little sarah Big World

Tag: true story

No Joke

~OR~

Lately

I will never again acheive this level of baked elegance

Baking cookies. ‘Tis the season, after all, and there are friends to catch up with, no matter how packed our schedules.

Twins n Lights

Catching the light. Twins will be twins, after all, and there are whirlwind weekends to be had, no matter how big and busy the weeks to come.

Ben Lomond hotel, Ogden, UT

Getting hitched. Impulsive as ever, after all, and there are perfect memories to be made, no matter if they’re born of necessity.

*       *       *

But more on all of that later, Friends. For now: Happy Holidays.

And yes, it’s true. It’s all true.

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This Happened:

A hike happened, with 9 different ladies and only 1 common-denominator friend, thrown loosely together, after work on a Tuesday.

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Overhang

~OR~

“You have 15 to 20 minutes before you are bombarded with friendship. Be prepared.”

Last night. I was cleaning house, listening to the Broadway Showstoppers station on Pandora, wearing striped underwear and mom’s embroidered halter top from the 70s, and baking banana bourbon chocolate chip bread.

I turned down plans with a friend, a “friend date,” to do this. “I’ve got a date with myself,” I told her.

But…turns out you can’t just text your Stephanies a picture of you in your underwear and halter top and expect them not to show up at your house. I was making guacamole, anyways.

Told them I was in the middle of cleaning/dancing/baking, that I couldn’t be a great hostess for very long…but in the end it turned out not to matter. Because I don’t need to host them. There is no courting here, just epic hanging out and talking, laughing, complete honesty…

And whiskey gingers. Lots and lots of whiskey gingers.

(I call them that even when I use bourbon. True story).

Incidentally, I started the day off with sauteed chard.

We call that detox, friends. But it was totally worth it.

Laguna Cejar

~OR~

Fueled by Fury

When we last left off, I was thinking of separating from Brett and Josh, and our day-trip to Laguna Cejar was a big factor in that. Example: I took the above photo after Brett pointed out that you could capture the mountains reflected in the water. He didn’t mention this to ME, of course, as they had already begun to treat me like a stray dog following, but he did point it out to Josh, who responded “That’s gay.”

Yep. This is what I’m talking about. Who even calls things gay anymore? I honestly hadn’t heard that in YEARS. So, take talk like that, add Josh’s super inflated ego, the fact that they were annoyed (at best) by my vegan diet, and constant reminiscing over drunken binges during Peace Corps…and you’ll see why I felt like I was traveling with a couple of frat bros, WHICH I TOLD THEM, and to which Brett took great offense.

*sigh*

The day of the laguna was the day after we’d arrived, and I was still pretty sick. But I still rose and shone for a 3 hour round-trip bike ride. Josh took his sweet time, but Brett took it out on both of us. I might have been more sympathetic to how long it takes Josh to get ready, if I’d already read Mindy Kaling’s opinion on boys taking for-f***ing-ever to put on their shoes. But I hadn’t.

And they just went so fast, Friends. It was partly to make up for our late start and partly because Josh wanted to get back in time for some other excursion. I was literally left in their dust, to fume and pedal all the way to the lagoon.

At least the sunshine felt good.

I could detail more injustices, but that would be petty. Or at least more petty than what I’ve already said.

It’s just such and extreme bummer to feel so wrong and receive no vindication or validation. I suppose there are people who face that on a much larger scale daily, so I should keep things in perspective.

PLUS…(plus), I really felt like I became such a pro at Positive Mental Attitude this trip. While the boys felt that being hungry, tired, cold, or sick gave them license to be grumpy like children and treat others poorly, I felt that I could bounce back from most anything. Like how I got up early to ride a bike for 3 hours while sick.

Do not mess with this.

The Origins of littlesarahBigWorld

~OR~

¡Hola de España!‏

So here I am. In Buenos Aires. On my own. And I kind of dig it. It’s been a while since I’ve had an adventure of this magnetude–travelling alone in a country that I know almost nothing about, with only the vaguest of plans and intentions. It reminds me of the first time I did this, in Spain. Allow me to set the scene:

Summer 2008. I am 23 years old. I have been out of the country only once before, to visit whitney for 10 days in Paris. I arrive in Madrid, catch a taxi fromt he airport to the bus station, buy a ticket headed north, and am on my way to Oviedo. All within the space of about an hour. I feel good about this trip, because of course I speak Spanish, and of course I will make friends with whom I can travel for 3 weeks, after the 5 week intensive Spanish language course ends. Right?

WRONG. My Spanish was not EVEN what I thought it was. And I wound up travelling alone, making hostel reservations for only one city ahead. Kissing strange boys. Busking. And I kept in touch with mass emails to my family and friends, and then I came home and made a zine about it. So, if you put those two things together, it’s kind of like littlesarahBigWorld. The beta version. Now, for your viewing and reading pleasure, I present you with those original emails and pages scanned from the first ever READ ME zine (of which there are…two. Whatevs). Enjoy!

*       *       *

Hi family and friends! Wow, already it´s a bit dificult to write in English. I am in Spain!!!!! I arrived in Madrid yesterday morning at nine (one am in Utah time). There was almost no wait to get my bags and change my money and whatnot (the exchange rate! ¡Ay! 50 US dollars is, like, 30 Euros). By ten I had already caught a taxi to the bus station, purchased a ticket, and I was on the bus to Oviedo. I wanted so badly to stay awake on the bus, because the scenery was gorgeous, but I literally could not force my eyes open. I arrived in Oviedo at 3:30 and had 4 hours to kill. Oh, Moms (or Dad): I will contact Mountain America, but if you guys could also call and tell them that I´m in Spàin and that I´m not a theif and to un-freeze me account, because right now I have NO MONEY!

Mi familia is a single woman named Beatriz. She lives alone, but she has a boyfriend that comes over to eat dinner and chat with us. His name is Eusepio. They both talk very fast (faster than the other moms, like Katrina´s), and I´ve already dug myself into a rut by pretending to understand what they´re saying and now I guess I´ll just have to go with that. I understand about half. Sorry, I feel like there´s so much to say, and I´m having a hard time expressing myself in an orderly fashion. Today was the first day of classes, and from now on we will have classes from 9:30 to 2, with a short break from 11 to 11:30. Today we took a test and they divided us into four levels. I am in the fourth level!!! Estoy en el nivel mas avansada. The Cutrubi are in the third level, but I don´t know why, because I think they speak as well as I do. Their friend, Daschel (who is now my friend, as well) is in level four, along with about 8 others, including a boy who already did this exact program two years ago and is so cocky that´s it´s difficult to even be in the same room as him. Tomorrow is the first REAL day of classes, and I´m a little nervous but mostly excited.

What else…? Well, so far the only totally crazy thing about life in Oviedo is that my house (and other´s, like Krystal´s) only has ONE GARBAGE, and it´s in the kitchen. So, you know, what if I have lady problems? Or what about my used q-tips and floss? Am I supposed to just tote those things into the kitchen? I guess so.

I really like Beatriz. She´s never been married and has no children. She´s 54, but seems much younger and is very metropolitan. Oviedo is absolutely gorgeous, and very clean for a city (not as clean as Salt Lake, but much cleaner than New York–sorry Judy). The weather pattern here (so far) is sunny and clear in the morning, and then cloudy skies and moderate rain from 3 to 8. Then it´s clear and a bit chilly at night. But it´s fairly warm during the days, even when it´s raining.

I get really tired in the afternoons, because that´s when it´s night in Utah. Today I had my first Spanish hot chocolate, and it was very thick (like a syrup), but not as sweet as you´d think.

It´s strange to be here–strange because it´s NOT strange, because it feels only a bit different, like starting a new job. My firs wow-I´m-in-Spain moment was today when Krystal, Katrina, Daschel and I went to a restaurant and ordered in Spanish lke it was nothing. Oh, and I keep getting lost, because–although the streets all have names–there are few street signs. So people will tell you to turn right on Calle Uria, but then you don´t know which is Calle Uria.

Mom and Beth, I need your cell number. For some reason, my cell phone won´t turn on (somebody spilled water on it…Cody…). Once you give me your number, I can tell you how to call me here. And don´t forget to yell at MOuntain America. Oh, and does anybody have e-mail for Natalie or Eric? I don´t.

Okay, I´m going to go now. It´s about 11:30, and I need to be at the school at 9:30. I miss you all so much (especially Sebastian and Rosie and, of course, Chi). Sorry for the mass e-mail, but if you send me (short) personal responses and questions, I will send you a (short) personal e-mail. Thank you to everyone who helped to get me here! My Spanish is already so much better, and I can´t even imagine how it will be in 8 weeks. I love you all dearly! ¡Adios!

 -Love, Sarah

*       *       *

Stay tuned for more dispatches from the littlesarah of FOUR YEARS AGO. What?! Time’s a cookie, Friends.

Going Out in Valpo

-OR-

And to think, this all started in a church…

…where we went to hear classical guitar. And eat Oreos. Then we drink wine from mini bottles on top of an overpass. And then we went to a bar/club.

…where we drank more, danced to live rockabilly music, hit on the coat-check girl, got hit on by inexpert boys of all nationalities, and danced ’til the wee hours of the morn.

Then I walked home alone, got lost, and asked some sailors for direction. I was maybe still drunky when Brett woke me up this morning to catch our bus.

Don’t tell Mom.

Sunrise, Sunset

OR

Goodbye, Buenos Aires

Sunday :

Then Tuesday :

Then Goodbye :

Time flies, Friends. It’s true.

Guess What?

~OR~

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Guess what, Friends?

I love chia! Who knew, right?

I could drink it probably forever; it is just that texturally pleasing.

Guess what else, Friends?!

I am working harder than ever! Blogging for my Garden City committee and for GNZAP and doing outreach at 7am with Bonnie (pictured above, sunny as always), Rachel (not pictured), and Dees (pictured NOW):

Guess what’s more, Friends?!?!

I’m going to South America on Friday. For 3 1/2 weeks.

Yup. Busy, busy, busy.

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.

My Newest Thing

…is keeping secrets.

Not for secrecy’s, sake, but for some semblance of self-preservation, a recognition of self worth, that myself and my thoughts, plans and ideas, are to some degree sacred. Not meant to be shared so openly with just whomever.

So where I used to consult everyone I knew about Big Decisions to be made, now I just ask one or two close friends, or I just figure it out myself. Where I used to broadcast my Life Plans and Big Ideas, now I keep them to myself, because I am my own best friend, and I love sharing secrets with just me.

In other news: Kevin moved home from Spain. Last Wednesday. I made him salmon with an orange zest/brown sugar/soy sauce rub, wild rice with shiitake mushrooms, and collard greens cooked with mustard and topped with toasted sesame seeds.

So that’s two secrets right there–Kevin’s back and I can cook.