Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why It's Hard to Talk About Robin Williams

I was coming out of a faculty meeting when I checked my phone and saw the unusual amount of text messages I had received, all from different people. That's how I found out. I was looking down at my phone and walking to my car and then I wasn't. I froze half-stride, shocked and suspended in disbelief. I recovered enough get into my car, put on my sunglasses, and surreptitiously shed a few tears as others were leaving the parking lot to go home. I deplore getting emotional in public. I avoid crying and am not prone to it. This doesn't make me stronger. In fact, I am a bit jealous of people who cry so easily and comfortably in front of others. But this news broke me.

I went home and cried more. I talked to my mom numbly on the phone. She was the reason I had such a strong love for Robin. I grew up with books about him decorating our living room end tables and his films lined our tv cabinet. Robin and I shared the same birth date, a fact of which I have been so proud growing up. I shared my birthday with my favorite entertainer and comedian of all time. I felt blessed.

I shared my reaction on Facebook so my friends would know I was aware and to pay tribute, then I stepped away. It was still too near for me to keep seeing the barrage of articles, lists, criticisms, and statuses about our loss of such a kind, generous, joyful man. The next day, I logged back in and before I even had time to scan my newsfeed I saw the crass headline, "Robin Williams: dead by asphyxiation due to hanging." I lost my breath again. I retreated to the bathroom and wept for the second day in a row.

It's hard to talk about this. It's hard to think about it at all. It is too painfully familiar.

I lost my closest friend, my cousin Marcus, the same way as the world lost Robin. Marcus was brilliant, hilarious, warm - many of the things that I loved about him were the things I loved about my favorite actor. I just saw an article about why funny people struggle with mental illness and depression. It all hits so close to home for me. I identified with Robin. While neither I nor anyone else have anywhere near the same talent for comedy as he did, nor do I struggle with addiction, I have seen my share of doubt, self-loathing, and depression. I love to make people laugh. I love to add to the joy in the world. But sometimes those talents turn into walls around my own vulnerability and personal demons.

The world doesn't like it when the comedian cries.

That's why it's hard to talk about Robin Williams. I feel like I've lost a part of my own identity; that my hero has fallen under the sword of some of the same demons I battle. But I am also left with an example of a life that was overwhelmingly lived for others through laughter, sincerity, and an open heart.

Thank you, Robin, for your life. You were a gift to me in some of my most hopeless moments. I hope you now have found the peace that eluded you in this world.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Bliss + 5 Photos That Make Me Feel Beautiful

Linking up again for Heather at No Bologna's and Meg at Borrowed Heaven's Blog Bliss! This has been a pretty good month for me.

Blogger Bliss Button updated

Travel and Celebrations!
For my birthday weekend, I got to see two of my best friends, Heather and Lacy. We spent the weekend dancing, going to VegFest (which was even better than I expected), and lazing around by the pool. It was great to see them. Heather blogged about that trip, so I'll just link up here if you care to know more.

My birthday (the 21st) was pretty quiet, itself. It fell on a Monday so I worked and then bought my favorite Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Americone Dream, for myself. As good a birthday as ever. :)

I have also been doing some more exploring and, although it was right in town, I took my kayak out for the first time. It was a lovely 2-hour paddle and I really enjoyed it. No pics since I didn't have anything to protect my phone, which is a good thing since I immediately almost capsized getting in the dang thing. Graceful.

I'm also taking a quick trip to Austin this weekend. Even though it'll technically be August by then (holy cow), I'm counting it in with this month!

Craft-wise, I've been pretty productive this month. I made my lamp which is now happily at home in my office, and I have other projects under way. I am currently wrapping up some Mason jar lanterns for my gazebo! Pics to come when they're done.

Five Photos That Make Me Feel Beautiful
This was a little more difficult than I thought. I very rarely feel beautiful. Not in a sad, feel-bad-for-me, no self-esteem kind of way. I think it's rare for most people to really feel beautiful. But then I realized that I have some great photos that make me feel accomplished, happy, loved, and yes, I look pretty good in 'em, too! And those things make me feel beautiful.

With Tekita and Brittany, two of my best friends from grad school. I am proud and lucky to know them.

My bff/sister from another mister, Stefani, during my Christmas trip to visit her in Scotland.
You can find her blogging at Caught Read Handed!

My "little," Katherine. She is such a blessing to me and is possibly the best person I've ever known.

Lacy, Heather, and I enjoying desserts on a trip to run the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon
last November. One of the best experiences of my life with the best people.

My precious baby cousin, Aven. I am not much for kids, but I love her and her
twin brother, Major, a whole awful lot.


What has brought you bliss this month?!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finally Sharing My Own Music

I've been hesitant to share my own music mostly because I wasn't sure how to post it since everything on here technically belongs to Blogger. However, I don't think the instrumental version of my newest song will be at too much risk! I finished the lyrics (so far; may add another verse) last night, but again I don't want that to get stolen...not that anyone would want it. This is fresh off the press so is still a bit rough, but I'm liking it a lot so far. As for what the song's about, it's a lurv song entitled "We Should Just Dance." Not sure who I wrote it about. The most serious relationship I'm in presently is with the pint of Ben and Jerry's in my freezer. Anyway, here you are! Short, sweet post for your Friday. Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Howl" To: Easel Floor Lamp

You like that little play on words? Yeah, you do!

Anyway...I finished my lamp! It's at home in my office now and providing some great ambient light on this rainy, grey morning. I promised a friend of mine that I would post a "how to" for making this lamp. However, you may find that this is really a "how to not make a how to." I think I took only one picture during the actual process because I spent much of my time cursing the dang thing and looking at my dog for affirmation that I wasn't a completely useless imbecile. According to him, the jury's still out on that. Now to the good stuff!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What I've Been DIYing: Let There Be Light!

Maybe it's the warm weather, but I've been bitten hard by the DIY bug lately. My recent rampage seems to have taken on a "lighting" theme. I've got several ideas in the works. However, I NEED YOUR HELP! I have done plenty of DIYing in the past, but I'd love to get any helpful tips or feedback.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What I've Learned from Living Alone

As of this week, I have officially lived alone for a month in my super mega awesome rental house. I LOVE living alone (with my pup, Rigby) but it is certainly something different. In undergrad, I lived in a single room my sophomore year, but living in a residence hall stuffed with people your age is completely different than living alone in a house. I have certainly learned a few things about myself over this past month that I thought you might find interesting, entertaining, and probably a bit concerning.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wolf Wednesday Playlist

Good morning, friends! I promised you a playlist and I'm delivering. I decided this one would be wolf-themed in honor of both the blog name and my patronus/spirit animal. Turns out that wolves are pretty common themes in music, but I wanted to curate a playlist of songs that are 1) actually good and 2) sound good together. This playlist is available on Spotify (embedded below).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classics

The blogging goddesses over at The Broke and the Bookish host a link-up each week of various "Top Tens." This week's topic is classics. Many of these were ones I was assigned to read in school and ended up truly enjoying (sometimes long after I had to finish the report). A specially curated playlist and a book review coming at you later this week!