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

When people change, they gain a piece/peace but they lose one, too.

There’s something comforting about going on a first date and discovering that both you and the other person mutually aren’t feeling it. The feeling of relief is instant–You can drink your drink as fast as you want to, order a second without guilt, smile only when you actually mean it. Best of all, you can have a pretty honest conversation about the various disappointments and dissatisfactions that come from dating in your 30s/40s (because even though you’re currently sitting across from Another Disappointment, at least you know they’re Normal Enough to Commiserate With). Mix in some friendly one-upmanship regarding each person’s personal “bests” from their collection of stories and characters gathered in random diners and dive bars, and you leave feeling equal parts comforted and depressed.

The Things We Are Usually Hesitant to Admit, now being talked about, Out in The Open, because There Is Absolutely Nothing To Lose. Continue reading

I Ain’t Down Yet.

The stages of Alzheimer’s are so difficult and complex to try to explain to someone. I know hearing someone say “you just wouldn’t understand” almost sounds aloof, but it’s not even like that. It’s more just like–where do you begin? It would be like trying to explain something like city trash pick up to someone–it’s shit that’s so commonplace background noise that you don’t even know how to dissect it from what the rest of “normal” life is supposed to look like.

I never really know what to say when people ask about my mom. I don’t know how much detail is fair to give, or really necessary. It’s a kind gesture on their behalf to acknowledge that they care and recognize this thing happening in your life, but it also makes you feel like you’re always exposed and vulnerable to this fact, especially on the days you’re feeling particularly exposed and vulnerable about it.

It’s funny because I always think that I’ve gotten over it to a certain point–that this shit has been reality so long that there’s no reverting to complete sadness about it anymore because how can you legit cry over something that you’ve been carrying around that long? But then something happens–I smell her perfume while I’m out running errands, or for a brief second, some brain glitch makes me think that she’s just at work or reminds me of what it felt like to sit in the passenger seat while she drove to the mall. Suddenly I actually remember that these things were once real and happened. I used to have a mother. She used to know who I was.

These moments are easily the hardest to deal with because for a second there is so much happiness and hope and then suddenly everything snaps back into place, like some shitty reality rubber band, and it’s back to remembering that point and time is Over. Continue reading

It’s the Climb.

The world feels so much smaller during the wintertime–days shorter, sun weaker. The range in which I travel and move is different, too. I find it harder and harder to divert from my usual pathways, to expand my radius beyond work and home and the grocery store. In some ways I don’t mind–although the holidays were lovely in their way, I was glad for them to be over and for quiet normalcy to return. I’m enjoying making dinner again, heating up leftovers for lunch, having my set schedule of weekly events with weekend variation. Granted, the routine never seems to last long for me, but maybe that’s what makes me appreciate the periods where it actually comes together even more. Continue reading

2014, go gently into that good night.

So, I was recently having a discussion about the Play-Doh device that looks like a dick, and it evolved into talking about how Facebook is trying to get us to reflect happily on 2014, and well, how that doesn’t work for everyone. And the discussion got me thinking about my own 2014, especially since I’ve been penning to blog to mark this year’s end in my head for days now… 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

Challenge Accepted.

So, my lovely writer/Internet friend, Kate, recently tagged me in a writer/blogger challenge to answer questions regarding my writing process. And true to my writing process, I’ve been writing this in bits and have been dragging out actually posting it. But it’s Saturday morning, I’ve got nothing to do for the next few hours, and it’s time to finally get to writing! It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since Kate and I first had the pleasure of working together on Lucy Magazine (RIP), and in that time, I’ve had the pleasure to watch her pursue her writing dreams full force. No smoke blowing when I say that it’s been an inspiration, and I’m super stoked to see all the ways she’s continuing to kill it. So, please, go check out her latest endeavor, and follow the project on everyone’s favorite NSA tool.

And so, without further ado, my responses to the challenge (followed by the people I’m tagging to complete it next!) Continue reading

The Roads That Guide Us Home.

I made the observation a few months back that certain driving routes capture very specific timeframes of my life–these back roads, main drags, and exit numbers (make your Jersey jokes now) have the ability to launch full-blown nostalgia for me the same way an old beloved song or familiar smell can.

These past couple weeks have found me traveling several old roads, both figuratively and literally. 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

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

Continue reading