little sarah Big World

Tag: friendship

Haven’t Slept a Wink

~OR~

I’m So-oh-oh Tired

Because I am just going with it, living in the moment and going with friends to late-night bars, where we indulge in late-night bar food, juicy secrets, and the honest truth.

And because I work an early morning job now, all coffee and sunrise, so I am up and at ’em by 7 at the latest, sometimes as early as 5:30.

And when I’m not staying up late with friends, I’m staying up late baking, and doing laundry. That’s life, I guess–it can’t all be chicken wings and beer.

But I am also very calm, which is a new and strange thing for me. It’s partly due to exhaustion, and partly due to something else, unnamable. Some sense of grace that I’d so long hoped for, and I am feeling more grown up of late. I feel prepared for 26, whereas I dreaded 25, didn’t think I’d earned it. Wasn’t ready to grow up.

Not that I’m ready now. BUT, I am calm. And strong. The days pass by in little slivers and I appreciate most everything. Making a salad for work…

…how delicate and tart and fresh and pink an apple can be…

…and taking a moment to snap a photo, even in the middle of a whirlwind-busy day. Because it’s the right thing. Suddenly the right thing seems so obvious, if I only slow down enough to listen. Today it was: buying a little gift for my Dad, just because, and baking bread for the staff meeting.

It’s strange, because last week I was feeling so dis-jointed, so distant and isolated and irritable. (Probably also due to lack of sleep). But…I just let it go. I let it go, and I think things are going to be fine, and everything else is out of my hands, so I will probably just eat a salad and bake some bread and read in bed ’til I fall asleep about it. What else can I do?

Last week I felt like I just didn’t care anymore, about anything. I didn’t freak out about it, I just let it happen, submerging myself completely in the feeling. Like swimming through a lake, and now I’m on the other side. Not sure where this is, exactly, but it feels new, and real, and good, and calm, and utterly blameless.

The world is quiet here.

A man just came to the desk where I’m working and donated the remainder of his clementines from a meeting in one of our public rooms. I have been craving citrus lately.

Artwork by a young patron. A gift. Okay, it was a barter.

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Life Goes On

~OR~

“Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”

Last night I was yelled at by a cab driver. He said my card was denied, that there was no money, and called me a liar, when I said I was certain that it was just a mistake. He refused to run it again, said that running a different card would waste even more of his time than I’d already wasted, yelled at me “What are you do?! Why you call a taxi if you have no money?!”

I stayed calm, repeating “What do you want me to do.” He screamed at me, threatened to call the police.

“Belligerent,” I believe, is the word.

Finally he ran another card, which of course worked. I slammed the door on my way out, and he rolled down his window to say “Attitude! You do not need to have an attitude.”

I staggered to the porch, fell into a plastic chair, and sobbed. What else could I do? How can people be so irrational, so needlessly cruel and harsh?

(Some days I am still little sarah, and it is a Big, Bad world).

But then…then there was my Stephanie P. friend, who rushed over, with hugs. Kind words and the promise of a brighter tomorrow. She had never seen me cry before, but I am not embarrased, and anyways, that’s what friends are for.

Today I made salad with bean sprouts, bloomed simply and magically in Sister Natalie’s kitchen. I like sprouts. I like eating a salad for lunch, and the way the sunlight comes in through my kitchen window. I love the little gifts and tokens of affection that my loved ones give to me, something green, and new. Like a bit of hope.

*       *       *

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
	hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
	is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
	green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
	may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
	of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
	zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the 
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

--Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

 

Can’t Stop; Won’t Stop

I got a new job, friends. A second job, at Salt Lake Roasting Co. That’s right, I’m a barista now. Who’da thunk? This is me taking charge of my finances, Friends. Keeping busy, getting things done.

And I’ve been pretty busy on the social front, as well, despite my most recent stint of Extreme Financial Lock-Down (see need for a second job, above). Last night I had dinner with Lindsey Friend, which called for a new and improved batch of cinnamon-sugar pull-apart bread. I made the dough in advance (as you may well know), and it gave me a scare (too dry! panic!), but then added some water and reduced the sugar from the original recipe. I also used almond-coconut milk, which is AMAZING (Blue Diamond brand. Go buy some), and crammed more little squares into the pan than I thought possible. The results were like this:

And then dinner was like this:

Then tonight I’m watching Harry Potter with the neph, tomorrow I’m breaking financial lock-down to go out for Indian food with coworkers, Thursday its 60s night dancing with Nicole Friend, and Saturday is the Dr. Dog concert with Stephanie Friend. Plans, Friends.

That’s not even counting work and a dentist’s appointment and running and probably more baking.

I think we can call this being on a roll.

 

 

The Year in Travel

~OR~

That’s the Way the Money Goes

*       *       *

JANUARY

Ogden & Pleasantview, UT

Went to stay with Dad for a week. Read more here.

*       *       *

FEBRUARY

Winnemucca, NV

Road trip with sister Natalie to visited sister Nikki on her 31st birthday. Read more here.

*       *       *

MARCH

New York City, NY

Flew with Dad to celebrate Cousin Judy’s (insert flattering number here)th birthday. Aunt Barbara and Cousin Emily joined us from LA and Boston, respectively. Read more here.

*       *       *

APRIL

Portland, OR

 Roadtrip with Kevin and Nicole, returning her to her temporary rainy homestead after a visit to the Land of Zion. Read more about it when I get around to finally posting on it, which should be soon.

*       *       *

MAY

Children's Department, Main Library, Salt Lake City, UT

Moved from Level 2 down to Children’s. You know, a promotion. Read more about it here.

*       *       *

JUNE

Tours, France

Went on a month-long study abroad program to France. Also went to Paris a couple times, plus too many day trips to list here and now. Read more by going to the ARCHIVES section (up top) and clicking on June 2011. There are so many entries, Friends. It was my blogging pinnacle up to this point.

Florence, Italy

Also, whilst abroad, I spent a quick weekend with Cousin Misty in Florence. Read more here.

*       *       *

JULY

Ogden, UT

July is the best month of all for Utah, Friends. It is non-stop fireworks, burgers, colas, parades, swimming, iced coffee and sunshine. Read more here here and here.

*       *       *

AUGUST

Deckers, CO

Another roadtrip, this time to stay with Lindsey and Co. at her family’s cabin in Colorado. Read more about the cabin here, and the road trip here.

*       *       *

SEPTEMBER

Lake Powell, AZ

Last-minute getaway to Powellapalooza with the band and Eric. Read more here.

*       *       *

OCTOBER

San Francisco, CA

Spent “Fall Break” (even though I’m oh-so graduated) in San Francisco, sandwiching a week of bffs/staying up late/wedding planning/motown dancing/”single” ladies visit with Whitney between weekends of quality time with Laura, Mel, and (still in utero) Lucía. Read more about this one soon, like with Portland–“when I get around to finally posting on it”–I know, I know. I’m behind.

*       *       *

NOVEMBER

Moab, UT

A road trip with Dad to run the Moab 1/2 Trail Marathon! What? YES! I did that! Read more here.

New York City & Brooklyn, NY

Then back to NYC, at which point I do start to feel a little self-conscious about my gratuitous travel exploits. But who turns down New York? Especially when the elders (Dad and Aunt Barbara) have offered to split the ticket three ways. Read more about New York, Round 2, here.

*       *       *

DECEMBER

Madrid, España

Now here we are, in Spain. Madrid, to be specific, though there was that surprise trip to Tarazona with a bonus-surprise-extension trip to Valencia (read more here), and the adventure’s not over yet. I’ve still got a week until January 9th, the date of my return ticket. So there will be more pictures, more words, more travel, and many more everyday adventures.

*       *       *       *       *

You know, May was the only month where I didn’t travel outside of Salt Lake, and I left the state for all but 3 months. Hell, I left the country twice! Yet somehow I didn’t fully comprehend just what a little globe-trotter I’ve become until November, when one of my Stephanie’s pointed out to me that I’m “traveling all the time.” And she’s right.

I’ve packed, flown, bused, trained, couch-surfed, and visited quite a lot in a quarter of a century, but 2011 certainly takes the cake. What can I say, Friends? I’m a restless gal. And I’m okay with that. In fact, if you’ve been following this here blog with any regularity, then you know that 2011 was also the year of acceptance, the year of being okay with all my mistakes, imperfections, and silly struggles. 2011 was the year of strength and confidence, and I feel so strong, Friends. I feel foolish, and uncertain, and confused, and cranky, and worried, and scared, and STRONG. I do not feel so little in the Big Bad World.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to BigSarahlittleworld.

Or maybe I should just not tempt fate and be grateful for an amazing year, made possible only with the generosity and understanding of my friends, family, and of course all of you out there, reading and sharing this adventure with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. Here’s to 2011, and now on to 2012!

Ya Regreso

That means “be right back” in Spanish. Because sometimes you get invited to spend a family-style Christmas in a small town with friends that you came to know through a string of random events and connections, and it happens so fast that you don’t even have time to post a goodbye to your (dwindling, but) beloved internet Friends.

And then you take an even more surprise, last-minute mini-vacation to Valencia, because Kevin has a spur-of-the-moment desire after realizing how close Valencia is to Tarazona, and Kevin NEVER has spur-of-the-moment…anything. So you go to Valencia for two three days (as easy as changing the bus tickets), and take more pictures than you think you will ever have time to blog, but you promise yourself that you WILL blog them, damnit, because your Friends need you. And you need a sense of purpose.

Because…even though all this makes it sound like and oh-so romantic and whimsical and spontaneous time, what it feels like is a series of snapshots, disconnected moments, good and bad and foolish and simple and new and memories and tired and drinking, confused as ever, all of it thrown together, one piece passing by at a time, and you are trying to live in the moment, but the moment keeps changing to something else, and it is not surreal, it is as real and natural as everyday life, except that you are supposed to go back to your everyday life in Salt Lake City, and you really, really don’t want to, but it makes even less sense to stay, and you have your doubts, and no matter what somebody is going to get hurt, and you still haven’t learned your lessons and you are coping by reading Memoirs of a Geisha all the time, for hours and hours at a time, but you are still not done because it is 499 pages and you are a slow reader.

So…yeah, I need to figure out that next step, is what I’m saying.

More posts to come, naturally.

Cheers

~OR~

“My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready to Go”

Except that my bags aren’t packed. But my presents are wrapped! And packaged, stamped, and shipped, in some cases.

I’ve got to say that fleeing the country has done wonders for my productivity. I can’t “put off until tomorrow what can be done today,” because tomorrow I’ll be in Spain, or at least on my way. So I made a list, and I’ve just been plowing through, even tackling things I’ve been putting off for years, like attaching the basket to my bike and mailing copies of photos from high school to old friends.

I even had time for a ladies night at my place last night, which inspired me to clean like I’ve never cleaned before. Honestly, this is the tidiest and most organized my little studio has been since I moved in.

Then tonight I have a concert with Eric and the ensemble, and tomorrow I’m on my way. But I haven’t packed, no. I’ll find the time. Right now, I feel it’s important to enjoy the season and the company of my friends. To make time for cheer.

Returning the Favor

I hope that I am as good to my girlfriends as they are to me. That I am patient, caring, funny, silly, and wild the way they are. I hope that I listen as well as they do, and that I lift them out of their slumps–even if only for an afternoon–the way that they’ve done for me. I hope I’ve said the right thing.

I never realized how much of my adult female socializing would take place in coffee shops, bistros, cafes, etc. Not that I’m complaining.

Busy, Busy in the Beehive State

So Friday was like this:

Waffles and fries, followed by tea and shopping, with Stephanie.

Then, later, a decent rehearsal, a ride from an amicable gent, and Gallery Stroll with another Stephanie (I now have three regular Stephanies in my life, along with a host of supporting Stephanies).

Finish it off with a delicious dinner at Himalayan Kitchen, good wine, good conversation, a great book (Poisonwood Bible), and then early to bed.

All in all, a successful Friday.

So why do I feel this hollow feeling, like I’m doing something wrong? Like something is missing.

 

 

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.

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.”