Monday, December 31, 2007

going out on a limb

It's almost too much to try and summarize this year, package it up so that come tomorrow morning I know what it all meant and where I'm supposed to go from here. I know it's been a ball buster (as if I had balls to bust) in more ways than one. I know I've lived deep, laughed often and learned more about love in all its forms than perhaps ever before. I know that at this moment, I'm kinda down about it all because for so much of this year I thought I was clarifying my direction in life - I've had so much affirmation that the choices I've made have been the right ones. I don't know if it's all the stuff that's come up in recent months, or if it's a winter-induced chemical imbalance, or perhaps it's just my turn to have some down time after starting 2007 with romance and adventures. Either way, I'm having a hard time keeping my optimism cap on these days, so perhaps my only resolution that I hope not to abandon immediately come the new year, is to keep putting myself out there. Keep trying new things, taking advantage of opportunities, pushing my limits.

On that note, here's the result of a bit of just such seizing the moment - the first time I figured out how to use my new macbook to do video, and the second time my singing partner and I met up. You can tell I don't know all the words by heart, that I'm kinda shy even when my only audience is a piece of metal, and that my uploading capabilities are woefully lacking (hence the abrupt cut off at the end...which does me huge favors as we royally bastardized the ending). Still - there it is, some moments to use my voice, to do something just because it feels good and I can.

Happy New Year!!!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the good with the bad

Oh the thoughts I have had about love and relationships in the past six months. There have been many moments when such things have been the furthest thing from my mind, the luxury of these dwellings temporarily over ridden by actual crises or substantially more important things. But when it comes down to it, there is a tireless, pint-sized cupid running on pure adrenaline in my heart - hopeful, ever hopeful, that I'll finally figure this equation out.

Let me first say that there's no earthly reason why at 27 I should have love figured out. Sure, I've been in it, I'm "mature," I've seen some stuff. But shit, 27 is nothing in the scheme of things, and who am I to expect to have my little fingers wrapped around it at this point?

The funny thing is, I'm just starting to realize this. I have mistakenly taken my many years of serial monogamy as a crown of sorts. I have friends who come to me with questions about all things love and relationship wise, I have other friends who don't give it a second thought as to whether I will be one of the lucky ones who finds the right person, settles down and has a fabulous life with a real partner. The truth is - I don't really know jack when it comes to relationships. The little success I have had in them has been due in part to the benefits of youth and first loves, the character and strength of some of my partners and what I have come to understand in myself as an absolute unwillingness to admit failure, even when it's staring me in the face.

Consequently, I carry with me now the scars of love lived, lost and turned away - and the awkward awareness that even with all that lies in my past, I don't have the first clue what I'm looking for.

This has all been fairly startling to come to terms with, especially given the arrival of the Frenchman (aka, Mr. Wonderful) last January. My immediate attraction to him in the first few months of our relationship stemmed from a recognition that this, in fact, was the type of man I had been looking for (and held against past partners for not being). But if this is, in fact, the case - then why do I find myself so many months later thwarted by something as paltry as an ocean between us? Because let me tell you - if ever there was someone who was willing to make things work, regardless of the roadblocks - it's him. And if I've learned ANYTHING from my past relationships, or those around me (especially the ones I most admire), it's that in the end - if you want staying power - you need to find someone who is willing to WORK at things. And so this is what I've looked for, and now found, and I am the one unwilling to do my homework.

And it all makes no, and perfect, sense. I find in myself every cliche that heartbroken girls and trod upon guys draw up in defense of their hearts. And that is what this post was supposed to be about in the first place, but now I'm sleepy and it will have to wait until another time.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Where my boys at?

I have always had guy friends. Since early high school, my boy-buds were my best buds. A few of these friendships turned into romances, and many at some point involved a one-way crush on one side or the other, but in the end I have a handful of guys that I simply couldn't live without. The trouble is, none of them are nearby anymore. While I've got some of my life long and closest girlfriends in the immediate vicinity (one in my house - how lucky am I!?) I don't have any accessible* guy friends up north. I've taken to loosely stalking a really cool guy I met on the airplane about a month ago because I am just dying for the rapport I have always been able to build with a few special guys. These are the guys who I can trade sob stories with, who I've nursed through break ups and who have returned the favor tenfold. The guys who remind me that settling shouldn't be an option - that good men are out there, respectful men with good taste and the desire to truly romance the women they love. They've reminded me that I'm not half bad when I needed it, and kept me busy when my Friday nights were boyfriend and date-free. I wish I could quantify why these relationships are so special - all I know is that right now I really, really miss them.

*My high school ex is up here and I still consider him one of my closest friends but his own romance has made it hard to connect as he's afraid his girlfriend won't like the idea of us hanging out.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good things

Something has changed for me this Christmas. It's due in large part to the fact I did most of my Christmas shopping in Africa, so I'm avoiding the insanity of finding that perfect something for all my perfect someones. This year I've actually started writing Christmas cards - and more importantly, updating my address book so that I can do the same next year. And I just have this feeling that the holidays really do represent more than the materialism we all get sucked up in. Maybe it's because the housing crisis is keeping everyone a bit more humbled (and I'm sure the fact I don't have a t.v. and don't see the incessant advertisements about the latest gadgets you NEED under your tree helps). It could be that I finally got the hell out of Orange County... Regardless, it just seems that the true spirit of a holiday meant to represent the ultimate gift is finally coming into focus for me on a greater level than it ever has.

The real reason, I know, is because I had to do a lot of growing up this year. I took in on the most base of levels the reality of what's out there in the world, and what's being done (or not done) to combat it. I lost the safety of "home" in a real way - it is now a place where I must face life's challenges and curve balls with the same strength as those around me - there's no more candy coating. I've been starting fresh all year - new places, new jobs, new understandings. So it fits that Christmas would change as well. That it's no less sweet, but that it become more a time to ask myself and the world around me what's going out - versus what's coming in.

Whether any of this makes sense or not - here are some links to help your holiday season reflect all that is good in the world and give you the chance to share your holidays in a meaningful way with people around the globe:

World of Good
- Shopping never felt so good
Ten Thousand Villages - Still time to order!
KIVA - Change a life on behalf of someone you love

Enjoy - and feel free to share your own resources for an outward, versus inward, focused holiday.


Friday, December 07, 2007

loss in action

She's my friend, and she can't stop crying. She's had her heart broken, her worst fears realized and it caught her totally off guard. I don't know what to say, what to do, I'm tip-toeing around trying to respect her needs and not knowing what they are. And how can I not know? I KNOW that pain - I know the devastation of the relationship you've put EVERYTHING into falling apart. How did I get through it? My self-preservation mechanism went into full effect last night when she came home in tears - I'm so afraid of confronting THAT pain again - not even in myself, but the fact that it exists at all. It's almost worse when it's happening to someone you love. All I want to do is say "It will be o.k., you'll get through this," but it's too soon for that. The shock needs to subside first, and I don't know what to say in the meantime.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007


No matter how lame I get with my blogging, I manage to stay up-to-date with Dooce, because she never fails to make me laugh - and laughter has been the most necessary of medicines lately. Last week she linked to an amazing website, the Daily Coyote, and it's writer's other blog, Vespa Vagabond. I am taken by what little of Shreve's journey that I've seen based on these two blogs, but recognize in her writing and way of life a willingness to embrace life in a way I hope to. One of her posts caught my eye and with her permission I'm sharing it with you:

Going Somewhere, Always
Between the head and the heart is the voice, and our voice reflects our choices: the way we reconcile what we think and what we feel; what we know and what we desire. Our voice reaches the world through the manner in which we live - sound is unnecessary; we show others who we are by the way we go through life, and touch everyone we meet with who we are in that moment.

I have been thinking about such things a lot lately - how I live my life, how I vocalize my choices and how I choose my very words. While I was in D.C., a friend and I had a discussion with someone who didn't talk much (well, not nearly as much as we did) and he explained that as a multi-linguist, he's come to have an appreciation for words that most people don't. In short, he doesn't like to waste them. I think actions are the same ways - how many things do we do that we don't even think about? Habits, reactions - the stuff that makes up our day to day lives, that fills the space?

I really haven't had the words or the actions to communicate what's been going on between my head and my heart the last six months, and perhaps that's why this spoke to me in such a way. Because I want to get back to (or find for the first time?) a place where the space between head and heart is an open book. I want my voice out there - not just in words, but in actions. Not just in actions, but in words.