Tuesday, December 13, 2016

picture this


This is the view from my friend's back deck. That's the rising moon and the greenway bridge. 


This is my friend & her daughter with me at the attorney's office, signing the documents that make her a homeowner. 

This is what Habitat for Humanity does. This is what I get to participate in. My friend and her 4 children escaped Syria and now have a beautiful home that is safe, warm, spacious and *hers*. www.habitatwake.org

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

reality

today i took an inventory of my car:

hammock
little black dress
4 pairs of shoes
5 various empty cans/bottles
mini fridge
vacuum cleaner
gym bag
power strip
giant umbrella
green bow
coat
scarf
overnight bag
2 boxes of kleenex
saltines
2 mugs
ball cap
yoga ball (deflated)
projector (wtf??)
ski pants (sorry sarah)
window jambs
miscellaneous cables 

help. me. ... :)






Sunday, November 27, 2016

here i am

today is my birthday.

it is my first birthday waking up alone with no one to celebrate me since i was born. on the heels of my first single thanksgiving, and facing my first single christmas... well, let's just say i'm feeling a little blue. my daughter thinks i want to get divorced... no one *wants* to pull apart their life, lose their intimate relationships and face an empty room. at least i certainly don't. but what do you do when it's been a very long time since either of you made each other happy? when you don't talk or laugh with each other and instead every conversation leads to an argument? when years  of time and commitment and therapy make no change, and only leave you both exhausted and resentful? it would be so much easier if someone had cheated or lied... then i'd have a concrete "right there, that's why". instead, all i have is that we don't fit. all i have is that he doesn't want me to come home, and i don't want to come home.

looking back on my year, it's been one of the best and worst of my life. the pendulum has swung across the gamut. i went to africa, and i'm getting divorced. two things i actually thought would never happen in my life. but here i am. being a human is hard.

*amendment*

that's all very sad sack stuff. and it's all true. but here is another thing that is true. this upcoming year holds a lot of possibilities. i want it to be a year where curtis and i, as we navigate the path ahead of us, become lighter. become happier. i want him to be truly happy... he is a good man. and i want to be happy, too. i know you can't build your life on something as fleeting as happiness, but i don't want to live without it, either. that's my birthday wish.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

revelations

sitting at the table this morning eating cereal with vinny & katlyn, referring to himself and me, vinny made the comment, "we are so predictable."


you might not believe me, but that is true! it seems very odd to us that so many people are of the opinion that we are unpredictable ... "crazy", if you will. but truth be told, there are no surprises here. the secret is to learn to understand our underlying motivations, which are actually unchanging. we have a core that is solid - we know what our values are, how we want to treat people and how we want to be treated. we know what we believe, and at the center of both of us is strong and furious capital "L" Love.


vincent says you have to learn to approach and understand us like jane goodall did with the chimpanzees. i want to disagree with him, but ... sigh... i cannot. HA!



 truth is not for cowards!


growing as a person


does learning to enjoy a new liquor count as growing as a person? i vote yes. :) after my arrival at katlyn's and a quick shower, it was quickly determined that a drink or two was needed to kick off the thanksgiving season. now i am not a bourbon drinker by any stretch of the imagination... but it turns out katlyn & vinny are quite the bourbon/whiskey snobs, and they decided to ameliorate this particular gap in my palate education.

they set up a flight of bourbons & whiskey - just of the ones they had on hand - with a bonus rum. We tried: Blade & Bow, Woodford Reserve 12 Year Standard, Bulleit Rye Whiskey, RedBreast Single Pot 12 year Irish Whiskey, I.W. Harper, Willett Pot Still Reserve, High West Campfire Whiskey and Zaya Gran Reserva Luxury Rum 12 year aged. The instructions were that each bourbon would be consumed in 3 small sips - the first gets the burn out, the second is the first release of the flavors and the third (held for a moment on the tongue) is the full experience of the rich flavor of the drink. What follows are my tasting notes for your edification.

Blade & Bow: pretty burny on the first sip (but it was also my first sip of any bourbon last night, which is always going to be pretty burny), pretty much no burn and a lot of vanilla on the second sip, and full on oatmeal chocolate chip cookie on my third sip. i would definitely sip this over ice without even mixing it. (i did mix myself a goldrush with it, which was also delicious.)

Woodford Reserve - very smooth, quite a bit of black licorice, and i did *not* like it. at all. there is definitely an "x" beside it on my scrap of paper.

Bulleit Rye - so. boring. rye is grown in canada and vincent said, 'this is what canada tastes like to bourbon'. nope.

RedBreast Irish Whiskey - these sips were prefaced by vinny saying, "irish whiskey is for fucking or fighting". ha! it was pretty smooth and slightly sweet, but with a surprisingly peppery finish. it was very forward tasting, and left a spicy, burny aftertaste. i didn't love it.

I.W. Harper - this one was yummy. there was no burn, and immediately had a hint of maraschino cherries. one the third sip, vincent suggested banana... i let it roll around a bit on my tongue and would agree with a hint of banana *runt*, but not a straight up banana. we agreed to disagree. yummy either way.

Willett - tiny hint of peanut, but overall a very bright bourbon... which is not something i found to be a typical bourbon descriptor. it had a lovely cherry flavor - not the maraschino kind, the summer grocery store kind. i definitely chose this one to drink over ice later on.

High West Campfire Whiskey - took a sniff and wanted to throw up. it smells like old stinky campfire. katlyn insisted that i at least try it. it tasted like licking the side of an old, gross boat. double nope.

Zaya Gran Reserva Rum - this was a bonus tasting. i was promised that this was rum like i had no idea existed. turns out - holy shit. yes. this was *amazing* ... it both smelled & tasted like cream soda! it was creamy and sweet, but not sticky, with a super yummy aftertaste. i might drink this over ice after dinner... mmmmm

Saturday, November 19, 2016

anyone wanna rub my shoulders?



i have a friend who calls it 'the church of the woods'... and he's not wrong. i spent three hours today laying in my hammock, alternately dozing and gazing up into this view. it was *so* peaceful. leaves and pine needles fluttered down from the heights, and occasionally i gave myself a nice little push with a fallen branch, rocking myself into a blissful, semi-conscious state. the sun, the smell of fall and the lazy hours worked healing magic on me. the peace of the day sunk down into me. i feel... stilled. relaxed for the first time in ages.

of course, the knot in my left shoulder is still there, pretty vigorously to be honest. i could really use a shoulder rub.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

superstitions and metaphors

so i have a thing. kind of like a superstition, but not entirely. at numerous pivotal, intense or overwhelming moments in my life, at the very second i am wondering to myself how on earth i will survive, i have seen a living thing that is out of place. like an owl in the middle of the sidewalk, just chillin'. or a fox trotting past my back door. hummingbirds, deer, birds of prey, praying mantis', bunnies, herons... not strange living things, just living things at strange times or places, or in an obvious way that is unusual. when that happens to me, it's like i hear God / the Divine / the Universe say to me, "i see you." 

it's never a sense that everything will be fine, or that it's all gonna to come up rachel... just that i am seen. just that someone or something bigger and more powerful than me, with infinitely more control, is aware of little ol' me... aware of what i am going through, aware of how i feel. every time it happens, i feel a little less isolated, a little less alone. 

add to that little superstition the way that life is full of metaphors, and i'll let you draw your own conclusions about the following: this little guy popped out of the breakroom drain today when someone turned on the tap to wash their mug.


oh. my. gosh. we scooped him up, set him outside in the sun and i gave him a little pile of the birdseed from my feeder. 

sometimes i'm the mouse, some days i'm the girl with the birdfood. either way, today i saw a living thing that was out of place. i'm feeling a little less alone and a little more seen. <3

superstitions and metaphors

so i have a thing. kind of like a superstition, but not entirely. at numerous pivotal, intense or overwhelming moments in my life, at the very second i am wondering to myself how on earth i will survive, i have seen a living thing that is out of place. like an owl in the middle of the sidewalk, just chillin'. or a fox trotting past my back door. hummingbirds, deer, birds of prey, praying mantis', bunnies, herons... not strange living things, just living things at strange times or places, or in an obvious way that is unusual. when that happens to me, it's like i hear God / the Divine / the Universe say to me, "i see you." 

it's never a sense that everything will be fine, or that it's all gonna to come up rachel... just that i am seen. just that someone or something bigger and more powerful than me, with infinitely more control, is aware of little ol' me... aware of what i am going through, aware of how i feel. every time it happens, i feel a little less isolated, a little less alone. 

add to that little superstition the way that life is full of metaphors, and i'll let you draw your own conclusions. this little guy popped out of the breakroom drain today when someone turned on the tap to wash their mug.


oh. my. gosh. we scooped him up, set him outside in the sun and i gave him a little pile of the birdseed from my feeder. 

sometimes i'm the mouse, some days i'm the girl with the birdfood. either way, today i saw a living thing that was out of place. i'm feeling a little less alone and a little more seen. <3

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

well, this happened

welp. i said i'm going to be honest, so i'm just going to be honest. today was a total shit show. and i am making poor self-care choices. a cigarette. a double gin & tonic. a little self-pity, a lot of anger. if i'm going to preach it, i have to tell the truth you when i wildly miss the mark. so, i missed the mark. and i'm just going to stay here for a little while. maybe tomorrow will be a new day. it probably will. but today, i am tired. tired of fighting for every inch.

i know that the moment is not forever. you don't need to remind me of that. i know that feelings aren't facts and the sun will come out tomorrow. yup. all true. tomorrow, tomorrow, i love ya tomorrow...


Monday, November 14, 2016

self-care

so. choices. not like should i take this job or move to spain kind of choices, but like, should i go to the gym or stop for a drink kind of choices. i was talking to a friend recently who said something along the lines of "i realized i've got to take better emotional care of myself." i'm talking about those kind of choices. self-care kind of choices.

self-care. what time do i need to go to bed to make tomorrow good? have i eaten enough vegetables lately? did i talk to my mom recently? are my toenails too long? is my toothbrush new enough? seriously, though... am i taking care of myself? the little things that add up to the big things?  are you taking care of yourself? have you laughed with anyone recently? eaten your favorite thing? sat in the sun, stretched, told someone you love them and meant it?

take care of yourself. whole people take care of themselves. and when we forget to, neglect to, or make choices that we later reconsider, we don't throw in the towel. we move on to the next self-care choice and make the best one we can. that's how we roll. we are each going to get our shit together if it kills us.

right? :)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

getting your shit together


this is a true story. both the picture above and the words that will follow it. for so long i've tried to get my shit together, get things under control, set my feelings aside, put my head down and push through... and let me tell you, it's pretty fucking exhausting. so guess what. i'm officially admitting, here and now, that i do *not* have my shit together. i'm not even sure that such a thing is possible. but pretending it's all under control isn't going to help things. trying to look at your life honestly is terrifying... truth is not for cowards. even just the half-truths we are able to recognize about ourselves can be overwhelming. even those half-truths, tamed and edited for public consumption are unsettling as hell. looking at myself and my life honestly creates a lot of the feels... because to be frank, it's not all rainbows & unicorns over here. in fact, i haven't seen a rainbow in ages.

on the recommendation of a friend, i bought the book "f*ck feelings" by michael bennett. i am only on page 21 and the thing is already dogeared and marked up... a sign of something worth reading. i am stuck on this paragraph:

"besides, your nasty, demonic side may be part of the spark that makes you creative, funny, and energetic. while that side may not be easy to control or live with, you can try to use that negative energy in good ways. becoming more positive doesn't mean becoming sweetly angelic, but rather, decently demonic, or at least decent enough that your friends don't all tell you to go back to hell."

i'm not saying i'm demonic - but i must admit there is a part of me that is hard to control and hard to live with. i suspect, if you're being honest, that you do, too. i think all this time i've been defining "having my shit together" as getting rid of that part of me, or at least stuffing it down far enough that it can't affect anything or anyone. no wonder it's exhausting. because maybe "having my shit together" means accepting *all* the pieces and parts of me, even the "demonic" ones, and figuring out how to be a whole person who is broken, instead of a broken person trying to be whole. does that make sense?

one way or another, writing things down is good for me. so here i am. i'm going to try to be honest. i'm going to try to be gentle with myself. being a human being is hard.