An open letter to the morning radio DJ on XPN.

**I initially shared this this morning on XPN’s Facebook page, but it’s still awaiting moderation. (Probably because I said “fuck” in the post, to preserve the authenticity of the moment). But in case it doesn’t get published here, at least I figured it was worth posting someplace in case someone else needed to find this song today, too.**
I woke up earlier than normal today without any issue. (Anyone who knows me well enough knows why that’s no small feat.) I got in the car earlier than I normally would and listened a while to my new audiobook, which is basically someone’s modern day personal account of their own “Walden” experience, essentially the thing I’ve been fantasizing for the past several years.
I hit a level of introspection listening to the book that I needed to turn it off to give me proper time to work through my thoughts and not totally tune out the rest of the narrator.
So I drove without the radio on for a bit and eventually that got boring so I clicked the radio back on. I had only been flipping through the stations a few moments until I came across XPN and heard you introing the Turn It Up/Turn It Down.
I admit I was getting a little impatient when you were describing it–I’m wary when a DJ seems like they’re overselling a song, especially if I end up not agreeing with their opinion (it affects the level of trust in our rather one-sided relationship).
And with the first few bars, I rolled my eyes. Trust definitely seemed dashed. But then just a few more seconds went by and the song opened up and something exploded inside me and I felt that rare feeling like I had found exactly the thing that had been missing to properly soundtrack this current moment in my life.
After you came back on and explained more about the video, I literally exclaimed “holy fuck,” (sorry, I know this is a family page) and proceeded to pull it up and watch it right then while crossing the Walt Whitman bridge. (I know that’s not safe, but sometimes you just gotta do.)

I proceeded to cry down the majority of 95.

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I was lonely, but I was having fun…

Day 3 Musings: When I first planned this trip, I didn’t necessarily expect to be taking it alone, even though I didn’t necessarily have anyone particularly in mind to take it with me. Maybe it was the beginning of my shifting mindset–for as long as I could remember, I always had a plus one of some sort to come along for an adventure, whether it be a boyfriend or a best friend. Looking back, it felt like there was never a situation where I couldn’t find someone willing to go along with whatever crazy whim I wanted to follow, but I think the truth is that if I couldn’t find someone, I often just bailed on the plan. Ironically, it took getting married to someone who wasn’t always up for the same adventures as me to realize that I had to get comfortable with doing things on my own or I had to start getting used to missing out on things I wanted to do. Continue reading

Things Fall Apart to Fall Into Place.

Despite a lot of the radio silence on the blog, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on here discussing the various ways that my life has been shifting/transitioning/changing during the past couple years. And though change and growth are obviously good things, the feeling that I don’t really have any solid ground to stand on has been challenging. There would be these moments of clarity and feelings of progress, but more often than not, they would be fleeting. And for every “step in the right direction” there were countless detours and setbacks and unexpected reroutes.  Continue reading

No thanks for livin’ on Thanksgiving; I’m still starvin’.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and I’m powering through cups of black coffee and full albums of Wu-Tang on YouTube, waiting for the workday to end. It’s been a bit of a slow day, but a good one for bonding with new co-workers who are also looking longingly at the clock, waiting (somewhat) patiently for quitting time. It was one girl’s birthday, and so we headed over to the local wine bar for lunch, a glass of our favorite spirit, and an opportunity to share some hilarious/embarrassing stories while also sharing the details for our upcoming holiday celebrations. Continue reading

Just Breathe.

One of the biggest things I learned from yoga was the importance of breathing. I remember sitting in my first couple of classes, thinking how stupid it was that we were reviewing how to properly breathe. I’ve gotten this far in life, I thought, how much more do I need to learn about this? But it wasn’t until I stopped and started paying attention to my breath did I realize how often I would hold my breath when I was feeling stressed or panicked. I would get so consumed in a fear or worry or thought that I unknowingly held my breath, as if I felt so paralyzed by whatever it was my mind was racing over, that I neglected my normal functioning.

It’s sadly been a while since I’ve hit the yoga mat, but the importance of checking in with my breath has stayed with me. Whenever I am getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I stop, and make sure to inhale deep and slow, and exhale long and with intention. And as silly as it first felt to do this, I’ve now come to rely on it to help keep me in check. Continue reading

Silver Linings.

I’ve been posting a lot recently about my recent frustrations and navigations through life lessons learned, but I feel it fair to report that the past couple of weeks have also had their strange silver linings.  Continue reading

The Heart of the Fire

I have this friend, Graham, whom I met in college and who I keep up with mainly through social media exploits. Graham is some kind of a wonderful mix of Oscar Wilde, Truman Capote, and a German film star from the 30s. He introduced me to ammonia cokes and the beauty of Victrola recordings; he helped rekindle my love for black and white photography, and, by example, he has given me a nostalgic appreciation of eras long ago passed.
As if all that wasn’t enough, he also has a lovely way of capturing life’s bittersweet bits in a way that really resound with me (unbeknownst to him, I’ve been writing a blog post based on the concept behind his former blog’s name, Displaced Heimat., for about 3 years now…).

Yesterday was no different, when he alerted me to this quote, unprovoked, without really know how much this truly resonates with me right now:

 

“Above all, in my anger, I was sad. Isn’t that always the way, that at the heart of the fire is a frozen kernel of sorrow that the fire is trying–valiantly, fruitlessly–to eradicate.”
–Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

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And then other days…

…I can find complete zen in the dishes being done and two loads of laundry complete. I walk through my halls like a champion, and think to myself, “Maybe I really do have a handle on things. Maybe I do have this life thing figured out.”

Little victories, my friends.

Moment of Zen: Northern Soul Radio

How did I not know about this–a 24-hour soul/R&B station playing the lesser-known hits of the era–until now?

Although I could be sad my life has been lacking this the past few months since it started, I instead choose to focus on how much happier I am for finally discovering it now.

Hopefully some of you out there will be equally as excited to learn about this station’s existence. Enjoy!