November

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

source

"October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces."
 --J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year." --Emily Dickinson


The November evening had a bite; it nibbled not-quite-gently at her cheeks and ears. In Virginia, the late autumn was a lover, still, but a dangerous one." --J. Aleksandr Wooten, The Eighth Square


"It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." --L.M. Montgomery


"In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still." --Cynthia Rylant, In November


"November is usually such a disagreeable month...as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully...just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We've had lovely days and delicious twilights." --L.M. Montgomery


"For London, Blampied claimed, was of all cities in the world the most autumnal--its mellow brickwork harmonizing with fallen leaves and October sunsets, just as the etched grays of November composed themselves with the light and shade of Portland stone. There was a charm, a deathless charm, about a city whose inhabitants went about muttering, "The nights are drawing in," as if it were a spell to invoke the vast, sprawling creature-comfort of winter." --James Hilton, Random Harvest


SOMETHING NEW

Sunday, November 5, 2017


....while the main purpose of this post is to share an update on my life, as you might be able to tell, the blog herself has undergone an update!

Everything's cleaner, simpler, with a black and white design that feels like a delicious, bold-against-white font and an Old Hollywood movie rolled into one. It took ages for me to pull the trigger, but I'm so glad I finally did. I outgrew the bright pink and orange header long ago, and this just feels right. Chic, understated. Perfect.

And, of course, the name has also changed. I was even more indecisive about that and while I was said to say goodbye to My Spare Oom which has been such an enourmous part of the last nine years...it was time. I've grown and so has this space, and as I mean to write (and I mean really write by putting things out into the world with my name on them), it felt right that my blog reflect that.

So here I am, Grace K.

A twenty-four year old with an apartment of my own and a cat most dedicated to sleeping. But most importantly, a writer.

In addition to refreshing the blog, there have been a few other changes around here...

June was a rather exciting month as I got ENGAGED. It feels so strange to just now mention it on here (proposal story to come), but life picked up rather quickly and I kept struggling with the timeline (I never wrote a post about Ryan! How can I post that we're engaged when I've never MENTIONED him by name on the blog?!? #thelifeofablogger.)

Meaning, when Ryan and I began dating, I only ever announced it on Instagram. I mentioned him on the blog here and there, but never got around to a "how we met" post. And then this summer, the day before our 1 year anniversay, he asked me a very important question. I said yes, of course, cried twice, and tried to wrap my head around the fact that we were engaged.

And so we're currently planning our wedding (which still BLOWS my mind that I can say that and that I am actually in fact planning something I didn't think I'd be planning for another three to four years).

Then in September, just before my one-year-work anniversary, I left my job. 

Which is to also say, I left Waco and the last five years of my life behind. It involved several deep breathes and a letting go of...well, everything. I packed everything of my life in my small red car and drove to College Station. To Ryan, to a new part of life. To the part of adulthood that involves moving on from everything else.

I live here now--only an hour and a half from where I used to live, but it feels like a world away. I have my own apartment, a couch and a bed to call my own, a disherwasher and a stove (luxury), and the man I will marry (in seven months!) just a few blocks away.

Life is good.

Hard still, oh so hard in that we are human and complex and misunderstandings happen and money is tight because we are both young and broke. But good. 

I realized this slow Sunday afternoon as I drove to his apartment, that I've been here for nearly two months now. I'm finally catching my breath, settling into a rhythm and easing out out of transition. I see Ryan every night for dinner, I read the written hopes and dreams of young people for a living--measure their achivements and goals, whether they're a good fit for the university of maroon and white.

Sundays are still and calm--a day for gathering sleep, for spending the day curled with my cat amidst cushions on the couch, for cleaning and watching cozy British vlogs, for steadily working through a stack of library books, and for writing.

Here's to the week ahead...to a November full of stillness and holiday drinks and pulling out the winter clothes and making soup, and writing a novel in a month.

Cheers, friends. Join me in this new season?

Mood

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Toolboxes of Grown-Ups

Friday, July 14, 2017

"It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent tools--friendship, prayer, conscience, honesty--and said, Do the best you can with these, they will have to do. And mostly, against all odds, they're enough."

Anne Lamott

These Times

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

These are the times of listening to "Moving On and Getting Over" John Mayer's album, over and over and over again, fingers on the steering wheel as I blink the sleep from my eyes. Something about those gentle strums promises optimism. Hope. And I need as much of that as I can get.

I remember back in December trying, for the first time to pick a word for the year, and deciding it needed to be 'joy,' mainly because I was determined to cultivate it in my life. So that I could see the joy in the present rather than looking ahead at the future, believing life will be better and more joyful later. 

But here I am, nearly six months into 2017, and in so many ways, the word given to me is 'hope.'

A holy hope--that's what I'm clinging to and believing in. I have hope things will be okay. I have hope that God is moving and changing my heart, my life. Hope that I will get to where I want to be. Hope that this thing called growing-up will someday be a little easier to understand and not as hard...or that maybe, rather, I learn that it doesn't but you get stronger and better able to meet it head on.

These are the times of reading Anne Lamott's book Plan B, and the quiet rush of gratitude at reading words that describe the tangled up emotions of life and love and hardship that I feel roaring beneath my skin.

These are the times of slowly trying to become a person again. Because I, most times, feel like I've forgotten how to be one. How to breathe. Slow down. Actually do things on the weekend. Make plans and have a robust social life. Navigate the world outside the comforts of childhood home or the security of college life. It's tricky and this first post-grad year feels, in many ways, like an unbecoming.

And now I must learn, all over again, how to become. It's a messy thing, this process of becoming. It's an odd search of who I am. The growing pains of a soul. Finding my voice--my writing one, especially--again. Sitting down and sifting through my words and thoughts, trying, daring to think of putting them all on paper.

These times...I'm impatient with them most nights, but I know, as sure as the thrum in my veins, that these times are my becoming. Hallowed by the hardship and need for hope.

So here's to these times. And to Harry, for the reminder. Cheers, mate.