Last night’s class confirmed my revelations from last week about needing to slow down. It was the first time I felt like the conduit my characters were speaking through that my teacher always refers to.
This week taught me to trust what I am learning even when I doubt my ability to do it. I decided to submit the short story I wrote for class. Not only because it was well-received but because I was proud of the work. Proud of the work I put in and proud I finally listened to characters that were asking for a voice.
I submitted a piece this afternoon about seeing buffalo in Colorado. I knew I would write about it when I saw a field of helicopters right before we touched down in Richmond on our return flight from Denver. It seemed incongruent. The beauty of nature I never have the opportunity to see here in Virginia and machine constructed by man to do something we cannot do naturally. If only we could will our bodies to take flight. But that’s not how we are built.
There are so many things we are built for: walking, dancing, inventing, running, praying, solving equations, sex, connection, writing, healing, love…etc.
And I have to wonder, especially after this trip…what else am I built for? I know I am trying to bust out of the box I created by writing, publishing and moving myself more often but what else? Many of our mothers and fathers told us we could be anything we wanted as long as we what? Put our minds to it!
But how do we even know what we want unless we are in a near constant state of curiosity and active exploration? I know who I am now but I can confidently say I don’t want to know exactly who I will be next year.
I want to fundamentally shake this whole notion of Kristina.
Last year, she wasn’t the woman who would take an impromptu trip to Colorado and run a blog. I am glad I didn’t know that in 2016. Neither of those things may mean much to others but it’s more than enough for me. I didn’t have to abandon my community, my faith or fall out of love with my husband to become those things. I just had to be willing to see more of what I was built for.
Over the next couple of months, I will work harder on the health front. I have always dreamed of seeing the Pacific Ocean and running along a beach in California. I will be there mid-January. I may not be able to do it for long right now but that has the possibility to change. I know I am built for the experience.
I am curious: What do you believe you are built for and what steps are you taking to make it become a reality?
I still feel like I am coming down from an amazing and busy weekend. I had the pleasure of watching my sister and her pole sisters perform in their student showcase. Those women put on a spectacular show and I shed more than a couple of tears watching my sister confidently execute the routine she choreographed along with two other group performances. I had many videos of my sister in varying stages of preparation for her solo over the months so seeing it come together before my eyes was a thing of beauty. As we watched playback of the video I shot, both of us laughed because we could hear my running verbal reaction with every move she made. It was pride spilling from my lips.
The next day while she was with her personal trainer, I made good use of her visitor’s pass at her gym. It had been a couple of months since I had been on a machine so my body and my mind had to warm up to the idea of doing the repetitive motions again but I found I loved the groove that settled in after a few minutes of pushing the incline up on the treadmill. I am not sure why there is such discomfort for me around going back to the gym regularly but I do know I have to get over it. These goals can be met without it but that’s not what I want. I want to make use of all of the tools I have available to me whether I have deemed them as one of my “favorites” or not.
The next day, my mother, sister, adorable niece and I went on a little shopping trip to add a couple of pieces to my wardrobe. I had been meaning to update this site with new pictures so I thought it would be a good time to take them. Here are a couple and my About, Work with Me and Home pages have been updated with all new pictures:
After these were done, hubby and I were off back to Richmond when we had a small accident trying to avoid a much bigger one. It meant one more night at my sister’s until we could go to the garage the next morning but I was so happy to be able to spend more time with my family. While I was there, I managed to finish the essay I was working on last week and selected a couple of sites to submit new work to by Thursday.
When I got to work today, I got the sweetest note (with a green pen!)from a co-worker:
It was in my mailbox and I pulled it out at the exact moment when I needed it. I was all smiles when I opened this blessing and I am not ashamed to admit I teared up driving home from work this afternoon thinking about my new treasure.
As we all know, the last few weeks in this country and all over the Caribbean have been harrowing to say the least.
It is the kindness that will remain. It is the kindness that will restore.
Have you been inspired lately? I would love to read your thoughts!
Tonight, during my writing group, my friend and talented poet Hope, brought a green pen. She explained that the legendary poet Pablo Neruda only wrote with green pens because green is the universal color for hope. She went on to talk about how he was deemed the people’s poet and how he wept when his fans recited his poetry back to him.
It could have been a combination of her delivery of the story and my excitement of being with my writing tribe, but my synapses were firing. What must that be like? To write so passionately that you inspire nations, millions? To value hope so much that you cling to its symbolic color?
I may never have the impact of a Neruda but I can have the passion and the love of the written word of a Kristina. I cannot control impact. I cannot control who chooses to support or love me in my quest to fully devote myself to a life as a writer.
But I can control what I choose to acknowledge. I acknowledge the moments I had tonight with a group of women listening intently, brewing up ideas of collaboration with one another, expressing support and validation of our ideas.
This is what I have to offer this evening. All of my other goals talk can wait for next Tuesday. I know I have workouts to do, water to drink, essays to write and a submission to send off.
That might as well be the end of this post but I have a bit more to share. Gloomy skies kept me glued to the bed until I had to move this morning. My cough seemed to have gotten worse and my voice kept going in and out. But I took a Claritin and kept it pushing. Since I took it easy on Wednesday, there was no way I was staying home. After work, I immediately did 3 walking videos to make sure I got at least 6,000 steps. While I was walking, it occurred to me that the only thing I had in me was the smoothie my husband made me and water. Now I am thinking I need to be more intentional about eating during the day. This was far from the first time that I have forgotten to eat. I know it’s a combination of the filling green smoothie I drink and my tendency to get caught up at work. I let the hours fly by and before I know it, it’s 6:00 and I need to cook (and let’s be real, order something sometimes). I wrote yesterday that I am looking for the next challenge and being mindful about eating regularly could just be it or at least a part of it.
I have also started to consider that I should be submitting my work several times a week to several publications. That is one thing I can freely admit has suffered because of my laziness. I am not scared to work hard at my day job, making time to keep up with my friends and my family and support my husband. But why this? I know I have been disappointed by rejection from an agent, a fellowship, and unanswered submissions in the past but that was then and this is now. I have stopped and started a couple of articles that I just need to edit and submit. As I am writing this, I am making the decision to do it by the end of this weekend. As we all know, if you never ask, the answer will always be No.