The last year has been rough. I’ve done my best to show up, be kind to everyone I encounter, and remain hopeful that the steady stream of next-level bad news will one day end, but that’s about all I can do: the bare minimum to stay sane, or at least appear sane. The fact is that I’m going apeshit on the inside. Sometimes the vitriol escapes through a crack in my armor, and I curse a blue streak about toothless people in red ball caps who vote against their own best interests, the volume and tone of which make my cat run and hide behind the couch.
Something’s got to give.
I’ve written a few things since last summer, but it was writing-as-expectorant, a veritable Mucinex for the psyche. I’ve always thought this type of writing was good for me but bad for any poor soul who may have to read it. I didn’t share it because I didn’t want to bring anyone down. The people who “get it” are already feeling it and don’t need my validation. Sure, we can bitch and moan together, but that grows tiresome and accomplishes nothing. Beauty lurks somewhere beneath the shit heap of life. I just need to dig deeper.
Twice in the last week I’ve stumbled upon the concept of being the curator of my own experiences. The first time was on a podcast — one of many that I listen to on my soul-crushing commute to work in the hopes of hearing the odd nugget of inspiration that will restore my will to live. The second time was in the book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. He refers to the things, people, and experiences that influence our work as our “cabinet of curiosities.” In another twist of synchronicity, my kids insisted that we visit the curiosity shop Uncommon Objects on our recent trip to Austin. It was a wondrous place and exactly what my spirit needed at that moment.
Yes, Universe, I hear you. If I’m not more careful about what goes in my cabinet, I have no doubt I’ll end up in a mental hospital. Even worse, I won’t write anything worth a damn.
So, off I go to stock my cabinet with more nerdy podcasts, iced coffees, dog kisses, lip balms, hikes, ukuleles, and cats in tutus.