Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 (hi again)

Another year, another end-of-the-year playlist. You know the drill. With these I'm not so much worried about, like, the flow from song to song as much as I am just getting every song somewhere in there. Actually, that's not entirely true: it always starts off somewhat chronologically and then devolves into a mess and then I try to cap it off with something marginally less depressing than what I usually listen to. That's my #formula.

Some themes that may appear in this playlist: youth, the passage of time, uh, transience, being a person is scary, and embarrassing, loving people is awful and sometimes worthwhile, growing up sucks, beauty and love persist, maybe things will get better, I want to go home. Basically. This whole year/playlist can be summed up by this one lyric from Ribs: "It drives you crazy, getting old." God bless Lorde for just Getting It.

This is a pretty conclusive summary of my year, I have to say, with the notable exception of the missing Taylor Swift. She's not on Spotify, but 1989 is definitely in my year and in my heart. Just know that. Here ya go:

I wrote a whole post about the highlights of this year to go with this playlist, but I deleted it. It wasn't  exactly a terrible year, but then again, what is? I just don't want to think about it anymore. It happened. I wrote about it, in other places, in bits and pieces. Maybe you can read about it someday in like thirty years when I'm a busy but fulfilled mother of three diving into her formative experiences again in her latest essay collection, available at all major retailers. I mean. Who knows. It was a weird year, and really hard, but at least I grew in appreciation and love for the people around me, including, possibly, myself, and at least I am permitted the privilege to dip my toes into a new year, a new day, full of possibility, if not promise. At least there is this.

Here's to 2015. Wishing you all blessings in the new year. xx

Thursday, September 18, 2014

college lyfe

I guess a post about college is probably overdue by now, considering I've been here for over three weeks -- nearly a month. To be honest, I still feel kind of weird about writing here because I know there are things I can't say because of people I know who will read this. I want to be as open and as candid as I can be, but I still have to show discretion. Which is annoying, but that's what journals are for, I guess.


I've noticed I tend to appreciate life most when it matches some idea I've acquired in my mind of how it should be; that is, when the scene in front of me looks like a picture I've seen before, or when the action or feeling of a moment reminds me something I've read in a story. I'm hopelessly idealistic in that way, my brain swamped with visions of how life could be. That's not to say I'm disappointed when life does not meet these vaguely defined expectations, for it rarely does and there is something to be said for the gritty, 'realer' experiences, but it does mean that when life happens to resemble a dream in some way or another, I am perhaps disproportionally excited and, in many ways, at peace.

In life, it is the picturesque moments that stand out and the uglier ones that I sweep under the table. By picturesque I mean beautiful -- not necessarily happy, but poetic. Something you can write about without it sounding like a grocery list. A contrast to the prosaic mundanity of the every day. This is how I live: by collecting these moments of beauty and holding fast to them, for better or worse.

This has been my experience at college as well. The moments I have enjoyed most are the ones I imagine as being lines in a poem, or scenes in a photo, or a part of a movie. I love working in the library, reading about mythology or writing a paper analyzing Sappho, because to me, that's, like, what college is supposed to be. I love lying down in the grass on a sunny afternoon, reading. I love hanging out in people's dorm rooms, watching a steady flow of people in and out, catching snippets of their stories. I love the grad school campus because it has a place in the shrubs called Narnia, but the outside looks like the Secret Garden, with a swing hanging from an apple tree. I love lying out on a hill in the dark with a bunch of people, waiting for the Northern Lights to come but knowing they probably won't (they didn't). I love that someone can text me, "hey, wanna come study?" at 8 o'clock at night and I can just walk five minutes and see them. I even love the feeling of having done my laundry, or of having taken care of some errand, not because it's pretty, but because I feel responsible and independent, and like an adult.

It's not all fun and games and picturesque moments. It's getting easier, but the first week was pretty hard. I miss my friends more than I thought possible, and I miss Sundays at home, reading the Sunday Times leisurely while Dad makes pasta and homemade bread for dinner, and I miss things like being able to walk over to my bookshelf and flip through any book at any time. Sometimes, I'll randomly wish I could be somewhere like, oh, Central Market, or wish I could eat tacos (real tacos), or pet my cats, and I....can't. But those are small things. And if I think about it, I probably have enough memories stored in my brain that I could live forever.

Sometimes it feels claustrophobic, being surrounded by people all the time, and sometimes the temptation to just stay in bed and not go to classes is Very Real, but most mornings, I wake up and I'm glad to be here.

Hope you're all doing well, wherever you are.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

another dying august

It's been a weird summer.

I was supposed to get a job, and finally get my license, and have one last fun carefree wild summer before college, but I kind of messed all that up. So it goes. I regret a lot of things, but not everything. I read a lot of good books this summer. I went camping and biking in Idaho and saw the most breathtaking places and met the most interesting people. I canoed and went stand up paddleboarding around a lake and saw two bald eagles. I went to the beach with my friends at the beginning of the summer and I still have tan lines from it. I played Paint Twister with my friends and walked around the neighborhood in the middle of the night, paint all over my clothes, paint all over my skin. I babysat for a family that just moved from Florida, played more hide and seek than I'd like. I swam in a river while it rained and swam in a different river under the light of the stars. I went running with my old teammates and jumped in Barton Springs afterwards. I learned how to do CPR, and parallel park, and bake a pie. I got my ears pierced again. I went to a One Direction concert and had the time of my life. I said a lot of goodbyes. I still have to say a few more.

I'm leaving for Oregon on Tuesday. Everything's kind of crazy right now, suitcases and duffel bags sprawled out on my floor, stacks of clothes and blankets and uncompleted to do lists. I'm leaving the house I've lived in for 18 years, in the only city I've ever called home, and for the most part, I'm done being sad about it. I'm still a little scared, but I know it'll be okay. When most of the people you love have already left, it makes it easier for you to leave, too.

I think I'll do my best to keep blogging in college. I didn't really want to leave this place. I just needed time to recalibrate. I think now's a good time to start over.

See you on the other side.