Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Some friends of mine have joked that I need to send out a weekly update about my life, because I always have too much to talk about, haha. So I’m not going to say this’ll happen every week, because every time I say I’m going to do something consistently, I do not. But here goes…

Entertainment

Saw back-to-back movies yesterday which I haven’t done in…years.

Last Christmas. Say what you will about cheesy Christmas movies but they have their place in this world. This one takes it to the next level because it’s written by Emma Thompson (the dame herself) and directed by Paul Feig whom I love (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters (2016), etc). The cast is charming and some of the lines are so sweet I shed a few tears. Definitely a good time for warm Christmas feels.

I think my favorite part about it was a brief conversation about how being special is overrated. You don’t have to be something special you just have to be you and be kind. I think that’s a good message.

JoJo Rabbit. Everyone loves this so what else can I say? Normally I hate when people direct and act in the same thing but I’ll let Taika do whatever he wants. I think it’s interesting how many WWII movies are made. But what’s great about this one is it’s a flavor all of it’s own. I don’t want to say much about it because you have to see it for yourself.

Disney +

I rewatched Oliver and Company and man, that show is dark. But it’s got a special place in my heart ever since my friend Hanna and I lip synced and choreographed a routine to it for the (3rd grade?) talent show. Also, Billy Joel and Bette Midler. I think it’s an underrated Disney film.

Did not love Highschool Musical, the Musical, the Series. It should be wayyyy more dramatic.

Reminder that you all need to watch Muppet Christmas Carol this holiday season and with Disney+ there are no excuses.

Also, you can get Disney+ for free if you have Verizon Unlimited. I feel like not enough people know this so here is your heads up.

Celine Dion

LISTEN TO HER NEW ALBUM. I Will Be Stronger is my current fave.

In other music things, still loving Lose You to Love Me.

Spiritual

I went to a church activity yesterday where we discussed Dieter F. Utchdorf’s last talk where he talked about Bilbo Baggins and the adventure he had to go on.

“When our friend Bilbo Baggins felt the call to adventure stir within him, he decided to get a good night’s rest, enjoy a hearty breakfast, and start out first thing in the morning.

When Bilbo awoke, he noticed his house was a mess, and he was almost distracted from his noble plan.But then his friend Gandalf came and asked, “Whenever are you going to come?” To catch up with his friends, Bilbo had to decide for himself what to do.

And so, the very normal and unremarkable hobbit found himself darting out his front door to the path of adventure so quickly that he forgot his hat, walking stick, and pocket handkerchief. He even left his second breakfast unfinished.”

I’ve been thinking about what’s holding me back from starting on adventures or even doing small things. I stress a lot about the house being a mess or things being left unfinished or waiting for “the right moment.” But is there ever a right moment?

Note that Bilbo did get a good night’s rest though. I think that’s important, which leads us to…

Physical

I’m back in physical therapy after taking a couple years off and I’ve already learned so much. Taking care of our bodies is important.

Some things I’m trying to do:

  • Eat better. I’m very bad at eating, but trying to be better. My only pro-tip for this week is that I’m now buying frozen vegetables because I’m tired of them rotting in my fridge.
  • Increase mobility. Go for a walk, twist in your chair, give yourself a massage, etc. We’re way too stiff and if we’re not moving our bodies aren’t moving and doing what they need to do.
  • Deep breaths. Did you know most of us aren’t breathing deep enough? I think it’s caused partly by stress and holding things in and partly by not taking time. Take a couple deep breaths when you hit a stop light. Take a moment at your desk. Take some before you fall asleep. This has helped me release some of the tension in my body in addition to getting more oxygen in my body–which is crucial for overall functioning.
  • Hydrate. A friend left a bag of lemons on my desk and now I’m drinking lemon water like it’s my job. And I actually like it. I’m lucky to have good friends.

I went to an infrared sauna (Revive in Lehi, it’s free if you have the Freeplay app) and I sweat it out. There are colored lights that are supposed to do different things from fat burning to lymph support to improving acne, etc.

It was a nice sweat but it was also a good moment to just sit and be with myself and my body without distractions. It felt a bit like meditation, but with more purpose. It’s hard for me to just plain-old meditate, but more on that later…

Mental

Turns out though she is a physical therapist, she’s taught me a thing or two about my brain. “It’s not all in your head, but your brain controls everything.”

Another thing she told me was, “I don’t think the brain registers the word ‘don’t.'” When someone tells you “Don’t look over here” you almost always do immediately. So while I’ve been annoyed with my body and telling it, “Don’t tense up, stop sucking.” That’s–not surprisingly–not helpful.

So I don’t tell myself don’t anymore. I’m focusing on what I am doing. It’s not “don’t eat gluten” it’s “do eat all these other delicious things you like–turns out I like squash and stuff.” I don’t tell myself, “Don’t tense up.” Instead I say, “Let’s breathe.”

Social

I’ve had to change a lot of my viewpoints lately because I felt justified in not trusting people, but I’ve been proved wrong. I’ve found healthcare providers I trust. I’ve got more and more people in my life who love and support and believe in me. And, well, you just can’t let a few people ruin humanity for you.

I’m taking more time for myself and I’m trying to get over the fact that that feels selfish.

Personal

I’m back at the musical writing, with some serious song brainstorming happening this week. I have to re-prioritize this every once (always) in a while even though it’s something I really want, things just always manage to get in the way.

I’m happy. I’m working on being healthy.

I’m looking for a good sectional couch that isn’t expensive and also a new dining room table/chairs. This is taking up significant brain power as much as I wish it wasn’t.

In the last couple weeks some things I have written have been released, here’s one of them:

Cause

I posted about this on Veteran’s Day but I really love Canines with a Cause and organization that 1. Rescues shelter dogs 2. Has prison inmates train them 3. Gives them to veterans as therapy dogs. Win-win-win.

If you think emotional support animals aren’t a real thing I will just add that almost two years ago I promised Ru I was going to take care of her and I think there were a couple days where that promise was the only thing that kept me going when I didn’t want to anymore.

Local News

Did you hear there’s going to be a Real Housewives Salt Lake? lol.

Motherhood for the Non-Mothers

Oh, good, it’s a post about motherhood by someone who has no idea. Here we go…

First of all, talking about Mother’s Day can be hard for people who struggle with infertility…

Infertility can be caused by so many things.

Infertility is more common than you might think. It’s a pain that is often expressed privately so it can seem less prevalent than it is.

It can be biological. These conditions don’t just affect someone’s ability to have children, they cause pain and grief in everyday life. Endometriosis, PCOS, cancer and so many more don’t just cause problems whether or not someone wants to have children. It’s sharp pain and dull pain, bloating, bleeding, not bleeding, endless doctor’s visits, irregular hormones, and all the issues that come with that.

Infertility can be lacking a partner or sufficient means to raise a child on your own. Add to the yearning for children grief and loneliness and feelings of not being enough.

Infertility can be losing something you had due to tragic incidents. That’s a grief that’s hard to heal and the reminders of what you once had don’t just go away.

Infertility is a loss of control. It’s not being able to hold on to something you want so dearly. It’s wanting something that you can’t have and you might be able to someday but with so much uncertainty. So many risks and budgeting of time, money, and willpower.

There are so many different ways to have children which is a blessing, but also adds on this stress of decision making. Sometimes having more options adds to the hopelessness.

Mother’s Day is hard.

But I don’t imagine it’s going anywhere soon. And as someone who is blessed to have a fabulous mother and many amazing women in my life I don’t mind it even if I have had a Mother’s Day breakdown or two (or more) in my life. My mom lives far away so I can’t make breakfast or dinner for her. I, of course, will express my love in a way that is affectionate and slightly embarrassing, but how else can I celebrate Mother’s Day?

mom shirt

How can I get out of this Mother’s Day funk and turn it into something positive?

I am not suggesting that we can simply flip a switch and stop the negative feelings that distress us. This isn’t a pep talk or an attempt to encourage those sinking in quicksand to imagine instead they are relaxing on a beach. I recognize that in all of our lives there are real concerns. I know there are hearts here today that harbor deep sorrows. – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It’s conveniently on the calendar in the middle of May which is when things start looking up in nature (on this side of the world, at least). I’m sitting on the steps in my backyard as I write this and the sun is shining and warming my skin. My yard is lush and green (it’s all weeds, but they’re still lush and green).

weeds.jpg

Motherhood is about creating and nurturing life.

There are many reasons why I may never be a mother, but there are also many opportunities for me to create. This is something we can all do regardless of gender or circumstances.

I could create life by planting a garden, but that is more of a way I destroy life. YOU could create life by planting a garden.

I could nourish life by rescuing a dog. Oh my gosh, I did that already, I’m such a good person.

rescue dog

You can create life by creating a work of art. You’re bringing into the world that wasn’t there before.

Posting a photo of something beautiful. Write a poem or song…or a poem that should be turned into a song because they’re better that way. Painting, sculpting, dancing, acting EVEN IF YOU’RE BAD AT IT. It’s not going to be easy. But suck it up and you might even enjoy it.

I suck at dancing and had fun taking a community dance class. I was bad. Even at the performance.

middle eastern dance

I’m creating this blog post with no intention of editing it to actually be good. I’m taking voice lessons starting soon and I’m sure it’ll be painfully humbling, but worth it. It’s a better high than drugs, trust me, I’ve only tried one of them. Creating makes you happy, I’ll find an article to back this up later, but I’m pretty sure it’s science.

I’ve learned so much from strong women.

But what I really think we can do to create and nuture is looking after each other. My mom is amazing and I’ve learned so much from her. If I could only take one person with to an island or something I would take her, but it’s taken so many people to make me who I am.

your first home was a woman

Those who were born or married into my family. Strong women going back for decades on both sides of my family tree. The ones in my history who overcome trials I will never know but passed that strength on to me.

Friends and friends’ moms.

gal3

Women in media and arts and politics. Women who work for national and global causes that have taught me what it means to magnify your talents and stay classy while doing it. One thing all these women have in common is love and support. 

As a mom you have to nourish and support your child, because without you your child cannot survive. The rest of us may have to go out of our way to find opportunities to love and care of others.

heatherme.jpg

Definition of motherhood.

A perfect mother is full of love, selfless, does the thankless jobs and gets it done when no one else will. Those are things we should all be.

Dictionary.com be defining motherhood like,

definition of motherhood

I don’t know who came up with this, but how amazing is that phraseology. “Inherent worthiness, justness, or good that is obvious or unarguable.” Dang. That definitely describes mothers, but I think we all have that same worth inside of us and I think it’s time we remember that.

Just like mothers, we can all create life.

We can literally bring life to someone by making them smile, by bringing back a light in someone that has gone out. By encouraging them to leave their house to experience something they love. We can remind them of their worth when they’ve forgotten. We can take other people’s hands in our own to remind them they’re not alone. We can look into each other eyes and acknowledge each other.

We are givers of life when it’s lost. You don’t have to grow something in your womb to give life. You don’t have to conceive to create (I just thought that sounded catchy). You don’t need to wait to learn to love and nourish a human. You don’t need to be genetically connected to be family.

It’s even creating a positive outlook when you have to create it out of nothing.

60067463_2287354274850918_4932227128604229632_n (1).jpg

I have no doubt that motherhood is a fast-track to lots of life lessons and emotions, but I don’t think the rest of us get a free pass just because we have no fruit of our wombs or child of our own.

Here’s to being the best moms we can be, to whatever creation we can make and sharing those creations and that love with the world so that we can have more good in this world than bad.

And because I may never be a mom, but love giving motherly advice, I made this blog.

Freaking 30

New Year’s Resolutions never really work for me, but I do want to change and improve my life before I turn 30 on May 23rd. I had a list of things that were mostly fun that I wanted to do before I turned 30, and a friend pointed out (shamed me) that they were more-or-less things I could do in a day and that I should do things that challenge me. So I started thinking about what I want to do and who I want to be before I turn 30.

My personality lends itself to having loads of ideas and no follow-through, it’s something that’s bugged me since I graduated and then I get this fortune cookie…

The biggest thing for me is to not care if something is good or not. Picasso supposedly said, “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” The best estimate is that Picasso created 50,000 pieces, so he knew a thing or two about getting stuff done. So for the next five months, I don’t care if any of these things are actually good or even totally finished. I just want to get them done and out there.

Honestly, things I don’t think are great get made and are either popular, make money or both, so who am I to say what’s good anymore? It’s just my job to make it.

Other things I’m hoping to gain from this is to figure out what I actually like to do and to spend less of my downtime consuming and more time creating.

Some of the list items are to finish creative projects I’ve been working on and some of them are things to challenge me to get outside of my normal way of thinking.

Here’s my list to complete by the end of May (I’m giving myself an extra week):

  1. Write 30 songs (at least five different genres)
  2. Write 30 pages of a screenplay or 30-minute (technically 22-minute) television pilot.
  3. Write 30 pages of a musical
  4. Write 30 pages of a novel
  5. Write 30 stories from my life or family member’s life
  6. 30 posts (by me or other people) on wordfromyourmothers.com.
  7. Write 30 jokes/sketch ideas
  8. Complete 30 visual art projects (painting, hand-lettering, tattoo designs, sewing, etc.)
  9. Release 30 minutes of a podcast to the public
  10. Post 30 Etsy listings
  11. Write 30-minute “Ted Talk”
  12. Record and post 30 one-minute pep talks.
  13. Watch 30 shows (both live and recorded performances)
  14. Read 30 well-researched articles about unique subjects
  15. Broadcast for 30 hours on Twitch
  16. Work on/give feedback on 30 projects that aren’t mine
  17. Have 30 significant one-on-one conversations with 30 different people
  18. Resist 30 impulse purchases
  19. Get rid of 30 items
  20. 30 days of unique outfits (not repeating anything in my closet, minus underwear and maybe shoes)
  21. 30 days of wearing outfits from the same 15 items
  22. 30 meals I’ve never tried
  23. 30 different kinds of exercise
  24. 30 small acts of service
  25. 30 seeds planted
  26. 30 projects I haven’t been putting off around the house done.
  27. Learn a phrase in 30 different languages
  28. Learn 30 new phrases in Italian
  29. Learn 30 new words in English
  30. Do 30 things that make me say, “I’m scared, but I’m going to do this anyway.”
  31. Do 30 push-ups
  32. Play trombone for 30 minutes

Other things:

Write 30 minutes a day.
30 minutes of self/spiritual care a day.

I’ll be documenting this on my Instagram @theseriallover to hold myself accountable. Feel free to follow along.

Some people think this sounds like a lot, but, honestly, if I was in school I’d be writing/creating way more so I think it’ll be good.

I Wrote My Way Out

I don’t know what to do. My brain and my body feel like they’re imploding on themselves. I have had a headache for days, heartache for years. I’m broken, but I know I’m not. I feel totally inadequate. And then I remember someone was going to trust me to watch her children (whom she loves) for an entire weekend. I feel unlovable and then I look at my phone to see messages from people who know I exist and invite me to things. I feel untalented and then I look at the things I’ve made, with my own brains. I know being depressed isn’t my fault, but I also know it causes me to lose things I love. It’s a companion I know I could learn to libe with, but it’s also a plague that’s destroying the life I want.

It’s a constant battle between heart and mind and the result is an aching soul.

I’m sitting here in what must be Depression, because how can a sadness worse than this exist? Maybe for someone stronger than me, it is possible to be sadder, but this feels like my limit. I feel like my veins are filled with lead. My arm feels too heavy to raise. And it’s too boney. Why are my elbows so boney? My heart is heavy and somehow empty at the same time. I am the heaviest shell of a person you can imagine. I had barely hold my head up and everything in my brain is foggy. But the creative thoughts don’t stop. I’m filled with ideas I cannot execute because my body won’t do what my brain tells it to.

And it’s not me either. Because me is a person who jokes around constantly. I used to think “vibrant” was a great word to describe me, but I feel desaturated. The world has a grey tint to it. I only wear sunglasses with brown lenses, because I hate looking at the world with a grey tint.

So I have to do something. People are suggesting things like therapy, books, and medication, meditation, yoga, diets. I’ve tried them. I’ve even preached about them. But nothing is actually working for me. I know I could (and will) try harder and retry some of those things that help people. But different things work for different people.

So what can I do? I love yoga and therapy and all that. But as I’m thinking, I hear it, in the suave voice of Jamael Westman (sorry, Lin), I wrote my way out.

I wrote my way out of hell
I wrote my way to revolution
I was louder than the crack in the bell
I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell
I wrote about The Constitution and defended it well
And in the face of ignorance and resistance
I wrote financial systems into existence
And when my prayers to God were met with indifference
I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance

Hurricane on Spotify

It doesn’t matter if it’s good. It’s what my brain wants.
And maybe if it is good. I can have the same effect that this song has had on my life.
Maybe one thing, I write one day, without even thinking much about it.
Could change someone’s life.
And in that case, it is worth it. It’s worth losing everything. It’s worth working through the pain. If I can write even one sentence, one line, that helps someone not feel how I feel right now…If I only write one sentence my whole life that helps someone. If I never make a penny off it. It is worth it. Another Hamilton line comes to me at times I need it most, Just stay alive, that would be enough. Thanks, Lin.
In the eye of a hurricane
There is quiet
For just a moment
A yellow sky
I was twelve when my mother died
She was holding me
We were sick and she was holding me
I couldn’t seem to die
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it (I’ll write my way out)
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it (write everything down, far as I can see)
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, wait (history has its eyes on you)
I’ll write my way out
Overwhelm them with honesty
This is the eye of the hurricane, this is the only
Way

And it’s selfish too. Because it makes me feel better. Maybe selfish is a bad word. It’s a win-win. I wish I didn’t keep forgetting. I am so blessed to have a talent/love that is totally free for me to do. I can write on paper scraps. I can write on my own skin. I can write on the internet with potential for people around the world to read it. It’s the easiest, most beautiful thing. I can do it by myself or with other people. I’m lucky to have something that’s so easy to love. And it gives me hell, but I sometimes think it loves me back.

Here’s the remix version:

Note: My therapist also suggested I write more, so she gets some credit too.

Original

Thanks to the WordPress app I can write this tiredly as I lay in bed. I don’t really need to write anything but I don’t want to ruin my streak.

Today I’m thinking about how we get more original content. We can say we don’t want remakes and all that, but they make money so obviously someone wants them. People are annoyed with the female remakes, but it just goes to show that someone can’t make a heist film with all females without linking it to a franchise. I will take smart females anyway I can get them, but I wish they could stand alone…Or if you’re going to connect it, at least give us a Clooney cameo for the female gaze.

0/4 Tony nominated musicals were original ideas. I haven’t been impressed with anything I’ve seen from Mean Girls. Frozen, well, we’ve all seen/heard it a million times already….Literally. Though I do think it translates well to stage if it’s anything like the one they did at Disneyland. SpongeBob SquarePants… The Musical. On Broadway. Not as bad as you’d think and seems to have some cool elements, but, it’s still SpongeBob.

A Band’s Visit is based off a movie, but one from 2007 that is less mainstream and gives Middle Easterns a chance to shine. So I’m about that, and would love to see it.

There are some great revivals on right now. But original musicals seem to be dying out. What happened to the days when ALW could write a story about Cats doing who even knows what. That was based on a book. But it’s weird enough to feel original.

Groundhog Day, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory didn’t last.

Matilda is one of my favorites but that’s because the songs and choreography go all out. Waitress is lasting because Sara Barreilles is a genius. Making musicals based off movies (based off books) is fine and can work out great, but are we forgetting how to write, and more importantly appreciate original musicals?

Book of Mormon did great and is, ironically enough, not based off the book at all.

A Quiet Place made tons of money. La La Land… I mean, I didn’t like it, but I’m a minority. The same guys did Dear Evan Hansen, which I also don’t like but it swept up the Tonys last time.

So we know originals can succeed. But producers are still afraid to take that risk. I think there’s room for both.

I bought a house.

Everyday. Ten Minutes. No stopping. Unedited.
I don’t like poetry, but I do like spacing out lines…

I bought a house
Because I was suddenly homeless
So it seemed like the smart thing to do.

It has a great backyard
With a broken fence
And the cutest rooms
With slanted floors
And unsafe windows

Many things were surprisingly easy to fix
And many things are still broken

I live in a broken house
But I am broken too
And it was there for me
When I needed a roof

I bought a house
With a driveway that’s all cracked
And a garage door that won’t close
Or once it’s closed, it won’t open

The cabinets are ugly
But basically new
The lighting is fancy
And hard to replace
But easier when
You actually buy the right bulb

I was mad at first
That I left my nice house
For this.
It’s old and unloved
And garbage was left behind
That the water isn’t soft
And makes my hair a mess

But now I see
That this broken house is just like me
I moved in and was broken
And some things in me are easy to fix
And some are now permanently slanted
The foundation has changed
But that doesn’t mean
I can’t hold myself up

They tore up the walls
And dug up the ground
To make the windows bigger
“The wound is the place
Where the light enters you.”

This place is not permanent
Not a forever home
Because there’s no forever
No certainty in life anymore

But it is a place that was there
When I needed it most

And how can I be mad at this
imperfect house
When it’s
just
like
me?

Being a Writer

Everyday. Ten Minutes. No stopping. Unedited.
[Was going to try for 25 minutes but the attention span is too short].

I call myself a writer, but what am every day that passes that I do not write?

Just a thinker.

A conspirer.

The ideas never go away. They can’t leave because they haven’t been released. They swirl and swirl until they become a fog. They flash like lightning, begging to be noticed. Begging to be tamed and brought inside.

I know if I wrote every day I’d be just as happy as if I ran every day. It’s different kinds of endorphins. Or maybe it’s exactly the same. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at.

Which makes it that much scarier to try. Because trying means failing. And what happens when you fail at the thing you love the most?

It’s a feeling I know too well.

Once you lose the thing most important to you and survive it almost feels like you can do anything.

And failing is succeeding but it never feels that way. It feels like stabs in the heart. But your heart never stops beating even when it takes a beating. It pumps and pumps more blood to the wounds. Blood that fills your ears and your head. Heartbeats that are too fast and send your body into panic…but they keep you alive. Even when that’s the last thing you want.

The critics are everywhere now. Everyone has a keyboard.

There was a story I tried to write several times. I thought it was my story to tell. But they took it and revised it down to the bones.

Almost every time someone’s had told me I had a bad idea it ended up being a good one.

And so many ideas that I thought were good were very bad.

My worst ideas were some of my favorite ones.

Writing is only good if you’re vulnerable. And being vulnerable is hardest, best thing in the world. So when you write you get to do the hardest and the best thing in the world. But also you have to.

I’ve written everywhere. On planes, in cars, in bed, in bathtubs, on park benches outside of theaters, and anywhere else you can eat green eggs and ham. Besides being the hardest thing to do it is the easiest thing to do. It’s as easy as breathing…for someone who has asthma.