Basking in the Glow

I am drinking my morning smoothie by the light of a freshly-lit candle and my ultra-wee fake tree (a Fred Meyer purchase many years old that brings me more joy than I could have ever foreseen). I am remembering all the mornings Mom would turn on the tree before school so we could eat our Cream of Wheat under its magical glow—such a cozy start to each day during one of my favorite seasons.

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Often I think about how special it was when all four of us lived together under one roof—our reality for so many years, when we simply knew no other way. I deeply miss those days when we were one solitary unit, when we hadn’t yet learned to spread our wings and fly. Now, on the rare occasions it happens again (like this December!!), I soak up every second, grateful to hear their oh-so-familiar footsteps and voices—ingrained in the core of my being—once again sharing my space.

I feel very excited for this December. My calendar is piled high with festive events and joyous reunions with so many friends at once—another rarity I appreciate now more than ever before. This season makes me hopeful. (It also makes me nervous when I see how much I’ve committed to, so I’ve tried to offset the “busy” with a slew of new self-care techniques and appointments that I can’t wait to try…)

Sometimes, often, I really love the quiet of my little apartment—a sacred space I attempt to fill with hygge and happy. On this gray morning, I hear: the rhythmic patter of rain, the squawk of a cranky bird (seagull?), tunes from the “Wild” soundtrack I downloaded last night. Sometimes, though, I also can’t wait to once again live in a home filled with other voices and footsteps—music and laughter and life and love. And I really do trust it’s coming soon.

Happy almost December, all. Here’s to basking in the promising light of the season.

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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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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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*dReAmS*

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“The earth is heavy and opaque without dreams.”~ Anaïs Nin

(p.s. Hi from cozy home. I’m attempting to stay blissfully offline as much as possible this week…:))

Paths

I love that, when it’s sunny, I can choose to take the long way there, wending along the sparkling canal to soak up rich rays and the wily reflections that dance atop the water.

I love that, when it’s clear, I can follow the alternative route home, along the street that offers the best straight-on view of those nearby, snow-kissed mountains. Purple peaks that span the horizon—reminding me of what’s out there, the beauty that lies beyond. Big picture.

Nearly every time I take off on a trip, I feel sentimental beforehand about this city and for my ‘hood. I take that as a really good sign about this place I call home.

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Hues of Here

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This week I’ve been feeling strangely invigorated. I don’t know why it comes as a surprise (post-vacay, dead of grey winter), but it does. I haven’t been sleeping much or that well either (and oddly, that seems to be okay, too).

After five wonderful days away, I just feel there’s so much I want to attend to here (before I jet off again!), so much nesting home time and city socializing time—catching up with friends (real-life and fictional….hello Parenthood and Nashville characters as well as the couple books I’ve recently been juggling:)).

I know I’m a broken record, but I have such wonderful people in my life. Such.

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There’ve been a few things this week that could’ve rattled me, and maybe momentarily they did, but overall, I’m feeling hopeful. Able to see the full picture. I’m so thankful when these waves come (because I well know how swiftly they can ebb and flow).  I’m in a trusting phase. I feel open.

Just feeling grateful on this Friday, I suppose. Happy weekend, friends.
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Home x2

I know I’ve written on this topic before, but I realize that, two-plus years in, I am still very much learning how to navigate the tango of having two places I whole-heartedly call “home.” I am the first to admit I am still figuring out how to gracefully move through the steps of this dance—of taking the now-me back to the place where the then-me lived for so much of her life.

Home home can be complicated. So much of it is cozy and comfortable and indulgent and love-filled (reunions galore!), and I am so grateful to have “problems” like not knowing how to fit in quality time with so many people there whom I love. Even so, it’s a (sometimes draining) juggling act, especially for someone who hates to ever feel as though they’re letting anyone down.

Home can also sneak-attack upon you a lot of old “stuff.” It’s frighteningly easy to fall back into old patterns, old roles. It’s all so familiar, sometimes I swear I could hop on the orange line back to my N Street apartment; for fleeting moments, I forget I have built an entire life out here waiting for my return. It’s odd. I see things with new eyes—a bit differently now, and I can relate to certain things/mentalities/customs/etc. even less than I could two years back.

Plus, with each visit, it is inevitable that I realize some people I love so much are thriving and doing wonderfully. Others are working through rocky patches, going through tough transitions, slightly floundering…. I know that this is normal. This is life. But I prefer when all is peachy-keen. (I am a Pisces, after all:)) And even though I know logically that my physical distance makes no-to-little difference on everyone’s current happiness, it is hard to feel removed from it…from them. At times, I feel guilty for being so dang far.

That said, parts of this past visit were really, really great, and I’ll try to post some of those photos soon!

But tonight, I’m cozily tucked into my apartment, which is warmly lit by the teeny-tiny, fake alpine tree I bought today at Fred Meyer and is making me very, very happy. (The little things!)

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I am really super excited to have my parents heading out here in only two weeks, and I am content after a day filled with some of my ideal neighborhood staples (a warm welcome back from my yoga community, pho with one of my Seattle BFFs, a stroll through the Sunday Fremont Fair). Today, I began to feel much more settled in.

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Last night I saw a concert in an amazing setting, St. Mark’s Cathedral perched on Capitol Hill high above the lake dotted with twinkling boats. It was chilly in the church, and at first, I was feeling a bit disoriented and jet-lagged and “off.” But overall, the night was really special; I heard some stunning voices echoing throughout this beautiful space, as I sat sandwiched between some of my most favorite Seattle people.

And I thought, “Yes. This is a good, good home.”

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