My friend Ashley, who was one of my housemates when I studied abroad in Oxford, and also offered me free housing and meals on my many overnight trips through Edinburgh, Scotland, asked me to do a guest blog at Circling the Story this week. She specifically asked if I’d be willing to write about my divorce, which is something I haven’t done too much of (publicly) yet. It’s up now at http://www.circlingthestory.com/reader-stories/katie/. I’d love for you to check it out and give your thoughts.
I tried blogging four years ago. It lasted about five minutes. I had pretentious reasons for not blogging (“I write literature!”) and some lazy ones (“mmm, what if I watched another episode of Sherlock instead?”) but really I just resist trends for a long time. As in, I still don’t Instagram or Twitter, I don’t have a Pinterest account, and I started wearing skinny jeans a good five years after they became mainstream fashion.
I also didn’t feel like I had anything worth saying in a digital setting where I’d have to create my own audience. I already have a hard time sending out work to editors and magazines; writing and promoting my own work without a publication to hide behind, or even a very good project to entertain readers, felt self-absorbed and presumptuous.
Also, I got divorced two years ago and spent a season as a semi-homeless hot mess. I’ll probably be writing about that more later, but let’s just say the idea of posting on Facebook, much less blogging, seemed pretty pointless for a long time.
Also, I teach English full-time at a university. I have plenty to do.
But my life is good now, if still a little hot-messy, and one morning at the beginning of January I was reflecting on how my life became wonderful again. At the time I was drinking lemon juice in warm water. I felt like I was drinking sunshine.
This beverage is based in Ayurveda food philosophy, and I’d been thinking of Ayurveda ever since I attended a workshop back in October. At the end of the three-hour session, Tiffany, the instructor, suggested we not try to implement all of the practices at once, but take one at a time and make it a habit. I’d already started this process by beginning a meditation practice in August. After the workshop, I decided to work on her sleep suggestions, which were to go to bed by 10:00, and wake up before 6:00. I succeeded with very moderate success, which means most nights until exams and Christmas break, I went to bed before midnight. When I did, I felt better. I also joined an online yoga challenge over the holidays, and had spent six weeks practicing yoga instead of just teaching yoga. The difference was huge.
My friend gave me three Ayurvedic cookbooks over my birthday and Christmas. I’m not super domestic, but I love eating well and I love cookbooks (thanks Grandma!). As I leafed through them that morning, I thought of one of my favorite blogs-turned-book, Julie and Julia.
“I could cook through Ayurveda recipes in a year.”
And then I thought, why not?
I thought of my other favorite book-blog, Rachel Held Evans’s Year of Biblical Womanhood. “I could do a ‘My Year of Ayurveda’ writing project!”
As a yoga student and teacher, I try to have a healthy lifestyle; as a woman with anxiety, depression, and a little PTSD, I know how much I value my health now. Since going through a divorce two years ago, I’ve made a conscious effort to claw my way along a pathway to wellness. Therapy, exercise, anti-anxiety meds, and writing have been some staples of this path, albeit inconsistently executed ones. Because I’m familiar enough with Ayurveda to know my doshas are Pitta and Vata (more on that later) I know that two of the best things in the world for me are 1) creative expression and 2) a schedule. I also know the latter is really hard for me to implement without some external pressure.
“Let’s make a schedule,” I said, “and put it on the internet.”
So here I am. It took me all of January to put words on a blog, but over the last month I’ve been reading and writing and figuring out how I want this project to develop. My yoga friends and writing cheerleaders (you know who you are) have been great supporters, and my friend and study-abroad housemate Ashley, over at Circling the Story, asked me to do a guest blog, which gave me the impetus to get my own writing out of my journal and onto cyberspace. A lot of what I’ve been writing has had to do with yoga, and that will probably definitely continue here, but I hope the non-yogi readers find something that speaks to them too.
Also, I’m going to work on going to bed by 10:00. Starting in about fifteen minutes.
Cheers, and namaste.