Oddly Specific Things I Love

Oddly specific things I love:

  • Setting goals and making lists that break them down into actionable steps and having a free evening where my only goal is to work through my goals list
  • Finding themes between seemingly unconnected things, say, ancient Rome, salt, and humility
  • The exact perfect temperature and weather, which occurs SO rarely and includes rain where it’s warm enough to open a window but where opening the window makes it cool enough to need a blanket

When the Sun Comes Out

This has been a good week. It feels amazing.

I’ve been reading the book Four-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and it’s given me a lot of hope and action points. This book also prompted me to reconsider the Egoscue Method (as I’ve written about here and here). I found a local woman certified in the Egoscue Method and had a great phone conversation with her today.

I’ve worked on my novel.

I’m getting great rest with my CPAP.

The new students are moving in tomorrow at my university, one of the best days of the year.

I’m talking with “Ben” again (yes, the guy who ghosted me … twice). I know that’s stupid, but he makes me laugh every day. Does self awareness reduce my idiocy or increase it?

I’m just hopeful. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way, and it’s just lovely to have the sun come up in my heart.


The In Between

I feel like that’s my address lately.

Not that I’m stalled out, not exactly. It’s more of that angst feeling when you can see the finish line but you’re stuck in place until someone else makes his or her move.

I’ve always wanted to just hurdle such obstacles. In fact, I often have. But I’m learning to be more patient (or trying!!) and learning that achievements don’t have to define me.

I say all the time that I want humility to be one of my defining leadership principles. I do. Maybe the In Between is a training ground.

I dont want to stifle the fire in my belly though, since I’ve spent the last year trying to rekindle it. I’m probably not making much sense, am I?

TL;DR: I want to trust that I’m exactly where I need to be, even though I want more. Also, I ramble.

Letter to Little Jackie

Yesterday my sister found some old photo albums at the farm where we grew up. She took a few photos of photos (hence the glare and low quality) and sent them to me. Look at this sweet one of little bitty me in footie jammies and a towel turban, probably after a bath. I love my sweet little face, the chubby cheeks, the freckles that you can’t quite see in the pic but that my mind automatically interprets.

little jackie

I had read somewhere online about how cruel we are to ourselves as adults, how we would never criticize children with the hurtful words we say to our own souls. Last night I looked at this picture and imagined myself saying things to this little girl that I say to myself regularly: that I feel like a failure, that I’m fat and undesirable.

I started to cry. All I want to say to Little Jackie is encouragement: that she is so smart and clever, so funny and interesting, that already she is telling stories and that she must keep telling stories and that someday people will bind those stories into a book and people all over will read them. I want to tell her that life will be hard, but that she is strong … strong-willed, strong-minded. That she isn’t the kind of girl who gives up and how precious she is, how beloved.

I want her to know that at any size or weight, she is worthy of love, and that her mind is a good one, sometimes too good, sometimes so fast and sharp and overactive that it will lead to some sadness and fear, but that she can overcome that too. I want to remind her that she has incredible parents, incredible siblings, and will someday have a whole host of friends who will absolutely adore her mind, her heart, her creativity. That even when she thinks that God has turned away, he never did.

Little Jackie, there are so many hard things in the years ahead, but you are never, ever alone. You have the capacity to love and create. You can go after your dreams and reach them, and you will be supported every step of the way. You will get sick– first, in your mind– but it will turn out okay when you ask for help. Then you will get sick in your body, but it doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of good things. Sickness isn’t your fault, and you will have the courage to ask for help and the fortune of receiving it.

Little Jackie, there are so many good things coming in the years ahead: so much laughing, so many stories, so many great people, so much potential.

Little Jackie, I believe in you.


36-Year-Old Jackie


One weird question I’ve thought about a lot is … in which order would you prefer to lose your senses?

First to go for me would be smell.

Then taste.

The third and fourth are the two I switch around the most. Today I would choose to lose my sight before my hearing.

Last to go for me would be touch.

How about you?

The Freckled Actress Grows Resolute

When I heard this song today, I said, “In the movie of my life, this song would play while I FIGURED OUT THE ANSWER and MADE THINGS RIGHT.”

I shall now listen to it on repeat until I figure out the answer and make things right. 🙂

Listen below– I have it set to start toward the ending (you know, where the actress who plays Jackie [Emma Stone??] suddenly looks up, wipes her tears, gets to her feet and starts running toward the home of “that guy” [Matthew Gray Gubler??] or else sits down at an old-fashioned typewriter [c’mon, a laptop wouldn’t be as cool] and there’s a montage of pages of a manuscript piling up).

What song(s) would be featured on your life’s soundtrack?


There is something so lovely about short long-term goals.

Yes, short. long. term.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the summer of 2020, which will mark 20 years since I graduated high school, and what I want to be true of my life by that time. Two years feels like the perfect amount of time: enough time to make a serious dent in things, but imminent enough to start right now.

I’ve lost a lot of confidence this year. I haven’t been writing, and I find myself scared to even open my manuscript. That’s a long fall from 2015, when my debut novel came out, but it feels like a million things have happened since then to chip away at my confidence. If it was once a sculpture, it is now dust. Too much has happened.

But I also know that confidence is not a stagnant thing. For me, it has ebbed and flowed like the tide. I still am a great speaker, I am creative, thoughtful, and smart. I love stories and believe in their power.

Concrete is made of three things: water, aggregate, and cement.

I have my gravel: the past.

I have water: the future.

And I have cement, the glue that will bind it all together: an abiding love for story and a calling to write.

Slowly I will rebuild.

2020, I am coming for you.