I’m Starting To Think It’s Me…

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 12.27.01

I recently took a solo trip to LA. This was born out of a desire to live there, my dad joking that I was going home to spawn, having been born in Huntinging Hospital. I won’t lie, living in California has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve read the books, seen the movies, listen to the music, was hook, line, and sinker.

Subconsciously I figured this romantic view of California was the key to solving all my problems.  Yes I know; there’s the idea of LA and then there’s the actual pounding of the pavement. That’s why I went on this trip, I finally wanted to physically see all the rough and neat parts stitched together, making a unique pattern. I wanted to find what was sold to me.

The whole trip felt a little bit like a dream. The city itself is shiny and bright but muted, so much so it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s captured the hearts of so many people. But there’s an ebb and flow, a rhythm to the city that makes my heart ache in a way I’ve never felt before. I feel like New York sings a different tune for everyone that wanders its streets. LA doesn’t give a shit what you want to hear, but if you like the sound, you’re welcome to stay and chill bit.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a bar in DTLA, and I wonder if my life would actually change If I leave NY and live somewhere else. Would being 3000 miles away from where I am now mean I will finally get my shit together? Will I actually finish something for once? Will I be disciplined and not get so distracted?

I don’t know. I’ve said those words more times than I can count in the last couple days. I don’t know. Sure it would be nice to have some sort of idea. But I’m starting to think my problems began and end with me.

Is there a way to make myself different that doesn’t include reinventing the wheel? If so, I don’t know the formula. I feel so vague sometimes about what I want and what my goals are that parts of this weekend fell short. How can something  or someplace be everything that I need if I don’t know what I want or need in the first place?

At this point I’m reminded of a quote from Khaled Hosseini. It goes, “I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” I’ve been feeling this way a lot lately. Sure I’m moving forward but to what end? What’s the purpose? What’s the point?

I of course don’t mean that in a “nothing matters” kind of way. I’m just having an issue deciphering what matters most to me. I sometimes wonder what I would do if I knew the date of my death. Would that give my arc more sense, more structure? Would a solid timeline make this seem less like an amorphous blob and more a structural unit of time? Is that even what I want or need?

What I want is to be sure. To be so sure of something that any questions or contrary statements become moot before they even reach my ears. But I don’t think that ever really happens to anyone. There are too many choices, too many different paths to take. I have a wealth of options. And I know, it’s a good problem to have.

As I am sitting in this bar alone I look around at everyone who has made this place their home. Perhaps the difference between them and me is not that they are sure, but that they are committed. Maybe they didn’t know what they wanted, but they found something and they stuck with it. I don’t know if that’s the solution. But it would make the day to day a little easier.

I think I’ll have another beer though. That’s pretty much the only thing I’m sure about. That and it smells like weed in this bar. Oh California. Stay cool and never change.


We’re Baaaaaaack

IMG_1366Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Consider this my mea culpa – for all of you who desperately missed our blog (and I’m sure there are many of you), it’s definitely my fault that we took an exceptionally long hiatus. A while ago, at the beginning of March I had a whirlwind trip to New York City in which I had an impromptu job interview followed by an impromptu job offer followed by an impromptu move followed by, followed by, followed by…

Suffice to say I’m bad at multitasking. My parents would probably disagree with this. Many a night in high school found me with schoolbooks propped up against the computer desk in the basement so I could talk to my friends on AIM while I did my homework. There was inevitably a television show playing in the background. I had a tendency to live blog Iron Chef to anyone and everyone regardless about whether they cared about champagne mixed with asparagus puree.

But as I’m sure most of you have realized, that’s not the type of multitasking I’m talking about, although I’ve gotten worse at that too over the years. But mostly what I mean is that when I’m stressed about something, be it emotional or situational, I become one of those machines that take themselves offline. Nothing but vital functions allowed. And as a creature of habit, a person who takes great pleasure in her routines, moving was about the most stressful thing I’ve done in a long while.IMG_1231

And yet – now I’m here! And just like I told myself, and just like everyone else told me too, the months flew by and I’m settling in. It no longer feels overwhelming just trying to figure out what my day-to-day looks like. I know where my grocery store is, what my paychecks look like, what my commute looks like. I know how to do my job and how I’m likely to spend my weekends. I feel like, at least at the basic level, I know how to be me in this space.

Now I’m slowly but surely adding things back in – writing more, eating better, responding to text messages (most of the time…), reading books instead of fanfic. And of course, writing blog posts. And for all of you sitting out there thinking “is she just going to quit this thing every time day to day gets a bit rocky?” well the answer is that I hope not. Hopefully I get better at this. In the mean time, things are definitely good now so you have plenty of ramblings to look forward to.

Coming up next – god only knows, but I’ve got a ton of TV to catch up on, a dangerous obsession with America’s Test Kitchen, obvious thoughts about gun control for anyone who is seeing this on Facebook, and publishing thoughts and the ever growing pile of book thoughts and THERE ARE ISLANDS DISAPPEARING IN THE WORLD GUYS??

Yeah…there’s a lot that keeps me up at night. But first, Kelly!

For All Those Things You Haul

Uhaulbot2 copySo I’m a bit of a control freak. Many of you know this about me. Many of you are laughing at the “a bit of” qualification I included in there. But for those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a control freak.

I am totally capable of letting go of things. I let other people plan trips, cook meals, do projects – all kinds of stuff, really – without my input. But for the most part this means without any of my input. If I’m going to make decisions about something, I want to make all the decisions. If I’m involved, I want to be in charge. Or, alternatively, I want to take no responsibility. None. I’ll still help, but I want you to do all the thinking.

The extremes in which I live are going to come up a lot in this blog. This is only one of many.

This tendency of mine manifests in all kinds of ways, but most relevant for today is that yesterday I drove a 10 foot UHaul truck from Alexandria, VA to Boston, MA, all by myself. Kelly came with me, but she wasn’t allowed drive, because she’s under 25. If she had been allowed to, I would have had to let her because driving 12 hours up the coast by yourself in a truck you’ve never driven before is CRAZY.

But when we were talking about her maybe driving anyway, she said, “I will let you be the passenger seat driver you’ve always wanted to be.”

My sister is a smart, responsible person. But there is exactly one person I am truly comfortable being in the passenger seat of a car with, and that’s my dad. Kelly, wonderful sister that she is, knew I would never be able to sit in that seat without clutching and pretend braking and passenger seat instructing, and she was willing to save us both a lot of grief by just letting me do it.

Driving the truck, of course, did get easier the further into the trip we got. There were even stretches of highway where I dropped my hands from the 10-and-2 position, where my hands probably never even make it when I’m driving a reasonably sized car.

There are so many things you can’t control when you’re driving – the weather, other people, small animals, traffic lights – that being in control of the car is vital to your mental well being. In a 90% empty truck, there was so much that felt out of my control, from the gut churning bounces to the appropriate speed to curve ratio. I never felt like I could truly relax. I was never quite sure what the damn thing was going to do.

Kelly was a superstar the whole day. I would have probably just ended up living in the truck on the side of the road in Manhattan if it hadn’t been for her. And really this blog post should probably end on some note about learning to let go of control or how support from people who love you allows you to loosen up.

But lets be honest. It’s mostly about how me, my sister, and a 10-foot truck all made it to Boston yesterday, thanks to Google maps and my fierce white knuckling.

Image source