Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Remnants

Like most things that make you take pause, it started as an accident.

I snapped that picture up there with my Blackberry, on accident while I was looking through pictures to send to a friend.  I'd hit the "camera" button instead of the "picture" button and in my haste, took this.  I didn't think much of it, til I stopped to notice it today on the train.

Blow it up and take a look.  You will see the most perfect metaphor for my month, and all the major descriptors of my life, captured right there. 

An exploded suitcase filled with suits that I wore in Philly, Orlando, New Mexico and Seattle.  Suit jackets that I shrug on everyday, as I grimace my way through a day filled with small talk and shaking of hands and "how are things in your state?"

A plastic bag filled with liquids, 3 oz or less, as per FAA regulations.  My wallet thrown open on the floor, stuffed with receipts and my credit cards that keep charging WAY too much money for food and cabs.

My new purple netbook that I flipped open on Allegra's counter on Saturday --not even a week ago.  Unbelievable to me.  My cloth purse, given to me by a coworker from his Africa trip, which I so love laying beside it.  I stuffed that cloth purse too full when my backback broke in the Albuquerque airport, and I lugged it all around Portland.

The balled-up grayish thing in the upper far left corner?  The new backpack I got with Angie at a bookstore in Portland.

The handmade painted crosses I got in New Mexico for my walls, my softball glove in the corner, and my nosy cat, happy that I'm home.  The cork from my first $100 bottle of wine that J bought for me in Seattle Sunday night....and before you think I'm a romantic, he'd thrown that cork at me in a fit of childishness and I hid it in my purse away from him :)

It's a whole mix of what remains, all tossed together and jumbled up and messy.  Much like my thoughts tonight.  I am to take the day off tomorrow, and I can't wait to sleep in and drink tea and maybe take a walk.  My scale has creeeeped up a few pounds as of late and I need to grab that before it gets out of control. 

I spent last night and today with my old coworkers at a conference that my previous job held in Baltimore this past week.  I remember going to it last year, and blogging about it here.  I feel like that was just five minutes ago.

I just left that job back in December and hadn't seen most of them since.  I hadn't seen most of the members of the association since last October either, and I didnt' realize how nice it would be to be in a room with people who lit up to see me; to hug me instead of shaking my hand and I loved seeing them.

Home though, tonight, and my little cat is here and things are quiet.  I am taking off tomorrow, and hope for a weekend to re-orient.  I have a softball game--time to get back in that routine. 

I will make soup.  I will lay on the couch and I will think about how I've been in 5 cities in 20 days, and I've met people I never thought I would, and saw those I never thought I would again. 

I've held people close to me from coast to coast -- and sometimes I literally catch my breath in gratitude that my life.  A mix of the crazy and the quiet.  Seattle dinner on Sundays at the pier, to Thursday quiet nights at home. 

To everything in between, I give thanks. 

And turn the remnants of what remains over in my hand again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Taming the West

I'm sitting in the airport, about to take the red-eye flight home tonight to DC, after a week of the most surreal times.  I've gone from DC to New Mexico to Portland, Oregon to Seattle. 

I've seen a tumbleweed in Albuquerque, sat in the hot tub at sunset, watched the whole sky light up orange and pink.  I saw the rain in Seattle, and tall evergreens.  I slept on the train to Oregon.  I met Angie, and Allegra, and shared food and laughs and champagne with them. 

I met an old friend last night turned funny new flame --at least, as bright as it burned in one night. 

And now I am in the airport, my meetings over, and my eyes tired from absolutely NO sleep last night.  At all.

The term "sleepless in seattle" has taken on an entirely new meaning....

I think this is the best way to go though....sleep-deprived and comfy in my fleece jacket and carrying my pillow.  I hope to sleep ALL night in a cramped airplane seat with my ipod on classical music, my mind full of new stories, and my heart--full.  So full.

3000 miles away isn't that far, really; really at all.

(Yes, I took this with my cell phone. While IN flight.  Don't tell the FAA)

PS --Angie, Allegra -I got a new backpack to replace my broken one.  And Angie, check your car...I left my sunglasses either there or in the restaurant we went to for lunch.  Ask for them in the lost and found, and they can be yours :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's been over a week since I've updated, and I find myself having a hard time writing about anything worthy.  I'm going to resort to the bullet points...

  • I played ball tonight, catcher actually, and I'm so sore now that I wonder how I'm going to get out of my bed in the morning :)  It was a really nice way to spend a Sunday though, and I really like getting to know my new teammates.  It's a co-ed team and I think we've got a really good mix of both guys and girls.  It's kinda weird that we're still getting to know each other and so sometimes that translates into confusion on the field, but we're learning.  We'll get there.
  • I went out with an old friend on Friday, and as always, I am reminded at how lucky I am to have certain people in my life.
  • I'm having issues with another friend in my life right now, and it's gotten me feeling distracted and also out-of-sorts.  I'm working through that.  I really, really don't like when this happens. 
  • Right now, in my refigerator, I have leftover pizza AND leftover chinese.  Can my life get any more like a sitcom?
  • It looks like this because i'm going out of town on Wednesday--first to Albuquerue, then to Seattle, then to Portland.  Then, taking the red-eye back to DC, and head to Balitmore the next day.  It's going to be a hell of a way to end the month and I am hereby putting all of you in charge of writing nice long blog posts to keep me entertained while I wait in airports :)
I can't figure out how to get rid of those extra bullets up there, and I am way too tired to care.  I'm going to go grab my leftover chinese...I know this is the worst blog entry ever.  So I will leave you with these pictures of my walk yesterday of my street and my house, and hope that they make up for it.

Spring runneth over.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Travel Bug

I got home at midnight last night, with a wrinkled suit and my glasses on, my hair pulled up and I was beginning to get teary because when I don't sleep, I get teary.  For no real good damn reason other than my feet are killing me and there weren't any cabs because I got off the train so late, so I walked around for one but nothing ever came, so I had to get BACK on the metro and then walk home from there.

I am traveling to six cities this month, and conducting five meetings and one conference.  Friday was Round 1, and Monday is Round 2.  My Amtrak train was having "signal problems" so my 8:30 arrival back home from Philadelphia turned into an 11pm arrival.

I was excited to see Philadelphia though (for the one night I was able to really SEE it), and I ate a cheesesteak, had a business dinner, then went for a nightcap with a coworker which turned into karaoke night at the Black Rooster and there were too many beers involved.

That said, I am still on the proverbial wagon...I am not drinking nearly as much as I was.  I'm not using it as a sleep-aid or as an anxious-aid, but rather, as it's intended.  A good time, but in its time and in its place.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how I've been able to make the switch to habit to only-sometimes.  It's been, frankly, a relief.

I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for Florida, where I wish I could meet the Moon clan, but alas, I am going to Orlando not Tallahassee.  I am hoping for sunshine and a pool, so I can spend the day lounging around and thinking about how I'm 29. 

29 --such a funny age to think I have reached.  I look 22, at best, so I am starting to get looks when I get carded like--come on, girl, I'll buy your fake ID that says 23, but don't try telling me you're 28. 

So -tomorrow morning kicks off the year before I am 30.  I am typically not kind to myself on my birthdays, instead running a litany of things I haven't done yet in my head and trying to ignore that tick-ticking of the biological clock.

But....I've done actually quite a lot this past year, and when tomorrow dawns, I am going to do my best to do what all of you tell me to gentle with myself.  Get a big glass of sweet tea and sit in the sunshine of Florida and think about hey -this is, after all, what I've always wanted.