At the end of every year I pick out a journal to go into the New Year with.
It doesn’t matter if there are still pages left to use from the one I am currently writing in (although I used to hold myself accountable to filling in every single page before the year was over – I no longer hold myself to that stressful standard. Growth.) This has been a ritual of mine for several years now. I wait until I see a journal that calls to me too, not just any old plain journal – unless I am feeling simplistic for the year.
As this year is coming to a close, I have been on the look out for the journal that gives me that *spark* when I see it.
I wasn’t having much luck, until last night when I laid my eyes on what seemed to be the perfect journal for me to begin 2022 with. A pink journal with the words “Beach, please!” on them.
Why would a journal that seems the very opposite of myself be the *perfect* journal?
Well, I’ve told this story a lot….but it’s one I love to tell. Every time I would talk to my Mom-mom and she was having a bad day or week she would always say the same saying to me —
“Do ya know those bumper stickers that say life’s a beach? Well it’s a lie! Life’s not a beach, it’s a b*tch!”
-Alice aka my Mom-mom
And she would crack herself up at her own joke and I would laugh along knowing there was wisdom in what she was sharing…but also somewhere inside I knew those moments she cracked that joke would be moments I stored in my memory bank that I could look back on and hold dear to my heart.
So, as I gazed my eyes on the journal I chuckled to myself. This is the third year (or second-ish?) going into a pandemic, I’m going to be turning 32, and I still find myself chasing the dreams I had set for myself at a very young age …and haven’t given up on those yet. I could hear her voice saying, “Beach, please?…more like B*tch, please!”
As this second (-ish) year of pandemic living comes tortoise-ly crossing the finish line I find myself reflecting back and more so than ever reminding myself to remain in the present.
Songs you should listen to that I can’t stop listening to lately:
MUNA – I know a place (acoustic version)
Wilco – Hate it Here
Cannonball Adderley – Autumn Leaves
Show you have to watch because I haven’t stopped thinking about it:
With Love (on Amazon Prime) – this show has an ALL STAR cast and the characters they play are impossible not to love. The premises of this series is told throughout 5 different holiday themed episodes and even if you think *meh holidays sounds cheesy…* I promise it isn’t and this will be the show to change your mind. The ALL STAR cast if you’re wondering is… Constance Marie (swoon), Mark Indelicato, Isis King, Rome Flynn, Emeraude Toubia, Benito Martinez, Vincent Rodriguez III, Todd Grinnell, Andre Royo, Gloria Calderón Kellett, Desmond Chiam, Pepe Serna, Renee Victor, Kalen Allen, E.J. Johnson ….OKAY I nearly named almost everyone that appears in the show, but they were all fabulous so it felt necessary
Books you’ve gotta check out at your local library (or buy from your local bookstore):
Here For It by R. Eric Thomas – I am late to the game on this book, but it’s been on my to-read list since it first came out back in early 2020. Truthfully R. Eric Thomas left me wishing we were best friends after I finished reading, but throughout it was hard to put down because his storytelling abilities are just THAT fantastic. As a librarian, I also fully appreciated his appreciation for libraries.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – I absolutely adored this Queer gem of a book. It felt like a warm hug to all of my Queer feelings and the unexpected twists within the story line that made this book one of my undeniably new favorites.
The Rise and The Fall of the Dinosaurs by Stephen Brusatte – Does this seem absolutely ridiculously random to be on my list? Maybe. Can I tell you though if you are even the slightest bit interested in dinosaurs or the history of dinosaurs, I highly suggest giving this book a read. It was a joy to read, absolutely fascinating, and extremely informative about a period in time that was really only a couple of hundred million years ago. Also, if that doesn’t pull you in – this book taught me T. Rex’s actually had feathers..yep…FEATHERS…see, you’re interested now aren’t you?
Be well, be kind, and remember to do something nice for yourself.