finding home

haven home 1.jpglast summer, i met a sweet, sweet guy. ¬†he is different from almost anyone else i have ever met. ¬†we dated for a little bit and though things didn’t work out, i count him as a dear friend.

he is wild. ¬†he is free. ¬†he is natural. ¬†he finds solace in the simple things, like driving for hours when you really, really don’t know where you’re going. ¬†he is a climber, an adventurer, an athlete. ¬†he is brave and kind. ¬†he is shy, quiet,¬†intelligent, and so charming.

he stopped to see me a few days ago, while driving across the country.  we met for coffee just off i-90.  he had stopped in wisconsin the night before to crash with some people he had only recently met.  he is the kind of guy who does that, and whom people invite to do that.  he shared his recent adventures with me, from ditching guards at the grand canyon so that he could continue hiking without a reservation to, literally, chasing waterfalls.  he told me about the tough times of being so alone and he told me about the inexplicable beauty of living so close to nature.  he shared lines from his favorite author, what his sisters are doing, his next location.

this friend reaches a part of me that few people reach. ¬†he inspires me. ¬†he makes me want to do more and be more – to follow my heart wherever that may lead. ¬†he reminds me that life is not about achievements¬†or possessions, it is about finding home, even if it’s in a sleeping bag in the back of your car.haven home 2.jpga few days after seeing my friend, ¬†i was at anthropologie browsing the sale section, wasting time really. ¬†i came across an indie magazine that i had never seen before, called haven. ¬†perhaps serendipitously, the theme of this particular issue is home¬†and finding it – inside people, coffee shops, dorm rooms. ¬†finding it around a campfire, at the dinner table, in the back of a camper van.

for my whole life, home has meant where my parents are, where my family is, where i grew up. ¬†and this, i am certain, will always be the case. ¬†but in a few months, i will finally be able to create my own home. ¬†it certainly won’t be my forever home, but it will be my first home. ¬†it will be my own space to figure out what it really means to live. ¬†it will welcome me and it will welcome others. ¬†it will incorporate all the people that i have known, the things i have loved and learned, the experiences that make me who i am – as all homes do. ¬†it will remind me of my friend and the lessons he has taught me.haven home 3.jpg

. . . 

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finding home

sunday musings & the role of the artist

“perhaps the primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone. ¬†that all men are, when the chips are down, alone, is a banality – a banality because it is very frequently stated but very rarely, on the evidence, believed. ¬†most of us are not compelled to linger with the knowledge of our aloneness, for it is a knowledge that can paralyze all action in this world. ¬†there are, forever, swamps to be drained, cities to be created, mines to be exploited, children to be fed. ¬†none of these things can be done alone. ¬†but the conquest of the physical world is not man’s only duty. ¬†he is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself. the precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”

james baldwin, the creative process

. . . 

i came across this passage when studying for a recent exam, and it touched my very soul. ¬†now i am not inferring that i am an artist in any way, shape, or form, but baldwin’s words speak to me. ¬†i get what he is saying. ¬†i feel what he is saying. ¬†i am blessed to live in a home virtually surrounded by beautiful art and to have visited famous museums throughout the world. ¬†art is an incredible thing to me. ¬†the idea that so infrequently we are touched by a certain genius, and the physical manifestation of that genius. ¬†and then there is that other side to the genius, the side that is almost always unstable, alone, dark. ¬†this is not true for all artists, of course, but often these incredible individuals struggle with a madness that, in the end, allows them to produce such unspeakable beauties. ¬†and baldwin puts this into words in a way that i could never imagine – in showing that the artist manifests his own darkness and, perhaps unintentionally,¬†brightens the world not for himself, but for others.

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sunday musings & the role of the artist

ending with december

another month has arrived and so have a fresh set of goals to finish up the year. ¬†check out the inspiration behind this post here.IMG_0014.jpgkeep spending to a minimum //¬†i have officially made it back to the real world. ¬†and i am so excited. ¬†for one thing, it means being surrounded by all the vices that i¬†wasn’t surrounded by where i was previously living…aka sephora, ulta, madewell, nordstrom, zara, anthropologie, free people, urban outfitters, walgreen’s…you get the picture. ¬†within minutes of arriving home i basically wanted¬†to turn my wallet inside out, but for the sake of being a grown up and wanting to have money in the bank, i’m praying i can keep the shopping to a minimum and continue to save my pennies. ¬†wish me luck.

continue with yoga both in classes and at home // i have some serious goals when it comes to my yoga practice that i will maybe share in the future. ¬†but in the meantime, i am really committing to myself to get serious about both an at-home practice schedule and going to new classes. ¬†i’m hoping to find a studio that i really connect to and that inspires as much as my old one did and practice on my own daily.

don’t stress about the future // you guys. ¬†i don’t know if this is even possible to be honest. ¬†but i’m going to try my best to not worry about the future. ¬†i’m going to try to appreciate where i’m at, and that i won’t ever be back in this place – living with my parents, no real responsibilities, the freedom to figure out my job and living situation. ¬†it sounds like a dream, i know, but i’m a stressed-out worrier so it’s not very easy for me to just be in the moment and enjoy it. ¬†i¬†going to try my best to destress and enjoy the holidays with my family.

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ending with december

in the moment

IMG_6706.JPGfor a few minutes this morning, i sat outside.  i made my coffee, and when i went to let the dogs out for the eighth time, i went with them.  i felt the cold salt air perking up my senses, i watched a lone seagull make figure eights in the grey sky, and i listened to the icy waves crashing half a mile away.  i took a single picture of the sky.

i tried not to think about work or my bank account or moving. ¬†and i succeeded, for the most part. ¬†i didn’t check instagram or emails or youtube. ¬†i just sat. ¬†i sipped my coffee, i cuddled the dogs, and i just sat there, in the moment, for a little while.

good morning, everyone.

in the moment

learning lessons from the girls

vsco-photo-1.jpgi wish i could put into words how incredible this book is and how intensely it resonated with me.  though i finished it weeks ago, it is still on my mind.  spoiler alerts here!

isn’t it amazing that there could be anything appealing about the ranch? ¬†but maybe it’s exactly what evie describes – the indiscriminate love that they all feel for each other, the easy way they hold hands and fall into step with each other. ¬†it’s what i love about my own friends. ¬†the easy affection we feel, the ability to show it. ¬†a place of friendship that feels like family.

i have always been intrigued by cults, and most specifically, the manson family. ¬†intrigued in that eery way you can’t look away from a car crash or a scary movie. ¬†you want to, but you can’t. ¬†isn’t there something compelling about these groups of people that so intensely belong to one cause, to each other? ¬†of course i’m glorifying it, which i don’t want to. ¬†but i guess what is interesting to me are the groups before the catastrophe. ¬†in this case, the summer before the murders.

i have to be honest that so much of the ranch is familiar to me.  it is comfortable.  it is in many ways what i experience at the places my friends live.  messy, sandy, dingy, but cozy and loving and familiar.  no one has anyone but each other, and with each other they have it all.

i relate to evie. ¬†the way she belongs to the group, yet has that background – the kushy life, the (at one time) warm memories, the purse always open. ¬†she condemns this, as i once did. ¬†she sees her existence as weak, compared to the struggles and intense freedoms of the group. ¬†i am attracted to people that lead very different lives than myself. ¬†who’s home life has not been as wonderful and safe as my own. ¬†who truly can do whatever they want. ¬†as i’ve gotten older, i am able to unite these two sides of myself. ¬†i no longer condemn myself for leading a very charmed life.

i know where i come from, i know what i want, and i am molded by the people i surround myself with, both my family and my friends.  it is okay to unite these very separate but equal (in importance and lessons) parts of my life.  my upbringing is what gives my strength, my confidence, my depth.  i certainly wished at one point that i was more like my friends, that i could leave my family for months on end and follow my wanderlust, surviving on nothing and making memories along the way.  i am figuring out how to be both people.  the girl who is devoted to her family, taking care of them and giving her whole self to them.  but also the girl that longs for more.  my time for exploration will come.  it will find me.

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learning lessons from the girls

lesson learned

today i was reminded of perhaps the most important lesson in life: we will never, ever know what someone else is going through, or the effect it has on their interactions with others.

when i was 18 and in my first year of college, i babysat for a 5-year-old with considerably older parents. ¬†the child was spoiled and irate, and i could not manage her. ¬†the last time i saw this family was a particularly brutal day. ¬†i was meant to take her to go swimming, but there was confusion as to where they were picking me up. ¬†when her father arrived at my dorm, he was irritated and displeased, and the child was crabby. ¬†it was a hot day and there was a ridiculous amount of traffic. ¬†the daughter¬†became angry¬†when i sat in the front seat of the car (i quickly moved to the back to sit with her instead) and from there she was off. ¬†she was screaming at me when we arrived at the pool, where her father promptly drove away. ¬†she wouldn’t speak to me or eat, and i was horrified. ¬†i cried in the lobby trying to get advice from my own family, but no one could help. ¬†we took a $40 cab ride back to her house where her neighbor came over and helped me, after which i slumped on the couch and messed up the tv. ¬†when her parents arrived home, the house was dark and i was done with them.

today, i ran into the mother.  she remembered me immediately, as well as the events of that day.  honestly i was horrified, feebly reminding her of how young i was, but she remembered the day differently: she apologized for never getting back in touch with me and the stress of that day, informing me that that was the day her husband was diagnosed with cancer.  he passed away a year later.  she told me how much she liked me and wished me well before taking her seat by the pool.

this encounter has really shaken me. ¬†i remember that day so clearly, and have thought of it often over the years. ¬†i could never understand these people as parents, how they didn’t control their child and left me to do a 5-year old’s¬†bidding. ¬†i cringe every time i think of that day, starting with me meeting them at the wrong place and ending with me breaking their tv (it got stuck on real housewives of somewhere at a very loud volume, naturally). ¬†i realize now how much was going on for them on that day, and even now, 5 years later.

i apologize for thinking so ill of them and for not being aware of their struggle.  i am reminded that we never know what is going on with others, that there is so much we will never know of, even in the people we are closest to.  i am reminded of how lucky i am and even how much i learned from this family, in our brief and chaotic time together.  i am saddened by this news and saddened by my behavior.  and honestly, i just feel a little lost for words.

lesson learned

may resolutions

as i was reading my bookmarked blogs this morning, i was struck by¬†kate la vie‘s post about her may goals. ¬†i immediately thought about what my own goals for may are, and i thought it was a genius idea to have a few goals for the month, as opposed to resolutions for the whole year that never seem to happen. ¬†so here are mine:

continue with yoga // i was pretty consistent with yoga when i was in college, but fell out of the habit over the past year. ¬†i’ve started attending classes again and i can already feel the difference in my mind and spirit, as well as my body.

continue reading // this sounds so lame, but i really wasn’t reading in college and this year i’ve really been focusing on getting back to my favorite hobby. ¬†reading for me is stress relieving, calming, and relaxing and i can’t get enough. ¬†i want to continue and not fall¬†back into my no-reading habit.

shop less // where i live, online shopping is really the only shopping you can do. ¬†and it is soooooo easy to press that place order button and then feel a wave of guilt for buying things that you didn’t need and didn’t even really want. ¬†so i’m going to try my best to stop doing this…i’ve been pretty good the past few weeks and then yesterday i was on amazon and you know how that goes. ¬†here’s hoping i can find some willpower.

have more fun // it’s way too easy for me to fall into a whole of being alone and not going out and being a hobbit. ¬†but i also so enjoy going out and seeing friends. ¬†so i’m forcing myself to enjoy myself this month. ¬†not to get bogged down with work and other stresses and just have fun. ¬†thankfully one of my best friends is moving back here TOMORROW so i know i’m going to be having lots of fun this month. ¬†date your friends, people.

oh, may. ¬†i’m so excited for you!

may resolutions