Hi friends! It feels like a long time since I’ve gotten to chat with you. Not a big deal, I was just helping produce the best little camp cookbook this side of the planet.
Turns out my summer bucket list is exactly one thing: survive. I’m not even sure I’m doing that well. I’ve been casually flipping my life upside down (because at this point it seems like I enjoy this). I’ve moved, my writing career is coasting gently forward and I. am. EXHAUSTED. But it’s the good tired that lets me know good things are happening. Amidst all the crazy, I am learning to swim! I’ve never learned to swim, but 37 seems like a solid age to start right? I knew you’d agree. We start every class with something called “bobs.” It consists of taking a deep breath and sinking under the surface, while pushing air out of your nose. It is to acclimate yourself to exhale, and helps you meditate at the same time. In the first class, I panicked. I should breathe in! But breathing in equals swallowing water and… dying. What?!
Lately, my life feels like a series of “bobs.” I disappear under the surface, flail, and come back up for air. At the moment, I am in an incredible place in my life – it feels like I have pointed it in a direction I did not think was possible, in the best way. Happiness, even total contentment, feels… terrifying. Stemming from a place of feeling undeserving, I have to unlearn that instinct. It feels about the same as learning to swim – going against a survival skill that no longer serves me.
For those who are also feeling it all lately, you’re not alone friend. I see you. I got you. And I hope this Sunday is easy – here are some links to ease you in.
• This little intro is part of a larger piece I wrote about learning to swim. It has truly been an experience and I’m grateful to be able to write about it, if you want to mosey on over to my website, no big deal. (abbyblujay)
• Beyoncé is in my city this weekend and though I’m not seeing her until New Orleans, my spirit is alive just knowing she’s occupying the same air as I am. People really forget I’m a super-fan, but never fear I will always remind you. My favorite villain blogger and JtB team member, Kim, was sent to Renaissance Tour (presumably by a higher power) and got to write about it. I cried. (Nashville Scene)
• BARBIE-heimer has arrived! For those who don’t know, BARBIE and Oppenheimer premiered on the same day and have been merged together, forever to be remembered as BARBIE-HEIMER. It is to the point that people are seeing is as a quasi double feature. Personally, I think seeing Oppenheimer first followed by BARBIE is the correct order, but that would make it OPPEN-ARBIE and no one wants that. (CNN)
• My newest clothing obsession is Anthropologie’s sale room – that magical room in the back of Anthropologie that holds wonders and almost always 40% off the sale price. I have found every drawer pull in my house from there. Embarrassing yet triumphant story, I tried on this skirt thinking it was a dress, confidently pulling it up over my boobs. When I came out of the dressing room the attendant quietly said, “Baby… that’s a skirt.” Anyways, I bought it and plan on wearing as a dress.
• I made the mistake of saying that I read as many fantasy romances as I can get my hands on and now I must tell you which ones. I finally finished the Court of Thorns & Roses series only to start another epic series immediately. What can I say, I love a theme. I also just started The Joy Luck Club, which has somehow slipped my reading grasp until now! I am excited to read it. Fantasy readers, give me all of your suggestions please! (Bookshop.org)
• Tony Bennett, aside from being in the classic crooner category, seemed like the sweetest, most gentle person. Is it weird that I loved his relationship with Lady Gaga? They seem like the bestest friends, it always tugged at my heart. However, hearing about his civil rights work is new to me. May his memory always be a blessing. (Pro tip: if you put your browser in “reader mode” it will let you read the entire article!) (Washington Post)
• Toby talked about not gatekeeping beauty secrets in her Sunday post and it got my mind running around scents I love. Le Labo makes a few of my favorites, Lys 41, Santal 33, and Another 13. Recently, I’ve added YSL’s Le Capeline to the signature rotations, which smells like the most sophisticated floral without the great-grandma reputation. I had to save every single penny but they’ve been worth it, promise. The best compliment I’ve ever gotten was, “You smell like a field of French flowers!” I passed out. (Joy the Baker, Nordstrom)
• Choosing food has been weirdly hard lately. Thank goodness I know a gal who has the best recipes. I am adding Joy’s watermelon salad to my rotation this week and it’s preemptively the best decision I’ll make! (Joy the Baker)
• This is a regular affirmation to my cat Wylie, followed by 7000 kisses. He’s a fan, I’m sure. (TikTok)