Sunday, September 14, 2014

an ode to ankle biters

Okay guys. I work with kiddos now. It's not a population that I ever thought I'd be interacting with therapeutically, hence the majority of my Master's research being on elders. Kiddos weren't part of the plan. Ever. Hospice? Palliative care? Bereavement? Veterans? Yes to all. Adults speak my language. Kids? Not so much.

So when I landed this job out of the blue, one that affords me to stay in this wonderful place that I've grown to love and call home, I pretty much leapt on it without thinking too much. 

And then when I actually started thinking about it, I kind of freaked out. CHILDREN? What do I know about helping SED children? Will I even like it? Will I be an effective clinician?

However, I have to say that just in the last two weeks since I started my new job, their grubby, sweaty, sticky little fingers have wrapped themselves around my heart and claimed it. 

That's not to say that every day isn't a struggle, because really, it is. I think I spent more time on the ground and playing with legos and matchbox cars last week than really delving into my fancy interventions and therapy mumbo jumbo. And don't even get me started on the ones that want to slither on the ground and run away from me. Sheesh.

And I'm going to learn to be okay with all of that. 

The fact is that with children, they can't always delve into the reasons behind all of their actions or even really what in their lives is causing them agony. It's not always about words, but so much about behaviors and the changes from day to day. It's a different kind of intuition muscle that I'll have to strengthen and build. Which means, among other things, that I'm humbled and learning so much every single day. 

And really, what more could I ask for? Learning about the human condition, whatever the hell that is, that's what it's always been about for me. 

And while it's not always easy to be zen or even keep my cool while a small child is throwing things at me and screaming "I hate you, you're stupid!!" One moment and then the next moment wants me to read a book out loud to them, I'm finding out why people always use that cliche about patience being a virtue or something lame. 

It's heartbreaking work and heart mending work and never the same two days in a row. 

I'm happy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Berry Pickin'

Thoughts on robbing fruit trees in the alley on the walk home? 

My thoughts are that alley fruit is obviously fair game. I definitely wouldn't steal fruit from a tree off of the branches that dangled into someone's yard, but seriously, this fruit is just going to fall into the alley and consequently rot and then cause a major bee issue. 

So I think I'm doing everyone, and I mean EVERYONE a favor, by helping myself. 

You're welcome, everyone.

In other news, we have this magical fruit in Montana called the huckleberry. My entire life, I thought Huckleberry Finn was really just a camp-y name in a spectacular children's book. Not so. They are real and they are FANTASTIC. This summer, I made it my personal mission to pick my own huckleberries because not only are they magical, they also cost an arm and a leg if you buy them from someone who gathered them on their own. 
Huckleberry patches, as it turns out, are very serious real estate. People keep their spots a secret and will shed blood over their patch should an intruder come around. Also, bears REALLY enjoy huckleberries, so there is an added degree of danger. With all this information in mind, I wholeheartedly accepted the challenge. 

Sadly, I failed. 

I mean, I didn't completely fail, I went once, at the very beginning of the season. Me being, well, me, I forgot a container, so I had to use a cup I had in my car. There is a relatively well-known area pretty close to where I live where these berries are known to thrive. On public land. (Notice the veiled secrecy?) So I wandered up one day with a sparkle in my eye and a dream in my heart. 

Now, in prime season, these berries are almost the size of blueberries. When I went, they weren't even the size of a pea, which was a tad disappointing. 

But, they were still delicious. 

However. The single cupful that I gathered won't be enough to get me through the winter. Who am I kidding, they barely lasted me a single day. So, I'll once again be feeding my addiction by purchasing them from the Hmong at the farmer's market. For like 15 dollars a pound. Worth it.

I never new fruit could be so intense. 

somtimes, i wish i were actually a cowgirl.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

this would be easier if i hated my job.

I really have to pee right now but I can't leave my post at the desk right now because I'm the only person watching the phones in the office. Which, I've had at least two diet cokes, two cups of green tea, and two water bottles full of water, so I'm pretty full to bursting. In an effort to distract myself, I'm clicking away on these keys.
Here's some news, I got a job as a therapist! Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but honestly, I kind of am. I didn't really try that hard and I only had two interviews total before I was offered a job. Baller status, right? My friends hate it when I call things 'baller,' because it's really douchy, but I haven't completely worked it out of my system quite yet. I probably shouldn't post too many details about the job on here, but I'll be working with severely emotionally disturbed children, ages 5-12ish. I'm kind of scared because I don't have a ton (read: none) of therapeutic experience with children of this age group, but we're going to make it happen. I'm going to make it happen.
Getting a new job means a lot of really good things, like a lot more money and getting hours toward my LCPC licensure, but it also means some pretty sad things. The saddest of all being that I have to leave my current job. You guys, I've honestly never had a job that I enjoyed going to so much before in my life. I don't know why it is, really, because it's not really anything special. Just an office job in the food industry like I've had before, there's no reason that I should feel anything other than joy to actually enter my chosen field of vocation, which I should mention, I've sunk myself under a mountain of debt to pursue.
But there's something, I don't know, keeping my from being truly happy about the transition. I really think it's because I just enjoy spending time here. I like interacting with the customers and I love bantering with my coworkers. My boss has been totally flexible with my very part time schedule over the last year and a half and then let my transition to full time as soon as I graduated with my Masters this summer. These people that I see every day now, they're my friends. I spend more time with them than anyone else and I truly enjoy it.
This past weekend, my boss, who owns the company I work for, came to my house and helped me move all my furniture to my new place. OUT OF THE KINDNESS OF HIS HEART. Who helps people move? Even BEST FRIENDS sometimes don't help you move, because moving is THE WORST. I've found a good tribe, and
My point is that these are good people and I'm really sad to leave them and also sad that I'm going to miss the every day stuff and not get the jokes anymore. And more than that, I'm scared that I'm going to lose them as friends.

And it breaks my heart a little.

New new

Heyo! I've got a lot of changes happening right now, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I'll elaborate soon, but here's a sneak peek into my new home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

breaking up is hard to do.

Good day and a disclaimer: I'm not trying to be a total bitch, but this will probably come off that way.

I recently broke up with a dude.

We dated for five months and I really cared for him. I did. But it wasn't working out and I wasn't happy with him, so I ended it. We had many good times, but I also spent a lot of the time pretty unsatisfied.

Now, a younger version of me would have stayed in a miserable situation, totally unhappy, for a lot longer just to avoid having the awkward break-up conversation. We're talking years. And then the inevitable parting of ways would have been really ugly and destructive because I would have had a ton of pent-up negative energy toward the situation. I know this, I've done this before. Multiple times. I avoid break ups, even to the point of staying with someone I actually start to hate. And then afterward I'm filled with bitterness and anger. It's a pattern. I admit.

However, in this most recent case, I wasn't super miserable, I just knew that ultimately it wasn't a good fit and it wouldn't work out. I was basically at the end of the pre-miserable phase. About to merge onto the highway of unhappiness so to speak.

So, in a totally uncharacteristic move, I opted not to drag things out, and to just end it. I debated if I could reasonably pull this off via text or email, then mentally slapped myself across the face and internally shouted 'get it together, man!' I can be pretty avoidant, as I've mentioned above. Instead, I paced around for several moments and actually called to break things off. Yes, I realize in-person would have been ideal, but I already hadn't seen the guy for a week and we live two miles apart. He wasn't exactly trying to see me.

So, what I feel I did was the mature thing. I opted to end the relationship very directly and honestly. I didn't say anything nasty or mean and I didn't point fingers, though I certainly felt like I could have. I just told him it wasn't working out and I didn't think we were right for each other. He said 'ok' a lot and was mostly quiet. I told him I really didn't want this to be mean and nasty, and that I really like and care for him, but that it just wasn't working for me anymore. Then I asked him if he had anything he wanted to say or ask and he said no. We hung up and I went about my evening. Honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, five minutes of tough conversation and then a lot of relief.

It always sucks to be the person telling your partner that they no longer make you happy, which is probably why I live in denial and delay it most of the time.

But I did it, and I'm proud of myself. I said everything I needed to say. And I didn't attack him with my laundry list of his indiscretions.

Fast forward to now, two weeks later.

This guy is now harassing me via text and gchat. The two means of communication that I opted out of when deciding to break up. He's saying nasty things and trying to make me commit to plans to 'meet up and talk' and then failing to follow up on these plans, even when I agree. I have no interest in meeting up, I'm good with how things ended, so if he wants to meet up, he's going to work pretty hard to make that happen. As in, not expect me to seek it out, ever, because I am in no way interested in doing that.

At this point, I've asked him not to contact me anymore multiple times. It looks like things are getting nasty, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid, because I do actually care for him. Apparently the feeling is not mutual. Which is fine, because I'm fucking free. I get that we can't control other people's reactions to things, and I know that he's hurt and upset, but for crying out loud, I'm not a mean person or a monster or a coward- which for the record, were all labels I was attempting to avoid.

What would a responsible adult do now? My maturity has a limit. Halp.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

butter is the true hero here.

I'm on the move again dudes and dudettes. 

I can't believe that I've lived in my current domicile for over a year, it truly boggles my mind how fast the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday we were dancing around to Paul Simon and drinking beers on the back deck. Okay, that was yesterday, but still. 

 Which brings me to my next point, why do I keep doing this to myself? Packing is the worst thing in the world. Worse than doing dishes, getting a root canal, and cooking for one combined. I'm moving less than a half a mile away, into my own place, but I still can't really conceive how all of my crap is going to get from point A to point B. And lets not even go into how I have like 20 dollars for the next two weeks thanks to putting down a deposit and signing a lease in the middle of the month. Woof. (I'm trying the 'woof' thing out because my much cooler friends have been saying it lately to express distaste. Or at least I think it's to express distaste. They're so much cooler, sometimes I don't know for sure.)

Despite the hassle of carting my shit around, I'm pretty excited about my new apartment. It's in an old historical building and, not to brag, but Teddy fucking Roosevelt stayed there once. At least I think that's what my landlord said. He said a lot of things. And I had to sign both mold and lead paint waivers. Plus it's called the Sacajawea Lodge, or just The Sac, which I find hilarious because I'm obviously still in seventh grade. 

More importantly though, how appropriate is it for me to sneak back into my old yard to harvest the vegetables I've slaved over for the past four to five months? Is that allowed? Because I clearly did all the work and I'm not about to let some rando eat all my peppers, carrots, lettuce, melons, tomatoes and broccoli. Though really, they can have the kale, beets, and zucchini, I've had my fill. Probably forever. Kale, if you're such a super food, why don't you taste better? In my opinion, butter and bacon are the true food superheroes. And whatever sauce they put in Taco Bell quesadillas. That shit is amazing.

Not that I frequent Taco Bell.  I'm an adult. Clearly. 

I pick up my keys tomorrow. Send 'you can do this' vibes. Please and thank you. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

returned from..... wherever

For the last two years, I haven't written on this blog consistently. 'Patchy' probably describes my writing, at best. This place doesn't feel as safe and private as it once did, and so part of my candid speech is gone, which makes it feel a little inauthentic, which makes it hard to write.
So, I've gone back and forth about what to do. Not writing or continuing to not write very much is not an option. I need to be writing, it feeds my soul. The way I see it, either I can pack it in and call it a day here and start a new blog that will give me more anonymity like Landlocked & Loaded used to do, or I can just say 'fuck it' and be unapologetically me.

Sadly, this was a tougher choice than it should have been. Of course I want to just be me and say 'screw the haters' or whatever people say now to their haters. But I have a career, and strong opinions, and a family that I don't want to disappoint with some of my more wild actions.

Ultimately though, I just can't imagine deserting Landlocked & Loaded. She's been with me for so long,  doesn't deserve to be abandoned and left for dead. Besides, the title is still accurate, I am indeed landlocked. Though the mountains all around do mostly make up for it.

I guess what I'm saying, is I know there will be more backlash offline than online for the choice I've made here, but it's a risk I've got to take. I'm back, and it's time to make some changes. I hope you'll join me.

Love and the like,


Monday, June 2, 2014

humans at their worst.

I want to get into a physical fight with you.

Hopefully it starts at a bar around closing time. Yeah. We should both be drunk. I’ll make a snippy comment and your entire demeanor will change as you say “Whatever” to me. Maybe you’ll leave, walk out the door without waiting for me. I’ll stride after you in the dark, yelling behind you until I catch up.

Maybe we’ll stop for a moment to really get into each other’s faces on the gum-stained sidewalk. Our expressions will be hideous, but it’ll be too dark to really see each other clearly. We’ll both start piling our complaints into the kitchen sink of our problems. They’ll get bigger and bigger because we’ll both to trying to be the one to hurt the other more. A race to the bottom in a sense.

I'll stalk off and you’ll pretend you’re not going to follow me, but you have no other place to go and I know it, so you’ll be forced to tail me. I won that one.

When we get home, I’ll leave the door wide open to let you know I knew you’d need me. That you had to come home. And then I’ll start slamming things around. Probably in the kitchen. I’ll be fuming to myself under my breath at you, but I’ll make sure it’s loud enough for you to catch the obscenities. My complaints will be boiled down to a string of insults at this point because I’m feeling pretty void of reasoning right now.

You’ll say something, maybe my name repeatedly, but I’m too wound up so I’ll just go on cursing and ignore you.  I think now you’ll grab my wrist to try to get my attention. I’ll rip my arm away violently and slap your face with my other hand. Not really hard, but the look on your face will be priceless.

We’re at the point of no return, dear. 

This is when things get really ugly. You’re going to make yourself as big as possible, really puff up your size for intimidation. Scare me, stand over me. Get closer and closer, menacingly. I think you should shove me, just a quick push, when I refuse to back down from your ominous advance. I’m probably drunk enough that fear isn’t even part of my repertoire anymore.  I’ll stumble backward into the wall and slide to the ground when you shove me. It’ll surprise both of us.

My eyes might well up with tears. But I’m not really sad, I’m furious. So when your eyes soften a little and you reach down and grab my arm to help me back up, I’m going to sink my teeth into the back of your hand. I’ll barely break the skin before you wrench your injured limb upward to get away, directly into my nose. My head will hit the wall behind me and I’ll shake it back and forth a few times, out of instinct, to get my bearings back.

I’m going to launch myself at you now. My arms are going to flap desperately and as powerfully as possible, as if I’m taking flight. I’ll be pounding on your chest and arms in perfect rhythm. At first you won’t know what to do, until I bring my knee into your crotch, hard. You’ll get a handful of my hair on the way down. You’re going to yank me down to the ground and pin my limbs down under you.

Did I mention that my nose is bleeding? Because it really is.

There’s a fair amount of blood on both of us. You’re still pinning my head to the ground with your grip on my hair. The instant our eyes meet, I’m going to spit in your face.

We’re both red-hot angry.

You release me now, swipe my face hard, then wipe your face and stand up. You walk away from me, punch the wall to the left of the door. We haven’t spoken a word to each since our fight got physical. You open the front door, slam it as hard as you can, twice, then walk through the threshold.

You will pull the door silently shut behind you without so much as a backward glance. I'll scream ‘FUCK YOU’ at the closed door and then strain to hear if you’re walking down the hallway for several seconds. I’ll run to the door and fling it open while wiping my nose. Blood is everywhere. I’ll rush out the door and be struck dumb to see you sitting against the wall next to the door with your head in your hands.

You didn't leave.

We’re both breathing hard, practically gasping for air. I’ll crouch down in front of you. And reach for your arms. When we meet eyes, I give you a small shrug. You'll know what it means. You’ll reach up and wipe some bloody snot off of my face. We'll look at each other for a long time.

Our pulses are slowing.

We'll hold hands, facing each other as we stand in unison. I will fall into your chest now, and you’ll fold your arms around me and kiss the top of my head. You'll rest your face in my hair as we stand there.

Eventually we’ll walk back into the apartment. It’s a nice apartment, really, minus the fist-sized hole in the wall and the broken dishes. We won’t say a word to each other as we take off our clothes and climb into bed, clinging to each other for dear life.

We've probably said enough anyway.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

here and now.

Tomorrow would have been my beloved Nan's 80th birthday. 

While I've genuinely missed her every day since she left us in bodily form on January 24th, today was particularly rough. 

Maybe it was the release of anxiety and tension that came with completing my final comprehensive exams to finish my master's degree this morning, or maybe just the fact that I wish she was still a person I could call to talk to about it, I can't distinguish. 

The fact is that this grief, this undoing sadness, is different from the normal sadness of losing her. 

Today is a reminder that she won't be there to talk to over the phone or in person to dismantle and dissect the bigger and smaller moments of my life from now on, as she has been for my forever. I knew when she died that she'd never attend my wedding, never see me be a mother, never witness my life in a stable form. And it was a bone deep sadness for something that just isn't real to me yet. 

But these smaller markers, they hit me hard. When I realize I'm happy and I no longer get to share them with her. When i feel a connection with someone new, when they do the things she would have known felt perfect to me, and I can't just say that to her and have her just intrinsically know. 

Of course I still talk to her often, our dialogue is open and rich, even though I now take on both parts. I feel fortunate to have known her well enough that I get to feel like our conversation is still two-sided. A death does not end a relationship. I remind myself. 

It's the one sided conversation that I fear. That I dread. The one where I have to somehow make peace with her being gone. I still don't have the words for that. 

Monday, April 7, 2014


Okay you guys. 

Spring break is over. I mean, I have no idea what happened. One minute it was starting, and the next it was just...over. So weird. I think stuff happened in the middle, but, time just kind of sped up and got away from me.

I basically didn't even leave Missoula, which is fine because I love it here and I feel like this is the kind of place people come for spring break, so whatever. My beloved jeep finally pooped out, so I'm weighing my repair options. Read: I haven't done my taxes yet, so I may or may not currently lack the fundage to bring her back to life. I'll keep you posted. A guy at work maybe has a tiny crush on me, so when he found out my vehicle was on the fritz, he miraculously remembered he has a friend who is a jeep whisperer. 20 minutes later said friend was prepared to be at my service! It pays to be friendly. And by friendly I mean snarky and pithy in general, because some people like to be messed with, and there's a rapport to giving people shit, I think. It works for me, anyway.

But what I mean is that I'm not fretting about the car. I rode my bicycle to school this morning and while it was a pretty sweaty and winded affair, mostly because my tires are really flat, I feel really good about it now. Plus I did sign up for a half marathon in July, so I should probably start moving my ass. Also, riding my bike to school means that Spring has sprung! (I really hope I didn't just jinx it.) 

Yesterday I planted starter seeds in my little indoor terrarium in preparation for our garden this summer. It's going to be amazing! Humans should grow more of what we eat! I also watched the documentary Hungry For Change yesterday while eating pizza I had delivered and it really freaked me out. I mean, I get it, I'm an adult. I know enough about nutrition to know that I shouldn't drink diet soda or eat anything with an expiration date that will outlive me. But shit, realizing the things we put in our bodies, the things I put in my body, is seriously nasty. Disgusting. And the sugar in everything! And the chemicals! I eat a lot better here in MT than I ever did living in the Midwest, but really, that's not saying much. So anyway, that's a new goal of mine, to eat more cleanly. I'm not saying I'm going to run out and buy a juicer, but I think I'm going to try to at least have an idea of where my food is coming from. As a person who is OFTEN guilty of eating my feelings, this should be interesting. 

On another note, I've got comps in like two and a half weeks and just a few projects and whatnot and then BOOM graduation. Also, BOOM, summer. Comps is really really scary to think about since it's a test and I'm a paper-writing person, but once it's over I'm essentially FREE, so I just need to look through it to the other side. 

And thennnn boom, real life. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. 

Have a mentioned that my family is coming for my graduation? Because they are, and I'm fucking psyched about it. My parents are bringing my youngest brother and my grandfather with them and I'm going to show them the gloriousness of my life in Montana. Both of my parents have been out to visit before, as has my brother, but my parents were here before I really knew where the hell I was and what I was doing with my life. Now that I actually have my bearings and a life and FRIENDS and a feeling of belonging, I think it will be fun to show them around. Maybe they will come closer to understanding why I have to be here instead of back east. Nah, they'll never understand that. 

Okay. So that's where I am with my life right now. Brigit and I bought a fire pit the other day and had a bonfire in our yard. We'd been mulling it over and talking about it for weeks, so it was a very exciting event to actually have it come to fruition. Although it definitely made me miss the bird-bath fire pit from my days living downtown Indianapolis with Katherine. Cheers to a Spring full of bonfires, bike-rides, and big gardens!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

on being a chicken shit. under the guise of control.

I'm taking a class this semester which makes me take really honest, uncomfortable looks at my life and myself. I would argue that these are the best kind of classes, even though they are hard and trying emotionally more than academically. Getting my Master's in counseling has been an entire journey in self-discovery, and while I'm extremely grateful, I'm also exhausted. 

But I'm here to write more specifically on this wonderful, albeit at times shaming-inducing and embarrassing class. 

I've always considered myself one of those people who never cries. For me it was a measure of strength, and I think there was even a bit of pride in being the kind of person, perhaps more specifically the kind of woman, that has control over my emotions. But do I really?  When I think about that now, I feel a little silly. Because in truth, I'm a HIGHLY emotional person. I'm one of those people with big, extreme moods and messy expressions of love and pain. I just got so good at putting a hard shell around it, withdrawing, successfully avoiding emotion that I was a sort of robot-person. Really, I wasn't in control, I was just terrified of what would happen if I had feelings, that I buried them. I like to feel safe, emotionally, even though I'm rather reckless in most other aspects of my life. Emotions are messy and unpredictable and powerful. They're raw. I like to appear polished and rational, self-assured. 

There's nothing wrong with being that way, except that I now really believe it's completely contrary to my authentic nature as a human being, as a helper. As a person swollen with empathy. Writing has been the only place in my life that I've let myself go, and even in that, there's a risk. 

And now I'm off-topic again. 

I'm just trying to explain. Tonight in class, the topic was apologies. What makes a good one? What does a bad one look like? Is hearing the words as important as a change in action by the person that did you wrong? So we had this assignment, and it was to come to class with a written apology, one you wished you would have given to someone you wronged or one you wish you would have gotten from someone who wronged you in some way. 

And suspicion crept in as I was thinking about what I was going to write about. I got this sneaking sense that we would all be sharing what we wrote with the class. So I typed out a bullshit apology to a faceless person about abusing the parking system at the university and came to class feeling safe. Last week, I broke down crying when I gave some of my thoughts on suicide, which was the topic that class. It was scary, I felt out of control, not just my voice and my face coloration, but in the slippery slope release can be on such a charged topic.

I've done wrong and I've been wronged. Not more and not less than anyone else, I don't think, but I have tons of actual examples in my life I could have drawn from. I can make a mountain out of almost any mole-hill when I start writing. It's what I do. In order to feel safe in my emotions, I have to explain and dissect them, and I can only do that through writing. It makes me feel more organized, seeing it all there in print. 

The people in my class, and there aren't that many of us, maybe 15, took risks. Almost all of them. And as I heard their stories and watched them struggle and cry and bravely share, I was ashamed of myself. Here I am, one of the few grad students in the class, and I'm in a program that has me talking about feelings for a living, and I can't muster an authentic apology to share with these people who have only ever been supportive?

So it comes to the end of class and I'm the only one who hasn't shared. And my teacher looks at me. And I say to the class, "I'm so embarrassed you guys. I didn't take this assignment as seriously as I wish I would have and now that I've heard all of your stories, I'm ashamed. I'm sorry, you guys. I was scared." And I read it and people laughed and they didn't seem mad at me for not exposing myself like they did. 

But I just felt so, overwhelmingly selfish and shallow and pathetic. 

And so now, I think it's time to do this assignment over. With feeling. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

hanging in there

I'm  basically white-knuckling life this week because spring break is next week and I have a really bad attitude about school right now. Mostly I think I'm just burned out and worried about what the hell I'm going to do with my life after graduation on May 17th.

It's rapidly approaching.

Does everyone else constantly question, like, every single one of their life decisions on a moment to moment basis? Or is that just me? I never really thought of myself as someone that has a hard time committing to things, but I'm starting to wonder.

I'm a HUGE believer in all that "trust the universe" granola hippy-dippy bullshit, but maybe my connection with said universe has been interrupted or something because I think about paying my student loans back and I kind of feel compelled to go off the grid. But like, for real go off the grid, not the idealistic going off the grid I talked about when I was 24 and my brain hadn't started working yet.

Whatever, I need to complain less. Sometimes I get this (idiotic) idea in my head that somehow complaining about things is funny for other people, but really I think it just makes me look annoying and ungrateful.

So let's go ahead and move on.

This weekend, Courtney, Aubrey, and I went on an adventure. They are my roommates and also Courtney has been my best friend for almost ten years, since the fateful moment that we met in the Ohio State dorms. Aubrey is in my grad program and also one of those soulmate kinds of friends that you feel comfortable talking to about bowel movements and awkward sex positions.... sometimes in the same breath. We accidentally watched a lesbian porn the other day, disguised as a regular old French netflix movie, but that's a story for another time. Just let me say that I looked over at Aubrey and said "Sooooo, this is something I never thought we'd do together." And then we both started cracking up as the ladies on screen transitioned from 69 to ass-to-mouth. It was interesting.

Anyway, back to the adventure.

One of Courtney's bucket list items was to go see the great snow goose migration. It happens every year when they head back to Canada. So we drove East, across the Rocky Mountain Front (continental divide) and camped and then woke to have our worlds rocked by birds. It was amazing and fun and I really needed it.

Below is a short clip from our adventure. It was A LOT colder than anticipated, since Spring has reached Missoula, but not apparently Freeze Out Lake, MT.  We're discussing the finer points of our camping method for the night. Enjoy.

Bucket list item, check check.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Buried Treasure

still taking awkward selfies after all these years. 

The other night I was waiting for the new Veronica Mars movie to download onto my computer.  Don't even get me started on why I was downloading it instead of going to the theater. Okay, actually I'll just tell you. It's because no fucking movie theater in the entirety of the state of Montana was playing the film. I considered for a fleeting moment driving to Washington to view the movie so that I could see it in a theater, but then realized I wouldn't have a place to stay afterward or a car bud to keep me awake on the drive home. But that's neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that I was waiting for this movie that I've been waiting for 7 years to finish downloading and I seriously needed to chill the hell out. Tension was running high. 

So I did what any normal person would do, I exhausted Facebook, Thought Catalog, and Pinterest. And then I still had like 71 more minutes of downloading or something, so I got creative. I decided to go through my old draft folder in gmail. Just to you know, see if I had anything good. 

As of this moment, I have 653 drafts in gmail, which I realize is pretty ridiculous. But it's where I go to just jot down a couple of lines I think about or go on pissed off stream-of-consciousness rants. It's my thing. My draft folder is like, really close to my heart. It's also kind of a deep abyss of curiosities and antiquities and embarrassingly shitty writing. 

I don't delve very deep very often. 

But you know, I had some time on my hands and about three beers in my belly, so I dove right in. I found a lot of things. Essays I'd started about my Nana, years before she died. Ranty bitch fits about my best friends in those moments when I actually had the luxury of being close enough to them physically to be annoyed by anything they did, instead of just missing them desperately. And about 200 pages of a story that I started writing four years ago and just kind of ....forgot about. It was all so earnest, you know. I was discovering so much and meaning everything that I felt SO MUCH. 

It was a comfort, you know. To read and think from the voice of the girl that I was, the girl that I'll always be. Romantic and reckless and scared and self-conscious all at once, most of the time. Sometimes I forget myself, all these places that I go, all these things I get swept up in. This was a strong dose of identity. 

Finding my voice, deep and unexpected in my draft folder, it was like finding buried treasure.  

Oh, and Veronica Mars, that was a treasure too. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

good days.

I decided several weeks ago that, from now on, I'm only going to have good days. 

Don't get me wrong, I know that's a totally ridiculous to make a claim like that. And further, I KNOW me, I know exactly how little it takes to totally knock my day off the rails. I've always believed in bad days as simply the means necessary to really enjoy good days. 

Historically, I've had a pretty high good to bad day ratio. I'm a pretty happy person. I laugh a lot. I make other people laugh. I indulge myself. I pursue my interests. I'm fucking privileged. The world is on my side, what do I possibly have to be unhappy about? 

But you know, logic doesn't always win out. 

So, for about four months I was having A LOT of bad days. Like, a lot. Way more bad than good. I kept telling myself "Tomorrow will be the day I start pulling myself out of this." And then it was tomorrow and I just really couldn't find it in me. Of course, there were happy times in there. Obviously. But I was sad in the way where you feel like you're not living in your body anymore. Like, I really didn't care about how my parts felt, I was just slogging myself around from one place to the next, trying to get home so I could have a GD beer or six and go to bed and do it all over again. The sadness was bigger than me. 

And then my Nana died. My one person in the world who really, really understands me and still thinks I'm like the greatest thing that has ever walked the earth. Gone. Just like that. Practically no warning. I haven't really found the words to describe that one yet. 

And I think that was my tipping point. I really felt like, right then, I could just break into a million tiny smithereens and say 'fuck all' to the pieces. And really, my heart is broken. I'm really sad. But I'm not like, throw a glass against a brick wall with all your might, boom the glass is a metaphor for your spirit broken. I'm just sad. The ache-y, wake up crying and sometimes run down the rabbit hole of your memory with the company of a whole bottle of wine kind. 

Anyway, where were we? 

Oh yeah, the "Every day is going to be a good day" thing. 

It's not like, a fool proof plan or anything. But I try my tits off every day to not let myself get derailed. Sometimes days are good in different ways, and I'm trying to acknowledge that. For example:

Good outfit days
Good productivity days
Good find on Netflix days
Good hair days
Good clean room and fresh sheets days
Good discussion in class days
Good jokes at work days
Good conversation with friends days
Good craigslist missed connection days
Good book, so good I can't put it down, days
Good competence as the TA of my department days, when I avert crisis and save the day!
Good people-watching days
Good mountain adventure days
Good sunlight days
Good sit around on the couch with my roommates days

You get the gist. 

Anyway. I signed up to run a half marathon. And I am chewing fucking Nicorette, which is awful. And I drank tea instead of a cocktail last night. I skyped one of my friends AND my family the other day instead of avoiding phone calls. And I'm wearing less makeup. I did laundry! I'm doing that thing where you start clawing out of the hole. It was really hard at first, but I'm climbing out. Little by little. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

on my way back.

I know what happens when I stop writing.

I know the sensation of soul being further and further from body until you look down at your legs and haven't considered how they feel for weeks and weeks. In fact, maybe you can't remember how any part of your body feels. You've stopped considering your body. You're on auto-pilot, going through the motions. I know the dips and deep, hollow sadness that comes when I stop writing. 

And yet. 

I seem to keep doing it. 

Getting back into writing is a battle. Everything takes so much effort and sounds like shit and misses the mark. But if I can just force myself, it gets easier. If I can force myself to be gentle and patient with my soul, it gets better. 

Right now I need to start writing again. For self preservation. Because it's hard. Because at the end of the day, I love to write. 

Three weeks ago my favorite person in the entire world died. Three months from now I graduate with my Master's. 

Highs and lows, highs and lows. 

Hi. Hello.