2020: Beauty in Imperfection

December 31: the one day where humankind as a whole reflect on the memories made and lessons learned during the year. I’m sure we can all say that 2020 was a doozy, thanks to COVID. But I do hope some good things happened to you along the way–whether those moments be small or big. For me, this year was a surprise blessing

Are there things that aggravate me at times about the restrictions we have? Sure. I miss seeing friends in person, and would love to stop panicking every time I forget a mask when I open the door. Most of all, I yearn for the day where we can wander freely in public again. Especially when the husband and I want to partake in our favorite tradition of dinner and a a trip to the movie theater. Or when Mom and I want to spontaneously go out to lunch, or take part in our annual trip to the Hallmark store. (And don’t even get me started on how much I miss Barnes and Noble!)

Yet, despite all the things I could complain about, I’ve found myself in almost a miracle situation. Because of COVID, my workplace closed in March, I was furloughed in May, and by autumn I was unable to return. It caused the husband, Mom, and I to talk. It caused us to conclude that, blessedly, I could stay home. I could write full-time. I could catch up on projects that have long endured the cobwebs of time. And… we could even start a family.

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So here I am, reflecting on 2020 and I can honestly say my heart is lighter. I have hope; I am exactly where I want to be. Sure, I miss my colleagues and the children I interacted with at the library. But I know I’ll see them again, as a patron who has her own little one running around the department. And I know all the restrictions we have are temporary. So, I’m going to make the most of my time, finish this manuscript, and get it into the hands of an agent, then a publisher. (And pray when it’s all out of my control!)

A lesson I’m going to take with me into 2021 is to try and let things develop as they will–to go with the flow. To not hold on tightly, trying to every little detail in my life and those around me. Especially with a little one on the way, I can’t be a perfectionist anymore. Things will not go as planned. I will be interrupted. The day will get away from me. And there will be days where writing just isn’t possible, for whatever reason that may be.

Along those lines, I want to share with you a quote–a mantra–that came out of my mind. It helps me remember that imperfection is okay:

“The beauty is in the imperfection.”

– Katie L. Mortimer.

So go out there with a lighter heart. Notice the imperfections of life; let them give you a smile, make you feel at peace. Take advantage of this time where the world stops. Make 2021 your own. And when COVID is over, breathe the free air and don’t take a second of your life for granted.

Blessings to you all. Happy New Year!

Carry On, Wayward Son

Almost ten years ago, I began to binge-watch a show featuring two brothers who drove a ’67 Impala and battled supernatural forces. Haunted houses, demons, angels, old gods, human spirits, cannibals, and so much more; the boys versus the darkness we so fear to tread. Leading the way. Saving us from apocalypse after apocalypse. All while continuing to be there for each other.

And now that show is coming to an end.

Supernatural has been there through the most chaotic periods of my life. Not only when I was freshly graduated from college and trying to figure out where I go next, but also during my father’s long illness. The Winchester brothers and their adventures have been a blessed relief for not only me, but my mom, during our darkest, most anxious and stressful time.

It has also been a leading factor of my connection in the paranormal community. It inspired a friendship that has lasted for years, as well as being a driving factor for me to research spirituality, urban legends, mythology, and other walks of life.

Put simply: I would not be the same person without Supernatural.

Which is why it is so heart-wrenching to see it end. I only hope for a peaceful resolution for the Winchesters. Maybe the last minutes will be something akin to what Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles imagined: the boys driving down the road, continuing on their adventures, still “saving people, hunting things.”

Thank you to Eric Kripke for bringing this show to life. I hope, one day, I will be able to follow you and create something so unbelievably amazing in my own writings–maybe even a TV show. Thank you to the cast: team free will, the guest stars, the recurring ones, and everyone in between. And thank for to the others: the crew, the producers, showrunners, directors, etc.

God bless you all in your future pursuits. I look forward to seeing them.

Carry on, wayward son.

Remember to Look at the Stars

Do you ever have bouts of anxiety that never seem to stop? You resolve one worry–oh I’m so glad I remembered I get paid tomorrow!–only for another to body-slam itself into the forefront–but what about that basement toilet that needs fixing? 

I seem to be the queen of these kind of thoughts. Especially nowadays with the COVID-19 pandemic, the general unrest of social media, and the doom-and-gloom of the news. If left unchecked, it’s the perfect storm for uncertainty and stress; a nightmare where everything appears to be falling apart at the seams.  

Last night, that familiar territory began again: Will COVID ever end? Is the US in decline? Will social media ever calm down? What if my novel never gets published? What will our future look like for our kids? If we start trying for a family now, will it be safe?  

Then I looked up at the stars.

stars

Everything stopped. I could hear frogs groaning, birds chirping, feel the coolness of the night on my skin. And I stared at the stars. They blinked down upon me. I knew that none of my worries mattered in that moment; they were insignificant. 

The anxiety stopped. It went to sit in that corner and think about what it had done. 

Sometimes we get so bogged down by our fears that we forget to listen. We forget that other humans are our partners, brothers and sisters, in this walk of life. We ignore the wise words of whatever Being we believe guides us. Unintentional, but it happens. I’ve experienced it many times, firsthand. 

So here’s my advice to you, dear reader: remember to stop and look at the stars. Take a breath, wave to a friend. (When COVID dissipates–because it will–make it a hug.) Step away from social media when the world seems too heavy. Read a book, watch a favorite show, play a game. Pet your furry companion, if you have one. 

We are all climbing this mountain together.  None of us are alone. 

“I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision of the universe that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are not… that none of us are alone!”
– Jodie Foster, Contact. 

This Too Shall Pass

Here I sit, in my bed, typing away, on Quarantine Day 7.

Don’t worry. I don’t have COVID-19. At least I’m pretty sure I don’t.

For the past 24 hours, I’ve been having strange symptoms: a general unease mixed with a tightness square in the center of my chest that comes and goes. I saw a homeopathic doctor who told me I have bacterial bronchitis; not anything viral and probably brought on by the damp weather, mixed with allergies. Still, I’m doing to responsible thing and isolating myself from the husband and my mother, only allowing Boo a few head-scratches and Pippy to lay next to me. You know, just in case.

I’ve really been thinking about how much our mindframes have changed since that first case in Wuhan, China. How rapidly our world has become something akin to a disaster movie. Last week, in fact, I was being told that it would be my last day at the library “until further notice.” Looking around at my colleagues, I had become so emotional, realizing I didn’t know when I would see them next.

That’s what we’re all faced with: an uncertainty of how long this all will go on.

Today, I found hope. I rediscovered my strength. All thanks to a little book called Rediscovering The Saints by Matthew Kelly.

“We are capable of so much more than we think. You have no idea what you are capable of. None of us do. God is constantly trying to open our eyes to the amazing possibilities that he has enfolded in our being.” 

Whether you’re Catholic, nondenominational, pagan, or other, these are words to  remember in this stressful time.

Remember: you are strong. Believe that we’ll get through this. That, someday soon, all this craziness will be something in history books, a story we can tell future generations with an air of thankfulness that it’s finally over.

Trust in God, in the current of impermanence that flows in our universe.

This too shall pass.

The Era Ends: 15 Years of TV

A.A. Milne wrote: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

Spencer Reid shared this quote at the end of “Awakenings”, episode two of the final season of Criminal Minds. First of all, I love Winnie-The-Pooh. (Who doesn’t?) Second, it accurately encapsulates my feelings this winter. Because Criminal Minds and Supernatural are ending! 

Yup. They’re currently in their final runs. The series finale for Criminal Minds will air in about a week (Wednesday, February 19) and Supernatural will come to an end Monday, May 18. Fifteen seasons. Fifteen years. I can’t even imagine what the cast and crews are all feeling–it’s hard enough from my couch! 

Honestly, I was a little worried when I saw the set-up for these seasons: it seemed Criminal Minds was shipping J.J. and Reid, while, in Supernatural, Chuck (God) was made out to be the villain. Both plot-lines were driving me nuts! How could they break up J.J. and her husband? What about her kids? Why can’t Supernatural–for ONCE–let a celestial being be a good guy? Why does God have to be the villain? 

So when both shows began airing, I sat down and held my breath. 

J.J. and Reid didn’t happen. (Spoiler alert: they worked it out like responsible adults. THANK YOU!) And, yeah, Chuck is still the villain. (Which makes my eye twitch, but not as much as I expected.) Really, I suspect something will happen to redeem him. Maybe.

All in all, I’m okay with the direction the shows are going. 

Supernatural and Criminal Minds have been with me for a long time. I remember seeing the first episode featuring the BAU family back when LOST and 24 were still running! I would sit down with my parents and, together, we’d eat up every adventure they had. We cheered when they caught the UNSUBs before someone else became his/her victim. We gasped when something terrible happened. The show even made me want to join the FBI for a time, until I realized–thanks to Castle–that I could research and write about crimes, serial killers, and the heroes that defy all odds from the comfort of my desk. 

I’ve realized over the years what I loved most about these shows. What was most important: family.

Supernatural focuses on the bond between Sam and Dean Winchester and the people they love. Criminal Minds centers around the lives and relationships of the members of the BAU. That is what has kept me a fan for so long.

Yes, I love seeing the latest supernatural creature the boys had to battle. Season five of Supernatural I still adore: where Lucifer, Gabriel, Chuck, the archangels, and all sorts of biblical themes come into play. But even those characters reflected on family themes. The battle between Lucifer and Michael was a fight between brothers who had emotional issues about their dad. The culmination of the season taught everyone what was most important: family matters. You can hate them, but more than anything, you love them. 

As the great Bobby Singer said in season four’s “Lucifer Rising”: 

“Are you under the impression that family’s supposed to make you feel good? Back you an apple pie, maybe? They’re supposed to make you miserable! That’s why they’re family!” 

I will miss these shows. A part of me dreads the day the series finales come, when I feel that inevitable loss of two great shows. But, all in all, I hope to feel satisfaction in the endings; I hope my favorite characters get the closure they deserve. And I pray the cast and crew are blessed in their next adventures. 

Thank you for sharing such incredible stories with the world, Criminal Minds and Supernatural. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for teaching me. Bravo. 

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