July was full of Universal things, lots of crazy happenings, and just things I can’t explain, honestly. If you had foretold me that my July would have involved my bird going missing and one of the members of The Breakfast Club emailing me, I would have said YOU ARE SHITTING ME.
I bought this book on Amazon in the middle of July:
I originally bought it for Anna to take to college with her as a going away gift. She has been talking about manifesting things all summer and I thought it was a fun little gift for her apartment in such a dark time. But after it arrived, and I paged through it, I realized that she most likely wouldn’t read it.
She would be busy with a heavy course load, moving into her first apartment off-campus, and of course, seeing friends (SIGH). I realize that we are in a pandemic, but she hasn’t seen these friends since March and let’s be realistic.
She also took three online classes this summer, bless her heart, so I knew that my child who wasn’t a real big reader, to begin with, wouldn’t be doing much recreational reading once she got back to school. So I took the book for myself and thought I would do the Universal homework for the two of us.
One Sunday in July, I sat on the couch and read several chapters while my beautiful white parakeet sang her songs in the cage next to me. I underlined words I loved like, SOUL FAMILY (swoon) and dog-eared pages that I would most likely need later: sadness, scared, pain, etc…
I began a minimalistic challenge set forth on the Instagram page of The Minimalists; a lifestyle I have adopted and love, that I mentioned to you earlier in July by getting rid of or donating the exact number of items each day per number of days.
So, for example, on July 1=get rid of one item, July 2= get rid of two items, and so on. I knew it would most definitely be a challenge by the end of the month, with the thought of getting rid of 31 items on July 31st looming, I had no idea how I would do that but thought I could save things like paperwork, or the garage, shed for the big days, maybe? Little did I know that something would make itself gone for me.
I had a friend on Instagram say something very interesting to me while I was talking about this project.
“removing clutter makes space for something new-not necessarily something material-more like growth or change in some aspect of life.“
It was within the month of July that I began getting clarity to write my book seemingly out of nowhere.
As I was clearing the clutter out of our bedrooms, closets, basement, cupboards, that my mind, which had been so foggy with medications for migraines as well as the lack of estrogen from my impending menopause, my mind was finally crystal clear with words.
The less I had on the surface of my world, the more I had underneath if that makes any sense.
Slowly, throughout the month of July, even amid migraines here and there, I was still getting in amazing writing sessions. I could get in over 20,000-plus words while working on my book. Words that I HAD NO IDEA I EVEN KNEW EXISTED.
I am not even kidding you right now. I even wrote that into the book.
And let me tell you, this book is one thousand times better than that screenplay, and it’s not even close to being done. As much as I loved creating the screenplay, the book is SO much better, full of amazing brief stories about my life, about being a woman, about empowerment.
But there were lots of other amazing Universe stories going on behind the scenes while this was going on; so much amazing that I had to write all of what was happening down in my phone to keep track of it all. Stories that I will keep inside my head and heart. Some of which happened to people outside of my home and those people know who they are and know what I am talking about.
I am not sharing these publicly because some are too personal for the blog, but let’s say that there are people just on the other side, always watching. The Universe and karma ARE REAL. If you think they aren’t, you are mistaken.
Then, sadly, Joy literally left our home on July 23, when our beloved parakeet flew out of our house and out of our lives. To say I felt defeated was an understatement. I couldn’t understand why the Universe would do this to me, why when I listened to it so closely, followed it so intently, why would it do me so dirty?
I was so defeated.
For three days, I was sobbing on and off, walking around my home in a daze like a crazy person.
Over a fucking bird.
My girls couldn’t understand why I was so upset. Their normally “together” mom was falling apart at the seams over a parakeet, and honestly, I couldn’t understand it myself.
I mean. My GOD, I love my pets, but I wasn’t this upset over our beloved 14-year-old goldfish dying.
Even as I was struck with grief, I still was working through the Minimalist challenge, dutifully getting rid of or donating the number of items needed each day, then heading to Goodwill each Sunday to give away the items I had amassed by the end of the week.
I had told Mike that I had no idea how I was going to find 31 items to give away on the 31st and he would joke about how I would find 29? How would I find 30? Somehow I never fixated on those numbers, always only focused on 31 items on the 31st.
Over the past couple of months, I have checked in on my fellow writer friends here and there. I know this pandemic has been tough on many people, and I feel like writers take the brunt of it because we are writing for an audience who is really overwhelmed right now. Famous writers get encouragement (and discouragement) from social media and comments, but bloggers and less famous writers, don’t always get that even though their words are just as important.
So I have made it my passion to be that encouragement for my writer friends right now because I am overprotective of them during this time, so I have checked in on several of my writer friends when they’ve gotten quiet over the past few months. One of whom is Ani. I love Ani a lot; she is an amazing writer but also a lifter upper of me and my blog over the past few years.
So here is the cool Universe twist: she is also the person who encouraged me to write the book I am currently writing. I was actually writing (within my book) about her encouraging me to “write the book, Kari! Write the book!”, the morning of the day Joy flew away.
The day after Joy flew out the door, Ani (unaware of her influence on any of the above) messaged me on Facebook asking me a series of questions that would lead to a message on the following Monday morning:
Ani was checking in on me because this time, it was me who was the one who was quiet.
The video she was referring to was a Cameo she had ordered for me from Anthony Michael Hall, talking to me.
In the video, he gives out his email address, so I wasn’t too comfortable sharing it. I’m not sure it’s public knowledge or not, but I will not be the one to share it. BUT I took screenshots of my reactions because it was too good not to share with all of you.
My sweet friend Ani had sent me a video of Anthony Michael Hall telling me the following things after she had told him about some background:
That I am a soulful, smart, and talented writer…..
He wished me all the best for my book project (the same book project that she had encouraged me to write).
And then he asked if I could email him my screenplay so he could send me some notes about it. The screenplay he is written into.
Ani had asked for someone to video me watching it because she really wanted to see my reaction to watching it but the fact that she had said, ” I wish someone had recorded me watching it” was so special to me.
When you have women in your life, who are just as happy for you about things that aren’t even for them? That is the most beautiful fucking thing ever.
It was such a wonderful moment; I wish you could have been there. But you know what? Actually, you all were.
Such a pure Universal moment. Such a JOY-ful moment.
I even said to my mom later that day, “I feel like Joy had something to do with this”.
I love how my Universe was so full of Ani and Joy and all of you guys and connectedness on this day. I felt so surrounded in the best possible way.
I shared this video on my personal Instagram account and later that day, a friend of mine commented on the hat I was wearing. My Chasing Joy hat. I had purchased it (also in July) purely on “accident” at Hobby Lobby while getting a birthday present for a friend. I simply loved it and didn’t connect it to my sweet bird child. I just liked the saying.
But as the month went on, it changed completely. It made sense in a deeper sense.
I was wearing my hat on neighborhood walks, looking for my bird, literally Chasing my Joy.
I emailed Anthony Michael Hall (do I use all three names?) a few days later and emailed me right back like the gentleman he is. He was lovely, and he plans to read my screenplay (gasp!) and give me notes on it. I just love this whole exchange. I told Ani that even if it doesn’t go any further than this, this whole thing has just been so much fun and given me so much life. This year has been so heavy to carry, this week alone has given me the gas I need to get through the rest of 2020.
A few days after Joy went missing, I said to Mike that I feel like the 31 things will be all of Joy’s items. I think that she knew she had to go; I think the Universe knew too. I think it was destiny, and that she was only meant to be in our lives for so long.
He thought that there was no way she had 31 things, but I told him I wasn’t yet ready to count them. That if she wasn’t home by Friday the 31st, my closure needed to be to donate all of her things. If she were to return, we will just get her new things.
But I needed that closure.
A week to the day that Joy went missing, I realized why maybe it was so hard for me to get over losing her.
The night before that, Anna was in her bedroom watching High School Musical. We had just gotten Disney Plus, because of a blog post that Ani had written, ironically (although I feel like nothing is ironic any more). She was in her pajamas, eating a snack, looking like she was 12 years old all over again and I said to her through heaving sobs, “I know I shouldn’t say this to you, but I don’t want you to leave, I wish you could stay forever”.
I wanted her to be a little girl again and keep her in her little girl’s room and protect her from every horrible thing.
And then it hit me.
Spreading wings is so scary right now.
Maybe that is why when Joy spread hers, it was harder than usual to get over.
Too many parallels, I guess.
A few days after the exciting video, I counted Joy’s items and there were 31 items.
I counted them five times just to be sure.
Yep, 31 fucking items.
Joy was making way.
Spreading her wings for extra joy in my universe