i turned 34 in june

I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks trying to figure out what I want my 35th year to look like. I’m like I DON’T EVEN KNOW OKAY I JUST DON’T KNOW. I’m kind of tired. Tired like “Life is hard no matter who you are and I have a mood disorder and I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for things and I don’t know how to just LIVE MY LIFE without being all up in some kind of project or whatever and why do I work as hard as I do but always feel like I’m spinning my wheels and what even is life and why why why why why is it so hard for people to act right.”

I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but at some point today I had to just stop whatever it was and think “I do not know how to exist without some kind of hobby/project/event/deadline to structure my life. I can’t just BE MEGAN and that be enough.” I’ve had the thought before that it’s tough for me to feel like I’m enough, like I do enough. And that’s hard for a lot of people. People who are not narcissists and the like.

I took a picture of myself the day before my birthday and I posted in on Instagram and Facebook, with a caption about how I had gotten a bee in my bonnet about picking a theme word for this year. I’ve got one for 2018 – it’s Wend, and I love it because it basically just means to do the next thing. The actual definition is something like “to make one’s way.” And that’s so beautiful to me in this season of life that I am not really sure how to talk about it. After my Big Think today, I have realized that maybe what Wend was getting me ready for is a real break.

Like.

Maybe instead of sheepishly, tiredly, restlessly, confusedly trying to figure out what I’m Supposed To Do Next… maybe I could just Not DO Anything except what’s in front of me to do. I’m wondering about taking time off from making plans and having hopes. I’ve got a handful of plans for the rest of the year, and some obligations to meet, and I’m wondering about just skipping adding anything else to what I’ve already thought of or established as routine/tradition.

I don’t know what I was doing, but I remember what else I was thinking when that struck. I was thinking about work, and about how my Real Jobs were as a sort of runner at the mortgage department of a bank, then as an administrative intern in the IT department at Berry, and all that time I did a lot of work with kids, and then I did sales support at JCP. I got stuck trying to figure out a time when I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing to get where I’m supposed to go. I don’t know what I’ve ever done, I can’t think of any significant block of time, when I’ve been able to say that I’m where I feel like I’m supposed to be AND I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing AND there’s not something looming on the horizon.

AND MAYBE THAT’S A REALLY SUPER GREAT WAY TO LIVE LIFE WHEN I’M ALSO TRYING TO SEEK GOD’S WILL AND DO WHAT THERE IS FOR ME TO DO.

I’m flexible.

We’ll just roll with what comes at us next.

But.

Like.

Y’all.

I’m tired.

And I want to know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and not already feel like I’m not hustling hard enough to get where I’m supposed to go.

SO.

I think my word for year 35 is gonna be NOPE.

I’ll keep you posted. Or I’ll forget. We’ll see together, apparently.

While I was still trying to work up the emotional energy to even pretend to try to write a blog post, I went through photos from March through June 21st. I picked 34 photos of me. Nah. I picked like 38 or 39 photos of me, and then decided I would post 34, which meant I needed to not delete any more of them.

Most of them are iPhone selfies. One is a Nikon selfie. Two are Nikon photos by children – maybe Annie and Quinn. There’s a slim chance they’re both Quinn. But also a chance he took zero and it was Annie both times or Annie and Brennan. It’s like trying to solve a logic matrix. Nobody knows. ONE BIG PHOTO IS OF MY LEGS IN THE SUNSHINE WHILE I WAS WEARING SOME SHORT SHORTS (I didn’t build this collage, WordPress did, and then WordPress would not let me rearrange anything.) AND I AM JUST GONNA TELL YOU THAT THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE I WAS ELEVEN (AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN YOUNGER THAN THAT) THAT I HAVE WORN WHATEVER LENGTH SHORTS I WANT TO WHATEVER PUBLIC PLACE I WANT AND NOT BEEN 1) EMBARRASSED BECAUSE LEGS, 2) CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK, AND 3) ACTIVELY UPSET ABOUT MY SPIDER VEINS AND CELLULITE AND UNEVEN TAN AND MOSQUITO WELTS. I did have about a year in college where I wore a couple of fairly short skirts, but I was always worried the whole time. Y’all. This year I’ve been wearing high-waisted short shorts. AND SOMETIMES I TUCK IN MY SHIRT.

But whatever, that’s another 1000 words to explain why THAT is a big deal.

I’ve got a photo of me with Aiden, one with both girls, one with Quinn, a few with J, some are from “field trips” and Jasper trips, a few are from moments when I was just so done with whatever was going on that I had to snap a photo to gain some THIS IS HOW YOUR FACE LOOKS RIGHT NOW perspective. It helps. It really does. I have chats with the kids about how usually I’m not actually even mad at THEM, I am just as completely over it as they are… whatever IT happens to be. BUT ANYWAY.

THAT LAST PHOTO is from sunset on the solstice. Because I am so totally pagan enough to want to set things on fire to thank God for the way the Earth moves around the Sun. Annie is eating a roasted marshmallow. It wasn’t actually roasted, she did not have time to roast it because I was shrieking at my four children to cooperate to get photos during the minute of sunset, as determined by my watch, because y’all we can’t even see the actual horizon for the last two hours of the day.

I got a new computer on Friday and I promise to blog more now that I can really type, so that I don’t do any more of these 1100+ word monsters. I even deleted 400 words before I started talking about legs and perspective and paganism.

Hm.

Here’s to the other 49.5 weeks of this year of life!

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[shot stories] hair

It’s probably sad that I want to start all of my blog posts with “We all know I’m crazy, right?” but I just want to be sure that we all know that *I* know that sometimes what I decide to talk about is… eccentric.

Okay then.

One of my criteria for A Good Hair Day is “Looks just right when it’s in my face.”

I don’t mean that it looks just right to anybody looking at me. I MEAN IT LOOKS JUST RIGHT WHEN I’M STRUGGLING TO PEER PAST IT TO SEE THE WORLD.

After some deliberate conversations with my kids, I have discovered that 3 of the 4 are fully on the same page.

I think there’s something comforting about it – a sort of border to what I’m experiencing, maybe? I’ve noticed that my hair goes back/up when I’m frustrated or annoyed with other boundaries in my life.

I’ve posted quite a few hair-in-the-wind shots lately (AND BOOMERANG FOR THE WIN AMIRIGHT?!?). I was watching the girls work last week, and the situation sort of coalesced and made sense. I wasn’t really thinking about it before then, except to enjoy the swoops and lines and whirls.

Now I am kinda smug about how neato it is.

clouds

I wanted the sun to shine more today. There were glimpses of blue sky and a few fleeting rays.

I tried to get some writing work done. Mostly I made cryptic notes until my attention wandered to the sky.

[shot stories] glass jars

For all of January I have felt several twinkles short of a glitter. When I saw this in a story I was reading, well, I had to laugh and laugh and laugh. Then I had to write it down. And that’s when I noticed how awesome my desk looked because the lamp light was shining through my glass of water.

[shot stories] a rock show

I met my husband when I came home from a rainy day of college classes to find him sitting on my couch.

He was in my apartment with some other friends of my roommate.

He was wearing a long-sleeved Nightwish t-shirt.

Nightwish was supposed to play in Atlanta in 2005 (2006?) but cancelled their tour when they lost (kicked out) their singer – J’s tickets to that show are in a box in our storage building. Eventually they found another singer, then another. We have albums and documentaries and live show recordings from those years. Y’all. We would watch the End of an Era live show recording and CRY together while I was pregnant with Quinn and J was recovering from cancer-related surgeries.

Nightwish is woven into the tapestry of our relationship.

I was up super insanely late one night and happened to ask The Google about Nightwish. Because The Google is a genius and insane, the first thing I saw was a tour schedule, with a stop in Birmingham. I decided I was hallucinating. I went to bed. The next day it was still true (and to this day I get the absolute creeps when I think about it).

We got tickets.

The day of the show, Jonathan decided maybe we should skip it. I told him he could stay home but I was going to see this dearly beloved band.

It has occurred to me (just now) that maybe the Nightwish shirt was a challenge – what was this Nightwish, and why was the artwork appealing but the band name totally unfamiliar?

The world may never know.

[shot stories] more sprinkles

Last week someone scienced too hard with our More Sprinkles cup. It’s currently sitting in the freezer, housing an ice-encased Lightning McQueen. The bottom is split away from the rest of the cup.

I haven’t worked up the mental energy to thaw it. But. I want to “kragle” the cup and use it at my desk for pens.

[shot stories] Labor Day

But all I can think about is

but then I feel like maybe I appear to be minimizing the importance of the day.

But.

Everybody wants a revolution, but nobody wants to do the dishes.

And I’m not sure where that originated, because I found conflicting information on The Google.

But.

Things change when people take time to attend to the supporting details.