Don’t Deny Your Fire

butterflies rising, wild spirits, wild spirit soft heart, elaina avalos, wild things

if this life doesn’t
look like your soul,
keep going.
butterflies rising

mark anthony, don't deny your fire, elaina avalos, wild things

Don’t deny
your fire,
my dear,
just be
who you are
and burn.
Mark Anthony

nausicca twila, but all they did was make me more fierce, elaina avalos

I’ll always have
wild hair
and a blunt tongue
clothes scattered about
untamed eyes
and the irresistible
urge to attempt
something beautiful
they tried to box me up
but all they did
was make me more fierce.
– Nausicaa Twila

Putting Someone Else in Charge of Our Feelings

I spent my afternoon feeling frustrated about the lack of answers to my why questions. Mix that in with the hurt that comes from having someone disappear and never look back & well, it doesn’t feel great. I spent a few minutes scrolling on social media this evening and this quote appeared in my feed. It fits well. I guess it’s a coincidence? Although, sometimes I think God uses these things (quotes that appear in my path, podcasts that fit the exact moment I need them, Bible verses shared online, etc.) to wake me up and remind me where my focus needs to be. I found it extra interesting that they shared this post today – but it was originally shared in July. I sure needed to see it today. Although it is easier said than done, it’s important for our well-being, growth, healing, and our future plans, dreams, and relationships – that we do just what this post says.

Putting someone else in charge of how we feel is just a bad way to go. I’ve lived it. I don’t care to go down that road anymore. While finding our way out of that is not easy and probably looks a little different for everyone, it is a key to healing and growth. What works for me, may not work for you. I’ve used (and am using) everything from meditations on apps such as Insight Timer, Headspace, & Oak to talk therapy to finding ways to interrupt my train of thought and re-direct myself and my thought patterns. After losing my son, I needed the distraction of laughter – as another example. I watched hours (and hours) of stand up comics online, Netflix, etc. It’s amazing what a little laughter can do for you.

It’s not easy to accept the cards you’re dealt – whether it’s circumstances or how someone treated you (or didn’t, as it were). But accepting the position you’re in for what it is, gives you the ability to focus on healing and your own journey. Though things aren’t exactly where I want them to be right now & today was a jab to the ribs reminder of that, the truth is – I feel more free than I have in years. And that feels pretty damn good.


Change of Seasons

autumn leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

Yesterday, I was out on my patio watering my plants. I swear I didn’t see this much yellow (there was no red) in the jungly vines in the woods. The heat & humidity are with us & probably will be all month (maybe into October), but there are little signs the seasons are changing. As I started to write this, a stray rainstorm blew in and yellow leaves fell to the ground. It really feels like autumn is on the way, now.

autumn leaves, red leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

I always find some renewed hope when the seasons change. There’s not a lot externally that’s changed for me, though change is what I long for. I long for a new place, new people, new relationships and opportunities. I’m waiting for my greatest dream. Usually, when I want something new I just go do it. I go get it. I make the move. I make the change.

For the first time in ages, I feel the pull toward the change, but know my change of seasons isn’t quite upon me yet. There were a couple moments this weekend when that made me uncomfortable. I like change and when I’m ready, I’m ready. It goes against every instinct in me to remain in the same place.

autumn leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

But something is keeping me grounded. Which tells me God is actually at work here. And while I may never understand the reason, I know the timing is off for the change I so long for.

So, if you, like me – are longing for change but it eludes you so far – maybe stop to soak in the change in the seasons. Let nature’s shifting & changing be enough right now (as hard as that may be).

As I enjoy one last day off on this holiday weekend, I wanted to say that I hope you will find the moments to enjoy what each season brings with it – even when it feels uncomfortable.

Pretty flower photos, from my patio, for no reason…

No Hard Feelings

Doesn’t fit perfectly – but it works for me. There’s no hard feelings.

“I took a little time, tequila and therapy
And threw it in a blender with ice
I was more messed up than I cared to be
Spent a whole lot of lonely nights
I was mad at myself, pissed at the world
It was hard to get up, but I put one foot
In front of the other, kept on keepin’ on
Going through the motions until
There was no hard feelings
And no bad vibes”
No Hard Feelings – by Old Dominion

Road Trips to Asheville & Finding a New Path

Road Trips to Asheville & finding a new path . . . that sums up the first part of my week!

Blue Ridge Parkway, Craggy Gardens, Asheville NC, Blue Ridge Mountains
Craggy Gardens area of the Blue Ridge Parkway – Blue Ridge Mountains – outside of Asheville, North Carolina

I took a road trip this week. I didn’t end up in Charlotte as had been originally planned. It’s a long story. I spent two nights & three days in Asheville (and made a pit stop in Hendersonville). It was a really great few days away. But it was nothing like I planned or expected.

I stayed at the Log Cabin Motor Court – between Asheville and Weaverville. The Log Cabin Motor Court is a National Historic Landmark – originally opened in 1917. If I remember correctly, the cabins were built in the 1930s. These rustic cabins were a delight and if I go again, I might want to stay in one of the cabins with a kitchen. I previously stayed at the property next door (The Pines Cottages) and ADORE that place too, by the way.

Though my intention had been to spend Tuesday sight seeing & eating out at some restaurants I’ve been looking forward to trying, turns out I didn’t feel so great. But that ended up being a good thing. I rested in the cabin, wrote (more on that later) and napped. I didn’t turn on the TV or music (the entire time). It rained and it was a glorious nap – one of the best I’ve had in ages. 🙂 I didn’t eat out a single time. WHAT? That’s nuts. I literally ate what I could eat from my little log cabin. It was perfect.

sarah addison allen, other birds, magical realism

On Tuesday evening, I headed to UNC Asheville for the book launch of Sarah Addison Allen‘s latest book, Other Birds. Sarah is one of my favorite authors. This is her first book in 7 years and I’m thrilled she’s back! If you want a chance to win her book (not an autographed copy), you can enter a contest, here. Sarah’s writing is (though I don’t write magical realism) the kind of writing I aspire to. The way she writes the settings of her books is one such example. Her settings become a character themselves. I’m sure the “Dellawisp” is too. I’m looking forward to reading it this weekend (I started it before driving home yesterday).

The event, “Sarah Addison Allen in conversation with Wiley Cash” was a joy to be at. I was surrounded by huge Allen fans – who were just as happy as I was, to be there. Wiley Cash, who teaches fiction and literature at UNC Asheville, is now on my “TBR list” too. I look forward to checking out his books, too. He was hilarious by the way. I had a really wonderful night.

On my drive up to the mountains, I began to re-work my now finished novel “A Thousand Years.” As I drove and the closer I got to the mountains (where the book is set), the more clear it became – I had much to slash and re-write from this book. So much so that by the time I got to the event on Tuesday evening, the book didn’t even have the same name. I don’t know what it will be called, but it’s not “A Thousand Years.” My protagonist is the same, the name of her love interest may remain the same but it’s an entirely new character. The town remains the same – but much else has and will be different. I am 100% certain of this and I’m entirely confident in the new direction. So much so that while I was away (and last night before going to bed) I wrote more than I have in quite some time.

On Wednesday, I checked out of my cabin drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway, spent some time there, had a picnic at Craggy Gardens Picnic area and then made a pit stop in Hendersonville, before driving home. If I move, west may be best – for me. Western Carolina definitely seems more my speed. While I was up on the parkway, it was 62 glorious degrees. It made me long for autumn.

On my drive home, I stopped in Hendersonville, at Justus Orchard. It’s a lovely little spot. If you’re in or visiting NC, it’s a great stop if you’re in the mountains. They have some activities for the kids, goats, u-pick apples, a small store, and their famous apple cider donuts. The cider was delicious by the way. I’m looking forward to eating my honeycrisp apples!

This trip was definitely needed, restful, and honestly – enlightening. I had no idea that what came from these few days away is what would happen during this trip. It was a gift, in many ways. While I’d expected to interview for a job and consider a move, it became something else entirely. The writing boost was the icing on the cake.

Sometime this weekend, I want to share a few of the things Sarah Addison Allen shared in her talk – including the answers to one of my questions. For now, it’s time to sign off and prepare for a long weekend of reading (Other Birds, of course) and writing. I hope you’ve had a great week so far.