Updates and Check-ins

I haven’t checked in in a while and I’ve missed you. I’ve had multiple people reach out to me and ask how I am doing since I have been very touch and go with my online presence lately and I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me. 

There are so many things I miss now that the pandemic has robbed me of them. Little, odd things, like the Northwest Sound Men’s choir who rented out space at the place I work to be able to gather and rehearse every Wednesday evening. I miss shutting down my office at the end of the work day and hearing them practice their songs in perfect and jovial harmony down the hall. I miss putting together my powerpoint presentations for people who would pass by and stop for a few minutes, attention snagged, to view them. Something about knowing that people are going to be present to appreciate your work makes it so fulfilling. 

I could go on and on, and so could you because we have all lost something. There are days that are incredibly rough still, and others where I feel that I have made so much progress and growth as a person. Recently, I had to have a tough conversation with someone where I had to lay down my boundaries. Always such a pleasant conversation, sigh. But I resolved to myself to be fully present and not give an inch even in the inevitable face of their hurt feelings/pride. It’s always that much more tough when the offending party encroaches on your boundaries and into your personal space from a place of overeagerness and wanting to insert themselves into spaces in your life that you never asked them to. Giving advice that was never sought after, sharing too much personal information out of nowhere, unburdening themselves to you without asking if you’re even okay with it. Finally I had to tell them they were making me uncomfortable. I wrestled with all of the feelings that came along with the whole scenario, but the relief in my soul was absolutely worth it in the end. The art of saying no to people, not maliciously, but out of self care, is a powerful tool in our arsenal. Sometimes it takes years of courage to learn how to wield it properly. 

There are moments that I cherish that are made even brighter in the face of all the tragedies that keep unfolding on the world stage. One of my best friends at work sent me and our other best friend (yep, at work) a Charlie’s Angels mug as a celebration of our friendship. That made our day. It’s gestures like these that keep me going when I just want to lay down and give up sometimes. 

Not all has been difficult and I would be remiss if I weren’t going to touch on the parts that remain shiny, faceted gems in the caverns of my mind. Before the pandemic hit us in full force, the start of this year brought with it unexpected adventures and little surprises that were cool to experience. The University of Washington had found my blog and contacted me to see if they could interview me about it. I had agreed, of course, and had a lovely interview at a coffee shop on a rainy, February evening. I had also auditioned for and won a part in a show that I flew out to California to film. (Don’t ask what show, I will never reveal it 😉) I was also scheduled to go on a vacation to Scotland in May, but that’s when all the borders had shut down and I was never able to go. But sometimes, just remembering the track record of neat things I was on the path of experiencing this year helps me to get through the parts that are lonely and remind me of how fragile we are. 

Anyway, with all of that being said, I’m going to have to wind down and head out for my massage but I can’t help but be wildly curious to know what things have you unexpectedly missed during this pandemic that you never thought you might miss? What has been helping you to stay sane and grounded when it seems that all else keeps failing?

2 out of the 3 “Charlie’s Angels” cheesing with our mugs (there’s a pun in there and it wasn’t even intentional.)

Author: ebonyandcrows

Hello and welcome to my page~ My name is Larisa--a very common Slavic name that was either derived from the Latin word hilaris, meaning "cheerful," or from the Greek city of Larissa, meaning "strong fortress." Born in Ukraine, I emigrated with my family to America when I was still a small child and now make my home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Growing up immersed in two vastly differing cultures led me to have a burning curiosity about people all over the world. Stemming from said curiosity, I have fallen in love with traveling to other countries, meeting new people and delving into their culture, exploring new cities, and of course, dining on the local cuisine! If I cannot escape into a different country, then my next favorite method of adventure is to lose myself in a spectacular book. I enjoy books of all genres--from fiction and novels, to biographies and ethnographies. As long as it captures my fancy and holds me spellbound the entire time, I will burn through the book like a forest fire! Because of this penchant for reading and travel, coupled with my love of deep and mysterious things, I have been often called a dreamer and I find the title suits me. With that being said, I invite you to stay a while, perhaps make yourself a cup of tea and linger through my posts and feel free to comment or share a thought :-)

66 thoughts on “Updates and Check-ins”

              1. Loooollllll yes, that is a very common Slavic name, indeed! The Russian/Ukrainian language does not often have two of the same letter next to each other in a word or a name, it is very rare that that occurs. So every Slavic person’s name will always be spelled with one of each letter to pronounce it. My brother in law’s name is spelled Denis, another brother in law’s name is spelled Petr (due to the pronunciation) etc.

                Haha do tell of the way in which you found this out though 😝😜

                Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know you are practically my neighbor! I am a quick jaunt up north in Washington state and we often go to SoCal for a long weekend away. Cupertino Beach is honestly one of my favorites. Probably because it is quiet and I enjoyed walking in the surf with my coffee in the early mornings so much. It would have been the loveliest of surprises to run into you ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am tickled pink and actually laughed out loud reading your comment! It is always such a mind blowing experience to catch a glimpse into the way people view us because I think the same of you! You strike me as a mysterious, gorgeous, intelligent and ethereal woman who getting to know would involve a slow unwrapping of layers. I am flattered to the moon and back by your comment 😍 People usually ask me if I was born in a different country but are not usually able to place where. My features are all Slavic—pale skin and green eyes. I was born in Ukraine but grew up all my life in Washington state. Interestingly enough, sometimes I feel that I am both ethnicities strongly and sometimes none at all.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think you’re right in that people discover I have many layers and as they uncover them they might be a little bit surprised at what they are. I don’t see myself in such ways, I’m me and feel very clear and straightforward with a ton of little private places. Lol. 🤷‍♀️
            As much as I can identify with the things you write I think what I find most compelling about you is all of the things you seem to have that I do not. I can’t even pinpoint them exactly, it’s just a feeling and a draw.
            And what an interesting background and description of yourself! Thank you ❤️

            Liked by 1 person

            1. This is why different perspective fascinate me so much. The way I interpret your writing always feels as if it’s in intricate layers. Maybe it’s because of the way you allow us to see the world through your eyes, and it always feels like the it’s a mystery draped in peonies and bleeding poetry. Maybe that’s just how I interpret the subject matter at the very center, which would be you. Either way, it’s utterly enchanting.

              “..all the things I have that you do not.” I am wildly curious about what those things may be. See, that is the thing about you being such a remarkable poetess—you even make me curious about my own self! But you could write about a sack of potatoes and I would be wide-eyed, taking it all in.

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  1. Ebony and Crows posted??? OMG…someone hold coffee!!! 😉

    I learned long ago not to inpute myself into lives of others however I’ve been told recently my respect often suggest I have no romantic or platonic interest in them or their lives. I’ve also learned there are many obtuse people to respect, let alone recognize personal boundaries.
    I’ve missed reading your post, comments and overall witty satire every now and then. Glad I checked in today after being out of town.
    I think, if I had ever been offered 5 mins of fame, I’d want it to be an intimate encounter that was leaked about, void of the public view so their imaginations would run wild and paint me far worse than I could ever be.
    I hope you are doing very well and happy. Until next we converse…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha awww Poet, that comment from you genuinely made me so happy! You have been gone a long time too and it seems we keep missing each other! I remember when I first started blogging, one of my blogger friends posted about how he misses all the people who he used to interact with in the blogosphere that gradually dropped off and now I know what he is talking about! When my OG’s swing by, I get a rush of warmth and nostalgia. Yeah, communicating via text on any platform is tough because so much can be misinterpreted. We inherently pick up on body language, vibes, facial expressions, and tone of voice when talking to people, so there’s a lot that’s missing for us to clue in on online. To be honest, I’m not at all interested in being famous. I won’t turn down riches 😉 but I’d rather prefer to be incognito/anonymous/private than be thrown into the public eye. But each experience we get to go through (like filming on tv) is neat, nevertheless. I am always fighting to be my best version, and there are days where I knock it out of the park, and then there are days where I’m running on fumes. But, I have faith that the day will come where all of this nasty business with depression and heartbreak with life will be a distant thing of the past. How have you been since last we talked?

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      1. 🙂 life for me has been … between surreal and plain mostly, however in this moment- I’m feeling pretty good after reading your reply. I’d like to blame my absence on your absence but we’re both adults and know life can distract us from even good and quality people in our life’s. I always return to post something sooner or later. I have a couple personal reasons I’d turn down riches myself, but hey, I’m just a wandering poet at heart.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I would not turn down the chance to have enough financial stability that I could just buy a one way ticket to see the whole world and stop and linger wherever my heart falls in love. I’ve fallen in love with so many cities around the world, I have pieces of me scattered all over the globe. I’d like to go and revisit those pieces again. Working is for the birds 😴 Although investing my life into something meaningful, like a ministry, is something that I would do in a heartbeat.

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          1. All over the globe hey? That’s a lot of traveling. I can understand where you’re coming from on that. I think, (sometimes too often) that the ministry has to find you, like a romance that sweeps you off your feet. Once you’ve been taken by surprise and realize you can let go of everything else in your life… you’ve been found a home. A place and purpose for one’s existence. But, that’s just what I think. I almost pursued to be a priest myself not that many years ago.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. What a wonderful way to put it! I loved your analogy, Poet. When I was younger, despite being raised in the church, I used to believe being in the ministry was the most boring thing anyone could possibly choose to do. Now, I understand that ministering to people does not just mean preaching from the pulpit. It means being there for people. And that’s important to me. I enrolled in a theological university online years ago and ended up dropping out. It just wasn’t the right timing.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Perhaps it wasn’t the right voice either? Food for thought. It still seems to be with you (that inner desire to serve) and you acknowledge it mindfully to others as well as yourself. I’d say you’re sure to quench that desire in due time. And thank you for your words.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve also been in self imposed cyber isolation of late. Funny what we learn about ourselves when we’re forced into a strange state of affairs. Bravo on your courage in setting boundaries with your ‘admirer’.

    I became a grandpa today, my heart is full!

    I’ll check in again soon, stay well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my goodness, Tim, congratulations!!! That is such wonderful news!! 🎉🥂 I am an auntie many times over and every single time a new child is born into the family, it is a beautiful and wonderful affair. I miss seeing you on here my friend. Thank you for stopping by and sharing such exciting news with me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When this pandemic first started it was a strange time for me as it was one of those times I had to pause and reconnect with myself and assess where I am and how I see myself. It also gave me a chance to re-connect with family that before I saw only occasionally. I wrote a play that I completed in March that was going to be performed around late April but was cancelled because of the virus but hopefully it’ll be rescheduled sometime in early 2021. It’s always a joy and a delight to read your words Larisa and congrats on all your endeavours and wish you all the success and joy in the world both on the inside and out. Have a great day !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that with me, Hasan. Wow, that is incredible that you wrote a play! That honestly takes such deep reserves of creativity. It’s too bad that the payoff for all of your hard work had to be put off until next year though. We seriously need a 2020 do over ☹️ Thank you so much for such a kind response to this blog post. I appreciate your well wishes and I accept them wholeheartedly. Have a lovely day too, Hasan 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dearest Larisa, the moment I got your notification, I rushed to read it, but knew I’d have to take some time out to re read and reply justly. I’ve missed you, and I though my heart goes out to you and I ache to help you in any way I can; I’m nevertheless glad that you found it in you to stand up against the energy vampire. It must’ve been really difficult for someone as empathetic as you, I can well imagine, and also imagine what point you must’ve been driven to, to have had to resort to it.

    “Giving advice that was never sought after, sharing too much personal information out of nowhere, unburdening themselves to you without asking if you’re even okay with it.”

    I really don’t know how you do this – articulating what I feel with such powerful, elegant and warm words! I honestly adore you!

    The lockdown and the uncertainty in the world seems to be revealing it’s gloomy side now, and more and more souls seem to be feeling the heaviness – artists and creators are most susceptible to it. Speaking of artistry and creation, I’m so excited to hear about your audition! I’ll be the first to watch the show, eyes peeled for the beautiful poetess Larisa, with a gorgeous soul and a gorgeous face ❤️

    My comment looks intensely “fangirl” but I guess that’s what I am when it comes to your work 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isha you always bring the biggest grin to my face!! My cheeks feel like they can simply crack from how hard I smile when I read your comments!

      I don’t even know what I did to deserve someone as beautiful as you in my life, much less the things you tell me. Flattered is not the word, I am beyond touched with everything you share.

      Yes! You nailed it when you said “energy vampire!” I didn’t even realize how draining this person was until you put a name to it—maybe because I felt sorry for them the whole time I was cringing inside with how much they would attempt to share my personal life with them and just going about it in every wrong way possible. That’s the thing with being an empath, you feel the other person’s feelings and hate to be the one to hurt them because you also feel deeply guilty. There comes a point that you have to save yourself though because the other option is to drown. I know I am preaching to the choir when it comes to you, my friend.

      Isha, I am being purposefully vague about the show because I get the same feeling that people get when they hear themselves on a recording, except worse. It’s like omg, do I really sound so much like a valley girl 😩 and other critiques that run through my mind. It was a unique experience though and I’m just going to leave it at that.

      Thank you for sharing with me your perspective on the pandemic, I couldn’t agree more about it being hard on artists and creative types. Thank you for such beautiful words, you are a treasure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, I just read the other day that “Privacy is a blessing. What people don’t know, they can’t ruin” – I congratulate you on your new adventure and I encourage you to keep it private till you feel the need to share.

        I hope you keep writing on WordPress, I really only read a few writers, I’m sorry about that and am trying to read more, but you’re someone I terribly miss reading in the absences. Much love to you! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my gosh I could just cry reading this!! I’m serious.

          I have to take a moment and gather myself together because, wow, that was so so beautiful.

          After that one time I deleted my blog in December and then came back because of the amazing people on here, I realized that I never wanted to delete my blog again. It wasn’t the right choice for me, I had just mistook it for what I needed to do. But it’s people like you who just keep me coming back, like a moth to a brightly burning flame. And you burn so brightly, Isha. Wow. Sending you hugs upon hugs!! Xoxoxo

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You, my dear, are always the freshest breath of air. I love this post. I love hearing more about who you are when you aren’t writing soul-aching prose. I’m comforted by your candid thoughts about navigating the vitriolic purgatory ushered upon us by 2020. I share so many of your sentiments of restlessness and sadness. There are days I don’t recognize this place… It’s always strangely nice to realize we’re not alone in feelings of malaise and disconnect. I applaud you for acknowledging these struggles while still reminding yourself of your many blessings. I’m thrilled you were interviewed about the blog! You deserve that recognition. Also thrilled you got to appear on television. What a unique, bucket list type experience. I do believe I know what show you took part in but in keeping with your understandable wish to protect your privacy I shall never tell ♥️📺

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Caterwauling!!! What a dope fucking word that I literally forgot existed. *writes that one down one handed while also hugging Larisa so tight that we both faint onto a velvet chaise lounge and look like a baroque masterpiece*

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Although I could already see it now—April gracefully floats down and ends up draped over the side of the chaise lounge, effortlessly striking a dramatic pose, while I unceremoniously cartwheel into a heap on the floor 😂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. 😩😍😭♥️😍😩🙏🏻 I am all of those feelings all at once!! What a gorgeous comment, I can’t get over it! I was feeling my soul just slowly dissolve into euphoria line after line. If I could bottle up your words and sell them as an elixir, I would be wealthy in so many ways. Thank you for your tact!!! 😂 Rob was not so, that scoundrel!!! I’m laughing so hard about this whole thing 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Good to hear an update from you, I think you’re right the fun and novelty of the pandemic and lockdown has worn off and there’s just the bare reality left. Here in the UK the season is creeping into winter and with that is darkness, but there will be light to be found… Somewhere 🙂
    Keep well and nice to see you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simon, you were on my mind when I was writing this post! Yay, I’m glad you checked in ☺️ Believe me, the novelty wore off for me as soon as the virus was discovered. Where in the UK do you live?

      Like

          1. Ah I see, yes I was and it’s always a pleasure. We have to look out for who we can right?
            Haha… like a city with an accent… well yes our accent is different from there. You don’t have to go far from London to find different accents. 😉

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    1. No darling, I just haven’t had the chance yet to answer all the comments in my queue! Sorry for the delay 😩 Today has been crazy busy, and also, some toxic people that are currently in my orbit drain the life from me some days more than others. Today was one of those days. I will answer you, I promise! I just want to be in the right frame of mind when I do 💋 (I usually answer comments in the order that it was received, I was only able to answer like 2 ppl today. Right now is the exception lol)

      Liked by 2 people

  7. We’ve all missed some things during this pandemic season. Like how you miss the choir, I also miss my shuttle ride to campus: where I get to see and hear so much going on, like a mini movie every morning.

    Really glad you set boundaries with this said person too. I really need to be doing this as lately many people are crossing many boundaries of mine.

    So nice to hear from you again. Hope that massage was as refreshing as this post 😊😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joel! And thank you for sharing what you miss, it’s little insights like these that I actually really enjoy about people. It allows me to step into their shoes for just a moment and experience the world from their eyes. I can people watch for hours.

      Yes, reinforcing our boundaries is an act of courage and a labor of love. Even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like love has much to do with it, but your soul will thank you.

      The massage was a 2 hour deep tissue massage that I have every two weeks to correct some long term tight muscle issues that really are a pain in my you-know-what. Quite literally. But yes, it’s always a relief to visit Desmond 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Joel!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Notes and commented:
    First read these words by Larisa;

    “Recently, I had to have a tough conversation with someone where I had to lay down my boundaries. Always such a pleasant conversation, sigh. But I resolved to myself to be fully present and not give an inch even in the inevitable face of their hurt feelings/pride. It’s always that much more tough when the offending party encroaches on your boundaries and into your personal space from a place of overeagerness and wanting to insert themselves into spaces in your life that you never asked them to. Giving advice that was never sought after, sharing too much personal information out of nowhere, unburdening themselves to you without asking if you’re even okay with it. Finally I had to tell them they were making me uncomfortable. I wrestled with all of the feelings that came along with the whole scenario, but the relief in my soul was absolutely worth it in the end. The art of saying no to people, not maliciously, but out of self care, is a powerful tool in our arsenal. Sometimes it takes years of courage to learn how to wield it properly. ”

    These are very wise words and they do seem to have depths of actual events beyond their own circumstances. Her words remind me of a book titled “The Art Of Saying No”. However, my inquisitive brain wants to know more since every situation, individual and the background (of where we are in life and our past experiences) makes every interaction unique and one-of-a-kind. I have yet to find one brush to paint things like I read in that book.

    Liked by 1 person

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