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Walking.

I love walking through my neighborhood these days…

… greeting the great, stone Lions in front of the old Victorian on Lafayette.

… raising my eyebrow to the bird cage sequence complete with miniature ladders, the works.

… reading the yard signs, imagining the political opinions of the residents staking them down.

… humming the Weepies tunes too loud for others’ comfort but perfect for my pleasure.

But most of all I adore the crunching beneath my boots and vibrant-warmth of the leaves.  The trees look like an exploding sunset these days; I love it.  Reminds me of the power of wondering at nothing.

The city breathes all the time, ceasing to sleep while waiting for no one.  By Saturday’s roll around, I can barely catch up, but I’m part of it nonetheless.  And as I walk its blocks and streets quietly, I hear something different whistle through the rushing busyness.  The streets are cracked, but something’s itching to come up out of those broken, deep patches of emptiness.  Something good, hearty, and beautiful.

Nope, it’s not going to be simple or easy or together-looking, but it’s gonna be hopeful and lasting.  Until then, and for that very reason, I’ll keep walking.

The Best Worsts

It went down like this:

Boo, meaning Dani, and I decided to make a big, ol’ pitcher of sangria with extra goodness.  While viewing Bridesmaids, we consumed the entire pitcher, lemons and all.  A lack of self-control you say?  Nope.  I blame it on the humid, hot-as-hell, life-sucking, North Carolina weather.  Following our sangria part-ay, we conversed about the woes of dating in the twenties and the general lack of straight, available men in my little, circle of life.  With zest and drive (due mostly to the enthusiasm afforded by the delicious sangria), we created not one but three online dating profiles for me. SAY WHAT!

Yes, by writing this, I invite you to judge me, but no matter.  In my mind, online dating is equivalent to letting the attractive guy at the bar buy me a drink.  It has potential to be fun, interesting, and long-term or objectifying, superficial, and boring.  Also, the vast majority of grad students try online dating at least once during their academic career.  Online = accessible.

With that ramble, I present to you the best-worst phrases uttered to me via online romance (both on the internet and in-person dates):

  1. “I don’t read much, so the last book I actually read and enjoyed was probably the Goosebumps series.  Lol, I know it was, when I was 9, but, hey, I’m trying to be honest here.”  Honesty might not always be the best policy in the realm of online dating…
  2. “I haven’t heard of any of those bands:  Barcelona, Over the Rhine, Sigur Ros, or the Head and the Heart.  But thanks to you, I have a whole lot of new music to listen to during my morning stair master routine.”  You don’t know Sigur Ros.  Enough said.  And that stair master comment?  Not nearly as much of a turn-on as you think it is…
  3. “I cannot stand excessively obese people.”  Way to be superficial.
  4. On date 2:  “Tell me why your past relationships failed.”  Or not.
  5. “You’re like a real-life superhero!”  Good try, but now I feel like a nun.
  6. “I’m looking for a really good, wholesome person.  I’m not interested in a woman who has piercings or tattoos.”  Yes, since my piercings and tattoo make me as dark as the devil indeed.
  7. On date 1:  “Some of my clients have asked to get taken off my caseload, because I’m not a woman.  You know, they were all intersexed.  I mean, their lives are so damn messed up, I wouldn’t even know how to begin to help them…”  Yeah, we are both in mental health, but, clearly, we interpret our roles differently.
  8. “YOLO!”  Need I say more?
  9. Profile Synopsis (repeated about 10, 0000 time across online dating services) “In my spare time, I like to run and lift weights.  After work, I spend a couple hours at the gym every day, and I like to hike, snowboard, or mountain bike on the weekends.  My friends describe me as very successful, and I take my work very seriously.  I’m looking for someone who is attractive, trustworthy, and funny.”  Hello, I am the most superficial man on the planet.
  10. “Hey.  You sound really cool, and your pretty.  Do you wanna get drinks?  I’d send you messages, but I’m not really into this thing.  LOL.  Ok, here’s my number:  kdd-ert-weyb.  Hope to hear from you soon!  TTYL.”  Abbreviations for brief words, poor grammar, and bad spelling are as equally unattractive as greasy hair.  Just sayin’.
  11. “Man, I’m jealous you only have to be in class two days a week then go to an internship.  That is nothing like law school.”  Yeah, because begging a police officer to place an overdosed, suicidal woman on a mental health hold is a walk in the park.
  12. “… so, basically, that is my whole life story!”  Boundaries are wonderful, wonderful things.
  13. “I WANT YOU TO BE MY WIFE!”  Not uttered in exact words, per se, but all signs pointed this one…

I could go on and on and on and on, but I will spare you.  Fortunately, I got my “money’s worth” through some free dinners, lots of coffee, and a plethora of laughs.  Like peeing my pants, rolling on the floor laughing.  Now, I can say I’ve done it.  Thank the Lord, the subscriptions end this month.

Heart Language

*My heart speaks a language all its own, and beats in time to a rhythm I feel deep in my soul.

Something mysterious occurs when we find our heart’s language and start to live according to that beat.  Slowly, but certainly, I discern the rhythm of my soul, the beat of my existence.

It is good, this beat in my heart.

 

 

Autumn Bliss

If you know me at all, you know my absolute favorite season is fall.  Given the opportunity, I’d move to a place in perpetual autumn.  Is there a place like this on earth?  If so, please share, so my life can be complete.  [Just kidding… but slightly serious.]

Admittedly, I prefer fall in the Midwest, because the colors are more varied slightly and vibrant, but Colorado is a solid second.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy the surrounding beauty.  Also, say thank you for something; the trees demand it, I think.

Pumpkin baked goods!

LAYERS and BOOTS (my favorite things)

The return of warm beverages!

I take pictures of leaves at every opportunity almost as though I might never have the opportunity again. This makes me super cool, I think.

Rarely, my soul is quiet, but looking out at all things created hushes me.

Happy Girl. Thanks to my good friend, Ben, for his photography skills. He understands my passion for the autumn, as we bonded several years ago over our mutual admiration for the season. Now I get to exploit his seasonal pass to Rocky Mountain National Park. [Evil laugh]

There ya have it, Folks.  What is on your autumn bucket list?  I plan to engage in fall festivities every weekend until Thanksgiving.  Give me ideas!

 

*Also, Coops, because I know you’re reading this at some point, I hope you enjoy pictures of home!  I keep remembering our many fall adventures through windy parades, condiment costumes and burritos, scary movies [which only I and Alissa found scary], escaping kit cats into the leaves, and fall parties and bonfires at the Blue House.  I hope Tonga has a fall of some sort.  Tell me when it is; I’ll plan my visit accordingly. 🙂

All Good Things:

Sometimes, I find it necessary to speak of the good things in this life:

  • Nighttime runs through drizzly neighborhoods.
  • Delinquently-ripening bananas.  (I’ve had quite an issue with rapid ripening this summer… not cool, Produce, not cool.)
  • Smiling while thinking of the Coops living it in Tonga.
  • Dani and Mac visit in circa 70 days!
  • A loving mom, and a loving dad.
  • Socialworkese is in full swing.  Love it.
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and other fall yums.
  • Refer to these blogs for a provocative whisper: http://rachelheldevans.com/http://michaelhidalgo.blogspot.com/http://sarahbessey.com/, http://seeprestonblog.com/.
  • Babel graces the world in two weeks.  If you don’t know what that is, I feel super sorry for you, so refer to the following [And as a side note to all you tisk-tiskers about sophomore albums sucking, please rain in your undue criticism, until you learn to play mandolin and spout nonsense simultaneously.  K, thanks, bye.:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGKfrgqWcv0
  • I work at Street’s Hope now.  Super unexpected, super eager, and feeling super inadequate yet anticipatory.  Good stuff.
  • Classy’s wheel hub is broken, which means her transmission is A-OKAY!
  • Approaching autumn.
  • We begin huddling in two weeks.  I can’t wait to see what these ladies have to teach me…
  • A quiet, peaceful home to return to after long, loud days.
  • In two days, I read new Donald Miller.  Sexy.
  • I wore my boots this week.  Enough said.
  • Disregarding my mountain of debt, common sense, and upcoming graduation from one graduate degree, I’m looking into PhD programs.  Not happening in reality, at least not in the immediate now, but it is quite intriguing to be aware of my options….. 🙂
  • I accept it:  I’m a feminist. (more on this later)

I could go on and on and on and on and on.  Really, I’m just very thankful to be right where I am.  Disregard the poor grammar of those last, two “sentences” in favor of the heart behind it.

Hope y’all enjoy the start of a new season and accompanying changes.

Autumn.

Summer draws near to a close.  For this, I am thankful.  Many people find fall time somewhat insane, as routines abandoned during summertime pick up, and temperatures drop, beckoning the looming winter.

But not this girl.  I adore autumn, finding it as me personified in seasonal form.  Despite my spring purchase of two, neon t-shirts, I am all about the earth tones with splashes of color.  And printed scarves.  And hot beverages.  And crisp, musky air.  And bbootttsss.  I believe, firmly, that boots make any woman of any body type at any level (or lack) of athleticism in her figure look damn good.  Mostly, I love boots, because they forgive especially when those long socks and scarves tie into the mix.

Fashion and food trends aside, I love autumn, because its my rhythm, or the beat I hope to attain in my livelihood.  This summer I broke from the regular blogging habit, and a lot of my “normal” habits, to breathe.  For me, breathing means taking naps, reading books slowly, preparing meals for one (or extra to enjoy with friends), taking walks in the park, listening to the same song over and over for hours, painting blank canvases, tying my hair up, watching an embarrassing amount of bad television (yes, this included all the episodes of Dawson’s Creek) and secluding away from almost everybody.  Essentially, this summer I tried to develop rhythms by doing nothing.  And it worked.

So, this fall, more than any recent one (and probably since childhood), I enter into my favorite season feeling new.  More than twice this summer, I’ve heard, “You look different and more healthy and happy than I’ve seen you in a long time or ever.”  First, this wouldn’t have been said of me for valid reason.  Second, I cannot express adequately how happy I am to hear those words.  I can’t take the credit all my own; I had some great people around me this summer, helping me sift through the muck and ask some hard questions, but I am glad I did.

As I enter into this new-yet well-loved season-I feel ready for whatever is next.  Book cracking, and paper writing.  Home brewing [in my friend’s basement.  Let’s be real, that’s tough in 500 square feet).  Saying “no.”  And exuberantly saying “yes.”  Leaf crunching.  Deeply conversing.  Belly-laughing.  Pumpkin bread baking.  Resume tweaking.  New friend.  Mile running.  Disciple huddling.  Hard and easy lesson learning.  Mistake making.  New Mumford & Sons’ album listening.  Apple picking.  God-baby growing (that would be a vision not a human, in case you were mildly curious).  And increased self-knowing and growing.

Yeah.  Grace.

*I can’t think of much more to attribute to my newfound sense of peace and joy.  It isn’t something explainable, and I have a long way to go, but, for the first time, I allow myself to feel a bit of it.  It is really, really nice.

Another’s Words

Posted on

Recently, I began reading this blog, but this post is exceptional:  http://seeprestonblog.com/2012/07/we-are-young/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+seeprestonblog+%28See+Preston+Blog%29

 

Read it.  Now.