What’s an Introvert, Really?

reader_web_2Woah guys, woah. I just had a major Aha.

I’ve just learned what an introvert really is – I thought I knew! But I didn’t. I always thought is was about how you feel energized, whether it’s with people or through solitude. Sort of, but not exactly.

I am viscerally excited by this new information, which as I will explain, is related to the fact that I am somewhat of an introvert. And it’s not just because it’s about introverts. It’s the information itself, giving me a nice little dopamine high. Aw yeah…

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Creativity tip: Tiny toolkits

striped-pouchA while back, I wrote about my grand plan to put out more frequent, shorter, simpler posts. For example, I thought I would share tiny great ideas. So far I’ve done it exactly once. Ha! Typical Elena. Brevity is not my thing.

But today I have a little tip for you, if you’re trying to weasel in time for a creative life. It’s such a simple thing really and practical and has been so helpful for me on a daily basis that I wanted to tell you about it!
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runners-butterfliesIt’s Saturday morning. 9 am. We’re sitting on the floor. I’m washing down a piece of cold pizza, still on the table from last night, with the end of my coffee. I scored the last of the cream. Alida’s nose is a slippery waterfall but it’s been the best night we’ve had in a week or so, with only 3 wake-ups, thanks to that blessed, blasted Nose Frida (which in my midnight stupor, I’d decided was much like reverse egg-blowing). Inexplicably, Jonah slept until 8:30am, and he’s in a great mood. The apartment is mess, but not deeply so. I had the forethought to pick up vacuum bags yesterday (win!). The sky is a bright, beautiful, cloudless blue. All things considered, it’s a good morning. And I have a thought. An unusual thought… one I haven’t had in well over a year. “You know what…” I say to Achim, before trailing off as I immediately change my mind. But then, it’s too late. I’ve let it out.

“I might go for a run this morning.”
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Goal Setting Guide Revisited


At last! I’ve wanted to revamp the goal guide pretty well since I first posted it. A few people mentioned that the long, scrolling format was kinda hard to follow and frankly, I agree. The new year seemed like a good time to clean it up and give it a run.

I’ve made it into sensible distinct pages, spaced things out, upped the text or illustration size here and there for emphasis and clarity. Now you’ve got the slide show below, or you can even download this printable version. I had a lot of interest from teachers last year, and I thought an easy peasy pdf may be appreciated.
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Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

happybirthdayOn January 14th this blog officially turned 1 year old! I am the shyly proud creator of 50 individual posts. My goal was to keep it up at least a year and then see, and although my upkeep has been a little spotty, I am pleased to report that my interest has surprisingly not been. I’ll be changing a few things, but continuing for sure. It can be hard to find space to create, physically, emotionally, and psychologically in the beautiful mess of everyday life, and this place has been sort of a “room of one’s own” for me.
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Love Story: The Last Page


To us, it feels like a new story starts here. It’s not that it wasn’t still confusing or messy at times, it really was. I mean, it still is! But it wasn’t a question of if there was an “us” anymore. That much was clear.

We still didn’t go to Spain together. I spent two tortilla and café con leche fuelled months lugging backpacks with my friend Shannon, basking in a blur of art galleries, mossy castles and winding, white sunbaked streets; running my fingers over miles of intricate tile work, and sleeping in filthy little beds. He picked me up from the Frankfurt airport and I stayed for two cozy weeks, just before Christmas. As I remember it, we mostly just lay around by the fireplace. Flipped through old photo albums and VHS tapes. Went for drives.

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Love Story: Page 16

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September 2006 – The Universe

There I lay. By myself, in the dark, in his bed. Still, spent and a little shaky from the emotional upheaval of the day. As I stared at the ceiling, the events of the day, the month, the year – the years – seemed to vanish, a torrent of quiet, sparkling dust swept up and scattered, imperceptibly across the expanse. I suddenly felt very alone. So alone, but not lonely. Rather, it was an aloneness that gave me the profound feeling of inhabiting myself, a total presence of mind. I’d say it was an out of body experience, except that it was quite the opposite. There I was, lying alone, with so little control in the world, but… I was okay. It was probably one of the most meaningful moments of my life – a complete calm and clarity overtook me and I had the strongest, most distinct feeling of safety. It was as though in my aloneness, I realized that I, Elena, this impossible ball of chaos, was not alone. Rather, I was profoundly surrounded by love, wholly taken care of.

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Love Story: Page 15

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September 2006 – Bonn, Germany

I had a notebook with me, on the airplane and for the next few months. It was supposed to be a travel diary, but ended up mainly filled with chicken scratch hostel addresses and contact info for all our Amazing New Friends, whom I would never speak to again. However, on the flight over, my journalistic intentions were still fresh, and I did write. I don’t even have to hunt down that book to recall one particular passage.

“People always say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but not for me. Absence makes me forget.”

It wasn’t a good start.

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Love Story: Page 14

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October 2005 to September 2006 – Toronto, ON / Bonn, Germany

I think we only wrote one letter each. Paper letters, I mean. Mine was a long, disjointed cadavre exquis of personal essays, flitting through homemade lino print stationary, looseleaf and sketchbook paper, various pens, highs and lows over the course of several days or honestly, probably weeks.

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