic hair decisions to make (bleaching, dying, undercut, side shave, buzzed completely) and in the end went with the smallest impulse decision lol. It’s fine! I think I look cute! I also moved out of my LA apartment permanently, which is a Thing I feel oddly about. The end of ~a chapter of my life~, I guess, and now I definitely live with my parents again. Which is fine! I insist! I may cry more but this is a difficult season arc that I’ll survive! Otherwise, you know, summer classes are chugging along, California had (is still having) the shittiest heatwave and wildfire time, and I’m doing the best I can with the shit I have.

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july | 2020

1. what a month

July brought me out of LA and back to northern California, so here I am again and it’s looking like I’ll be here for a while. The days are still blurring together. I’ve been trying to take things day by day in terms of taking care of myself and taking care of the things I want to do, and it’s going – OK? I think? The bad things are still there but there’s also lots of good things, so I think it averages out to OK. The summer classes I’m taking have just started, and I hope to god those provide some positive structure to my days and cool things to think about instead of sending me to an early grave because of this terrifyingly fast 6-week schedule.

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