A Magnificent Journey to Shore

I watch the salty foam rise slowly onto the white sand, lose its grip, then slide despairingly back down. The sea is restless, churning, always changing. In the distance, each billow rises with grandeur, and then powerfully smacks into itself. What a peculiar fate… continuously rising and falling, an unbreakable and uncontrollable cycle.

Some are born to make waves. Others are meant to break them. A few are destined to ride the waves, while others prefer to watch them crash.

I don’t believe my purpose entwines with any of these.

I think maybe I exist to provide an escape from the waves.

I am a creative soul with a tendency to avoid conflict. Perhaps that’s a personality flaw. An adult weakness. There’s a lot of things whirling around us now. There are clashing sides and writhing politics and whiplashing events. It’s a maelstrom in the ocean. We’re seeing the worst of some and the best of others, and many of us are caught in the dizzying center of it all wondering who and what to believe.

Some of us are drowning.

Social media can sometimes amplify the splashing chaos. I’ve been avoiding Facebook. Mine still exists, and I still update my writer’s page, but I deleted the app. (My Instagram feed is almost entirely puppy dogs and infinitely more joyous…@kaitlinstaniulis  @chevy_the_doberman)

I’m not stuffing my head in the sand… I’m getting my news outside of social media and I’m separating myself from misinformation and unkind conversation.

I am focusing on creating pieces of happy so that others may have an escape when they too are stuck, overwhelmed, or discouraged.

Because I was never meant to make the waves. I don’t know how to break them. I’m too queasy to ride them, and I do not want to watch them.

Instead, I want to toss you a raft and build you a world that brings you bliss. I want to offer you words that transport you elsewhere, craft you sentences that help you know you’re not alone, and design a story to give you hope.

I want to take your hand and bring you on a magnificent journey to shore where we will find adventure and love and kindness between words.

I am meant to provide an escape from the waves.


Basket Case

Basket Case, noun.

“Completely hopeless condition.”

“One who cannot support themselves emotionally or mentally.”

“Literally a case of baskets.”

Sometimes I feel like a total basket case. My body is a teetertotter balancing the pressures of adulthood and professionalism on one end with my passions and emotional baggage on the other. It wavers back and forth, up and down.

And the older I get, the more I have a problem with motion sickness.

Like seriously. I can’t sit on a swing anymore without getting nauseous. Rocking hammock? Forget it. Green really isn’t my color.

I am sick from the swaying seesaw. I’m queasy from spinning reality and unknown futures.

I’m finding the more I write, the more my pieces are shifting from lighthearted humor and leaning toward something very raw and personal. I suppose that’s growth; stripping down and examining ourselves piece by piece isn’t easy. Tiny particles of myself transfigure into words that spread across a blank page.

And sometimes, it’s beautiful.

But most days it’s hard to be so naked with myself and I wonder where the humor went. It shouldn’t be this hard, observing the world and myself then stamping it on paper for others to enjoy. But sometimes it is, because I’m running on fumes and second guessing my intuition. There is only so much brain power available. And that damn day job eats up 90% of it. What remains is 10% power diluted with hunger and exhaustion and frustration. There is so much in me I wish I could access. I’m locked out of my own head. It aches as I beat at the door and long to siphon power from somewhere else just to get these creative juices flowing. I can’t do everything, especially when I’m tired and hungry and metaphorically seasick.

And so, I’m a basket case.

 I’m sometimes unstable as I fumble through each day of life trying to figure it all out. I’m a hopeless mess, chaos whipping through nature. I sometimes leave the stove on, the mail is piling up on the counter, the laundry basket is more like a mountain, the ‘rona is raging, I lost my face mask, 3 agents still have my manuscript, I drink too much diet coke, my pre-quarantine pants probably don’t fit, I have 6 meetings tomorrow, I just got bit by a mosquito, I forgot to eat lunch today, the dog wants a walk, part of me wants to give up on my novel, I can’t figure out how to start something new, I try to do too much at once, I’m constantly pretending I know what I’m doing, I’m an adult in disguise, and I’m not really sure my face remembers what makeup is anymore.

I’m a basket case.

And I’m on a teetertotter.

I’m a case of baskets about to barf on a seesaw.

But it’s fine. Because we’re all basket cases at one point or another. We all feel overwhelmed sometimes, and we all handle it differently. I type senseless words until my fingers decide I’m done. Then I read and laugh and wonder who let me become an adult, and I press Post, because I know I’m not alone in how I feel, and I want you to know you’re not alone either.

There’s room in my case for more baskets, if you care to join me.