04 May 2016

new blog address!

hi friends...
after a lot of deliberating, i exported my entire blog over to wordpress.

the new address is:

i'll no longer be updating here on blogspot.
all of my old posts are moved over, including photos!
please redirect your favorites, saved links, and bookmarks
to my new wordpress address!

see you there!



28 April 2016

in waves;

hiking buddies, sedona

dear E., (part 2.)
processing, processing, processing.
writing, writing, writing. (to you, everyday: whether its about you or not.)
remembering, remembering, remembering.
understanding. understanding. understanding.

when you didn't get here and a couple of days passed with no word, one or two of my friends and family members suggested looking online for police reports or filing a missing person report. maybe you'd been in a car accident and you couldn't contact me. maybe you'd gotten a DUI and were spending the night in some little rinky dink jail in some tiny southwest mountain town somewhere and they didn't let you have your cell phone. one friend offered to do it for me, because i wasn't sure i could stomach any potential information. there were very few explanations that seemed forgivable at the time. friends and i talked about the idea of you being selfish and inconsiderate, and how i'd have to give you a hard time for not showing up, unless he's dead. it was the following day that reports started to pop up (without your name printed), but i didn't even see those (or the official reports) until after i found out what happened another day later.  

i remember thinking you could be anywhere, quite literally, as that was often the case. i had absolutely not accepted any explanation other than i have no idea, but this feels different and i don't know why. i didn't accept that you were blowing me off as was suspected, i didn't accept that you didn't have cell service, i didn't accept that you wouldn't/couldn't get here as planned. but i knew.

because i knew your habits and your patterns and on other occasions you had never let a lost moment go by without an apology. even earlier that week you had apologized for not being on schedule. we had a way that we'd always done things, things i'd accepted and things that were predictable. people thought i never saw the "problems" between you and i, but the truth is: the "problems" were the only reason i knew something was wrong this time.

since then, comfort has come in lovely and unexpected ways.

...in burning palo santo wood (for space/emotional cleansing and purification); the smell reminds me of my grandparents' musty old garage, mixed with church incense, mixed with an amazing smokey late night campfire.
...in strangers', turned friends, texts saying "you don't have to be alone". in a world where words are often so easily misused, these have been some of the most important.
...in conversations with soul-sisters who get it and who have felt this extreme up and down.
...in psychics (yes, more than one) of different mediums who told me we were together in another life, not meant to stay together in these particular forms in this life, but we will meet again later on differently. (at first it was just for fun and out of sheer curiosity but when people who don't know you tell you specific information that they could never have known... anyone reading might laugh at that, but i assure you the amount of coincidences i've experienced have been too numerous to be simply coincidences. and, come on, comfort can be found anywhere.)
...in continuing to visit the beautiful places you took me to. it saddens me to know we won't go to any of them again together, no new photos will have you smiling. but each time i go, i talk to you and tell you i'm there just incase you want to join me somehow. i've hiked to our creek spot twice in the past week and visited the dream catcher i left for you there.

return to each 
in waves.
this is how water 

secret creek spot, sedona

two months later, i am still receiving emails and messages from people in your life who stumbled upon our story. i knew that in making some of my writing public, people would see it. i have been trying to write with grace, yet no sugar coating. there are so many things that i don't want other people to know, things that belong to me, and those are the things i refuse to share (things that not even my best friends, previous best friends, tell everything kind of friends, know). i knew some people would contact me and want to talk a bit about our experiences. my closest friends have asked me how i feel about that, and here is my reply.. our time was ours. i've been round and round with myself and others about how nothing and no one can change what we had. even if they somehow had the exact same experience, theirs would be theirs, ours would be ours. i don't have to convince myself of this, i know it to be true. (but on some of the tougher days i may want to come back and re-read this for myself.)

these emails and messages have told me that you would have said there's no wrong way to feel. that yeah, sometimes you were selfish in your love (as we all were in wanting to keep it), but that never discredited that it existed. it very much existed. when you died, it took me five weeks to say, "when he died." it took me four weeks to sift through stories of others. it took me three weeks to eat. it took me two weeks to stop crying every single day. it took me one week to get out of bed. and from the day i found out while waiting for you to get here, i knew i needed to write because for me it was the only way to keep you alive, whether you had ever been meant for me or not.

just the other day i had a conversation with my soul-sister about what it means to need to feel validated by other people in our experiences. to stand up and yell HEY I MADE IT THROUGH THIS HARD THING AND THIS IS WHY! ...but as a writer, often sharing very personal stories, i do not often share with the intent of PLEASE LOOK AT ME AND SEE THIS STUFF I HAVE. more often i am writing from a place of connection and catharsis. there is that fine line between good and bad intent that i am careful not to cross. (as with everything else in life, though, i suppose that line is open to interpretation.) being with you did not come without its penalties. but the worst it offered up was continually lit up by every good moment - a fair bargain in hindsight, when hindsight is the only time frame you're left with.

i'm taking comfort in knowing that no matter what similarities there may be, no two people are the same. we're all unique, thus our experiences are unique. within my time with you i shared you with a world that was so eager to pull you in, and vice versa; was that my ideal? no. but it was not something i ever fought against. you loved and you loved to be loved, just as we all do. to know you was to love you, and you were busy as hell doing it. and yet, i loved you still. i always understood you to be this way. and when little bits of that creep in to try to take my magic, i remind myself that i always knew. my magic existed regardless. it was in moments and conversations that can never be replicated. (and yet, ironically, there's nothing special in that, as that is everyone's reality whether they know it or not.)

but here's what happens when you tell your truths, your stories... being vulnerable and being free walk hand in hand. i've let go of the fear of what others will think so that i can receive in my own love and my own self, no matter who might agree or not. and, you, the one who seemingly rarely shared what was going on on the inside, you lived as authentically as you could. you didn't let anyone slow you down. you showed us how to work harder, climb higher, love more; but you knew your limits, even if they were tough. i feel like limits are sometimes seen as failures, or the wrong choice, or someone else's point of view of ugh that could have really been said/done more gently. sometimes limits hurt, but i think that limits are important. i'm still finding mine. you blew my limits wide open.

perched up in the kachina woman vortex, sedona
  i suppose yes, in ways it has been weird to have these conversations with strangers you knew (okay, women. i'll just say it. we're all adults here. women.), but i believe that mostly intentions have been good. is there jealousy? i'm sure. have i felt jealousy towards others? strangely, mostly no. because i am confident in my own experience as i know it. and that is all that matters. i wasn't sure at first. but i have welcomed these conversations, and in a way they are some of the conversations that you and i never got to have. i won't say that its easy. but i won't say that it is in any way the hardest part in all of this for me. the hardest part for me still is that you're gone. 

i never thought i'd be able to google your name and read news about how far you climbed/fell, never thought you'd not get here to be with me, never thought we'd never be able to text from however many states away, never thought i'd never physically feel you again or watch you laugh.

nearly eight weeks ago, the weekend before you were supposed to be here, i moved around all of my plants in my bedroom and bathroom and nested little goodies into each and every corner. books by the bathtub and big fluffy new towels. clean sheets and homemade lavender linen spray on the pillow cases. i tucked away all of my sewing projects. fresh herb plants in the kitchen. sage burning. i was excited to make my little borrowed home comfortable and quiet and cozy and full of love (though it was already all of those things). 

everything is still where i put and left it, strange little gifts to myself in the end. i was creating that safe space for you (for us), but i had no idea that i would end up needing it myself, alone, in my recovery. this weekend i am planning to try to move it all around, rearrange the furniture. it became my grieving space, and although i see little parts of you in it because i had had you in mind when i created it, knowing that you never got to be here makes it harder. i need to feel like i'm living in my own space again, not still waiting for you to walk in the door like i was.

i've been fighting to be strong, to rise above, to be the bigger person, to brush off and move on... only lately have i let myself sit with my story, welcome it in, embrace these scary changes that come with complete physical and emotional loss - grief, sadness, denial, depression, loneliness, defensiveness; mixed with overwhelming gratitude, love, memories, and the ambition to "be better". i miss the things that i no longer have, but more generally now that space is wide open. to feel. to RECEIVE - and i've never been one to be good at receiving openly - emotionally or physically i've been independent and self sufficient. i'm still working on GIVING right now, that one is still a little shaky although i very much want to connect and give back.

part of me longs to feel that numbness i felt in the beginning, because the processing and the feeling has been hard. quite honestly, some days the numbness and not getting out of bed almost felt better than getting up and going to work and going through the motions of being okay. better than knowing that none of us lost more than what you lost. needing to rearrange my bedroom and stopping to cry my eyes out on my way to work because a certain song came on seems to dim in comparison.

facebook reminded me that one year ago right now we were on this hike in prescott...

i've been asked what i learned from you, since i have always said how many things you showed me. well....

...me, the obsessive over-planner finally learned that sometimes you just can't plan. sometimes you have to let things come as they will, get in the car, drive into the middle of nowhere, take a photo, and drive home with that beauty you captured. sometimes the dirt roads are the best roads. you showed me the value of a moment, in some of the most beautiful spots i'd ever been to. those were gifts that i have thanked you for a million times over.
...you were the only man i've ever known to make me feel like i was accepted fully for who i am, flaws and all. even when you had no response for things i was vocalizing emotionally, the trust door stayed open. i could put those things out and recognize sometimes the answer wasn't meant to come from anyone except myself. it didn't feel like rejection. you didn't bombard me with how could you think thats and you must be crazys.
...i learned what it felt like to wait, both on good and bad sides of that spectrum. that sometimes waiting still felt horrible, but sometimes it yielded the best days and nights of my life.
...i learned that i thought i'd been in love before but actually had not been.
...you being gone has shown me a part of my spirituality that never existed before. i'm still processing that.
...in hindsight (there's that word again) i know that i'd wished i had been able to cut the cord with you before (based on my own needs), but i am so glad i decided to never turned my back on you and that you never let me try. i knew i had to let you go, but you knew i was always here. i'm so grateful you always knew. we both had limits (theres that word again) but we still managed to work around them, and each time we got to be face to face, it was worth it.
...you showed me that being able to go where you needed to go to do what you needed to do was not always easy, it meant leaving people behind. but it also meant opening up for something else. you'd been doing that much longer than i have. no matter the worries or the suffering, still move ahead.

there have been five hundred (500!) reads on my last blog post. about us. about this whole thing. and yet every time i sit down to write i battle between not having enough words and having said too much. 

but beyond the words, i miss every part. i miss days like that one pictured above where we hiked five+ miles accidentally with just one water bottle between the two of us in 80degree sun talking about everything we could think of alongside the boulders and lake. it was the most gorgeous day and we were so honest in our conversation. i had blisters on my feet by the end of it. but nobody cared. those are the moments i miss the most. where the rest of the world slipped away for a few hours at a time. that is how i'll remember you always - smiling at me like nothing else existed, in a beautiful place. and thats how i'll see you again someday.

but until then. 
the waves. 

07 April 2016

the story / dear E.,

"I want you to remember me as the first person that proved to you that lost love is not completely lost, that we sometimes meet wonderful people who are not meant to stay forever and that some people will always hold a special place in our hearts because we want to keep them there." -RN

i promised i would tell our story. i am not going to tell every little piece of it all, there's no way to even if i could remember it. i'm not going to talk about every get together, every moment, every conversation. just the parts that i'm willing to share, and the parts that i think show the big picture. 

sadly, and strangely, it seems more fitting to start at the end and work my way backwards. still, starting at the end, i'm not sure where to begin.

we all know the end before the start, its just the rest of the story we're waiting to be told. i weaved parts of our story into my blog over the past year but never called it by name, only speaking of what i'd learned, what i felt, and what was happening around it. if someone knew what they were looking for they could have found it, but it wasn't something i really spoke of outwardly to a lot of people. i learned pretty early that a lot of what you gave me and what we experienced was meant for me and not everyone else.

i don't believe that my grief is any worse or more important than anyone else's. but i do think everyone experiences things, including grief, uniquely. aside from quilting, writing is the way that i've always chosen to make sense of things. some people are able to be vocal and are comfortable in sharing, some people are not. i'm writing this partially for everyone who said they were hoping to read it and partially because telling my story is part of the healing process. i'm left here to remember and try to make sense of something slightly incomprehensible. i've talked so much over the past month, to friends, strangers, family, anyone who would listen. i've talked a lot to myself. and when i've been able to, i've talked to you. the story has changed a lot in these past few weeks, as i've learned new things and information* to try to comprehend alongside my own memories. 
*it is important for me to note that anyone reading this, from the outside, may have a different opinion than what i write about here. they may have seen it differently than the way i experienced it. i'm not telling our story to hurt anyone, but to describe my own loss. and to describe what is happening to me as i continue forward. 
reading in J Tree, 4/2016

that week.

sometime in early february you and i began planning your visit here. it had been since november when we'd seen each other (on your way to TN). before that, it had been since june. you had told me you'd be heading to OR, where you felt good and healthy and safe, and that once you knew your timing you'd come stay with me for a week or two (though i did ask if you had anyone else you wanted to stay with also, to which you said, "no, just you."). it didn't take long to decide on the days and for me to get the time off from work in march.

i knew you'd be making some stops along the way to see other friends, and you'd mentioned stopping in utah for a day in the desert to climb. you had planned to be here on monday march 7th, to stay for 10 days. you texted me that morning to tell me you'd indeed made it to Zion (about 5 hours away from me), but you wanted a full day there - apologetically, you'd be here tuesday and would stay a day longer on the other end. i understood, that was a long cross country drive and a bit of desert time is good for everyone. i had the week off from work, so although i understood i made sure you knew i was waiting (you already knew, but it never hurts to reiterate).

tuesday morning i texted you to find out what time you thought you might be here so i could plan my day. i'd already bought at least a week's worth of groceries. i'd spent the weekend cleaning the house and tidying up all of my personal little touches. no word from you by lunchtime, no word from you by dinnertime. by bedtime i called and left a voicemail wondering where you were - i assumed you'd gotten distracted and i'd probably see you wednesday. i started to worry that you were bailing on the trip, or that something was wrong - but started to assume what my friends were assuming: you were just being you and were having too much fun. it wasn't unlike you to disappear a bit, this had happened with us before. i texted you late on tuesday night, unsure if you could receive my messages. i made sure to let you know i wasn't angry, i just wanted to know that you were okay - or if you weren't okay. maybe you had cold feet. you'd been struggling a lot with yourself, and i only wanted to hear from you.

after no word from you by wednesday morning i was frustrated. even though it had only been a day, i had a crying fit that caught me by surprise that afternoon. i was sitting on my bed in my room after not getting much sleep overnight, and out of nowhere i started crying so hard everything went black. i couldn't breathe, i couldn't see, i couldn't hear. i assume it was similar to what a panic attack feels like - but a couple of days later it made more sense. thursday came and went. i wasn't sleeping, i hadn't had an appetite since monday. (my anxiety manifests itself physically when there's no rational explanation for things.)

friends were trying to comfort me and i felt like i was losing ground; i was looking for a way to reach out to someone, anyone (though we had almost no one in common) - there must have been someone who knew what you were doing or why i hadn't heard from you. i tried to raise the red flag. mostly i was told that i had to let it go. these kinds of disappointments just happen, and we brush ourselves off. i was unwilling to accept that and i did not accept it. and i was feeling very alone in the worry/experience.

on friday morning, after leaving you another more worried voicemail this time, i forced myself to leave the house at the urging of a friend. i went to one of our old spots, up into the woods where you had taken me on our first date a year previous. i sat in the boulders with no one else around, quietly, and asked for some kind of answer. anything. it felt ridiculous but strangely natural. like maybe you could hear me somehow.

a couple of hours later, i had been home for just a little while. your dear friend of so many years - who had heard i was waiting for you from a mutual friend - called to tell me the news while i was sitting on my sofa in the same spot i'd been waiting all week. we were complete strangers but she wanted to make sure that i didn't find out any other way (ie: facebook, social media, news) - on wednesday afternoon, likely right around the time of that crying fit i had, you had fallen while climbing 1000ft up on a route you'd climbed before.

i had felt it.
you were gone.

looking for comfort in the Groom Creek boulders, 3/2016

back to the beginning.

from the first day we texted and started talking, i knew you were unlike anyone i'd ever met thus far. likely unlike anyone else i'll ever meet again. i wasn't really sure what that meant, whether it was good or bad..  i was stupidly nervous to meet you in person (but i'd just come out of a bunch of crap that had me a bit frazzled). this was unexpected, and it was lovely.
taken from my blog:
we drove up the side of the mountain after brunch, not far from where i went exploring on my own a couple of days ago, out in the woods. and we talked about how different places have different energies (or at least they sometimes seem to mold themselves around yours). i talked about how much i love that little desert town with the funny trees and how when i first went there i felt like i’d lived there in another life. like somehow the emotional struggles i’ve dealt with on all of my trips there that have been soothed by the sunshine and the constellations in the clear sky, are healed there because in some other life i’d struggled there too. he didn’t bat an eye and said, “maybe thats why you made it all the way out here.” 
we talked about what its like to move around and try to find your place. he told me how bold it is of me to do what i’ve been doing for the past six months, and he’s not the first person to tell me that. but honestly, it doesn’t feel bold. [...] everyone’s experiences are so different but its so easy to find things in them to relate to. that feeling of figuring yourself out when you’re traveling alone and how sometimes you don’t like what you learn. the opportunity it gives you if you accept it in. the places you can go and the things you can see and the freedom you can have.
we met at that little restaurant downtown that i'd never been to (but now i bring everyone there - the rooftop seating area is the best!). then we went up into the woods and i sat in the sun and watched you climb - you explained it all to me as you went along, as if you were teaching me, even though i'd declined to try. climbing was your puzzle and your passion and it was exciting to watch. the weather couldn't have been more perfect. we hiked a few miles into the trail and found a big rock to sit up on, talk, and watch the horseback riders go by. you had wanted to know about my quilting process and what it means to me and you followed along a lot better than i expected. you talked about climbers being a trusting group of people. you told me how you could see me opening up a little boutique in joshua tree. we talked about the silly difference in east coast vs west coast weather, something we had both experienced growing up and now as adults. a few hours later, we went back into town for dinner at a tapas place and cocktails and more conversation (and two desserts because we couldn't decide which one to order). do you remember how the waiter kept bringing us cocktail refills that we hadn't asked for? and how we drank them all until we realized we had to drive? we left with a hug. you had wanted to spend more time together that evening. i quickly declined, even though i had the most amazing day - i didn't want to "ruin" it. we texted when we got home and planned for another time as soon as possible.

that first day together set the tone for nearly every experience we would have face to face together afterwards... easy. adventure. simple. comfortable. fun. surprising. safe.

i texted my friends back in maine and california to tell them about you - and how i wasn't really sure what was going to happen, but that you were handsome and charming and i couldn't quite tell what you were "looking for" but that it was the best experience i'd had in a very long time. it was the most present and in-the-moment i had felt since i moved across the country, and i know looking back, its because that was just how you were. a moment was all, a moment was enough.

do you remember the evening we made margaritas from scratch in my kitchen after work? we hung out in my studio for two hours looking at my projects, talking about my book project (which i just recently took out of hiding to maybe get back into), and shared our experiences and points of view. i explained the stories and processes behind them, and you took the time to listen, look, and tell me what you saw and understood as a viewer. you pointed out details that i hadn't mentioned. you made suggestions that made sense. you told me to take ten years to make my book project, to not rush it, to really gain and gather experiences and solidify them, to make it part of my life in a really conscious way instead of making it just a project that i do. that there's a niche for my work that won't go away with time, and that the more time i take the more appreciative the audience will be. i remember thinking what a gift it was for you to spend time with my art like that. that you understood my passion and connected to it even though it was completely different from yours. (i'll never forget even after you left here to travel and move that you still stayed interested in what i was working on.)

we spent the rest of that night learning about each other in other ways... and that morning after was slow, hungover. i'd walked you out to your truck at midnight in my underwear and t-shirt (hello new neighborhood! haha!), and you had said, "this can be whatever you want." i remember having no idea what that meant. i laid next to you curled up in my bed, asking you things like, "are your parents still married?" and "do you ever get lonely?" ...you answered yes to both things, and so did i. you told me over and over, "i like you. i love ____ and ____ about you." and i always replied in kind. i didn't know where we fit as friends and lovers but i was just happy to have it while i could. to feel the feelings. and to experience you.

in the passing days and weeks you always greeted me with a "good morning, beautiful" text. you called me Bella. i learned that you loved little details and my superhero t-shirts. i watched you eat a mile-high bbq sandwich in about thirty seconds. i couldn't feed you enough. 

we went on hikes. we met for dinner. we spent time in my backyard drinking beers (sometimes with my housemate, who was the only person in my life to have ever met you - i had not made many, or really any, friends here yet - and even she cried recently when i told her about what had happened to you last month) and talking about what we each thought our futures looked like. you talked to me about teaching. we talked about our struggles. we talked about our shared love of tiny houses and where we'd build our ideal one. you spent a lot of time loving the plants on my bedroom windowsill ("if you talk to them and play them music, they live longer," you'd told me). we shared stories of previous relationships and things we had learned and things we wanted to try. we made nests of pillows and blankets on the floor of my studio when my bedroom seemed just a tiny bit too far away and we let time stop for a bit. we listened to music and talked about bands we had seen play live and about what different songs had meant to us, and you held me tighter and closer than anyone had ever - to you i wasn't a concept, not a pixie. i later learned in talking to other people who knew you, that you indeed had this amazing way of making everyone feel special. of somehow knowing what they needed to feel and offering that to them. of opening them up to be uniquely themselves, as if no one else existed. i think that was your blessing and curse and a gift to everyone, for good and for bad. you always kissed me goodbye with disheveled hair and a mischievous grin.

we spent time like this for three months, and three months passed by in the blink of an eye.

the last weekend i saw you before you left here, we had a 90+degree hot weekend-long adventure at the most beautiful creek (where i visited and left a dream catcher in the tree near our spot after you died), up in a mountainside town, and camping out in a field of cactus in the middle of nowhere (accidentally - you swore you knew where you were going but really it didn't matter - it was perfect). we watched the most beautiful sunset i have seen during my time in AZ, chased it all the way across town until the stars came out. you had let me know that you were getting ready to go out on a long set of travels that you had been planning for quite some time. we really made that last weekend count. every place that we stopped was beautiful. you drove with your hand on my knee. we set up mats just off of a trail on the side of a cliff sheltered by trees and napped where no one could see us. you told me about how this trip for you was about doing what felt right and important for you in your life, taking care of yourself, climbing and giving it the priority it deserved. challenging yourself.

i was disappointed to know you would be leaving, but strangely i didn't feel as selfish as i thought i would. i saw so much of myself in you, that need to be passionate. that desire to do what you love. to be okay doing it alone, or at least try. we talked about the feeling of knowing that everything i owned fit into my car when i moved cross country, and now your entire life was packed into your truck - including where you would sleep. feeling totally portable and responsible knowing that we didn't own anything we didn't need. simple. not complicated.

you getting sunburnt at the creek in Sedona, 5/2015
taken from my blog:
i thought about how with everyone else in my life (in that capacity) i always felt self conscious. here i was, with not a single drop of makeup on, a slightly soggy bathing suit, [laying around] in the woods on a mountain, totally engrossed in the moment, loving every second of it... and not even a little bit self conscious. what was it about him that let me feel that way.. how could i ever express my appreciation for that.. he's so fearless in so many ways (though i can tell he hides a lot), but i envy that feeling. and i think when i'm with him, i try just a teeny bit to be more fearless too. sometimes its easier when you're doing that alongside someone else. 
i'd imagined so many more fun trips like this one for later in the summer.. but i know that while this experience has been an exercise in stepping outside of your comfort zone - so that good things can find you - i know that it is also a lesson in taking things for what they are and knowing that not everything is meant to last. i'm so thankful, that despite how imperfect the situation has sometimes seemed, i was still given so much. not everyone is willing to connect.  
i know there's still so much i don't know and am not privy to about where he's been and where he's headed. i know that he has things that are his alone and not my business, especially not now that he's leaving for a while. but this weekend definitely put into perspective for me that sometimes its not important to your part of the story.  
the one thing i really regretted - and still regret - about that last weekend (and all of our days) together, was not taking many photos. i took a few of the scenery we visited but i took none of you and i (i was too busy having fun to even think about it); now i wish i had at least one.

i headed home from that weekend and got right into my studio. i knew i didn't have much time, but i designed, created, and finished an entire quilt for you over the next couple of days. it signified so many things: the comfort i'd hope you would have while you traveled, the brightness and color of our time together (you were always purple to me. always.).. and lets be honest, by then you had learned that quilting is really the way i do pretty much everything that i can't quite do with words. we made plans for one last date, which was supposed to be the day before you left. i was going to make dinner and we were going to go see a movie, spend one more night together, and i would give you the quilt. that afternoon you called to cancel. do you remember how sad you sounded to call and tell me you weren't coming? (that is the sound i was almost expecting to hear the week you were supposed to be here but fell.) do you remember how accepting of it i was, even though i knew how much it had hurt me?

i ended up mailing your quilt to you somewhere along the way. at the time i didn't hear much other than a thankyou and i love it... but recently a few people mentioned that you had shown it to them and how proud of it you were. its now on its way from your family to live with me again, which is a box i will not want to open once it arrives; but i think i'll be glad to have that part of you, even if it was a part that i gave you. i know that it did its job for nine months.

your quilt, 6/2015
while you were gone we spent a lot of time texting and sending photos and making plans for sometime. we also spent a lot of time mis-communicating, missing phone calls, we were both selfish, and i spent a bunch of time crying. you never made me feel fragile - actually, quite often it was the opposite. physically, emotionally, you stretched my boundaries. but you did make me question so many things and try to hang on to something i couldn't quite understand. no labels. i trusted the sound of your voice, but i knew that there were other "relationships" forming and unforming, and we were too far away to do much other than conversation. you did not ever make promises to me, but i supported you no matter what. even in a 20 minute phone call you could bring out the light, even if i had been sitting in some dark for a bit. whenever we talked, you apologized. do you remember the night you called me from a motel - barfing your brains out, sick as a dog - because you just wanted to hear me talk about what my summer plans were? how you told me, "you're amazing at always seeing the way with the most love."

we had one argument in all those months you were gone. over stupid shit. since we had never argued before it seemed slightly earth shattering, but i knew there were parts of you that were right in what you had said. it was right around that time that i found out (via facebook, which was part of what spawned the argument) that you were not coming back to AZ to live after your travels were done.

i know that you didn't need me to make you happy. i know that you were tired a lot. and that you felt bad about letting people down. but to me, it was just time. my life didn't feel worse for supporting you and i knew that in the most vulnerable moments you made me important. i did make myself seem strong to/for you, no matter how many times i asked what you needed or voiced my need for better and more consistent communication and felt drained from trying, we always hung on just by a string. but a string none the less. it was not ideal. but now, looking back, i feel good knowing that i never turned my back on you.

i know that some people wanted to protect me from the impermanence, from the possibility that i would never be the only one, from the idea that i deserved better. but here's the thing: you can't protect someone from their own heart. i made my own choices with you. sometimes against even my better judgment, but they were my choices to make. i had known from the day that i met you that we were likely not meant to be together forever, probably not even for an extended period of time. but, that didn't stop me from loving you.

the last time i saw you was in november. you stopped in for two days. you had just driven from joshua tree and i'd told you to bring a little bit of that sparkle here with you. you were on your way to move to TN and you were excited about getting there.
taken from my journal:
there had been just enough moonlight coming in through the window around my curtains that night that even in sleep we could still see each other’s outlines. i was awake all night, staring. at the curves of his arms. at the way he slept with his eyes closed so comfortably. i tossed and turned and every time i rolled over i accidentally woke him just long enough for him to ask, “are you ok?” and pull me in tighter and closer, to which i responded, “are you warm enough?” how did every inch of him stay so warm? 
he had come in so fast with the snow, and the weather left just behind him (and also not to be seen again since). a freak snowstorm with either really good or really bad timing. i’d not ever seen it snow so hard here.  he drove me to work in the morning, like maybe the girl from Maine couldn't get herself there. haha.
the sound of his voice whispering behind my ear and his overbearing strength were familiar; the look on his face was not. for a minute it actually felt like he needed me. him, the one who seemingly never needs anything or anyone.
he’d made time for me. first. and he told me, too, that i was the first and longest and important. he apologized for it being such a short visit, he apologized for his crappy communication along the way, and he apologized for not coming back sooner or to stay. everything i wanted to hear, unprompted, and followed with an i love you and a smile. he was just being his typical present and in the moment self. i think i had hoped a little bit that maybe that had faded from before. those moments only last so long before they’re over.
i can still hear the rustling of our down jackets as we hugged goodbye outside. me standing on a rock so we could be cheek to cheek instead of cheek to chest. i had done enough of that in the bed overnight (and yet never enough). 
over the course of my year here, he was the only one to spend any time with me in my studio, hours upon hours, some work & some pleasure. the only one to eat dinner and drink beers in my backyard on a clear spring night. the only one to spend time in my bed. and even after leaving, the only one to visit me here. people i’ve known my whole life couldn't visit, and this one guy who i’d only known for a few months was the only one. 
he never called me “cute.” he called me “sexy.” i’ve spent my entire life as the cute girl, i still wonder what it is that he sees so differently than everyone else. from the day we met he looked at me differently than anyone else ever had. it was frightening, and liberating. he looked at me the same way when i let him in my door six months later. 
i know that so many of my previous experiences helped me to be who i was with him when we met, and six months later i felt like i’d changed so much. but i was still scared shitless to let him back in, just for different reasons than before. before i wasn’t sure i wanted to be really known. this time i was scared he finally knows me. he knows my verbal reactions, and he knows how much my body is still in love with him. my body had spent these months remembering memories that he’d left behind. my body had forgotten that we didn’t know how to compromise. my fingertips dug into him like maybe if they held on just a little tighter… 
i wanted to be validated. and i was.
he, somehow, had brought me closer to myself than i’d ever been. somewhere in the heartache of not being able to have him i learned how to be okay with what hurts. slowly. he had done that by being himself, in all of his flawed and lovely ways. he had shown me where i was broken, and without filters. and i strangely and silently thanked him while i watched him eat chicken with his hands in my kitchen. one of our last times together before he’d left i had cooked him dinner in that kitchen, and he had spent most of the meal trying to get one hand up under my skirt. this time he just looked at me intently and in between bites asked me about my life.
the lust wasn’t gone, it was just uprooted and moved somewhere more real and safer. 
we talked and listened and snuggled and sighed. and took hot showers. i could have opted for an outing, he asked a couple of times (movies? brewery?). i’d made my choice. for the short amount of time that i had, i was keeping him to myself. no check-in’s on facebook. the sun had made its choices, too, for us – disappearing before he’d arrived, coming up long after we’d already started our day. 
my experience cannot be tainted by anyone before me, or after me (no matter what pangs of jealousy and curiosity come up). i’m embracing the lesson of gratitude that this hurt has caused me. i’m moving forward with that momentary feeling of love he allowed me to see and feel and bring in. i think there’s no such thing as bad timing. its always the right time. everything comes at the right time and inspires you to move one way or the other. if nothing else, if i cannot move beside him, i will move for me. and maybe meet him somewhere along the way, likely with a few tears in my eyes. 
he changed my path so deeply that i’m not sure what my own reality is these days, but i do know that i’m thankful for these strange gifts of change and struggle and perspective. i get defensive when anyone talks shit about him because the way i moved through the whole thing is so much different than how it looks from the outside. i see it and feel it in ways that i can’t explain sometimes. but there’s no sense in trying talking me out of it, we’re long past that. 
i feel like sometimes people treat me like i never saw his shortcomings. i did see them, i always saw them, i just simply most times chose to ignore them. i partially did it out of self-preservation and partially because i thought i would work around them. i was even warned about them ahead of time, and i still chose to keep going. i can look back and give you a laundry list of things that were ‘wrong’, but focusing on the parts that were ‘wrong’ takes away from all of the things that were right. and in hindsight, its the things that were right that i’d rather see now.
i may talk about him with love in my voice but i do not discount any of the things that went wrong. and, i share in the blame. we are two very different people who just happened to intersect and connect on a really intimate & physical level.
 the only thing i can do now is take him for who he is. i can go on with my life carrying around these memories and depositing little pieces of them in all of our old spots every time i go, and i can hope that on some level we get to continue to create more (just with larger chunks of time in between). and i’m not going to feel bad for anything that we did along the way. we are who we are. we can’t ask each other to change.
i had accepted the fact that likely this would be the last time i would see you for quite a while. i knew that after these couple of days i would need to move on from you and the way that we had been, and i felt like i was ready to do that. after this visit we stayed in touch more than i expected, but you were having a hard time in TN. it wasn't quite what you had hoped for. i did my best to help you sort it out from far away. i was not oblivious to how silly it all seemed sometimes from the outside. as much as i knew that a relationship was not going to work, your presence in my life was important always. i am not ashamed in our experiences, and i am not ashamed with my reactions. you were important to me no matter what. and you were true to who you were.

the now.

after the holidays passed and the new year rang in, i did get ready to move on. i started separating your experiences from mine, recognized the distance, and put myself back out into life. of course, that was right about the time when you announced you were coming to visit in march, and once again i put everything on hold. i have been lucky in these past weeks to reach back out to where i was starting over. that has given me the little push i've needed recently to look forward. your trip here was not supposed to change anything, simply give us ten days of happiness and peace and fun, a reconnection. it was not meant to be a pivotal point in our journey together, though i suppose who knows what would have been. it is the 'what ifs' that are the hardest sometimes. i cannot sit and mourn here forever, the loss of something so tangible and yet completely intangible, nor would you want me to.

in six weeks i'll fly across the country to your hometown to meet some of the people who reached out to me and have been so incredible to talk to during the past month. your friends, your family - people i likely never would have come in contact with otherwise. silver linings everywhere are really all i'm grabbing on to these days. they're there. i think you'd be happy to see some of us connecting on such a real level, about you and about everyday life - and probably you are somewhere cracking up about all the women coming out of the woodwork. the friend of yours that called me to tell me what had happened to you - she and i have talked a lot, and we have comforted each other quite a bit, helped with the rose-colored glasses, and understand each other. we'll celebrate you and laugh about what a jerk you could be, but how much you crammed into your short life and how much inspiration you left behind to everyone that knew you.

can you even believe that one month ago RIGHT NOW you were supposed to be here? an entire month has passed already. i wish you'd just gotten in the truck and made the five hour drive, i'm still a little mad at you for that. we should have been visiting the grand canyon, taking selfies, making brownie sundaes, watching movies, staying in bed extra late in the morning... i feel like i've gone through the grief stages five times and back again in slow motion and fast forward. i'm still waiting to get a text from you on my phone, i check it every day. part of me is still waiting for you to show up. i've had nightmares about you falling. ...all very "normal" things for people working their way through grief and trauma towards healing. i'm not sure how it would have affected me differently had you not be on your way to be here with me. had i not been literally sitting waiting for you to walk in my door - the waiting and then finding out really did a number on me. the last time i blogged i said that inspiration was coming.. this was not what i was expecting.

traveling through J Tree, 4/2016
from my journal:
4/1.... dear E., here i am in J Tree. as soon as i drove into and over the town line and the trees appeared, i started to cry. home sweet home. the relief i feel here even though it seems i'm always here trying to escape something. how lucky i am to have this place. to have found it and connected to it. i remember the day you and i met, and i told you about my love for this place, you said, "maybe that's why you ended up out here." i saw some climbers in the park and felt a knot in my stomach. i saw little purple blooms scattered in different spots i drove through - was that you? i swear i could feel you and the love you had for it here, too.
lately i've been wondering if i'm crying because i miss you or because i don't know what i meant to you. you so obviously changed me - but from me, what did you accept in? were the present moments all? the conversations and the sex - or was it ever more? you had said you cared about me so many times, but in your world i'm not sure i know what that means anymore. if you cared, why were you not here the day you fell?
and yet, i know it was all there. i don't know where this doubt comes from...
i wish you were here to see this cabin and this place and feel all of the love. tomorrow is my birthday and you won't be able to say happy birthday to me. what a weird thing to try to wrap my head around still. i will move on and get older and you will forever be the handsome 36.
i'm frustrated with the not knowing. the not knowing what happened. the not knowing who's side of the story is the right one. the not knowing where/how you are now. the not knowing if you can hear me. the not knowing who i was to you. the not knowing why i'm so upset. am i missing you or the way you made me feel? i'm feeling so selfish knowing there was so much i still wanted to share with you and so much i wanted to see you do. am i sad because i know death is permanent and you were never one to close any doors.. that i'll never see you again.. that no matter what i do this time it won't matter.. part of me wants to feel the relief i know some others have felt. i don't feel those things. is it because you left on good terms with me? we weren't mending anything - i was so excited preparing for you to get here. i feel so lucky in that regard. even when we probably should have been, we were almost never on bad terms. maybe rose-colored glasses but i think i'm okay with that.
you would LOVE this cabin. i really just wish we could have come to j tree together like we'd always talked about. no one i've ever met has ever loved it as much as i do. i think you understood that part of me. i know you were nostalgic for climbing here, but i'll probably never come here and not think of you. maybe sometime, eventually, when i get my shit together to live here (tiny house!) i'll make a little homage to you somehow. purple something, maybe..
tomorrow i'll wake up and be 36, also. i'll head into town and visit the farmer's market and try to find an outdoor swap meet and drive through the park again and i'll still be looking for you. please find me - meet me here and let me know you're okay. i promise i'm not forgetting to breathe - sometimes its just hard, that's all. i have to catch/stop myself from texting you photos of all this beauty around me that i'm seeing. i hope you can see it anyway. 
4/2....  today i am 36. i drove out into the middle of nowhere in j tree down a dirt road for miles and came across a purple cross memorial with a little bench. i wonder if that was you... while everyone else was leaving me facebook messages.
i drove through the park again and climbed up some rocks to get a higher view. it was so quiet and peaceful. there were lots of climbers near where i was hiking - i could hear them talking to each other. i climbed up some boulders to be a little closer to the sky - i can see why you liked it up there.
this has been an oddly bittersweet trip. while trying to celebrate myself and decompress, i was looking for pieces of you to connect to. maybe that's all i really need - to know that the connection was real and true and lasting. i think once i can feel that i'll be able to let go and move on. all the pieces are in place when i'm ready...
everything i photographed has been so vibrant and colorful and i'm a little surprised. did i just not always notice it before? is that part of what happens when you're seeking comfort? when you're searching so desperately to be inspired and feel full again? or maybe that's just how i see the world...
i know that i need to be here someday. somehow. i know that i belong here and that this is my home. i'm content in taking that back to AZ with me. with my little purple blooms pressed in this book, a handful of crystals, some artwork, and a tan. i wish i could have told you about this trip, but maybe you already know. you have a lot of people to watch over now, but i hope i will always be one of them. i have my own adventurous spirit, sometimes i might need a boost of yours though. i'll trade you that for the peace i've accumulated here. deal? 
(life is short. meet people. have good sex. learn about them. eat well. travel as much as possible. be proud of and true to yourself. make things. communicate.)
i miss you i miss you i miss you.



15 February 2016

inspiration is coming.

i have never been the type to be able to live in the moment. i've lived my whole life wanting to be able to look ahead, and plan, and know. i can count the number of moments i've experienced without my camera on one hand (and even those i wished i'd photographed!). 

but i'm getting better at it. i'm readjusting my boundaries with friends and recognizing which things in life are supposed to be private, not out of the guilt of not sharing but out of respect. i'm re-learning to trust myself and to trust other people.    

letting go of how things should be (as dictated by anyone on the outside) has opened up space for vulnerabilities and intimacies that i'm experiencing for what feels like the first time, all over again. when you're used to everyone knowing your business (because they ask or you tell them or both), suddenly things feel like yours again. you can accept in the magic of something you've created and you can feel good about the changes that have come. (theres a difference between people living through you, and people living with you. this is not a distinction i've really been good at placing.)

we live in a relationship culture where the expected outcome is that things have to "go somewhere" or lead to happily ever after, when in reality so many of us partner up just to have fun and to experience life while falling in love. this doesn't mean the end game isn't important (i for one love a good end game - being the over-planner i am), but recently i've been enjoying the more day to day interactions that don't need a plan. i have felt more surprises and more excitement than the days where i've searched real hard for a meaning that wasn't necessarily there. 

i'm on my way to comfortable again. 

its all a little quieter. my phone is quieter. my mornings are quieter. my nights are quieter. and everything in between. but in the quiet i've found that it isn't such a bad thing. that again, alone is really how i seem to choose to be. (and by alone, i mean just a select few. i'm not ever actually alone.)

"There’s a great quote by Eckhart Tolle that resonated with me years ago:

“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” 
I get disappointed just like everybody else when something doesn’t work out the way I want. But I have had the experience of losing something good, only to be given something better so many times over, that the disappointment fades much quicker and instead I wait patiently to see what the universe has in store for me instead. 
My most trying times, my most painful, what the f**k times—those times I wailed into the night, “Why is this happening to me?” thinking I’d never recover from the curve ball that life had just thrown my way. Those are the times that redefined me and led me to something better.
I started to look at those moments, not as defeats, but as necessary to unraveling what was happening in my life at the time, and learning that I can rise from it and redefine what my own happiness is." -DS

i am catching up with myself. my projects have been staring at me for weeks waiting for me to get back to them, and while i'm really hard on myself for not working more diligently or steadily right now, i know that it comes in waves. i have weeks where i do nothing but sit at my machine and sew. i'm trying to remind myself that afternoons spent in the sunshine are just as valuable. i'm reminding myself that i don't work well without inspiration, and although i know its all around me i think i'm still sifting through it. the projects will come. the time to finish some and start new ones will come. part of working on your own deadlines is giving yourself time to rest. 

i'm learning not to rely so heavily on my projects to calm the rest of my life. its my outlet, my way of speaking, but moreso recently i've been using my actual voice. either in talks with friends or in writing. i actually think this will benefit my quilt work eventually and make it easier to work on them and part with them. i never want there to be a line between what i feel and what i create, since thats how i live comfortably, but i think the manic creating and the low unmotivated moments will even out a bit more. 

i recently revisited a whole ton of photos (of everyday and quilt work and scenery) from about five years ago, when i was living in our big apartment with cats and was selling consistently on etsy and was literally photographing everything. i dove back into those days and tried to seek out what my inspiration was - the coast of maine, the seasons, everything was crisp, the colors were bold. here in the southwest i have felt such a muting, a softening, things are dusty. my inspiration has changed so drastically, and i was curious to go back to the old photos to see the difference. i was much more inspired by other quilters and their works, i was heavily immersed in Flickr communities and project swaps and quilt block bees and keeping up with the populars. it worked so well and it was all very beautiful.

but it was also very superficial. 

my work sold well, but it was just work and they were just pretty. i've said a million times: there is nothing wrong with creating something to be pretty. but i know for me, i just can't get back into that headspace. this makes constantly creating inspired/emotional pieces a little exhausting. and it makes times like this one (the past few weeks) harder. 

but inspiration is coming. 

spring. visits. faces. places. birthdays. joshua tree. 

its all coming. the next wave is on its way. and luckily, with it, this new and healthier lifestyle i've taken on. i've cut drinking out of my life almost completely (maybe one a month or so, and hardly ever at home). i'm still doing yoga/headstands as often as possible. i'm opening up where i feel safe. 

i've planned myself a birthday trip to joshua tree again (36), but unlike last year i'll be going alone (but hopefully meeting my cali soul-sister for a day or so). i'll be staying in an open air partially outdoor cabin on a far side of town for two nights and probably a hotel intown the third. i'll be visiting all of my favorite spots, quietly (with my camera of course). i'm going to be staying in an airbnb run by a social media friend that i've really admired, who has refurbed several very popular spots out there and who i've talked to about the area a bit. it is not a luxurious cabin, theres no bathtub (but a roofless shower!), theres no fancy bed with lovely linens (but a wooden plank bed). this time its really about the land and the stars. this is the way i've always wanted to do it. 

finally, i'm doing it the way i want to do it.

21 January 2016

when you are ready i will be here.

"some of us may be moving along paths that are like rushing rivers; others may be on a large, still lake. we have all felt, at one time or another, tossed about on a stormy ocean. through all this, we are never really alone, even though it might seem that way. there is inspiration all around us in the form of other people making their way through the world, in the very same boat. remember to look around you for role models, companionship, and encouragement."
for clearing and cleansing to actually last, you need to put yourself first. you won't even make a dent in reducing the stress and stuff until you've healed the the patterns that created it. if you don't feel safe, you won't let go; and feeling safe starts with understanding what you can't handle.

the one thing i have found true while facing change over and over in the past year and a half, is that if i write it out it helps. if i share it, it helps. if i talk about it, it helps. even if with just one person i know i can trust. even if its with thousands via social media. however it happens, owning my story is the most important part for me. it isn't a performance or all about image. when i am struggling, i admit it - no fluff of just pretty pictures. my pretty pictures come with very real captions. even just one connection with a total stranger is better than no connection at all. sharing really personal things can either feel really freeing or put you in a spot where you can feel unsafe, but i'm learning where to draw that line. 


i've been allowing silence when possible, i've accepted it as a usable resource that i've never really been familiar with up until lately. sometimes its the only appropriate response, even when defending yourself or shouting from the rooftops seems like your gut reaction. knowing when to stop.

in my life i want to love unconditionally, to love love love until there is nothing else, do it with love or not at all; but i'm needing to learn when to walk on from being the fixer, the helper, the carrier. there are boundaries to self care that include leaving behind the burdens you were never meant to carry, even if you’ve led yourself to believe that it’s for a good cause. friends and family can take care of themselves and find their own way, they have to find their own hope and their own success. i can't continually be defined by how i help to heal their hard parts. that is both on me to say "no" and on them to recognize the weight. so often i've been so worried about other people's happiness that i've forgotten about my own; to jump on their train of sadness or unhappiness so that i can relate and make them feel safe has sometimes created feelings in myself that simply weren't reality. losing myself in the process of trying to help someone else results in having to pick up too many pieces. i have been doing this since i was a teenager.
we are the ones who carry on, who become stoic instead of hysterical, the ones who shoulder a weight like it is nothing, nothing at all. we are the ones who make it right for everyone, who don’t say no if you need help, but almost always say no to ourselves.

sunset south/

my idea of love does not always look like everyone else's.

this is how my heart works. i know myself. before moving across the country none of this felt like a big deal. emotional mistakes or caring too much or not caring enough was just a normal way of life for me. i've done enough stretching and growing in the past two years and have had too many back to back uncomfortable experiences to know now that this is not the way that i want to continue. to think that any relationship (platonic or romantic) can take away my strength is something i am not willing to participate in anymore. the whole concept behind picking up alone and moving 3000 miles away was to make myself happy. to recognize that my strength is mine and mine alone, and how i have earned it. to trust myself. 

i'm not always good at picking and choosing when to trust myself.

i've had friendships where i was so focused on being and having a good/best friend that i overlooked or accepted a lot of stuff that made me uncomfortable. things i couldn't relate to, understand, or carry. i've misjudged support and red flags. 

my cali soul-sister and i agree that it isn't up to us to choose better when to be vulnerable, its up to other people to be trustworthy and kind and safe. there is always the possibility that people will take your openness and use it against you or take it for granted. 

i'm learning (the hard way) how to shield myself from toxic people and toxic situations instead of running into them full speed ahead. 


very early last year i was hurt by a personal relationship that i thought i understood. it turned out that i just understood all of the wrong parts. i kicked myself for quite a while for believing in something that wasn't there, and hadn't been there maybe ever. it was so ambiguous and vague and i had tried so hard to contain it and organize it. in the end it turned on me. 

shortly after, i found myself in a relationship situation where i was sometimes more concerned with and focused on the what are we supposed to be part, secretly, and i forgot to focus on what i was actually really feeling. i was scared of more ambiguity, and i was craving real and trust and being wanted. i did get all of those things for a short time on a very genuine level, but i had a hard time accepting it in fully. there were so many beautiful subtleties that i missed while looking for other things. love lives in hands on knees while driving in the car, in awkward glances over dinner, in asking for what you want. love does not have to be difficult. it can be simple and open and does not have to fill every space, and it also does not have to last.

reading back through old journal writings from that time, i realize that i was searching so hard for words to describe what i was feeling and noticing and experiencing, but all i ended up doing was writing down what happened play by play. i wanted to feel the emotions but i really wasn't ready. they all hit me months later, and now i carry them with me much more comfortably. they've finally found their place and i've finally found their meaning. and i've luckily continued to feel the trust reciprocated that i wasn't sure was there and didn't know what to do with before.

i have nothing but gratitude and no regret after gaining perspective on this experience. the intimacies that were shared are ones that will never be exploited.

grow little ones/

i'm grateful for the way i let it open up space to love myself in different ways. for all of the days that i struggled with the responsibility of moving quickly. for all of the days that i struggled with the responsibility of moving slowly. without feeling the loss i never would have appreciated the strength. without the strength i never would have appreciated the feeling of loss. i learned what it felt like to want more and what it feels like to wish you had appreciated it more in the moment.

i learned how to read my body better. i learned to laugh in intimate moments that previously made me feel self conscious. i was left knowing what true desire feels like. where the line between being excited ends and physical trust begins. what accepting and receiving, intently, feels like. i learned a lot about who i was while giving myself to someone else, and i learned how addicting that feels.

i learned that the balance comes in loving your body image, in getting outside to hike or sit in the sunshine, in doing yoga and headstands, and in focusing on breathing. recently that has come in the form of meditation before bed. in checking in when i can feel myself tense up or getting anxious, and silently talking myself back down to base. in acknowledging when i'm overextending, and bringing myself back to center. this is extremely difficult for someone like me, who continually wants to reach out. i'm learning what it feels like to reach in instead. depression is like that dark cloud that hangs over you for days and can be hard to kick - until you let in the vitamin D. when you realize that nothing you're feeling is wrong, because its yours and it fits your life. 

the old/

i'm choosing to work with it instead of trying to fight it, i'm choosing to let it change me instead of surrendering to it.