a sampling menu of thoughts

I have had this blog for almost six years know. An amount of time that baffles me. I had started it in an effort do sort of document my college experience, but it definitely evolved over time.

Sometimes I am surprised I even continued to write here. I do enjoy writing and use prose as a way to organize my thoughts (or at least try to), but am also not great at consistency. I could never give this blog a theme because it truly does not have one. The best way I could describe Juliana Moves is a virtual diary, sometimes more personal and other times not. There’s nothing aesthetically pleasing here or written with a specific type of reader in mind. It’s just whatever I feel the urge to start writing about.

That being said, I used to write posts with things I had been “thinking about for a while” and sometimes when I feel the urge to write, I still think to myself “what has been a constant thought I’ve been mulling over lately? What can I expand on?” And, to be honest, sometimes there’s just not one. Sometimes I feel too wrapped up in the whirlwind of life to be deeply thinking about any one thing. So I end up at a loss for what to write about.

Today, I finally realized I didn’t have to do that. If feel the urge to write, I can write about whatever I want. And I realize this doesn’t seem like something I should’ve had to have an epiphany about, but for whatever reason, it totally was.

So instead, I am going to expand on a few things that have been in my mind lately. Things that have pissed me off or filled me with joy and made me feel driven with passion. There’s no rhyme or reason to them; I’ve just had them fly through my brain.

The value of doing nothing

It’s Saturday and I always feel like I should have so many plans. I mean, people are always asking what your weekend plans are on Friday and when you get back to work on Monday, it’s typically one of the first things asked about. Lately, in an effort to not spend a lot of money and due to our wacky weather, my weekends have been a lot more low key. I definitely have not been bored, but I find that I am perfectly content to only do a few things.

Yes, there are days when I want to go hiking and just don’t go do it. Those days I wish I had pushed myself a bit more, but I also don’t regret relaxing or hanging out with family instead. For me, the crux of the issue is that I always feel like I need to be doing something, whether it is something productive or something worth talking about on Friday afternoons or Monday mornings.

It is difficult for me to feel okay spending a Saturday doing random chores and only doing exactly what I feel in the mood to do, because it feels like I’m wasting a weekend. I know this isn’t true, but it still feels like every weekend needs to be jam packed with adventure. Honestly, my weeks have felt too busy and engaging for weekend adventure. Right now, my weekend adventure has been taking long walks and people watching as a way to decompress from the week. And maybe that’s a testament to my need to chill my weekdays out so that I don’t feel like I have to recover every weekend, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe I’ll speak it into existence now: next Saturday I am going to go hike at Government Canyon. You can join me if you’d like.

Watering the garden in the dark

If you’ve been to my house, I’ve probably showed you my little 4×4 garden plot and our tomato plants. I’ve probably told you what’s growing in it: cucumber (out of control vines and dwarfing the trellis), cantaloupe (barely noticeable among the cucumber plant), bell pepper (green, but tastes so much better than store bought), strawberries (which Alaska eats anytime I’m not looking), onions (that are struggling, but are Patrick’s pride and joy), mint, basil, rosemary, and lavender. I might’ve mentioned that my cherry tomato plant is very fruitful and Patrick’s big boy tomato plants takes its sweet time.

I water the garden every night, so that the water can actually be absorbed versus evaporated right away. The tomato plants are by the porch, so the hose reaches and I water those first, under the porch light. The bed is around the side of the house and has no light on it at night. The hose doesn’t reach, so after I water the tomatoes I fill a watering can and then turn off the hose (so I don’t forget) and wander to the side of the house.

I normally have to bump Alaska out of my way and sometimes I have to yank her out of the bed (she really enjoys crushing my cucumber plant).

In the darkness, with the melody of cicadas and crickets and toads, I liberally water the whole plot. I always do the cucumber first and then the south side of the bed. I move to the east side (with the herbs) and then finish with the onions. If I have water left, I water a small pot with yellow flowers (that I can’t remember the name of) in it.

It brings me some strange feeling that I can’t identify perfectly. I feel productive and fulfilled and grateful and excited all at the same time. I think about how these plants will continue to grow, even when no one can see them at night. I think about the flowers that might be blooming in the morning, but are not at night. I wonder about how much water didn’t even make it into the bed and is instead just watering the weeds right outside the box.

I set the watering can next to the house, full well knowing it’ll be blown into the grass before the next night. And I go inside, looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Having an empty fridge

With Patrick gone, my grocery shopping is very minimal. I buy exactly what I want to eat and I only go to HEB once a week, so if I run out of fresh food, I have to work with whatever I have in my pantry or freezer. Sometimes it’s annoying, particularly when I am craving something specific, but for the most part it’s actually super fun.

I also get this strange satisfaction when I open my fridge at the end of the week and it’s practically empty. I like knowing that I am not wasting food or resources and that I am providing for myself exactly as I need to be.

I also hate clutter, especially in the fridge, so it is so nice to open the fridge to find something and seeing it clearly there.

Giving a big middle finger to diet culture

I really don’t curse a lot. It was very taboo for me growing up and honestly didn’t curse at all until some of my college friends with sailors’ mouths influenced me negatively 😉

I so rarely do it that people notice. They’ll ask me if cursing is offensive to me or if I’ve made an effort to stop. I am never offended and I have never had to quit cursing because I never really started! Not sure why, it just wasn’t in my vocabulary growing up.

Patrick will still tell me that it startles him when I drop an F bomb. I like having that power and knowing that me cursing really matters. When Juliana uses foul language, it’s because she’s making an important point.

With all that being said. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE (a company, an influencer, a friend, a parent, a doctor), tells you you should look a certain way. Or is making money off of your insecurities (spoiler alert: they always are), then I want you to do one thing and one thing only.

Put up two middle fingers (also something I don’t really do), either mentally or physically), and say FUCK THAT SHIT.

There’s that quote that says something like “in a world trying to tear you down, loving yourself is a radical act” or something along those lines. And I want to scream that from the roof top. You are enough right now. In this very moment. No change necessary.

If you identify someone who tries to tell you otherwise, send them my way and I’ll speak some French.

Not going into debt

I start grad school this fall and am absolutely terrified at the thought of going into debt. Yes, I have financial aid, but I’d really rather not have to take out loans. I have financial and personal goals that would be far more difficult to reach in debt.

I feel confident that I could pay for at least the first year out of pocket if I hustle hard and sell my soul a little. But it’s still a big scary thing that could happen, debt is.

I’ve crunched the numbers and know that choosing the track I did was the right choice (and ultimately, cheaper, since I will continue working full time), but it’s still a lot to think about.

Thinking about paying for school crosses my mind multiple times every day and I can’t wait to conquer it.

That’s all for now, folks!

Juliana

a few things I love

This morning, when I finally got out of bed, the first thing I did was open the blinds in the living room. As I opened our eastern-most facing blinds, the light poured in and all I could think was “I love this so much.”

It was truly a wonderful way to start my morning. And truthfully, I start almost every morning opening the blinds, but today felt like magic.

I’ve decided to run with that magic and share a few more things that I love so much.

This Morgan Harper Nichols quote that I have as my lock screen on my phone.

The sky during a walk at work.

Hot and sweaty runs.

Homemade sourdough with butter and jelly.

I hope that you have a wonderful Sunday and find things you love today!

Best,

Juliana

May Goals Recap & Life Lessons

Hey y’all. Let me start off by saying I’m so tired.

The last six weeks of my life have been a whirlwind. A wonderful, sometimes saddening, joyful, exhausting whirlwind.

In May I finished off my first semester teaching in the garden, I went to the dentist and the doctor and the dermatologist for preventive health, saw and dined with friends, and I traveled to DC with Patrick to help him move there for the summer!

Swimming at the beach in Alabama
The day I left DC. Was 100% tearing up behind those sunglasses.

It was a good time, but it’s always a bummer to part ways. I did come home to my cucumber plant growing wild!

Hold on for dear life, lil cucumber plant.

I am also coming off a weekend of BodyPump training and my mind and body are still trying to recover. I honestly wish it would rain so that I could just lay in bed. I truly had so much fun and am excited to keep learning and submit my teaching video to get certified! Not to mention, this weekend reminded me of how strong I am, both mentally and physically, so it was fun to experience.

All that being said, my mind is sort of in a haze.

As I was reviewing my May Goals I realized I couldn’t even remember if I had accomplished some of them or not! It felt like a sign that I needed to chill tf out.

All I know is that I absolutely crushed some of my goals, got halfway on others, and totally bombed a few.

It has made me realize, though, that maybe this month I should give myself some grace. I tend to do this thing where I don’t realize I’m running myself into the ground and until all I can do is cry all the time. Fortunately, I’ve worked hard to develop more self-awareness and have caught myself just before the tears overwhelm my life!

My only June Goal: Do things I enjoy doing.

Some ideas: go hiking, go kayaking/paddleboarding, take myself out to dinner (with Erica), go see a movie at Alamo, hang out with friends in a chill setting, go swimming, enjoy lemonade on a hot day, day trip somewhere, have meaningful conversations, decorate my home, find side hustles that are fun to me.

I really don’t want this summer to just fly by and I also don’t want to be so worn out all the time. I’ve found that I have tons of energy, but no drive at the end of the day. So I’m going to take a step back from being so “productive” and just enjoy.

Normally I put my goals on the front screen of my phone as a reminder, so now I’ll need to put something more wonderful there instead! Ideas?

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Love,

Juliana

PS Also totally forgot to mention that I turned 24 in May! Yay!

Alaska celebrating my birthday!