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Food Truck Faux Pas

June 17, 2022
cammy

This weekend, while standing in a food truck line waiting to order a cheeseburger, I couldn’t help but stare at a group of women next to me. Fortunately for me, I had sunglasses on so it wasn’t entirely obvious that I was staring at them.  They looked the same, for the most part. Tall, blonde, light blue denim shorts, a flowing white button-up over a neutral tank top, gold jewelry, white shoes, and black sunglasses. That’s what they were all wearing. As I looked at them, I noticed a nagging voice in the back of my head growing louder and louder.  I call that voice judgment. As I watched them, judgment began criticizing them for looking the same and wearing the same outfit. They were all very “in style”, but they also looked exactly the same. I laughed to myself, thinking “they all look the same and I don’t”.  I wanted to feel superior, but I wasn’t proud that I was judging these women. As a woman, knowing exactly how much effort they likely put into their outfits and the amount of money they probably spent to look the way they did, I felt guilty and disappointed. Rather than allowing…

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Light for a Life

June 17, 2022
cammy

My husband and I attended a vigil for the victims of the Uvalde shooting just two days after it happened. I’d spent the prior 48 hours moving between tears and numbness. Having lived in the United States since birth and dealing with the reality of mass shootings since Columbine, this one shook me more than the others. I truly hate that I just wrote the word “others”. At this point in our lives, my husband and I are hoping to have kids. God willing, I’ll become a Mom soon. It’s terrifying to think about bringing a baby into this world, into this country, knowing they may be murdered at school one day. The day it happened, I called my mom desperately hoping she’d have an answer to the question stuck in my throat.  “How are we supposed to bring a baby into the world, Mom? How am I supposed to just let them go to school in America? How are we supposed to protect them in a country more concerned about guns than their life?” She didn’t have that answer. I don’t have that answer. I’m not sure who does. In the days that followed the shooting, I read an…

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A Sobering Decision

June 7, 2022
cammy

I decided to quit on Memorial Day Weekend. After a decade spent living in an unhealthy relationship, I decided to walk away. Maybe not forever, but definitely for this chapter. What did I walk away from? What did I decide to quit? Drinking. I had my first adult beverage on my twenty-first birthday; seriously. I’ve been drinking for ten years, never once considering it a problem. Drinking has always been a social activity. I rarely drank on weeknights and, as I’ve gotten older, my tolerance dropped significantly. When I turned 30, my body changed. The hangovers lasted longer, my tolerance was lower, and the sleep deprivation felt worse. There were so many weekends I’d ask myself, “Is this worth it?”. Was an entire day spent feeling sick and saddled to a couch worth the 3-4 hours of social drinking the night before? Was a Saturday night out worth sacrificing my ability to get things done the next days? The weight of my decisions became heavier when I started linking my anxiety the morning after drinking to the number of drinks I’d had before. The symptoms of severe anxiety I’d experienced before taking medication returned every morning after a night out….

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Ten Recommended Reads for 2022

May 1, 2022
cammy

Mid-April brought the completion of my tenth book this year. I’ve been intentional about reading different authors and different genres so I could make some recommendations for you! As always, my blogs and weekly updates go to the Brave Notes Club first. I’d love to have you join us! For now, take a look through the list, and, please, share your thoughts. 10. Anatomy by Dana Schwartz  This was the Winter Young Adult book club pick from Reese’s Book Club. It’s a period piece with a love story at the center. I’m ranking this book as number ten because it took 160 pages for the love interests to meet each other. I enjoyed the main character, but not much else.  9. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich Set in Minneapolis, this story comes from a local author! I had so much fun reading about the local places mentioned in the story and the main characters reckoning with the pandemic and protests. At times I did find it difficult to follow the writing style of this book.  8. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley This book offered multiple perspectives through which to explore the story. It was hard to like any of…

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Where Does Your Love Come From?

April 12, 2022
cammy

Loving from competition leads to lack.  Loving from a place of gratitude creates abundance.  Years ago, I read a piece about motherhood. Back in the days when I never thought I’d ever want kids, I was curious enough that Google sent me links to articles I didn’t even know I’d want to read. That’s Google for you. This particular piece focused on the frightening side of motherhood as your heart exists outside your body in the form of a tiny human body. There is a massive vulnerability in becoming a mother. It didn’t sound fun.  When Tyler and I got married, that article popped into my head. Not because I was ready to become a Mom at that point, but because I felt a new fear creeping up my spine that I had never felt before. I remember laying in bed next to him one morning as he slept, trying to identify what this fear was. I was very nervous. It wanted me to pull him into my arms and hold him with all I had. This fear was anxious and vulnerable. That’s when a phrase from that motherhood article popped into my head.  My heart was living outside my…

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Action > Words

March 23, 2022
cammy

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine had a belated birthday party celebration. She was a mid-February birthday and waited to celebrate until Omicron had calmed. Her husband texted us a few days before. Tyler and I didn’t even have to talk about it; we were going to the birthday party.  Last week, we received a text from our Pastor asking if we could watch the babies in the nursery during church that weekend. Two of the volunteers who were initially signed up had to cancel. My Saturday would be spent babysitting my nephews while Tyler worked. Sunday was also a family day. There was little to no time to simply relax. The didn’t matter. We decided as soon as we read the text we’d be volunteering that weekend.  I have a group chat with my parents. Every so often, my Mom sends a text to my Dad about plans, forgetting I’m in the chat. Last week, I read a text from my Mom to my Dad trying to resolve a babysitting problem. There was a one-hour difference between when my parents would have to leave my nephews and when my brother would return home. I had no plans, so…

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Lessons Learned from Inventing Anna

February 27, 2022
cammy

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the Netflix series, Inventing Anna. If you haven’t seen the series yourself, it’s about a young woman faking her way to the height of New York’s elite as a German heiress. She spends A LOT of money that is not hers to spend. She stays at a series of beautiful New York City hotels, never actually paying for her room while having all meals and services added to her room. There’s more to the story, but I’ll let you binge the series if you’d like. As I was pouring my coffee this morning, it occurred to me that many of the stories we tell ourselves could be just as fake as the lies Anna told. There are moments I catch myself comparing my life to the imagined life of another and I have to ask myself, “do I know that story to be the truth?” Sure, there are women I follow on social media whose stories I consume daily. But, for as many days as I’ve clicked on their profile picture to peer into their lives, I’m only getting a portion of their truth. My eyes see the portion of their lives…

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Sixty Minutes and a Little White Pill

February 15, 2022
cammy

Seven years. It’s been seven years since I sat on that cushioned table, giving voice to the thoughts that had, so far, only existed in my head.  That day changed the trajectory of my life. The doctor was kind and matter of fact. I was trying to hold myself together, speaking with as much confidence as I could, even though I knew my voice was quivering. She turned her computer screen to face me and I saw the little dot in the red zone. The little dot was supposed to be me. The red zone indicated severe anxiety. That’s where I lived my life until that point – in the land of severe anxiety. I left the clinic that day with a prescription in hand and hope for the future. Life got better after that.  The last six weeks of my life felt a whole lot like those days before the clinic visit.  Once again, I found myself sitting on my bed thinking, “something is wrong with me”. Once again, I suffered from panic attacks. Once again, anxiety was dominating my life.  After seven years on medication, I paid another visit to the doctor this week to review the prescription….

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Get Your Booty in the Chair

January 18, 2022
cammy

“This is shit.” Ah, yes, the pain point of the creative process. The moment you want to lay your head down on the table, simultaneously acknowledging the feeble attempt at producing something worth reading and the garbage that actually came out. It’s the frustrating agony of willing quality words to move through your fingertips but struggling to find the actual words to do so. It’s the moment you’re reminded of all those romanticized ideas you had about the craft, all the scenes of Carrie beautifully writing while gazing out her window in Sex and the City, all the holiday movies about writers moving into country homes for the season to write exactly once in the entire movie, or the evenings you’ve spent sitting among the books at a bookstore attempting to absorb the brilliance of other writers through sheer osmosis. Or is that just me? I’m not a published author (not yet at least), but I’m confident in one truth I’ve learned in years of blogging and writing: writing is hard.  Those words at the beginning of this piece were the exact words bouncing around my brain as I looked at my most recent work. It took all the strength…

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Top 5 Reads of 2021

January 4, 2022
cammy

Before 2021, I had one habit (one story in mind, really) that caused a good amount of shame. It might surprise you to learn exactly what it was…. Finishing a book.  Outside of an academic setting, I rarely read a book in its entirety. For whatever reason, books would sit next to my bed, or atop a living room table, or in my backpack, or simply on a shelf for months. The bookmark was always about 50 pages in, the dust would accumulate and I’d forget what was even happening in the book when the interest would, finally, pique to read a book. Back to the beginning, I’d go, starting the cycle all over again.  The story played on repeat for longer than I’d like to admit. At the beginning of 2021, I decided it would be the year I finished a book. At the beginning of 2022, I’m thrilled to say I did it! I made my way through books that I found intimidating in size, explored authors with lived experiences different from mine, and found the genre I love the most. Not surprisingly, I love psychological thrillers; particularly those involving murder.  As we launch into a new year,…

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