Thursday, February 28, 2008


I know many of you will have thoughts on this. I am anxious to hear what they are. I promise I'll weigh in too - just still processing and trying to form a coherent opinion...

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Side bar-liscious

To call me a lazy blogger recently would be an understatement - infrequent posting, even less frequent reading, and a woefully out of date sidebar that does little to reflect where I spend my internet time or the rest of my life!

I've been focusing a lot since moving to the Bay Area on making time in my life for the creative, and on setting aside time to educate myself about the things that matter to me, as it turns out passion is just not enough if you're hoping to immerse yourself in a new field or life direction. I often have a hard time keeping track of the various resources I find - whether it's a kick-ass site for craft projects that might give you that peaceful feeling of having created something when you have an hour or two to spare, or some of my favorite musicians and learning they were in town before (not the Monday after!) they do a show down the street. I've been coming across some amazing design sites in the field of environmental and socially responsible development (ding ding ding!) and starting to find voices I want to follow in Kenya and beyond.

I just wanted everything in one place where I could easily access it when I wanted to. Le duh: blog sidebar. So - take a look around - of course you'll still find many of my favorite bloggers (I didn't actually adjust the blog roll at all other than to consolidate it) but there's lots more now too. I know it's looooong - but all good things take some time to explore.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Can anyone else relate to that feeling you get when, in a moment of hypochondria, you diagnose yourself with some terminal illness but at least for right then, you're o.k. with it? I'm not sure what it is - whether it's having an overall good day, someone having just told you they love you or finally getting something long-put off done, but for a second you lose sight of the big picture and think, "If I found out right now, I could go peacefully if nature decided it was my time."

There is of course always the antithesis, found in a moment just as random, in which life suddenly seems breathtakingly short. When if handed a death sentence you would retch and reel, mourning instantly the experiences you'd lose in dying to soon, the people you'd miss - all that would be left.

The very presence of such emotion in the second moment tips me off that there is more to be lost than any moment of seemingly zen contentment could ever foreshadow.

***please be patient with my changing sidebar - I'm updating it with lots of wonderful new things but I'm slooooow so don't look yet!***

Saturday, February 16, 2008

things come together

The girls and I had some champagne tonight, and I'm currently experiencing the rush of inspiration a few glasses of bubbly so often produce. But, more importantly, I'm not fighting the urge to self-censor. I'm going to write the self-truth I've stumbled upon (champagne or no), and leave the post up even when I've awoken to a glorious day and realized that once again, I've left myself ultra vulnerable on an only semi-private blog.

So it all boils down to this: I got my heart broken once, and I haven't trusted myself since.

Of course it's more complicated than this - but the fundamental truth is that once I understood what it meant to offer up my heart and have someone be willing to say, "no, I don't think that this is the heart for me," I fundamentally stopped trusting whether I could do the same.

How so? Well, at that point I'd decided that two absolutely wonderful guys were not for me. Guys who had treated me with nothing but total devotion - and not pushovers either. Individuals, devoted friends, loving sons, inspiring people - at some point in each of their lives they'd decided that I was the girl for them. And at some point in mine, I'd decided that they were not the ones for me.

It's not that it was easy - I remember the anguish of knowing I was hurting someone who I'd so loved, who had been by my side and with whom I'd shared such joys. But even in that pain, I found something within to trust - I could make the decision and work through the angst because I knew what was right.

Then the tables turned.

I fell, head over heels, and knew that he was the one. I knew with every ounce of my physical being as I threw out old rules for purity and decided, at 21, that I was ready to marry a man who intended to devote his life to ministry. I knew beyond the impressions of friends and family, beyond any question of "are we the right fit?" or what his past said about who he was today. I just knew.

But less than a year later he labeled me an unknown, made the choice I'd made in years past to walk away, to separate, to pursue the possibilities beyond the person that had been so utterly and completely devoted to him. He decided and trusted himself to walk away.

How did his trust break my own? Why is it that all these years later I agonize over the possibility of any relationship ending - even the most casual? I am so afraid of letting go of the right thing, of not recognizing the person for me even when they're right under my nose. I know it's because I don't want to inflict that hurt any more. I learned what it felt like, the earth shattering recognition that I might not be enough. Why would I possibly pass that on to someone unless there was absolutely no other way?

I can't stand that it could be laziness, or simple doubt, or greed that would make me inflict that kind of pain, or make that judgement call.

Still - is anything worth giving up trust in oneself? It seems such a crying shame that at this stage in my life, I cant bring this basic quality along as I test the waters and tell myself I'm open to what is meant to be.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

In absence of any of my men...

So I promised an update awhile back, and it goes like this. The Frenchman remains in France, until next month when he will visit for a brief weekend (the first time I'll have seen him in 5 months). While absence has indeed made the heart grow fonder in many ways, it has also given way to a desire to be open to more local opportunities for companionship - and the one that has stuck, for now, is a lovely guy I met at a coffee shop in Monterey the weekend of my cousin's wedding. We've spent a number of weekends together doing everything I've hoped to do since returning to the Bay Area - exploring San Francisco, checking out local restaurants, going out with friends and generally having a grand old time. I have done what I can to not feel like a two-timing floosie, which primarily means I have told the Frenchman about my local beau, and vice-versa. This is incredibly unchartered territory for me - and while I'm not 100% comfortable with it, I also can't seem to totally reconcile myself to cutting myself off from either one, given the circumstances.

So, that said, as neither are completely local and I'll be having a wine, chocolate and Atonement-watching girl's night in honor of the happiest of hearts day - I thought I'd reminisce on some of the romance of valentine's past. I'd love to hear some of your best Valentine's memories (or perhaps they're currently in the making) too!

'95: The awkward
First high school boyfriend: This relationship was strange from the start - I've touched on how his lack of virginity at the tender age of 14 intimidated the hell out of me in a past post. While I'd had boyfriends in middle school, I was in unchartered high school territory, and I'm not sure I was truly aware of how to be myself in a relationship when I didn't feel we brought the same cards to the table. On Valentine's day, he brought me a silver teddybear necklace to school. I remember thinking, "Wow, he really likes me" and also, "wow, I'm so not a teddy bear type" all at once.

'97: The first to mean something
I still haven't finished telling the story of my first love - but Valentine's day '97 pretty much sums it up. He showed up at my house with homemade m&m chocolate chip cookies he'd made (his first name starts with an 'm' too). I gave him the soundtrack to the movie Kids - horribly unromantic now that I think of it, but great music. That night, we went to see Beck in concert with a group of my girlfriends from high school - he was happy to share me with my friends, but somehow it felt like the day was all about us.

(slight Valentine's detour to describe one of the more romantic days I've ever experienced)
'00: He just "got" me
For some reason, Valentine's 2000 escapes me - though in the scheme of my college relationship, it didn't bear as much significance because my boyfriend was fantastic at romance all around. When I returned from a choir tour in Italy in January that year, he'd cleaned my entire dorm room (as a busy R.A. and general slob, it had gotten overwhelming) and left me flowers hiding in various corners - in my mini-fridge, in the shower etc. A few months later, I awoke in the same room on my birthday to a home-cooked meal (I don't actually remember how he pulled off scrambled eggs in a dorm room - I think he drove all the way home and back to do it) and then was whisked away to a local park where he'd assembled my motley crew of friends for a morning surprise party, comlete with balloons and cake. Later that day we went to the newly opened Ghetty museum for the day, and he presented me with the nicest set of the Chronicles of Narnia available at the time. The sweetest part about the whole day - aside from how much he did to absolutely shower me with love from the get go - was that he couldn't actually afford the book set on his own, so he'd had his two best friends go in on it with him. I still think it's just the most telling sign that his best friends would help him buy something he knew his girlfriend would adore, because it meant that much to him to make the day perfect.

'03: A calm in the storm
My longest relationship ever started at the end of my college years and lasted almost three more. For any number of reasons, it got off to a rocky start, and yet to this day I can't wrap my head or heart around the tenderness that survived it all. Our second Valentine's we played it pretty low key and generic - he chose a restaurant, we ordered wine, had nice conversation - I wore a new red shirt. There was something about it though that stands out in my memory for the simplicity of the love we shared and how it came out that night. Ours was never the most romantic of stories (though our first date was salsa-dancing in Costa Rica). Still, after all this time when something really touches me deeply, especially in regards to family or music, it's him that I think of and want to share it with.

O.k. - your turn...

Friday, February 08, 2008

a good thing

So I've started working full-time at an adventure travel company that caters to very high-end clientèle. For the first time in a long time (Africa aside) I am learning something that is really interesting to me. I love travel, and it's neat to figure out how the industry works. At the same time, I'm coming up against my insecurities in major ways as I find the gung-ho girl that graduated college ready to take on the world has been a bit worn down-and-out by too few opportunities to capitalize on the things I'm really good at. I think there are opportunities for that here, but I am out of shape! I find myself getting a bit defensive, or overly offended when I get corrected - and I know I just need to keep taking deep breaths and remember I'm learning something totally new. Me and my pride will be o.k. if we can just remember this on a daily basis!

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

a definitive list...attempt

I've had ideas about all sorts of things to write lately, and I'm choosing to go with potentially the worst one.

I think we all, in some way or another, have a "list" that defines our dream perfect partner. I have always tried to ignore said list, fearing it a bit idealistic, and the sort of thing that would set me up for failure. Still, as I've made my way through relationship after relationship, some sticking points and key ingredients seem to carryover. Some have taken a breather between partners, others I find consistently in anyone I find myself remotely attracted to.

I figure now's as good a time as any to acknowledge these things I like and have been drawn to in past partners, and some I have yet to find but covet for their potential.

1. Music - not just an appreciation, but a means by which to make it
2. Treasuring of family - both his and mine (imperfections accepted, not ignored)
3. A desire to see and experience the world outside our everyday lives
4. A motivated compassion - a willingness to respond to need, rather than judge it
5. The ability to say sorry and not lose his masculinity
6. Someone who is funnier than me, but still finds me interesting
7. A man of faith - not that of dogma but who'd be willing to hit his knees if life ever called for it - and who credits God with the good, and asks for guidance with the bad
8. Someone who can lead, but doesn't have to in order to feel strong
9. A man with confidence (nothing sexier), and a sense of humility to balance it out
10. Someone who recognizes his emotions and why he makes the choices he does
11. A guy who can build and fix stuff
12. Someone who can hold his own in a social situation, with new people and especially my friends
13. A man who knows how to really kiss, and likes it!
14. Someone at least one of my best friends proclaims, "this is the man you're meant to be with," because it's just that obvious and they see something different in us.
15. A man who believes in a true purpose for the life he was given.
16. Someone who skis, snowboards, surfs or all of the above - these things must be shared!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something in dream man version 1.0, but this feels like a good list to get out of my system. Maybe he's out there, maybe I've already fond him and don't yet know the significance of such things - or maybe my real dream man will blow all these things out of the water.

Anybody willing to share their own list?

Monday, February 04, 2008


Kanye West just left me a message telling me to vote, and thus I shall.