Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Because this is where you are.

It's no secret that I've tired of city life.

The freedom and newness and possibility that enveloped me upon my arrival has, over the past two years, given way to inconveniences, grind, and cramp.

It culminated a few months back, when I came down with the flu just as Henley picked up a bug from, one can only guess, the back alley. Days of diarrhea and vomiting on her part gave way to a very scary reality: It was Sunday, a day when all normal vets are closed, she was refusing food for the third day and couldn't keep water down, I had a fever and no car, and the nearest emergency vet--bound to cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars--was 2 miles away. And it was freezing and snowing, because of course.

As the saying goes, FML.


I spend a lot of time going back and forth between two camps:
  • This city doesn't suit your ideal lifestyle and you need to take care of that ASAP
  • You are really lucky and you need to recognize that and not take it for granted
So basically I've spent a lot of time beating myself up.

"Why do I live here?" has become a pretty constant refrain, both in the "why the fuck do I live somewhere where it hurts my face to walk down the street??!!" kind of immediate way and also in the "but no really, why? What's keeping me here?" It gets existential pretty quickly.

Answers range from "because it's 6 hours from your family" and "because you have a great job and why would you risk leaving" and "because it would cost a couple grand to relocate" and "because I'm scared that I don't have it in me to start all over once again".

The other day on the bus home, I found myself silently asking that familiar question. I looked out at the lake, a daily commute ritual that calms me and reminds me of home, and a new answer appeared: You live here because this is where you are.

You are here because this is where you are.

It's as simple as that. This is where I am in life. It's not where I'll always be, and the mysteries behind that will unveil themselves in good time. But for right now I live here because this is where I am.

And that's...satisfactory. It doesn't feel like a question anymore. It hasn't crossed my mind since.

I live here because this is where I am.

You guys, I am nowhere close to being a Zen Buddhist Priest, but I am so much closer than I ever thought I'd be.


This personality test is eerily on point.

"...isn't always prepared to share her grievances" might be the understatement of my lifetime.

That is all.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Let's fall in love quickly and let's let it dissolve the callouses we've collected from other lovers.

Let's not be late for things because it makes me anxious and because it's rude. Let's try to be early. Let's claim the worm.

Let's drive modest cars so we can travel to places our grandparents never heard about. Let's have the craziest adventures. Let's be the ones about whom people say, "Where are they off to now?" Let's eat like the locals and let's hike as high as we can.

Let's have sex. A lot of it, and not just on vacation.

Let's not worry until there is something to worry about, and when that proves impossible for me, despite all the yoga and tea in the world, let's pitch a tent in the living room and sing old country songs at the top of our lungs. Let's drink vodka and light candles and watch our worries go up in smoke.

Let's share secrets, and scars, and scary dreams. Let's go dizzy with desire, feel special, feel sacred, feel safe.

Let's strive, baby. Let's be the people that always tried and sometimes achieved. Let's let go of things that aren't meant for us, be they babies or houses or frequent diner credits that went unpunched.

Let's fight. Just enough to feel alive and be heard. Let's go to bed angry, and pass the toothpaste without talking, and wake up regretful. Let's know we're in it together but be willing to stand firm in our convictions. Let's move on.

Let's have a dog, always, and let's ignore the tumbleweeds of hair and vet bills and chewed up electronics, and let's just appreciate the tail wag. And when the inevitable happens, let's pet their sweet faces while they go. Let's say, "He was a good boy, a really good boy" as we tearfully pull onto the highway from the vet's office, holding hands.

Let's talk a lot. That's why we fell in love, right? Because I thought you were cute and you thought I was cute and we liked to talk to each other. Let's discuss philosophy and morality, at 3am, eating spoonfuls of almond butter on the kitchen counter. Let's discuss football, if you want to. After all, I fell in love with you because you make everything interesting. Let's never stop talking.

Let's never stop kissing.

Let's hang out and for the love of god let's never call it 'date night'. Let's hang out because we make each other laugh and we think one another is super cool. Let's schedule it if life gets busy and let's spice it up if we get in a rut, but let's never make it just-one-more-thing.

Let's hang out with other people. Let's have boy-friends and girl-friends and old-friends and new-friends. My-friends and your-friends and our-friends and those-friends. Let's go to yoga and to boxing or basketball or taxidermy or whatever the hell you're into, separately. Let's you go your way, I go mine, and meet up over sushi to tell the tales. Let's listen and hear and leave with our arms entangled.

Let's live as if life is long, and let's not do things just because we're supposed to have done them by now. Let's choose good people and let's make plans.

Let's live as if life is short, and let's call our parents to tell them we love them. Let's hug people goodbye and let's use the special dishes until they show their wear.

Let's be a united front against anyone who dares utter the words "geriatric pregnancy" or "finally" or "it's about time" about any of our milestones. Let's live as if everything is right on time, because it is. 

Let's teach our kids to play cards and talk about their feelings and make conversation with strangers. Let's watch them become who they are. Let's catch them being kind and tell them how good they are at growing up. Let's be a landing pad, and a lamp, and a ladder.


Let's be stricken when our parents die, and let's know that there is never the right thing to say. Let's let it make us gentler, kinder, and more in love.

Let's be super fucking cute old people. Let's be the people who swim laps and stay trim and dress up nicely for each other. Let's take up underwater basketweaving at 60 or jujitsu at 75 and let's laugh our heads off at how horrible we are. Let's swear and tell jokes and make our grandkids blush.

Let's never stop dancing.

Let's have a really good life.