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 this...THIS...is 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.