Wednesday, May 4, 2011


When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom

I paited this picture last year when things were really bad, right before Zack and I separated. Tonight I went back in and filled the cracks in the cup with gold.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pity Party, Table for One

My parents always taught me that when you start to feel really bad about yourself--when you're sad or lonely or mad or ungrateful...that's the best time to go and do something for someone else. Because as bad as you think you've got it, there is always going to be someone out there who is going through something even harder than whatever it is you think is so wrong in your life. And they are right.

That said, if you ever want to host a pity party for yourself, call me. Seriously. I may be the world's expert on feeling sorry for yourself at this point and can give you the hook up; I'll let you in on all the tricks of the trade. I've been having one for myself for the past year or so now, I'm I've gotten really, really good at it.

That's the truth, people.

I moved out one year ago this month and since that time I've done more crying and wallowing and reminiscing and obsessing and pitying than I care to admit. And yeah, its probably normal and part of the healing process...blah blah blah--I get that and I'm thankful that I had supportive family and friends who put up with it...but frankly, I'm also getting really sick of it. I'm sick of myself, and I'm sick of feeling sad and lonely and lost most of the time. Because for the past year that's what I've spent the majority of my time feeling and you know what? It's not really any fun at all and furthermore, what purpose is it serving? It's not. I think it was for awhile because its normal and healthy to grieve. But there also comes a point where you just have to look at yourself and say, "Self, yeah that was bad but you lived through it and its time to put your big girl pants on and move forward."

When I moved to the Republic of Texas I looked at it as a bit of a second chance. A fresh start and a clean slate. New job, new house, new city, new car, new people, new relationships, etc. I made myself a couple of promises too. Not New Year's resoluations per se, but just things that I really wanted to make happen in my life, because I thought they they were good things and they were important to me. One of the main ones was that I really want to do more for other people. I want to spend my time and my money in ways that will benefit someone else, or will help promote some good, somewhere. For the past year I've spent all of my time and money very selfishly; I spent it on things that made me feel good right then. I used my resources like drugs. I needed a quick fix--new shoes, getting my nails done, going out to dinner for no reason--every time I started to feel the least little bit down, because those things gave me a momentary high and kept me from having to think too much about or feel too much of the hard stuff. Because, you know, God forbid I experience even a moment of discomfort. I mean, yeah I'm devastated about the divorce and then the following breakups, I hate my job and I'm really, really lonely...but have you seen my new shoes?

So yes, in the past couple months I've been trying really dilligently to not continue living that way.

This morning I got up (which is, in and of itself a blessing because how many people did not wake up this morning at all?), got out of my queen-sized cherry-wood sleigh bed with a pillow-top mattress and used my own personal bathroom with running water and indoor plumbing. I went to the kitchen where I had a pantry full of cereal options, then came to check my e-mail on my fancy-smanzy laptop. I did a l oad of laundry in my own washer and dryer then got dressed and went out to my plush brand new Jeep complete with leather interior and heated seats.

Then I drove downtown to the Beacon Outreach Center, where I helped served lunch to approximately 700 homeless people.

After that, you know what I did? I got back in my fancy ride and drove back over to the "nice" part of town, to my ridiculously over-priced apartment. I grabbed Lucy Sparkle and took her to be"groomed," because I am fortunate enough to be able to aford to spend more on getting my dog's hair cut than some people will make in a week.

I'm not telling you this to brag about what I have, I promise. I am so fortunate and have been so blessed in so many areas of my life I have no right to ever complain or be ungrateful. I tell you this because I've started to realize that perhaps my biggest failure in the past year is not that I shed more tears than I wanted to, or let myself get caught up in self-pity, or repeated bad relationship habits over and over again; I think those things are all normal and to some extent were to be expected. But the one thing I am very guilty of and feel most disgusted with myself about is the fact that I've spent the past year focusing on the one or two things in my life that I didn't have, instead of being thankful for the thousands upon thousands of blessings that are staring my in the face every single day.

I've been serving meals for the past few weekends and every time I go, I am reminded again just how amazing my life really is. I've spent the past six months beating myself up and bemoaning the fact that one stupid boy (in a world of six billion people) doesn't worship the ground I walk on when there are people out there dealing with real problems. I feel like I need someone to hit me in the face and say, "You think you've got it so rough? At least you have both legs and both arms. At least you have a place to come home to each night. You have a job and a house and a bed to sleep in. You have a family who loves you and the best friends anyone could ask for."

So there you have it. The truth is that instead of being thankful I have been selfish and depressed and whiny. Shame on me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Edge

"Come to the edge."
"We can't, we're afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't, we might fall."
"Come to the edge."
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.


Guillaume Apollinaire

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Second Home Afterall

"How lucky I am to have found something that makes saying good-bye so hard."

I moved to New Orleans grudgingly kicking and screaming. No, for real. The night before we moved down here two summers ago I literally fell apart and had one of those hysterical crying outbursts that come from months of pent up emotion finally getting out. Embarrassing really...glad no one actually saw it. I was scared to move to New Orleans frankly, and I did not want to go. At that point had I been given the choice between moving to the Big Easy and cutting off a limb, I would have gladly opted for amputation because God knows I was just going to move down there and get raped and mugged and killed. You think I'm exaggerating and being dramatic but y'all, I did not want any part of anything that city had to offer.

In hindsight I don't even remember specifically what it was I was so afraid of. Maybe it was just a fear of the unknown, and a fear of moving to a place that was so vastly different from everything I had ever known before, I dunno. Whatever it was, I am ashamed of myself for those feelings now because in the year and a half I spent there, I came to love that dysfunctional little sweatbox like you wouldn't believe. I swore that I would never let myself feel totally comfortable in NOLA, and that I'd eat dirt and die before I called it "home," but by golly...I'm starting to think that despite my best efforts, I failed miserably at both. I left when I did because I knew that for this time in my life I had to go. I know I made the right choice for right now. But man do I miss it. Maybe it's not my forever home and I know that for lots of reasons it can't be my right now home, but for the rest of my life I think I'm always going to have a place in my heart for New Orleans and if one day it ends up that I'm supposed to go back there, well, I do believe that'd be just fine with me.

All the girls with Jack from Jacques-Imo's, right before we drug him out into the street for a group hug.

I love these people.

Jonnie Chonga and I with the gold girls at the Bye Bye Hurricane Season Party. I still do not understand the significance of the gold body paint...but whatever.

My last few weeks in town are really a blur of insanity and exhaustion and fun and tears and some of the best memories of my life. I made a list of the things I wanted to do before I left town, the places I wanted to go and the restaurants at which I wanted to eat one last time and I accomplished just about all of them. I made it my goal to enjoy every single day and to make the most of the time I had left there; to do my best to really appreciate New Orleans for all that it is. Where else but NOLA could I have gone to a "Bye Bye Hurricane Season" party to help raise money to fund public evacuation for those who cannot afford to leave the city on their own? I'm telling you, this city will take any excuse to throw a party and run with it. I actually got onstage and sang karaoke at another fund-raiser (and let me make it very clear that I never, ever sing on-stage. Ever) because...why not? I may never have an opportunity like that again and I wanted to make the most of it. I helped plan and host one of the best triple birthday parties in the history of creation. I, along with some of my very best friends, went to dinner together on one of my last evenings in town and not only did we meet the head chef (who is famous in his own right there) but we took him outside and cinnamon roll hugged him in the street. That's right people--we cinnamon roll hugged Jack, of Jacques-Imo's fame! I'm pretty sure that makes me one of the five coolest people I know now. I laid on the living room floor and stared up at the Christmas tree with the girls who are now like my family and talked about life and love and the future. We laid there for hours, literally, staring up at that tree and talking. We laughed and we cried and we promised ourselves that no matter what, we'll never forget the moments like this. And we won't.

I am, in fact, alive

I live!!!!!

And by that I mean, I am alive!

Not that you'd know it based on anything I've written recently since it's been, what, like almost two months now? I know, I know, I pretty much just disappeared off the face of the earth. I apologize, but I've been a little busy ok? Gah. Get off my back, yo. I kid.

What have I been busy doing? Well...what haven't I been busy doing is probably a better question. Basically, if you take what my life looked like this time three months ago and compare it to now, NOTHING is the same. Well maybe a few things, but there have been some big time changes, lemme tell ya. New job, new car, new apartment, new city, new friends, still working on a new church, new get the idea. I moved to Houston right after Christmas and started my new job on January 3. I haven't written about any of that yet because its one of those things that has been so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start. Nor did I have time to sit down and write it all out for that matter. But now that the dust is finally settling, I'm finally starting to find a bit of a routine again, maybe I will be able to write once in awhile. That's the goal anyway...we'll see how it goes.

So...if I were going to give you a recap of the past couple months, where would be the best place to start? And don't say, "At the beginning," because I don't even really know where the beginning is anymore. I guess I ought to back it up and tell you about my last couple weeks in New Orleans because oh what a time it was...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Get it Together, L$

I think its about time for me to put my big girl pants on and deal. It's time for me to suck it up, get my game face on, and get ready to start the next big adventure of my life. I'm excited. I really am. But...I'm also a wee little bit scared.

(And by wee little bit scared what I mean is, I'm darn close to being too paralyzed with fear to get out of bed in the morning). Shhhh...

This is my last week at work which is both bittersweet and surreal. Can't even believe it. There have been days that seemed to last for three years and times when I was banging my head against the wall out of boredom and frustration, but by and large, the past year and a half has flown by. I don't even know that it has entirely sunk into my little brain yet that I really and truly am going to leave this place.

The past two weeks or so have been a freakin' emotional roller coaster for me (ok who am I kidding...that statement really applies to the past two years of my life, if we're being honest here). I alternate between being super excited about the new job/new city/adventureness of it all, being petrified to the point of asking myself if I'm sure I'm making the right decision and just wanting to hide under my bed until June, and being sad to leave such good people, yet resigned to do this thing. Am I a wreck or what? (The correct answer is yes, yes I am).

I think what it all comes down to is that this is just a really big change. Maybe the biggest life change I have experienced to date even, (I'll get back to you on that) but a change for sure. At this point I think I dont even know for sure if this is a good change, or the right change, a temporary change or a permanent this point it's still just change. And change is scary.

All I really know for sure at this point is that I am finally moving. Both literally and figuratively. I hope I'm moving forward but even if I'm not, at least I'm no longer standing still either. I'm sad to leave my friends here, but I know that I can't stay and keep doing what I've been doing (on a number of levels), so its time for me to go. What it ultimately comes down to is that I've finally started to realize that there's sometimes a difference between what I want and what is right. Staying in NOLA would be easy now. I have friends, I know my way around as well as anyone, I've got a job, etc. It's comfortable and its easy. Even when I'm bored out of my mind at work there's a comfort to having a routine, to seeing the same people every day, and to the relationships I've developed here. But that doesn't make any of it right. I have too much yet to do with my life that I know I cannot accomplish from where I am right now. I see so many people who seem to me as though they have essentially given up; they'd rather stay in a situation, even when its bad, because they're too afraid to risk the discomfort of change. I don't ever want to be that. I hope I never reach a point where I let fear be the determining factor in what I choose for myself.

So...I'm going. It wont be easy at all, and between now and then I'd imagine I'll shed no small number of tears for all that I'm leaving here. I'm going knowing that there will definitely be tough days ahead, probably days when I feel lonely, days when I'm scared, and days when I really do just want to come running back to the feeling of security I have finally started to develop in NOLA. But I also know I can't do that. And I won't. I know that tough as it may be, this is what I have to do right now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sometimes technology, I really hate you

No, really. I'll be the first to admit that my phone is more like another bodily appendage than a piece of hardware and that I'm not sure how I would function without the internet and my ipod and my blackberry. Seriously, I'm so dependant at this point that I'd probably just curl up in a corner and die without them. That said, some days I kinda just want to throw the stupid phone at the wall and never look back.

So the other day, everything I own decided to break at the same time. Bless her heart, I think my poor jeep is on its last leg and I'm just crossing my fingers that she'll last a little while longer until I can buy a new vehicle. The battery died on me this past week, so I had AAA come to my office to jump start the engine (in the parking garage, mind you). The guy was cool and offered to clean my battery connectors for me, since apparently they were in "God awful shape," and being one to never pass up a free offer, I agreed to let him. It went well until he was trying to put them back on and tighten them and one snapped apart in his hands. Fantastic. So then I got to go on an adventure with the AAA guy to buy new connectors. I guess its not all bad--if they were in that bad of shape they probably just needed to be replaced anyway.

Well, while all of this is going on (because nothing says "fun afternoon" like being stranded with a dead car and also a cell phone that doesn't work), my cell phone decides to spontaneuously combust. And by combust I mean die. It froze up and the only button that would work at all was the "T" which isn't horribly helpful, you know? So after I finally got the jeep running agin, I then got to drive out to the AT&T service store and wait around for an hour for them to determine that the refurbished phone they gave me three weeks ago when I was there for the same problem, was in fact broken beyond repair. I am now on my 3rd phone.

Last but not least, the heater in my apartment went out yesterday while I was at work. Guess who slept in sweat pants, under armour and wool socks last night...?