The Air I Breathe….

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Every once in a while I read a FB status update from someone in my previous life, and it sparks a memory of who I used to be, the life I used to live.  It makes me wonder if I’ve deviated from the path I should be on.  It makes me wonder if I’ve sacrificed parts of myself, essential parts, parts that gave me an innocence and wholesomeness.  I don’t mean to say that I wish I was a naïve little girl or ignorant of life and the world its wonders.  I mean to say that I think that I used to possess a quality(ies) that I’ve lost somewhere along the way.

I am/was so determined to experience more of life and see more of this world that it proved to be impossible not to be impacted it, and changed by it – and perhaps not all of it has been good.

I was thinking about how everyone’s perceptions of me seem to be that I’m quite a few years younger than I am.  While this appeals to my vanity in the fact that I’m virtually wrinkle free, deep down I don’t think this is a good thing.  It strikes a chord in me because it makes me wonder if I act younger than I am, and if I’m not where I should be at my age.

At first glance that comment may seem like I’m comparing myself to societal norms, but I don’t mean that at all.  What I mean is: am I living up to my potential of 30 years on this planet?

If I hadn’t moved to this city, would I be a different person?  Without a doubt.  And so, I wonder if these nearly five years of experiences have made me a better version of myself, or if they’ve made me more jaded, more prone to give up my beliefs, increasingly hardened to accepting love, more concerned with my appearance, more judgmental of others….  The answer is yes to all of those things.  It’s possible to feel completely alone in a city of eight million; I know this to be true because I’ve felt it.

I see the posts on facebook and they’re filled with simple happiness, giving thanks for the blessings in their lives, a true groundedness that I haven’t felt in a decade.   I don’t know if these reflections amount to change or, even much at all.  But I do know I’m searching.  I’m searching for something.  I’m searching for my place in this world.


I Want to Wear This as My Talisman

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How Does It Feel…

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“Vanilla colored flannel sheets.  I’d been walking around downtown Manhattan in the dead of night for one hour? Two hours? Hours.  Chilled to the bone, I actually ran home.  Subway door to front door, I ran.  I ripped away my clothing and dove into my bed.

I thought the flannel would make me warmer, but it only insulated the cold.  I shivered.  The conversation from out of doors was brought indoors.  While it artificially warmed my heart, my body remained frozen.  I should have drawn a meaning line from that to this.”

I wrote those words in February and never finished my thought(s).  It was one of those evenings where I could just feel it was filled with promise before the sun was close to setting.

After-work work obligations took me through the early hours of the evening and I knew before I even left the party that I was going to be headed to new territory.  We met in a bar in a neighborhood I’d never been and can’t remember.  Like most NYC bars that classify themselves as trendy, it was lowly lit and too loud; the cocktails too expensive and just strong enough.

You talked and I pretended to listen.  Frankly, I couldn’t hear most of what you said but it clearly didn’t matter.  We were talking with our body language instead.  We left after two drinks? Three?  And then we walked.  Walked.  I wore a skirt, tights, flats.  For a Buffalo girl, I should have been used to the chill, but I wasn’t.

The chill slipped its icy fingers through my flesh and into my bones.  Twinkling lights from churches and rooms with no one in them lit our way.  As we passed the gated church, I resisted the urge to reach out and see if the garden gate was as locked as it seemed to be.  I wanted to go in.  I wanted my surroundings to be as quiet as the conversation we were having.  We walked to your building and you made up reasons why I couldn’t come up.  It didn’t bother me.  We turned and retraced our steps, finding our way to my subway stop. I was frozen to the core but I didn’t want to the night to end.

It didn’t.  I dove into those vanilla sheets and fought the icy chill of the evening.  I was losing the battle.   What I remember from that evening is how it felt.  Those sheets on my frozen flesh, the chill that I couldn’t shake, the satisfaction of my small victory, the thrill of a conversation held in the dark.  Thrills are cheap.  Thrills don’t last. Thrills fade, just like an icy chill.  They fade.

Moving Forward, Not Looking Back

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So, my plan. The Plan didn’t come to fruition.  In fact, it was trampled on in it’s infancy.  The Plan was: move, move to Raleigh, move to Buffalo, live where I wasn’t tied down with a lease, save up a shit ton of money (which I could do since I’d be living in Buffalo or Raleigh) and save enough money to quit in June, traveltraveltraveltravel until the funds ran out and start over again in another city.  That was The Plan.  The Plan didn’t even get out of the gate.

And so I’m here.  Still.  In the same life.  Doing the same thing, different day.  Same rhythm, same existence, same mistakes, same kryptonite.

If you had told me one year ago that this is where I’d sit, I’m not sure I would have believed you.  In fact, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have changed one single action or decision.  I’m stubborn like that.

What do you do when you find yourself in a life you don’t particularly love?  Because, shouldn’t you LOVE your life?  You make changes.  I’m making changes.  I’m trying not to make the same mistakes…..I’m not going for another ride on this carousel.  I’ve been going round and round and while it’s fun at first, eventually you realize your view never changes.

Facing the parts of my life that need some work is not as scary as I thought it would be.  It’s actually pretty simple.  You just do it.  It’s as simple as that.  It’s not going to be perfect, its not going to be smooth, it’s going to be the path avoided, never traveled.

In love: I’m not riding this carousel any more and I’m not content to live marginally.  I want it all.

In job: I guess it’s time to not be complacent.  Let’s see what’s out there, shall we?

In finances: let’s get solvent shall we?  Let’s plan a trip, plan a future, plan for a rainy day.

I dont know how it happened, because I’ve been avoiding these changes like the bubonic plague for a long time….but it did.  I woke up and am moving forward.  I’m not looking back.

I took this picture last week at the Canadian family compound:


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I laid on my side curled in comfort and groggy but happy to hear the sound of contact. Left hand on left hip bone, left elbow pulled by gravity; carelessly strumming and thinking about my skeleton.

I see my world through blue eyes, blue veins, blue skies. Creating drama where there might be none, I wear black stockings in the winter, none in the summer and relish when I notice the male head that does the double take and lingering look.

I had a conversation about thinking about the world versus what it feels like to be in this world. Perhaps my thoughts are elementary but I strive to feel, not much to understand. The feel of my leg underneath my palm, the curls in my hair wrapped around my pointer finger, the ridge of my nose, the twin beauty marks on my left and right thigh.

I’ve spent time thinking about the meaning behind dry maple leaves and what it means to have a sweet sense of time but questions asked in the dark are never answered in the light.

Floating vs Steering


A wise older brother recently told me that he was concerned for me because he saw that I didn’t seem to be making choices in my life; rather letting the direction of my life make choices for me.  This is what I call the act of: “ninja-ing my brain”.  It was a light bulb moment. There is a family trait of complacency, one that up until now I thought I had been immune to.  I tend to be very proactive and decisive.  The stubborn streak in me wants what it wants and no one is going to tell me otherwise until I make up my mind on my own to do or change or move.  Once I make up my mind – I’m on it.  Proactive, moving forward, conquering all.

Mon frère was correct.  I wasn’t making choices, I was letting the direction of my life make the decisions for me.  I was floating down the river of life, going wherever the river was headed – not steering my life myself.  Ninja.

I guess you could say that this wasn’t the genesis of my decision to shake my life up.  I’d say that turning 30 was the beginning.  “I’m thirty. THIRTY. What am I doing with my life?? Where am I going? What am I doing?” I’ve been asking myself those questions since March.  In January I marked the four year anniversary of living in this city.  I”m pretty much doing the same things now that I did when I moved here at 25.  And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

As much as watching Sex and the City can be entertaining, I do NOT want to be those women.  I don’t want to take the next four years of my life and be doing the same thing I’ve been doing for the last four.  That’s not living, that’s existing. And I’m done simply existing.  It’d be extremely easy for me to just stay here, just continue to live.  Same life. Same job. Same extracurricular activities. Sure it’s fun, but does it all mean and what’s the point?

And so, things must change.  There are things in my life that just aren’t working for me any more.  Elements and relationships that aren’t what’s healthiest or best for me.  And so, things must change.  I’m losing weight again after a year hiatus and while this next chapter is slightly scary for me, I’m excited for it.

I’m leaving behind the unhealthy elements of my life and looking forward to the promise of happiness that comes with embracing challenges.  Stepping out of my comfort zone has always proven to be a growing zone.  It’s been difficult, without a doubt – but my rewards have been more than worth it.

I’m formulating a plan that will change everything in my life drastically and this week I will know for sure what my next great adventure will be.

Let’s see what this week holds — heads or tails, I’m moving on.

If You Stare at the Sun Too Long

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Like waves crashing on the shore, my emotional strength was worn away, worn away, worn away.  And so I did something I never do.  I felt something I never feel.  I exhaled in a way I never allow myself.  I cried.

This truth is proving harder and harder to ignore.  I type, I talk, I live, I feel.  I never say.  A pillar of strength, self assured and confident; tonight I crumbled.  I don’t want to regret, I can’t say my life choices are mistakes.

Drastic changes require drastic measures.  I need to make that leap, but I’m not ready to jump.

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