Thankful November: Day 12

Day 12 * I’m thankful for: Blue skies. Hot tea. Steaming pho. Cold medicine. Almost-didn’t-happen runs. The magical glow that splashes the city before dusk. Imminent reunions with friends + family. Late-night writing inspiration. (Gratitude lists that are supposed to contain one item but grow + grow + grow…)

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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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What you are (&, by the way, how are you?)

You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. […] For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.”~Dale Carnegie

*What are you?*

[This week, I have not been bothering with big picture, who-I-am type notions. Instead, I am focusing on getting well and holding space for the many, many who seem in need right now. This week, I have been, the following:

Readjusting. Sad. Scared. Relieved. Hopeful. Sick. Stuffed-up. Cold. Medicated. Cozy. Stir-crazy. Couch-potatoed. Procrastinating. Grateful. Coasting.]

It’s been a lot to return to with a spooky Halloween hurricane devastating much of the east coast and with even more terrifying health news blowing in from across the country. I am holding a lot of people in my thoughts and heart right now, and I am praying for good news as I plod along through these gray Seattle days. Today, I was healed by a big bowl of pho and some quality friend time. It’s the little things. I hope this finds you warm and cozy and loved, wherever you may be.

Rainy day tunes

The rain has been falling steadily for days. I’m trying to see the humor in this–the irony of leaving Seattle, a city renown for having gray skies 75% of the year, only to return to my East Coast home ravaged by hurricane-style downpours. My sundresses are gathering dust as I gradually yank out the autumn wardrobe.

It’s been an interesting week. I’m sad the incredible weekend’s over, a bit lonely in this big ole’ suburban house, trying to brush off a few hurtful things  from earlier in the week and piled deep in freelance writing assignments that I intended to finish ages ago.

But it’s not all bad, by any means. I’m finding comfort in many mugs of teas and fun catch-up with friends I rarely get to see during the daytime hours. Yesterday I played a carefree rainy-day game of Chutes & Ladders with my amiga and her adorable daughter, and last night I met friends for a mellow and cozy pho dinner that perfectly suited the weather and our moods.

Music has been a great companion this week. I found this group Frontier Ruckus that I’m really digging.

I thought this would also be a perfect time to plug my brother and KL’s awesome music blog that they work so hard on (and it shows!). Though they write mostly about upcoming concerts in Seattle, these two know how to suggest some awesome groups, so I highly suggest taking their advice if you’re open to new tunes.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, whether you’re out and about in the world or cozied up inside trying to stay dry. Please feel free to send any music suggestions my way. I’m always up for a listen:)