Enjoying the small things. Or trying to.

September 19, 2010 1 comment

I had a small upset the other day.

My sister called me Thursday, just to say hi. We got off the phone and I cried. Not because of our conversation, but because it hit me right then just how much I was going to miss this past weekend.

My cousin got married in Dallas, and my entire mom’s side of the family was there for the event. Except for me.

Then there was the biggest game of the season in Lubbock. And even though I’m not a particularly huuuuge football fan, I wanted to be there for it. To soak up the atmosphere, the excitement. Those games are electric. And I needed to be a part of it, to feel a connection to this ratty town.

Then today, I became even more frustrated because all anyone could tell me about either event was that it was good. Or a letdown.

How was the game? “It was good.” “It was hot.” “It was crowded.” Jesus, describe it for me, please. I want to know how you were crammed up against the person beside you; how the crowd roared when we scored. I want to know how loud the stadium was and I want to know how your heart swelled up with joy at being there. Because I know at some point it did.

How was the wedding? “It was good.” “It was crowded.” “It was crazy.” “The music was too loud.” Dude, tell me more! That was my family I missed out on. What did my cousin look like in her dress? Did my aunt cry? How did the groom look at his bride during their first dance? Why did my other cousin’s new baby look like? Make it come alive for me, please. Becuase I’m sad I missed it.

I’ve been reading a new blog, Enjoying the Small Things, and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. This woman, she’s amazing. She’s so in love with life it was makes me want to go into the bathroom at work and just dance to the song in my head. Just to get it out, just to get some endorphins going so I can have a smile at my face at work. Instead of succombing to the frown dragging the corner of my lips down.

Last night, when I knew my friends were at the game, and my cousin and family were dancing their hearts out at the reception I kept trying to list small things to be happy about.

I got to do the photo page at work.

I had plans to see friends after 11.

Yeah. That was it.

It was so hard to hear everyone’s complaints about last night. I mean, really? You were there. Isn’t that enough?

And I keep going back to one thought. If I’m going to miss out on events like these because of work, do I really want to be missing out on everything while I’m in Lubbock?

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My watch is still set to Eastern standard time.

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been four months and one day since I moved back to my little spot in Texas.

That means my time back in Texas has officially exceeded my time in Boston by one day.

And I don’t like it. Not one bit.

I miss you, Boston. And it’s not technically you; it’s the dream of you. It’s the joy of living, of trying something different. That’s what I wanted. This is why I drive myself every single second of every single day. So I don’t think. So I don’t feel you. So I don’t have to love you; so I don’t have to know how much you broke my heart.

Before today Boston still felt close — it still felt like something I’d lived recently. But now I’m realizing exactly how quickly that time is running away from me. Yesterday, I could look back and say, “One month ago exactly, I was doing this.” Or, “three months ago I was on my way to NYC for Valentine’s Day.” Somehow, now that I’ve been back longer than I lived there, it feels different. I felt like in some way my time here mirrored my Boston time, and maybe when next four months are up I could get the hell out again. And I feel like I can’t say those things anymore because then I’m truly living in the past and not paying attention to my life in front of me.

When I looked back at my move to Boston, I always smile when I think about that day: January 10, 2010. I thought it was the first day of the rest of my life; the day when my life would change. And it did. But I thought the next time I’d be in Texas I’d be a bonafide city girl, ready to swing through Midland for my best friend’s wedding, dazzle my friends and family with my newfound confidence and then resume my fabulous life in Beantown.

I woke up that January morning with a stomachache: Fear, uncertainty and excitement were at war within me, and I couldn’t decide which to let win.

I remember touching down on the runway at Logan and leaning past the man next to me to get a glimpse of my new city. I sighed, not really sure what to think.

There are so many things that made me happy in Boston, and so many things that were hurting me while I was there.

Those months in Boston stretched me further than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve talked about it before, in this post, about how much Boston tested me. Back at home, I could see the changes in myself. And that was important to me. My time in Boston wasn’t about having grand adventures (although those were wonderful); it was about growing up. Changing. Living. Figuring out what i want and what and want to do in life. Boston is still so much a part of me, it’s scary. Almost everything I experience here reminds me of life in Boston. Something. A song puts me back at a night in a bar in Fenway. A particular smell has me walking through the Common on a sunny day, just getting off work from my flower shop. And flowers — that job was rough and at times I despised it, but now I always stop and “smell the roses.” Or since roses aren’t technically fragrant, the freesia. My favorite.

But now. Now I’m in Lubbock. Now I have a job I’m grateful for, friends and co-workers I love, my family close by and an apartment all to myself. In the last four months, I don’t see any growth on my part. And that makes me sad.

What I’m figuring out is that I cut my grand adventure short way too early. I let go of living and let my fear bring me back here. Maybe Lubbock is the right place for me for the time being, but it’s not going to fulfill me for long.There’s nothing that drives me; nothing that moves me; nothing that really makes me question anything I believe. It doesn’t’ stretch me.

I went into my move naively; I didn’t see the future as something to think about. All I knew was that I wanted out and I wanted out now. Maybe I should have thought about it more; maybe I shouldn’t have been so “brave.” I should have had the foresight to realize problems would happen and I’d have to deal with them.

But, I didn’t. And I’m back in Lubbock. Things aren’t so bad, but it sucks to be so disappointed in myself.

Glory days.

August 29, 2010 1 comment

Last night I needed a night out more than anything. I needed to nurse a cold beer; I needed loud music to drown out my ever-thinking mind; I needed to be around good friends.

But an hour into being at the bar, I was disgusted. Not by my friends by any means, but by the crowds in the place. The town I live in, like I’ve said before, is filled with people who are essentially cut from the same cloth. It’s a college town; there’s sorority girls and frat daddies all over the place. And I cannot stand it.

I left last night because I got sick of having to deal with this.

Lately I’ve been reading travelogues, which are amazing books. One of my favorite things about these books is the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I love learning about new types of people, new cultures, new traditions.

It makes me hunger for something different.

I want real people in my life. I need to, at some point, get away from the college lifestyle and move in a path that will bring me toward interacting with people who have had actual life experiences.

I know in a lot of ways I’m categorizing everyone I saw at the bar last night, and that’s not fair. But in some ways what I’m saying is true, so I’m not going to feel too bad.

Last night also made me miss Boston. (Whoa, what? Like I never say that.) What I loved most about that place (Let’s say, in the top 5 of things I loved.), was the fact that new people were around every single corner. Whether it was a quick conversation on the subway with a med student, or stopping to listen to a street performer, or an artist who became my closest friend, I was always hungering for that next encounter.  I love different perspectives and opinions and lifestyles.

Some people want to eat their way around the world. Others want to participate in adrenaline-filled activities or see how far they can travel by land rather than by air. I, on the other hand, when I travel, want to glean as much as I can from whichever culture I choose.

One of my favorite books I read this summer was “Tales of a Female Nomad,” by Rita Gelman Goldman. After a divorce, and in her mid-40s (I think), she moved to Mexico where she lived in a Zapotec village for a number of months. From there she’s spent the last 10 years or so moving around the world, and making sure that she connects with the people she lives with in every part of the world she visits. She lived with a royal family in Bali, and hiked in the highlands of Indonesia where she lived in a teeny-tiny village. Rather than getting the quick, “postcard view” of the places she visits, she stays long enough to get an idea of how they live: what activities their days are made up of, or how they grieve, how they celebrate, how they play.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I loved her book. And although I don’t really want to take it as far as she did and be a “present-day nomad,” I do want to learn from people the way she did. That’s why I want to travel.

Boston let me get a taste of that feeling. The city gave me the chance to, like I said earlier, meet tons of different types of people. I miss that.

And that, right there, brings me to my next thought: The glory days.

Since I started my new job, I’ve had lots and lots of time to read gazillions (OK, slight exaggeration) of travel blogs. There are people out there my age traveling around and around the world, and I love reading their blogs.

One blogger–I can’t remember who it is, but I’ll link it as soon as I find it again–wrote a post about the glory days. He likened this to that old man who always talked about “that one football game, back in 1950 where he made the winning touchdown.” And this man never moves past this point: He spends the rest of forever telling this story, and that’s essentially the highlight of his life.

What I loved about this post was that it made me realize how moving to Boston was my glory moment, and it made me sick because I am so much like that old man. In my life right now that move to Boston is the biggest thing I’ve done.

I miss it. You all know this. And I insert it into every conversation with new people: I make sure they know I moved there, that I was scared, but that I did it. Those days I spent living in Boston were my glory days.

The blogger also touched on the importance of not letting that one experience become the only moment worth being glorious in your life.

And I get it. It infused me with determination. Determination to move past a situation, a decision I made I’m unhappy with. It’s made me start planning and thinking about concrete steps I can take to ensure I have more moments and experiences I can classify as my glory days–instead of just one four-month block.

I want enough experiences to fill a book. You all know that when I get in a new place I can write and write and write. My blog took off in Boston, and I’m searching for the next place I can let my words explode. It’ll be wonderful.

So, here’s to the glory days. And here’s to real people. I’m coming for those times.

Thanks for reading. I haven’t written this long of a post since I moved, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing.

The times, they are a changin’.

Remember when…

August 15, 2010 2 comments

Oh, hey! Hi. Hi.

Remember the glorious days when I used to write incessantly and then post it on Facebook so that everyone and their mom saw it?

Yeah. Those were good days. I miss them. A lot. I love writing. I gotta get back to that.

But I feel as though, in Lubbock, I’m frozen when it comes to putting my thoughts on paper. I’m so focused on not thinking about where I am, and trying to figure out where in the heck I’m actually going, that I forget to actually live day to day. It kind of sucks.

Argh.

I’m tired, so unbelievably TIRED, about constantly writing about freakin’ places I miss. Before I moved I wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of Lubbock and never, ever look back.

And then I moved. And I loved Boston, truly. But the entire time I was there I wrote about how much I missed Texas.

Now I’m back, and all I can think is that I miss Boston more than I’ve ever missed anything in the world.

My biggest problem is feeling as though I stunted my growth. When I came back from Boston I felt like a new girl. I’d faced new things and learned to stand up to problems and people and speak up for myself. I finally learned how to be confident and bold — to a point. Here, nothing really challenges me outside of work. I’ve settled back into my old life so quickly and so easily it feels like it’s swallowed me up completely.

It’s like I’m chasing this constant feeling of peace. I’m always trying to find that place where my heart actually feels still in some ways possible. My sister and my mom say I need church. But I don’t know. I think I need adventure.

I need to nurse this restless feeling and let it take me where it wants to.

What I’ve been looking into lately allows me to choose an unconventional lifestyle; a life spent stretching myself to my furthest limits and actually trying some new things out.

I want to write about actual adventures.

Half of what I loved most about living in Boston was that things constantly seemed to happen to me that made life exciting. Brilliant. Unpredictable.

A man prayed over me in Starbucks.

Steve brought me coffee every single day at that flower shop of mine.

I stumbled upon forgotten gardens on my walks.

I learned from Betsy.

I unfortunately was the victim of an Internet scam. Looking back now it’s funny, but I’m pretty sure that was the demise of my Boston experience.

I danced my heart out to unconventional bands.

I let my heart be broken a little bit by the diversity of people living in one place. Truly.

The point is, you have to have experiences to write. They always say authors write what they know, and right now, in a city where very little is happening to me, there’s not much for me to write about. And I don’t have time to be imaginative. (I mean, really? It’d take a shitload of imagination to spice up this place.)

I don’t want to moan about missing Boston anymore.

Yet, I’m not going to whine about living and working here and wanting to be out again.

All I can do is move forward. That’s a scary thought. In some ways it feels like I failed by coming back, so striking out for a second time is infinitely more scary. But hey, time will tell.

Things really aren’t so bad here.

Maybe I need to search a little deeper for those interesting moments.

But I don’t think anything will compare to getting prayed over by a man in Starbucks. We’ll see.

Jealousy is not attractive.

July 27, 2010 Leave a comment

One of my very good friends is in New York City right now, on a well-deserved vacation. It’s his first time—I’m pretty sure—to be visiting that grand place.

Although I’m excited for him, I can’t help but be jealous. Completely and totally and unattractively jealous.

In my head, I’m walking down the streets with him. Broadway, 5th Avenue, Madison Ave. We wander through Central Park, take in the grandeur of Times Square, watch the street performers in Washington Square Park.

In my head I’m striding along with a purpose again. I know where I’m going and feel as though I have somewhere to be.

I’m inhalings those smells from the street: Roasted cashews. Horses in Central Park. The smells that are vaguely identifiable but you really don’t want to know what they are.

I get lost in the intricacies of the city. I let its secrets fill me up and heal all those places inside of me that hurt.

And as I’m laying here writing this, in my bed in Lubbock, Texas, I feel that undeniable tug in my chest. The tug that only comes to me when I think about New York or Boston. It’s the part of me that finally feels alive again.                                                                        

And I have to wonder: What the hell am I doing?

 I thought adolescence was supposed to be difficult. Now I’m up against a whole new set of neuroses. Paying my rent, paying bill, car insurance, gas, groceries. When did I grow up? I don’t even have cable or Internet at my apartment for fear of not being able to afford it.

 Now I think I understand how people get in ruts so easily—and end up staying in a job they loathe. And that scares the living shit out of me.

Please, God, don’t let me get in a rut.

 And while you’re at it, please, PLEASE give me my words back. I miss them.

Categories: Uncategorized

This sucks.

July 20, 2010 1 comment

God, I miss feeling like I actually have something to write about.

Categories: Uncategorized

Read below.

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

This is fair warning to those of you who read the post directly below this one.

My grandmother died one year ago today. It was my first experience with death (and being that I’m almost 22, I consider myself somewhat lucky.)

But I miss her. And I needed to commemorate this day in some way. And since there’s no large body of water nearby (this is the damn desert after all) upon which I could set afloat a letter or something, this is the route I decided to go.

So I’m sending out this letter into cyberspace, just so I know it’s out there.

I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable.

I’m sorry if it makes you feel like I’m exposing too much.

Just deal with it.

Categories: Uncategorized