I love how many stories you are able to dive into at the click of a button (or tweak of an antenna).
When I was little, before we had a DVR, a TiVo, or access to the Guide, we had Channel 3.
Channel 3 was essentially what the Guide is now, except you couldn’t move through it, clicking your way up and down the channels, or forward a few hours. It was like the end credits of a movie, slowly rolling its way up the screen, showing you everything that was currently on, and coming up in the next hour and half hour. If you happened to look away or zone out when your desired channel came up, you had to wait for it to come back around.
I think we had around 99 channels on the living room television, and I was usually on the lookout for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, which fell somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s. I would lay on my stomach, eyeing channel 3, sometimes with anxious anticipation, sometimes with sheer curiosity. Sometimes I just liked watching the slow roll, it was relaxing, and it was exciting to watch it jump forward on the half hour.
When I was in high school, I got a set of bunny ears for the television in my room, and I would methodically shift them, hoping to find the best quality possible for the shows I wanted to watch. And I had a full docket.
I took notes leading up to the fall television season, writing down which shows were on which days and at what times. Those that fell at the same time were like forks in the road—I had to choose which path to take and I hoped it was the same one all my friends were taking.
Shows I loved at the time were Everwood, One Tree Hill, The OC, 8 Simple Rules, Jack and Bobby, The Amazing Race, and a handful of others. Come eight or nine o’clock on weekdays, I had plans. Each show felt like catching up with old friends, hearing about their adventures from the week, and seeing what fresh trouble they could find themselves in.
As we all know, much of that kind of television watching is gone. Rather than cable, I am subscribed to multiple streaming services and have grown accustomed to waiting for the arrival of a show in its entirety. Binge watching has taken the world by storm, and I often trying to get through shows as quickly as possible, for fear they might get spoiled.
There is a lot more anxiety surrounding television than there used to be. And with so many options at our disposal, it’s sometimes difficult to find people who are watching the same thing at the same time.
Which is why I love that more and more platforms are offering shows that only release one episode a week. I’d forgotten how exciting it is to feel like you’re turning on the television at the same time as everyone else, and you’re all experiencing something together. I love texting friends after each episode so we can recap and throw out theories, and I love dissecting the previews for the next week’s episode, letting my mind run wild with possibility.
While I don’t necessarily miss the sloooooow slog of Channel 3, I never realized how much I missed the novelty of television. When you only had a handful of things to watch and everyone was talking about them.
It comes in small doses these days, but there is nothing quite like that wonderous rush, be it when you’re watching Channel 3 and you see that your favorite show is coming up next, or when you open up a streaming platform and realize that a new episode drops in a matter of hours. It’s the feeling of stepping into a story you want to know the end of but don’t want it to end; of making your weekly entrance into a strange world (be it an outlandish tropical hotel, an apocalypse, or the locker room of a Premier League Football Club) that has somehow become familiar; of sitting on the edge of your seat, knowing that people all over the world are gasping, laughing and crying with you.
My sister’s eyes widen, telling me more than she’s telling the rest of the table: an onslaught of cramps, the debilitating back pain that comes once a month. I nod and reach into my purse, pulling out the shiny, circular pill container. I pop it open and she takes two of the small pink pills.
The Friday night crowd at our local steakhouse is fairly minimal. Couples and families lean into each other in the dimly lit restaurant, offering each other sips of drinks and bites of meat and potatoes. The eight of us are at a long rectangular table in the center of the room, probably talking a little louder than most would prefer, but it’s not often we’re all in town or free on the same night.
It is “cousin weekend”, a new tradition we started that brings a handful of our family together. In some ways, it still feels strange to be out and about, all together, without our parents. Not that long ago, we were scooting ourselves into booths for birthdays, squishing our small bodies between our parents, and then passing them the bill. Now we are all adults, with friendships built not only on blood relation but on concerted efforts to get to know and spend time with one another. We have plans all weekend, and are already chatting about what we can do next time—preferably when the weather is a little warmer and there’s not so much wind.
The waiter comes around collecting plates and asks if we want a dessert menu.
“I mean, it can’t help to look,” my sister’s husband says, and I nod in agreement.
My sister Natalee leans into him, her eyes tired and her face a little pale. I ask if the Advil helped and she tilts her hand back and forth, as if to say, kind of.
“You get cramps this bad every month?” my cousin Amanda asks, holding her daughter on her lap as she colors on the kid’s activity sheet provided by the restaurant.
Natalee nods. “Every month.”
The women at the table nod empathetically, while the men perhaps listen, perhaps glaze over for a minute or two. We talk a little bit about our individual experiences, each of us nodding in understanding. When there is an opening, I contribute my own.
“For me it’s not so much cramps as it is the feeling that the world is ending and everyone hates me.”
I deliver it like the punchline of a biting joke, hoping the humor masks some of the pain and fear. It garners a few laughs, and makes me feel good. But then Amanda puts her hand on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” she says genuinely, “that’s hard.”
It hits me somewhere deep inside and I’m almost afraid to look at her.
“Next time,” my cousin Taryn says from the other side of me, “just remember that everyone at this table loves you.”
Both of them speak with a light and casual tone, allowing me to hide the deep emotional impact that makes me want to cry.
We order a chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and take turns bringing heaping spoonful’s to our respective plates. When the waiter comes by with our check, he also lets us know they are a few minutes out from closing.
We gather our things and pat our stomachs, then wander out into the cold February air. We all hug, some of us saying, “see you tomorrow” and others saying, “see you soon!” I get in my car to drive home and hear the words echoing in my head.
I have been living alone for about six months now. And while it took some adjusting, I have definitely found the comfort and freedom in it. Sometimes I look around in awe thinking, this is my little place, isn’t it? My corner of the world that I created all by myself. And that’s kind of magical.
There is a quote from Dolly Alderton’s book, Everything I Know About Love, when she moves into a place of her own for the first time. She says, “I was completely alone but I had never felt safer.” And I think that really captures the feeling perfectly.
Living alone has allowed me to create my own routines and do my own thing. It has allowed me to relax in a way I don’t feel I ever have before. It also allows me to get weird. To talk to myself constantly. To do whatever it is that feels right in the moment because it’s just me, baby!
There is no one popping in, confused, to say, “what are you doing?” and so everything I’m doing seems normal(ish). This got me thinking about what someone might find if they *did* pop in unannounced. Or if, at random points of the day, a video camera showed footage of me in my living room. (Let’s not make it weird, this is all in good fun.)
If that were to happen, here are five things you might see:
1) Me going “full burrito mode”
I kicked off the year with a lot of yoga. I did the Center 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Yoga with Adrienne, and there was one day during the challenge where, as we transitioned into savasana, Adrienne encouraged us to wrap ourselves up in our blankets. To snuggle in. Whether that was covering just your feet, maybe your legs and torso, or going full burrito mode, curling yourself up in that blanket so it went from toes to chin. And you better believe on that cold January afternoon I went full burrito.
2) Me doing my “puzzle of the day” jig
One of my favorite functions of my Alexa is playing puzzle of the day. It’s a short word puzzle that usually takes less than five minutes. I like to brush my teeth and then play the puzzle of the day while I wash my face. Alexa, play puzzle of the day, I will say as I slowly and gently massage my facewash into my pores. There will be a few moments pause, and then the puzzle of the day theme song will come through the speakers and it gets me every. time.
3) Me doing puzzle affirmations
Another beginning of the year project I started was a puzzle that a friend gave me for my birthday. I dumped out the 1000 pieces on my dining room table and would check in on it whenever I needed a mind break from everything else. I loved doing my puzzle and listening to Playing Along with Norah Jones, it was relaxation at its finest. During quarantine, I wrote this blog where I pretended doing a puzzle was a sporting event people were watching on TV, and I found myself in the same headspace while doing this puzzle at my dining room table. When I would find a piece, or maybe two or three, I would throw my hands up and say, “how does she do it folks?!” or “she is too good!” It made for a much more enthusiastic puzzle experience.
4) Me greeting my house
Like I said, I love my little house. So when I get home I like to say hello. It is my safe place, my reliable friend that will invite me in after a long day. “Hey house,” I say when I open the door. Or, after a particularly hard day, I’ll drop my purse down, shut the door, and say, “SHEESH” before getting in my comfy clothes and settling in for the night. I also walk around giving positive affirmations to my plants because I heard that helps them grow.
5) Me breaking the silence
Unless I’m on the phone, singing along to Spotify, or occasionally imitating funny or interesting lines off the television, I tend to spend a lot of time being quiet when I’m at home. I have entire conversations inside my head. I exist in my own little world which, when it’s not terrifying, can be quite glorious. But sometimes—and this never fails to make me laugh—I’ll be thinking through a problem and I’ll get an idea, so I’ll say—out loud, to no one except myself—“that’s true!” after hours of not saying anything. I always imagine someone saying, “huh?” and looking around as if they missed something. Which, obviously, they have, because I just solved world peace in my head.
A little over a year ago I walked into a local hardware store. I don’t remember what I was there for, all I know is that on my way to find it I fell in love with a fiddle leaf fig tree that was on sale for $20. I picked it up, carried it with me to whichever aisle held my required item, and then I went to the checkout counter.
Once home, I quickly named my plant “Figgy Azalea” and she’s been with me ever since.
When I first moved into my new apartment, I stuck Figgy on the floor below my kitchen window. It seemed like an obvious spot that got great light. I also thought it would be easy to track her growth based on her relation to the light switch.
For the first few months, she sat proudly under that window. She stayed green and healthy but didn’t really grow. Then, at the beginning of December, I moved her to a different spot in the living room to make space for my little Christmas tree. I stuck her next to my couch, in indirect light, and wrapped tensile around the base of her pot for decoration. A few days later, a baby leaf sprouted on her stem. Within a week it blossomed into a full blown, bright green leaf. I was so excited! I took pictures like a mother on her child’s first day of school, fighting back tears as she says, “you’re getting so big” under her breath.
After the holidays, I was prompt to take down my Christmas decorations. I still lingered on a few Christmas movies, but I wanted to ring in the new year with a fresh, clean apartment. So I took down the tree, packed up the decorations, and moved Figgy back to her spot under the window.
Within a week or two, she started to lean, reaching for (or away from?) the sunlight. Again, she stayed green and healthy, but it was almost as if she was pointing to the corner where she once sat. She was a kid tapping at their parents’ side as they chatted to a friend at the bank, “I don’t like it here, can we go home now?”
Then one of her leaves fell off.
I moved her back to the spot next to the couch, and again, within a week, a baby leaf sprouted.
Figgy knows what kind of light she likes to grow in, and she isn’t afraid to ask.
Direct sunlight—the spotlight—is not for all of us. Some of us like to be a bit more in the background.
There is a quote from the book Quiet by Susan Cain that says, “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.”
It’s not always easy to ask for the lighting we want. It’s not always easy to pursue the lighting we feel most comfortable in—especially if those around us don’t agree. But we each know where we feel we have the best opportunity to grow. And it’s in our best interest to find it. Or to ask for it.
Take it from Figgy, find your light and let yourself grow.
I was recently listening to the Bad on Paper podcast and they raised the following question:
What restaurants would make up your ideal food court?
It’s a great conversation starter, and I’ve found it can draw out some pretty heated opinions.
It’s also tough question, but I decided to add even more of a challenge and limit the number of choices to five.
Here are my answers:
Typically, if I’m craving a sandwich I’ll go to Subway. It’s simple and familiar and I have the app on my phone with my order tee-d up. But there is something very nostalgic and comforting about Quiznos for me. In my early 20’s I worked in retail at my local mall and it was…a lot. There were crazy hours and crazy customers—one of which told me I ruined her granddaughter’s Christmas—and most of the time I went in with a survival mentality. I just have to get through these 8 hours. I just have to finish folding this last stack of men’s t-shirts. I just have to get to lunch. Ah, lunch. The one-hour break where I got to sit in the back room with my headphones on, and just be left ALONE. My store was inside a mall, and thus there was a full food court at my disposal, and yet I only EVER went to Quiznos for lunch, and I only EVER ordered the Chicken Carbonara on wheat bread with no bacon. After a while, the guy behind the counter started to recognize me and would start making my sandwich whenever I walked in. He felt like an ally in my battle to survive retail, and Chicken Carbonara was my comfort food.
2) Bluebell Ice Cream
I am a sucker for an ice cream cone. And sometimes in the summer, when it’s 1000 degrees and you haven’t planned anything for dinner, a double scoop in a waffle cone promises nothing but satisfaction. There are plenty of delicious ice cream shops native to Southern California, but I would choose Bluebell. As of now, Bluebell remains unavailable in California, so I only have it when I visit family back east. As a result, I constantly hold all other ice creams to the standard of Bluebell’s Salted Caramel Cookie, and nothing has come close to measuring up.
I don’t eat fast food often but when I do it is almost exclusively Chick-Fil-A. In 2020, when so many gatherings happened over Zoom, me and a group of cousins did a french fry ranking bracket, where I fought for Chick-Fil-A fries as if they were a constitutional right. I would also choose Chick-Fil-A sauce as my *condiment of choice* and they have milkshakes. So…duh.
4) Coffee Bean
I’m not a coffee drinker, but I understand the need for a shop geared towards surviving the morning. Every time I’ve taken an early flight, I’ve stopped off at a coffee shop to grab a muffin or banana, and if I’m feeling wild (or freezing) a hot chocolate. Recently, I’ve started dabbling in the world of tea which has made me feel less like a coffee shop outcast. So I feel like this would be a good fit for both who I’m becoming and for my friends and family who would boycott my food court if this was not included.
5) Pizza Press
And finally, pizza. (DUH part 2.) There are only a few pizza places that I would actively choose not to order from, as I find pizza delicious 90% of the time. So honestly, this slot could be given to any pizza chain. However, Pizza Press is another one with fond memories and one of my favoritepizzas ever: “The Times” (with no cilantro). It used to be my favorite place to order from when I visited my cousins in Irvine, and a go-to spot after Friday night softball games. There isn’t one very close to me anymore, so I mostly pop around making replicas of the “The Times” at other pizza places, though nothing is ever as good.
One of my favorite worship songs of all time is “Graves Into Gardens” by Elevation Worship.
The bridge is my favorite part, and it goes like this:
You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can
You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can
To me, it’s a song about what God can do, and the seeming impossibility of it all.
Just the name “Graves into Gardens” suggests the ability to turn something sad and dark into something beautiful.
But the line that sticks with me most is “you turn seas into highways.”
It’s one that always conjures an image for me.
While I assume the line is in reference to when God used Moses to part the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to escape Egypt, I picture it differently.
I imagine myself in the middle of huge body of water. I look side to side, seeing no land, no boats, no way to get to safety. I am treading water, and then God tells me to run.
“Run?” I ask, “don’t you mean swim?”
He assures me he means run.
“But I’m in the middle of the water. My feet aren’t even touching the ground. Won’t I sink?”
And so I do.
I pump my arms and kick my legs, doing my best to mime running in the water. And sure enough…I start sinking. The frantic motion no longer allows me to tread water but concede to it. I start sinking and so I start panicking, but I still hear that call to keep running. So I do.
And suddenly, my feet touch the ground. I have traction. My legs still move slow, as the water adds a lot of resistance, but I pump one leg after the other.
And then suddenly, I have breath. I can breathe. I am no longer underwater. But I am somehow still touching the ground. I feel the weight of the water release me, starting at my shoulders and working its way down. The water is draining, the resistance is weakening.
Soon, the water is just a puddle at my feet and I’m running, full speed, on solid ground. I don’t know if behind me the water is parted, like the Red Sea, or if the entire body of water has simply disappeared. I just imagine myself running, free, uninhibited, on an open road.
This is how I imagine God turning a sea into a highway. How he can turn a scary, seemingly inescapable place, into a route towards something good. And while the way there might not make sense, or might seem to take us somewhere lower, somewhere harder, before we get there, God is with us and we can trust Him.
He can turn seas into highways, graves into gardens, shame into glory.
Hello and welcome back to another edition of Favorites, where everything is straight forward and I tell you—you guessed it—about some of my favorites from the last two months.
Let’s get right into it.
I melt for Norah Jones’ voice. It has long been able to put me in a peaceful place and make me feel like things are going to be okay—even if the song she’s singing happens to be sad. So when I heard she had a podcast—Playing Along with Norah Jones—where she interviews and plays music with guests, I was IN. It is such an easy and relaxing listen. I’ll put it in on when I’m on my way to work, or making dinner, or, my favorite, when I’m sitting at the kitchen table doing a puzzle.
I found the Bad on Paper podcast on a best of 2022 list and I am so happy I did! It is a podcast mainly centered around books, but it also touches on a little bit of everything. I especially like the book club episodes that come out at the end of the month.
And finally, Podcrushed, which is a podcast centered around life—mainly middle school life—hosted by Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin, and Sophie Ansari. Each episode features a guest that talks a little bit about their middle school experience, as well as what they’ve learned since. It’s a relatable and cozy listen that makes the trials of middle school feel a little less scary to think about.
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins was the Bad on Paper book club pick for January, so I was excited to jump in and participate. It follows two timelines, one in the present day, and one in the 70’s. In the present day, two best friends go on vacation to an Italian villa that is famous for a murder that took place in the 70s. It was a gripping read and the ending left me sitting there, thinking about it, for hours.
I heard a lot of hype about Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton so I went in with high expectations…and it met all of them. It’s a memoir about the trials of love (both romantic and platonic), and Dolly does such a great job at capturing the feelings down to the bone. This book made me feel especially seen and so I’m very grateful I read it.
It had been a while since I read a book that I loved but also hated because I was in such a hurry to know every single thing that happened but also didn’t want the book to be over, so I was excited to find Every Summer After by Carley Fortune. It follows Persephone and her best friend Sam as they grow up together during their summers spent in a beach town. I listened to the audiobook, and while I started at a slow, leisurely pace. I quickly began to work my schedule around finding time to listen to this book because I just wanted to know what happened. So I suppose you could call this a recommendation and a slight warning.
Going to come clean with you, I watched The In Between solely because I have a crush on Kyle Allen. They stuck him on the poster, so that was enough for me. I also like Joey King, who stars opposite him in this good but also kind of heartbreaking movie about a couple who is separated by death but finds their way back to each other in the “in between.” It’s a sweet story with a supernatural element that makes you wonder. (find it on Amazon Prime)
As I was writing that last paragraph, I laughed out loud because I realized that this next movie, Rosaline, also features Kyle Allen. I love watching movies that have actors in common. I call it, “theme-ing.” So this is both funny and on par for me. Rosaline tells the “untold story” of Romeo’s girlfriend before Juliet. It’s funny and original and made me laugh out loud. (find it on Hulu)
Unrelated to both of those movies (and, unfortunately, breaking the theme) is TheBanshees of Inisherin. I have been trying to watch all of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar’s, and this one was on the list. It is a little bit hard to explain, which is funny because it is a very simply premise. In short, two friends end their friendship. It is a slow moving, beautifully shot movie that I loved. It is strange and funny and sad.
Shortly after I finished reading Everything I Know About Love (which I’ll admit I was a bit behind the times on) I found out they’d made it into a show that is streaming on Peacock. Needless to say, it took priority over everything else I was watching and I absolutely loved it. It is a relatable, cozy show that again made me feel very seen and understood. I caught myself nodding along to each episode. (find it on Peacock)
Special Forces: The Toughest Test is the wildcard pick of this favorites post. These last few months I have been in the mood for peaceful, calming, love stories and this show is the complete opposite. It puts a group of celebrities in the middle of the desert to try and endure special forces training. They are given a taste of what our military personnel is put through in order to fight for our country. It is extremely humbling to watch. I sit on the couch cheering all of them on, almost always on the verge of tears, knowing full well I could not do what they’re doing, and feeling incredibly grateful that people do in order to let me live this great life. (find it on Hulu)
I have long been curious about The Mindy Project but had only ever seen half of an episode, on mute, while running on the treadmill at the gym. I love Mindy Kaling so I was pretty sure I’d love this show and I was 100% correct. I think it’s rare to find a show that makes you laugh out loud but this one gets me almost every episode. I am almost sad to be loving it so much because I am blowing through it. But I suppose that’s the great thing about streaming—when I’m finished I’ll just start again. (find it on Netflix)
The People’s Champ by Quinn XCII
Everything to Everyone – EP by Renee Rapp
Rolling Up the Welcome Mat by Kelsea Ballerini
Caleb Pressley and his interview series Sundae Conversation used to pop up all the time on my For You page on TikTok. They are short, witty, dead pan interviews that often make the celebrity guests crack up laughing. I have loved going through the backlog of interviews and am forever impressed by Caleb’s ability to keep a straight face. This interview with Morgan Wallen is one of my favorites
Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!
It has officially been (a little over) 200 days since my last time capsule blog.
If you are familiar with this phrase, isn’t it crazy we’re here already?!
If you have no idea what this means, I have a little tradition on this blog where, using FutureMe.Org, I send myself a set of 10 questions every 200 days, to act as a kind of time capsule/journal.
I started this project on a whim as I impatiently waited for the 2018 Olympics to arrive, and I’ve kept at it ever since. I’ve always been fascinated by time, and the way it can move both fast and miserably slow. In doing these time capsule blogs I’ve realized that, even when it doesn’t seem like it, time is always moving faster than I think.
Something special about this particular time capsule blog is that it’s my 10th one. TEN!
The first letter I sent with FutureMe was on July 9, 2017 which is 2,052 days ago.
So while I go about the usual practice of a time capsule blog, I also thought it would be fun to compare my answers from my first ever letter to my most recent one, which was August 6th, 2022, just over five years from the first one. Let’s see how things have changed, and how they’ve stayed the same.
1) What day is it?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): July 9th, 2017
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): August 6, 2022
2) Describe yourself today
Note: for my first few time capsules, this question was, “what’s the weather like today” but I got bored of that question so I changed it. It’s pretty funny though, if you read the first part of my answer from 2017 in the context of “describe yourself today.”
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): HOT. AS. HELL. Well, at least it was earlier. It’s actually not bad now. There’s a nice breeze happening and I’m here for it.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I feel good today. Relaxed. Hopeful. Or at least trying to be. There are a lot of pieces out of place. A lot of pieces I’m desperate to figure out WHERE they fit. So I’m hoping that with some patience, diligence, and faith, I can find my way forward.
3) What did you do today?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): Taught in the elementary class at church, went to Quiznos with my mom, then spent the entirety of the afternoon battling the swarm of ants that have taken over our house. #ant-pocalypse2017
As you will soon find out, “Ant-pocalypse” was a huge deal at this time. But what stood out most here was Quiznos. What I wouldn’t do for a Chicken Carbonara from Quiznos right now. BRB while I’ll Google the closest Quiznos. I have said Quiznos in the last three sentences. Quiznos.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I submitted my application to the upper level writing class at UCLA Extension! It’s the first class I’ve taken that needs approval to be a part of, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I’m also getting ready to head out and do some errands with my mom. We have plans to hit the grocery store, dry cleaners and CCC for lunch, then get our nails done and (ideally) tuck in for the night. Maybe even watch a movie. Who knows! It’s a good, sunny, Saturday.
This is why I love these time capsules. I remember this day in flashes and it was in fact a good, sunny, productive and cozy Saturday. A month or two later, I found out I got into the writing class and was very excited!
4) What’s your favorite song right now?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): Thunder by Imagine Dragons
Definitely listened to this song the moment after I reread this. I still love this song.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I recently started listening to Meghan Trainor’s podcast with her brother and have a collective crush on their entire family, so I have been listening to some of her music. My favorite right now is “Ashes.” I’m also sending good luck into the universe that by the time this letter comes back to me, we’ll have new Taylor Swift music. PLEASE.
Still love Meghan Trainor and the fam. She ended up in the top 5 of my Spotify wrapped. Also, I definitely manifested that Taylor Swift album. She announced “Midnights” at the VMA’s 22 days later. 👀
5) What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): I think Broadway Melody. Though if we really want to get into the meat of my television/movie watching ways, LET’S TALK ABOUT GAME OF THRONES. How did Season 7 end? How are we doing with the way it ended? Oh my gosh I’m overwhelmed by all the questions I have.
I have ZERO memory of watching Broadway Melody. Zero. But reading “Game of Thrones” was almost a jumpscare. Past me knew so little.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I saw Where the Crawdads Sing in theaters and loved it! And then I watched TheGray Man and Purple Hearts on Netflix and loved both of those as well.
6) Who did you last text and what did you say?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): A text to Natalee & Rachel in our Roomie group text, in regards to #ant-pocalypse: “they were slowing down pretty good earlier, we found some minor survivors, but applied the appropriate force. I’d hold off on calling for now. Let’s see how the next couple days go.” Follow up question: how DID the next couple days go? Did we win the war of the ants? Did we have to call the Terminix guys and let them take our money?
You did not win and you happily gave away your money. You were also traumatized when the Teminix man said, “you have a huge spider population” and you think about it to this day, even though you no longer live in that house and you *knock on wood* haven’t had to deal with many ants since.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): Incredible timing for this one. I texted my friend Nicole “Hahaha right?! The fish is like, ‘hey guys, I would steer clear of the cove. There are some freaks over there'” This was in reference to a video she sent me where a guy gave mouth to mouth to a fish that was stunned after being caught.
(See below for fish trauma)
7) What is your biggest goal right now?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): Publish a book
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I want to find a great apartment. I want to finish my Creative Writing Certificate. I want to plan this trip to Italy! Love to find a handsome man to add to my life.
Creative Writing Certificate – *almost check* I only have one more class to take.
Italy ❌ postponed, but I do have a fun trip coming up in April that I’m very excited about!
Handsome Man 🔍 found some but not the right one yet.
8) What are you most excited about?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): At this exact moment, this time capsule blog, but in general I’m excited about the possibility of getting a book out there in the world, I’m excited (and nervous) about my brother Troy leaving for college, and I’m excited about all of the possibilities the future holds if I work hard enough!
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I’m really excited about the birthday trip to San Francisco my friends and I are taking at the end of September! I also have a LOT of fun things coming up on the calendar. Especially in October. TBH I’m a little intimidated by October, but also very excited.
Our trip to San Francisco was so fun. I wrote about it here.Also, it’s wild to know that in 2017, my brother had never rock climbed, and now it’s what he does for a living. He was just around the corner from discovering his true passion, and I’m so happy for him.
9) What are you most worried about?
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): Not accomplishing anything I want to. Being sad, alone, and covered in left over ice cream. The ants coming back. The Dodgers never winning a World Series in my lifetime.
A lot to unpack here, past Kim.
-You will be sad to know that the ants DID in fact come back the following year. They showed up every summer at that house to say hello and push your sister to the brink of insanity. Luckily, you found a great pest control guy that always swooped in to save the day.
-You will be surprised to know that you now live alone! And you are not terrified! Anymore! You actually, shockingly, love it.
-You will be thrilled to know that Dodgers do win the World Series in 2020. It is the strangest year of baseball to ever be played but it had a pretty happy ending for Dodger fans.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): I think my consistent fear is things staying the same. Which is funny because I love a routine, love consistency, love reliability and predictability. But I’m constantly worried about not moving forward. About being stuck in the same place, afraid of the same things.
10) What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last 200 days?
Note: this is another question that has changed since the beginning of these time capsule blogs. My answer from 2017 refers to the old prompt: “Tell yourself a really bad joke”
My answer from my first time capsule (7/9/17): You know you still like the “outstanding invoice” joke from your book. Just admit it.
Unfortunately, my “really bad joke” from 2017 has been lost to time. “My book” was a collection of essays I believed were ready for publication. Spoiler alert: they weren’t. They were a bit rushed and a bit *not me.* I wrote what I thought everyone else was writing and didn’t quite have my own voice yet. Over the last five years, I’ve turned some of those essays into blog posts and let some of them drift into oblivion. The joke in question here is an oblivion inhabitant. It couldn’t have been that funny if I don’t remember it.
My answer from the last time capsule (8/6/22): Hmmm honestly probably the cookies at my sister’s backyard wedding. I know there is probably a meal in there somewhere that I just LOVED, but I can’t stop thinking about those cookies. I had one every day for like, a week.
I will dream about those cookies for the rest of my life.
At the end of each time capsule, I wonder what life will look like in 200 days. Maybe it will look mostly the same, or maybe it will look completely different. The same goes for life in 2000 days. I love imagining that we are right around the corner from something—something big and life changing, something that checks a box or answers a longstanding question, something you didn’t even know you wanted or needed. That possibility is always out there. I hope it finds you in the next 200 days.
You can check out this page to see the growing archive of all of my time capsule answers. And don’t forget to check out this post to find out how you can create your own time capsule.
Our next delivery date is: Friday, September 8, 2023!!
As usual, I will excitedly await the arrival of this next time capsule and the future it lives in, but I won’t rush towards it. Here’s hoping there’s lots to enjoy between now and then.
Sending you well wishes. Do your best and give yourself grace
I recently came across this story, and thought it was the perfect time to repost. I wrote it in October of 2015, but I still think about it often. It’s a real life love story, one we could all learn something from.
Sending you all lots of love this week!
My Grammie lived with my family for a few years before she was transferred to a nursing home. The adjustment was hard for her, especially due to the new presence of a roommate, but she understood the necessity, as her health had begun to rapidly decline.
Her room was set up with two beds arranged parallel to one another, divided by a curtain. Her roommate was by the door, and my Grammie was by the window, which she liked, because the sun shone in and warmed her cold skin during the day. One afternoon, as my mom walked down the hall, she saw a man in the doorway, sitting in a chair beside the roommate’s bed.
“Hello,” she said warmly as she approached him.
The man immediately jumped up from his seat to greet her, extending his hand kindly.
“Hello ma’am,” he said, “my name is Mr. Day and this is my wife.” He gestured to my Grammie’s roommate. “I just want you to know that I will be looking out for your mom, Miss. Patricia, here. I will make sure she is taken care of and is as comfortable as possible.”
A few days later, when I made my first visit to the nursing home, I took a seat next to my Grammie’s television and watched the sunbeams shine in through the window and across her freckled arms. She said she felt pretty good that day, that her breathing was better and she had an appetite again. My mom asked about her physical therapy, and my sister talked about the talent show our brother was in over the weekend. As they talked, I glanced down at the dresser next to the television, noticing a few cards and a teddy bear holding a puffy, red, “get well soon” heart in its arms. Being nosy, I flipped open the tag attached to its ear and read the kind handwritten note addressed to a name I didn’t recognize. I then inched each of the cards ajar and noticed they too shared the same recipient, though according to the dates inside, some were given four or five years ago.
On my next visit, as my mom and I were en-route to the window side bed, she saw the familiar figure sitting in the chair by the doorway. When we reached him, Mr. Day again jumped up with haste to greet us. It was my first time meeting him, and as he shook my hand he said, “You know you look exactly like your mother.”
That day, as my mom and I visited, I watched Mr. Day out of the corner of my eye. He sat, very content, next to his wife’s bed, watching football and holding her hand. My mom had told me his story on the drive over.
Nine years. Nine years he’d been doing this. Almost an entire decade. Mrs. Day had a stroke in her mid-50s, and was later diagnosed with both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. For nine years he had come to visit her, knowing she would lay there asleep, being fed through a tube. There were so many things he could be doing, so many places he could be seeing, yet there he was beside her, as he’d always been.
What a love they must have had, I thought; though it was clear that to him it did not live in the past. This woman, even while held in the clutches of tubes and wires, was still the woman he married, the woman who held his heart.
I thought of what my Grammie had told my mom the day before.
“Her feet kick,” she’d said.
“What do you mean?” my mom asked.
“When he talks to her. She kicks her feet when she hears his voice.”
Oh what a love they still have, I thought.
He, who has every reason to feel trapped or angry or resentful, looks at her like his own perfect Sleeping Beauty, and she, who has every reason to let go, holds on to hear that voice she knows so well. For even in the worse, they still find a way to keep the vow from the better.
The other day I was listening to the Workin’ On it podcast with Meghan & Ryan Trainor, and their guest, Zach Pincince. At one point in the conversation, Zach said something that stuck out to me. It was a little nugget that made a piece snap together in my mind.
I’m going to expand on the idea that Zach gave.
You are at a party with some friends. It’s nothing crazy. You are moving from conversation to conversation, catching up with people you know, and introducing yourself to a few people you don’t. You are relaxed and having a good time. Then, during one conversation, someone tells you:
“You know you’re a purple unicorn, right?”
You scrunch your eyebrows together, confused. This is a ridiculous question. Obviously, you are not a purple unicorn. You know this to be a fact. So you shake your head, trying not to laugh, and you let the person continue on their merry way.
In the aftermath, you probably tell this story to anyone and everyone who will listen, whenever it pops into your mind, but it probably doesn’t make you question who or what you are. You don’t drive home that day (or any day after) thinking, what if I AM a purple unicorn? You likely just shake your head with a smile and think, that was such a weird thing to say.
Now let’s imagine a different scenario.
You are at that party with your friends. Moving from conversation to conversation. It is a run of the mill social gathering. But then, during one conversation, someone tells you:
“You know you don’t deserve any of the things you have, right? You know you’re not good enough? That you never will be?”
Do you still scrunch your eyebrows together in confusion? Do you laugh it off as something outrageous? Or do you blink your eyes a few times, letting the words wash over you?
On your drive home, are you still thinking about it? Are you letting those words repeat over and over in your head, each time letting yourself believe them a little bit more? Are you rationalizing it? They wouldn’t have said that if it wasn’t at least a little bit true, right?
For me, I would live out these scenarios exactly like this. I would laugh off the comment of being a purple unicorn, and I would let the comment that I’m not enough slice me into a million pieces.
Because the latter is something I’m afraid of being true. It is something that, at least a small part of me, believes to be true already.
Paolo Coelho said, “You are what you believe yourself to be.”
Which means that if I believe that I’m not enough, then, to me, I am never going to be. If that person walks up to me at that party, I’m going to hear their words as the truth—as proof that I’ve been right all along.
But, if I work to believe that I am enough—even though passing thoughts might say otherwise—if I fight to believe THAT as the truth, then it is, and that person might as well be calling me a purple unicorn.
In theory, both scenarios should end with you shaking your head, laughing in disbelief that this person would say something so ridiculous. Because both scenarios should trigger the same reaction, the same red flag, the same scrunched eyebrows.
Instead of waiting for someone to tell me I’m not enough, I want to learn and ultimately believe all the reasons why I am. I want to be able to stand on my own two feet, knowing what’s true and what isn’t, and I want to have the courage and confidence to defend that truth.
I want you to have that too.
So remember, you are not a purple unicorn (unless you want to be).
Let that weird, obvious fact be the thing that actually reminds you who you are—enough, worthy, able, etc.
Let it be the strangest, cutest battle cry against the insecurities beneath the surface, and the enemies that might be waiting around the corner.
I am not a purple unicorn, and neither are you, but we are so many good things, so many great things, so many things to be proud of.