Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.
Hans Christian Andersen

I’ve never been much of a collector. I used to envy the way people would have a fervor for something that would never wane. I tried, I saved wheat pennies when I was little (until I lost them), pictures from magazines in my teens, oh, and I stashed away slights to add to the chip on my shoulder in 20s like it was my job. When Sean and I got married I took a shine to blankets and mugs.

Lately I’ve been collecting strands of joy and courage, sometimes it’s a quote from a hundred year ago, other times it’s the idea of bunking tradition because I saw a photograph of someone wearing something intended to spur her own pleasure, no one else’s.

I’ve stopped feeling like I necessarily need to apologize for what makes me happy, or that I have to follow a linear path, professionally or personally. I can change my mind, apologize, burn a bridge.

Something I’ve been loving comes from Instagram. It’s the account of Alison Malee. I don’t know that I interpret her words in the way she intends, this one for example:



What if it’s not a lover? What if ‘you’ is self? I love the idea of finding myself again and again, despite the ways routine or responsibility might claw and weigh me down, there I am. There you are.

I’m also gathering strands from the girls. I won’t pretend that everything is easy, but when I listen or when I am still, or when time hiccups and things align in impossibly harmonious ways, they give me arm loads of wisdom and permission to be happy, wise, or just feel glowy.




I’m looking to the sky. The reliability of that massive canvas, making my worries feel small, my spirit feel whole, or filling me with the idea that I’ve got this day—mine, to do whatever I want with it.





Surprisingly I am also finding things within myself, like the thrum of a different rhythm. Maybe I drop everything and sit by the fire or I let myself be late because I want to draw a thick line of black across my lid before putting on mascara. Sweep the girls off for a coffee date, press my lips to Sean’s ear and whisper that I love him until his shoulders spike, he chuckles, and turns to me.




It may not last forever, but for right now it feels really good to give myself the go ahead to clutch to my heart the things that make me smile.


How about you? What makes you look twice lately?