anxiety, feminism, the future is female, three things, words of women

Three things.

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Happy Women’s History Month! I’m going to bring back Words from Wise Women — check out the archives here — who would you like to see featured? Also, check out this amazing infographic, “Women’s History: A conversation through time.” Looking for daily inspiration on rad women? Cup of Jane is a great follow.

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Sometimes I struggle with trying to explain my anxiety to friends and family. It’s not an easy thing to describe. My go-to metaphor is the “keeping your head above water while the waves keep growing.” So when I saw this article from The Mightya great resource for all-things mental health—I was really interested to see how others put it into words. #5 & 12. Too real.

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Words of Women, as always, killing it with their advice and insights.

The most important thing to do, however, is to pull yourself inward today and focus on the details in your life that need attention. We may feel worn out with the process and exhausted by our own resistance. It is time to take a breath, take stock, acknowledge what has been surrendered and see what pieces are left. What are the next steps you need to take to keep the momentum going? Sign up for the newsletter for tomorrow’s tips in using this energy to make the most of our week, month and year. Sign up here.

Seeing the Words of Women newsletter in my inbox always makes me happy. It’s beautiful for both the eyes and the heart. You won’t regret it, I promise. And this is coming from someone who usually hates newsletters.

 

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anxiety, healing heartbreak, the future is female, three things

Three things.

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Man Repeller had a pop-up shop this week in NYC & I so wish they’d do one in Europe. I love this mug. But really, as MR always poignantly points out, it goes beyond the beautiful stuff, it’s about gathering together to learn, share, and love.

But most importantly, all the time, I hope we’ll provide safety. My mom tries to tell me that pregnancy is not all its cracked out to be. She recalls the memory of being 23 and seven-months-pregnant as a new immigrant in New York, married to my dad, an insensitive boy at the time, with her parents thousands of miles away. “I was scared and self-conscious and alone,” she often tells me. “I needed something like Man Repeller, but didn’t have it.” It reminds me of how I felt when I was 14 and heartbroken and didn’t understand if friendship was supposed to be painful and full of deceit because it was. That’s when I needed Man Repeller.

So this place, really, beyond the wifi and the books and the boob lamp, is a physical reminder that even inside the depths of darkness that is so black we lose our balance, we are soooooooooo not alone.

Leandra is just everything, right?

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Emma Stone did an interview with The Talks and talked openly about her anxiety and struggles as a sensitive person. (So rad to hear her talk openly about it.)

“For a long time I thought being a sensitive person was a curse.”

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Who knew a balloon could show you so much? (Original source unknown.)

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#wordsofwomenHH, 20 questions, blog features, march 2017, words from wise women, words of women

Words of Women 20 Questions: Joanna H.

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-5-08-01-pmInspired by this article from Words of Women, I decided to ask friends to take part in the questionnaire. It’s been so fun reading their answers and I’m excited to share them every Wednesday. If you want to participate, send me an email at aeallen (at) gmail (dot) com.

About the list of 20 questions by Sophie Calle:

Sophie Calle is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. Her photographic work often includes panels of text of her own writing. (Words of Women)

The first questionnaire comes from a long-time instagram friend, Joanna H., a sociology professor in the U.S. who studied situated identity practices. (So cool!)

When did you last die?

I have never and will never die as I am immortal. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The actual answer to this question is that the thing I’ve thought to be “me” has died a few times over my life when my life abruptly and completely changed. The first time I looked at my son something happened in my brain that killed who I had been even thirty seconds before. And I have never been someone who, frankly, thought kids were that great. I still don’t. I love my own kid, but I’m not usually a sappy romantic person. But that moment, when he looked directly into my soul, something happened. I felt it. I died.

There was also the time I experienced soul death while on LSD. Do not recommend.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Obligation.

What became of your childhood dreams?

I don’t know if I ever really had “dreams” – I just wanted to know things. I wanted to understand. I suppose I am doing that still. It is an unending task.

What sets you apart from everyone else?

My intelligence. I often feel like I see the world in a completely different way because of it. And to be honest, I don’t know if that is necessarily a good thing. I sometimes wish I could be as stupid as the average person because I would understand them better and they would understand me better.

What is missing from your life?

I am STILL not Beyonce.

Do you think that everyone can be an artist?

I think anyone can call themselves an artist, but most of them would be lying. With enough practice, most people can become good at any given skill (even something like painting, music, dance), but I also truly believe in raw talent. Some people are just better at some things than others.

Where do you come from? Do you find your lot an enviable one?

My origins are kind of complicated. I grew up in small towns in central Illinois, surrounded by corn and cows. I was born in a town called Jacksonville, which is near Springfield (the state capital) because my parents went to college in that town. We lived there until I was 10, at which point we moved to Effingham, IL. So in many ways, I lived in small towns surrounded by people who didn’t have many hopes or aspirations beyond getting a high school diploma, maybe a 2 year degree, and then getting a solid blue collar job, starting a family, and settling down in the general areal. On the other hand, my parents both went to college and all four of my grandparents also went to college. My maternal grandmother has a Master’s degree, which for her time was very rare. My maternal grandfather had PhD and was a college professor. So I certainly had that influence as well. I never really fit in with the people I grew up around and got out of there as soon as I possibly could. I know that I am extremely privileged.

What have you given up?

I try not to think about the choices I made as “giving up.” I’ve made choices that have made certain things less possible or probable, but I could always make another decision that would change that calculus.

What do you do with your money?

Spend it on diapers, debt, and bad choices.

What household task gives you the most trouble?

Anything involving spatial relations.

What are your favorite pleasures? 

The smell of my son’s freshly washed head, the taste of IPA, the sound of “99 Problems” played loud in the car with the windows down on an open road, the sight of a well organized Excel spreadsheet, the feeling of freshly washed sheets.

What would you like to receive for your birthday?

A date with my husband.

Cite three living artists whom you love.

Beyonce, Rupi Kaur, Matt Groening.

What do you stick up for?

I try to stick up for people who can’t stick up for themselves. I don’t know if I am wholly successful, but I try.

What are you capable of refusing?

Anything I don’t want. I am incapable of refusing anything I do want. Attachment is the root of all suffering.

What is the most fragile part of your body?

My feet, particularly my toes.

What has love made you capable of doing?

Forgiveness of others. Forgiveness of myself.

Also, scooping poop out of the bathtub.

What do other people reproach you for? 

Talking too much, being what they see as careless, leaving the doors open and lights on.

What does art do for you? Write your epitaph.

Art provides a reflection of life.

“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne” – Chaucer

In what form would you like to return?

Something of value.

Ah I loved this! Thanks so much, Joanna! 

 

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essays, my truths, tv, write it out, writing from the heart

On ‘Girls’ American Bitch & having your shoulders rubbed

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Last night, as I do most Monday nights, I crawled into bed, gummy bears in hand, and watched the latest episode of GIRLS. Usually it makes me laugh; sometimes it makes me rage-y (MARNIE IS THE WORST). So I  wasn’t expecting anything too extraordinary. (I mostly watch because I love the recaps and commentary on the Man Repeller.)

But this episode was p h e n o m e n a l. Phenomenal in its timing. Phenomenal in its social commentary. Phenomenal in its telling of millions of women’s stories. Phenomenal in its response to so much of today’s public discourse and victim blaming.

To sum the episode up: A prominent author asks Hannah to come over to talk after she publishes an article about his predatory ways. He plays the victim card over and over again until winning Hannah’s forgiveness. Then he abuses it.

Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker of course, puts it a thousand times better than I ever could.

The key to “American Bitch,” Sunday’s scathing and timely episode of “Girls,” is the compliments. “Hannah, you’re clearly very bright,” Chuck Palmer, a novelist celebrated for his confessional work, says. “I could tell that from the first sentence you wrote.” He reads the sentence, as Hannah struggles to hide her pleasure: “ ‘If one more male writer I love reveals himself to be a heinous sleazebag, I’m going to do a bunch of murders, create a new Isle of Lesbos, and never look back.’ ” “You’re funny!,” Palmer says. “That’s a funny sentence.”

This initial intro scene was enough to make me put the gummy bears down and pay closer attention. As the episode progressed, the more I wanted to crawl inside myself and cry, while simultaneously wanting to run outside and scream THIS THIS THIS.

Nussbaum continues:

In certain ways, it’s a classic exchange between an older artist (rich, decadent, in print) and a younger artist (poor, moralistic, online). Chuck scores some points: it’s the women who throw themselves at him, he argues, because they are seeking stories to tell. Who really has the power, he asks: the zitty older virgin—him—or a beautiful young model? Hannah resists those arguments; she scores her points, too. “I’m tired of gray areas,” she tells him in disgust, when he waves off any sense that he’s even powerful. She shares a story about having being groomed by a grade-school teacher, another older man who selected her, making her feel chosen and special (a story that’s one of Lena Dunham’s own real-life stories, which she wrote about in her memoir). Chuck sympathizes. Eventually, he asks Hannah about herself—as, he suggests, a form of ethical payback for the exploitative relationships with his fans: he never really listened to the other young women, but now he’ll listen to her, see her as a person, in order to make up for it.

This scene made me cry.

Because I can count not one, but two teachers (one a professor), and a boss from a restaurant I worked at in high school, who would all rub my shoulders or touch my waist without my consent.

The first time it happened I was in elementary school and didn’t realize how inappropriate this behavior was. I’m lucky in that it never went further, and I was ignorant to know what this meant.

The second time was when I worked at a restaurant and the regional manager came over as I was working on the cash register and placed his hands around my waist. I immediately turned to him and told him to “please don’t touch me,” and I was fired a week later for a random reason. When I was fired I told my manager about what had transpired, and what was no doubt the reason for my being fired, and asked if I could have the contact information to file a sexual harassment suit, he told me “no such thing exists.” Though my parents encouraged me to take it to the corporate offices, I decided to just let it go.

A few years later, in college, a professor came over to my desk while I was working on a story and put his hands on my shoulders and rubbed them. I spun my chair around and told him to not touch me. He laughed it off. I reported it to the Dean. I have no idea if he was ever disciplined. But I’m glad I said something. Both to him and the higher ups.

These weren’t the only occasions this occurred, and I’m sure they won’t be the last (what a tragic reality to admit).

Being a female in today’s world, though we’ve come incredibly far, continues to be a incredibly difficult thing to be. Often I’m asked why I so strongly believe in the women’s movement and why I march. My response could be summarized into one simple sentence:

I march because I never want my nieces or nephews to have their shoulders rubbed predatorily.

Because this one sentence says so much more than the words used. Because this one sentence says everything.

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best of

Favorite posts of past times

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On hope & the topic of mental illness. 
With a little help from friends.
Trying to find your footing.
When nothing goes unsaid.
On blogging & being vulnerable.
The best thing he ever did for you
I’d rather be vulnerable than have regrets.
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essays, february 2017, read it love it, Short Story Love, Uncategorized, words from wise women

Short Story Love: “Challenger Deep” by Marina Keegan

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I just finished Marina Keegan‘s book, The Opposite of Loneliness. It was bold and beautiful and haunting.

Marina is most known for her Yale commencement speech of the same title, which went viral immediately. She was killed in a car accident only five days later. She was only 22. A former professor helped her parents publish various works she wrote during her time at Yale, and published it with Scribner.

I loved every piece I read, but I especially loved on of her non-fiction stories, “Challenger Deep.” I wasn’t sure I would like it as it began, as it was out of the realm of the typical stories I go for, but by the end I was riveted and left wanting more. Below, you can read it in its entirety. I’d love to hear your take on it…

“Challenger Deep”

When the jellyfish came, we woke everyone up. They floated down on the ship like snow and even Lev came into the sail to press his face on the periscope. The glow was dim but we could see our arms and outlines and after a minute we stepped away from the glass to look at each other’s eyes. No one said anything, not even the Captain, and I could hear Ellen breathing hard against the glass. My eyes hurt from seeing but there was a strange hope in the blue light, and the weeks of darkness drew us toward it like moths. The five of us sat on the steel for what must have been an hour before the fluorescent specks drifted out and the submarine returned to its blackness. Eventually, I heard the Captain stand up – but it was a while before he finally cleared his throat and felt his way back to the controls.

We couldn’t see anything. Not even our fingers flexing in front of our faces or the steel walls we ran our hands along as we passed through chambers. We were thirty-six thousand feet under when the ballast tanks broke and the pressure gauge short-circuited the electrics. The power was on but the lights couldn’t be fixed from inside. I wasn’t angry like the others. Lev would pace around and scream things in Russian or slam his fist against a door, but he was young and louder than the rest of us. I preferred the days when no one spoke, or at least not about the surface. There wasn’t a point, I told them once while we were eating dehydrateds, there’s really no point.

I waited by the periscope for the rest of C shift because it was my sleep break anyway and I wanted to see if the currents changed and the jellyfish came back. I sat there for a while but they never came so I pulled out the ripped piece of shirt to tie back around my eyes. It’s easier when you pretend to be blindfolded. I heard this on a cave tour in Arizona but Ellen was the only other crew member who listened. It was a small ship, only an Alvin II, so I could pass whomever I wanted to if I took the right turns. I heard Lev talking to the Captain by the desalination tank, which was easy to find because of its dull hum.

“We’d know if we were rising.” The Captain must have been sitting down.

“Maybe not, sir. Maybe the pressure streams are different in the trench.”

“We’d know,” he repeated. “We’d feel it.”

“Then how do you explain the goddamn fluorescence? You know damn well cnidarians can’t survive in near freezing!” He was pacing now.

“The geysers are heated—”

“The geysers are heated. Poshol na khui, suka!” He kicked the metal and I inhaled.

“Ellen?” The Captain had heard me. I was always accidentally listening in because I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“No, sir. It’s Patrick,” I said. “I was just coming back from the sail. Wanted to make sure we didn’t miss them if they came back.”

“They’re not coming back.” It was Lev’s voice and I heard him lean against the wall. I waited for the Captain to reply but he didn’t.

“I just wanted to make sure.” There was silence and I could hear Hyun clicking the switchboard down the passage. He was Korean and couldn’t really speak English but he was the best technician at Woods Hole lab. We listened to his taps for a while until we fell back into ourselves. The Captain walked over to the air vent so it blew on his face and hair. I knew everyone was zooming out, imagining once again what we looked like from far away.

“It was nice,” Lev finally said from the wall. “I forgot what it was like.”

“I know,” the Captain said. “My hands.”

I pictured the tiny dots floating out like stars. The way it looked like outer space from the periscope windows. For the first time in a long time I thought about my sister and the house I lived in as a child. Lev stood up and walked out to his berth. He didn’t leave at B shift but there wasn’t much we could do about allocations anymore.

* * *

We had no concept of time and soon the darkness made it hard to remember what was real. I’d imagine tables that weren’t there and reach for railings that had never existed. After a while I stopped having visual dreams, shifting in my sheets as my mind recounted sounds and sensations that were all cold or steel or underwater. We talked less about trees and more about nothing, playing endless games to name the elements or species of fish until one of us would hit something or start crying or simply not respond.

Once when we were all together, Lev wondered aloud whether China had a deep-capacity submarine that no one knew about. It was stupid, but we spent the next three days hypothesizing about why and how the international community might be able to procure it and send it down to get us out. Ellen believed it most of all because she was in love with a man named Daniel who lived in London. She told me when we were cleaning the interhull vents and the other three were sleeping. I’m not sure why she decided to tell me – probably because I don’t say much. She was skinny for thirty and wore a blindfold like me. I remembered then that she’d told us this was her first real dive.

“He’s a teacher,” she said softly. “We met online through this website.” I’d heard that this could happen but I didn’t really understand how. I took the solution and ran it on a cloth pipe through the holes. When she sat up, her braid flew up and fell again on her back with a small thud. “We haven’t made real plans but I think we’re going to get married.” Ellen was the only one who still spoke about home in the present tense.

“What does he teach?” I wasn’t sure what to ask.

“Social studies.” She paused. “I did my marine PhD at Cambridge so that’s why we met.” I was trying to get the dust from the vent sheets but I couldn’t see whether or not it was working. Ellen was working too and I liked that about her. She wasn’t a very pretty girl if my memory was right, but she had really long hair and her eyes were a sort of green. “I don’t—” But she broke off.

We worked for a while until it was mostly done and then I asked if she wanted to eat now or later and she said now. We traced our way to the dry box that held our rations and added water to the powdery protein mix. Regulations required six months of meals on all H-certified vessels, and the Alvin II was about eight weeks into what should have been a two-week Experimental. We sat at the small half-counter and ate until Ellen fell quiet and started to shake. For the first time in my life I think I was happy to be alone. I wouldn’t want anyone up there to be shaking for me.

* * *

It wasn’t long before people started whispering. The darkness and circles were getting unbearable and most of us were beginning to crack in our own ways. Lev started advocating for “alternatives” to waiting it out. There wasn’t enough food.

No sub could go deep enough. It was now or six months from now. But the ship required five people to operate it, so everyone had to agree before anything was going to happen. I disagreed at first but the idea had fallen like a seed. I felt it when I lay in my berth, when I tried to sleep, when I had dark dreams, and when I half-woke to eat protein and walk around the same five rooms in the same five patterns until I slept and had the same dark dreams.

Ellen didn’t want to. No one needed to ask anyone else because it was just obvious. Hyun and the Captain were too rational not to agree, and Lev was the first one to really lose it. He started groaning and hitting his head from inside his door. The Captain admitted that he could still see in his dreams. He rushed through his maintenance so he could close and open his eyes. If the lights hadn’t gone when the pressure snapped the ballast tanks I think things might have been different. I think we might have been able to wait until the powder ran out.

“Here!” Lev screamed from the center control. “Here, here, now!” He was shrieking and we could hear banging so we all ran to the control. The Captain sat Lev down until he stopped thrashing. Hyun seemed scared and Ellen was hanging back to the side.

“I can’t do it,” said Lev. We couldn’t see him but we could hear the violent quiver in his voice. “I’m sorry. Look, I can’t do it. I see things in my head. Faces and all the water, it’s… My zdes’ umryom. Vy vse ponimaete, chto my budem zhdat’ i zhdat’, i potom mu vse umryom. There are voices and – the darkness and—” He erupted into a sob and the Captain went over and must have put his hands on his shoulders because he quieted down. Hyun never said much but we heard his quiet voice speak up from Lev’s other side.

“Yes,” he said. “Yes. No more do.” I didn’t say anything and neither did the Captain but everyone understood that we couldn’t. We needed to wait. We heard Ellen inhale like she might say something but her lips closed and she shifted her feet. There was a silence and I almost said something about the time or temperature gauges but then Ellen finally spoke.

“I just…” She paused. “I just… there’s no point in not waiting. They might… it’s not impossible.”

“It’s impossible.” Lev spoke the words quietly, straightforwardly. She was hurt. “It’s impossible,” Lev repeated, louder. But Ellen had shifted to move and walked out of the room. I heard the Captain run his hands through his hair.

“She has someone,” I said. “We have to wait for her. We have to wait for her because he’s in England and Ellen…” No one said anything and we waited in that room for a long time until Lev began rocking in his seat again. I started thinking about trees even though I knew it would only make the aching worse.

* * *

Things were different after that. We became suspicious of each other, of all two-person conversations. Ellen didn’t talk to anyone much, but we knew she was listening. I passed her one night standing by the dry box. I wasn’t sure what she was doing with it open but I wondered if maybe she was trying to calculate portions or time. There were five shift jobs and five people so we couldn’t run the ship without all of us. Lev might have been crazy, but he knew this too and he knew we all had to agree. So we waited. We waited two weeks until one day after circuit repairs when I couldn’t hear Ellen in her station.

I thought she might be upset in her berth so I walked by her door. I wanted to tell her that it was okay and that we were going to wait, that there was no rush. We could make it half a year if we wanted to. We could wait. But she wasn’t in there. She wasn’t by the dry box or desalinator and when I screamed her name it rang through the steel of the ship but there was no response. Then I heard Hyun’s tiny voice call back from a passage that we hadn’t used since before it got dark.

The Captain came running and we fumbled for the switch that pushed the door to the launching suits. When it was open, we couldn’t see but I started brushing my arms as fast as I could along the floor where the wires were stored, feeling one, two, three, and then it was missing. There were only four deep-water suits and I think we all realized at once what had happened. We opened the screen vent to the anteroom that opened out to the water and pulled in the cord with the autosimulator. The ocean was black just like the walls so when we heard her body thump into the chamber we couldn’t tell. I ran in and felt the cold on her face and the wet on the suit, but the veins in her neck were still throbbing. She’d cracked the helmet, and her face had ice shards on the sides.

“Ellen!” I screamed, but she didn’t respond. “Ellen! Ellen!” Then I realized what had happened. What the depth had done. I shook her quickly, and she stirred, coughed, choked over to the side. I moved immediately to her ears and felt the warm blood trickling out and into her long black hair. Her eardrums had burst and she was trapped in darkness and silence and a giant iron suit. We moved it off her and her hand reached up to touch my face. It felt strange and I wanted to move away but I let her feel my nose and mouth and eyes until she knew it was me. She’d done it on purpose but she didn’t know we’d find her in time.

“She’s deaf,” the Captain said. Lev was groaning again from the other room. We didn’t know what to do so we carried her into the counter room, heated water, and poured it on her over her clothes. It felt darker than it used to, and I wondered for a minute if that was possible. If we had drifted into a trench of the trench where we would soon hear tectonics crunch into lava and draw us down.

Ellen moaned. I ripped my blindfold cloth in two and balled it up into her ears to stop the bleeding. She lay there like that for a long time until she was quiet. We gave her food and she seemed like she was okay so we moved her into her berth and went back to our stations. I could hear Lev pacing and Hyun clicking and the comfort of the desalinator hum and ventilator air and imagined Ellen alone in the silence of her world – confined entirely to the universe of her thoughts and half-drawn memories of days somewhere in England.

She emerged much later with her arms outstretched, feeling around corners she already knew by heart. We’d squeeze her shoulder when we passed, but that was all we knew how to do. She was lost. And the reality of her attempt had silenced our philosophizing. We were waiting now. We ate and moved and ate and moved.

* * *

I was on Sonar Detect when we picked up the signal from the rover. It had no metal detection and looked like it’d been traveling blind straight through the trench. It was small, robotic, and probably the only thing they could construct to withhold the pressure in limited time. Lev went running and screamed and I guess Ellen could feel the vibrations he made on the floor because I heard her door shut behind her.

“It’s audio,” said the Captain. “There’s an antenna. No one’s coming.” We turned up the sonar controls and heard a short five-minute clip play twice through the wave detectors before it slipped past in its motion and out of sight. They knew our range and they knew we’d have five minutes to hear it on either side. It was expensive, I could tell by the frequency. A million-dollar message.

It was my sister and the Captain’s old lieutenant and Lev’s best friend and Hyun’s mom. The last voice was Daniel’s and it spoke in a shaky whisper: “Ellen, I love you. Ellen, I can’t look at the ocean anymore.” He went on but I was too dazed to remember more. Ellen moaned and walked around, confused. Daniel, I traced on her arm. Slowly, so she could comprehend each letter. A message. She didn’t understand. My hand was shaking, so I did it slower. A message. The ocean. He loves you. But we couldn’t remember any more – our own thoughts scratched with our own words. She jerked away and went wandering back through the ship until we found her later, collapsed and sleeping by the vent.

* * *

The hours blurred as our food box emptied, but I never stopped dreaming black dreams. Sometimes, when the Captain was at the controls or Lev was asleep, I’d climb into the sail and stare through the periscope at the thousands of leagues. I closed my eyes and saw stars but the jellyfish never came.

From the collection The Opposite of Loneliness, via Bookanista.

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bloggers, books, funny women, instagram, read it love it, someday, the future is female

This isn’t a veiled announcement…

… I just love Midwife Clemmie Hooper’s blog, Gas & Air, and new book “How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out.”

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I can’t remember how I found Clemmie, aka Mothers of Daughters on Instagram, but I do remember loving her feed instantly. She has four daughters, two of which are twins, and she keeps it real. (A much-needed breath of fresh air in the world of social media.)

  And how fantastic is her style? And her girls are so flippin’ gorgeous!

As the aunt of 8 little (and not-so little, anymore!) babes, and former au pair and nanny, I have been lucky to have a front row seat to motherhood, a safe distance from the ring, but close enough to have had my fair share of sweat & tears splattered on me. (Is this boxing metaphor ridiculous or what? No regrets.)

 

What I really love is how honest and raw she keeps it, all the while expressing how important motherhood is and how rewarding it can be. And, while I’m not at that stage yet, I do know that when that day comes I’ll definitely use Clemmie’s book as a guide.

I highly suggest you listen to this hilarious, insightful podcast interview with Clemmie on Scummy Mummies, as well as these other pieces, if you’re interested:

Motherland’s, “Expecting the Unexpected”

The Telegraph’s, “Meet Clemmie Hooper, the ‘Insta-midwife’ every millennial mother-to-be wants at their birth”

Alex & Alexa’s, “Family In Focus with Clemmie and Simon Hooper of Gas & Air

And, of course, her husband, Simon aka Father of Daughters, is worth a follow as well — his posts never fail to make me laugh.

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