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Squashing Dreams, Going Cold, and What I Learned From RBG

When was the last time you exhaled?

I started holding my breath in late February.

Breathing, this thing I’d done daily and mostly unconsciously since I came screaming into the world, was suddenly dangerous. Not only was it dangerous to myself, but I learned it could be perilous for others. So, as I passed people in the newly widened aisles of the grocery store, I found myself, quite literally, holding my breath.

My metaphoric breath followed suit, and soon I was holding everything close: my emotions, my money, even my dreams. By spring I was in a state of almost spasmodic contraction. This wasn’t the 2020 I had imagined when I sat down in January to write my intentions for this trip around the sun.

Sometime in May, after months of being painfully clamped down and drawn in, the exhale came in a convulsive torrent. My burning lungs just couldn’t keep holding, and anything resembling flow or balance had been missing from my life for far too long. In this moment of exhaling, Andrew and I decided to move ahead with the solar install we had been planning pre-Covid, I began re-envisioning what our retail shops would look like in this strange new world, and my literary agent and I decided to shop a book deal for my fifth manuscript.

But while I began once again acting like a living, breathing human, I wasn’t feeling it. During the summer months as I got a (spectacular!) new book deal, created a private label line for Herbiary, and watched The Illustrated Crystallary release to tremendous Instagram fanfare, I disguised the tepid beating of my heart with big smiles and excessive use of touchdown emojis.

And then RBG died. read more…

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