3 Things from the past week | 4

Posted: April 16, 2017 by Rachel

1. I try not to be the kind of person that imagines their life looking any different than just the way it is, but sometimes… sometimes I catch a glimpse of a beautifully dressed woman in impeccable heels getting into her Mercedes and I wonder what her week will look like. Or I turn to my husband and say: in another life, I’d live on the road, writing in a different coffee shop each day. Or I nod along when he tells me he’d love to live even a day in the life of the families that own the beach houses we passed the shoreline of La Jolla last weekend.
2. A girlfriend of mine who I’ve known online for a couple years now is writing some of the most honest, heart breaking words I may have ever read. It seems silly to tell her how brave she is for putting them out into the world, but that’s exactly what she is. You see, I worry too much about what people think of me. I always have. I wish, for just one moment, I could open myself up the way she does. I’m so lucky to know her; she’s going to do some wonderful things.

3. I’m slowly realizing that I’m going to have to be one of those writers who makes the time to write. It isn’t readily available to me. With a child and a full-time career and a husband and all the responsibilities that come along with that, I’m going to have to steal extra hours. It’s going to mean nights like Friday night when I make coffee at 9 p.m. and sit down on the couch with my laptop. It’s going to mean setting an alarm and waking up earlier than everyone else. It means continuing to steal moments here and there–like the time I waited in line at the post office for ten minutes, writing chapter notes in the Notes app on my iPhone. It means choosing, today, right now, to open up my laptop and write instead of turning to Netflix to watch the next episode of 13 Reasons Why.

But I’d choose this life over any other life. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll say the same.

3 things from the past week | 3

Posted: April 9, 2017 by Rachel

1. It’s been interesting, this week, to see how people respond when it comes up in conversation that Dom and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. We get one of two responses: either a semi-disinterested stare and a barely audible grunt (which I take as a “ha! six years is nothing, just you wait until you’ve been married as long as me and xyz”); or their face lights up in a way that makes me truly proud to have made it this far already.
I’ve been hearing all my life that a lot of marriages fall apart around year seven. I’m happy to say that Dom and I are as happy as we’ve ever been.

2. Yesterday, I started writing a short story about a woman who can’t work on her novels in public without being hit on. It’s about love. It’s about self-care. It’s about personal growth.

It’s nothing amazing yet, but the point is that I’m trying.

3. Just look at this picture, taken this week. I can’t even. This last year of motherhood has been really hard, but sometimes we have moments that seem to make it all worth it. Four has been good to us, so far.

3 things from the past week | 2

Posted: April 2, 2017 by Rachel

1. Sometimes I’m irrationally scared to go back and look at things I’ve written in the past. I’m worried that no matter how much I liked the writing at the time I wrote it, it will now seem somehow less than. As a writer, all I really want is to keep working and improve my skill set. To look back at something I wrote two years ago and published is scary. As such, I’ve decided to re-write my first book, Finding Lily. Wish me luck.

2. We leave for California on Saturday morning. Last year, after our three amazingly relaxing days in La Jolla, I jokingly told Dom I wanted to go back for our anniversary again next year. Well, today’s our sixth anniversary and we’ll see you in a week, La Jolla.

3. I’m entirely certain that one of my favorite feelings in life is when someone falls head over heels over a book that I recommended to them. I’ve been telling everyone I can to read The Hate U Give and smiling more and more as their positive responses find their way back to me. I love the way reading can unite people. (by the way, this is what I’m reading now, in case you’re interested).

3 things from the past week | 1

Posted: March 26, 2017 by Rachel

1. Does every other woman worry about turning into their mother as much as I do? It seems irrational; how much space I allow this worry to occupy in my mind. I suppose I’ve always been hyper-sensitive to what I do and say and how I act towards Dom, because what if I become her? She’s an amazing woman, but I see so much anger and dissatisfaction in her that I don’t want to carry on my own shoulders.
2. I weigh the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. I’m supremely unhappy about this and yet I have no motivation to change it. Not yet, anyway. I suppose I keep waiting for something to happen to snap me out of it and make me care… but it hasn’t happened yet.
My mother in law is obsessed with weight and appearances. She’ll be the first one to point out if I’ve gone passed the point of no return. Until then, I complain to myself each morning post-shower, but continue to do nothing about it.
3. My mother recently ran into one of my high school english teachers and told her I’d become a writer. I was shocked to know my mother had told her that. I guess if I’m not doing it full-time it doesn’t feel like the truth. But that’s silly. I’ve been a writer my whole adult life. Before that, even. It’s the one thing that has and always will ring true.

Excerpts from my Journal | 07

Posted: March 10, 2017 by Rachel

Last month Dom and I spent a night in the mountains. I didn’t notice until two days later that he’d brought home one of the small lotion containers from the lodge. I’d gone looking for lotion, my hands were dry. So I used some of it. And that scent… that deep, spicy scent… I just can’t figure out what it’s reminding me of. Was it cologne that a past boyfriend wore? A favorite candle long burned out?

Every evening before bed, now, I put on some of it. I’m desperate that one of these times it will come to me. Where in my past it had its place.

++

Here’s what going on three days without Dom has taught me. One: I feel his absence so fully that it almost presses against my lungs. Two: I really do love being at home. We have–finally–built a home that is truly ours. Three: I wake in the night and I reach out for him. Five: this was good for me. A chance to miss him. Maybe it will be good for him, too.

++

Can people really change?
Because all I can think about is that I desperately want to be a better version of myself.

++

Thanks for reading,

rdg

WINTER LISTS ON A SUNDAY MORNING.

Posted: January 1, 2017 by Rachel

Waking up on January 1st always feels like a new beginning. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of those people who think new years resolutions are a joke. Because I don’t. To me, it’s a fresh start. A clean slate. A whole new year to do with it what I like, and put the past behind me.

With that in mind, here’s a little glimpse at life right now:

things currently on the table.

2 hot wheels cars

half-burnt candle

black pen

a half-eaten bowl of soggy cereal (thanks DJ)

things i want to purchase but won’t.

all the candles

a pair of red converse

all the jeans

a new, better quality laptop case

the type of woman I want to be.

kind

ambitious

patient

what I’m working on.

myself

my marriage

writing. always writing.

patience

things I’ve loved lately.

anything by taylor jenkins reid

candy cane coffee

sitting, reading next to the christmas tree

what i want to get better at this year.

eating healthier and smarter

washing my face at the end of every day

putting my marriage first

Excerpts from my Journal | 06

Posted: December 23, 2016 by Rachel

I spend a lot of time alone in my head, which I’m starting to think might not be all that good of an idea for someone like me. But, my god! this time of the year! I always feel as though I just lose the tiniest bit of footing on life, my thinking, my future.

++

This will be my sixth Christmas in Las Vegas. From the very beginning there has been a sort of quiet understanding that I’ll feel the first pangs of homesickness around the 20th, as Christmas looks closer. But it isn’t until Christmas Eve — when I’m surrounded by family who has only known me for these six years, with people I feel like I still know so little about, but who have welcomed me into their world with open arms — that the full weight of everything comes down on me.

I don’t feel as though Kitchener is home anymore, but on Christmas Eve, my heart forgets all that and aches in a way it never could the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year.

It aches like it hasn’t forgotten how far I’ve come and all that I’ve left behind … even if I have.

++

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings you need to write about because it was perfect in its simplicity. There was sex and breakfast and reading and coffee enjoyed before going cold and I never wanted it to end.

++

I want to write so badly, can feel the itch in my fingers, but I worry that I have nothing left to say.

++

 

Thanks for reading,

rdg

MEETING SUZY

Posted: December 8, 2016 by Rachel

“I’m really nervous about meeting new people.”

She said it first, before I had the chance. I had definitely been thinking it.

On the drive over, I went from turning the heat on to warm my cold hands, to cracking the windows to cool myself off. I was cold, but on the verge of sweating through my clothes.

This is typical Rachel behavior when it comes to meeting someone new. So imagine the relief when we’d just sat down to lunch and she told me she was nervous!

“That’s funny, because earlier today I was telling Dom about how this should be interesting because we’re both introverted, shy people,” I said.

Suzy and I are friends in the sense that we’ve known each other online for some time, and have emailed back and forth for a while now. But getting to meet someone in person who you built a friendship with online is uniquely special. You feel as though you know them, know their family and what gets them out of bed in the morning, but getting to see them with your own eyes, getting to wrap your arms around them in a warm hug … it just can’t be beat.

We ordered the same meal for lunch. I pulled toy cars out of my purse for her son to play with. She finished off my sweet potato fries when I couldn’t eat them all. We talked about writing, about parenting, about where we live and what we do for fun. And I thought, here’s a girl I could spend the day with and never get bored.

Suzy has a contagious smile. I swear that just being in close proximity to her made me feel happy and relaxed.

After lunch, she asked me to go on the search for donuts with her, which I would surely have done had I not had piles of work to do (oh, that’s right, I have a full-time job….). We said our goodbyes and off I went towards the parking garage.

And then I remembered I had wanted to take a photo of Suzy and I.

Damn.

I turned on my heels, heading for the monorail. Out the door, around the corner, up the humorously tall escalator … but they were gone.

I turned the radio off in the car on the way home, wanting to be alone with my thoughts.

For two shy, young women, we did pretty well for ourselves.

++

Go check out these photos she took of Vegas. I told her at lunch that she has encouraged me to go out and see more of this city that I have lived in for nearly six (!!) years.

THAT DECEMBER THING

Posted: December 2, 2016 by Rachel

Two thousand and sixteen.

Phew! You have been a doozy of a year.

I know it’s all so terribly obvious of me to be talking about 2016 just as we’ve tiptoed into the final days, but this is who I am. I play and replay everything over in my head, trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out where I went wrong, and what I can do better next year.

Back when I was in my early twenties and oh so lost as to who I was and where I was going, I would talk to older women (forties, fifties) who all said that their thirties were some of their best times. Their kids weren’t babies anymore, they were married, settled… but most importantly, they knew who they were.

I know a lot more now, at 32, than I ever did at 21. Like that I can socialize as well as anyone else, but I have to balance it out with alone time. Like that karma is a real thing. Like that if I stop creating, stop writing, I’ll cease to be myself. Like that I can’t eat the way I used to. Like that sometimes capturing a photo of that perfect moment where you see yourself in your kid is all it takes to turn a day around.

2016 has been a tough year, but those are the years that teach us the most, aren’t they. The days push our boundaries, teach us just how far we can go. And I like to think we’re better off for it. We’ve become stronger, smarter versions of ourselves.

I want to be a stronger, smarter version of myself. The kind of woman who is more patient and kind, who picks up her camera more and stays off her phone. The kind of woman who is engaged. The kind of woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. The kind of woman who enjoys the middle of things, not just the beginning or end. The kind of woman who isn’t constantly comparing herself to everyone else. The kind of woman who writes about her life, the real, the right now, instead of just fiction.

The kind of woman who knows she is not less than.

She is simply doing the best she can.

MY IDEAL MORNING

Posted: August 28, 2016 by Rachel

It begins with coffee, always.

Well, I suppose before there can be coffee, there has to be the act of waking, of climbing out of bed and trudging down the stairs. In a perfect world, this would be done before my toddler is awake, so that I can enjoy the quiet darkness before the day truly begins.

I would make a coffee, sit on the couch and open a book… whatever I happen to be reading. I would read for twenty minutes, and then, with likely a lukewarm half cup of coffee, head into the office to write.

I would write, and write… and write.

And then my son would wake up, and together he and my husband would come downstairs, wiping sleep from their eyes, requesting breakfast. We would eat together as a family, this perfect little family of three, just the way it’s meant to be.

There would be a second cup of coffee, because, #addicted, and then — because it’s my ideal morning (and therefore not necessarily reality) — I would go for a walk around the neighborhood because it’s the perfect temperature out and my iPhone is shuffling through the perfect mix of music to keep me going.

And then, a warm shower, the application of mascara and blush, and kisses for my boys as they head off for their day.