little sarah Big World

Month: November, 2011

Last Week

Last week I went to New York City, and I want to have more to tell you about that, but things are weird right now, Friends, what can I say? I will tell you that Snapple is alive and well in The Big Apple, something which both delighted and surprised this little westerner. Here’s what else I was tickled to see:

 

 

 

 

 

I really did have an amazing, quick little visit. I ran around the park. I spent time with my cousin, which is something I’ve been longing to do ever since our whirlwind visit last spring. Because–up until that point–I’d forgotten how easily we get along, how long we’ve known each other, how very similar and very different and very strange we are.

And this trip was a little different, because she’s having a rough time and adjustments and things, and I’m just sort of floating around in the ether, but I was happy to be with my cousin.

I do love New York City. I would love to live there someday, and I almost did once! Really! I came THIS CLOSE, but in the end I turned down the offer. Because it scared me. Because I was young and had a boyfriend. Because I am the absolute worst at making Life Choices.

And now I’m back in a similar spot–stuck between two equally tempting, equally improbable choices. I’ve lost the ability to imagine a near-future for myself. I try to picture it, and my mind goes blank. Either option seems vague, uncertain, and unreal.

I wish I had more to say to you about my trip to New York City. I had a good time. I always have a good time in New York, always am happy on the road, away from home, on my own, little sarah, Big World, etc.

But then I always come back home, in the end, back to Utah. Even though I dread it. Even though it feels like a slow death. Even on the airplane home, I can feel it sucking me back in–“…but your family is here, and what about your little sister and nephews? And what about your job and coworkers? And what about your friends and musicians? And your apartment? And…”

And…and I don’t know what to do about all that, Friends. I just don’t know.

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Last Night

Last night I slept at my Moms’ house. On the couch. I stayed up too late buying Christmas gifts online and writing a long email to Kevin and then blogging about little me. But it felt good, and right. Sometimes I’m overcome with a feeling of calm and well-being, combined with a feeling of energetic inspiration and optimism. Like I’m in the right place at the right time.

I try to hold on to this feeling, to duplicate it, so that I might live my life to the fullest, as they say–take it easy, go with the flow, etc. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to feel this way when I’m WAY less busy (especially in the evenings) and doing just as I please.

I also tend to feel this way when sleeping on a loved one’s couch during the holidays. True story. Go figure.

Coming Soon: More of the Same

Which means travel, both recent and reminiscent (San Francisco, New York City, Portland).

It means accomplishments, and dancing, and long bike rides, and sunshine.

I suppose it also means anxiety, loneliness, running, and indecision. But that’s me, Friends. I am those things.

And it means more pictures, of course, but not tonight. Tonight I will tell you a story, and then we will go to sleep, because it is late.

*       *       *

This is the story of a girl who lived in the land of Know, where people made plans, chartered paths, and then walked their lives like a tightrope, straight to the other side.

But this little girl didn’t know, or she thought she knew, but the she changed her mind, broke something, fell apart. And in the land of Know (where both K and W are silent), our little girl was made to feel that it was bad and wrong not to know, to be crippled by indecision, or to chase after darkness, or to go to bed early with no big plans. No, little girl, they said. Not like that.

And she didn’t know. She just didn’t know. But she thought, and she dreamed, and she made little plans, dancing and laughing even sometimes. She found for herself a set of challenges and adventures, and she met them one-by-one, conquering joyously, moving in unrelated patterns from one small victory to the next, alighting just long enough to understand and embrace and ache and cry. Like skipping among the stars, chasing their twinkling light.

Perhaps we can call that knowing.

*       *       *

I ran around Central park, Friends. Not the outside–I ran along paths inside the park, staying as close to the perimeter as possible to cover the most distance, and that was about 2 hours. Mission accomplished, and cross it off my Life list.

A wholesome-looking young man high fived me, about halfway through, in passing. Maybe he knew I was realizing my dream.

Goodnight, Friends.

Good Day Sunshine

Recently I decided to stop partying so hard, move forward, untether myself from a sinking ship. If you will. Turns out that doing such things cost me many friends and showered me with judgment and insult. And it does sting, Friends. It burns, a little.

But the thing is…I’m okay. Doing quite well, actually. Still without internet at home, and I’ve been reading in bed (zines, fiction, graphic novels, periodicals…), having Dance Party of One (Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Dr. Dog and Arcade Fire), cleaning house and enjoying the alone time. Watching Woody Allen films.

And eating well. Salad, even! If a delicious Winter salad is not a mark of inner peace and health, then I just don’t know what is. Plus the baking, again, my old comfort habit. I’m feeling like myself again, is I guess what I’m trying to say.

Not that I’m perfect. I’m not. I’ve done some cowardly, misguided things of late. Slipped back into old, bad habits. But I pulled myself out again, and if that means Permanent Alone Time, then that’s fine. In fact, I’m glad of it. Because…because there was a time when that wouldn’t  have been okay. In fact, my trip for most of last year was “Nobody likes me I have no friends what’s wrong with me?!”

Whereas now I wonder, “What’s wrong with them? I’m having the time of my life.”

 

But I am Tough as Nails

So it’s not all weakness. It’s not all crying alone in the shower, or eating leftovers while watching America’s Next Top Model.

Because sometimes I am strong. Sometimes I far surpass my own perceived limitations. Sometimes I kick ass, Friends. SOMETIMES I RUN A HALF-MARATHON.

I still almost can’t believe it. I’d always thought of such a distance as a race for real runners. For people who’d been running for years. People who trained constantly. To me, 13.2 miles was SERIOUS BUSINESS. Not for amateurs, and certainly not for wimps. But then…I did it. I trained, and I went to Moab, UT, and I ran not just any ol’ 1/2 marathon, but the Moab Trail 1/2 Marathon, which was all hills and rain and mud and slickrock, plus hiking and sliding down boulders and jumping over puddles and wiping my runny nose on my sleeves. Oh, and then about a quarter mile at the end of wading through a freezing cold, knee-deep (for me–and I’m 5′ 8”!) creek. Then scrambling through the mud.

3 hours, 17 minutes, and 53 seconds later, I was done. Not an amazing time, no (I placed 217 out of 258 runners), but that’s not what matters. Not to me, at least. What matters to me is that I did it. That thing I’d thought was so big and so difficult, for so long, is now in my rearview mirror. And just imagine my next half-marathon, without a bunch of crazy topos.

So, yeah, sometimes I surprise even myself. And then I eat a ham and cheese sandwich. With chips. Then I take a nap. And have a sleepover with my little sister, in the desert. This is my life, in Utah.

I am not superhuman

What I want most of all is to be forgiven

I am only human, after all

¡Día de los Muertos!

 

 

I think I like Día de los Muertos better than Halloween. The meanings, the rituals, the imagery. The colors. Every year I see more and more people dressing up as calaveras (those painted skulls), and I think “good.”

Making Time

Time to read:

“Why they came East I don’t know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together.”     —The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Time for friends, for gathering:

And festivities–time to celebrate, get messy, laugh, be creative:

Time for new friends, and new beginnings, for soul-satisfying discussions and long runs through tree-filled canyons. For the crisp air and crunchy, fire-colored leaves. Time for nourishment:

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”     (Also Gatsby)

[Just like that, but with Autumn]