little sarah Big World

Tag: things to be grateful for

Hey, Dad

-OR-

An Idea Borrowed from Whitney

Hey, Dad. Hi. How’s it going? I’m writing directly to you because I know you’re probably the number 1 reader of my blog, though I often have to push that thought away in order to write honestly about, you know, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.

But I’m glad that you read, even when you over-analyze what I’ve written. I know you read so faithfully because you care, because you’re interested in my life and concerned for my well-being. So I just wanted to take a moment to say “hey,” and to let you know that I’m doing fine. You don’t have to worry, because I’m turning out just fine. Hello from littlesarahBigWorld. (These guys wanted to say “hi,” as well):

-OR I COULD SAY-

Hello from your mountain-climing, long distance-running, doowop-singing, yoga-loving, broadway musical-obsessed daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess, but that’s part of what makes me me, and the me that I am right now is loving life. No need to worry.

-OR-

Hello from the top of Machu F***ing Picchu!!! I made it! Your daughter climbs mountains! She travels alone in South America! She gets sick and tired and has rough days and crummy experiences, but she keeps going, head held high, chin up, and on to the next adventure.

And she loves you. So you did alright. Things turned out well.

Oh, and one more thing:

Love from your Daughter,

Sarah

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Luck Be a Lady

~OR~

Gratitude, Re-Examined

Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes, after a really rough year that culminates with you sitting in bed,  crying, and your friends have to come and sit on the bed with you and force you to talk and eat things…things take a turn for the better. Sometimes you go from sleeping next to the coal shoot to having your own studio; from having shitty friends, to no friends, to amazing, caring, devoted, silly and wonderful friends. Sometimes you go from working all the time and resenting everything to working a good amount, saving up money, and totally digging your job (most of the time).

Sometimes you think you are going to have to make yet another Big Decision, and you are totally prepared to face it, to do the grown-up thing, cancel that darned South American adventure in favor of a stable job and a fulfilling life in a small(ish) town (to see that integrity wins over desire, as Ms. DiFranco might say)…but then instead you get everything. You get to keep that job, the friends, the life, the boyfriend, the apartment.

At least, that’s what’s been going on with me. And I feel guilty. For getting what I wanted. For things working out.

I want to say that it was hard work. That I deserve the life I have because I’ve worked for it, suffered through years of tedious jobs and flaky friends, and I’ve always sought better for myself. Or maybe it’s my Positive Mental Attitude, I tell myself–I’ve willed this better, more sustainable, more fulfilling life for myself by staying positive, dancing when I’m down, and letting things go.

And this is all true–I’ve worked hard and tried to stay positive, tried to grow from adversity–BUT if my current, pleasant situation is due to my own self-love and PMA…then why the guilty feeling?

Well, because. Because, Friends. Because sometimes, self-love is not enough. Sometimes good vibrations and an honest day’s work aren’t enough. Sometimes not even patience, not even just waiting out the storm, can explain the sunny skies.

Sometimes you have to admit that your hard-earned good fortune is really the result of the love, energy, and effort of others. That your many blessings you receive are the cumulative result of those who care about you and going out of their way to make your life better and easier, for no reason other than being outstanding human beings who want the best for you.

And then what do you do? How do you relieve that nagging guilt? How do you let yourself feel that you deserve this?

Well, I guess you just do your best. You keep working hard and looking up and trying every day to show that you are forever grateful to those who’ve taken a chance on you and your happiness.

You say Thank You.

You say: I don’t know if you still read this, D, but thank you. Thank you so much.

Then you move on.

Great + Attitude = Gratitude

…sort of. I majored in English, not Math, Friends.

Things I am Grateful for Today:

-Trees in bloom

-My amazing, supportive, and amazingly supportive friends

-My job, and the sunny dispositions of my coworkers

-Salads

-Daiya Cheese

-The work-out room at work

-Afternoon naps followed by hot chocolate and a quick walk

The Dainty Squid

-Randomly catching a movie for free last night

-Making it to work on time

-New Opportunities

And, for your viewing pleasure, I most humbly present a turtle ballerina, garnished with pond flora:

The Difference a Year Can Make

~OR~

National Pi(e) Day!

…was last Tuesday. How did I not know about this in advance? Anyways, now I know, because it will be every year, March 14th (3.14…). This day, however, is not to be confused with National Pie Day, which is January 23rd. I celebrated that one last year.

Which gets me to thinking about how much has changed for me in just over a year. Last year, I baked that pie at my moms’ house, where I was living in the basement, next to the coal shoot. I baked the pie by myself, because baking is one of my many coping mechanisms, and I had much to cope with–lack of friends, lack of personal space, lack of direction in life, etc. I was taking everything personally, you see, feeling that I didn’t have decent friends or quarters or plans because I didn’t deserve them.

Now, I do have those things:

AND a much-improved sense of self-worth. And guess what, Friends? It was the self-worth that came first. I had to trust that my shitty circumstances were just that–circumstances. That they did not reflect who I was or what I was capable of or what I merited. I had to trust that I could and would have a better apartment, better friends, and better, more-suitable goals. That I was not inherently flawed, but just going through a bit of a rough patch.

And now? Well, now when I bake a pie, I have many lovely ladies to share it with, friendships that continue to grow and develop and deepen all the time. Now I don’t have to use my moms’ kitchen (unless I’m house-sitting), because I have my very own. It’s small, and imperfect, but it’s all mine.

Now I don’t have to feel guilty about dropping out of school, or quitting my band, or looking for a new job, because I know that it’s okay to want better for myself, and that I deserve it. I know that my thoughts and ideas and dreams and aspirations, no matter how radical or half-baked or uncertain, are all mine. I can do what I want, like eating leftover pie for lunch.

Not that there was much left over.

It’s the Little Things

 

…that make us smile.

Like a belated birthday gift, hand-beaded, and accompanying note. Letters and fonts lovingly scrawled, and the promise of correspondences to come.

Thank you, Bonnie.

House-Sitting

 

~OR~

The Single Life

Moms are in LA for the weekend, with Rose-a-bose, so I’m on duty on the domestic front. I have a whole, clean, warm house all to myself and don’t work until Monday. Lots of quiet alone time.

I love my moms’ house. The nice sheets, big bed. Clean bathtub. I love how there are pots and pans and spices and all of the kitcheny things that I don’t have. Things like a cake carrier, which I have coveted for years, and is now, apparently, mine. Thanks, Moms.

Other than Ladies Night, it’s been deliciously uneventful. Sleeping in, eating cookies for breakfast. Watching 30 Rock and SNL episodes on Hulu. Reading magazines. Doing laundry. Catching up on my blog, with no distractions or obligations. It’s been great. Just what I needed.

*       *       *

As my Melissa friend pointed out last night, with no kids and a boyfriend halfway around the world, pretty much all my time is me time.

And I’m okay with that.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

~OR~

Once, Twice, Three Times a Ladies Night

I’m just really stoked on friendships right now, guys. Remember how I was so excited about a platonic Valentine’s Day? And that was BEFORE I knew that there would be chocolate-dipped strawberries. These are good times, Friends.

I guess it’s extra-special for me because I haven’t ever really had a close-knit group of girlfriends. Hell, I’ve only ever been part of a friend group once, and that didn’t pan out. For most of my life I’ve had individual, free-range friends, all members of their own, separate groups. This always made birthdays hell. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. Very stressful.

But this birthday was a smooth integration of different friends, old and new, male and female, everyone just getting along, NBD.

Which led to Buttercheese (Stephanie Classic) hosting the platonic V-Day/Lady Pedofyle meeting. With chocolate-dipped strawberries, why not? And salad–she made salad–and mac and cheese. We all sat down to a nice meal together at the big wooden table, then we gave each other chocolate. Then we watched a movie and talked about EVERYTHING. How fucking cool is that?

I’d been feeling for a long time that it was so difficult to make close friends as an adult, because everything had to be an outing, a luncheon. But lately I’ve stumbled into a group of amazing guys and girls who are down to just hang out like there is no tomorrow. Field trip to the liquor store? Thanks, Adam! Wanna go for a run, or a walk, or feed me dinner? Thanks, Eric! Wanna come over tonight because I’m house-sitting for my Moms and just get drunk and talk about relationship troubles like everyone assumes we do? Thanks, Stephanie P. and Kristin and Nicole!

*       *       *

I think it’s easy to get caught up in being a grown-up and depending so much on your significant other or your family, then friendships are reserved for maybe just going out for coffee, or drinks, for a quick and dirty update of each other’s lives, all gossip and drama and anecdotes, before retreating back into the comfort of your small world.

And I think that’s sad. I’ve felt for a long time that quality, low-maintenance, close friendships were crucial to a happy, well-rounded life.

It’s just that now…now I have some of those. And I could not be more grateful. Giddy, really. And isn’t that what this is about? A space to be silly, keep it simple. I think that has been the best birthday gift of all–no easy feat, when you consider the incredible material treasures brought to me from far and wide:

I am feeling much loved lately, is what I’m trying to say.

Also: Thank you.

Birthday Dinner

~OR~

“Did you have a good birthday?”

Dinner with the family–pasta puttanesca, roasted veggies, almesan “cheese,” wine, manhattans, and home-made apple cake with almond praline caramel ice cream.

Small, riotous children; small, thoughtful gifts; and an early bedtime.

We keep it simple 🙂

Passing Time

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my quiet alone time lately. Funny, because I was once so scared of being alone that I stayed in a relationship for way too long (five and a half years in total), just to avoid the terrifying prospect of being on my own.

Now I can’t get enough of it.

I feel guilty sometimes, because I’d rather read in bed (or practice guitar, or bake, or go for a run…) by myself than hang out with my friends. I mean, I like my friends, but it turns out I like me more.

I can’t get enough of these quiet little moments, drinking a hot beverage, reading. Pausing to take a photograph. Listening to podcasts while I run, and the view is breathtaking, and I have nobody to share it with. Just me. Little Sarah.

And that’s more than enough.

 

 

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.