Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Begin Anywhere...

"Unfold your own myth,

without complicated explanation,

so everyone will understand the passage.

Your legs will get heavy and tired.

Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you've grown



What can I say except that my life has changed a lot in the last year. For the better. For a girl who doesn't really enjoy "change," I have filled the last twelve months with it. I called off my engagement, sold the house I so dearly loved (oh picked fences, who knew you weren't the key to happiness), left my job, and moved to San Francisco. I read an article about the most stressful things that can happen to a person. I think I covered the top four out of five in the last year.

To say that the past year was rough would be an understatement. It was the hardest journey a person could walk, I still marvel at the sadness and hopelessness of it all.

But that was then.

My new life is all about me simply being me.

Tarot card reading, cat loving, champagne drinking, laugh til you cry, San Franciscan.

I marvel at everything around me these days - the architecture, the people, the food, the experiences. I am in love with it all.

The simple joy of discovery.

Who knew life could be this good?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's time...

Time for me to share a little bit
about what has been going on with my life.
It's time for me to make some changes that have been a really long time coming.
It's time for me to live the life that has been calling out to me for over a year.
One morning in May, I woke up and said it's time.
I called off my engagement.
I made a promise to myself to start really living my life.
On my own terms.
Regardless of how scary it feels to do that.
(And believe me, it's scary)
Regardless of who might look at me and say
"She's making a big mistake" or
"She's running out of time."
(Yes mom, that includes you.)
It was simply time.
Now, before I begin sharing, I would ask that if you are reading this, you understand that these are words that I am simply putting out into the universe. I am a writer by heart, and this is where I find peace. Writing it all down makes it all real for me somehow. I would ask that you lay down judgement and instead pick up compassion. We are all here on earth to learn lessons - to love, to grow, to make mistakes, to start again...and again. Having the courage to do any of those things is a tremendous task - doing any of those things with grace is even more difficult.
This hasn't been my year in so many ways. As I type those words, I smile at what an understatement that is and at the same time begin to tear up because I have really been through so much in the last twelve months. And in the last 31 years. I have been unlucky in love. I have had so many false starts. I have been engaged twice, married once, and find myself totally on my own - so late in the game. Life is funny.
I have been in four long term relationships in the last 13 years- the first person I ever really loved who showed me exactly what heartache felt like, the person showed me how to heal it, the person who broke my heart even worse than it was broken the first time, and Tim...
Tim found me when I was really a broken soul. I had spent a year of my life proving to myself that I could go it alone. I even made a list of the three things in the world I needed help with: setting up a Christmas tree, changing a tire, and moving. Everything else I could do alone. I still remember the night I made that list. And the emotion behind it. Not needing anyone for most things felt like a success. I wanted a big safety net in those days. I wanted love to pinky swear that it wouldn't hurt me again. I wanted someone to heal my broken heart. Tim did all of that. He was just what I needed at the time. He was a true gift in my life. Not sure who or what I would have become had I not met him that warm September evening.
Now, who is to say what happens to love when it fades away. It's not like you go to bed in love and wake up without an ounce of emotion. Time, and the way we as people change over time creates a chasm that sometimes nothing can bridge. I spent almost a year hoping that things would get better. I remember reading the book "Eat Pray Love" - and the scene that I remember most was the author talking about laying on her bathroom floor crying, and asking WHAT TO DO...WHAT TO DO...and the answer she heard was "Go back to bed." My journey was similar. Rather than do "something," I felt like I just needed to do "nothing." I was worried I was making a mistake. I was afraid to be alone. I was afraid to turn 32 and be single. I was afraid to follow my heart.
If you know me, there is one thing I ALWAYS do and have always done...and that is follow my heart. Even when following my heart leads me somewhere totally unconventional. After all, I am the girl who got married in Las Vegas in a drive through ceremony. My heart says do it...and I do it (and pay the piper later, of course.)
Helen Keller once wrote that "life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing." I really believe that is true.
The last year has been the first time in my life I have ever stayed behind when my heart was urging me onward. The first time I have ignored the signs and the signals. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that not following your heart stifles your spirit. So many things in my life have been out of whack as a result, I cannot even begin to quantify it. The lesson I have learned is simple.
If your heart speaks, listen to it. And follow where it leads. No matter what.
Which brings me to where I am now. I am turning 32 in about 2 days. Two years ago on my birthday, I got engaged. It felt like the happy ending I had always wanted. Two years later, that beautiful diamond that I loved so much sits in a box - the symbol of a life that simply did not become. When we bought this house, three years ago this winter, I stood in the guest room, looking out at my little street all decorated for Christmas. I pictured myself in that room rocking a baby to sleep. Selling this house will be the death of a lot of dreams. It is sad. I don't know what else to call it.
What my life looks like from here is not anything set in stone. That's a first for me. And yet, I am strangely okay with it all. If you subscribe to my mom's philosophy, I have approximately three child bearing years left. (then, I guess I spontaneously combust...we shall see.) And while I always saw myself being someone's mother, I am going to live if it doesn't happen for me. Unwilling to settle for anything but the real thing from here on out, I have to be realistic that I may be alone for a very long time. Maybe always. Who knows what lies around the corner.
Right now, I am in love with the idea of living my life, and counting my blessings, in whatever form they may come to me. Wonderful friends, traveling to beautiful places, getting to know myself really and truly, and maybe even being at peace with the nebulousness of it all.
Yes, It's time for all of that.
To each and every one of you who has kept me in their thoughts, been with me along my journey, said a prayer, sent out a wish, lent a shoulder, dried a tear, or just been a friend, I say a very heartfelt thank you.
You are certainly sunshine in my world.
Much love to all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where I am...

To say I haven't written in a while is kind of an understatement. Not even really sure if anyone will be by to read this. Not really sure of much anymore. I haven't really written for a few reasons - one of which is that I am really going through a very difficult time right now. Lots of change. Lots of uncertainty. Lots of days when I am not really sure why my life feels like it is unraveling. Trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but it is getting increasingly difficult. When I have the strength to write and the courage to share all, I will be back. For now, please pray for me and for the very tough journey I am on. Much love to you all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

If you can't say anything nice, sit next to my mom

Mothers and Daughters - out of all of the relationships I have had in my life, my relationship with my mother has been the most valuable, the most all-encompassing, and also the most complicated. What I love best about my mother is also the thing that bothers me the most sometimes - she is brutally honest. As in, if you are looking for someone to fluff your feathers, don't call my mother. As an adult, when I go shopping for clothes, I can still hear her commentary. Like today, when I tried on a bright pink dress, I heard her voice, as clear as day, say "Oh my god, you look like a beach ball." Which would be funnier if she hadn't actually said it once, when I was trying on something back in the day.

I called my mom today and we laughed about the beachball dress, and I think she felt bad that
I remember her saying negative things. The truth is, she isn't perfect. I don't think I'd want her to be. Or else, I would be walking down the street in a bright pink dress and people would be secretly thinking..."that poor girl, she looks just like a beachball."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh this movie...

Did you see the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? I should have known I would love it because it is written by F.Scott Fitzgerald. I've never read anything of his that hasn't stuck to me for life. My favorite scene of the movie (and also the scene that made me tear up) was the scene pictured below, where the characters are realizing that their love is in its absolute prime. Knowing it will not be this way forever, they look in the mirror at themselves, to truly remember the moment. I was reading my sister's blog earlier and she posted a picture of her and her husband back in their dating days. She wrote that she wasn't sure how they got where they are from the happy moment in the photo. Ahhh, life. It is so beautiful sometimes and so hard sometimes. In every relationship I have had, I can look back and remember that happy time. The dizzy headed, butterfly, fireworks moment. Even in friendships that have been lost, you can look back and remember those moments. Nothing can change the ebb and flow of life. I guess the message is to enjoy the prime. If its good, know that its good. And hope it lasts as long as possible.
A quote from the movie that sort of spoke to me:
"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. "
Oh, and if you haven't seen this movie, you simply must.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Happy Place

Okay, so my posts have been a little deep lately. So I'll just warn you that this one will be too. I promise I will try to write more about sunny things like cupcakes and antique store finds, but right now, I'm in a deep place and my posts are coming from that place. I hope you'll read along with me and in the process maybe feel a tap at your heart - like this applies to you too. A few weeks ago, when my friend Nick was out, we were sitting outside at dusk, eating dinner and I looked at him and said "this is going to be one of my happy places." I then told him that I (like all of us, I'm sure) have these captive memories of moments in my life that are my happy places. I can go there in my mind and be there, relive the moment, enjoy the happiness. Most of them aren't big earth shattering milestones like birthdays or graduations. They are simple moments where life is just really good. And the other thing about happy places - you normally don't have a picture to go with them. Like you are there, enjoying it, and even if there was a picture taken, it wouldn't really accurately encompass what the moment truly was about.
Nick and I spent a while sharing out happy places - for him, it was an evening on his parent's porch, right after he came home from being away in New York at college. There were candles lit, great music playing, and all of the people he loved were there. A happy place.
Tonight, Tim and I went to Laguna Beach for dinner. We ate at the most amazing restaurant, and as we ate, I brought up the happy place thing. I told him that this - our dinner tonight - was a happy place. And so many other moments with him - our times in Solvang, especially at our favorite wine bar, the smell of the aged wine in casks heavy in the air. I can close my eyes and be there. A cloudy morning in Mystic, CT, the day of Tim's Aunt's wedding, shopping for a trinket to give Tim's mom and having clam strips in a little New England fish house. And a fall night with my friend Jonathan, at his friend Yvette's in Laguna Beach. Sitting there in a courtyard on a black iron work patio set, just the two of us. With the splashing water of the water fountains and the smell of hundreds of white roses. French music spilling out into the night and a real conversation. No words spared. Such a beautiful moment of friendship. It was nice to sit with Tim and talk about my happy places and to learn about his. Some of which I'd never even heard about. I got to live them with him as he talked about them. As we talked, the waiter came by and said "Wow, I haven't wanted to interrupt you guys"..."You seem so in love." What came to me is that we are nothing more than a sum of moments, and that passionate moments are what we are here to have. The waiter even saw the passion spilling from both of us as we shared our favorite moments of life.
Next time you are with someone you love, ask them to tell you about their happy place. And think about yours. Close your eyes and go there for a minute. I hope it fills your heart as it did mine tonight.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where I am right now...

"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear...It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."
That is so where I am right now.
Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.
I have nothing to hold on to.
I've been in such a funk lately for quite a number of reasons. Part of that is the transition I am going through at work. Exciting changes, but changes just the same. Changes that mean leaving the people that I love seeing every day. Changes that mean difficult decisions, difficult situations, the uphill battle that I've already fought once - off to fight it again, it seems. Only in a new place. An important place. With all eyes on me.
I've been selected to run one of the flagship locations for my company for a few months during my colleague's maternity leave. Four months or so away from my store seems like such a long time not to laugh my heart out with Jonathan, hear Debbie's stories, get Gloria's advice. Part of leaving means that I have to hand my store over to Jonathan. And step away.
And know that I have given him the tools he will need to make it a success. Know that it is his chance to do something great. To accept that he could even do it better. Sigh...
And to step back and let him stumble a little here and there because that is how you learn. It just is. I'm so proud of him. I want him to do so well. It's hard to leave my baby though. The store, not Jonathan. Although that is hard too.
I think of all of the times I have been in this situation. Where gaining something new means letting go of something well loved. Where the time comes to walk away from what is comfortable in pursuit of something challenging. It is the right thing, but it is a sucky thing. Yes, I said sucky.
I was talking to my friend Gloria - my sounding board - about the whole thing. She was saying that when she was a child, they moved a lot. And each place they lived taught her something great. Great friendships. Great experiences. She said she wouldn't have traded one move because that would have meant missing out on something that made her who she was. But with each move, there was a loss. And that is where I am.