When Your Main Character is Really Just You

Personal post ahead, but I think others will relate.

I started a project in 2018 titled “I’m Not Ok.” It’s been very slow going because it’s honestly very emotionally dense, as you would expect a novel by that title to be. The brunt of the words were written in the fall of 2019, when I was at a pretty dark time in my life. My anxiety was at an ALL TIME high, and I (self diagnosed) fell into depression. I blame my job (I teach 7th grade) for a lot of it, but it affected my life outside of work as well.

As you can imagine, teachers in the US aren’t sitting in a pretty position currently. I live in a current “hotspot” for COVID-19, and schools reopening (or not) is the hot topic in town. Starting remotely 100% reeks of privilege, but starting face to face comes at what cost?

Everything is changing daily. The district I work for makes a plan, we start to think in that direction, and then something changes. Be it by the state, the city, or just the district. You get so used to the monotony of things being relatively the same every year, that when it’s all up in the air, it’s hard NOT to be anxious.

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Personal Growth and Discovery #3

Like many new year’s resolutioners, I’m back! This time, to attempt a 31-day journaling adventure of personal growth and discovery.

In nice terms, 2019 SUCKED. So I’m dedicating 2020 to ME, MYSELF, and I.

I’ll be utilizing the writing prompts from this website.

Day 3: What are some of my limiting beliefs that might be holding me back?

What if I fail and it makes me look incompetent?

What if I’m rejected and have to face those emotions?

As I mentioned in my writing yesterday, negative self-talk is my specialty. I am always convincing myself that it’s better to think negatively, that way if I fail, it doesn’t hurt as bad. I don’t necessarily believe a lot of the negative thoughts I have about myself, but I do let them limit what I do.

I often find myself not volunteering for things, not opening my door to visitors, not willing to take risks to create a better career or life for myself. I let my fear of failure and rejection let me just ride along at the average level I’m comfortable at.

The issue with comfortable, is that line moves.

I was watching Bar Rescue last night, and I made a comment that so many of these bars that do really well for years and then begin to fail are doing so because they refuse to change. They think that what works right now will still work in five year.

Living a comfortable life is the same. Comfortable as a measure changes as we move along in life. What is comfortable now, won’t be in a few years, months, weeks, even days.

I limit myself. And it’s time I take a leap of faith and see what happens.

What does that mean? I don’t know. Is it a leap as a teacher? A leap to further my career? A leap in my personal life? Only time will tell.

Personal Growth and Discovery #2

Like many new year’s resolutioners, I’m back! This time, to attempt a 31-day journaling adventure of personal growth and discovery.

In nice terms, 2019 SUCKED. So I’m dedicating 2020 to ME, MYSELF, and I.

I’ll be utilizing the writing prompts from this website.

Day 2: What do I need to let go of?

I need to let go of my negative thoughts about myself. My self-consciousness, maybe? I think I self-sabotage at least 85% of the time.

At the end of last school year, I got my formal observation notes that were beginning to put me at the “distinguished” level. (In Texas, that’s like a 4/5, where most teacher stay at 3/5, “proficient.”) All that being on a day when I just told her to come by and do it that day. No dog and pony show.

At the end of November, I got an email after an observation of my co-teacher and myself that was one of the best commendations. We were invited to be the “feature teachers” during January’s co-teach webinar.

At the end of the semester, I was invited to a PD by my principal to completely revamp my classroom and try some new, innovative strategy because I’m a “forward thinker” and she knows I’m committed.

All of this sounds like I should absolutely LOVE my job.


But I’m beginning to reflect and realize that I think I dislike my job because I’m always so negative about it. Perhaps I’m afraid to enjoy it, because then when things turn bad, it doesn’t feel like part of my soul died. But if we’re being honest, part of it is already dead. I killed it.

One thing I’ve wanted to try this year is yoga. I’m considering dumping my gym membership and going to a yoga studio. As much as I’d like to do it at home, I have three dogs, and I don’t think I could fully commit my mind to it knowing that they’re surely getting into mischief. I think a yoga session can give me space to just clear my mind of the negative self-talk.

This year, I hope to lessen my self-consciousness and negative mindset, and truly embrace that attitude is everything. I am good at my job. I am very blessed in life. 2020 is my year.

Personal Growth and Discovery #1

Like many new year’s resolutioners, I’m back! This time, to attempt a 31-day journaling adventure of personal growth and discovery.

In nice terms, 2019 SUCKED. So I’m dedicating 2020 to ME, MYSELF, and I.

I’ll be utilizing the writing prompts from this website.

Day 1: What do I need more of in my life?

In one word, SUPPORT.

I spent a lot of last year feeling really alone. And while I never truly was, that didn’t stop the feeling. I have a husband, and loving friends and family. But I often felt that I couldn’t share my feelings without getting a passive aggressive response. Why is our mental health still such a stigma? Why do people think we need to meet some kind of requirements for feeling down and depressed?

This year, I hope that I receive the support I need when I need it. Support at work, when I’m struggling with my 7th graders and their behavior; and support at home, when I’m stressed about money and how we’re one emergency away from financial disaster.

This year, I’m focusing on MY mental health, and I’m not going to hesitate to reach out for support when I need it. If someone can’t help me up when I’m down, then why are they in my life in the first place?

Making Writing a Habit (or, How I Have Failed At It)

I have to give a round of applause to the people who have made writing something that they do everyday, even with full time jobs, kids, dogs, other hobbies, etc.

Every month I create my new planner spread and tell myself I’ll write just 5,000 words this month. Then I write zero.

When a big writing event comes around, and I know have support and people checking in on me, I write, but the last few years, it hasn’t been as much as I would like to. I’m mostly referring to NaNoWriMo. Last November, even with my students cheering me on, I got just 13,000 words in. Now I am so extremely proud of those 13,000 words, and they’re the beginning of a project that I am SOO SO SO passionate about.

I’ve spent the last month really planning out how to make this the best thing I’ve ever written. I feel like I have a huge opportunity with this novel and I want to do it justice.

Step one to doing it justice:


I’m on summer break, so I set the measly goal for myself to finish this novel. I’m at about 15,000 words. I can see it going to about 75,000, but I’m not dead set on a certain word count.

I’m one week into summer vacation, and I’ve written ZERO.

I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for July, but part of me is recognizing that my lazy self will probably not write anything until July 1st now, and if that happens, I won’t finish this this summer.

Writing is not a habit for me. My habits are watching Food Network and obsessively checking Facebook. I wish my habits could be working out, eating right, and writing, but alas.

I know I can correct this on my own. It’s as easy as just WRITING EVERYDAY.

But since it took me two hours to even write this, I guess that means I’ll start tomorrow. (and hence, my issue ha…)

If you make writing a daily (or almost daily) habit on top of the rest of your life, kudos to you. I aspire to be you. I have 8 weeks left of my vacation to change my habits before real life (teaching 7th graders) comes back around again.

Wish me well! (or tell me your secrets!)

Monday Musings #13


(I started this on Monday. It took me a day to finish it haha!)

This is my first year teaching, and I have one big complaint to make:

Why do we have to raise kids to only be expository writers and not creative writers?

This is the biggest complaint of all teachers, right? We have to teach to a test, not teach our kids things they’ll use in real life. Not all kids are going to grow up to write academic papers in their career for their entire life.

Should students be writing expository often? Obviously. Most college writing is expository in nature and it should be mastered before you get there.

But how do we raise the next JK Rowling when creative writing
is barely touched in school?

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I Read 6 Books in 2017…

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But I accomplished so many other things I had never planned for, so is that really something to be ashamed of?

Hello friends! Long time, no post!

So I logged into Goodreads on 12/29 and was so depressed when I saw how far from my minuscule 30-book goal I still was. 30 books is barely one per 2 weeks. I had friends accomplish their 75-100 book goals! What! Continue reading

Long Time, No Post


Good morning, friends. And thank you.

You stuck with me even during a tumultuous 2-week hiatus in which I made excuses for myself, got so much dental work done, and started really considering what my future holds for me.

So to update, I wrote a total of 147 words during Camp NaNoWriMo. That same feeling washed over me on day 1 as it did last year, where I had built up too much excitement it seems for the novel I’d been planning to write. And then when the first day came along, it all washed away. I was stoked to write I Should’ve Eloped. But I think in postponing the wedding, all the anger I held towards planning the damn thing washed away too. Continue reading

Questions on My Mind Today

  1. How terrible is it if I go get a chocolate milkshake from Sonic after my dentist appointment today? 
    1. I truly feel I need to reward myself for doing this. It’s been 9ish years (don’t judge me) and I have super terrible anxiety with dentists and people being so close to my face and I’m really trying to stay calm today but it’s getting harder as the hours tick by.
  2. Why is starting a new book/story so hard?
    1. I know exactly where I want it to start, but actually getting it down and not hating it is proving to be a pain. Especially considering that I have this fancy new notebook for I Should’ve Eloped and I just wanted the first chapter to be handwritten, but I’ve already had to rip a page out because I hated the first sentence so much. Maybe I should type it out first until I’m mostly happy, then I can transcribe it? Hm.
  3. Am I ever going to finish this book I started reading?
    1. It was a free ARC from a publisher and I’m pretty sure the review was due last month. It’s not even a bad book. But it’s also not my favorite genre of book. I took it out of my purse and I keep forgetting to put it back. Oh well, I’m sure I can get through a good chunk while I sit in the waiting room at the dentist this afternoon.
  4. Why can’t people arrange work projects ahead of time, instead of springing them on an unsuspecting person all of a sudden? And then taking forever to respond to emails about it?
    1. Grumble grumble work problems.
  5. Why does time go by so fast when you’re not looking forward to something, but it goes sooo slow when you are excited about something?
    1. Did I mention my dental anxiety? Gahhhh.


Happy Monday, friends. I hope yours goes better than mine. I’ll share some news about my Camp novel tomorrow when I’m not pushing my luck with an ulcer. 🙂

Monday Musings #12

A Rant About Starbucks:


First, please pardon my lack of postings last week. February’s been a tough month, but I think we’re finally getting over the hump. At the same time, I think the last 4 months before a wedding are the worst. So we’ll see how this goes. Especially with the stress of my first dress fitting in 8 weeks. #makemeskinnynowplease

OK. A rant about Starbucks today. I’ve been a pretty loyal fan of their overpriced coffee-type beverages for several years ago. Call me your typical white girl (I did own a pair of Uggs [til the bottom ripped off], and I have an iPhone with monogrammed phone cases), but I’ve never denied my Starbucks habit. I get at least $50+ in gift cards every year to Starbucks.

I secured my gold status in like April last year to stay safe until March 2016. The way their rewards system has been set up is that each purchase gets you 1 star, and (if you’re a Gold member) after you hit 12 stars, you get a free menu item.

Ever since I started to unsuccessfully diet, I stopped drinking their Frappuccinos, mochas, etc. and settled instead for a plain old cup of coffee. Usually the blonde roast, but the Pike Place was fine too.

It was a good set up. After I bought 12 coffees, I would get a free one.

But NOT ANYMORE. Continue reading