The Beach, the Chickens, and Falsettos

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This week was filled with good things, and I’m sitting here, trying to remind myself of that, because I feel that the last few days have been wander-y for my mind. Everything is so up and down for me these days. It’s funny, because people ask how I’m doing, and I’m like… you mean exactly right now or five minutes ago? Those are vastly different answers.

I feel like anxiety manifests itself in my life in two ways – either through obsessive action or bland inaction. Active anxiety can actually be a bit more helpful for me – I’m nervous because I don’t have a job, but I can tidy my entire room and scrub the kitchen and sweep the floors and take out the trash and deep clean my cat’s litter box, and so while I might not have a job, at least I have a clean and tidy house.

That’s only half of the time though. The inverse end of anxiety in my life is stillness, feeling like my mind is whirring but my feet are glued to the ground, and I can’t do anything but glaze over and feel it all. There’s so much to do, so much I need to figure out, and so I do absolutely none of it, and contemplate for hours what it is I should do.

Right now, I’m in the latter anxiety, feeling directionless – maybe it’s the clouds that have been hanging over LA for the past few days. Everything feels a little gray and foggy and I’m feeling like I can’t focus on anything. Hence – me writing this on Thursday when Monday is my normal deadline.

Nevertheless – I’m here. And I’m going to try to churn this out now, even if I’m feeling weird. Remember the good stuff. Focus, desperately, on the good stuff.

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This week Stephen and I went to the Ahmanson to see Falsettos, a musical about love and loss and life and death and family and complicated relationships. A year or two ago, we saw a recorded version in a movie theatre and have been obsessed ever since. I’m glad we got to see it live (not just recorded live) and we actually got some pretty good seats for only $30!

A few days later, I went to one of my favorite solitary spots – Bogart’s coffee shop in Seal Beach. It looks out right over the water, but doesn’t feel bougie or hip or aesthetic. It’s cozy and local – every weekend there’s life music from a few local musicians (mostly middle-aged men). I like to time it so that I get there and have an hour or so to read/write/journal, and then walk out on the pier to watch the sunset.

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This time, I was working on a fun lil story outline, loosely inspired by a trip I took to Ireland a few years ago to visit Liz. I’m slowly trying to pull myself away from feeling this constant need to make all of my writing ~literary~ and ~deeply significant~. So many of the stories that matter the most to me are those that lift me up – that are fun and romantic and pull me out of the dreariness of everyday existence. You’ve Got Mail. While You Were Sleeping. The Bookshop on the Corner. They might not be perfect, but they make me smile, and honestly, a lot of the time that’s just as important as the deeply moving, capital “L” Literary stuff out there.

I can get wrapped up in feeling like what I’m writing isn’t the The Most Monumental Story Ever Written, which is silly because like… it’s obviously not. And that’s okay! So – I’m leaning into the fun, and working on writing more of what I like to consume – things that are fun and make me daydream excitedly.

In a similar vein, I’ve been painting chickens! God , I don’t know why I love painting them but I do. Right now I’m working on a Rooster and there are so many different colors – it’s like a rainbow bird, with all these blues and greens and reds and oranges. It’s not museum worthy but it’s bringing me joy, and calming down my busy mind, and that’s enough.

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That’s about all for this week. I think I might try something new at the end of these posts, where I just list a few of the things that made me smile this week. Good Things. There are so many not good things in the world and it’s easy to forget happy things when there’s so many loud, scary things drowning them out. SO! Here’s to acknowledging the good!

Good Things This Week:

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This has been a post!

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