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Writer’s Block

Each time I sit down to write a post for this blog, I wrestle with finding the “right” words for the page. I find it difficult to decide which voice to write in, and I’m never quite sure how much I should edit because I fret over sounding authentic. I think about the unintended authority that may lay in my words, overly aware that someone might take my voice to heart. Overall, I intend to be careful, and sometimes the emotional toll feels immense.

This week I procrastinated harder than usual, never making space in my days to write. To be fair, I’ve been busy, overwhelmed, and distracted by the sun in the sky. But here it is Saturday, my post 6 (now 18) days overdue and I have barely started to write.

I compose my drafts first on paper, the ideas birthed (most of the time) by a .07 mechanical pencil and my hand. I began writing as a child by filling up journals and notebooks with poetry and thoughts. I have always struggled with getting big ideas to flow straight to the computer screen. Writing on paper has been integral to the development of my “self,” the part of me that is expressed through language and emotion. The view of the world you see through me.

Sometimes I think the reason I can’t find my voice is due to my process, but perhaps, right now, I’m unsure of what I sound like (which has been a recurring theme in my writing for this blog). The last five years have been a journey of learning how to pick myself up and keep walking with the pieces I do have. Through my education, I have learned to notice the way my behaviors and emotions have been impacted by trauma and changing those behaviors has been both strenuous and rewarding.

I think one of the hardest parts has been learning how to slow down and think new questions while also validating my voice has importance. Often, I want to clam up and stop talking, but my voice is important. Not because of the need to share it or even the need to be heard, but important because of the ripples it has the potential to create, no matter my intention. Slowing down to prevent using exclusive language is hard work.

The transition from listener to speaker, or student to teacher, has me feeling insecure. This process is vulnerable, and I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks while remembering to always be gentle (with both myself and others). I’m certain that my need for approval and validation is a piece of this puzzle.

This topic has been difficult to write about; hard to wrap my head around. I have questions rolling around in my head that are intersecting with my core sense of being. Where do approval and validation merge with authority and understanding? How do I change my perspective so I’m not wrought with feelings of inadequacy whenever I go to type on the page? How do I get comfortable with being uncomfortable? And when will I start to worry less?

Ahhh, the Good Ol’ Days

I’m not very old. But I’ve been around long enough to have experienced some shit. At thirty-six, I’ve been an adult for half my life—if you accept our society’s arbitrary age at which we supposedly reach adulthood—and I’ve watched the world around me evolve. By “the world around me,” I mean the place I live, the people in it, and my relationships to both. I describe it as “evolving”…

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Radical Heresy Part 2

I wrote last time about modern heresy in lived experiences outside “the norm” and the methods of torture utilized to enforce conformity in the Middle Ages. Now I’d like to speak on U.S. culture but more specifically on my experience in religious-heavy Utah. I have lived on the fringes of this community for most of my adult life. I am currently planning my escape for places that feel more…

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Belonging in June

June was full of so much fun for me. I spent the first weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday (playing laser tag) and Pride. June 9th was mine and my friend Megan’s birthday, and the day began with news that my niece was born, bringing us another birthday sister <3. We spent the day at a festival of colors and later had a pool party with friends. The third weekend…

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But the Top Twitched, And You Missed the Point

I tell students that if they want to take my classes they should make themselves comfortable with ambiguity. To illustrate what I mean, I ask them to consider the final scene from the movie Inception. A lot of people after seeing that movie want to ask, “do you think the top stopped spinning, tumbled, and fell, revealing the current events to be a dream inside a dream?” You’re asking…

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Radical Heresy Part 1

In the Middle Ages, it was considered appropriate and absolutely necessary to physically torture heresy out of individuals who did not conform to the local divine standards. The eternal well-being of these individuals was considered to be at risk. Heresy, these Inquisitors thought, was like a virus spreading through populations – akin perhaps to what athene referred to in their last post. The world has updated the torture standard…

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Birthday Resolutions

For the last five years I have set my New Year’s resolutions on June 9th. I have always had a hard time being accountable to January 1st, but June 9th, the day of my birth, the day of MY new year, has made the perfect check-in point. I love my birthday and count down the days until I get to celebrate myself alllll day long, every year. Call it…

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Patriotic Inebriation

We have come to implicitly accept that ideas spread like viruses. When we describe some idea as “going viral,” we conceptualize it as a microbe that infects host after host until it reaches epidemic proportions. Some experts argue that this is not an entirely accurate way of understanding the process. But ambiguities are an inevitable result of any argument from analogy. (The beauty of language—for me, anyway—is how it…

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Introducing Lucenti for Listening! Episode 1: Community

We made a podcast! Find the transcript of our conversation here. In this episode, we discussed who we are, mutual aid, communities of our past (quasi-monastic, y’all), their evolution, building community for the sake of community, medicating and self-medicating, survival/homesteading skills, cynicism, crafting change in our world, connecting/socializing while sober, disconnecting from ego. So..just a few things! Footnotes: – What is informed consent? – More on Mutual Aid Societies. Also some…

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Your Whole Heart’s a Village

On April 19th, the woman who I claim “sang me through college,” came to town for a concert. All of my life I have had a penchant for woman singers. My mom surrounded me with the voices of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Janis Ian, Melanie, Carol King, Reba McEntire, and so many others. I have taken after her taste by finding women like Brandi Carlile, Jewel, Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles,…

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