“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
― Jamie Tworkowski
I’ve been missing my people back home a lot lately. (All the time, but especially lately.) The holidays are definitely the toughest time to be away from home long-term. I’m so grateful to have such an amazing group of friends back home. They are my favorite thing about my life, this group of kind and hilarious people who somehow (thank god) all found each other in weird Hampton Roads. Our friend-family is a constant source of stability, reassurance, and laughter. We go on vacation together every summer (okay actually we go on like 5 vacations every summer. Vacationing is what we do best), we go on road trips, we have Friendsgiving. We go to each other’s graduations and birthday dinners and one day we will go to each other’s weddings and we will all promise to have open bars (we haven’t discussed this, but I just decided) and it will be beautiful. Sometimes we fight like siblings and call each other out and get annoyed and frustrated and bitchy. We all know each other so well. We’ve been growing up together and we all have no fucking idea what we’re doing and we’re confused and scared and broke but we always help each other find the humor, and that, I think, is the most important thing we can do. I miss these people more than anything. Thanks for making my life so bright. You know who you are.
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.
When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life.
Say thank you.
– Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.
– Joan Didion
Photo taken by me in Amsterdam, Netherlands (special shout out to Krijn, Meinke and Frederike for being brilliant and full of life and for letting me capture their moment)
There’s a little Monday inspiration in my favorite form: a good quote. Since I have so many quotes always buzzing around in my brain (raise your hand if you’re my friend and you’re tired of hearing me say ‘That reminds me of this quote by insert-name-here that says….’ hahaha ) but anyways, I’ll do it every Sunday or Monday. It’s just one of the steps I’m taking to get a bit of consistency around here in blog-world. Later this week I’m going to take some time to do one of the overdue updates I’ve meaning to post, so if you’re curious about what I’ve been up to in Amsterdam (and beyond) check back soon!
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
– Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
This past week was swallowed by a seemingly endless to-do list. Doctors appointments, government documents, prescription refills, packing, moving, working. Trying to tie all the loose ends of my tangled American life. There are so many day-by-day details that we can’t just walk away from, as enticing as that sounds, but I’ve slowly crossed nearly everything off the list. There are still a bunch of last-minute things I’ll do this week, but I feel calm about everything. It’s all steadily unfolding. And this quote is such a relevant reminder to focus on what is most important, especially during these last few days in America. There will always be so many things on the to-do list, but for the next few days I’ll be putting all of my energy into soaking up all the laughter and light of my favorite people, my best friends, my family. The essentials.
“Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the
end of the day saying,
“I will try again tomorrow.”
— Mary Anne Radmacher, Live Boldly
Today was really rough.
But I will try again tomorrow.