creature comforts

  • a stack of library books
  • an oversized mug filled to the brim with just-the-right temperature coffee
  • bottles of wine tucked in the refrigerator for safe keeping
  • three candles burning at the same time, in different rooms
  • anticipation of the first snow fall
  • the sound of music coming from the record player while I clean
  • fuzzy socks to put on just before bed
  • a pile of blankets to hide under
  • the presence of someone without an agenda

incomplete, part three

part one here // part two here

From 2017.


Sometimes I fear the sadness and doubt from last year has rooted itself so deep in my bones, it will continue to weigh me down until I drown.

I think it’s visible. I know I see when I look in the mirror.


I don’t get to see this girl very often -- in this case, it’s been months. So that means I spent part of tonight rehashing my recent life events, and ended up crying in a very crowded restaurant. But it’s okay – I’m okay. It’s not all smiles. It’s not all positive vibes and mantras. Sometimes it’s staying home for an entire weekend because the thought of having to put on make-up or do my hair or figure out something that slightly resembles an acceptable outfit is too much.  

 

I’ve found peace in various ways recently—distance, and boundaries, and the understanding (and acceptance) that sometimes, there isn’t a silver lining …no matter how hard you look for one.


I want to lay down, I want to feel close to the Earth—my center has shifted and I don’t know if I should follow it or try to bring it back to where it was before. Was it in the right place then? Or is it in the right place now and I just have to catch up to it?


Recently, he apologized. An apology that was more for his benefit than for mine. After the initial wave of vindication passed, I realized that even if he did mean it, it didn’t change anything.

Not a damn thing.

incomplete, part two

Below are more incomplete posts. These are from 2016.

Part one can be found here.


Remember to say thank you, always. Even for the smallest things. Especially for the smallest things. The saying “there’s always one” applies to a lot of things, including people. Don’t let that one person lessen what so many others have done for you. Drink water, so much water.  Spend more time outside. Gossip less, and encourage those around you do to the same. Give the gift of stability. Offer help and accept it. Learn how to trust others but only after you’ve learned how to trust yourself. Set goals and stick to them. Know when to walk away but don’t be so hard on yourself for taking so long to do so. Remember that timing is everything. And people often show you exactly who they are if you’re willing to pay attention long enough. Listen. To those around you but most of all to yourself. You’ll be amazed at what stress can do to the body—don’t allow it to happen to you and don’t cause it to happen to someone else.


“How do you feel about long distance?” she asked
 “How far are we talking?” I responded.

It was a Friday afternoon in late October; the day before Halloween. I had indulged in a little too much candy and could feel the sugar rushing through my body, preventing me from focusing on any task at hand. So when my co-worker stopped by my desk to tell me she had a friend she wanted to introduce me to, I was all ears; anything but work to pass the remaining hour before the weekend.

Six months prior she stopped by my office to talk about nothing in particular and made mention that she would try to think of someone she could set me up with.

This is common when you’re single. You become something other people want to fix.


Last December I went to the city two weeks before Christmas and bar hopped. Three friends and I went from pub to pub, having only one beer before going onto the next. We were buzzing with alcohol and the overall feel in the city that time of year. The saying (according to You’ve Got Mail) is, “Don’t you love New York in the fall?” which is true and entirely justified. But there’s something about New York around Christmas that is unparalleled.

So, yes, maybe that’s why I can’t seem to stop myself from listening to Christmas music. I’m chasing the feeling I had last December before a lot of things, well, went to shit.


With each toss and turn I made before falling asleep, I caught myself giving him another goodnight kiss—one after the other after the other.

 

In the middle of the night I woke up for just a minute to shift my body. But before I moved, I placed one soft, quiet kiss on his shoulder, wary of waking him up.

He turned, in sync with my motion, and returned the kiss on my shoulder. As I exhaled through a smile and hushed laugh, he gave me two more down my arm.

__________________________________

I opened my eyes and could tell by the brightness of the sun behind the shades that the alarm would be going off soon.

I turned on my side, away from him.

He followed, wrapping his arm around my waist and sliding me back toward him.

 

I didn’t fall back asleep— didn’t even try. I just laid there, taking in the last few quiet moments of morning, in the arms of a man I’m falling in love with.

incomplete, part one

I sat across from a friend last weekend and talked about my writing. It felt a bit strange at first, considering I'm pretty sure he's never read anything on this blog. But he writes too, and so we talked about our writing processes.

We agreed that anything forced will turn out to be shit. We also agreed that when the idea hits, words and thoughts flow effortlessly from our brains to our fingertips, to our keyboards and onto the screen.

I told him I've gotten better about editing. About accepting the concept of a "first draft" and to let something sit a little before I revisit it.

Except sometimes I don't revisit it. I don't edit or complete it.

And that's where the following comes from. Bits and pieces of posts I started, but never finished. There's a lot, so consider this part one. They are all from 2015.


Two years ago I dated a man who did not find me funny. I’m hard pressed to think of something that has bothered me more than that. I was attracted to him, slightly fascinated by his neurosis, but constantly felt like I could not be myself around him. Like I didn’t measure up. And yet, never really felt like I should have to.

And so when it ended, I wasn’t altogether too upset about it. It wasn’t right. And I stood on his back deck one night near the end of it, and called a friend to say, “You know what? I deserve better than this. He doesn’t even laugh at my jokes.


My ghost – the one I’ve tried to ignore for months on end – well, I know I’m not his ghost. Not in the same way that he is to me; ever present and just out of reach.

I sat next to him not too long ago as he pointed to a picture of a girl on his phone – it was through a dating app.

It was the way he said it more than anything. It didn’t sting – because I knew (I’ve known) that I’m not that person to him. But to see her, to see him point her out and say something along the lines of, “She told me she wasn’t ready for a relationship.” Well, that caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks a bit.


I don’t show up empty handed.

It’s something that’s been ingrained in me since I was a child- the asking of what I can bring, what I can do to help. I watched my mother do the same- write her name on small pieces of masking tape stuck to the bottom of Tupperware containers or glass dishes. Always bringing something along, always offering.

And so now I do the same. It feels right.

But I’ve shown up to my last few dates empty handed-- metaphorically speaking, of course. It would be rather strange if I brought a covered dish with me when I’m meeting a man for drinks.

Maybe it’s knowing that first dates, well- they haven’t exactly led to anything great.

 

And I have to wonder if they can tell.


On my first full day of being a 27 year old, I woke up with a man in my bed.  Someone I’ve known for quite some time (going on 10 years now), but who I don’t know all that well. Yes, I can tell you where he’s worked, or even what his brother’s name is, but I don’t know what makes him tick or the face he makes when he’s really, truly concentrating on something.

Nor does he know similar intimate details about me.

I’m not sure what sparked the comment he made in the early hours of my 27th year, but with a laugh he said, “You’re the dumbest smart girl I’ve ever met.”

quote, unquote

"You don't know what's coming. You don't know who you'll meet and how. I've heard so many love stories start with 'he was so unexpected...' I've heard stories of total life pivots coming from a chance encounter, a risky new job, a last ditch effort to try something new, a rock bottom whim. We've been attracted to the wrong people for the wrong reasons, seeking their affection or their bodies or their coolness to heal insecurities from middle school, self-hatred that thinks it can be erased by kissing the thing that hurt it. We've wanted a specific career only to achieve it and find it empty of meaning. We've wanted marriages to escape loneliness and ridicule, only to end up more lonely with a shiny fake smile. We think we know how things should be and how they will arrive.

We don't know what's coming in our lives. We are all those doomsday pastors, predicting the day and time of Christ's return, only to shrink in embarrassment as time and again our predictions are wrong.

How beautiful if we could let life happen and say thank you and trust that it will teach as it teaches. And we will listen and hear. If we could just hear the testimony of those ahead of us, who keep telling us the truth, over and over." - Jedidiah Jenkins

 

If you don't already, I strongly recommend following him on Instagram.

checking in || early september

craving // Thanksgiving. Like, in general, but mostly the leftovers.
 
watching // I have four episodes of Ozark I need to finish this weekend. I crushed Friends from College in a few days. And I'm re-watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning. TV = lyfe 4eva.

listening //  Oh good lord, I have Taylor Swift's second new single ...Ready For It? on repeat. It's so catchy!!1! I'm also listening to Lorde -- Perfect Places and Liability, to be specific.

drinking // Iced coffee for another few weeks. Not ready to switch to hot coffee yet.
 
reading // 
I'm re-reading Wild but I want book suggestions for when I'm finished, so leave them below!

cooking // This weekend I'm making autumn soup. I think I posted a recipe on here years and years ago, but I can't find it. Maybe I'll re-post it? Are posting recipes still a thing? Are blogs still a thing?

wearing // My Chelsea boots around my house because it's not cold enough to wear them outside just yet -- but soon!

feeling // Busy, busy. If you emailed me about the ~podcast project~ I haven't forgotten about you! I'll be reaching out soon to set up times to chat. And if you haven't heard about it, but want to participate, you can read more about it here.

that feeling of feeling

We were sitting in a corner booth at a dimly lit bar-- the whole group of us laughing, talking over one another, taking pictures and nursing beers between our hands. I made people move so I could sit next to you, and ten minutes later, I made them move again so I could leave.

I picked a fight*.

 

When I talked to a friend the next day, she told me what you said to her outside the bar when you came running out after me, but I was already too far down the street. She told me the excuses you used for why this has never been more than what it is-- the same excuses you told me not too long ago.

But your excuses do not absolve you from your actions.

And your actions have said otherwise.

 

To your excuses, I say this:

You've been broken and I've been broken, and we're all hurting, one way or another. And it doesn't make us special, and it doesn't make us singular-- it makes us human. It's what brings us together-- above all else, what people have gone through in the past should be the driving factor to get to their future. It should be the fire in your belly to do better, to do more. To treat people kindly because you know what it's like to be discarded.

You can't hide behind the pain. None of us can. But especially not you. You're too smart and funny and charming and talented. You're all these things I'm not sure you realize. You're all these things I never realized for years, because I never thought of you in that way until one day I did.

 

June of 2015-- I sat in the grass and you sat in a chair next to me. My best friend (the same one you stopped outside the bar a few nights ago) watched on as you and I started looking at each other in a way we never had before. It's like we started seeing each other for the first time.

It only took 8 years.

You got up to get a beer and I looked at her, unable to articulate what I was thinking and she said, "I know. I can feel it, too. What's going on with you guys?"

 

And that's the question I've been asked by people ever since: what's going on with you guys? Two years of what's going on with you guys? because no one believes me (sometimes, myself included) when I say we're just friends.

But four months after that night in June, the lines blurred. And they've blurred on and off ever since.

 

I say on and off because I have tried (unsuccessfully) to have relationships with other people. If it wasn't going to be you, then I was going to find someone else. I've gone on dating apps and out on first dates. I've met people at bars and I've had drinks with friends of friends.

And after things fell apart with the guy I dated last year, I was worried I would cling to you and hurt you in the fallout. So, I set boundaries.

No more of this, unless...

No more of that, until...

It lasted a few months.

 

And then I met someone else this summer. And then you also met this someone else. And I reminded myself that we're just friends, so this shouldn't be a big deal. But I couldn't shake the urge to want to reach for you, instead of him.

 

It's been messy ever since...and that's on me.

 

I picked a fight because I knew the answer already, I just needed you to say it.

I picked a fight because I want to hit rock bottom and the only thing standing in the way of that is you.

Well, not so much you-- but the idea of you.

I picked a fight because I was mad at myself...for fucking it up.

I picked a fight because you were talking to someone else for a few minutes at the bar and I got a taste of what it must have felt like for you to see me with someone else.

 

I picked a fight because I knew all along I was the one who was going to get hurt. You told me where you stood, how you felt. And I didn't listen.

But I'm listening now.

And maybe that's the lesson.

 

 

*I apologized two days later. He apologized, too. But, truthfully, I don't think either of us know what the fuck we were apologizing for.

useless information, p. 2

I did this post back in 2015-- Kelsey alerted me to it because she was digging around in my archives. In an attempt not to have the same answers for everything, I changed some of the topics.

4 names people like to call you other than your real name:
1. Liss
2. Aunt Lissie
3. Scooter (I used to ask my now defunct bocce team to call me that. My SIL still does sometimes.)
4. Never. Sometimes guys call me never and I've accepted that as a fact of life.

4 bands you'd like to see live:
1. The Head and the Heart
2. Noah and the Whale (RIP, they broke up)
3. Jamestown Revival
4. Houndmouth

4 movies you've watched recently:
1. The Break Up (a classic, IMO)
2. Girl, Interrupted (one one my all time favorite movies)
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. Dirty 30

4 places you would like to live:
1. California
2. New York City
3. Denver, Colorado
4. Philadelphia

4 places you would like to visit:
1. Utah
2. Amsterdam
3. Iceland
4. Australia

4 places you'd rather be right now:
1. In bed, sleeping.
2. On the road, en route to a show.
3. Laying by a pool.
4. Anywhere that serves pizza.

4 things you have ate in the last 24 hours:
1. CHIPS ~currently eating~
2. Yogurt (shout out to Chobani flips)
3. Chinese
4. PB&J sandwich

4 of your favorite chain restaurants:
1. Chili's <333
2. The Cheesecake Factory
3. Moe's
4. McDonald's *shrug emoji*

4 TV shows you recommend binge watching:
1. House of Cards (!!!1!! I wish I could watch it for the first time again)
2. Sex & the City
3. Silicon Valley
4. Parenthood

4 things you're always saying:
1. "~~apparently~~" (just like this kid)
2. "MAMA TRIED" (when I unsuccessfully attempt to do something)
3. "Oh, for fuck's saaaaakkeeee!" (because Harry Styles said it once)
4. "CRAY GREAT"