1. Cape Ann, Massachusetts
I lived on Cape Ann in Massachusetts for five years during college, and it is the most beautiful place in the world to me. When I first moved there, I remember driving around in awe, feeling like I had moved to a postcard. It is so idyllic and lovely. And there is so much history – I always felt like the air, with it’s ocean salt, liked to whisper old stories to me as I walked on the beach, studied in an old coffee shop, or toured around old seaport towns. It inspires me, calms me and makes me feel like I belong. It is where I came into my own as an adult, as an academic and as a follower of Jesus. I will always love it.
2. My books
A writer who loves to read? Are you surprised? I want to build a huge library that someday I will put in my office at a university (where I will teach American History 🙂 or in my home. All throughout college, I never sold a book because I figured if I was investing the time and energy into the class, the reading would be important to me. I have so many books, my husband likes to tease me that we don’t have any room anymore in our loft. But I love the smell of their pages, and I love the annotations that they’ve accrued over the years. They’re becoming dear companions to me, a source of time travel and connection to humanity. I don’t feel so alone when I’m reading. Like John Adams told his son John Quincy, “You’ll never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”
3. Notes and keepsakes found in the pages of my Bible
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been keeping special letters, notes and photos in the pages of my Bible. It is truly a pleasure when I open it up to be reminded of sweet memories or my dear loved ones. There are so many sticky-notes and things hidden in the depths that sometimes I forget they are there, and am pleased to discover them again. And then there are others that I return to again and again, like the letter my husband wrote to me on our wedding day. My Bible has been with me for so many years, through so many adventures. I like to be reminded that God is building an incredible life in me, and that he is present in my friends, letters, and photos, too.
Over the years, my body has changed and I’ve lost a sense of connection to it. I don’t always pay attention to its cues. Yoga helps me reconnect to my body’s physical messages and how my emotions are connected. For instance, when I’m stressed and anxious, my shoulders and back get really tense. I end up getting tight in my hips, and have pain in my chest. The anxiety builds, and suddenly, I’m exhausted for days. Yoga helps connect my mind to my body and spirit. I am learning to be more mindful in sensing what is going on in my heart and how it translates into my physical wellbeing. It is nice to take quiet time to learn to trust my body, and build strength – both physically and emotionally – as I work through tough movements and thoughts. I always dedicate my practice to Jesus and ask him to be with me throughout. It is a nice way to pray and be quiet throughout the day, while also getting a good workout.
5. The Writing Process
For me, the writing process is very spiritual. I’ve been writing nearly every day since childhood, and the emotional outlet and the creative spark that comes with it fills my heart in the best way. I feel connected to myself and to humanity all at once, both present and past. And I love stories. It’s just amazing that we can connect with people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago through their writing. Writing is my art, and it helps me feel more alive and grounded.
Anne Taylor is a twenty-something writer, and owner of Anne the Adventurer, a lifestyle blog which seeks to
discover adventure in everyday life. When she isn’t blogging, she is reading, prepping for grad school, running, or spending time with her sweet husband. Anne is passionate about people and storytelling, and seeks to inspire people daily to reflect on their past so as to live and create better futures. You can follow Anne on Twitter, Facebook and BlogLovin’.