There’s a lovely young girl in first grade that loves to call me “Mar Mar.” Every time she sees me, she yells, “Mar Mar!” and runs up to me and gives me a hug. It is one of the absolute best parts of my job. I love it so much.

✏️ #mbnov

When I first moved to Montana, all the provisions I needed fit in two bags. Now, when I look around and see all the new stuff I’ve gathered over the years, I feel a need to declutter and simplify. But I also a feel proud of how far I’ve come. Hmm.

✏️ #mbnov

Toward the end of June, I drove down to the river and made this recording of the sounds around me. It was my attempt to expand my walls and embrace a moment where I succeeded in this goal. The summer feels so far away now, but I love that I captured a memory of it.

✏️ #mbnov

Other than living within the borders of my country, state, and town, I’ve been living within my own mental borders, too. By living within my comfort zone, I’ve missed opportunities and let life flow by. One day I’ll travel again, but I can expand these other borders now.

✏️ #mbnov

Our first winter snowfall came last month, but it’s been nothing but rain since. More members of our staff are in quarantine after a possible positive case among the administrative staff, and I just hope we can get through winter safely.

✏️ #mbnov

I had a really good time talking to a friend yesterday about my dreams. I told her that when I first moved to Montana, the first few years were fun. The memories of that time had completely faded away, and my lust for travel increased even more. I want to have fun again.

✏️ #mbnov

My goal for the next few months is to lose at least five pounds. I know it’s possible because I’ve done it before. But I was younger then, and my body takes longer to recover now. Health is the foundation for everything else, so let’s do it.

✏️ #mbnov

Is iPhone dependence similar to alcohol dependence? Because I think I’m suffering through that. I wake up eager to check my notifications and I get sad when they’re not the right ones. My mind feels like mush, and I need to simplify, simplify, simplify.

✏️ #mbnov

I’ve been re-training my body the last few weeks, and I’ve never felt better. I gained some weight ever since I hurt my back, and I’m on the journey to burn that off. I’m meditating again with the goal of reducing my anxiety as much as I can. Slow and steady wins.

✏️ #mbnov

I feel like the art I love creating the most is the art of capturing a memory. I journal to remember my day. I photograph to remember a place or a person or a thing. I draw (sometimes) to remember how the world is designed and how it works (I need to draw more).

✏️ #mbnov

Before COVID, I had dreams of traveling the world and living life to the fullest. Today, I don’t want those dreams to be dreams anymore. After COVID, I’m going to travel far away and actually live my life to the fullest because that’s all I got, isn’t it?

✏️ #mbnov

Following Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th doesn’t sound very spooky at all. It sounds anodyne in comparison.

✏️ #mbnov

If I had to guess the ratio of caffeine to blood coursing through my body, I’d say it’s about 50/50.

✏️ #mbnov

Coming from California, I never had to worry about not wearing enough warm clothes. Living in Montana, I’ve learned the value of a warm jacket and some tough boots.

✏️ #mbnov

Instead of trying to figure out what to say next, I need to learn patience and the beauty of silence.

✏️ #mbnov

Ever since I was a kid I’ve wondered what it would be like to be elderly, to be lying on my death bed and looking back on my life. Would I be proud of the life I’ve lived? How can I live life now to make that last day special?

✏️ #mbnov

The best times of my life are when I let go and go with the flow rather than forcing things to go a certain way. This year has taught me that more than any other. Just let go and ride the wave.

✏️ #mbnov

I felt like the whole world bounded together in unity yesterday, and I felt so good joy-scrolling instead of doomscrolling for the first time in four years.

✏️ #mbnov

I wonder how many balloons get inflated every election season and how many bring more sorrow than joy.

✏️ #mbnov

There are many things I find puzzling but nothing more so than rural Americans. What’s up with their championship belt-sized belt buckles?

✏️ #mbnov

I read once that Leonardo da Vinci had the best posture. As a kid, I would try to walk as tall as I could but my head always seemed to stoop forward. Whenever I pass by my reflection, I notice my posture and I try to straighten it just a bit more. But it’s never enough.

✏️ #mbnov

I woke up a few hours after going to bed anxious about the election results. Trump declared victory and the whole country forgot that these results could take weeks to process. I hoped we would be nearer to the end than we are, but I feel the fool for hoping anything.

✏️ #mbnov

I didn’t sleep well last night. I lied in bed and scrolled through Instagram, double tapping on all the pretty pictures I saw. I pulled up a recent picture of an ex and wondered where things went wrong. I shouldn’t be astonished at my own predictability, but I am.

✏️ #mbnov

I dreamt of an old friend last night, one I haven’t seen for a very long time. I ran to her the moment I saw her. We hugged deeply and lovingly for as long as we could. I woke up feeling good, a rare feeling I will try to concentrate on today.

✏️ #mbnov

Last night I dreamt I lost my camera bag in a shuttle after landing in LA, but I was having too much fun with new friends to care about it then. I woke up with my bag but without my new friends. What a cold and dreary day life after a dream can be.

✏️ #mbnov