back to the barre, Honest

I’m quitting.

It’s true.

I’m quitting in 2021.

And it’s a funny thought because I worked so hard this last year to not quit. I worked so hard to show up and to be present and to work through the tears and the panic and the exhaustion.

I worked so hard not to quit my life.

I worked hard not to quit my relationships.

Basically I worked really hard not to give up this year.

And I didn’t.

I’m going to be completely honest though: I’m kind of done with working so hard not to give up.

It’s exhausting, it’s taxing and honestly it’s just not worth it.

Why would I want to fight so hard to hold something together that might not even be worth it?

Here’s the thing: I’m not sure if I know how to quit. I’m not sure I know what I need or where I’m going, but I do know that I have picked up parts of myself in the last year that I really love and there isn’t space for those things to be in the same space as all the things I need to quit.

It’s a little terrifying. Making some distinctions and drawing lines and figuring out what I want to lend my time to even more than I ever have.

It seems vague but I think that we don’t always know the path we are walking on- we just must keep walking on it.

When I was in Ukraine so many years ago spending time around a group of Nigerian med students, one of them said something that has stuck with me all these years. He was talking about how he and his peers were discussing what it would be when they left the Ukraine. He made the point to say that he wouldn’t be going BACK to Nigeria. He wasn’t the same, the place he was going wasn’t the same. He couldn’t go back to it. He could only go forward home.

That’s sort of how I feel about 2021.

I have so many things that I picked up in 2020. Some I loved, some I didn’t. I have things I lost, things I cherish.

But I’m not going back into myself.

I’m moving forward into 2021 in so many ways. The year has already started a little topsy turvy but we’re going to roll with and keep moving down the path that I’m going.

I’m quitting the things that don’t give me life. That cause me to run away from myself. That cause me to lack hope.

I’m quitting the things that aren’t me.

I’m quitting in 2021.

So…watch this space.

Uncategorized

You did it.

I had an entire collection of words about why I am currently crying. There are a lot of reasons; heartache, missed moments, missed hugs, missed curtain calls, missed Junapera.

But, I realized something: right now, the overwhelming emotions and feels I have are not actually sadness.

They might be a little bit of grief, a little heartache.

You know, 2020 norm.

The words though that are filling my brain and growing larger and larger so to be seen and heard are as follows:

Hope and strength.

Woof.

My bestie Tori said something back in the 5th or 6th month of March that comes back into my brain frequently. She said that hope feels dangerous.

And as we start to step into the next calendar year with the knowledge that nothing will really change when the clock strikes midnight I need to choose more than I believe I have the ability to do so: to hope anyway.

I need to choose hope and be active in believing that good things will happen.

That good is still true.

I have the knowledge that wishing for good doesn’t mean that not good won’t happen: but choosing to believe that good is still true is choosing to believe that it can happen in the same span of time. That things that don’t feel good aren’t forever and that things that are good can still come.

And the second I feel is this: strong.

If you know me, you know that I detest the world resilient.  Mostly in regards to children and to how much they are capable of withstanding. But, that’s some other words for another day.

I’ve realized that I am strong and resilient, and I can handle disappointment and sadness and do hard things in spite of how my insides feel.

I can function with high amounts of anxiety and I can keep fucking going even when all I want to do is stop.

I garnered strength for myself, for my people, for my tiny humans this year. I also borrowed strength from all of them as well.   

But I cannot walk out of 2020 without admitting to the fact that I am stronger.

And I think that’s what I want to leave you with: you are stronger. You might not feel it. You might not be able to pinpoint the moments, but damn it, you are.

You might feel as if this year chewed you up and spit you out. You might have lost a lot. You might have quit here or there.

You might have drank too much, or ate too much, or binged watched.

You might feel like you failed (trust me, I know the feeling), but I want to remind you that you are stronger.

At the beginning of this year I referenced “The Labyrinth” (yes with David Bowie) and this is what I said:

“The road to worthy is like the movie The Labyrinth. It’s speckled with twists and turns and things and people and creatures trying to move you off course. There’s the little wormy things trying to invite in you in for tea so you forget that you are trying to save your baby brother and in all reality save yourself.

This season terrifies me a little. Just like David Bowie terrified in the Labyrinth.
I was freaked out and given the heebies jeebies by the weird 80s vibes of the Labyrinth- but I had to keep watching.
I’m a little weirded out by the creatures I might find along the way. The words, thoughts, and emotions that have and will distracted me and led me off my path because they did and still do feel right.
This next year freaks me out because, in all reality, this momentary lapse of crazy in referencing the Labyrinth has just cemented the fact that this year is about movement.
You can’t get through a maze if you don’t keep fucking going.”

I want you to remember that you can’t get through a maze unless you keep going.

And guess what? No matter how you feel you did, or what you did or didn’t accomplish, you got through this Labyrinth that is 2020.

You are stronger. And you know you can do it.

Because you did.

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

It FEELS like a lot.

I’ve realized lately it feels as if my anxiety is winning.

I know it’s not, but it FEELS like it is.

And I’ve been trying to figure out why that is. Why does it feel for every five steps I move forward the sucker punch takes me back ten?

Why does it feel as if I can do 9 things right but the 10th time puts me underwater?

And I’m wonder do you feel the same?

Do you feel as if you are unable to get ahead or celebrate the small victories?

Do your joys that you experience feel like things you can’t share because everyone around you feels like they are losing battles?

Are you the friend that’s losing a battle?

I’ve had a few friends have some really exciting things happen over the last week and it makes me PUMPED when they share it.

Because we can’t find celebration for ourselves these days unless we see celebration.

We can’t figure out how to find joy and hope unless we see it.

There is a shouting match happening in the world right now. 

And it’s exhausting.

It’s like with my tiny humans. If I have a staff who tries to just get louder to shout over the kids who are being loud I let them know it doesn’t work.

And it’s gonna drive you absolutely insane.

I had something happening the other day where there was loud chaos, no one could pick a place to play, I was just trying to clean up and I realized me cleaning up the mess wasn’t helping.

So, I used my loud teacher voice and stated “I AM GOING TO READ THIS SPOOOOOOKY BOOK” (my tiny humans are all about spooky books right now).

I sat on the floor of my library and at first just started leafing through the book.

Then one tiny human came over and I started reading it.

By the end of the story I had 7 of my ten kids in the library. 

Then we finished the book and I re-asked them where they wanted to play and they chose an area, I pulled out some new toys and we went back about our day.

There are a lot of things that need to be said right now (#govote). There is a lot of energy in the air that isn’t helpful.

There is a lot of the inability to feel as if we aren’t allowed to be joyful.

But damn, do we need it.

And joy isn’t easy.

And it sometimes feels like succumbing to anxiety is easier.

But sometimes we have to stop yelling at the chaos and we have to sit down and read a spooky book and let the chaos settle.

And yes, sometimes we have to fight.

I think right now we are more prone to fight.

I know I am.

If I don’t fight I feel like my body might just give up on me.

But I also know the more that I hear others celebration and joy I get more ability to fight.

I think we’ve stopped sharing joy because it feels wrong.

I think I’ve started feeling like anxiety is winning because it feels like celebration is losing.

It feels like we are shouting at the chaos when instead we just need to tell a story. It can be someone else’s story or even a spooooooky story. 

Stories don’t have to be celebratory but the more we speak out our own darkness the more it isn’t able to stay because we keep shining light on it. 

So, what I want you to do is (if you’ve gotten to the bottom of these words) to share a joy, a celebration, something exciting that has happened this week no matter how small it seems to you.

And lastly: if it feels like anxiety is winning, if depression and darkness is winning- I get you and also,

No, it’s not.

I can promise you that right now.

You are more than it.

It’s still valid, it’s there- but it’s not winning.

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But, I am a teacher.

Almost two years ago now I wrote a piece called “Don’t call it daycare”. It outlined my day, everything I do and how I am in fact a teacher.

This year, over the course of this pandemic, I’ve been told by all the world outside of my little classroom bubble a lot of mixed messages.

My center has been open the entirety of 2020. Our class sizes have ebbed and flowed, our bleach usage has gone up and we had a glorious season of time where we had turkey burgers and chicken nuggets at lunch.

We’ve been told we’re essential, we’ve been told we’re needed, we’ve been told they couldn’t do it without us.

We’ve been told to try to social distance three-year olds and to not hug them when they fall. We’ve been wearing cloth masks (that I now own about 12-15 of) and doing circle time, singing songs and telling stories.

We’ve watched parents cry before they pick up their kids, we’ve seen kids have tantrums they haven’t ever had, and we’ve missed out on the lives of those who haven’t come back.

But then we were told we were germ factories, we were told we weren’t teachers, we shouldn’t have opinions, we were called daycare over and over.

And then teachers didn’t want to come back to school without all the proper PPE (which rightly so), but then I saw post after post about “daycares” being open so why couldn’t schools.

And more than I ever have in my life, I’ve been told that I am not a teacher.

We’ve been doing a really damn hard thing since March.

And I’m not at all disregarding the hard things K-12 teachers have been doing. I’ve sent venmo’s to friends who are teachers and donated from their amazon lists and sent them coffee cards.

What I am saying is that I applied for a new job in July and was so excited to no longer in be in a profession where I felt so underappreciated by the outside world.

And when they came back after a preliminary phone interview and said thanks but no thanks, I was crushed.

I was crushed for a lot of reasons: it was a writing job that used my child development knowledge, it was remote, and, in all honesty, it would have been a needed change.

But apparently it wasn’t where my 2020 story was supposed to go.

I am so grateful that in the story of 2020 in the lives of so many of my families I will have a bookmarked spot. As hard as it has been, mostly mental health wise, I know that I am a human that can do hard things like I did and am doing and that I am a constant stability in the lives of my tiny humans. I am grateful for our families and for my boss and that we’ve done this together to the best of our abilities as we too have been building the plane as we flew it.

But the inability to feel as if I am a teacher is really damn hard. To feel that I don’t have a voice regarding being a teacher and in feeling like what I do isn’t enough.

I’m not writing all of this to get accolades or to blame.

I’m writing it because it makes me sad, angry and everything emotion in between.

I’m writing it because I’m not the only one who feels this way.

And I’m writing it because early learning teachers deserve better.

That’s all.

Honest

Rain don’t change the sun.

I don’t want to write about fall.

I don’t want to write about things dying to make room for new life.

I don’t want to write about the darkness that comes and seemingly hides the light.

I don’t want to write about that in 2020 I feel like fall is going to break me into smithereens.

I don’t want to write about fall.

Fall seems like the time the standard basic white girl thrives.

I am not that basic apparently (though I am by trade, a basic white girl).

Fall feels like a season I can never get ahead of quick enough before it’s time to put up a Christmas tree.

Fall is when I crashed and burned about 10 years ago. To which you probably say, “Meg, it was ten years ago, why does it matter”.

Because when you hit rock bottom it seemingly leaves a mark and I’m feeling that mark these days (thanks 2020). When you hit rock bottom, and sometimes dabble in the depths every now and then and also when it’s 2020, you can easily get a little scared that with every turn and every new thing that pops up on the radar that you might get shoved down again.

Jesus, that sounds depressing I know.

But I think I want to write this because I really want to articulate how hard it is sometimes to find the thing that brightens up the darkness in words I write.

It is hard to find the turning point, to find look ahead to find the place where the world finally fucking turns. I’m a human who’s going to strive to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m not going to say everything is puppies, rainbows and chip bags fuller of chips than air.

I am just going to say sometimes it is hard and dark and tearful.

And in those moments, it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to mourn and to let things die.

We don’t have to bring everything back to life.

If things keep coming back to life, we might not have room for the new thing. If we keep forcing something back to life, we aren’t ever going to see what our life is like without it.

If we don’t have fall, we can’t eventually have spring.

(I inwardly groaned at myself for that line).

I think, what I’m trying to say, even though I don’t love pumpkin spice lattes, I only go ham on Halloween because I have been plopped into a group of theater humans and that as much as I do appreciate the aesthetics of a fall wardrobe I get too warm in scarves and sweaters, I am going to try to be ok with all the things that need to die in fall.

 I am going to be ok with the tears I might cry and the literal darkness that winds its way toward us with a quicker rate than I’d like (like, fall came AGGRESSIVELY last week).

I am going to be ok with things dying even though it’s going to hurt.

I’m going to remember that it’s not the same fall every year and that good things can come from fall.

I’m going to remember that something good will come even when I don’t know if I necessarily believe that anymore.

And I want YOU to remember that you aren’t alone if the words above all struck somewhat of a chord with you.

I want to leave you with the set of lyrics that the title of this is from. It’s from the song “Morning Comes” by Delta Rae

Rain don’t change the sun.

Jealous is the night when the morning comes.

And it ALWAYS comes.

So no, I didn’t want to write about fall;

But I did, anyway.

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

my 2020 confession

I have a confession to make which should surprise no one who knows me at all.

I am a doormat.

And, before you stop what you are doing to text me (if you know me, don’t text me if you don’t- how do you have my number?) I want to say, I don’t say this in self-hatred or belittling. It’s just true.

I sit here grappling with a quote I’ve heard and read over and over again:

“You are what you tolerate” or “What you allow will continue”

(I’ve tried to find some original sources for those, so if you have them let me know- mostly I just find them as a Michael Scott quote where he quotes himself quoting Wayne Gretsky.)

I want to talk to you about what goes on inside my head when I am a being a doormat.

I believe that people who aren’t doormats, who don’t understand what it’s like to be a doormat, what it’s like to have the trains of thought running in your head of what you might want to say or do versus what you actually say or do. I want people to understand that this is sometimes an hourly battle in my brain.

I also want to note that I am a 2 on the enneagram- not an excuse but just a note to remember. Twos are the helper. They get fulfilled by being needed (obviously not always healthy). Twos build resentment easily when others don’t meet the needs that they don’t ever verbalize. They also on the flip side don’t want to be a burden or allow others to help them.

My brain is a tangled web guys.

For instance, last week, I was sitting on my couch texting my work wife/ love of my life Victoria. And at one point as she told me some hard things that I needed to hear, I said that I loved her for dealing with me.

(This was the wrong thing to day to Victoria and she immediately called me out on said statement).

So let’s say someone asks me if I will help them with something that will take all day on a Saturday. But, I am exhausted, tired, burnt out and also just don’t want too.

The following is my circle in my brain:

“Well, they helped me that one time..”

“Well, what if I’m the only one that can do it…”

“Well, they are probably more tired then I am..”

“Well, they are going to be mad if I don’t..”

“Well what if no one helps them..”

“What if I say no and they think less of me..”

I would like to say that’s the end of it. But it’s not. It just keeps going and going. And as it keeps going, my anxiety builds (as it is right now writing these words).

It keeps going and going until 8/10 I help with whatever the person needs. It keeps going in my head until I talk myself out of taking care of myself and I help the person and say yes.

And I know…you’re probably sitting there thinking…just say no! It’s not that hard!

I’m sorry to tell you this random person reading the blog, but it’s actually very, very damn hard for me.

I’ve gotten better at saying no in the last five years. I have a sufficiently small amount of FOMO (I’m really good at saying no to going to events or going out on the town.)

But, I am still, for all purposes probably more of a doormat than I should be.

And it’s starting to get to my heart.

(Also known as me, crying silently on my couch on a Thursday night, while watching Chopped).

And I am starting to realize that people do in fact treat me like a doormat because I let them. I have allowed people to know it’s ok to step on me and use me for my yes, even humans I would deem as friends.

That’s a really damn hard thing to grapple with.

I guess I wanted to write this for a few reasons.

One being, I wanted people to understand, people who love me and don’t know why I don’t stand up for myself more often how fucking hard it is to talk down the circles in my brain about how I’m a horrible person if I don’t do x, y, z.

It is in no way, shape or form easier to be a doormat.

I also wanted to write this because committing words to paper helps me truly think where I’ve come from and where I’ve been and how I’ve gotten to where I’m at.

And I’ve come farther friends than I give myself credit for.

And lastly, and honestly why I write most words and put them up for people to read- I want you to know that if this is you- you are not alone.

If you are a human that questions stating your needs because you feel like a burden: I’m here for you.

If you are human who on those odd moments that you do say no feel like you’re a horrible person: I’m here for you.

If you’re realizing the people stepping on you are doing it because they know they can: here’s a rag to clean off the dirt- I get it.

I believe in us.

I believe we have the ability to shake off guilt that we create, to be able to help out of a healthy place and to stand up for ourselves and not feel bad about it.

I also believe we have the ability to stand up for ourselves, not feel bad about it and not succumb to the guilt that others try to use on us because it’s always worked before.

If I’ve learned anything in this damn year it’s this: what used to work doesn’t anymore. What used to heal wounds just makes them worse and words that sounded like love have become band-aids over cuts that probably need stitches.

To my fellow doormats;

I see you. I get you. I’m here for you.

Even if you just need someone that you can say;

“Hey, I’m a doormat too- and I’m trying to change”

With love,

Meg, a doormat, who is trying to change.

Honest, hope is a verb

I am not going to change the world

I am only one human.

I am not going to change the world.

The words I write via Instagram or Facebook or twitter maybe really reach 100 people. I do not have a book deal.

My job does not involve writing.

My words, these days specifically, feel like they fall pretty damn short.

I haven’t felt over the past five months that I should write because when I do my words are filled with anger.

But, when it comes down to it- I am angry.

I am angry because I lack the ability to communicate the experience I am having. I am in the midst of my walk up hill both ways in the snow story and in all honesty I’d rather just walk up hill both ways in the snow.

I am angry because it feels like I’m living through a season of life where I’m an essential, but also looked down on. Where my anxiety is causing me to hold on to every single emotion and my ability to feel for others has caused me to short circuit.

I am angry because I feel like nothing I do is actually helping.

I am angry because people keep telling me how to do my job that have never done my job.

I am angry because the fact I don’t have the appropriate degree causes me to fall through the cracks.

And I am angry because so many people have an opinion about what I do.

I am angry because it helps me feel.

And I am tired.

And that’s why I’m not writing.

I got excited about something a couple weeks ago. The emotion was welcome and needed. The exciting thing didn’t pan out and then I found myself lacking again.

But, a friend told me the other day that she though I should right this weekend- so I thought I’d try.

So, that’s why I am writing.

Because, I know for a fact, I’m not the only one feeling a cluster of emotions and also the inability to feel them.

I’m not the only who does something that causes them to smile (like listening to live music last night) and forgot that smiling shouldn’t have been cancelled.

I know I’m not the only one who is tired- but doesn’t feel allowed to say it.

I know I’m not the only that needs to remember that emotions are good because it reminds us that we are human.

 That anger reminds us of passion.

That tiredness reminds us to rest.

That the tears that are falling from my face in this moment reminds me that being a human who puts herself out there so that other know they aren’t alone is something important to me.

I am not going to change the world.

But, I can change MY world.

My audience isn’t immense.

But it’s filled with people I care about or care for.

I am only one human.

I am Meg.

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne, it takes a village

We are stronger.

2020 has quickly become the year that I don’t write when I should.

Today, after church, I had pulled our couch covers off of both of our couches because they desperately needed a wash. I was going to wait to vacuum the floor til after I reput the couch covers back on (we have molting couches) but, instead I sang a little ditty.
“Sometimes I clean to hide from my emotions…”
Whoops.

I cleaned, I made lunch, I laid in bed scrolling tiktok. I took a nap. I woke up foggy and cloudy. I ordered dinner and then decided to just sit at my computer and stop running from the words that were attempting to topple out of my brain.

I’ve hinted at this a couple of times in the few blogs I’ve written this year, but I’ve basically been crippled by anxiety on multiple occasions in the past four months.

It’s ebbed and flowed. It’s caused me to stay in bed and hide, or not hang out with the small group of humans that I’ve surrounded myself with.

It’s caused me to cry a lot.

Talking about and posting about anxiety in the way that I want to feels like putting myself out there in a way that feels like people are going to worry- they don’t need too.

I think talking about anxiety and the causes of it and how it feels is so incredibly important.

And it’s so different for everyone.

Just because I go to work every day and function and have a smile on my face doesn’t mean I’m not a high functioning basket case of anxiety. Just because I show up doesn’t mean my skin isn’t crawling or that I physically have to force myself to stay present for the kiddos in my room. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to run into my storage closet at work and rip off my mask.

It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes try not to fall asleep because then I have to wake up again and keep going.

I’m a person who shows up for other people.
But sometimes, I realize that is something I just can’t do.

The past few weeks were exceptional hard. I’ve been overcome with a lot of sadness for my camp kids. I took a few days off because I had to use vacation time and it was really hard and I spent any moment alone in tears.

And in the week leading up to July 4th, I just battled daily voices in my head telling me I was failing or no enough or not worth it and then to add to that I had some really haunting memories crawl out from under the bed.
It just made me so damn tired.

I realized when I woke up on the 4th of July, I didn’t want to go to the small barbeque I was invited too, I didn’t want to people.
My heart hurt.

I think I was tired from the anxiety, I was tired from the sadness.
I was tired of all the memories that come up around the weekend of July 4th.
So I stayed home.
And that was a good choice.

I cried I slept, I watched food network.
I took a lot of deep breathes.

I’ve come a long way in my journey through dealing with and having anxiety.
This journey started about 11 years ago. It involved hitting rock bottom, not knowing what the hell was wrong with me, going into therapy and getting on incredibly strong antidepressants. It involved weeks of not sleeping and literally living in life in fear of being a burden or not doing something correctly.
I literally stopped going to work. I was crippled by darkness and anxiety. The voice inside my head was winning whatever game it was playing.

My journey included grappling with suicidal thoughts and sobbing on the phone to my therapist in a parking lot and terrifying myself in the process.

I came to the understanding that my brain just was a little out of wack and the meds I was on needed time to settle.
The hope in my life wasn’t gone- it was just very dim.

2020 is not 2009.
But 2020 is a game of its own.
I’m stronger now and honestly just more stubborn.
I have facts in my head that I can list through when I’m feeling especially out of wack.
And I live in a lot less shame from on me from those around me that say my anxiety is because I’m doing something wrong or I’m not “close enough to God” (yes, that’s a thing).
I’m less prone to listen to someone who says my anxiety is shameful.

If I’m being honest, in 2020 my anxiety has shown me how damn far I’ve come.
It’s showed me I can keep moving forward.
It’s reminded me that I can listen to my body and know when I need to stop or when stopping would be detrimental.
It’s reminded me that crying is ok.

I want to remind you that just like me, you’ve probably come a lot farther than you think you have.
Just like me, you’ve gotten stronger.
And just like me, it’s ok that your battle isn’t over.

I wanted to sit here and write these words and admit to the sadness and the thoughts the run through my head sometimes because I wanted you to know that you have nothing to be ashamed of when you feel like you aren’t winning the battle with those things.

And honestly, the world is not making it easy for those of us who have feel as if they have no control over the balance in our brain spaces.

You’re doing better than you think you are.

I am doing better than I think I am.

Let’s keep fucking going.

royal family kids camp

For us. For the kids.

To my beautiful Royal Family,
I just spent about 2o minutes going back and reading all the letters, like this one but so, so different, that I’ve written to you over the years. This is my 7th letter and would be my tenth year going up the mountain.

I sat here for 20 minutes and read over the lessons and stories and laughter and tears we’ve had. I gave a few “oh I forgot about that!” (mainly about last year and the coaches FINALLY FIGURING OUT THE POOL SYSTEM and also #RIPVarietyshow). I teared up thinking about each and every one of you and the impact you’ve had not only in the kid’s lives we serve but in me and in each other.

You can ask any of my friends in WA as we’ve been dealing with COVID and as I’ve been working day in and day out: every time something got canceled, like the musical I was in or the outdoor summer events, or theater we were going to see, I would say, “That sucks, it does, but at the end of the day I just care about camp”.

As I watched the way my sweet 3-5 year olds were responding to what was going on around them, all I could think of was our kids. Wherever they may be, not in school, and having to deal with the world around them.

And if I’m being honest I just couldn’t think about it too long. I even at one point avoided texting or calling Tyler and Priscilla because I didn’t want to accidentally glean any bad news that they might have had. I got at least a text or question per day from my friends here asking me about camp.

Then we got the news and I couldn’t sleep and I cried a lot.

I just had to stop thinking about it at some point because I had to keep moving forward and keep facing every new moment that this world is bringing these days and I had to show up for the 3 year olds in my care.

Then, this last week, my body knew something was up. Normally my week before camp is a chaotic spree of packing, shipping things to the Choi’s, prepping sub notes and projects for 7-8 days in my classroom and really not sleeping til I get on a bus to go to the airport in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday or Friday.

I felt so off all week and I had one night where I just cried. I cried for our kids, who were laying in beds with no light at the end of the tunnel, I cried for all of us staring at calendars and camp supplies we have dotted around our home.

The one thing I try to do with all of my heart at camp is to remind the kids who they are. Day in and day out. In whatever setting we are in.

I’ve done things at camp that I wouldn’t have done had it not been at camp. Like playing Haman, on a days notice. (new camp hashtag by Vanessa #hamanforthekids). Or being a coach and choosing to spend long hours in my bathing suit (which in reality my WA skin thanks me for my base tan every year). But, doing things out of my comfort zone at camp is important to me, because at the end of each day, I do those things for the kids, I do them so I can have another moment to interact with them, another moment to remind them who they are.

And because of that, what camp does in return, for all of us, whether we realize it or not, is remind US who we are.

So, even though we can’t be all together, I still, with everything in me, want to remind you who you are.

You are a people, that say yes to things, even if it feels hard, even if at the end it might feel as if your heart will break, you say yes to a week for the kids.

You are humans who chose joy, who choose to stand up and sing a Jana song at the end of the day even though you are exhausted because it’s for that camper sitting next to you who has refused to stand every other time, but right now, they are standing. You stand for the kids.

You are someone who will eat camp food for 5 days straight. You eat iceberg lettuce salads for the kids.

You are among a group of people who takes whatever gifts and talents you have and you lay them on the table and say, “here take these”. You give from what you have for the kids.

You are a person who takes a week off of work, who steps away from their family for a week, who shuts their phone down. You disconnect for the kids.

You are a human who wears sunglasses all of Friday. Because you cry for the kids.

We’re a family who is brokenhearted this week. Because we love our kids.

We do all these things because it matters to even just one of the kids.

And if you don’t remember who you are this week. If you feel lost, sad, tired, anything: know you aren’t alone.

And lastly, I want to share a photo with you.

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This is a picture of my best friend Victoria hugging me on Saturday night ( yes night, it was like 930- welcome to summer in Western Washington near Canada.) Anyway, I had been crying after listening to Becca’s live on Facebook and she (and my other friends I’ve been introducing myself back too) came out to hug me.
She made me turn and look and see that this double rainbow had shimmered into existence in the filled directly behind us.
And she just said two words, “That’s Jesus”.
And it’s true.
That’s Jesus. Reminding me, us, that he has our kids. His kids.
They’ll be ok. We’ll be ok. We’ll side hug them again. But, as the light mist fell all around us, I was also reminded that it’s ok to cry.
To my Royal Family,
You are in my heart.
Our kids in my heart.
Let’s keep remembering who we are so we have even more to give them the next time we see their faces.
With love,
Meg
(and obvs, Junapera as well)

back to the barre, I choose champagne, ramblings

a beginning

Every year around this time of year I start to look back on the past year of my life and start to take into account things that happened, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and maybe who I think I’ve become over a year of life.

I turned 34 in California around my Orange County family. I turned 34 with some weighty statements inside myself that I carried from the new year.
I turned 34 with margaritas and sparkles.

I’ve been trying to, amidst all that is going on in the world and in my head and outside my front door, spin up what I’ve learned this year.
And really I just don’t know.
Honestly.

I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve been trying to read over past words and letter board statements and everything in between.

Here are some things I know:

I know without questions I have people that love me.
I know, with maybe some question, that I am really good at what I do because I do my job out of exactly what I am.
I know, without question, that I still face disappointment and failure and heartache.
I know, without question, that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.

I think the funny thing that happened during 34 is that I’ve learned even more who I am and what I am about and where I should place my time.
I think I’ve gotten harder on myself in 34. I think I’ve called myself a failure this year more than any other year. I think I’ve felt the weighty heaviness of comparison much more than I ever have.
I think that ironically as I learned who I was even more and felt so comfortable in who I am, during 34 I’ve dealt with not feeling enough and have second-guessed friendships and relationships and my place among all of it.

I don’t say all this to sound depressed and sad. Because I wasn’t. Those aren’t the right descriptors.
And, because I needed 34.

Glennon Doyle posted a tweet today that rang so deeply in me.
She said, ” I have not written a word during quarantine. Just a reminder to worried artists- there are times for creating and times for becoming the person who will create the next thing. For many of us, this is a becoming time. Rest and become. Love you.”

I think in some way- 34 has been a becoming time for me. Yes, I have created and I have more firmly planted my feet and I have used my voice even while it shook.
And man, I’ve cried.
I’m going to another letter to myself of all the things that happened this year, of all the events and the laughter and the rose’ vodka.
But first, I take a deep breath and remember that I am still going. I am still moving.
I am still becoming.
And so are you.
Dear 34,
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Meg