July 4, 2012 § 3 Comments
On twitter last week, a Jezebel writer wrote that she’d seen a girl crying on her cell phone outside a bar.
“Never going to be that girl again,” she tweeted.
I starred it.
I’m not sure what the technical proximity is to whether or not you’re “outside the bar” but I was two blocks from 10th and Willow on Sunday when the tears hit hard. God. Some guy looked at me all judgmental like maybe I’d been dumped and needed to pull it together, and I wanted to pull my phone away from my face and cuss the shit out of him that I really just missed my mom.
He was gone by the time I got relieved I hadn’t done that. I mean, crazy crying girl you think is pathetic because she’s dumped actually turns around and yells at you for raising your eye brows because she misses her mother?
But I digress. It wasn’t even my mom in particular that I missed, although it was her voice that brought the tears. It happened like it did when I was 14 and calling home from a summer camp I never wanted to go to. God. Mom! This is hard. I don’t know where I fit. I don’t like the planned activities! Can I come home yet?
Nothing’s going like I planned, Mom.
I came to New York looking for gold. I was told it would be difficult, building a life here for myself. But I’m more than a dreamer – I’m a do-er. I’m a make it happen -er, I’m a hustler, I’m a bust balls till it comes to life -er. And, that’s why I came.
A friend told me tonight that I was a ball buster. “You’re organized and you push hard,” he said. “You push really hard.”
He meant it positively. But I know I push so damn hard I break. That’s what the two-blocks-from-the-bar cry was. I broke. Done. Over. Finished. Don’t ask me for one more thing, New York. I’m out of steam, chutzpah, bravery. Cut me some slack. Hand me a friend. Give me a break.
I felt utterly alone this weekend. Not just alone, but alone in a place with a lot of people where no one really knows me. There’s not a sofa for miles that I could curl up on and feel understood without explaining myself.
This kind of echoing aloneness has happened twice in my life. It happened for the first time in Haiti, when I had signed on for a summer of volunteerism in Port-au-Prince. I was 18. I showed up excited. Two weeks in, without running water or internet and tired of my developing heat rash, all I wanted was to lie flat and silent on American soil for hours. It happened again at 20, in Washington DC when I got the phone call that my 7-year-old cousin’s cancer had relapsed. No one even knew the name, “Max,” or what it meant to me. Hell, my roommates were still learning my name. I came downstairs to a flirtatious guy from across the hall and a long guilt trip about my refusal to come on a late night dessert run.
I told the flirtacious guy to get the fuck out of my apartment, and I cried in the shower until my ribs hurt.
I kissed him two years later at a pool party in downtown Los Angeles, and I told him I was sorry. He smiled, like people who know you do, and he said, “we were both in bad places.”
Thing is, I look back on Haiti and DC as two experiences that changed my life completely. I’m so glad I stayed, pushed through – made myself keep going past the point of lost chutzpah. I wouldn’t trade them for the world – difficult editors, heat rash, flirtacious guy et all. They were places that made me who I am. Not to mention summer camp. It took one week, and only one, for me to learn that I’m just not a group activity kind of girl. Don’t ask me to make a human web with six other people cause I’m just not down. I’m also not a fan of capture the flag, boys named Josh or sloppy joes. And, these are important things to know about oneself.
Anyways, I just kept right on crying and telling my mom how much I love New York City and how much I made the right choice and how my business is growing and all the amazing contacts I’ve made and how I want a flat in Tribeca someday, and all the things about my life I love. “I made the right choice, Mom,” I sobbed into my big mascara pools. “It’s just that I’m lonely. This is the part of the process I knew was coming, but I didn’t want to deal with.”
My mom told me I sounded good. Me. With my big mascara pools and my Monday morning hangover, with my 1.5 friends who both had plans for the 4th of July, and my tiny, loft bed and room in a corner of New Jersey I never planned on living in.
“You sound like you again,” she told me. “I was worried we’d lost you for a minute there – like your light went out, but here you are, back sounding like my daughter.”
I’m big, you know. I have big emotions and a big laugh, and I have a lot of things to say. And, sometimes, I cry till my rib cages hurt, half drunk on the phone with my mom.
Not because anybody broke my heart. But, just…you know, process. Real life. Messy. Not figured out.
Learning to be okay with it.
Tonight, I watched fireworks from my New Jersey balcony with a Portuguese woman I barely know. She asked me why I wasn’t out, and I got emotional again.
“I just couldn’t do the fourth without my family,” I said. “Just my cousin died last year. He loved the fourth. I don’t have people here. Well, not people I want to cry in front of all night. I just, you know. I needed to do it differently.”
“Ah,” she nodded at me. “Saudade.”
It’s a Portuguese word. She told me we don’t have an English word for it. Instead, we have about 12: “a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone.”
My friend used eight, “you miss that which is not with you.”
She told me that sometime, when I was ready, I would have to matar as saudades.
To matar or kill your saudades is to return to what was, so that you can come away and live again without it. She told me that she could tell I didn’t need it now, but when the saudades took over, and I could no longer go on with the weight of it, I would need to return to matar my saudades.
“You’re not there in your process,” she told me. “You’re beginning a life here. But, sometime, you’ll need to return to your old life and grab a piece of it so you can keep going with this one.”
She told me that she misses Portugal – the old village life, where your neighbors recited your family’s names six generations back, and the history of each family mattered so much that ordinary folks were treated with importance. She can’t go back to that anymore – it doesn’t exist in the modern world, she said. But she’s found her grounding – and a kind of matar as saudades – in the traditions of a Jewish Synagogue near where she lives. And, that’s working for her. That’s her piece – the part that keeps her process moving forward.
When the fireworks started, they were positioned behind two tall trees across the way from my third story apartment. I got frustrated, but my friend smiled at me.
“Look,” she said. “Life gave you a way to process. You can take them from here, can’t you? You can handle the celebration through the trees, from your balcony, here, with me.”
I nodded, and felt the tears running down my face again. Matar as saudades will have to wait because I’m still okay, here. I’m learning that – if we let it – life gives us just, exactly, what we can handle. Not more. Not less. It’s in accepting exactly the next thing, and then the next thing after that, that we continue moving forward. This is how we create relationships and start lives for ourselves in places where we wonder where we fit. That’s the only way we ever do fit.
Next year, I’m sure I’ll wander down to the water front and have a few cold ones with people I’ve come to know and love. Who knows, maybe I’ll even plant a big wet one on judgmental cell phone conversation guy, should we ever become friends.
Regardless, I’m set on having allowed for my process. I’ll be ready to be celebrating with the joyous throngs of bright red tourists and my fellow NYCers. Or, maybe, if I’ve found I just can’t take it anymore around that time, I will have taken a few days vacation to go back to Northern California and smell the hot, dry earth and hug my mother. Matar as saudades at its finest, in the hot California air.
For now, I’m cozied up in my bed after spending the fourth exactly how I was ready to, here in my new home.
Come this Saturday, I know my friend will be headed out to the synagogue. And, me? I’ll be headed out into the city again to take another shot at my new life in a place full of people who don’t really know me.
I’m not sure where I’ll be, or who I’ll end up with.
But, regardless of where I am, I know that I’ll be able to take it, and to take whatever comes the week after that. And, one of these weeks, I’m going to find that sofa where I can curl up on and feel understood without explaining myself.
Until then…you know, process. Real life. Messy. Not figured out.
Learning to be okay with it.
March 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Something not many people know about me – I’m given to insomnia every time my life has a big transition.
It’s true. I lay in bed and I stare at my tile ceiling and I think of situations, and how to best navigate them – should they happen. It’s like watching possible scenes of my life play over and over and over again, all with different endings. Before I know it, it’s four, and I’ve been lying there awake – on and off – waiting for myself to finally feel comfortable with my transition.
But I don’t typically solve problems in a single night – and, so, it keeps going.
Insomnia, insomnia, insomnia.
Yes, I work on my zen. I breathe in through one nostril and out through another. I drink less coffee. I drink more mint tea. I read. I stay up too late watching Netflix episodes. I do yoga.
I’ve spent years angry at myself for laying awake through my life’s transitions.
I talk to myself, too.
“You’re such a stress case. If you could just calm down, and quit worrying – quit being so intense (remember the guy that broke up with you junior year because you were too intense?) your life would be a whole lot easier – and you’d be asleep right now. Maybe you’d even be dating again.”
Pretty soon, I’m lying awake judging myself for lying awake – and it all goes downhill from there.
With my current transition, however, it’s come to me that perhaps I should try and look at things a little differently – and be more gracious with who I am.
See, running a business is, more than anything, like being in a relationship with myself.
Or maybe that’s just life.
Yeah, that’s it – living is being in a relationship with yourself.
I read an exercise this week that called the reader to imagining his or herself as they would another person – someone they feel true, deep affection for. The next step was to imagine whatever fault, flaw or shortcoming you were being so hard on yourself for as you would if it were in a person for whom you feel a particular amount of affection. That way, you can put yourself in perspective – the way the people who really matter view you.
I got to thinking on how I’d view myself if I wasn’t me, as I tossed and turned last night. If I wasn’t me, would I be a little more gracious, a little more loving? Would I create some room for my faults, and maybe – just maybe – a little well placed affection for my imperfections?
I’ve been trying that this week – thinking of myself as I do the people I have the most affection for and, with it, a wide open space allowing for imperfections and flaws.
Beyond that, I’ve been working to recognize my needs like I would if I weren’t me.
It starts with something like: “I spent 12 hours working and, now, I need a book and a bath – and I need to be left alone.”
Or, “I’m horrible at basic accounting – maybe a class would help me. Maybe that’s something I should invest in.”
Beyond that, “Maybe I need attention. I need to remember to eat well, without getting carried away and forgetting to stop for food.”
Or, even, “I needed some encouragement this week – I need to stop only thinking of myself with harsh judgment.”
Beyond that – like any good relationship partner does – I need to learn the way I react to certain situations, and allow room for that reaction mentally and emotionally, instead of judging myself for it.
So I have a transition/insomnia thing – maybe I just need to be aware of it, and plan around it.
We’ve all done it before – “Oh, yeah, well, you know Jerry – he has trouble sleeping at the end of the quarter, so I make sure and get extra good coffee, get some protein into his lunch and, I make damn sure to clear our social schedule because he sure can be an asshole when he’s tired!”
Who knows – maybe a little less judgment when it comes to my sleepless nights will usher in a little less judgment about how I handle transition and – with that – a few hours more sleep this week.
Regardless? I’ve been making french pressed brew – and, I cleared my own schedule through Saturday.
October 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
A few weeks ago I posted 10 reasons not to quit.
I think it would be a big mistake to post the encouragement I found to hold on, without posting about the good things that have come out of my refusal to quit on the things that are slow going (or seemingly motionless) in my life.
I’d say I’m no where near the end, except that I don’t really know that for sure. What I do know is that I am still in a place where I have no idea when the end of this hard period I’m in is coming. A friend wrote to me last night that – “God appears silent. You wait…and wait…and then, sudden waterfalls.” I also read something that said a period of waiting is necessary for every truly good thing in life. The author said that suffering often comes to a person before great blessing because not knowing if one is going to get what they are hoping for, not knowing what comes next and not knowing what to emotionally prepare for are realities that cause feelings of suffering.
I am not a “religious” person, per se. I take my margaritas with an extra shot, and I like a turkish silver or two on a long night. But lately the spiritual presence of God has led me to peace I did not think was possible while living in the unknown.
I think it’s because my view of grace has changed.
Grace – 4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean’s grace that I wasn’t expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.
I’ve lived long under the belief that grace is a precarious plateau, easily fallen from, and with a Mt. Everest kind of foreboding height to those starting over again the bottom. I learned three things about God, growing up: 1. He moves in ways you don’t want him to. 2. When He does so, you must thank Him for unanswered prayers. 3. He hates cigarettes.
In Africa, the people tell me that grace is a saving measure. And, women saved out of poverty by forces they could not have set into motion tell me God and His graciousness are inseparable. There is no God without graciousness. “Jesus brings me food, and He brings me money,” they testified to me last year. “If it were not for Him I would be dead. He came when I was going to die.” African sun baking my shoulders, I remember looking at those women, unabashedly praising the cigarette hating God of Mount Everest, and feeling like an outsider. Surely, grace is a saving measure in Africa – where it has to be. Grace comes to those who could not have conjured up saving measures for themselves – for their unique, impossible situations.
But what about me? I had (have) my own impossible situations. What about grace when I’m in Africa being told that no one can promise me my boyfriend will come home from Afghanistan? What about when I’m wondering if I’m “good enough” or “smart enough” to be able to come back and start my own enterprise? And now, a year later, what about grace out here, in this limb – personally, professionally? What about grace when my belly is full, but my heart hurts? What about grace when I need wholesale orders?
Is there some kind of climbing gear I can merit for this? An easy place to start climbing the Mt. Everest like plateau from?
The women I work with in Africa tell me there isn’t. They don’t need words to communicate this truth. Big tears in their eyes, paychecks for the first time in their lives, giggling over forces set into motion by something bigger than themselves their lives paint for me a moving picture of unmerited favor. No climbing gear required.
And, this week? This week, in the midst of a hard place, my own story told me the same thing. Things were set into motion that I could not have foreseen, and I could not have forced. And, I’m sure that grace did that for me.
10 good things that have come from refusing to quit on a hard place:
1. I was able to pay my own bills from my own social enterprise for the first time since our launch.
2. The cascades AIDS project in Portland is shipping 1,000 condoms to be distributed in Kakooge (I keep laughing about what my neighbors will think).
3. Olukai donated around 300 pairs of children’s shoes for the school children in Kakooge.
4. A 1.5 hour Skype call to Uganda informed me that many of the women in our program have been shocked by what they can do with their pay checks. “You have to understand,” my guide said to me. “So many of these women have never seen so much in a go. What I am trying to say is – a lump sum of money like this has never come into their possession all at one time.”
5. A friend I haven’t talked to in two years came back into my life suddenly, and encouraged me to believe in miracles.
6. Another friend called and told me that he had a plan for action – an exact action I had hoped for, down to the very words he plans to use while doing it. It could be the first movement towards the end of a period of unknown, for me.
7. My network responded to my need for clothing donations for Uganda with such a force that I don’t even know where to put them all.
8. I stumbled across this.
9. Plans for a trip back to Uganda began for next year – the first trip ever where I won’t be going alone.
10. We booked so many events for Nakate between now and my trip to Africa that I have absolutely zero weekend time left.
Sometime soon, I’ll talk all this over with a dear friend. I’ll tell her how things are changing, though I’m not sure I did anything to set them in motion. We’ll talk about the good things that come, even when you’re in the middle of unknown. And, if the talk goes long enough, and the night stretches on – we’ll have a turkish silver or two.
Photo uploaded by this Pinterest user.
May 16, 2011 § 3 Comments
Today, I received 3 different kinds of entirely disheartening (and personal) news. For the first time in a long time, I sat in bed and I cried. I got out of bed once, then got back in bed and cried again. My best friend showed up, about ten minutes later, and crawled into bed with me while I cried. That feeling of incompetence is the worst. Life gets bigger, somehow, with sorrow – all these things you didn’t know could happen, and that are entirely out of your control. I called Jeremy, after that, and he told me I should do whatever I want today.
“But I want to stay in bed,” I said.
“Okay, then stay in bed!”
I thanked him, and told him that was a horrible idea – “I have to do the next thing, it’ll keep me moving forward.” The first order of business was to shower, to throw my hair up in a pony tail, and to make chilaquiles out of my left over nachos from this weekend. Next, a friend picked me up to go to a local coffee shop where I could work, and she could study for finals.
I’ve been sitting here for almost two hours now, working on social media connections, re-filling my calendar with boutique and stylist meetings for when I arrive home in Nor Cal, forcing myself to laugh at things I would normally find funny and, quite simply, doing the very next thing. Life has come back, as I’ve sat here. Everything is not okay, per se, but its not impossible to deal with.
In the midst of looking through my facebook page updates, I found a blog from Merakoh on running the risks in life. I’ve copied a large amount of the text here because, like her, I was inspired by her son’s tenacity and insistence on keeping on keeping on -
I watched Blaze stand on the beach, waves rolling up to meet his toes. He was weighing the pros and cons. The day before, he had been stung by a jelly fish. The pink jelly fish in Thailand can be as big as my arms, circled in the shape of a letter “O”, floating silently along the water’s surface. The motors of the long tail boats chop the jelly fish up, so that random tentacles are left to float (never losing their sting). One of those tentacles wrapped around Blaze’s leg–twice–and oh, did it sting…
Blaze swears he is done swimming in the ocean for the rest of our trip. After all, this is the second time he’s been stung. He’s now one sting ahead of me and Pascaline, and two ahead of dad (of course). But the next morning, I watch him from a distance. As the waves roll in, I can see his mind mulling over the idea of risking it again. Whether he likes it or not, swimming is his passion. Does he risk it again? Or does he give up swimming for the rest of the trip?
He whips around and comes running to me. He just lost his front tooth a few days ago, his smile is wide and toothless. There is a red line that still shows on his leg, wrapping twice above the knee. “Can I go swimming this morning?!” he asks. I smile. He’s decided. I know he is nervous, fully aware of the risk he’s taking, but he is still willing to risk again. I’m so proud of him. I’m inspired by him. His passion for swimming is more powerful than the risk of being stung again.
There is no warning of a jellyfish coming your way. Like unexpected criticism or momentary failures, they can surprise you when you least expect it–when you are swimming–laughing from a place that’s deep withing your belly. The stings can happen at high tide or low tide. They can happen whether you know how to swim in deep waters or shallow waters. And it doesn’t have to be the whole jelly…often the small, unexpected jelly pieces hurt the most. But, to swim in Thailand, you’ve got to step into the ocean. You’ve go to risk being stung. And once it happens to you, you are acutely aware of the fact that it can happen again. But that’s not all you are aware of…you are also aware of the fact that you will survive another sting just fine–and possibly love the thrill of swimming that much more.
May 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
I woke up around seven this morning, and sat on the couch for a while with fabulous bed-head. Ten minutes later, I grabbed a cup of coffee from the kitchen in my brother’s girlfriend’s fabulous little LA apartment. It lets in copious amounts of sunshine. It has polished wood floors. The kitchen has yellow and blue tiles that feel cheerful, instead of dated, and her shower (god forbid) comes on full blast, and gets hot quickly (I’ve been staying in the house I used to live in and, turns out, the landlord is still a bit of a slummer – or at least that’s what I was calling her whilst trying to get both my soapy armpit and face under the luke-warm shower trickle at once).
I felt, last night, that I had an acute need for somewhere that I could be alone. Not just alone for a few hours, but alone for a good day – alone to think, alone to cook, alone to work, alone to perhaps even read a little bit. My personal bank account went negative yesterday. My boyfriend just agreed to move to California. It looks like we might be going wholesale. I need to book a two month trip to Uganda. I’ve had six meetings this week that could lead to amazing things, but was late for two of them – one because I was pouring anti-freeze in my old roommate’s car, and the other because I walked the wrong way on 7th street downtown, and was attempting to escape from a homeless man yelling to everyone on the corner of 7th and Hope that I was looking mighty “kinky” for a Thursday morning. Yes, in my flats and knee length dress, kinky for sure.
But these are the early days, and doesn’t everyone have them? The figure-out-what-the-hell-I’m-doing days. The whoops-that-failed! days. The are-we-sure-this-is-a-good-idea days. But life is making room. The old nannying job that came back for a few days so I could pay one bill, the boyfriend who agreed to move to me so that I could continue living in my parent’s house for a few more months, and stop paying for flights to Portland, the brother’s girlfriend’s apartment that is empty for at least 24 hours, and is giving me space to think (and shower) – the community home in LA that fed me copious amounts of dinner, the old friend that let me crash at her house and encouraged me that I must re-define normalcy.
At the same time, I’m driving to shoots with Michael Costello and talking about show-rooms, having coffee with girls like Nicole Rossil to discuss launch parties and taking my laptop bag to Melrose to meet with boutiques that call our product “fabulous.” Like I said, the early days. The I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened! days. The maybe-this-really-will-work days. The ecstatic days. A man at the community dinner in LA has a son who invests in projects like mine, a call about a grant on the way from my car to a coffee shop. I think this is, oddly enough, how it all is supposed to look.
Now that I’m back at work, and my sunburn has finally peeled its last flake of tan off my body, I think there’s three important things I learned about founders of start-ups:
1. They don’t think small. Ever.
2. They act as if nothing’s impossible. And then they prove that it isn’t.
3. They are mainly men. Who live in San Francisco.
Afterward, she has a few realizations about herself. Here’s my favorite:
I spent a lot of time on the boat thinking about how cool and interesting these entrepreneurs are, and how they put action and passion behind big ideas. I forgot to stop and think, “Maybe what you’re doing is equally as epic?” After all, you were also invited on this boat…
In attempting to be modest and in keeping my head in the details, I often forget to look up and realize that what we’re doing is, well, going to be big.
Instead, I should start saying, “Soon, Jody, myself, and our tribe are going to help over a million people out of poverty every year. We’re also going to change how people give. And our goal is to be the biggest investor in social enterprise out there. So, you should give us a million dollars. Thanks.”
Still working on that, “million dollars” part. But. After visiting our partners in Africa. We got that, “million people” in the bag.
Deep breath. Time to think bigger, stop thinking only on the “possible” and realize that what we’re doing is going to be big.
April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
Anne Lindbergh writes that women, instinctively, wants to give. She even goes so far as to say that a woman must be purposeful in how she does so for, “it is hard even to think of it as a purposeful activity, so much of it is automatic.” In her book, “Gift from the Sea” she comes up with the term “purposeful giving,” in the understanding that woman does not resent giving herself away – but rather doing it purposelessly – without result. If she does so, she will begin to feel more like what Lindbergh describes as a “telephone exchange or a laundromat,” than an artist, a mother, a lover – an activist.
“Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete one’s resources,” Lindbergh writes. “It belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give – like milk in the breast…today, in our comparative comfort, many women hardly feel indispensable any more…we are hungry, and not knowing what we are hungry for, we fill up the void with endless distractions, always at hand – unnecessary errands, compulsive duties, social niceties. And for the most part, to little purpose. Suddenly the spring is dry; the well is empty.”
As I read Lindbergh, scenes in my own life flashed before my eyes –
- Unnecessary social media: networking listlessly, instead of purposefully, before getting offline to give to others in my world offline.
- Unnecessary relational struggles: giving an over abundance of time and energy to communication breakdowns, misunderstandings and offenses taken, instead of dealing with conflict honestly, and moving forward with a sense of purpose towards other things in my life. How many times has my energy to give been depleted by insatiable worrying over a situation where, quite simply, the ball is “not in my court.”
- Lesser work – dabbling in things that are not necessary, but might be helpful, if just the right situation arises. As I read Lindbergh I wondered how many times I’ve sat and dawdled at my desk, instead of getting up, doing some laundry, and returning to work with a fresh perspective.
This week, I chose to purposefully give to Jeremy. The decision (I’m ashamed to say) wasn’t an easy one. But it was fed by a certain look he gave me last time he visited, when I spent about four days with a disgusting flu, only to sit up and bed and begin catching up on work from home. I remember the look of hurt on his face when he said, “I leave tomorrow. Can it wait?”
I felt it couldn’t, but was painfully aware, the next morning, that my work had been done with a weak mind from sickness, and I had done it slowly, and without much purpose. Hardly anything had been accomplished, aside from Jeremy’s hurt feelings, and my feeling of regret.
I blocked out things I would and wouldn’t do while visiting Jeremy in Portland. I would keep up on Nakate’s twitter and facebook, but on the days when I needed to be away from my laptop, I would assign someone else to do it. I would fix our store (still working on it!), but I would not put up new listings until I arrived home. I would not run social media during day dates. I would not blog. I would email with designers. I would not hold meetings unless I did so before he was awake. I would sit and watch episodes of Californication and eat a copious amount of cornpuffs, instead of being on my laptop. I would leave my cell phone in the car. I would get to know his family at night, instead of doing networking that, in all honesty, could wait until I arrived back in California. I would be available for troubleshooting and conversation, however, except for one day – one day completely belonged to Jeremy. No email. No cell phone. And, he spent it beaming.
I’m not sure if I missed an opportunity or two during my 8 day stint in Portland. But I do know that I will purposefully give myself to the next ones once my plane lands this afternoon. I’m sure that a few twitter mentions went unanswered – and I know that our store was not finished as quickly as it could have been. But this is the balancing act – the place where cyberspace, and the way the edges of Jeremy’s eyes wrinkle when he laughs, meet in the middle, and create a schedule that looks like what Lindbergh calls a star-fish kind of life – losing an arm, so to speak, to one exhausting situation, and then focusing elsewhere, with a different crusty appendage, while the exhausted limb grows back. Trips to Pike’s Peak, tulips in the morning and afternoon naps with Jeremy’s quiet breathing on the other end of the couch reminded me why I love Nakate. The exhaustion with my project lessened as I purposefully gave to something different.
Jeremy parked at the airport this morning and stayed with me until the edge of the security line. I had told him that he should drop me at the curb. “That’s dumb,” he shook his head. Instead, he spent an extra twenty minutes, and about six bucks in parking, to walk through Portland’s terminal C, and get an extra five or ten kisses in before I took of for Sacramento.
As I watched him walk out of sight, I realized those extra few minutes had meant the world to me.