To Keep a Balanced Mindset (or: Five Years On)

This week, Somebody’s Miracle turned five years old. On February 16, 2013, I launched this site with a simple post about my travel plans and the open road ahead of me (literally and figuratively). Without any idea of what my future held, I figured it might be nice to have a place to keep track of it all as it unfolded. (A few nudges from friends interested in keeping up helped, too.)

A February birthday means this blog’s birthstone is an amethyst, that vibrant violet stone that evokes calm and is said to bring balance and thoughtfulness to its bearer. My own birthday is in October (opal), but I like the idea of this blog having an identity of its own, separate from the one who fills its pages.

with all your heart
Photo by Brittney Burnett on Unsplash

What’s more, it makes sense that this space where I come to share what I’m up to, where I’ve been, how I’m doing and where I’m headed has an origin that, as I read in one overview of the stone and its properties, lends itself towards “keeping a balanced mindset.”

In five short years, I’ve done more—held more jobs, lived in more apartments, traveled to more countries—than many do in a lifetime. Don’t mistake that for any type of bragging on my part; quite the contrary, as my state of constant motion is less by choice than by circumstance. Through it all, even when I disappear from this space for weeks on end, I know I can always pull up a blank page and work out in words whatever it is I’m going through. 

I’m sure it’s that dependability that’s kept me coming back for half a decade (!); without pressure or expectation, the pages here grow in number as I navigate every new adventure and experience. Writing it all out is my way of balancing my thoughts, processing my emotions and capturing my memories. It’s my heart on the page, from a month in India to a long week in Paris; from film reviews to holiday playlists; from adventures in New York to Chicago and everywhere in between.

And it’s you, too. You, who’s reading this and sharing it all with me. When there’s no shortage of ways to connect online, from tweets to photos to memes to gifs, you choose to click through and check out my longform musing, to peek in on what I’m up to, what I have to say. I really appreciate it, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what the next five years bring, too.

Reclaiming “Spinster”

In a lot of ways, Leslie Knope is my spirit animal. Ambitious, driven, often stupidly optimistic, I always appreciated her pluck.

Back in Parks and Rec’s second season, Leslie throws a pre-Valentine’s Day get-together for all her gal pals. Christened “Galentine’s Day,” it’s since taken hold in real life; these days, it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of girl groups out and about on February 13, cheers-ing to their platonic lady love. Partnered or single, it’s a day to acknowledge women doing it for ourselves, showing up for each other and celebrating our own agency in the world.

I have no plans for Galentine’s Day (or Valentine’s Day, for that matter), but it seemed fitting that as both this celebration of the single woman and love in all its manifestations approaches that I just finished Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. Written by Kate Bolick, a long-time freelance writer/editor, it’s her journey through learning to live her own version of a truly independent life. About my age, her post-grad and mid-career experiences don’t exactly parallel my own (she moved right to New York, had a succession of long-term (and less long-term) boyfriends), but I still found quite a lot with which to identify on the page.

What’s Galentine’s Day?

Years ago, a friend and I were talking about my getting married someday. When I insisted that, much as I may want it to happen, marriage was not an inevitability for me, she nearly choked on her rosé. The older I get, the more I think about my life and where it’s headed. Where I used to think about where I want to be when I grow up, I think now about the life I’m settling into.

Not settling for, mind you. That’s very different. Continue reading “Reclaiming “Spinster””

two nights, two shows

I decided not to do a recap post about the theater I saw in 2017 because, well…there just wasn’t much to recap. I saw some great shows, don’t get me wrong. Snagging a last-minute ticket to Dear Evan Hanson on Broadway was totally worth it. Catching the touring company of Les Miserables never gets old. Taking my mom and kid sister to the Lyric’s My Fair Lady will always be a favorite Mother’s Day memory. 

But overall, I feel like I made a poor showing of it at the theater last year. Six shows in twelve months? What a travesty!

(I kid. Mostly.)

I’m happy to report that 2018 is already starting off super strong. We’re a month in, and I’ve already seen five productions, from a world premiere at Steppenwolf that’s headed to Broadway (well, was headed to Broadway) to a couple storefront productions that were…less than inspiring. Continue reading “two nights, two shows”