I recently finished the book Places I Stopped on the Way Home and found it deeply powerful. Inspired by Meg (I mean it when I say that this is the deep, heart wrenching, incredible book I’d like to write one day), I decided to write about five of my own “places I stopped.” I picked a place or a thing or an experience, set a timer for five minutes, and wrote. As I wrote, some themes emerged. Without further ado, here’s an incomplete list of places I stopped on the way home.
I’m following up on my gifts of January post (so long ago!) to talk about the gifts of right now. Here are the things that I’m loving at this moment…
Three Things (on Thursday) is a weekly newsletter where I send things that make your life a little better, week after week. This comes in the form of three things to read (usually books or links to articles), two things that you should know, and one thing I’ve learned in recent weeks.
Hannah wrote a post about her gifts of January and I couldn’t help but be inspired to emulate her and write my own.
Instead of doing a typical “year in review” post, I’ve decided to instead recap the best of each month of the year. To do this, I went through my monthly highlights on Instagram and wrote down the very best things!
My idea of myself as a person who would never, ever get a tattoo changed in the spring of 2014. I was a few weeks away from the end of my study abroad semester in Paris, and a couple of my friends decided that they wanted to get tattoos. For the first time, I didn’t meet the idea with “no way, never ever” but instead a feeling of “I’d like one, but I don’t know what I would get.”
A trip to the beach, a dip in the pool, and a visit to the Getty Museum: here’s what I did this weekend.
I downloaded the HUJI app a few weeks ago. It’s the one that everyone’s been using to make their photos look like they came from digital cameras. It’s really cool. I like how artsy it feels; it’s no different than taking a bunch of photos with your regular camera app and then filtering them, but it feels cool and imperfect. I thought it’d be fun to start sharing my week through photos from the app every so often.
I’ve had depression before, and back then it manifested as wanting to cry every day, feeling like I needed to sleep all the time, and walking around with the overwhelming sense that nothing I was doing had any real purpose. It felt like there were weighted bricks around my ankles, keeping me stuck where I was, and I couldn’t figure out how to move. I saw a therapist who diagnosed me with anxiety and mild depression, and it was a relief to hear those words, like someone was saying there’s a name for this. You are not alone. With my therapist’s guidance, I started to feel better: there was value in things again, I moved to LA, I made a new life for myself. And lately I’ve started to feel like the depression might be coming back.
When I was cleaning, I found the jar in a box of things from senior year of college. I remember writing the words ‘adventure fund’ in pink Sharpie in my single dorm senior year, sticking the label carefully onto the jar from IKEA. I’m sure I thought it was going to go to pay for great things: plane tickets abroad or a hotel on the beach, maybe drinks at a busy pub in Europe. As I picked through the coins, searching for quarters to take back to Los Angeles so that I could do my laundry, I thought about how 21 year old me might have found that fact a little bit sad. And then I stopped myself.