"When you walk with naked feet, how can you ever forget the Earth?" - Carl Jung
A trip back home for another beautiful wedding also allowed for prime baby holding time for me last week.
These little nuggets stole my heart and choked me up from the instant they were placed in my anxious arms. I couldn't believe how much I was drawn to them both, and just kept telling their respective mamas (one my cousin and one a BFF) that it was "so weird" to be holding the offspring of two women I've known fo-eva. Thankfully, they agreed. It was joyful, grateful, awe-filled weirdness all around. Just how I like it!
The truth is, if you'd asked me a few years ago about whether or not I wanted to have children, the answer would have been a whole hearted NO. The thought alone sent me into a panic around losing my freedom, the potential fights, the stress, the money and a zillion other questions on how they would be raised. But, as time has rolled on, and my life has taken quite a few new turns, I've realized how deeply I wish to be a mama.
This might be because of my freshly-turned-30 biological clock, or because of my partner being just about the sweetest thing ever around kids. It might be the case for any number of tangible reasons, but mostly I think it's because I've vowed myself to the never ending commitment of learning to choose love over fear.
And from the very, very little I know about "good parenting", I'd say this is a pretty nice place to start.
I have this friend who is just so sweet.
I genuinely mean that. Not sweet in that kind of "oh she's so nice" way of describing a girl's personality simply because you can't think of any other outstanding or flattering character compliments. She truly is just the sweetest, right to her core, and everyone says so immediately after meeting her.
So this sweet friend of mine, she's going through a challenging time. And the truth is, it's just the beginning of this challenging time. She knows it, I know it. It's the start of a lot of unsure and potentially scary days ahead; ones made up of guilt, sadness, excitement, worry, and hope bits and pieces, all mixed together, swirling to the surface at most inconvenient times. But it's also an incredibly transformational time. A time of humble vulnerability and of embracing the unknown. And it's the first time, in a long time, where she is fully listening to her spirit and making choices to honor her best life possible. She's betting on herself, which is a worthy risk to take, though often frightening beyond words.
But this sweet friend of mine is also facing an additional layer of complications to this challenging time. You see, some of her family members aren't being very kind to her when she tells them "the news". Lots of fear projecting, doubtful questioning, and whatnot. We humans are so talented at that kind of reaction to "the news", aren't we?
It's really bringing my sweet friend down. My friend, who is always so supportive of others, and who never seeks to judge choices because of her heartfelt understanding that not always understanding does not = grounds for every unsolicited opinion.
If you couldn't tell, I'm kinda puffed up for my friend.
A few years ago I remember reading/seeing/hearing a random quote from Hilary Duff (sorryI'mnotsorry for enjoying a little celebrity smut in my life from time to time) that basically ended with a line that's lingered with me for years, and has resurfaced again from hearing about my friend's family difficulties: We are just not kind enough to each other.
Taking Ms. Duff's lead, I want to impart one small piece of advice to the TGL community (because I know I'm the luckiest to have your attention for a moment). I want to say here what I'd like to say to her family but can't (annoying social norms and all that), so that this desire for a shift on behalf of challenging times can be put into the Universe somehow...
When someone you love feels he or she must make a very difficult decision in order to better themselves -- one that has been painfully, awkwardly, or hauntingly nagging at them for months, possibly even years -- think for a moment not so much on what you would personally do in their particular shoes (because darlings, you have no idea unless you magically, actually are) but rather of all the ways you yourself would hope, pray, and yearn to be shown compassion in the midst of a difficult decision. How much it would mean to you, for someone to listen without judgement; to offer no solutions, but an abundance of love.
That's really all anyone ever wants from our fellow man, you know? An abundance of love.
The truth is: We don't always have to understand. And oh my, will we ever not understand. But we do, I think, have to try our hardest to remember kindness.
It's applicable everywhere, this kindness vibe. In all areas of life, a daily dose of this magic elixir has powerful healing benefits. For the parents of the screaming baby on your 6 hour flight, for your son who decides to quit his high paying job to travel the world, for the customer who asks so many annoying questions you should be billing extra, for your sister's recent break up from a guy you all really (finally) liked. Imagine what would happen to each of these folks if we were, simply, a little kinder to one another.
Rise and shine, east coast style. Post red eye flight requires an immediate cup of Dunkin. Next up: bagels, pizza, Rita's, pretzels. And not necessarily in that order. #summerweddingseason
A dramatic re-telling of last Friday, by Tricia D.
One grouchy, emotionally charged girlfriend.
One man slice trying not to say the wrong things.
Fog and wind.
Me: This week was no good. And it's freezing in SF. I changed my mind about being OK with staying local. I desperately want to get the eff out of this city.
B: Yea, I love this city, but it is effing cold. What are you thinking?
B: That sounds expensive...
Me: I don't care. I NEED THIS.
B (backing away slowly): OK, but we were just talking about saving money....
Me (eye twitching): Right, yea, no, yea except I don't care. One day. One day of luxury. ONEDAYOFLUXURYINTHESUN. I beg.
B (a quick learner): Sounds good!
And so, to Indian Springs we trekked, massage appointments made and sunscreen slathered on for a bit of mineral water poolside fun. It was precisely what the PMS doctor ordered.
Side note: I normally dislike this quick and stereotypical excuse for female mood fluctuations, especially when used as an insult by a male...but in this particular case? 100% accurate. Hormone crazy brain like whoa. Men, truly, have no idea what it's like to feel this way once a month, for reasons that science or God or nature or the Universe dictates.
And by "this way" I obviously mean:
The facilities were beautiful, clean, and oh so peaceful at this schmancy joint. I could feel my mood shift the minute we stepped out of the car. Ahhh, luxury. How deeply you heal me.
Here is how B looked, floating around like a Giorgio Armani cologne advertisement...
And here's how I looked, trying to wiggle myself onto the float without falling in (for the 5th time)...
This difference in "cool" is so annoying, but I'll save that breakdown for another post.
Anyway, Indian Springs rocks, and you should totally visit sometime. I will gladly go back with you, and I promise I am an absolute delight when I'm here, full moon or not :)
"We are more than the worst thing that's ever happened to us. All of us need to stop apologizing for having been to hell and come back breathing." - Clementine von Radics
Even though it has only been 8 years since graduation, college feels like forever ago for me.
Like....another lifetime kind of forever ago.
This is undoubtedly because my life has so drastically changed since my days in rural State College, PA. I am no longer in touch with most of my old crew for various reasons, my college sweetheart and I (i.e. the guy that defined the majority of my collegiate dating days) split several years ago, and I quite literally live on the other side of the continent now...in a major city...with a dude I've known since my high school YMCA days. It's all so different for a plethora of entirely unexpected or predictable reasons.
*I* am so different.
There's no script, amirite?
But there is one aspect of my PSU experience that has remained a constant in the past 8 years, that time and space have failed to deter. If I am completely honest -- it's the most important aspect to sustain. Basically (and dramatically), if my entire Penn State affiliation was going down in flames, of all other memories, contacts, connections...this would be the one to rush in and save. We shared a room for 4 years, but this gal has my heart forever.
Both Cali girls now, Ashley and I enjoyed a quick weekend reunion in her adorable beach cottage located in the darling sea side town of San Clemente. There were early morning coffee talks (very early, since my old roomie cannot sleep past 6am to save her life, God bless her and God give me strength), sun and surfer filled afternoons at the shore, naps (because of said early mornings + my grandma status + God did not give me enough strength) and most importantly, one beautiful Sarah McLachlan concert at the Greek Theater in LA where everyone assumed we were "partners" and we didn't try to deny it.
I am so thankful for the freedom to hop on a plane to see my dear friend; to be happy just being with this person, no matter what our days activities. To have someone to go a tiny bit nutty with while stuck in LA traffic and then find the humor in the nutty and gratitude to be stuck on a highway together. When my children head off to college someday (if they choose college, and I surely hope they do/no pressure but FOR THE GLORY!) I will say a million and one prayers the Universe has their backs in the random roommate assignment department, like it did for me.
love and light and all the best Sarah lyrics (because she still sings to my angst-y teenage soul),