inside outside upside down

…is the name of one of the first books I ever learned to read. Thanks, Stan & Jan!


It is also a good descriptor for my mood this time of year, this year in particular. You guys remember when it was all sunny and lovely and perfectly fall and then smack it was gloomy and gray? That was fun.

I love fall — for the colors and boots & tights and the pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored things and the crisp air and crunchy leaves and Halloween — for all of that. But the grayer, cloudier, gloomier weather does not love me back. I just feel off. A little sad. A little upside down. And I feel like it punched my mood in the face a little harder this year.

But Imma fight back. Look out fall, I’m going to make you love me. Shorter days and darker skies, let’s turn that frown upside down. A wise new friend (and fan of the blog. shout out!) recently reminded me to make my own happiness. That’s a fun assignment.

I can make the most of gloomy days. Yesterday was the first scarf-at-work day, and you better believe I scarfed that up.

Exhibit A: scarf day


(Yes, that is my new office. And yes, I was having a better day than it seems. I feel silly grinning for Photo Booth pics all by myself…)

And I can make the most of gloomy evenings. I went running tonight — the first long-sleeves run of the season — and it felt really good, cloudy sky and all. When I got back home, I plopped down in my front yard and looked at the sky for a while. Felt the breeze and some tiny sprinkles in the air. Breathed a little. And I realized that (even though saying this makes me sound like a full-on hippie) Emerson really did know what’s up: When our spirits need to find their source, the best thing we can do is go outside. Get all up in the out-of-doors. Even for 5 minutes. I swear my pulse slowed and my face relaxed (you know, the tense-and-scowly-when-worried parts) and I felt better. It’s like my brain hit the reset button, and all the gunk and work and drama and thinking and clicking and being just took a time out.

I wish I could say I’m the kind of English major who has all sorts of Emerson quotes in her back pocket for moments like these, but alas I do not. I do have google, and it led me to this, which is perfect:

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Hear that, nature? You just go ahead being all gray if you want to, but my scarf and my spirit will stay crayon-box colorful. And I’ll make my own happiness, inside and outside. (but probably not upside down. I was never all that good at head stands.)


Boy oh boy, guys. I just felt the urge to go all moody, lyrical, and poem-ish… I don’t typically write moody, lyrical, poem-ish things. And even when I do, I very rarely feel compelled to show them to anyone else. (And that’s for the best. Is anything we do after 12:30 a.m. typically worth showing to anyone else?)

But tonight I got myself into this writey mood. And that got me to a whole lot of scribbling about what it means to be heartbroken. (Because what else do you do after midnight on a Wednesday?)

AND HERE’S THE THING. I wasn’t even feeling bad. Just feeling inspired. So I’m forcing the results on you, dear sweet readers. (Not forcing. You still have time to escape. Do something else. Go play frisbee. Make some pudding. Finally tackle those dishes. Or stick around and read it. It’s short.)


What does it mean to be heartbroken?
It means every cliché makes total sense. is true. but really this time.

Like the rug is pulled out from under you. And so is the floor.
But it would have been better, actually, never to have loved at all.

Still, you hold on to hope like it’s the last ticket to dear life — only you know the train left a long time ago.

Your mind races. Runs laps around memories. Trying to chase down the very good reasons. Because you still believe there’s a finish line.

And a place on the other side, where hope is still a thing you can grip.
And trains come back to the station eventually.
The floor is still there. And the rug. And you stand on them both, side-by-side.

Knowing for sure it was better to have loved.