I wrote an essay for xoJane. It’s about periods and my daughters, or more specifically how I want to talk to my daughters about the periods which they will one day have. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I’ve always struggled with buying tampons and proudly walking down the “feminine hygiene” aisle. So writing this was almost as tough as me realizing that in order to be different than my mom, I need to be, well, actually different. And this means that I will be the one talking to my daughters about their periods. So, that essay…you can read it here.
If my life were a pie chart, “free time” would be marked with a barely negligible line. I don’t have much, but I started a calligraphy class earlier this month. And I am now obsessed with practicing lettering and ink and remembering how much I once enjoyed learning cursive in school. I also once enjoyed running, so in respect to that throwback hobby, I’ve started running again as well. I run most mornings and, again, will be running in the Zooma 10k. What does all this mean? This means less time for blogging. I have tried and failed at posting here on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Though I have been as great at writing here. I have been reading blogs. Of all the wonderful things I’ve read these past weeks, some of my favorites were written on and pertaining to mental health/illness. I liked this piece by Cecilia on anxiety and these pieces by Tiffany Patterson and Erin Margolin on Depression.
I am encouraged by writings on mental illness because I think it’s a topic that is often considered taboo, especially among the most “unlikely” among us. What I’ve learned in reading and learning more about mental illness is that there is no “unlikely” candidate for mental illness. The sooner we erase this idea from our brains, the better off we’ll all be as a nation, society, culture, species. ‘
I think I’ve long been drawn to stories on mental illness because I see so much of me in them. I hear myself, particularly, in writings on anxiety and depression. I hear my story. I hear my family’s story and weep in commiseration and compassion. And that’s the point of these courageous stories, right? The point is to speak your truth to an audience, an audience who only in hearing you can, at once, say “me, too! I am not alone.
When you can speak on silenced topics like mental illness, you give them a voice. You make lived realities real and tangible. This is why this work is important and this is why I’m so happy that I can attend the This Is My Brave show. It’s this Sunday (if you’re in the DC metropolitan area) at 3 PM. It’s a show featuring artistic works on or pertaining to mental illness.In case you haven’t heard of it, check out this video featuring cast members and the producer, Jennifer Marshall, and associate producer, Anne Marie Ames.
I met Jennifer for the first time at my Listen To Your Mother show, though I’d been following her writings and tweets for years. I am humbled by her mission and her story. Did you know that she previously auditioned for Listen To Your Mother DC and was not selected. Though sad, that rejection didn’t dull her spirit or mission to speak bravely on mental health. She now is producer of a show! That’s amazing to me and further proof in the importance of, well, courage and persistence and believing in yourself.
What I learned from this year so far is that you can never lose by being courageous. You can never lose by speaking your truth, courageously.
To use a metaphor, being courageous is like the trophy, it’s what you’ll have to hold and, thus, remember when you look back on your life and wonder what it was all worth. It was worth something, not as measured in wins and loses but as measured in risks taken.
So today, I’m full on bravery and happy that it’s Friday.
What are your plans for the weekend? Anyone attending This Is My Brave?