little sarah Big World

Tag: changes

The Year That Was

Funabashi, Chiba, 2014

~OR~

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You a Far More Easy-Going Person

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2014 was the year I stopped feeling homesick. The year I ran my first marathon and fell in love with Japan.

Nagano, Japan, April 2014

The year my best friend rushed home from work to spoon me on her couch while I fell apart, crying in her exhausted arms.

The year I was held together by so many, from so far, in so may ways that it is unbe-fucking-lievable.

The year I learned you can’t always reciprocate, you just have to pay it forward, and be better than you were. Sometimes you have to live the “thank you” or “I’m sorry,” because saying it isn’t enough.

The year I was brave enough to say no, not ready, not yet (even if later I wailed and wished I’d said yes).

The year I got dumped, for the first time in my life.

Broken Glass, Japan, 2014

The year I realized that I had a choice, about whether to fall apart or not.

The year I flushed a fistful of pills down the toilet, breaking plans for a very dark date with myself.

The year I tried head meds, saved my own life, and then stopped them, quit counseling, and followed my own advice.

The year I realized that I know better than anyone else, when it comes to my own life.

The year I started making my own damn decisions, without endless debate or consultation.

The year I held my own hand, small in my bed, and knew that it was enough.

Daffodils, 2014

I almost didn’t make it through 2014. I had to learn to live for others first, then for my own self second. If I could say one thing to the whole wide world, I would say: it’s okay. Everyone is doing their best.

Shibuya Crossing on a Rainy Day, Tokyo, 2014

I want to dedicate 2014 to all of my many many loves, but especially to these people, for these reasons:

To Erin, for bringing me a cookie and sitting with me while I hid in a stairwell at work and cried.

To my mom, for patiently having the same conversation with me, over and over.

To my dad, for being my soulmate, and my friend.

To Scott, who talked me down off of a couple ledges, even if he didn’t know it at the time.

To the folks at Tokyo English Life Line, for obvious reasons.

Meguro, Tokyo, 2014

To Daniel, who told me his story, bought me pizza, and helped me plan a trip that I didn’t take.

To Nicole, who gave me a book like a friend, when I needed exactly that.

To Eric and Izzy, who shared their bed with me and rubbed my shoulders until I fell asleep.

To Granny, for telling me it wasn’t so bad, that we all have to kiss a few frogs.

To Gramps, for the necklace I wore like an amulet, a charm to protect against evils.

To Paul, and Felix, and Cha and Kobe, for reminding me that I could make friends.

To Nami, for putting it simply; to Nozomi, for Halloween.

Flowers, Kyoto, 2014

To Espy, for the letters; to Griggs, for the laughs; to Sperry, for the pep-talk; to Sydney, for the sunshine; to Havilah for the flowers; to Melissa for listening; to Nikki, for trying to understand; and to Natalie, for fighting with me and still loving me, even after I threw a temper tantrum.

To Sammy, for making time to see me and create the world’s saltiest nachos.

To Kendra, for that time by the pool.

To Kristin, who stopped me in my tracks, made me repeat myself, when I said: “I stopped writing in my diary, because I couldn’t write without hearing that voice, judging what I said.”

To Darcie, who gave me a new diary.

Letter from Havilah, 2014

To Kasey and Rosie and Sydney and Carol, for being brave enough to tell the truth.

To Manu, who sat with me at my hollowest moment, and knew that I would get better.

To Marcos, for a well-timed hug.

To Nanako, for being just like me, and for all of the smiles and food.

To Adrienne and Luca, my divoster parents. You bore the brunt of this.

Nagano, Japan, April 2014

To Cammi, for being proud of me, because I followed my heart, and “aint nothing wrong with that”

To Adam, for giving me back to myself.

To Melanie, for giving me permission to move on.

To Betsy, for the SkyMiles (!), but also for listening and sharing and wishing me the best.

And to Whitney, for everything, for giving me everything you had, and then giving some more.

Showa Kinen Koen, November 2014

To everyone who sat with me, when I was a husk of myself, thin and brittle and shaking and dull—for listening, for waiting, for explaining, for understanding, for that quiet small space where there was nothing to say, where you held me tight as the waves crashed overhead. Thank you for letting your hearts break open a bit, just for me.

2014 was a hell of a year; you made it unforgettable.

Yokohama, 2014

And 2015?

Oh, my friends.

My friends!

Palmer, AK, August 2014

2015 is The Year of Fuck Yes

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Things I Have Not Been Telling You

On a Windy Day

It’s not just adjusting to a new life, Friends. It is everything all at once. It is a new life, new country, new apartment, new job(s), new marriage and new definition of myself. Who is littlesarah, after all, without her friends? Without her family, or her coffee shop job, or her perfect apartment in the Avenues? Who am I in this Big World?

Better question: how am I coping? (Answer: not perfectly. Not as well as I had thought/hoped).

Historically, I have not dealt particularly well with Changes.Yet, as my mom so astutely pointed out, “I don’t know anyone who places themselves at the epicenter of change more than you.” (And I did appreciate that little earthquake reference).

So. What I’m trying to say is there are many reasons I’ve been distant, silent, cryptic, etc. But I’m back, and I want to let you know why I was gone and what’s been going on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reality

I think I may be losing my mind. Just a little. Just a slight slackening of my grip on reality.

I guess this is what happens when you go through a lot of change in a short period of time and think way too much about it. Or, at least, this is what happens to me under those circumstances.

Also what happens to me is that Espy and I skip book club in order to eat samosas and run into a goat tied up outside of a bar, like a mother fucking episode of Little Lulu.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, Friends.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sundaze

 

Some days you just have a mood, you know? Like anxiety, or restlessness…anger. Some days you have a black heart, and some days it’s grey, and some days you go to the grocery store and buy milk and toilet paper, everything white and clean.

Read the rest of this entry »

Long Days, Long Rides, Long Walks, Long Talks

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What Passes as Life These Days

After a post about too many pictures and not enough words, I offer you a picture-heavy, verbally sparse post.

And what can I say? It’s been a hell of a weekend, and sometimes the words just aren’t there. Tears, yes. Blood, yes. Words…

Plus lately I’ve been drawn into myself, and I’m okay with that. Lots of long walks, long runs, long bike rides. Alone. I find myself enjoying socialization less and less, though I do still appreciate the time I spend with friends, just talking and talking for hours.

All of these photos are from weeks ago. They’ve just been hanging out in my computer, saved to a draft on WordPress. In limbo.

I, too, feel like I’m in limbo, but it is not an unpleasant feeling. Because it also feels like I’m on the verge of something, something very important.

All I have to do is slow it down, take a step back, and listen.

And wait. Always the waiting.

So Fresh and So Clean

~OR~

Good Morning, Sunshine!

I pulled up this little beauty in the library garden this morning. Already we are seeing the “fruits of our labor,” and it thrills me to no end. Garden work is satisfying, says I.

I did not eat the little guy, however, as I am fasting. Yep. That’s a thing, and I am doing it.

I did a week of clean eating–absolutely no meat or dairy (I’d been cheating, especially when it was invisible, like in a cookie), no gluten, and no refined sugar (although exceptions were made for beer and french fries at the Mad Men series finale…). Then I did 3 days of raw food, which I was actually pretty good at. My only cheat was a honey delight at work–honey, seeds, and dried fruit. So I feel like if that’s the worst cheat, then I’m in good shape.

And today I commenced with the juicing.

So breakfast was beets, carrots, apple and a bit of fig. Then I went and worked in the garden. Then I came home SO HUNGRY and made lunch:

Beets, beet greens, apple, orange, and carrot. Not too bad, but I was still incredibly hungry after. With the raw food, I was only super ravenous the first day, and then I seemed to get used to it. So hopefully this will be the same.

However, it’s all leading up to a 10-day Master Cleanse (judge me, go ahead), which means I’d probably better get used to feeling hungry. I know this is hard for people to understand, but I am actually excited to be doing this. Even the first day of raw food, when I was hungry and cranky and light-headed, I just kept thinking about how I was about to go on an amazing journey, and that I didn’t know what would come next. I’ve been fascinated with fasting for years now, and leading up to this I’ve been researching like crazy, so it’s really very fulfilling to me to be finally doing it.

Call me crazy.

 

 

Goodbyes and Hellos

Leaving Santiago:

Arriving Valparaíso:

Every time we change towns I have a weird sort of traveler’s growing pains, always prefering where we were to where we are now. Then I get over it. Example: I totally didn’t love Valparaíso, and now I totally do. So I’ll just have to keep that in mind for the next change.

This is how we learn, Friends.

Early Morning, Hostel

OR

Hello, Mendoza!

After a long and very fancy bus ride…

 …I arrived at my hostel in Mendoza!

…with grotesquely swollen feet and ankles:

Ah, well. You can’t have it all. Fingers crossed that this is from my non-vegan meat-fest yesterday (I was so hungry, and so tired of snacking. Argentina is the worst place not to eat meat or dairy), or maybe from too much running? I would hate to have to go to any sort of doctor here.

Psych!

~OR~

Catchphrases of the 90s: Where Are They Now?

Aw, Friends, you didn’t really think I’d abandon you for 3 whole weeks, did you? Now, I can’t promise daily posts (as though that were the standard that I’ve set…), but I will do my best to treat you to enough catch-up posts and guest blogs to keep you coming back for more.

Because the “more” will be pictures of South America. Argentina, Chile, and Peru, specifically.

In the meantime…here’s a March Round-Up! March was fun, Friends. Or did you not see the two bottles of wine above? That happened! We took two bottles of wine to a dinner for three. This was that dinner:

That was at Pago. For Stephanie Red’s birthday. Also for Stephanie’s birthday, we had cake. In a bar. Because of this movie. It was cheesecake:

Ah, birthdays. We basically celebrated for a week, which is how everyone should birthday.

Also in March, Salt Lake got a new mall! What? YES.

Lindsey Friend works there. We ate Subway about it.

Anyways, that was March! How was YOUR March? I wanna know. No, really.

Also: stay tuned.

Night Walks

~OR~

Slow It Down, Now

Remember how I had to get sick to realize that sometimes it’s okay to just do nothing? To amble, meander, even saunter? I was serious about that, Friends! I’ve been working on enjoying the journey, not just racing to the destination. So I walk more. Sometimes at night. Here’s what that looks like, from the library to my place.