Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 81 - The End of Something

As I type, the voices of my family lull and crest in the next room. I hear chatter and laughter. I'm pretty sure there's games. I had all these ideas for things to tell you. About the cake for my brother. Or the way Nova lights up a room, like the star she is.

I was going to tell you about the new beachhouse, and how the plates in the cupboards remind me of my grandmothers. How they jolt me back to the smell of the lake cabin and my young cousins in the Minnesota summer air, light as the sun's rays.

I was going to tell you...and I will...

Later.

For today, I'm thinking hard about Ted Kennedy. This month, Death rules the media. As one larger-than-life figure falls after another. It's Jackson or Fawcett or Cronkite, one headline trumps another. We march to the cemetary together, waiting for Larry King to interview friends/family/collegues. We tire of the talking heads and retire to bed. And so it is...

Icon after icon, I barely blink.

But Kennedy, Mr. Ted Kennedy, this one gets me good. Of all the eulogies, it's his--"the lion of the Senate"-- I record. It's his I watch, and my body pumps blood into my heart until it aches. The whole thing feels bigger than me. Than any of us.

Grainy black and white images static-cling to the screen as the 1960's-era voice of a young and handsome Ted Kennedy floats into the room from a CNN broadcast. As the pictures move and Kennedy moves through them, soft-spoken and compassionate, the time period itself mesmerizes me.

The music rises to the occasion as a tragic war and the struggle for civil rights shreds the nation. Our hearts break and break. The scars are everywhere, like gravesites scored in the ground. Bob Dylan thumps his hollow guitar. Janis screams at us.

In 1963, Ted loses his brother. In 1968, Ted loses another brother. His voice breaks while speaking to the crowd at Bobby's funeral; his body hunches and a wave of hurt bends his back as he tries to compose himself at the pulpit. Words of hope. He gives.

Making meaning out of memory, he focused almost completely on the causes him and his brothers championed: civil rights, an end to war, the poor, the sick, the hungry. He embodied the words of Emma Lazarus's poem etched on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside your golden door!"

Forgiving him his personal failures, his career in the U.S. Senate spanned almost five decades and soared in its accomplishments. He spoke and acted compassionately. His handprints mark the page of nearly every important bill on civil rights, disability rights, and education. A world without Ted Kennedy would be a very different world.

The poetry of his passing doesn't elude me. We live in a charged time right now. The time we live in will be a time frequently replayed in the future--much like the 60's, a time of change. With different players. Different causes. If you pay attention, you'll notice--the energy and the intensity of right now is palpable. I believe this time period will mesmerize my unborn granddaughter.

It's different now than it was back then, it's true. But there's mirrors all over, peeking into a similar time. It seems to me, if I drew out lines and conclusions, that Ted Kennedy's passing was timed like a metronome.

Kennedy helped usher in the Civil Rights Act in 1964, a bill that delineated such basic rights for black people in America as to where they were "allowed" to eat and drink. Now, the year of his death, Americans voted into the highest office, the first black president. And with him, the compassion and genius of his message--we will speak honestly and with empathy in mind. We're going to do our best. It's been so long, the soul sighs to hear it. Kennedy probably did too.

I think I glimpsed a tiny little bit of what his life must have been made of while I worked during the 2008 election. I worked harder on that campaign than any job in my life. The energy in those offices was euphoric and endless. Thick and raw. We fight, I thought to myself, with our nails and our tears.

Sadly, we're polarized as a nation as never before. Change rumbles in the distance. And now too. It's storming out. Only time and perspective can show us the overview.

For now, I know, it is the end of something. Something I can't quite put my finger on it. The world is left with her yearning. We'll claw to build bridges as other men tear them down. We'll wake up next to our beloveds, as others carry their beloveds to rest. As a country, our fallen icons etch their songs and their ideas into our collective subconscious.

And the beat goes on...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 77 - He Loves Me; He Loves Me Lots

Dave is busy. Really really busy. And sometimes when I tell people that, they get all "oh poor you." And sometimes, I admit, I feel that way too.

But mostly, I support him with my entire heart and soul. Why? Because I love that Dave has dreams and vision and ideas for his life. Because I view my role in his life (or my role in anybody's life for that matter) as a support beam--I want for Dave what he wants for himself. As long as he stays within the line of legal, moral, and with respect for me and my dreams, I want to be the tailor that stitches his wings together, the breath of wind that whispers 'you can do it, I'm here for you.'

And it's vice versa too. I believe that what I want for my life is what he wants for me too. Dave's not gaga over art like me. And I'm not really turned on by the business world like him. But the common thread that binds us is our mutual respect for our respective loves--we're each other's fans, we cheer each other on.

I care that Dave HAS passion about something, not if I share it. In our vows we promised, "I will trust you with my dreams, and support you in fulfilling yours."

And I'm not saying it's all perfection. It's not. I've been known to throw little pouting fits when I find out he won't be accompanying me to the next family fiesta. Or I've abruptly ended phone conversations when he calls to tell me he'll be late to our dinner date. I've said I'm o.k., no, it's nothing...more than once when I didn't mean it. I've even stared at him as if he single-handedly took away my soul when he changed our Thanksgiving plans.

But the fact of the matter is: Nothing is perfect. But what I DO consider perfect is that no matter what: I trust him. He never pushes me past my limits. He respects me and my words when I say, 'This is my limit of what I can give you, without forgoing my needs.' Which really sounds more like this: 'I need your time so badly it hurts.'

When I get there, he always rushes towards me. He never walls himself away, defensive. He never says, "Why don't you calm down?" or "You're being ridiculous." He says, "O.k. what can I do?" He opens. If he closed in those moments, I'm positive we would have never made it to that beautiful spring day, pledging our everlasting devotion. His gentle and kind reactions to me make my heart blow up like a balloon. My love is as infinite as air.

The other day, he arrived home late at night after a long day of work. This week has been extra rough. In his eyes were smiles and in his hands were a vase of two red roses and one white. I beamed knowingly at him as he handed me the plump and fragrant knot of petals. He beamed too.

You see, recently I added the phrase "Give wife presents--pretty flowers" to his lengthy to-do list on the dry erase board hanging up in his personal office. Giggling to myself as I scribbled.

Instead of laughing off my humorous addition to his to-do list, he drove around the neighborhood after work looking for an open retail store. He finally spotted a 24-hour drive-thru flower kiosk (gawd love California) where clean glass cubes displayed vases of various flowers.

He didn't mention my addition to his to-do list. Instead he said, "The flowers there were seriously beautiful, not a bad one in the bunch."

The next day I noticed a very important item on his list with a new checkmark next to it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 75 - Sunday, Fun Day

So remember how I told you about that all-girls bookclub of 20-30 somethings that I was trying (ok begging) to join? Well, they did in fact let me in and yesterday I attended my first meet-up.

I nervously set my alarm in case I overslept. Like a schoolgirl, I hand-picked my outfit, laying each piece out thoughtfully.

I debated with myself as I peered into my messy closet. No, no...that's overdressed. OR This outfit looks like I'm trying to hard. OR trying too little on that outfit. But THIS ONE, this is just right. Seemingly effortless, casual, and stylish. Bingo.

The setting for our Sunday soiree of potluck and book swap is a shaded park in Mission Hills, an old neighborhood in San Diego known for its old-growth trees, historic architecture and quaint walkability. I get a little excited/anxious as I quick check myself in the mirror. New friends...here I come!

I stop at Trader Joe's to pick up a dish. It's whole wheat tortilla chips and guacamole dip. I grab a gallon of chilled green tea with mint for my sippy cup. As the grocer places my goods in recycled bags, I'm pleased with my selections. I think they say, "Look, I'm conscious! Befriend me!"

I note that an intense urge to smoke hits me as I breeze down the freeway to my destination. I want to roll the window down and thoughtfully take pulls. I'm a rebel, a misfit, that's where I fit in, my craving seems to coax. I ignore that Junkie brain, and unwrap my dark chocolate instead. I shove squares of truffle in my mouth at 70 miles per hour.

I get lost and I'm late. After a call to my beloved human GPS (Dave) who recently bought me a real GPS (Garmin), I pull up to the green park nestled in the city. A cluster of about twenty girls congregates near the center, sitting cross-legged on blankets. I creep up to the food table and no one looks up as spear watermelon and scoop hummus unto my plate. Even when I give my I'm sorry I'm a loser face to the chatty group, no one seems to pay attention. I am relieved when I finally sit down on the fringe.

And then I fall in love. These girls are knee-deep in a conversation about whether or not one of Jodi Picoult's recent books lacked her usual spunk. Which parlayed into which of her books were faves and which flops. I have opinions on this very matter. I share them. People laugh. I fit right in.

When they ask me about the book I brought, "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls, I express succinctly and steadily what I love about this memoir. The dysfunction. The heart-ache. The genius. When I'm done, a girl turns to me and says, "I read that book, I loved it."

When the swap starts, I'm secretly pleased with myself. My book is coveted. It's one of the first to reach White Elephant retirement, meaning it's been stolen/traded two times and therefore can be swapped no more. I end up with a collection of the best American essays from 2006. I'm thrilled about this as I think it might help me improve upon this very blog.

We form a circle and chat about where we're from and where we've been. We talk about babies and careers. We talk about movies and books. As the girls start to thin away into their cars and their lives, I end up talking at length with a girl, who also recently married and who recently moved here from Nashville.

Randomly, she cut Dave's hair a few weeks ago. Through their conversation, they deduced that her and I coincidentally belonged to the same book club. Considering the one-in-a-bunch chance of that, me and her e-mailed a few times, and met for the first time today! It's fateful enough that I pay attention to it. I'm eager to see it through, to find its path.

She's in a similar place as me in life, and we got along excellently. I'm hoping hoping hoping, perhaps I've got me a friend.

Look at me now, world. All growed up.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 74 - A New Way

As I reach the almost 20 percent of a year mark, I realize I need to re-evaluate. I keep writing about not reaching this or that. bleh blah blig.

I aim to still write everyday, but am moving away from the blog a day. I am reducing them. On the days I'm not doing this, I'll be working on my collection of short stories. I need to make that happen. I need time for them. I need words for them. Plus, I'll be giving you, my blog, my best ones, my fresh ones.

And there it is. I'll post periodically. At the very least--twice a week. At the very most--however many I wish.

This venue helps me construct things. It helps me craft my stories. It helps me learn how to weave emotions, to sew one thought throughout a day. It allow me to learn how to sieve an image, to soak it in dark or light. To make a negative into a positive. And archive it.

While I practice my writing here using the vehicle of my day-to-day life, I need the silence of my secret word processor to make a pound of paper. I want to give you something to hold. A book.

Here's to you blog. Let's tackle that to-do list...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 73 - An Emotional Rollercoaster

Talking to my sister on the phone today she said, "I don't know if everyone else feels like this, but I feel like I have so much love surrounding me. And Nova. From all of the women in our lives." I smiled for her. I love that she feels that. I love that she is protected and supported.

Suddenly I realized like a lump in the throat that I would not have that when I had a child. Then, I was jealous of her. Intensely, painfully jealous.

After we hung up, I needed consolation for my woes. I needed to hear "Oh no honey, don't be silly, you'll be surrounded. We'll make it work." I immediately called my mother. No answer. My husband. No answer. My brother. No answer. With each left message, my voice broke a little more.

It will be alright. It will be alright. I counsel myself on my drive to work. How I got to today included the right steps; I retrace them to be sure. Check and check. And so, the world will take care of these needs for me. I trust. I won't. I won't be left alone.

After work, Dave gathers me in his arms and asks me if I'm o.k. Not really. I say.

I peel myself from him and make chamomile tea. Just smelling it reminds me of how delicious life can be, even in her sadness. I retouch and re-frame an original oil pastel of mine from a couple years ago. When I show Dave, I'm beaming.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 72 - With Every Season, Turn Turn Turn

Seems to me that life is cyclical. Sometimes we build. We put our head downs, get the plow out, and plant seeds in the soil. We silently move through the motions of our work. We hear wind, our thoughts absent. We nod at each other as we pass. We act like mammals; we gather and store and dig foundations. We work.

Still other times in life, we enjoy the fruits of our labor. We reap what we sow. We eat and drink with joy. We let go; our whole being smiles. We relax back into our chairs and think it doesn't get any better than this. Our goals our hopes our dreams accomplished. We feel complete. We feel happy.

And then after a period of abundance and ease, we wish again. We aim our sights at yet another peak in the distance. We pack up our knapsacks. We prepare for our journey. We see for ourselves yet another self. Higher than ever. Better. We say good-bye to our comfortable spot on the sand.

We put our heads down. We block the wind with our arm. We walk forward. We push. Trek through the valley, to reach the next mountaintop. The cycle continues.

Right now I feel like Dave and I are together in the valley pushing forward. We're holding hands and we're silent. Our eyes are fixed on our next resting plateau, awed by the heights we've set for them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 71 - I Wanted To Write You Something Beautiful

I wanted to write you something beautiful today. I wanted the words to fall out of my mouth and shape themselves into something lovely. I wanted you to take them home with you, damp in your closed fist. Then, you might unfurl your palm under the yellow kitchen lights and show your loved ones, "See look, look what I have found."

But I have only trinkets today. I offer you kitsch. Bits of hope. I've been meaning to tell you...The truth is: my list of goals for this year, the whole point of all this (I'm hoping you've forgotten), has fallen by the wayside. As I work more, the sparkling to-do list that brightens my futures, fades.

I keep looking back at my list, even after I've buried it in my sidebar. Sometimes I accidently glance at it, nostalgic. I want it still and still it's not completely lost.

In a way it's refreshing, because I can forgive myself. These past couple years of spoiled life have also caused me to yell at myself, "Why haven't you accomplished these things you've wanted to?" Now I'm remembering why my colors got pushed aside all those years: I've been working my ass off since age 13!

But still, I'm conscious now and so I'm still pushing. Just slower, slowly. I can't let time rush into the darkness. To be left open-mouthed and silent, with my imperceptible breath.

To be fair to my self-violent ego, there's been advances. The eating has improved by leaps and bounds. There's greens more. And my juicy fruits. There's buckets of whole grains.

Quitting smoking is a success, a two-oops breeze. Also, art swirls its shapes still and tonight, I'll command a brush after pushing these keys into words.

What's failed most: exercise seems like a silly dream. My book brainstorm is actually an idea in my brain but has neglected to storm the page. For now, I make pixel words here. And volunteering, while I claimed an organization and ideas and communication with a higher up, my action remains mostly inaction.

3 out of 6? Ain't half bad.

Well technically, it IS half bad. (slaps knee, chuckles to herself)...

294 days to go...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 70 - Conversations in Retail

Place: A Frame Store in Anywhere, CA
Time: Mid-morning

Customer: Excuse miss, do you work here?

Me: Yes, I do. How can I help you?

Customer: I have this very important picture of Our Holy Mother Mary, The Queen of Heaven that needs framing. Do you think this frame would work?

(She holds up a cheap metal silver frame of thin and dubious construction)

Me: Hmm...do you have the picture with you?

Customer: Yes, I do.

(She reveals a very ornate print of the Virgin Mary looking very pious. None of the colors or theme match the frame she has chosen)

Me: Perhaps a more suitable frame would be these over here?

(I point out a few wooden frames with nice detailing that reflect the tone and color of the print)

Customer: Oh no. Those aren't classy enough for Our Holy Mother Mary, The Queen of Heaven. You have to remember, honey, she's going to be hanging up next to Jesus...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 69 - Blog Ideas

O.k. give me some ideas...I'm running out...

You give me an idea...any idea...I'll write it, with a (Three-Sixty-Five) degree twist, within the two weeks...that's a promise...

Happy Tuesday!

Day 68 - It's My Cat's Birthday Today

I tried to find you the video of Danny McBride baking a cake for his cat, but I guess I'm not so video tekkie savvy yet. Monday, August 17, is Diego's birthday of one year old. Well, we kind of made that up, but we figured it's a good guess. We found him at three weeks old and we worked backwards. I really wanted it to be August 15th so it would be easier to remember, but Dave INSISTED he was born on the 17th. Dave did grow up on a farm, so naturally, we defer to him.

Besides sketching in the weekend details in the blog (dive below), today I went to meet our new doctor. I found him in San Diego magazine's yearly Top Doctor feature story. Plus, he's in my neighborhood and takes our insurance. Check and check.

I've had so many bad doctor experiences, I'm tempted to dive right into a lengthy diatribe about health care reform and the idiocy of one particular side of the debate. But I'll hold myself back because I don't have the patience for it right now. However, I promise you that one in the future.

Anyway, I'm more than pleased (downright ecstatic) to tell you how much I love it there. I clicked immediately with the staff and him. He patiently answered all of my questions, minus any "you-must-be-dumb-AND-a-worrywart" looks at all. He talked about building relationships with his patients for the long haul. I trust him.

I am here to check all my thyroid levels. My thyroid is more than likely completely out of whack since not taking the recommended medication years ago. I am absolutely terrified to take anything not provided already by my body. My doctor understands this, senses the fear in my voice, and reassures me, "It's not 'medication' in the traditional sense, it's more of a 'supplementation' for something you are not getting." Everything he says mirrors what I've read on my own.

I swallow this and still I fear. But if I need it, I'm doing it. Dave and I want to start a family within the next year, and for pregnancy, it's very important to have those levels tightly under control. The doctor tells me this too...

A gallon of blood leaves my body and I'm gone. I walk past the wailing kid with the eye patch and the hunched over old woman in the wheelchair. I think about their unknown struggles as the automatic door opens and the cool San Diego air clips me. I breathe again at the trees and the grey.

I realize I am happy to start taking care of this. I am happy to let go...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 67 - A Holy Super Nova

Nova lifted us all to the holy occasion on her big day. Waking up and looking at her smiley happy giggly baby face is eating a slice of heaven. Just being in her presence makes me calm and centered.

My sister is so good about letting others just be with Nova. I love that about her as a mother. She isn't over watchy or critical or panicky as some young moms I've seen. She's very loving and fun and at ease with her new role; it's amazing to see. She makes it easy to feel comfortable when I want to boggart time with my niece ;-)!

And gosh was Nova ever precious. Her long white dress of tulle poofed and spilled out of her car seat. It was so poofy we could barely clasp her belt. She wore her handmade pearl and amethyst (her Feb. birthstone) bracelet with her name on it that I customized for her from Dara's baby bling store on etsy. The charm on the tiny bracelet was a guardian angel.

At St. Andrew's church, we file in and fill the pews. The pastor opens the service prayerfully and also reminds us to pick up the Lutheran church newsletter on our way out. From my seat I can see the front page headline "Your Gay Neighbors." I stifle a giggle, amused by what information this article might impart. I imagine it might read something like this: Be nice to them but remember--they're going to hell. Council them to pray their way away from gay. (One of many reasons I don't go to church is that church culture supports this kind of nonsense.)

But I'm extra-partial to this church because my grandmother finds solace here and for that I am grateful and I find solace too. Our family marks our beautiful moments here--our beginnings and endings and our hopeful inbetweens. From our weddings to our funerals, we celebrate the circle of life here. And today, we watch as God wraps his grace around our newest family member.

Shortly after starting, my sis and her husband and Nova and me and my brother join the pastor at the front. I watch her the entire time and I say I will to what the pastor asks of me. And my brother nods too. I know he's asking me, as her godparent, to carry her faithfully into the palm of the Lutheran faith and I say yes but I jumble the semantics in my brain a bit because while I promise to support her spiritually, so she knows God and his goodness, I probably won't be ushering her into the pews every week.

While the pastor may disagree, I believe that God approves. Because all faith is Lutheran faith and Lutheran faith is all faith. As it is with Catholics and Buddhists and Muslims too. God is what love is. And that's the promise I make to her.

My own godmother, my Aunt Janice, the night before the baptism spoke a bit woefully to me about her own godmother role in my life. She said she herself tried to fulfill her duties as ambassador of my faith when she called to ask my mother if she could take me to the necessary classes to get confirmed. My mother, god bless her, said her children chose their own religious path and that she would ask me. To which, I, at the tender pre-teen age of 11 or 12, replied with a simple "No." And so it was settled.

While I sense my Aunt feels a tad sad by the abrupt "end" of her stewardship, what she needs to know is, in my mind, she DID fulfill her duties, in spite of our church blocking. In that, I have ALWAYS felt her love. Dear Aunt Janice, I have always felt your love...

From birthdays to graduations to weddings--she handmade scrapbooks and banners, she fussed and asked of me, she gave me compliments and loving smiles and her presence. When I recently moved here to San Diego, I had to clean out a lot of my old boxes. In one of those boxes, I found letters and cards from her from over the years. I sat on the empty carpet of my living room floor and re-read a pile of letters she sent after I graduated from high school and moved to Phoenix. I was eighteen, I felt alone, and I needed them, even if I didn't know it then.

Having that love and support in my life SHOWS me what God Is...and that's the pact I make with Nova.

Nova never makes a peep during the entire baptism, staring happily at the pastor as his words lull and crest. When he dips her head to the stainless steel bowl in the podium, her bright blue eyes are so clear as she peacefully looked up at him. He cups his palm into the water and lifts it. The water pours slowly over the top of her head, slicking down her hair to her warm soft head. It's quiet and touching and lovely; we're humbled and moved.

After the service, our family gathers for food and cake. I'm happy all day. I later say good-bye to my family as they drive off to Minneapolis, and I spend the remaining hours with Tiffany and her husband and her two kids until they drop me off at the airport. There too, I am with large pieces of my existence. And so I'm complete.

It's home again home again on the two planes. Travel is like I like it--silent and free. I'm so tired I crash into my husband's arms like sand. His shoulder nook is one of my favorite places; I am safe and loved.

Day 66 - The Way We Were

Airline travel normally doesn't bother me. Traveling relieves a person of looming obligations and tasks. Your job is simply to get where you're going. What you do in the meantime is Zen. You are free to BE. To read. To watch. To listen.

But I have to say, this two-legged trip into the green and golden plains lacked a little due to a few annoying seatmates. On the first leg to Denver I huddled in the middle seat, between two unthinking males. They both selfishly hogged both of my potential armrests without apology.

Not fair. You have a aisle or a window seat (with a completely free armrest all to yourself) and here I am in the middle AND I have no armrest. Not even half of one! I try to make my body so narrow as to not touch either of you unaware schlubs and I simply can't melt that far into myself so your shirts stop brushing my arm.

On the second leg, from Denver to Fargo, I was relieved to see a skinny shy teenager filling the seat next to my window seat. That is, until I realized his nose ran for miles and he refused to go blow it. He filled the silence every 23 seconds with a gooey obnoxious sniffle. Go blow your nose kid. And cover your mouth when you cough, oh my gawd, you better not get me sick. I cuddle against the window. I cover my face with my hair.

But none of that's here nor there as I descend into the cauliflower blue sky of my youth. As I watch the defined lines of the farms unfuzz in my view, I realize I forgot my camera. I'm sorry for that; I wanted to show you...

It's a joyous embrace with my mother, brother, sister, and brother-in-law. We drive happy and chatty to my grandmother's house. A content me wraps my arms around the little star of Nova, my beautiful and charming niece. For the rest of the afternoon relatives stream in and out of the house, a steady hum of talking and eating.

Towards the dark part of the night, we head to the main Broadway drag in downtown Fargo to watch my cousin play in his band Cousin B. Dempsey's bar is ripe with good sound and Josh rocks the bass, of course, and his band bedazzles us. All of this I would have guessed.

What I wouldn't have guessed was that everyone and their mother would be there. It felt like a high school reunion! My sister ran into her old friends. My brother ran into his old friends. I ran into my old friends. My cousins were there too. My oldest and bestest friend (and partner-in-party-crime) Tiffany met me there. Overly ecstatic, tired & unfed, and in-step with my former Fargo self, I definitely drank too much.

There's something about Fargo that lures me into this defunct version of myself. I've often wondered if it's the particular gridlines on the map. That particular place in space sucks me in a weird wormhole of myself but not really me behavior. But unchecked debauchery frequently rules. I'm sad this post isn't ALL sunshine...the punchline drags and blows...

On my two month anniversary of NOT smoking, I smoked three cigarettes. How poetic. Arg. There goes my two-month-anniversary how-far-i've-come-on-not-smoking blog post I was planning. Stupid stupid Fargo, you have me wrapped around your crooked finger. I need to unwind.

Don't leave me yet. Tomorrow is beautiful and pure, I promise. I felt and loved the day right as rain. With a copious amount of sunshine.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 65 - Leavin' On a Jet Plane

Getting all packed up and ready to head to the humid plains. I'm thrilled to be visiting Fargo this time of year again. Since my family moved to Minneapolis, it's a rare thing.

I love Fargo summers. Humid and midwestern, mosquitos and thick green trees, rivers and birds. It's a special place to me, although you'd have to kill me first to move back there. I do love it to visit, to fill my heart back up with its sounds. I love its easy vibe and slower pace. Fargo is friendliness and debauchery--two of my fave things in one. (Although I'll only get one of those this time, baptisms are healthy and holy events so let's go with friendliness).

My flight tomorrow is early and ridiculously long. Touchdown at the two-(or is it three now)-gate Hector Airport in Fargo isn't until the afternoon. I'll be whisked away by family and friends, swallowed up by their love.

Dave has two of his friends visiting from out of town. The mood is festive and it feels like normal again at our house. But tomorrow morning I'm leaving on a jet plane. I'm sad to pick only one or the other. Although I couldn't be more thrilled with my weekend plans.

See you tomorrow Fargo, friends, family. I will not be able to access a computer tomorrow, but I promise you I'll sketch the scene later. It'll be fresh as a newly typed blog.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 64 - The Gratitude List

I've been feeling kind of overwhelmed and grouchy lately. I think my system is a bit in shock; I've been working nearly full-time lately, and I've been so downright spoiled the last year or so that I'm having trouble re-adjusting. Many of my life goals are taking a backseat to the practicalities of bringing home a paycheck. While I do like my job, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for my freer days. Soooo...I figure I need a bit of a perspective check.

A couple years ago, I was invited by my totally amazing step-second-cousin (you heard me ;-)) to join an email group. It was called "The Gratitude List." Basically, everyday you wrote out a list. Each line started with "I'm grateful for." When you finished, you CC'd everyone on that list. Every day you received the gratitude lists of the other members as well.

I found that some days I could go on forever with soaring gratitudes. Other days I could barely squeak out "I'm grateful for having two arms." Either way, over the course of the next few months, I found myself happier. I had A LOT to be grateful for. I also found myself recognizing and acknowledging the good things as they happened. If a friendly cashier asked me how my day was while another bagged my groceries I'd think, "I'm grateful for nice people and grocery baggers."

Over time, I quit writing out my daily list to the gratituders. But I learned something precious: Be Grateful.

In the book "The Art of Happiness" which chronicles a series of interviews that an American psychologist conducts with the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama suggests that when we're feeling down about ourselves or our situation, it's important to meditate on what you do have.

So here goes...for a shot of happy perspective to the arm...The Gratitude List Revisited

1. I'm grateful for my two cats whose personalities and quirks make me giggle.
2. I'm grateful that I'll be seeing my neice Nova on Saturday!
3. I'm grateful that my cousin Josh's band will be playing in Fargo Saturday night and many of my cousins will be drinking cold beers and enjoying his rad bass playing.
4. I'm grateful that I'll get to see my oldest and bestest friend Tiffany in Fargo, and that I'll actually get to see her daughter Kylie on her birthday!
5. I'm grateful that Dave is so appreciative of my cooking.
6. I'm grateful that I'm almost two months of no smoking.
7. I'm grateful that my co-workers are easy to work with.
8. I'm grateful for debt reduction.
9. I'm grateful for the music website Pandora.
10. I'm grateful for the want and the will that I have to paint!

O.k., there's 10! Now, one of my favorite things about "The Gratitude List" was reading the other people's lists! So please please please, comment, and send me YOUR gratitude lists! Atleast three things, but as many as you like!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 63 - Therapy Session

O.k., so I've kind of stagnated on this whole 'write a book' thing. I need your advice.

Let's just talk through it...jumbled as it is...perhaps we'll find clarity...

I've always kind of vascillated between writing a book or writing a screenplay. That's kind of the first decision to make. Which medium? I like both. Over the last year, I've been focusing on a book for a few reasons. 1) I figured it'd be easier/quicker to publish than getting a screenplay made and 2) I find it easier to think and write from my own life. For example, in this blog, I write memoir-style. This style is obviously easier in a book form.

But the other day my very thoughtful and supportive Aunt V and Uncle P sent me some computer software that helps the user to structure and write a screenplay. As I browsed the back, it reignited my original dream--tackling the almighty screenplay. Perhaps that's been my speedbump lately; I'm waxing the wrong shoe.

By then, I just get all upset. I think to myself, if I can't even answer this question...then I'm a lost cause. So I shelve it for a a few. And then the yearning again...

O.k., let's say I can really really make a decision, screenplay or book. Well then, there's the next question. Fiction or Non? I like the ease of non-fiction. I feel more authentic. I own the thoughts, I can vouch for their accuracy, I don't have to fake the sequence of events, they just are what they are.

However, I like the depth I can reach with fiction. I can speak deeper, reach truths and heart-aches that I can't even touch using my own life. I can manipulate more and bleed more. There's nothing to protect, it's fiction. But, the downside of fiction is: I've quasi-tried and had a harder time dreaming up a fictional scenario. My mind often draws a blank.

Ok, last one, and here's the big one...What to write ABOUT? I have LOTS of ideas. Of which, I can't really seem to COMMIT to any of them. What would it take to follow through on one?

I keep coming back to one of them...so I should probably go with that, it's just a matter of sculpting it really. My Aunt V gave me a great piece of advice today as well about writing in short story style, validating thoughts I've been pondering.

So, after ALL THAT, there's one more thing. Writing this blog actually takes quite a bit of my writing energy. Do I have the time or energy to write the larger piece as well while writing this blog? I'd like to do both, but can't fathom where the time might come from. Especially since I'm working more than ever lately--almost full-time.

Have I lost you yet? Are you losing your patience with my disjointed ramblings? My frantic thought patterns?

Let's recap:
Screenplay or Book?
Fiction or Non-fiction?
This Idea or That idea?

Help! This dream is important to me. Why? I don't know. Who cares why. It just is. It pesters me and I want to see the end of it so bad. Why doesn't that just carry me through to the conclusion?

ARGGGGG....

P.S. Of course you'll be in the forward ;-)

Day 62 - Caution: Unchecked Rage Ahead

Three Songs that are popular right now that drive me absolutely batty and why...

1. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love. The music itself and her voice is actually really lovely and melodic. I even sing along for awhile in the beginning everytime I hear it, forgetting that I detest this song.

Then suddenly (about midway) through, I start to wonder "Is this song skipping in the player?" One portion continues to replay. Over and over again, her lyrics whine, "I keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding. I keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding. I keep bleeding, I keep keep..." Omg, WOULD SOMEBODY GET THIS WOMAN A FRIGGIN BAND-AID?

I get it, gawd. He "cuts you open." But i can't help but think, 'Why are you with someone who makes you feel so awful; you're comparing it to a slow death via significant blood loss? Sounds like you need therapy! I dislike this song so much my ears are bleeding.

2. New Boyz - You're a Jerk. How in the f$#% did this get on the radio? It scratches my face with its obnoxious continuous repeating of "You're a jerk, you're a jerk, you're a jerk." I get it, you like the sample!! But does it really have to be played over and over and over again throughout the ENTIRE song? Turn it off you jerk!

You really ARE a jerk that you made an entire song celebrating that you're a jerk. What's wrong with the entire fabric of our society that this is actually acceptable on ANY airwave, let alone EVERY airwave EVERY ten minutes?

3. I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry. Oh gosh, you're so free and crazy Katy! You're so funky, you don't even care. I think you're the coolest! Um, not.

Listen, why don't you go and fix the spelling of your name and then how bout' you stop singing altogether? Every time I hear that sing-song-y voice of yours whine "I kissed a girl and I liked it," it makes me want to punch you in the face. Or myself in the face if I have to listen to that silly song again.

O wow. You even tasted her cherry chapstick? How retro pin-up of you. You just made yourself famous by tapping into the cheap fantasy of every half-brained guy in the country. If you were a true lesbian--sure, I might respect you--coming out and telling us your feelings and all. But you're not. You're just some girl who got drunk and messed around at a party and now you're so damn proud of yourself, you're singing a very lame song about.

p.s. Congratulations, you just inspired countless little hetero girls in their tweens to go make out with other girls, giving them unneccessary am-i-gay complexes into atleast their early twenties. O, Claps to you. You're so cool...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 61 - What a Mess

While life as a wife is pretty lovely (and pretty much almost exactly the same as before), I worry that I'm slip-sliding into complete domestification. Then I remember no no, that's impossible. I'll always be lacking in at least one area of Darcy Stewart-dom...

I can't really clean worth a damn.

If I pick something up, take it out, open it--anything--you better believe I'll leave it on the counter. I don't know why. I get it. It's annoying. Gross even. Have you seen dried up bits of oranges on a countertop? Right next to the used knife of course. If I try something on from my closet and decide against it, it goes on the floor.

None of it's premeditated. I seriously just don't go beyond the "I need this" stage. Once I've exhausted its usefulness, it seems to just drop from my consciousness completely. Only to reappear in some ghastly moment of epiphany, "BY GAWD, this house is a mess."

I've frustrated many a' roommate and family member with my slovenly ways. When old roommates of mine get together, there's sure to be a "Darcy sure is messy" story. Where they all laugh together hysterically and one-up each other with their stories of how slobby they think I am. hahahah.... Yeah, that IS funny. Again. No, seriously, it never gets old.

Mind you, I'm also aesthetically insane. Light and color and furniture matter to me. So when the house is washed and vacuumed, it feels cozy and serene--all the shapes and colors in a quiet crescendo. It's when I have no time to think about hangers and dishwashers that plastic grocery bags get dropped on the floor.

I'm lucky I have met Dave. Because he's really not the cleanest either, so we tend to not really care if the other is not washing or drying or wiping or mopping. Truth be told, I'm probably the more clutter-prone of the two, but make up for it by more sink scrubbings. The bottom line is, there's few times we fuss about it.

In Phoenix, it's self-awareness that inspired us to periodically hire a couple of friends of ours with a cleaning business to visit our two bedroom abode. They polished our tubs and windows, baseboards and ceiling fans, oven tops and coffee pots. We considered it an investment--buying back time and peace of mind.

This is a very important aspect of our relationship. One that few think of when determining a long-term mate. Differences in cleanliness (without resolution) can make people go batty. I've watched people unravel, developing coiled knots of resentment and anger at their friends or mates, threatening the very foundation of their love.

Naturally tidy people do not at all understand this plight of the disorganized. The offender's messy ways give them heart murmurs and hernias. If you're a true neat freak, this blog is probably giving you nightmares.

I realize that cleanliness is the preferred choice. I mean, I'm not crazy. I just don't care enough to change enough. I've tried and failed faster than you can say 'Windex.' It simply takes too much concentrated brain power. I know that sounds loopy to you, but listen: my messiness is as natural to me as cleanliness is to you.

So ultimately, I'm crossing my fingers that we break down here in San Diego and buy someone else's time. Because let's face it, someone's got to do it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 60 - The Guest Blogger

I'm taking the day off. I mean seriously...I'm like 60 days deep without a day off? That's silly. I'm pretty sure there's labor laws against that.

To detract from my laissez-faire blogging. Let's let my 6-month-old niece Nova do the entertaining today...prepare to be aahmazed.

(That's my sis (her mommy) talking in the background. )

Pretty soon she'll be juggling AND speaking fluent Swedish. You just watch!

video

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 59 - It's a Long Way Down...

It's been a long day.

I have nothing to say.

Must I really write every day?

Yes, every day.

What if I'm zapped?

Then you must fake it till you make it.

(These are rudimentary rhymes.)

This week this day was

work work work. But today

Today I sauntered down to Harbor Island. I meet seven of my stepfams on the crisp white boat. I love the wooden sound of the dock below my feet. I love the sound of my loved ones voices. I love the lavender and yellow sunset brushed on the glossy water. I love San Diego.

It's slick and misty and pretty on the bay. The dock docks countless boats. A cat emerges from one. The dark slice of the sail lines cut up the sky. The vibe reminds me of lake country, but decidedly sea-style. Instead of pontoons, there's sail boats. Instead of speedboats, there's yachts.

We rock and talk in the belly of the boat as a few finish swabbing the sea off the deck. Then, it's a late night dinner in Little Italy. The scene is Saturday night bustling with hip and happy people in their cotton summer tanks and shoes.

It's Italian for the occasion and the service blows and quite frankly, so does the food. However, what doesn't suck is the company. K and M and T and I kept our table light and fun and laughing. This table talk wiped away my tired and hungry state of mind. I feel blessed that I have hours like these with people like these.

Driving home through the twinkling canyons, I once again remembered why we moved here--

Um, cause it like totally rocks.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 58 - Musical Interlude

On my way to work today, I listened to a CD my brother made me. He recorded it a few years back. It contains him playing a handful of his original piano compositions.

One song, written for our dying grandfather, whips me back to the memory of my brother playing the song for Grandpa, who sat upright on the hospice bed with his amputated legs formed like trunks in front of him. Sharp and witty as a tack even on his deathbed, my Grandpa stared silently at the wall in front of him as he listened to my brother's quiet recording.

The song, languid and thick with reverie, expressed sullenly what words couldn't. The small grey room with its dark windows pulsed with our aching. It's been years since the funeral, but the memory of that moment still breaks my heart.

My brother plays the piano like an angel. And his compositions are divine. I'm not just saying that because I'm his sister. Trust me, I'm too critical for rose-colored glasses. They're exquisite.

He never even touched the smooth bone keys of a piano until age 13. In fact, I was taking lessons at the time. One day, he was shown the basic finger positions and chords. I swear, within weeks, he tapped out the familiar haunting melody of Fur Elise. 'Cole,' we balked, 'how did you learn that?!' He had learned it by ear. I quit my musical studies immediately.

Over the years, while he sporadically took lessons, it was his spot-on ear and his raw intuition that guided him to compose his thick and complex classical masterpieces. He learned to read music mostly so he could record what he'd already wrote.

Listening today, I was reminded of his genius. I'm also reminded that sometimes life swallows us whole. Raw talent gets shelved as the necessity to earn a living takes over.

Because of this or perhaps as a result of this, my brother hasn't made music seriously in years. He has a chosen field of employment; one that he's thankfully interested in and has a sense of pride in. I don't blame him. You must play smart with the cards you're dealt. But I know I know he still hears songs in his head.

I desperately wish I could hear them.

How many of us are there. How many of us have these loves these gifts we must neglect for life's sake? Can't it be different? Money exists in the mind of humankind. It doesn't really exist. We made it up. Why does the human race bind ourselves to its inherent restrictions?

We're missing out on all the beautiful music...

Day 57 - Like a Dear in Headlights

My husband flew to Alaska today. He grew up there. But he's not going there to visit, he's going there to fish. That's right. Fish. What??? This is not the man I married. I thought I made sure of it...

I was born and corn-fed raised on the golden plains of North Dakota. Smack dab in the middle of the Midwest. Growing up here, one notices some pretty distinct patterns. Specifically, most of your male relatives, such as grandfathers and fathers and uncles and cousins, hunt or fish. With the same intensity a Midwestern woman plans baby showers, these men plan their seasonal killing excursions.

They pack their guns or tackle (depending upon the target animal), a few coolers of Bud Light, and they bounce away in their dusty pick-up trucks.

My father claims these killing sprees are simply the male species elaborate opportunity to bond, or in other words, to drink. I remember watching an old video of a very young version of my father and his friends, camouflaged in matching tan gear, moving a dead deer by its antlers. I was repulsed and fascinated by this secret club. As a Midwestern girl, you are not invited on these trips, like your same-age boy cousins. Why don't you run along and help your aunt with the dishes?

Thankfully, when my father lost his taste for liquor and also moved out of the region, he also lost his desire to shoot furry mammals. I am relieved to hear my father's genuineness when he sounds as flabbergasted by the whole thing as I am.

The pervasiveness of the hunting culture in North Dakota is overwhelming though. Take, for example, my 11th grade Anatomy class. One day during hunting season, my teacher offered extra credit for bringing in deer hearts. The next day, few students arrived empty-handed.

I remember how nonchalantly the shapeless blubbery masses sat on the long tables. As class wore on, they started to dethaw (most were pulled straight out of parents' freezers), and drops of blood dripped onto the grey tile below. Mortified, I refused to participate when the dissection period began. The frustrated teacher docked me ten points. By then, the pus and blood was everywhere.

So imagine my delight when, during our courtship phase, my now husband recounted his meek hunting tales. While he grew up in Alaska, his father is a born and bred Minnesota man. So, like any good Midwestern father, he takes his son out in the field. With a gun. And teaches him to shoot things.

Much to my absolute joy, Dave never shot anything. Ever. O he went, sure, but either he couldn't bring himself to do it, or he really just never saw ANYTHING. His father would drag countless bucks down the hill on their excursions, but they never died by Dave's bullets.

The one time where Dave had to kill something, it was a chicken. Since he grew up on small farm, it was bound to happen. I'll spare you the details, but I'll tell you this: When Dave tells it, he is noticeably disturbed. The execution left a deep scar and he firmly says no to any future death missions. I hold that story in a little box near my heart.

Fast-forward to present time...

Dave has 'gone fishin.' Apparently, while we covered his hunting preferences, we never covered his fishing ones. An obvious oversight on my part. Although I do realize fishing isn't even NEAR hunting, it must just give me flashbacks to my childhood or something, cause I accidentally threw a little fit.

He assures me it was his buddy's earnest idea. His friend wanted to see Alaska with an Alaskan, and also experience the United States' greatest great outdoors.

Dave sees it as a rare opportunity to do something different, and also a chance for him to see his family. O.k., sure. I get it.

I think I'm hoping he doesn't catch anything. Or if he does, he gets all grossed out by ripped gills and eyeballs, that he throws his rented poles in the pond.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 56 - Some Sharp Remarks about Table Service

Hmmm...I've been a bit sappy and light lately. That's not a bad thing, but I'm feeling frisky and pissy today, so let's just run with it...

The older I get, the more I can't stand shitty customer service. Like waiters/waitresses for example. And don't get all defensive and weepy on me. I used to BE a waitress. Since I was fifteen actually. And on and off until my mid-twenties. So trust me. I get it. It's hard. I'm supposed to give you a break.

But that's exactly why I'm NOT giving you a break. It's not THAT hard. I mean really, there's five components: 1) get the beverage 2) take the order 3) bring the order 4) provide bill and facilitate payment transaction. 5) And don't forget, the very essence of the waiter/waitress job, is to make sure they have what they need. i.e. "Do you need anything else?"

That's the sequence. OVER and OVER again. All day. Every day. Since the beginning of time.

So sue me if I flag you down as you frolick by to your zero other tables after I've waited 20 minutes for the check. Or forgive my frustration when I timidly ask you for ketchup AGAIN.

Do not get me wrong. I respect the profession (its earnings helped me through college); it really CAN be hard. Customers suck. BUT I'm not in the sucky customer category. I'm nice.

It's very very easy to make me happy, to get a 20% tip and beyond. I was a waitress for YEARS, remember? I'm an empathetic customer. You follow the aforementioned five components...and you get an A+ from me. You don't even have to smile, I don't give a sh**.

So if it's all so easy, then WHY, in like 50% of my restaurant experiences, I sit without mayo for my fries??? I ASKED for it. Twice. I know you didn't ask me if I needed anything. How could you miss that step? But I told you anyway. Twice. I don't even like fries without mayo. Now they're cold.

Didn't you read the waitress training manual? O. Refer to paragraph three. Or if you forget the steps, just focus on that last one--you know, the very essence of your job.

I WISH I had the gumption to give you a less than 15% tip. Because if I did, I would. But I'm so 'i-used-to-be-a-waitress' engrained, that I fork over my dough for your craptastic service. Result? You got an undeserved tip. And I got my cold overpriced fries without mayo. Argh.

(P.S. I also want to give a shout out to all the good waitresses out there. Who I really really appreciate. When you care--not about me specifically but the human race or anything in general--just a teeny eensy bit, I enjoy my simple feast and I more than gladly thank you monetarily for it. I promise.)

Day 55 - Carlsgood

Journeyed to Carslbad today, a quaint seaside village 30 minutes north of San Diego to spend time with my stepfamily at the beach. They've rented abodes and rooms dotting the coast; the waves sing-song through the windows. While my father doesn't arrive until later this week, my stepmom and niece camp at the Ocean Palms hotel.

It's the same hotel where our little kitty Diego was born and lived his first three wobbly weeks in a damp vent. When I walked by the dark vent, I bent down looking for his mother. If she were there, I wanted to tell her he was all right. We got rid of the fleas and fungus and by golly geezus he's alive. After getting to know him, I can almost guarantee he wouldn't have survived on the streets. Too soft and needy. (Now Trick Daddy, on the other hand, could make it. He's a bad a** dude).
Anyway, spent the day on the beach and chatting with my loved ones over food food food. Dave made it up for the finale at our favorite 2 for 1 burger bar. Here's some pics from today...

This cool shot of my eye is courtesy of Tatum!




Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 54 - The Future Me

If the younger me met the present me, she'd laugh. She'd say, "There must be some kind of mistake." She'd hoist her backpack on her shoulders and head purposefully in the direction of trekking the world, hoping to affect it along the way. My young independent self would be appalled by my girly dependence. She'd slap me silly.

I cry when I watch weddings on television now, remembering our pretty day. When I see babies in the store, I ask about them and when I coo and ahh over your baby, it's 100% genuine. My biological clock isn't ticking anymore; it's more like a gong.

I don't even know me anymore. It's like the estrogen has seized my entire being, spreading like a disease. Honest to goodness, I want to nurture things. I want to make plants grow. I want to feed and pet my cats. I want my husband to eat well, I want to bring him eggs and coffee in the morning. These things ACTUALLY make me feel good. And happy. It's f*&#ing weird.

Trust me, it wasn't always like this. The younger me wasn't even sure she wanted children--she aimed to be 'the rad Aunt.' She thought marriage was a torture chamber, death by slow suffocation. She laughed off the conventional stereotype of the doting wife and mother. Who needs it, she thought, that's the brainwash for the weak. That's no way to LIVE.

But now, it's like every fiber of my being is soaked with estrogen. I feel--brace yourself--connected to the calm and loving energy of the archetypal woman. I'm so drunk with estrogen that the ancient ritual of procreating feels like it just might be the most important thing in the world.

I wonder if after having your little one (after these lady hormones wear off) it's kind of like a hangover. You wake up later, all fuzzy and disheveled, and think, "oh my, what have I done?"

I kid, I kid. But seriously, I would be downright dishonest with myself if I tried to emulate the young me. It's just not true for me anymore. But I love her. And sometimes I miss her. If I saw her on the street, I'd give her a big warm hug and offer her fresh fruit for her journey. I'd laugh with her and genuinely wish her well.

But as for me...I'm happy here at home. Growing gardens of flowers and drinking green tea with the wise old future me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 53 - A Beautiful Day

Oh Sunday, you're lovely.

There's sunshine and birds. The coffee is creamy delicious. The cats nap like little lazy lions on the floor. Besides the machine gun rifts peppering the air from the spare room (where my number one Love wrecks HOURS of havoc upon digital soldiers in some imaginary video war), the sounds are sweet and light.

I am so calm-like, I can ignore the televised destruction and drag my paints out from the closet. It's an easy day of finishing. I varnish and coat the sides of my canvases with a dark wash.

Officially officially I finished my painting today...it's been awhile. I keep looking at it. Tilting my head. Trying to detach from it. But I'm kind of sort of in love with it, so objectivity is out of reach.

It's a small piece and I'd show you, but really it's part of a four-part series. I want you to see the overall vision. And also, truth be told, I'm a tad insecure. One wayward comment could wreck me. Not that I don't trust you, I do, but I don't trust me. I misread and analyze and I can't risk it. The paint is too fresh.

Dave and I are dating now; it's dinner and a movie tonight. I am going to go toss on a summer dress and brush out the tangles in my hair.

Oh Sunday, Sunday. I'm loving you loving me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 52 - Wining About Nothing

I want to write something right today, something beautiful and pretty. Succinct and smart. But I had a long day running around the store today, chasing customers through aisles, learning the colors the codes the buttons the tricks the signs the dotted lines. I discuss frame/brush/color with herandhimandthem. Backandforth we go. And the day goes by...bye...

I feel blessed that I enjoy my co-workers (and superiors too), their funny funky company, their job guidances and advice. In the past, I've worked places (cubicles) where I cringe to hear certain voices, where I have to counsel my face through conversations...straining to keep my voice measured...trying to temper the sharp look of disdain on my face. I frequently failed and felt fake and I knew it. Shouldn't that have been enough to quit?

(Side note: No job is worth that numb soul! Seriously, i know people say that and you "get" it, but Listen Really Listen: If you're miserable, it mostly means you're not supposed to be there. Act accordingly. Well first, figure out if it's YOU or the job. If it's you, then fix you. If it's the job, then run.)

I'm happy to say I'm happy in the NOW. Gawd knows where I'm going though, i don't know i don't know i don't know. But that's really the point of all this huh. Staying present and genuine.

Even the customers (mostly) don't wreck me. What really kills me is my shoes. They funk up my arches and my soles and my heels and my knees, and because of them, rickets might make a comeback. As D, my colleague, chastises, "You need new shoes." He throws away my favorite ballet slippers with one sidelong glance.

But I'm home now. Battered feet elevated. Bottle of wine uncorked. I sit here with gawdknowshowmany of my friends and family (let me have my imaginary party allright?). It's a moment of joy. Lap-top in the lap. Blog all blogged. Nothing said yet. But there's words here aren't there?

I want to know about your jobs... What sucked about your sucky ones? What rocked about your super ones? What'd you learn about YOU? Your hopes your dreams your nopes and don'ts?

Share It!

spare a girl some clicks?

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