creative non-fiction Persist

Day by Day

Alina Kanaski writes about the small steps in the everyday – and the joy of feeling like the work you've put in is finally making a difference.

by Alina Kanaski

It has been nine months.

The date isn’t so important anymore. I only remembered because someone asked, as we were eating our Chinese and talking about life, about vacations and work and people we know. She asked on the nine-month mark, to the day. I’ve stopped counting it out, stopped holding it like a just-opened Christmas present and put it on the shelf with everything else.

But I feel like I’m just coming to terms with it now, with the everyday and the wild of this job, of life with a job: of having my own apartment, of finding time to cook and clean and write and face it all rather than swallow it up in explosions and love stories. I’m just finding the beauty in waking up every morning, reading and writing and exercising before I go to work with a cup of homemade iced tea or a candle or a sunrise. I’m just exploring the rhythm of deadlines, the importance of looking past the one tomorrow to what’s beyond. I’m just discovering the joy of being where I am, of caring enough to send a card, of asking about her story or her son, of trying to grow an oregano plant.

“I’m just discovering the joy of being where I am, of caring enough to send a card, of asking about her story or her son, of trying to grow an oregano plant.”

I’m seeing the importance of every step, from overwhelmed paralysis to holding back sobs in the grocery store because they didn’t have the chips I wanted, deciding to go for morning walks, finally buying that book for work, decorating, spontaneous library trips that ended in impossible stacks. I can look back and see the roots I put down. I can lose each evening’s act of journaling, the fuzzy yellow of my bedside lamp and colored pen over paper as I drape across my bed, and see also the journal I’ve finished since I started. It’s blue, it was a gift (graduation? birthday?), and now it’s full of words and tickets pasted in with stickers, articles and poems, and it barely wants to close.

I can hold every single thing I think I do badly a bit more loosely, as I see the foundation I’ve started, how each Sunday afternoon spent baking the week’s breakfast and every time I roll out my yoga mat and every word I’ve written and every time I’ve watered a plant as loving myself in the midst of that overwhelmed paralysis and unspeakable joy and every single other reaction, as a reminder that I am important too.

It’s been nine months. I’m getting there.


Alina Kanaski | @SnidgetKnightalinawrites.wordpress.com

Alina Kanaski currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she somehow became a pastor. In between she crochets, writes, and watches terrible science fiction.

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