Something about the heart

In my new city, I stare at things I see. Drunk people. Big buildings. A flutter in my heart that lets me know that this place is exactly where I’m supposed to be. There’s a quiet excitement that sits in the belly of me, and everyday it feels as though there’s a butterfly flapping it’s new wings with anticipation of what’s coming next. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not missing the current moment, because that would be silly. But even with all things new and shiny, there’s still cause for pause in my tiny apartment. A pause that leaves me breathless and devastated, even if it’s for less than a millisecond, it still happens. Maybe devastated isn’t the right word. Eh. Even typing it, it seems a little melodramatic. Maybe shocked is a better word.

Last May, I met a boy. It all starts with a boy doesn’t it? It was one of those things that should have just been a weekend thing, but being the girl that I am, and him being the boy that he was, neither of us would accept it just as that. I mean why would we? Fate is fate. This boy I met on my first visit to New Orleans this year. And he left me dragging my feet to get back to Texas. And I remember spending days being mad at him because he made me not want to be in Texas. He made me hate Texas, when really both Austin and Texas had done absolutly nothing wrong. All they had done was to be everything I had ever wanted. But yet, it was the boy in Louisiana who made me realize that why both Austin and Texas were everything I could have have dreamed of, they were not the right fit. I told myself that me wanting to move to Louisiana had nothing to do with a boy. But let’s be honest, he was the driving force. And I didn’t want to move because of him, I just wanted to move to be closer to him. However, life happens, and nothing ever happens the exact way we want it to. And I moved to New Orleans for no one but simply myself. For simple selfish reasons at that. Which honest to blog, I feel that’s just how it should be.

So even though I moved here for myself, and even though I have friends here, friends I have known for years and I love dearly. It’s strange. There’s a boy in the very city of which I stand, who once felt the same way about me, as I did about him (butterflies in the belly), and it also strikes me as odd that in one moment it can all go from good to bad. I once tried to explain it to a friend.

Me: Everything was perfect… until it wasn’t

Friend: That tends to be how it happens

I’m not sad, and I don’t wish to change anything that has already happened. It just seems so funny to me how quickly the heart can go from light and flighty to sad and… well just sad. Lucky for me the sadness has passed. But from time to time, it strikes me as funny. This boy who made it seem like he had so many plans for me, is no longer even in my peripheral vision… but instead just something that flutters through my brain wave from time to time. And even when the sadness has passed, I want my milliseconds back.


Don’t blink, or you might miss it.

This past spring and early summer has led me to places I’d never thought I’d end up. Mostly I’m referring to a mental state. I’ve been stretched beyond my means only to realize just how easily I fall back into shape, still a little stretched out but able to function all the same. And all of it has led me to right now. Big things are days away and I am ever so very much excited.

May grabbed my heart and jerked me around by it, seeing how far I could go before I would come close to breaking. And I’ve got to tell you, I can go pretty fucking far. 8 hours by car from home to be exact. I went to visit friends twice in May, both times in the same city. The second time however sent me running back to Austin with the feeling of having been punched violently in the stomach. When in all honesty, I’m willing to bet that getting actually punched would have hurt less than the feeling I had when I drove back to Austin the second time in May.

Just the same though, it was those two trips away from Austin that made me realize something about my little city in which I live. Something I think I’ve known for awhile, but wasn’t really willing to look at and acknowledge, at least not look it in the eye. You know how you’re on a date with the perfect man, he’s everything you’ve ever wanted, and he is charming, cultured, gorgeous, smart, etc but yet you are kicking yourself because you just don’t feel that spark. There’s a lack of butterflies in the stomach. And while it’s easy to shrug and say “I don’t need butterflies” eventually boredom sets in and you realize that butterflies in the belly really are the bees knees. Well both trips from Austin made me realize that Austin was lacking the butterflies in the belly that I had been missing.

With that said… I made one last trip from Austin, looking to confirm what I had feared to be true. But just the same I wasn’t all that afraid of not living in Austin. I was excited about what would come next. I’m excited about my new apartment. I’m excited about the new people I’ve already met in this city that has already shaken, rattled, and rolled me. It’s all falling into place, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I’m living it, but instead just watching it all happen. Sitting back, smiling, and enjoying it all.

But for now. In this moment. I am in Missouri. Sitting on my childhood bed, typing these words. Waiting for laundry so I can pack my suitcase to go back to my home in Austin one last time. Tomorrow night I’ll get back to Austin to pack. And by pack, I mean pack really fast. Because boys and girls, come Wednesday, I will live in New Olreans, La.

Funny the way things happen.

Too early to make sense…

I went to bed early last night. In my weeks of being jobless, my sleep pattern has been less than desirable. Go to bed when I’m tired, getting up… whenever. Which usually comes down to going to bed around three or four in the morning, and getting up any time between 10:45, and 12:00. There’s nothing worse than not only feeling like a slacker, but waking up at noon to prove you right. Not the case last night though. See I’m working as a secretary today at some place. It was done through a temp agency. And honestly I’m thankful. I need the cash. But back to my point. I went to bed early, so I could get up early. The early that I was greeted with this morning, was not what I had in mind though. 4:30. Now forgive me if I believe that is a time to go to bed, but no time to be getting up. Just the same though, I lay in bed, and try not to force myself into sleep.

I catch up on everything I missed over night. Nothing too exciting on facebook, tumblr is essentially just as I left it. Finally the clock reaches 6 am, an hour before my alarm is set to go off. Finally I make it out of bed. I turn on the lights, open my computer, and alas, here we are.

The mornings are a funny thing for a person who is ever so naturally a night person. In the night there’s noise, and the day that had fallen before it. There’s the worry that is life, the constant movement, and jumbled up thoughts that live within my head. The social norms that I’ve confined myself to live by that are  also what I’ve trained my thoughts by. And each night, I bid my life farewell for my needed eight hours of a break. Then each morning I wake up, knowing many other people have already beaten me to it. To the morning.

Today though. When I was laying in bed. Everything seemed so calm and quiet. My day hasn’t been ruined by the world yet. My thoughts of mediocrity haven’t plagued my existence. I mean how can it, if the universe is expecting me to still be sleeping for hours more. Thoughts flow into my head in a poetic stream that only seems to come from the quiet calmness that is the early morning. My mouth– that seems to let out words almost as fast as they can, in fear of nothing getting everything out—is silent. My lips say nothing while my head is saying everything. My lips say nothing in fear of what will actually come out. In fear, that whatever it is that finally comes out, won’t be words that are my own. But instead words of something that has been fed to me.

It’s a funny thing. Being quiet. Especially this early, when words and noise is not required. I let the screaming of my tea kettle fill my need to tell the world that breakfast is almost ready. I let the slamming of keys on a key board pour out the words that are currently in my head. The longer I physically say nothing, the more anxious I become to see what my first word will be today. Will it be something profound and meaningful “I know what I want to do with my life…” or something simple and meaningless such as “I’m on my way to work” I wonder if other people think about the first sound that comes out of their mouth… or maybe it’s just me.

This feeling is almost enough to make me want to get up every morning with the hope that each day I can feel this hopeful about life. Each day knowing that regardless of what I do, that it’s going to be okay. Let’s be honest though. Not every day is like this. Hell. Most days aren’t like this. Most days, getting up is just something I do, only to be followed by doing not much else. But today is different. Today my head feels hopeful, my soul feels busy, and I feel like maybe, just maybe something is starting to turn around.

Oh. And I’m still waiting to see what my first word is going to be today. I’ll let you know.

EDIT: “I’m so excited for you” it was the first thing I said today. I was chatting with a friend and I whispered the words out loud as I typed them. Didn’t even realize it till it was already out.

Something to remember…

It seems as though every generation has it’s teen sitcom. Whether it’s Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Saved by the Bell, Friends, or something else, everyone has a show that they grew up with. You measure the status and importance of your relationships with the opposite sex, gauged on what you’ve seen on TV. There’s these larger than life men, that always come sweeping in with grand gestures and romantic one liners that make your heart hurt just a little bit. It hurts because we know most men really aren’t like that. That the cheesy one liners never really happen in real life, and we remind ourselves that it’s not real. Until it is.

When I complain about how horrible men are sometimes, I only remember the bad. I only remember how many time I’ve been let down, hurt, or disappointed by someone else’s actions that really have nothing to do with me. It’s not very often that the fleeting great moments I’ve had come to the top of my mind. But when they do, all I can do is smile.

I was 19, and I’d just moved to Wilmington, NC. I’d already made my way through one boyfriend who turned out only to be a two weeker. And I was possibly moving on to my second. This guy was sweet. And gentle. And kind. And for the first time, I didn’t feel pressure to really do anything I didn’t want to do, which was nice. It was probably a Sunday– I say that because I remember I had school the next day—and we were both bored, with nothing to do. We hadn’t kissed yet, and were still in the friends stage of things, which really isn’t always a bad place to be. Everything is fun in the friends stage, no drama, no hurt feelings, just fun flirting. But back to the story. It was a Sunday and I was bored, and we both decided we wanted to do something fun. I had told him how someday I want to go to Myrtle Beach, just to see it. Everyone made such hype about it, yet it was only 45 minutes away from where I currently was. So he suggested that we just go. Hop in the car, drive down, check it out, and come home. Even though it was only a short drive away, it was still across a state line. And I’d never driven myself across a state line before, and weirdly enough it was that that made me nervous. Not any other part of it. Just the driving across the state line.

Just the same I agreed to go, if he drove. He said he didn’t mind. And we were off. I don’t remember what we talked about when we were in the car. I remember we go to Myrtle Beach though and trying to find some place to hangout, if even just for a bit. Somehow I got into a Senor Frogs, and I didn’t want to even try to drink at all because I didn’t want to chance getting kicked out of a bar in a state I didn’t even live in. But I stood with him at the bar and saw they had Mecheladas on the menu. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about that particular drink, since I lived in Mexico. It’s a beer with lime juice, and chili powder, amazing perfection. So I went to sit down so he could order, and he came back with two Mecheladas. One for him, one for me. I was so excited to be drinking it. I thanked him profusely. And I was even more excited when I actually drank it. I can’t remember exactly what he said. But it was something along the lines of “anything that can make you smile like that is worth it”. Now mind you, I was only 19, and didn’t truly know how to appreciate a line like that. But I swear that’s how it happened.

On the way home, I told him about how much I hated thunder and lightning storms. They just kinda freaked me out, I don’t know why that came up. We were probably just rambling off random facts about ourselves.  We covered every subject. There was not a single pause in the conversation the whole way home. We didn’t get home till about 2 am, and I had class at nine. I told him goodnight, when he dropped me off outside my apartment, and thanked him for just a fun night.

I went into my little apartment, changed out of my clothes, slipped into bed, and shut off the lights. What a perfect night. I fell asleep in no time. Only to be woken up three hours later by the clap of thunder and flashes of lightening. I sat up in bed, waiting for the next sound. Another clap. The storm was close. With my hatred of storms, I crawled out of bed and went into my living room, to flip on the TV to see what the weather man had to say about this storm. Growing up as a kid, if the weather was bad enough, there was always people on the TV talking about it. Yet there was nothing. This was the south though, things could be different. I went back to my bedroom, sitting on my bed. Thinking to myself that I’m an adult, I really shouldn’t be this freaked out by something that can’t actually hurt me. I glanced over at my clock, it was 5:15, at the time I didn’t have friends, or even know people who were up at that hour. It was just me, afraid, in bed, during the middle of a storm.

That was when I heard my phone buzz. Someone was calling. I looked down, it was the guy. I picked up the phone. He laughed and said he knew I’d be awake because of the storm, and he called to make sure I was ok. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How is anyone really this sweet? We talked for the next 45 minutes until the storm passed and I was ready to go back to sleep. Then for the second time that night he wished me good night.

I woke up three hours later to get ready for class. I was tired, crabby, and mildly regretting my last minute late night trip so late at night. The boy texted me a good morning, and asked me what I like to drink. I wasn’t sure what he meant. I mean such two statements are usually said at opposite ends of the day. Morning: Good morning. Night: What are you drinking? He told me he was stopping by a coffee place and asked me what I wanted. I was touched again. I told him my drink order, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late, as I was already on the verge of being late for class. He showed up five minutes before I needed to leave and said “if you’re going to stay up that late, and still make it to class, you deserve this” and handed me my vice of caffeine in a cup.

Once upon a time, in one night, I had three very sweet, pseudo cheesy moments, with one guy. And when my bitter cynicism gets the best of me (more often than not), I think back on those moments and am thankful that there’s hopefully still some good, even in all the bad.

Something about windows

There’s a wise old proverb about windows and doors. It’s something to the effect that the universe never closes a door without opening a window first. The hard part about that is though, when the door closes, it’s usually in our face.  And if there’s a window open, it’s probably letting the cold in, while we’re stuck staring at this closed door, fuming in anger at the fact that it is closed. So while we’re focused on our closed door, and getting cold from the draft of the open window, I usually can’t even notice that there’s a window in the room.

When I’m given bad news, I’ve found over the years that I prefer my bad news the same way I like my tea. Strong, but with sugar to sweeten it a bit, and a splash of milk to add a thickness to it. But just because that’s the way I like it, doesn’t mean that’s how it always is. Usually it’s blunt and hard. And usually I let it ruin me, defeat my entire being and purpose. It takes days to bounce back from it.

Lately though, things have become different. Bad things still happen. I’ve noticed though that my reaction to them have been drastically different. My car had been broken into over Christmas, broke out the passenger side window and took my GPS. I didn’t care that they took my GPS, I just hated that it had happened. Usually in matters like this, I hyperventilate and break down sobbing, feeling violated and victimized. This time though I just found myself staring blankly at my car with one word in my head. Fuck. Not fuck in anger. But as in a way that is simply understanding what has happened. The only thing I could think to do was to have the window fixed and not let it ruin my day. So that’s exactly what I did. I had a new window put in within three days. I was not forced to go through my everyday with a constant reminder of what happened to my car. And when it was all over, I couldn’t believe how easy it had been to handle all of it.

A door closed recently. Or, it’s going to soon. At least that’s what I was told yesterday. I knew it was going to close soon. I could feel it. It was just a matter of whether I was going to pull the door knob to shut the door myself, or let the door slam in front of me. So sitting in this little room with a closed door, I’m excited to look around me and see all the possibilities of all the windows. All the places that they will take me. I’m curious to find out what the open windows will make me do, and how it will change my life.

So I think I’ll just get in my car and drive. And feel the breeze from the open windows, waiting to see what they mean and what’s on the other side of the window.

A little Christmas past and present.

Every year for Christmas, my mothers friend has a big Christmas party of Christmas eve. There’s food, and drink, oh yes, lots of drink. And then everyone goes to church only to congregate back at the party. Every year since I was 18 or so I have gone to this party, and had the food, and the drink just as everyone did. And I would go to Church with a buzz that left me feeling good enough to sit through the same Christmas sermon that I had heard since I was a kid. Well. Last year, things may or may not have gotten a bit out of control. Maybe. Ever have one of those moments after a few drinks where you can’t stop laughing. Or at the very least, giggle? Well last year that is exactly what happened to me. I got a case of the giggles. In the middle of Church. Sitting directly in front of my mother’s boss. And my step dad was so angry, being the mildly not all that dedicated Catholic that I’ve come to read him as. Apparently Christmas Eve service is the big pubah of church services. Not Easter, not baptism Sunday, but Christmas Eve service.

This year things will be different. Am I still going to drink? More than likely. Am I still going to get the giggles? Without a doubt. What’s so different this time you might be wondering. Well, let me tell you. I’m staying in Austin. I’m spending my Christmas eve with my big brother and the people down here whom I have come to know as my family. New traditions are being made, and a new kind of fun is to be had.

I hope for everyone that they are able to spend Christmas as they want. And that everyone may be so lucky as to have people to be around them whom they love, and are loved by.

Soup for the soul

When I’m sitting around in conversation with people, sometimes people will begin to reminisce on the food they had growing up. One girl will talk of how her mother made the best (insert what your mom cooked here). It’s usually at some family get together or something when this is brought up and I generally respond with “yeah my mother never really cooked too much”. Now I’ll tell you this. My mother is never in the room when I say this, but somehow she always finds out that I said it. And she always gets offended. Later when it’s just me and her she will say something along the lines of “I cooked. You just don’t remember. I always cooked for you guys (meaning my brother, sister and I). You don’t know how good you had it growing up”. And she’s right I probably don’t. When I tell people my mother never cooked, I only mean it jokingly. I guess I just assume everyone is in on the joke.  In all reality, my mother always had a meal on the table at dinner time (or we’d go somewhere), but… I guess when I say my mother never cooked I always mean my mother never baked. But that’s a whole other subject.

So even though I claim out loud that my mother never cooked, she does make some damn good chicken and dumplings.  Now these are from scratch. So when she did make them, it was kind of an afternoon type thing. I’d walk into the kitchen and pick at the chicken she was pulling from the whole bird she’d just boiled. She’d swat at my hands and tell me to go away. I’d come back later, and there would be dough rolled out on the table, cut into strips. I’d pick one up and eat it, and as before. She’d tell me to get out of the kitchen. Finally, late in the evening, the family would sit down to a bowl of chicken and dumplings. So good.  It’s the kind of thing that warms you from the inside out, heats up the soul. So even though we didn’t have it often, when we did, it was good.

Fast forward several years. I’m living in North Carolina and up to my ears in school work. I’m so stressed over whether or not I’m actually going to pass my college classes. What if I fail my test? What if I flunk a class? Can you flunk out of a Community College? I needed a break. I needed something to escape to. I wasn’t sure what though. I’d never been into the idea of hard drugs, and I didn’t have enough money to buy the amount of alcohol it would take to get a good enough escape. On top of everything, not only did I need a break but I had a nasty cold coming on. I called my mother, craving her chicken and dumplings. I’d been getting better at cooking and figured I could make a pot and things would be better. I scribbled down the instructions as she told me over the phone. It sounded easy enough.

I set out to the grocery store to buy the two things I would need: a whole chicken and a bag of flour. Walking into my kitchen after visiting the grocery store, I took out the biggest pot I had and filled it with water.  I cut open the plastic bag and shook the bird out. It felt into my kitchen sink, and sat there. I looked at it, not exactly sure what to do next. I picked it up by the leg and it swung to the side. This is so weird. I couldn’t get over how I was just going to shove a whole bird into boiling water. Something that had once been a living breathing thing. I mean I’d cooked chicken and such before, but never resembling the form in which god had made it. Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the water that had now become broth. Once the chicken was cool I pulled the meat off the bone and giggled like a prepubesant kid “I’m deboning a chicken. Hehe”. Once the chicken was off the bone, I measured the flower carefully into a bowl, and did the same with the broth, mixing them together. Rolling out the dough I cut it carefully and placed it back in the boiling broth for them to cook. And then I added the chick. And there it was chicken and dumplings.

From then on, it became something I did regularly. When life was becoming too much to handle, I would go out and find me a chick (okay it was in the poultry section at the grocery store, but whatever) and pull out my big pot. Making chick and dumplings I learned was a great escape from life. It was something I could focus on, step by step. And in the end, I go to ignore the rest of the world for about four hours, and I had an amazing meal.

For me. Chick and dumplings was unplugging my life and focusing solely on the task at hand. Making sure the chicken was done. Picking the chicken off the bone. And not fucking up the dumplings. It was existing temporarily in a world where I could control everything going on, while the rest of the world was not only out of my control but out of my mind. It was holding the bowl of broth, chicken, and noodles and letting it warm not only my hand, but my soul. It was an easy and delicious way for me to forget about the rest of the world.

And to think. I got all of this from a woman who I claim doesn’t cook.