Monday, July 30, 2012

"things fall apart"

There is a book by that title, and while I have never read it (and therefore have limited knowledge of what it's about) I have often used that phrase as a mantra when life seems to, well, be falling apart. This past month I have murmured it under my breath more than once when things don't seem so be coming together in the way that I had initially hoped. But these past few days I find the opposite squeaking its way through my lips. "Things come together".
My father always told me as I grew up that 'life can change in an instant'. When I have described this to people in the past, they usually look at me sideways, and wonder about what he had meant. It was often not meant in a positive way, but more with the idea that you could slip and fall and become paralyzed, or any moment you might receive a phone call that a loved one has passed. And what he meant to impart upon me, and the lesson I took away, was to never take anything for granted. No matter how angry you are with a loved one, always end the argument with an "I love you". Take pleasure in the things you enjoy about life, and don't dwell on the negative. Because things could always be worse. You could be in a Turkish prison. And it works. I don't think there are many people out there who could say I don't appreciate the small things, or try at every juncture to remind the people I care about that I do, in fact care. Maybe it comes off as clingy, or naive. I just think it's consciousness.
But luckily that insight does often have positive repercussions. Sometimes it is the most simple things that lead to life-changing events. And that is where I find myself. While I might not be in the most optimal situation, I am on my way. A new city, 2 (possibly 3) new jobs, and a home on the horizon. Check back in 2 months and ask me. Ask me if those potlucks/birthdays/blah blah blahs I gave up all those months back in expectation of bigger things, ask me if it was worth it. I can guarantee the answer will be yes.

Things come together. Finally.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

yes, I was in China

In about 5 days, I will have been home from the far east for two months.
While time will slowly and surely wash away the majority of my tactile memories of the life I led there, I am staving off the inevitable for as long as possible. Each day I take a few minutes and close my eyes to really remember where I was, and what I was doing. The feeling of each kid's hand in mine, their little voices, the plastic grass that got stuck in my shoes. The taste of the noodles, and pancakes, and flatbread, and milk tea. The smell of barbecue, roasted chestnuts, and stinky tofu. Stories told, songs sung, lips kissed, laughter shared. These will all be gone eventually, but I am grasping at each moment they flash themselves into my consciousness.
Perhaps the most difficult part of my return is that nobody can truly know what I have returned from. All that has happened on this side of my world is the passage of time. Its no news how static Tucson is, and it became glaringly obvious how much so upon my return. Things are exactly the same. Exactly. And while I have returned an entirely different person, with new knowledge and friends, and outlooks, people expect me to be a carbon copy of my former self. And that just isn't the case. Nobody wants to hear my stories, or see my pictures, they just want me to get caught up on who fucked who and why that is important. And thats ok, because my experiences are better left that way. Untouched by the judgmental and cynical eyes that fill this town. Its just a sad truth that the people that know me best, and knew me at my best, are a world away.
I had never been happier than I was there. And to come back to such stark loneliness, although expected, is still a lot to handle.
Things will get better with time, I'm sure. But for now my heart is low and my soul is cold.

Monday, December 20, 2010

sunrise, sunset

It always seems to happen that as soon as I come to terms with leaving this place, that I fall in love with something. Or someone. Maybe its my way of backing away from my future, even though I know nothing will stop me from moving on. It will just make things a lot harder. I recently had my heart broken, and it was the most liberating thing I have ever experienced. I was finally ready. But as time moved along, I found myself becoming closer and more attached to the things in my life. Its as if I finally realized what I have had going for me this entire time. Its beautiful. And its terrifying.

Tonight, Earth experiences a total lunar eclipse. But were I standing on the moon looking back at the Earth, instead of a red haze covering the planet, there would be a halo of light surrounding it. i would be viewing every sunset and every sunrise happening on Earth at the exact same time. And on the shortest day and longest night of the year, I feel like that is something significant. Maybe its a "close a door, open a window" analogy, but seeing sunsets and sunrises simultaneously is a wonderful thought and I'm taking it to heart.

In four months I will be far from anything and anyone I consider to be 'home'. I'm going to make the best of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

an ode to trying harder

I like to think I try (do?) my best at all I take onto my plate, although lately it seems that sometimes (often?) I take a ‘pass’ for things that are the most important. Now I know, since I am the one who decides what is most important (and can’t let others try to change my mind) then I should be willing and able to adjust my behaviors accordingly, and figure out where to put my efforts. Developing a talent? Pursuing a hobby? Spending more time with the people I care about? Who knows? (I should, I suppose).
Now, the bellyache I developed today after I kamikazed three straight kombuchas in order to make up for all that lost time (due to an absurd recall), got me to thinking. Lost time is just that. (lost, obviously.) And no matter what I try to do, or how much I try to grasp at the wispy little ends of time (and places, and people) past, there is no returning home again. Isn’t that the old saying? Correct context or not, it seems fitting.
So here I am. Carpe Diem or blah blah blah. Now how am I going to take this to heart? Honestly, I wont. At least for the next few months. I’ll go ahead and waste a bit more time, have more regrets about not seeing the people I want to, not working the job I want to, not visiting the places I want to, not partaking in the activities I want to, not attending the things (parties/shows/art openings/happy hours/picnics/etc/etc/etc) I want to, and just work myself to the bone. Why? (funny you should ask). Because just MAYBE: this is exactly where I need to be right now. OK, OK. So I might have regrets, but hey, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be. (right?) Give me a few months, and ask me again. (“Are you exactly where you need to be?”) For now, (I feel pretty confident), I can say that I am. We all need to work TOWARDS something, because honestly (I think) the worst thing in life is to be stagnant.
I’ll get there. (really)

Friday, August 13, 2010

I've been home for two weeks. Since my return I have made a point to reach out to the people I need in my life, and to avoid everything I want to...well, avoid.

So on this particular night, I stayed in, and spent the evening digging in the depths of my closet, which in fact turned out to be a fruitful endeavor. My fingers happened to graze an old tape player buried beneath the layers of scarves that never get worn, shoved in the back of my closet. Initially I opened it and tossed aside the unlabeled tape that lie within, in order to play a recording of my family members in conversation that I found months ago, and have yet had the ability to play. They were nice moments, causal and nonchalant, from when I was in middle school. Simple banter between my sister mother and I, but to be honest, not much had changed. Hours later I decided to give a listen to the tape I had displaced from the player, realizing something equally as charming might be written on its shiny magnetic strip.
What I found was truly a treat. Although recorded much more recently than the other, this one being only 3 years old, the sounds coming through the tinny speakers were of three best friends, whose voices and giggles have not been in the same room in a very long time. At least in this capacity.
For an hour I listened to the tape player, with its batteries held in with a piece of packing tape, and enjoyed Carla, Carlee, a guitar, and I, humming and singing and talking in a way so familiar, although now so foreign. Now these were not great moments in the sense that they were rare. These were the same conversations we had had hundreds of times, but this was the only one that I had the ability to relive.
And it got me thinking. I, being the nostalgic so-and-so that I am, am going to purchase a little digital voice recorder and carry it around with me. Every few nights, or every few weeks I will bring it out when I am around my friends, or in a seemingly everyday situation, and just record for a few minutes here and there. I am one who realizes that the things we experience everyday should not be taken for granted. Instead of letting them fall into the past, I am going to preserve them, in whatever tiny way I can.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm ready

If this trip has taught me anything, it has taught me that I want to grow up. Jobs in coffee shops and musicians who wanna make it big (or even worse, those who don't even have the drive to try) don't do it for me anymore. I don't want to be an artist, I don't want to be a writer, I don't want to live in Tucson.
But I do want to do amazing things. Everyone I have met and become close to in the last month have taught me that there are so many great opportunities out there, without me needing to give up on adventure. I have an opportunity to work in Palestine, or Toronto, or San Francisco, and there are jobs for me in London and Ghana and Geneva. Why settle? I want to see the world, but not with a backpack on my shoulder and 20 bucks in my pocket. I want to do good things for the world and meet people with ambition. I spent the past 18 years of my life in school, and I'll be damned if thats going to waste.

Hello future, I'm here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm beginning to get anxious. How is my stay already wrapping up? So much we didn't do, and not enough time to cherish what we did. I've fallen in love with a city outside of my own. Who knew it was possible? There are so many words I should write, but I am busy drinking in my last hours here. Au revoir Amman. You have done more for me than you could possibly imagine.