Monday, January 12, 2009

too many changes

I didn't expect to be so upset when my dad told me it was time to put Josh down. I knew it would be coming. But for some reason when he said it was going to happen this week, I had to really try to hold it together the rest of the conversation. He's 14, which means we've had him since I was my sister's age exactly. I probably met him nearly 14 years ago this week. That also means that I am acutely cognizant of all memories of him, because at eight you pretty much keep those memories intact--they don't get muddled and distorted as much as the earlier ones.

He's such a sweet boy, with the kindest eyes. He's mellow, but he's always been kind of like an old man--a little bit fiery and not afraid to let you know. He was the one who woke Dad when the house next door caught fire when I was in the fifth grade, and he used to sleep next to Meghan's bassinet and check on her if she stirred. He's always looked a little funny, like a character from a Dr. Seuss book. He knows who he likes.

At the risk of sounding trite and overly elegiac, I'll leave it at that.

And Dad said they're planning to put in an offer on a fixer-upper ranchette on the outskirts of town. I'm so far from all of this. I'm probably more okay with the idea of them moving now that I'm really truly "out of the house" and have been for some time now. They threatened to move about six or eight years ago and I wanted nothing to do with it. Now I'm a little more detached and so it seems less threatening to my own perception of "home". Home is here, where I live now. "Home" is with my family, wherever they choose to be.

the trees appear aflame in the hour of sundown

Today someone asked if I was considering foregoing the snow trip next weekend because of the money or because I was stressed over it. And I realized that it was both. I stress when I have no money, but I was also anxious over the prospect of losing precious alone time, something I've come to covet and savor and guard especially over the last few months. I need it. I've always known that, but having experienced it, having come to love quiet evenings at home with tea and a book or even just organizing around the house...I hesitate to make plans and I'm becoming less apt to accept them.

I'm eating better and I'm feeling so much more balanced. I'm excited about what the next few weeks hold. Now if I could just figure out how to get past this issue with my body thinking I have the time to sleep ten hours a day, I'd be golden.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

traces of ambition

I need goals. Repeatedly I am reminded of this, especially lately. It's sometimes hard for me to set them, because I am so impulsively obsessive that I have a hard time existing outside my immediate reality. Also, I am so sensitive to what's going on with other people--what they think and what they feel--that I often have trouble discerning what exactly it is that I need and want.

So, in the spirit of my burgeoning adulthood and the implied lack of direction I have, I suppose I ought to set some goals.

1) I will finish cleaning my room out this month
2) I will make more friends that climb trad and will teach me, and find some way to offer my gratitude
3) I will climb 5.11 and boulder V5 by the end of the year
4) I will earn As in my graduate school classes
5) I will put some money away so I can start saving more, and I will take over more of my own expenses
6) I will write more songs
7) I will climb El Cap by my 30th birthday
8) I will teach my sister how to love music the way I do
9) I will spend more time with my brother
10) I will learn a new language
11) I will figure out how to tell my parents I'm a vegetarian, despite the fact I'm pretty sure they're worried I'm a hippie as it is
12) I will run a 5K

I've enjoyed lately the sensation of settling into my personality and my life. I can't say this has always been the case, but the worst of it is over and now I feel like I'm becoming who I want to be. And the person I want to be needs moments of intense solitude in as much quantity and intensity as the moments of entire engagement with others that I love so dearly. She needs lots of sleep and she's awkward in the way that keeps her grounded--usually. She dreams of new places and adventures and new people with whom to connect. She appreciates the unknown and is comfortable with uncertainty.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

on friends and strangers

Robyn and Annie and I met for dinner at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant. If being vegan meant I could eat food that good ALL the time, I'd do it. I realized in waiting for them that I legitimately enjoyed the leisure of waiting. If my life is lived at such a breakneck pace that I can't just sit and enjoy the moments I'm in, then something's wrong. There are so many interesting people to meet and watch and wonder about.

For instance, when I went to the bagel shop for lunch this week, I purposely sought to savor the distinct pleasure of feeling solitary in a room of strangers. Outside it was drizzling, and just as I finished my soup, a tall, thin fellow sat down outside on the other side of the window next to me. He removed his green backpacking pack and pulled out an old songbook. His guitar was streaked with rivulets of rain. I hadn't seen him arrive, so I don't know whether he drove or walked. The back of his worn denim coat read "Fresno Co. Jail" in faded white letters, and his hair hung in a stringy mohawk across his forehead. As he practiced his guitar, I considered that there was probably much to his story. It was all I could do not to seek a conversation as I was leaving.

My mother doesn't like this about me, this propensity I have for being interested in people I don't know. She worries I'm too trusting. I worry I'm too selfish. I don't know which of us is right.

adventure day

Originally posted December 29, 2008 at 10:42 p.m.

It's time to start a new one. Fresh and as-yet unspoiled by my frantic musings.
So here goes.

I'm still caught up in the heady experience of Yosemite-in-winter that occupied my day. I fall more in love with that place each time I visit. Maddie, Jillian and I drove up this morning to spend the day bumming around the Valley. Maddie and I have both been aching for the mountains lately, which warranted at least a day trip.

Living so close allows for a late start, which we had. I find it exceptionally easy to wake up if I have something exciting to do. Conversely, if I'm headed to work or class, getting up might as well be a lost cause better left to the more motivated and serious.

So much of the day was downright pleasant--the company, the new people (like the ones I met from Australia whilst waiting for the shuttle), the traipsing through calf deep snow among the powder-covered boulders just outside the boundaries of Camp 4.

I find myself utterly captivated by the prospect of someday climbing those big walls. I am astounded by the perspective that apprehends my consciousness when I consider how massive just those little Xs on the maps are when compared to my little reality. Imagining myself climbing like that unsettles my stomach and makes my heart pound. I have so far to go.