Fighting Change Since 1979

Sometimes it’s realllly annoying when the Universe keeps throwing lessons at you that you know you need to learn. (Yeah yeah yeah, I get it already.)

My favorite yoga teacher is leaving my studio, and I feel absolutely gutted about this announcement. (I’ve feared it for a long time, actually, and deep down I worry that I squash out things I rely on/cling to too much.) And because of this, I know there is a greater lesson in this all. As one smart friend consoled, “Change is hard. I’m pretty sure that’s why we do yoga.”

I know my devastation might sound silly/overly dramatic to those who don’t *get* it, but to me, C is so much more than an instructor of yoga. She is a wise guru, a sage mentor, a steady constant in times of flux and unknown. Her classes are my therapy on some days, my church on others.

And I know that life is all about change and transitioning and evolving and growing, but man is this lesson hard to live out time and again. So I’m just going to sulk over here for a wee while longer. But don’t worry, I’ll adjust, adapt, re-acclimate. After all, we always do. (What’s the alternative?)

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Coast2Coast Redux

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I am just back from D.C., which means it’s time for yet another wordy, cryptic ‘Ode to Transitions’ blog. It’s practically tradition now. There’s something beautiful in the predictability of such things, eh:)?

I thought the torn-ness I feel between the two coasts (my two homes) should dissipate with time. Logically, the space between should feel like less of a big deal, right?

And yet, for some reason, this time when home, I sometimes felt off-kilter and conflicted, not able to easily, gracefully, maturely deal. I know in my very being that I am in the right place out here. (I sense it in my bones, and amazing signs/”coincidences” upon my return last night confirmed it loud and clear. Thank you, Universe.) And yet… why does the distance sometimes feel so glaring? Why do tinges of guilt remain for living so far? Why can’t I say “see you later/soon” stoically, without feeling like my heart is being wrung out like a goshdarn washcloth?

When I am back east now, the passing of time feels apparent—the city has changed, people have changed, people have moved on. The flood of memories—mostly good, a couple less-good—hide in every crevice of the beautiful, historic, highly-electric and often-stiff buttoned-up city I for so long called home. Ghosts of the past dance on unexpected street corners; joyful recollections jump out from the least predictable spaces.

I cannot help but think of the me I was and the me I am (and the me I aspire to be), and I am so grateful for changes and leaps and fed-up-ness and bravery. I look at it all with a new, fresher lens, and I see how I listened, successfully moving toward happiness and a more authentic me. But of course, part of me also longs for those sacrifices that come along with the change, and I pine for those moments in time that were wonderful and magical—and cannot ever again be replicated in just that way.

Today, I’d like to be wrapped up in warm fleece on my parents’ cozy couch, because there is something nourishing and incredible about *home* that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. But instead, I’m a million miles away—on the other side of the country—having a pleasant, back-to-reality, ease-in day, in a place where the people are so dang kind and the pace is just. so. much. more. ME.

l ate lunch at one of my favorite cafes, where the bright-eyed server asked about my morning, and then I came to my favorite coffee shop for a quick meeting; here joyful baristas mix expensive and tasty coffee concoctions as they bop along to overhead tunes. I’m seated across from funky, feather-bubble fixtures that dangle in the window, looking out at clouds rolling across the lake, the bobbing masts of sailboats and the edge of a cityscape now happily imprinted on my brain.

Maybe the transition back will never feel easy, and maybe I will always leave behind pieces of my heart wherever I roam. Today I will try to focus on the gift of having two homes and the eternal gratitude I feel that—in two (very different Washingtons)—I love deeply and feel deeply loved.

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Cyclical

Sometimes the ‘circle of life’ concept seems especially evident, strikingly in-the-face. During high-frequency weeks like last week—when there seemed to be so much movement—the duality seems particularly ironic. A week during which I learned that four beautiful babies were born (nearly all of them healthy) almost in the same breath that I heard that one well-loved dog had to be put down, a lifetime friend’s aunt is terminally sick and my grandfather is “ready to die” (expressed in his own tired language, some of the toughest words to ever hear from a loved one). How does this happen? How can all this goodness and sadness—these beginnings and ends—coexist, bundled up into one package?

Last week it was raining, and at times it got me down; but today I already forget that fleeting melancholy that hovered and then passed. Today the sun shines through the cafe window so powerfully and radiantly that it seems to penetrate my body, warming me (filling me) to the very core. I dream of springtime adventures, summer celebrations; I see promise and kindness. At least in this moment, I remember it’s all rooted in love.
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It comes, it goes, we fight it, we surf.  Keep on paddlin’, my friends. What a confusing but beautiful ride.

Seasons of Change

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Tonight I walked home under the brilliant light of a near full moon (the air smelling of sweet late-summer bonfires). I felt blanketed in love after a comforting, cozy dinner out with my amazing Seattle tribe; I adore them so.

And yet this is suddenly a city where my brother and sister-in-law no longer live (I love them so much…I don’t have the words). I don’t know this place without them (and I’m not sure I can). The tears cascade in alarmingly bottomless streams, and my heart sits heavily in my chest, sucking away my air. I find my footing home in the dark of night—new footing that feels awkward and clumsy—but that with time will come. (Right? It will come?)

I hate change, and I resist transition, and yet so often, we don’t have a say. And so, here it is; change has come. And I grapple my way forward into this new season, shuffling under the moonlight to find my path home.

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A Midsummer’s Anti-Recap

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People keep asking how my summer’s been, and I don’t quite know what to say. (First off, why the past tense, people? I ain’t saying adieu to this season just yet!)

Also, it’s been so much, a bit of it all; it’s been everything. There’s no tidy response. It started off with so much unspeakable sadness, and it will end with a bittersweet ache, too (my brother and sister-in-law move to the UK next week!).

But, man, in between, there’s been so much goodness. Life is so full, so multi-layered, so surprising, so rich. I pinch myself sometimes—the deep-rooted connections I’ve made, the beautiful music I get to hear, the waters I get to frequent, the fiery sunsets I get to drink in. These days, I’m just really sitting back and taking it allllll in.

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“There are no simple answers in life. There is a good and bad in everyone and everything. No decision is made without consequence. No road is taken that doesn’t lead to another. What’s important is that those roads always be kept open, for there’s no telling what wonder they might lead to.”~D.J. MacHale

Roll on, November! (Already, how?)

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Halloween’s come & gone:

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The leaves continue to fall and soon will all be gone:

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Rolling into a new season, here we go….

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“When chill November’s surly blast make fields and forest bare.”
~Robert Burns

Flatwarming + Home Sweet Home

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Last night, I played hostess for the first time in a long time. It felt good. I was due a wee flatwarming (since I moved in here last July!), and the festive holiday season felt the perfect time to arrange one.

I’d forgotten how much work hosting can be, but I also forgot how much I love it–welcoming others into my home, sharing my space, connecting people, seeing all my various worlds intertwine. I love learning about unknown connections already there, seeing who (sometimes unexpectedly) clicks with whom, and what conversations are born out of first-time meetings and years-later reunions.

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I’ve also been reflecting on where I was at this time last year–still freshly new to this place, finding my footing, feeling quite wobbly on an unsure path, living in someone else’s home (as wonderful as that was) and jumping at any ole invitation I received (feeling that I couldn’t afford to not take people up on each and every offer to hang out). People said it would take a year (at least) to truly make friends and to feel settled into a new city. I reckon they were right.

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Tonight I’m feeling very grateful for this cozy home (my own own home) that feels very much me and for the still-expanding community I’ve gradually built here consisting of awesome, funny, thoughtful, unique, quirky, varied friends.

Wishing you all cozy Sunday evenings in your homes, wherever they may be.

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I’m loving this quote these days. It’s a wonderful reminder, non?

“Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.”~Frances Hodgson Burnett

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