📷: August 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
Joy isn’t a truth that should be censored.
Roses & Thorns
- A Pinterest-worthy pandemic birthday party for my sister and niece
- Daily Harvest ( I will need to write a review, it’s been a game-changer)
- Two family members passed away (Not due to Covid-19)
I’ve just completed watching season two of The Umbrella Academy. It was a fun story to follow, and I enjoyed the stylized costumes and set design of the sixties. I appreciate the aesthetics of the era. I’m sitting down to write the Snail Mail letter of July, and I’m not really sure where to go. So here is a lightly edited stream of conciousness.
In July, I dived inward, but in a way that was different than June. I worked on finding and figuring out ways to grow and find a more sustainable way of navigating life. A very self-indulgent month of self-actualization, and honestly, it feels a little obnoxious to talk about my existential evolution. Still, it’s what happened. A major component of said evolution being my rediscovery of skateboarding.
When I was twelve, my brother-in-law gave me his old cruising skateboard, and five years later, a more traditional skateboard. Both boards had been in a shed for the last 15 years, and at the start of July, I pulled out one of the boards. I rode said board about a quarter of the length of a football field down the street and back. The next day I rode it a little further and a bit further the day after that. Eventually, I was confidently riding the board around the block two times a day to the point of wearing out the old board. Then I decided to go to my local skate shop and purchase my first real skateboard. I picked out the deck, wheels, trucks – the whole shebang, and I’ve been skating almost every day since.
I love it. It’s become an essential part of my wellness routine to work through stress and keep joy in my life. At the start of 2020, picking up a skateboard again was not on the agenda, but I’m not mad. The self-portrait above was taken after a small skate sesh in a parking lot in Redlands. I was coming back from my Dad’s place, and Dan and I were on the hunt for some good pavement. The Apple Valley fire was raging miles away, so the run was short as ash agitated some asthmas, but it was worth it.
I debated using this photo of me smiling wildly with a thumbs up. Afraid it would be insensitive, but I decided to use it because it reflects how I felt at that moment.
Everywhere you look these days, you can find a reason to be angry, frustrated, annoyed, heartbroken, and sorrowful. A cup could brim with despair. The truth – reasons to feel all those things have always been there. Darkness and evil are a part of the fabric of our existence as much as love and elation. I recognize we live in constant chaos. 2020 isn’t different than any other point in time, the only difference is I happen to be living in it. It’s not new. It’s just new to me. I’m not waiting for this to be over; I’m allowing it to test me and see what comes out on the other side. On August 1, 2020, I was feeling really awesome, and that was my truth. Joy isn’t a truth that should be censored.
There are two choices: get caught up in the misery and pain of what cannot be controlled or fight to find joy while making the world a better place before you leave it. I’m a pretty death driven person. Death is the ultimate ending that blindsides you or comes slowly like a dark storm off on the horizon. Until I take my final breath, I’m strategizing on how to make the most out of my time here. All while knowing I’m not going to meet everyone’s expectations, and that’s totally cool with me.
Ugh, this has become way too existential.
July was a long month filled with a lot of great moments. I threw a socially-distanced birthday party for my sister and niece. I had a two and half hour long zoom brunch was an internet friend. I got to hug one of my best friends (mask on and outdoors). I started a skateboard Instagram account @skateboard_ballet. I laughed, and I cried in July. I lived to see another day. My risk of death wasn’t high, but I appreciate that I get a chance at another 24 hours.