I have no memory of a favorite birthday. In general, I find birthday parties to be embarrassing. I remember having one when I was 6? 7? 8? years old. I don’t remember. It was embarrassing. My most memorable birthdays have been when I was sick, crying, or lonely. I’ll be traveling to a conference on my 30th birthday. Getting older doesn’t bother me. In fact, I can safely say that I get better with each passing year. I am smarter. I understand myself better. My body is stronger than ever before. For the birthday itself, I want to be taken out to dinner. That is all.
Yesterday we shoveled gravel and distributed it over muddy walks and trails in the yard. The improvement was much needed. It didn’t take long, but the work was hard. Gravel is heavy. We work so well together. We’re happiest when we are working on a physical project together. We spent almost every weekend last summer collecting firewood in the mountains. It was hard work, and we were very happy. Days like yesterday make me wish like everyday was like yesterday, and we were together and in love and working cheerfully and in agreement. Unfortunately, our lives are such that we do not have these kinds of projects to do on a regular basis. Instead we have to deal with the daily after work fatigue, prepping dinner, watching our shows. It becomes monotonous and stressful. Neither one of us is very good at appeasing the other. Every night have to ask him to leave since I have work to do. Every night he acts dejected as he leaves. Every day I feel the burden of it. It is no way to live, and since the bulk of our time together is spent in this after work routine, our time together is often spent bickering and exhausted. After yesterday, I am questioning (again) the decision to end the relationship. We were so happy and content yesterday! I could live like that! The trouble is that yesterday was the exception not the norm, and I have to try to keep that in mind. I’ve said it before, but this relationship is going to be incredibly difficult to navigate.
I was sitting alone on a sparsely populated on airplane from Frankfurt to Helsinki. I was thirty pounds lighter than I am right now. Tanner than ever before. Hair, long and full and mostly blond. Makeup done to perfection. Gold jewelry and tight, white pants that fit to perfection as well. Conversational French on the tip of my tongue. More in my body and sure of myself than ever before. Certain I would return for a PhD. Waiting for the rest of my life to begin.
This story is bizarrely unromantic. I would have loved to develop a deep, deep crush on someone, followed by an intense getting-to-know-you period where we agreed we were kindred spirits, then pine for a kiss, and finally get it on a hot summer night, under a full moon, next to some body of water. Instead, I was at a high school play after party with a bunch of theater friends. One friend, who was a very good kisser as it turned out, kissed me. Okay, then we made out. Then, things got weird, but I won’t go into all of that. This post is just about the first kiss.
My childhood was spent playing in the forest with my brother and our friend Ryan. We lived out in the country and Ryan lived a few miles down the road. As I recall, we played together almost every day. The boys were always either playing some version of pioneers vs. Indians or Vietnam. This involved a lot of running. Since I didn’t get as worked up about either scenario, I pretty much just remember chasing after them all day, trying to keep up. In fact, to this day, I have incredibly strong, healthy ankles. I’ve never injured them, although it seems like everyone else has sprained an ankle at some point in their lives.
This fall Ryan, our childhood friend, took his own life, leaving behind a wife and two children.
I’m not the kind of person who suddenly begins running every other day for a week and then decides to get a dog as a running companion.
I live in this amazing modular-style home from the 50s. One side is floor to ceiling windows and I look out over a canopy of very old, very overgrown apple trees–remnants of an orchard that was on this hill decades ago. Before it was developed. I have a cozy wood stove in the winter. I have a breezy screen door in the summer. I keep gorgeous flowers cascading off the balcony and have a garden and plenty of outdoor space for my green thumb. We keep chickens here and eat an overabundance of eggs. I rent from my (ex?)bf. This place was one of the reasons we were able to fall into a life together in the first place. I was anxious to leave my rat cage-model and drywall dust-coated apartment. This place was the perfect sanctuary. I did not know at the time that I would end up living here, but I think on some subconscious level I knew that I might.
I move frequently from school to school, job to job, city to city, loneliness to fragile new friendship (sometimes). I always have a specific idea in mind for what my new place will look like. About half the time I get that ideal place, other other half I have to settle for aforementioned rat cage-model, drywall dust-coated apartment. As I begin to imagine my next move, to my next endeavor, my next job, I begin to imagine what that place might look like. I am not eager to leave this place–one of the best places I’ve lived–but I know that my time here is impermanent.
Day 01 – Introduce Yourself
Day 02 – Your first love
Day 03 – Your parents
Day 04 – Your music
Day 05 – Your definition of love
Day 06 – Your hobbies
Day 07 – Your best friend
Day 08 – A precious item
Day 09 – Your beliefs
Day 10 – What you wore today
Day 11 – Your siblings
Day 12 – What’s in your bag
Day 13 – Your mode of transportation
Day 14 – Where you live
Day 15 – Your childhood
Day 16 – Your first kiss
Day 17 – Your favorite memory
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday
Day 19 – Something you regret
Day 20 – Your morning routine
Day 21 – Your job and/or schooling
Day 22 – Something that upsets you
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry
Day 25 – Your sleeping habits
Day 26 – Your fears
Day 27 – Your favorite place
Day 28 – Something that you miss
Day 29 – Your favorite foods/drinks
Day 30 – Your aspirations
The white Alero. I’ve had it for years now. My family things I should upgrade to a newer car so they don’t have to worry about me when I’m on the road, but somehow I still feel really secure in my little car. Sure, it won’t last forever, but it is lasting now. I’ve always been one to buy cars within my means. I love not having a car payment. I think it’s something that has put me ahead of the game fiscally.
I have the most wonderful friends. I am not good a building relationships. I think my closest friends have probably done a good deal of the work in finding me. I had a conversation with an old friend with whom I hadn’t spoken in years, and I feel so energized by it (which is unusual since I am an introvert). But, my friends have a way of making me feel excited about life–even if their news isn’t particularly joyful.