My Blog List

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

9 Days to 26:

A worry-wart, that's what some people would call me. Did I say the right thing? Am I going to get sick? Did I leave my curling iron on? Where are my glasses? What happened last night? Mundane little question marks used to punctuate my life--they would creep in like army ants and leave tiny black dots all over my mind. And just like army ants I would squish them, but the next day I would look down and there would be more black dots, more question marks. But there is something about turning another year older that has caused me to hate these little question marks. It is exhausting to run around like Woody Allen wondering what will happen next--I would rather embrace what is in front of me. I would rather embrace the avocado green walls of the machine shop where I work. And my chipped nail polish. And my tiny apartment. And the things I say that don't always come out right. Because life is not perfect and I am not perfect. I am learning that it takes far more courage to be happy with what is in front of you than it does to try and "fix" everything about your life.

In 9 days I will be 26 and I feel positive. I feel like I've finally settled into a good place at work where I know what I'm doing and I can joke with Pete about his giant beard or communicate with clients while holding my own. I faked it until I made it. I love my family, and my friends, and my alone time. I love the idea of visiting new places. I love the books I'm reading and the recipes I've made. I love seeing a different sunrise every morning from my window at work. I love Phoenix. Mostly I love knowing that while I do not know where I will land, I know that I am on the right trajectory for myself.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Just Words:

When I was five years old my aunt asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I responded very resolutely, a cheerleader. That was the pipe dream of a toddler. When I was seven years old, another aunt gave me my first journal. It was deep purple with gold stitching and from that moment on I thought I wanted to be a writer. Slowly over time my courage to be a writer failed me but my love of writing did not. I continued to fill journal after journal, scrap of paper after scrap of paper with words. I buried them, I kept them hidden. But recently, for no reason that I can explain, I feel the strongest desire to let people read what I have to say. I feel a desire to acknowledge that little part of me that still wants to write, I want to wave at that little part of me and say "yes, I know you." 

One of my favorite things to do is to sit at The Biltmore with a coffee and a book and watch people. I like to jot down things that I notice about people. Like the three women walking through the grass, linked arm-in-arm. It reminded me of Italy, that's the way women walk through the streets there. That's the way to complete a proper passeggiata. Or the man with his little daughter. I caught myself staring at him, kneeling in the grass, getting down on her level. There is something attractive about watching a man become vulnerable. He stayed that way, crouched down, to straighten her skirt or tickle her belly. And I thought to myself that it's the same with adults, sometimes we need to get down on each other's level. Sometimes we need to look at things from a different perspective, maybe a little closer to the ground.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Travel Dreams:

I will continue to live in a tiny shoe box for forever if it means I can afford to visit these places:

                                                         Montmarte, Paris
                                                        Fall leaves in Vermont
                         Sleeping in an igloo to watch the Northern Lights in Finland
                                                 Lavender fields in Provence, France

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Walt Whitman and Car Accidents:

Yesterday on my drive home from work I witnessed a car accident. I was stopped at a red light and in slow motion a shiny, teal truck spun around over and over into the intersection. He hit another brown truck and they both came to a tumbling stop, crooked and mangled with bits of broken glass strewn about. It happened so slowly and so near to me that I could feel my hands reach for my mouth as I gasped and screamed from within my own car. Then the light turned green and as I inched through the intersection it seemed as though nothing had ever happened at all. Some country song was whining in the background and a man from the gas station was running across the street in slow motion. I stole one last glimpse as I drove on through the neighborhood. Everybody drove on. Humans are so resilient. You witness something that punctuates your otherwise monotonous day with a moment of terror, a blinding worry for everybody around you--and like a flash of lightning it is gone and you are driving down a sleepy street again.

I recently discovered that I really love Walt Whitman. He writes poetry about nature and the human experience and I like it.

Look down fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple,
On the dead on their backs with arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus sacred moon.

I really want to get out of town, I really want to see something new--new nature, new grass, new rocks, new people.
I have these little adventures to keep me excited:

Fly fishing with dad in October
Freezing in Michigan in November
Sunning it up in Puerto Rico in November

Eating a baguette in Paris in December (this trip still haunts me, am I brave enough to spend Christmas alone in Paris?).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Open Love Letter to My Dad:

Dear Dad,

Sophomore year of college I took an aerospace engineering course as a science elective. I could have taken something easy like earth science or the coveted "dinosaur" class that everybody was always vying to get into--but instead I rode my bike across campus at night to sit in a giant lecture hall with lots of boys and listen to Russian teaching assistants stumble over words like "propulsion" and "aerodynamics." Math was already such a struggle for me and watching these men quickly and sporadically jot down something about lift and velocity made me feel like my life was in a tail spin. The kind of tail spin you learn about in an aeronautical engineering course. I took the class not because I loved complicated equations with missing variables but because I loved you and I knew that at 19 I was much farther away from you than I was at 9. I knew that I hadn't been fishing with you in a long time and I probably hadn't been very nice to you in a long time either. I took the class because you are a pilot and you love flight and you love airplanes and even if I don't love these things, I do love you.

Now I am almost 26 and working at an aerospace manufacturing company. It's funny how life comes full circle sometimes.

We have fought many times over but I know why. It is because mom often looks at you and then looks at me and repeats, "apple and tree, apple and tree." It is because we are so similar, I'm the little apple that didn't land very far from your branch.

I didn't learn very much from that engineering course but I have learned a lot from you. In no particular order, the best nuggets of wisdom you've passed on to me:

1. That smoked oysters with a little bit of hot sauce on top of a cracker is the best snack ever.

2. How to gut a fish.

3. How to do long multiplication.

4. What a funny move Airplane is.

5. How to use a metal pipe as leverage in case I ever need to change a flat tire because I am not tall enough to do it on my own.

6. What to look for in a good husband.

7. How to 'slouch' my socks. (Remember when this was popular in the 90's?)

8. That eating cookies for breakfast is ok (because mom left for work early and it was me and you fending for ourselves in the morning).

9. How to do a solid Rocky and Bullwinkle impression.

10. That a good dad will say "I love you" before hanging up the phone. Even if he is at work and everybody can hear him and he is surrounded by other men.

I love you too, Dad.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Antelope Canyon:

Sometimes everything feels like it is stuck in cement. Sometimes it feels like my words are lodged deep in the back of my throat under a heavy, heavy tongue-- like an anvil or a baby grand piano sitting comfortably on top of everything I’d like to say. And rather than come forward they start to tumble even further back until they are sitting in the pit of my stomach and I’m not sure if I’m meant to throw them up or forget that they even exist. And sometimes it is other people’s words that swim around my head, like I am under water and everything they say to me is muffled and very far away. I sit on the phone at work and all I can hear is the teacher from the Peanuts comic strip on the other end of the line, a loud wah wah wah sound that doesn’t even make sense.
Sometimes I feel like I am stuck in cement. I need to get out of town. I have never been the type of person to feel homesick when I am away. Rather, I feel homesick for places I have never been to.

I want to be in a place where the sunset in the sky mirrors the sunset in the rocks. I want to feel like I walked into a fun house of pinks and reds and oranges swirling around, making funny shapes out of sandstone. I want my hair to feel as dusty as my hands after climbing through the earth like a child on a jungle gym.