Writing Dail(e)y

Do you know why I started this blog?

That’s a trick question, by the way. Because I’m not even really sure why I started it. I mean, I knew I wanted to write more. And since I had the misfortune to not have a name that rhymed with something like “monthly” or “annually,” I suddenly found myself writing “daily” or “dailey,” as I like to say. Now that I have been blogging quite regularly, I’ve amassed a lot of posts, and of course, I’m proud of them.

But I can’t help but realize how ephemeral it all is.

For example, the entire structure of this blog is that I write something daily. So, after 24 hours is up, that particular post goes on to live the rest of its sad life in an archive. No more interaction or friendly banter in the comments. Heck, even forget about what I wrote.

And don’t get me started on the idea of a blog itself. What happens in about 5 years when blogging is obsolete and goes the way of most technological formats? Will I have to update my blog on a hologram soon? Will I have to print my blogs out and put them in photo albums for my kids so that I can reminisce about the good old days when you actually had to fly to different places in planes rather than teleport there? Will I suddenly be claiming that I had to walk to school, which was up a hill, both ways?

Of course, these are all my thoughts when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Which is about every night around 10 PM, when I’m scratching my head, trying to think of something to fill the page with and only coming up with goose egg.

And at the same time that I finally get some inspiration is when I realize how completely magical this blog can be. I’m interacting with complete strangers (and mostly my mom) where once a day we both see eye to eye about something. That’s what hitting the “like” button does. It sends a message to me that essentially says, Yes, Bailey. You’ve hit a nerve in the human condition, and I need to recognize that. And for me? There’s no better compliment for what I do.

In the end, this blog doesn’t need to represent my legacy. It simply needs to connect me with one person in one 24-hour period to be successful.

Because our lives are not years, months, weeks, or even days, added altogether. They are moments and memories subtracted out and strung along. And while this blog may not be around for me to flip through like an old photo album someday, it still helps me to remember my moments in vivid (and sometimes nauseating) detail right now. And so a day or an experience is etched in my mind purely through the act of writing about it. And those tiny, precious moments will be my legacy someday.

I can’t thank you all enough for being a part of it.

We’re All a Little Like Tinkerbell

In the lore of Peter Pan, it is said that the small pixie Tinkerbell needs applause to live. If she is believed in, she continues to exist. Legend also says that when the story was adapted into a play, the audience were instructed to clap for Tinkerbell by Peter Pan. In case the audience wasn’t so inclined, the director made sure that the pit would fill in if needed. Luckily, that wasn’t required, as the audience applauded uproariously for Tink. It would seem that she would live to act another day.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all a little Tinkerbell. We all want to feel loved or adored, and we want to know how much people love or adore us. In fact, we all like to be applauded into existence. What do you think the “like” button is? It’s just silent applause. What do you think a pat on the back is? It’s just a one handed clap. We’re all looking for acceptance in our life. We’re all pixie dust and self-esteem issues.

And so, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that sometimes we don’t always get the applause that we need to “survive.” Sometimes, we get the tomatoes. Sometimes, we get the “hook.” And sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we get crickets, the only thing that punctuates the silence that engulfs us.

The secret is that you are not a pixie, although you are a magical being, I’m sure. You won’t die if you aren’t approved of (even though it may feel like it when you are living on social media.) In fact, you will live in spite of not being accepted. How? You will continue on. In other words, you will keep going. We only begin to falter in our journeys, we only start to question our path, when we look around to see what everyone else is doing, when we try to compare ourselves. If Peter Pan is any testament, all we need is belief to be able to do anything we wish (even fly).

So, don’t stop just because you haven’t received your daily dose of applause. Rise up because there is still time left to earn it from yourself. With a little magic, you are possible.

When Animals Speak

I believe in just about everything, which makes me a bit more gullible than most. (This also makes me really fun at parties. Go ahead, tell Bailey a completely fake story and see how long it takes her to realize Big Foot doesn’t invite hikers to his bonfires.)

Believing in everything is sometimes hard, though. When you know deep in your heart that fairies, mermaids, angels, gnomes, elves, psychics, miracles, spirits, and demons exist, and then you are told that you’re being “crazy” or “childish,” when you express these opinions, well, it can really ruin things. Especially when you are trying to set up a tea party for all of your magical friends when you are six…and then again when you are in your twenties.

But in all seriousness, it’s not a secret that I’m a bit more trusting (and a bit more superstitious) than most. I don’t cross black cats or my fork and knife, just to name a few. But you have to remember, I am also an English major. We are trained and wired to believe that the curtains in our favorite stories really represent repression and that the snide comment made by a side character will actually foreshadow the entire twist ending. You may call it “book paranoia,” but an English major will call it “interpreting a text.”

Speaking of English major things, I also own a lot of books, particularly about things that I believe in. I have never regretted buying any of them, but I have bought one in particular that has been worth every penny. It is called Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. From cover to cover, it covers every animal in the animal kingdom, great to small. It is similar to a reference book in that you can look at it when you cross paths with a specific creature, and it provides the “meaning” of your encounter but also daily “animal magic” practices.

I don’t usually use it for the normal animals I see: spiders, squirrels, and sparrows. But tonight was, for lack of a better word, unusual. On a walk, I saw a fox, a deer, a baby bunny, and a large skunk. Being a believer of signs and premonitions, I had to take a look in my book. So, I’m taking you along with me.

From Animal Speak:

The Fox-Of course, its obvious meaning is one of cunning and stealth. But foxes also represent feminine energy. Much of fox folklore in some Native American cultures tell of a man’s surprise when he discovers his wife is actually a fox. Strangely enough, my mother and sister are not foxes, but they did join me on the walk. Perhaps the fox’s feminine energy was acknowledging the same within us.

The Deer-As you would expect, the deer represents gentleness and innocence. But also maternity. Andrews talks extensively about a deer mother’s loyalty to her children, nurturing and teaching her fawns to eat and run from danger. This is truly applicable because my sister and I still live with our mother. Perhaps, again, the deer was acknowledging our bond.

A Baby Bunny-(Or “Rabbits” to people who have no soul) quite obviously represent new life and fertility. But I don’t think that this meaning is supposed to be taken literally. I think it is supposed to mean good tidings of new beginnings ahead. (And that’s the thing about belief, you can twist it to fit anything you want.) The book goes on to say that mother bunnies leave their nest in the daytime as to not attract predators. However, the little one we found was out on its own. Perhaps this little guy was saying that it’s time to explore the world and extend past our comfort zones.

The Skunk-We can all recognize that distinguished (and putrid) skunk smell, even though we may not want to. What we don’t readily recognize is how much skunks command our respect. Andrews points out that we give them wide berths, yet they are peaceful and ambling animals. The skunk, according to my book, represents self-esteem. I am told that when I see a skunk, I should be mindful of my self-image and how people perceive me. Perhaps I will be able to control how the world sees me, once I step outside of my comfort zone.

In the end, we can find meaning all around us. But it is up to us to seek it out and apply it. Who knows what you may find in the animal kingdom and elsewhere. But I have found that if we can piece together some meaning in our lives, then we don’t feel so small and the big questions, like why do I exist, don’t feel so daunting. So, the next time the world or a few animals speak, make sure you are listening.