still grateful...after all these years

i started a gratitude journal about 7 years ago, while attending the murder trial for my little sister and brother-in-law. i was trapped in a hotel room in macon, georgia for over 3 weeks and somehow ~ miraculously ~ i was able to find 5 things to be thankful for.  on days i struggle to find even one...i force myself to continue this exercise. the entries are all captured in the same little notebook i started in 2005, each year seems to increase in number of entries. on a day that started out in the yucks, i'd like to share a few things i've shown gratitude for:

  • compassionate strangers
  • finishing a book
  • walking in the sand
  • laughter
  • creative outlets
  • my family
  • good hair days
  • the back porch
  • my legs {to run}
  • hummus
  • clean laundry
  • talking to mom
  • learning
  • falling in love
  • the opportunity to grow
  • mechanical pencils
  • fresh air
  • forehead kisses
  • a full belly
  • evening strolls
  • teamwork
  • meatloaf
  • hope


dreadlock update

i haven't written about my dreadlocks in a looooong time, so here's the latest. i just celebrated my one-year dreadversary and as a gift to myself i went to the loc doctor in austin, tx for some much-needed maintenance. the above photo was taken just after my appointment {see me smiling?}  if you'd like a full timeline over the course of the year, you can check out my post on Dreadlock Truth or all of my youtube videos here. believe me, it wasn't all gumdrops and cotton candy.

i have learned so much about myself, about commitment to a dream, perseverance, and the glory of a good scarf. i can hardly believe how many strangers have reached out to me as a result of my hair, and all of the new friends i've made in my various online communities. as silly as it may seem, this year of compassion toward myself and the courage to keep going, despite looking like a fraggle half the year, has been transformational. i have challenged traditional beauty norms and redefined my own definition as a result.


the trailer hood

it was too nice to stay inside tonight, so i took a little stroll around my neighborhood.
enjoy your tour of the sweetest little RV park in texas!



i think of ballet slippers, watermelon, my collection of pigs…all memories from my childhood. i associate pink with little girls, not grown-up independent women—and certainly not the one i've become. i never associated myself with pink dresses or tutus, these things reserved for my sister jamie or newborn babies brought home from the hospital. PINK IS FOR GIRLS.  and i am a proud tomboy. my color would more likely be green for the hills i'd roll down, into the dirt of the baseball diamond at hines school. or the brown of the tree trunks i'd shinny in 3rd grade.

sure, there were ballet slippers and tutus for a time—but these are not the antiques i pull from the old trunk of my memory. these are someone else's childhood. mine is blue, the aqua of the pool where i spent mornings perfecting my 25 yard butterfly, the sky which cradled my kite as i dodged to avoid the trees overhead. denim overalls and blueberry muffins taken on road trips to nearby towns for yet another swim meet.

i think now of babies—of the little girl we see in our dreams. i think of feminism and gender roles and tiny pink booties sure to arrive gift-wrapped with bows. will she be pink, like the aunt jamie she will know only from photographs? or will she be fire-engine red like her mother's wedding shoes, the flaming orange of her daddy's artwork adorning the walls? how will she find her own color—and avoid being bound by that which society assigns her?

i come back to the image of watermelon, huge slices hacked off and handed to small fingers. to be eaten barefoot in the grass, juice streaming down elbows, seeds spit into flower beds. these are the pinks of my memories, of childhoods spent outside where children are meant to play. all of these thoughts converge as we spend afternoons contemplating the future of this life not yet created. how my childhood will influence hers, how i want for her the safety and love and energy of my own. and i wonder...can this place exist in the world i now inhabit?