Cleanliness

It’s amazing how a clean (or not clean) space makes a world of a difference. I am staying st my aunt and uncle’s house for a few days right now, and so have been somewhat stressed because of the lack of cleanliness left by the last person who stayed here while they were gone. I have been wanting to leave since the day I got here, in a way… I want to be in my own, clean home setting, not here where almost every surface has something icky on it, floors included, and chairs, too… something I have to clean just to be able to use the surface… Of course, the necessary cleaning supplies are in short supply right now, so I had to use them with extreme discretion and rationing, not allowing me to clean all surfaces and floors… ugh…

The last time I stayed here a month without hesitation, and I only left because I had to leave for something back in Houston. Very different experiences here.

I feel like a Sophie Kinsella main character right now, wishing that cleanliness were part of the law. 😛

Anyway… so, there’s that, and it has been bugging me and I am ready to go home tomorrow as soon as I can (after my tutoring, which will go possibly all the way to 2pm).

Ugh… irony can be really annoying sometimes. Haha 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Frenching

Today, I posed a question to myself. Though, I didn’t actually have words to the question until after I answered it. You see, I was looking at myself in the mirror, about to go downstairs to go on an afternoon walk (since I still can’t run after my accident three weeks ago). In my head was French and the excitement of living in France as an adult – something I have only dreamt of doing, but have tasted as a student – due to this Netflix show called Emily In Paris.

I was somewhat lonesome today, and wanted a movie or series to keep me company while I cooked for a long while. I somehow ended up with Emily In Paris, and fell in love. We had a full and satisfying relationship all day long today (think Jim Gaffigan on Netflix shows being like dating), and I was taking an unwanted but necessary break to go on my walk (got to get those hundred miles in somehow). And so, I’m looking in the mirror, French and Frenchmen and France and chocolatines in my head. And I somehow answer this unsaid question aloud, in French.

I say first, before seeing myself in the mirror, “Bah ouais. Je ne parle pas le français comme langue maternelle. Ce n’est pas ma langue maternelle. Mais j’adore le parler….”

Pourquoi ? someone asks in my head.

“Parce que quand je parle le français…, je me sens…,” and I now look directly at myself in this Masaie mirror on the wall, halted just before the first step downward. “Je me sens… un peu sexy…,” and I smile as I admit it, adding raised eyebrow as and a head tilt at the second feeling, “tellement à l’aise… et,” and this last is he hardest to admit, “comme quelqu’un qui en vaut l’envie. Je veut dire, quelqu’un qui mérite être envié…,” and I look at myself with these words having been said aloud, experiencing the fullness of their truth, and somewhat being that person envying his girl in the mirror – woman in the mirror – and I smile, fully content in that moment, give one final glance to the freckles around my nose, and head down the stairs and out the front door for a hearty walk in the chilly late afternoon air, under the overcast, Fall sky.

As I began my walk, I realized that my unsaid question – it felt a bit like playing Jeopardy, I suppose 😛 – was, “Why learn a foreign language?”

I contemplated this on my walk, and even recorded myself for a bit, just to see what it was like as a means of keeping track of my thoughts. (It was cool, but I’m not sure it is my style for sharing those thoughts with others.) I repeated my earlier statements on speaking French, but added the question to the beginning, and continued my statements with a further idea: When I speak English, these are not the ways that I feel. By speaking French, I have discovered and continue to discover things within myself that I previously had not known. By speaking a language different from my native language, I get to experience myself and life in a new way. And that is possibly the best and most valuable part of speaking a different language.

And, to be clear, this is not due simply to saying words in a foreign tongue. It is by having learned the language, which means experiencing its people and culture, as well as its use, that I have gained access to these formerly-foreign parts of myself. It is the Frenchness within me that I have learned and found throughout the process of learning to speak French, the language. I always support immersion as a necessary part of learning a language, because the language and culture not only go hand in hand, but cannot be separated from one another and still remain true to who and what they are.

So, why learn a foreign language? To discover how life and you are better than you ever imagined. 😉

Yeah 🙂

P.S. For those who do not know French and have not already stuck that paragraph into Google Translate, what I had said roughly translates in English to, “Well, yeah. I don’t speak French like a native speaker. I’m not a native speaker of French. But I love speaking it. Why? Because, when I speak French, I feel… I feel… a bit sexy…, entirely at ease…, and that I am someone worth envying.”

Post-a-day 2020

Lend a helping hand… from a distance, of course

On my way home tonight, tired, I pulled up to a stoplight and waved with a shake of my head to a young guy slightly shaking a small red gas can toward me in an almost greeting. As I come to a full stop, I hear him say aloud, “I’m not even asking for any money.”

I crack the passenger window – automatic in my just-picked-up new car!!! – a bit and ask him for what he is asking. He tells me he just needs a ride, his bike was towed, and he’s been trying to get help for hours.

I wasn’t sure about the scenario… I’ve always ridden with the tow truck when having a vehicle towed. Perhaps he parked illegally and had the bike towed.

“Where are you needing to go?” I ask him.

“Just 45 and the beltway,” he says, as though that isn’t a half-hour drive away by highway.

“North or south?”

“South.”

Yup. Half an hour. And in the opposite direction of my home.

I nyackered, and don’t want to be driving for another hour. He is also looking rather sweaty and I just picked up this brand new car. I don’t exactly want a sweaty person in it ever, but especially not at this moment. Not that that would be my reason to deny helping him, but it is a factor. Really, I don’t want to spend half an hour in any car with this unknown kid/guy. His desperation makes his space a little rough and hard to read.

“I’d even give you money like an Über… that’s really all I need.” He has kept talking, but I’ve not been paying full attention to his words.

“What kind of bike do you have?”

“A Suzuki,” he says.

“Yeah, but what kind?”

He tells me some numbers… perhaps a 300 something?… I drive a 300cc Vespa…, so that isn’t a very hefty bike, if that’s what he said… No, he didn’t say 300, but I don’t know what he said…

I didn’t really listen to his words – just that they were the right kind of words, naming an actual type of motorcycle, and hey had no hesitation to them. They were simply a statement in response to a question. And that’s what I wanted.

The light had turned green.

“Shit,” I say, and I pause just a moment before saying, “I’ll meet you at the gas station.” I point as I say this to the gas station on the corner, through the intersection where I was stopped. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do, but I would figure it out without the pressure of a green light and cars waiting behind me.

Seconds later, as I pulled into the lot, I knew I would get him an Über. I didn’t really want to be alone with him – after all, I was then parking in a specifically lighted area next to the building of the gas station, because his vibe was just enough off that I wanted to stay in the light and visible with him around – and I had the added aspects of exhaustion and keeping the car clean.

When he made it over to me, I was leaning on the hood of my car, pulling up Über on my phone. I knew there was a reason I kept this app on my phone, and even logged it back in. Thank you, Universe, World, and God for that.

I pulled up where he wanted to go – and yes, it was 27 minutes away – and ordered a car for him. Why didn’t he just order one himself? He apparently left his phone in his bike. The bike whose carburetor had blown, requiring it to be towed. He had just grabbed his stuff out of the bike in a hurry and let it go, not realizing until afterward that his phone was still with it.

He looked disheveled enough and carried the right odd mixture of bags for this to be believable. Trust me, when I have unexpectedly had to stop somewhere while on my bike (Vespa), I have definitely walked inside with the oddest-looking set of “baggage”.

I didn’t see a helmet with him, but I didn’t want to find out that he rode without one, and a small part of me didn’t want to tear apart his story enough to disprove it. His desperation to get home was real, and that, apparently, was enough for me. Whether his story was true or not, I appreciated his effort in making it all up and having details enough to go with it. Though, in full frankness, he did not strike me as someone to come up with much backstory detail when trying to pull a fast one on somebody. I mean no offense by that statement. Most people wouldn’t come up with much backstory in a scenario ahead of time. So, I was hoping he was in the most people category, and so was just genuinely telling the truth (or, at least, his version of it). But, just in case, I didn’t want to find out that he wasn’t. So, I didn’t ask about the helmet, nor did I ask any further questions. I knew what I needed to know: He needed help, and he was grateful to have found it.

He said he had been there for hours, trying to get help from somebody. Obviously that was to no avail until I stopped for him. I didn’t mention to him that he was in the wrong neighborhood for looking as he did, and expecting someone to pick him up and drove him half an hour away… or anywhere at all. This was a Mercedes and Tesla and Range Rover neighborhood around us right now. They don’t give people rides off the side of the road. But they might give you a dollar or few just for standing there.

If I hadn’t picked up the new car, and had been in my old one, it would have made sense that I had stopped. I in my crappy-looking 2002 Hyundai, with duct tape and peeled paint all over the place, crank windows, and only three door handles that work… it would have been obvious that I didn’t belong in that neighborhood’s genre of people, had I been in that car. But I had just picked up the new one, the one I am leasing, and so I almost seemed to fit into the crowd of shiny expensive cars all around. Nonetheless, I was not one of them, and the fact that I stopped and invested my time (and money) into this kid showed as much (to me, anyway).

I was proud of the fact that I had grown up in that neighborhood, yet was the one who was willing to stop to help, to give my time to someone in need, in a sudden desperate situation. Even though I didn’t wasn’t to mess with it, I found myself doing it anyway, because it just felt necessary for this poor kid’s sake.

I think he was in college, at the University of Houston, because he was wearing a UofH mask and had something else I don’t specifically recall that made him seem like a student there. He also had the physical look and mental space of a college student, or someone very near that age, anyway. He spoke on the younger side of life, not as a college graduate. I think he thought I was the same age, and not over half as much more. But that was okay.

He shared of his concern that Coronavirus was keeping people away, scared to help him. Had my life changed much because of the virus? I told him an extremely brief version of my running incident the other week, and how the people were too afraid to help me as I lay in the road. But, otherwise, my life wasn’t all that different than pre-Coronavirus.

He told me about his name on Facebook while we waited for the car, and I smiled at the genuine sweetness. He was clearly grateful, and he was relieved beyond explanation. There was no denying that.

As he was getting into the Über, he reminded me to ‘”send that request”. I smiled and said comfortably that I probably wouldn’t. He smiled back and said, “Okay,” not so much disappointed as understanding of my honesty and my lack of desire to send him a friend request on Facebook.

Man sieht sich immer zweimal im Leben.

If it is meant to be, our paths will cross again at some point, at least once more.

Twenty-nine minutes later, after I’d gotten home and was already getting ready for bed, about to shower, I received the notification that my Über ride was completed. He had been dropped off right by a gas station that is at the entrance to a neighborhood, and not just at the mall, as he had told me to input for the ride. It was only a few streets from the mall, but on the other side of the highway. I think he probably lives in the neighborhood there, and the driver offered to take him more to where he was going than just the mall as a whole, and on the opposite side of the highway. I was glad to see that. And relieved.

What an adventure, eh? And all I did was go home, and be nice along the way. It cost me only a few minutes of my time and $29.93. Whatever the guy’s real story, I was glad to have been able to help him get where he needed to be. Yes, that is a lot more money to me than to most people. But it felt right and worth it to pay for this kid’s ride home. For whatever reason, he was desperate and needed it. And I had it, and wasn’t desperate.

“Just pay it forward, okay?” He seemed slightly confused, probably thinking I meant actual money for the Über driver. “Do something to help someone else now.” And he understood, both that I wasn’t expecting him to pay me or the driver anything, and that I wanted him to pay forward the kindness.

And that felt right.

So, I’ll see ya when I see ya, Alfred. I hope you get yourself more organized and at ease by then than you were tonight, and I wish you all the best going forward.

Unprepared

I don’t really want to write about this right now, but here we are and here I write.

I am taking care of myself like a mother to myself, because my mom is on the other side of town, likely long asleep for the night, and I am up here, house-sitting on my own. Even the dog is wiped out asleep.

But I am sitting on this bed, preparing to go to sleep – for as long as my menstruating will allow at once, or course – with eyes burning from the tears shed during my shower… my throat just a little sore from the sobs released… my brain struggling to see straight with this potential upturn of its outlook world. I have myself a glass of ice water, and it has already helped with my burning eyes and shaky throat and hands, soothing everything like a balm…

You see, I watched the film Remember Me tonight, the one with Robert Pattinson wearing the same bracelet watch he wore in Twilight. I didn’t know anything about it but that it had him in it, it was some sort of romance, and, due to the title, this romance clearly was going to end before the film did. Usually, it is death of some sort, but this film was giving vibes that it potentially could be just that death brought them together and they helped each other heal and move on in life, though now without one another.

…. Yeah…

(*****Spoilers coming up here, so stop reading the post, if you want to watch the film without a super major spoiler.*****)

Okay, so, the moment they showed the date on the board, I was stressed. I was already stressed-annoyed at the film in various ways at this point, how there just wasn’t enough of anything. But, at the date, I was beginning really to stress. I was extremely grateful there was no footage or re-enactment or anything of the sort of the buildings or the smoke-dust-rubble clouds. There is that. However, I was actually angry at the turn of events. At the obvious phone call. At how it no longer felt like a poorly done feature film I had just been watching, but like a small glimpse into what could have been someone real’s real life. And that that was how it actually might have gone for someone real.

And it just felt so real, I couldn’t let myself face anything other than anger at such an ending being sprung upon me like that – how dare they? This was supposed to be a film, not a sop story about our misery that day… and forward…

I was only a kid at the time. I didn’t remember that it was a Tuesday, but I remember that we were coming back to our classroom from gym class, and Kristen and Trish-Anne and I stopped to look at the television that was on in the ESL classroom – the televisions were almost never on, except for a rare film. But it wasn’t a movie.

What is it?? we all wondered and asked each other and no one in particular. Kristen had seen the longest view of the television. “Someone bombed the twin towers,” she said as she turned back to me. I quickly reviewed what I had glimpsed on the television: tall buildings, smoke and fire somewhere in the middle near the top. Her words make sense in such a way that they do not. She was wearing overalls that day. With her words, I didn’t understand how to feel, nor how I felt anyway. But I knew none of it was good.

Our teacher sat us down and explained what had happened. So far.

The buildings still stood at that point in time. That’s why it had looked just like a bomb had gone off. Not what had really happened.

I only remember near the end of the school day onward, now. There is nothing after the beginning of our teacher telling us what had happened. I don’t remember if we had the live news coverage on or not, but I know I saw it somehow… it is brandished in my brain, so I know I saw it eventually.

(**** Another warning: Graphic references coming, so be careful.*****)

While it was difficult to see such beauty disappear so suddenly, like a game of Godzilla at home with our massive cardboard building bricks, although more effectively, as they even went to ash instead of merely falling down everywhere, what probably hit me the most was – and this is difficult for me even to write right now – the people…. It was seeing those people, desperate in their last hope for physical salvation, jumping, as the building shrank toward gravity’s command. That and knowing how so many people had been able to phone their families and friends to share their verbal love one final time while living on this planet… knowing one’s impending doom, and having to say goodbye while still so seemingly whole and safe and well.

……

We have a few major incidents in our lives, ones that give us a kind of foundation to our ways of being going forward. Something happens, and it is mentally significant for us – we are usually extremely disturbed by it – such that we decide then and there that we never want to have to feel that way again, and so determine never to be such-and-such again. Therefore, to avoid such-and-such, we will do this or be this going forward. I have never been able to figure mine out. Not ones that really stand out above the rest. Not ones that show me the source incident for my desperate need to be right, or, at least, to know, whatever it happens to be.

But, in my shower tonight, as I gave in to the rising emotions within myself, and allowed them to surface and release, I began to wonder if one of my incidents just might have been somehow around September eleventh. Around that footage of those people, falling…. falling… hopelessly falling. It wasn’t exactly anything that happened directly to me, but seeing that footage happened to me. For days and weeks, and possibly months and years afterward – actually, yes, years, because I still do it today, both in the original way and in other ways – I would have these visions and thoughts of how people could have survived, what they would have had to do to get out okay, to make everything okay again in so many ways…. to make it just buildings and lost architecture. I had so many plans, mentally tested to every degree. Not everyone would make it out, I knew, but I would. Even if I had been on the upper floors, I would have. Because, perhaps in that moment, I became a sort of MacGyver. I had to have a way out of there. I had to…

I even had one idea – and this is big for such a little kid, I think – that involved rappelling myself down after Spider-Manning it to some nearby buildings and careening down a makeshift zip line… possibly even making several back and forth between the two towers, having people work together to get more of us out of there, and fast.

But why did I have to do this brainstorming? I didn’t lose anyone directly in the event, so I had an odd connection to it all to be so strongly enveloped by this idea. For me, though, it made life suddenly real, the danger of it real. I had recently been in New York City. We had gone into those buildings. But it was raining that day, and hard, so the observation decks were closed. So, we didn’t go up all the way. But we could have. And we could have gone later.

Why did those people die? Why didn’t they find ways out, or ways out in time? My answer back then, whether I ever said it aloud or not, was, “They weren’t prepared.” And, so, I would be. This was my wake up call and the beginning of my own preparations.

Preparations for what, you ask? For life. I was saying today how I kind of have a rough ten backup plans for any specific thing. And, though I was slightly joking, I know that I could start listing and probably reach ten rather easily. And that’s for anything I do or intend to do. And, also, for things I have done. I have evaluated them, too, and determined how I could have done them better… in myriad ways.

What’s more, to this day I take any scary scenario I see in a film or show, or just hear about, and end up going through, in the side of my mind, the best ways to get out of it safely… even though it has nothing much to do with me and my life. I cannot face a scary scenario in anything without automatically doing it. I just have to figure out how to get out of it, get out of there, and survive, stay alive, be safe again.

Anyway, my stomach is hurting in an achy, sleep-needing type of way, so I’m going to close this out and get to sleep already. All of this has been just some brainstorming on my part. I have always held a weird space with this event, especially in that whole reliving the crashes and shrinkings of the buildings and how to get out of them safely and effectively… in my fear to accept that there might be nothing that can be done when it is truly one’s time… in my desperation to make sure I am ready to face whatever comes my way. There is a shaking terror within me at the idea of being unprepared, caught off-guard… a life-threatening terror. And seeing this in this new light has shaken me somewhat tonight (and also a lot quite physically).

We didn’t go up all the way that day. I had figured and intended to go back and go up another time, on a clear day. I would be like in the Godspell film.

Except, now, I never would be. And neither would anyone else be…

Instead of crying myself to sleep, though, I determined that I wanted to be held and taken care of and loved and accepted. So, I am doing that for myself, instead.

At that, goodnight. 🙂 ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Vroom Vroom

Today, I went to my mom’s house to bring some salmon for dinner for my grandparents (who are still there due to hurricane damage at their home in farther-east Texas), and to hang out with them and with my mom. Where I am house-sitting is about an hour away from my mom’s house. I have express permission to drive the Vespa (which was, essentially, a copy of mine only a few weeks after I bought mine) and the Porsche, because, “It’s the cheapest car we own.”

Take that in for a second, will you?

Anyway, it’s a 1999 Porsche 911, a little car made for speed and spectacular performance. I drove it (with the owner in the passenger seat) once years ago when he first bought this particular one, and he had me go up in the highway and experience the sheer speed the engine can produce. I remember noticing that we were going 96 miles per hour despite my having had no idea we were much above even 60mph – I had told him at the time that the car just felt comfortable there, like it was made to go that speed more so than any other speed. He agreed with me, and then gave me a breakdown on why that felt to be the case. It was a really cool experience for me.

Today, I own a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL with crank windows and a 2013 Vespa 300GTS (that’s 300cc). The Hyundai is mostly a rainy day and grocery store car, as the engine can really only handle light use and short distances. The Vespa is, well, a Vespa. It can go 88mph with me driving it, but it isn’t made to do that very often or on the regular – it is really made to go 50-ish on the regular, possibly a bit more. Neither of these vehicles is anything like a Porsche. Nor was the 2011 Toyota Prius I recently drove for a while while a friend was out of the country – that one even less so, really.

And so, fast-forward back to today, when I fired up – and I use those words on purpose, because, boy, does it sound like someone just lit a massive fire when that engine roars to life! – this Porsche 911. It kind of made me nervous just to get the thing out of the one-car garage door (of a four-car garage, of course), I felt like I might blast a hole in something every time I even touched the gas. (Plus, with the age, the gear shifter was a little wonky to figure out at first, having to pull it way to the side for first gear, and even more way to the side for reverse, I was nervous of going the wrong direction straight into the concrete in front of me!) I had to run a quick errand first, and so experienced the world of growling beasts that are the low speeds of such a vehicle… I felt like I was going to break down just about everything that I passed, that engine was so strong and rough with its constant dull roar and slight explosion at every press of the gas pedal.

But I got over it after that short errand, and I took the dog for a quick little neighborhood ride before I headed out. I was told she absolutely loves it, and she even snuck out the gate while I was checking things over before leaving, and she climbed halfway in the driver door, despite my telling her to come back inside the yard. It was actually quite comical, so I couldn’t resist. I had considered doing it, anyway, but didn’t want to be running any later in my plans than I already was. When she so pathetically tried to crawl into the car, I had to go ahead with the original plan to take her for a ride.

Thus, the following… and no, I have no real explanation but that I imagine she might have been escaping the sunlight… the top and the windows were all down, and she knew it…

So, there’s that…

After I dropped her back off at the house, and gave her a treat as my departing gift, I headed out to my mom’s house. To start the trip, there is a quick stint of about six or so exits on the highway, before exiting for a ground-level Highway with a million stoplights and a surprisingly low speed limit for something called a state highway… anyway…

As I turned onto the feeder and headed the long road to the ramp onto the highway, I began really to feel the car’s power. I used to drive a new Volkswagen Jetta, manual, and was in love with the German engineering and the smoothness and classic-ness of the engine and steering and everything-to-do-with-driving of it. When I rented a new Volkswagen Beetle a few years ago, I was reminded of that fabulous engineering. Today, climbing up onto that highway ramp and overpass, my whole body reacted with memory and nostalgia at this experience of yet another classic case of stellar engineering. When the car felt like it was in its ‘chill space’, as I call the average vehicle’s 45mph feeling, we were going 85.

I might have gone a bit faster than that for a while, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speed anymore. I was feeling throughout my whole body the tingling sensation of memory combined with satisfaction and fulfillment. This is how a car should feel, I found myself thinking. This is a car.

And I meant it.

The top was down, the wind was blowing in just that way around, and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and laughing aloud, hard. I actually thought for a second, Wouldn’t it be silly if I cried right now? And then I noticed how my thoughts spoke without analyzing fully the situation… within seconds of having the thought, I noticed tears in my eyes. And not from the wind. I agreed with my thought, that it was silly, but I allowed the expression to be true and easy, and dove into my experience.

Driving this little car just felt right for me. It surprised me, but I could see that, now that I was trying on the idea, I truly want to make having one of these in my life happen – I want to have one of these 911s one day, to drive on the regular, wherever I may want to go in it. She is calling me, and I can finally hear it…

Vroom Vroom…

Post-a-day 2020

Recuperation

Today, I did a lot of not much all day and evening. In fact, I woke up a few times throughout the morning, either because the dog was shifting around or because I needed to pee. But, every time, I went ahead and went back to sleep. It was overcast enough of a morning, plus the curtains in this room are rather effective, I was able to fall back asleep easily. I went to bed after one in the morning, sure, but getting up for the day at 1:45 in the afternoon is just plain nuts. I haven’t done that in years.

However, yesterday, and the proceeding few days had a whole combination of stressors for me, as well as the added lack of sleep that comes with an uncomfortable situation yet comfortable company (read friends). So, it really makes sense that I slept so much and so hard last night (and today, technically). I knew I was exhausted yesterday, especially since things were really getting to me in a way they only do when I am exhausted. So, even though I physically felt okay, I knew I was close to wiped. Thus the 12+ hours of sleep.

Then, after getting up for the day, I indulged in the candy that tempts from its jars, as well as a Tillamook ice cream bar (which was awesome, by the way) from a freezer filled with desserts. I did eat some real food, too, but the bulk of my calories today was likely the three ice cream bars and the finishing part of a tub of ice cream. However, I think I still ended up under my caloric requirements for the day, so my body gets to use its excess stores to handle the remaining caloric balance for the day.

Basically, I spent the day hanging around, either eating food or watching Disney movies, or even both at once. I took the dog on a training walk-run, and exerted some real physical effort this evening, but mostly just spent the day recuperating. And yes, recuperating is the right word – I wondered why I was so unbelievably uninterested in doing anything else throughout the afternoon and evening, and I realized that it was because I needed this non-effort… I needed the opportunity to readjust and revamp… I needed to spend today in a way that allowed me to re-empower myself, both physically and mentally. So, I slept physically for 12+ hours, and then I rested mentally the rest of the day.

And it did a really great job. I think tomorrow will be a joyful and bouncy day for me, now that I will have rested so much and so well. 🙂

I am grateful for such an opportunity.

Post-a-day 2020

Rain’s a’comin’

Okay, the grandparents are safely evacuated from the hurricane’s danger path, and I am mostly settled into the home where I am housesitting for the next couple weeks, both being on the Houston area. Hopefully the casual wind and rain forecast will turn out as expected here. I love storms, but prefer they be safe ones.

(Ha – I wonder if that has anything to do with the ups and downs in my life…)

Dear God and Universe, help is to be happy, healthy, holy throughout these storms this year, and going forward from them afterward.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2020

Perspective

Today, one of my best friends from college told me that, though it is a vague idea, she knows what kind of book she would want to read if I had written it. She told me that I am the only person she knows who lives for the journey, and not the destination. Most people plan out their lives based on where they want to be down the road…, But then, as she mentioned, I take a two-hour detour on a 14-hour drive, simply because I saw something that interested me…, And it doesn’t bother me one bit that it added so much time to the already long drive. She gave other examples, too, that illustrated her point quite well.

What stuck out the most for me, though, is that I have never considered my life with these words…, Yet they seemed absolutely true. In the past six months, I have been struggling with a regular question of whether I am living my life all wrongly, if I’m messing everything up by doing things the way I am doing them. And I see now: the whole reason I’ve been feeling that way lately, is because I have been comparing my life to everyone else’s lives… But that is like comparing bananas to chairs – they are not comparable, not in the least.

I am not playing the same game as everyone else, and when I compare where I am to where they are, I am certainly failing their game…, But, as I said, I am not playing their game.

Some might say that I take the road less traveled, but I really think that I often don’t take the road at all… I explore the detours, and end up somewhere completely unexpected.

(This point can be quite literally illustrated by a recent hike I took with a friend of mine… She wanted to stay on the main path, and I was curious as to what this possible detour path would show us… Where we ended up was spectacular, and completely unexpected… And then I found another semi-path back to the main road, way up ahead, while my friend went all the way back the way we had come…)

I’m beginning to think that this is a huge part of why, whenever I have been asked the question of where I see myself in five or ten or 15 or 50 years, I could never quite provide an answer… It’s not that my imagination isn’t great enough, but that I genuinely have no clue as to where I will end up and what I will be doing. I know the person I will be, I know that I will love and I will be loved. Beyond that, though, there’s a world of possibilities, and each one has an innumerable set of detours I might explore. It is likely that, in this moment, my wildest dreams couldn’t tell me where I will be in five or ten years… Or even in one…

When I considered jobs growing up and throughout college, and even now, I’ve always kind of had the feeling of, ‘Why pick one? Let’s give them all a try,’ though, without actually putting it into those words.

It’s funny to me how much sense this all makes, simply because of two sentences that a friend of mine said to me today… Let us remember that I words carry so much power – whether we realize it or not, whether we feel it or not, someone feels it more than we likely ever will know.

You know, for the first time in several months, I think I can breathe fully easily now… I was right that I am failing at this life…, But I had forgotten that that life was not the one I ever wanted to live…

Now, I am free to live my life…

And that is just about the most exciting thing I have ever considered or said… 😀

P.S. Early, early this morning, the world lost the physical presence of one of the greatest people I have ever known, and possibly ever will know… I haven’t talked about it with anyone, and I don’t want to yet – I’m not ready for that. However, I feel like she was with me today in this whole realization… She has been a huge part of almost every major moment in my life since I began college, and I swear she was here this evening. 🙂 I have a feeling she will continue to be here in my life.

Post-a-day 2020

Last night

Couldn’t seem to sleep well, but had to get up early this morning.

Went back to sleep after morning work was completed.

Slept hard.

Really hard.

Woke up and had breakfast at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Accomplished lots more, including a real workout for the first time in a couple weeks.

Hastily closing up chore shop, as I realize it is almost one in the morning, and I have to be up early in the morning…

Goodness, I am still not very good at this early morning thing.

Fortunately (and unfortunately), I have things I must do that will last well into early afternoon tomorrow, so I won’t end up back in bed for hours that will keep me up at night (which is almost a guarantee that I likely will be tired for most of the day).

**Sigh…

Goodnight, I suppose… there is much more to be done here in my room, and it has me wondering if I wouldn’t prefer to hold off another day on my departure to ‘the small-town house getaway’ that was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon… we shall see… tomorrow!

Post-a-day 2020

32,000 troops in New York Harbor

I just e-mailed a history expert in order to find a possible answer to two questions my mom and I had out of watching “Hamilton”.

1) How many men would have been aboard each ship?

2) How long was the journey from England to New York in 1776?

We wanted to know how many ships were in the harbor in order to produce 32,000 troops, as the line in the song says, and realized that we had no idea how big the ships even were and what their capacities were for men (and ammunition, etc.).

And that set of thoughts led us to wondering how long they had had to spend at sea.

And so, rather than put forth lots of effort in researching myself, I figured it smartest to reach out to an expert first, and doing further personal research second, if needed.

Why does this even matter?

Because we are total nerds in my family, and we care about things like this. 😛

I mean, what else would one be asking after watching “Hamilton”? Haha

Post-a-day 2020