Sunday, July 26, 2009


From the Art and Flair of Mary Blair

This was my first weekend in my new home, all by myself.

Success? Maybe. Insightful? But of course.

I liked it, but every so often my mood would swing from elated joy in my newfound freedom and independence, to a sudden pang of fear that I'm doing everything all by myself, no witnesses. And in those moments I missed him the most.

He was my witness. He knew what I was doing every second of the day. He knew about every appointment, every new piece of clothing, what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He knew if I was having a bad day or a good day. He was there for all of it.

Now no one is there to see it. To see me.

So is a significant other a witness to our lives? Without that witness, who are we?

I’m doing all of this for only one person now, me. And I know that’s what I needed the most. To live my life for no one but me, because I believe that for the past year, or 2 years, I lived without myself in mind.

I was consumed with what he was thinking, doing, feeling. I was making choices, sometimes, that only had him in mind, not me. His best interests were somehow far superior to mine. And now I’m living for myself. Making my own choices and doing things that only concern me. And while that sometimes makes me feel incredible, it sometimes makes me sad. I can’t help that.

But I had this feeling one day, as I got out of my car in the parking lot of Target, that feeling you get when your body has been constricted and then all of a sudden you are released, like from a tight hug. You can distinctly feel the sensation of being unconstricted, the memory of the tightness still holds onto your body and you feel nothing holding you, you feel freed. I felt this feeling all of a sudden. Why in the parking lot of Target? I have no idea.

Friday, July 24, 2009


My mom has had an orchid plant for years. It had big, full, white flowers growing all over it when she first got it, but then the flowers fell off and it was just a grouping of long, green leaves and one stem. But she's cared for it for about 3 or 4 years and wondered if it would one day bloom again.

Shortly after I moved in with my parents, we began to see 2 tiny bumps on the main stem. We thought it might be sprouting new stems or leaves. Then a month later she and my dad went away for a week, and before she left she said to me, with her eyes wide like an excited kid, “If something happens, take a picture and call me immediately!” It was like we were waiting for a birth.

When I was alone I didn’t pay much attention to the plant, and then one day I glanced over at it and, as if out of nowhere, I saw 2 big purple buds on the stem.

A few weeks later those buds became 2 huge, lion-faced, purple flowers. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the blooms but trust me, they were gorgeous, kinda like this....

Then she told me more about them and how they grow. Orchids have to grow under very specific conditions. They must be planted in a pot full of wood chips, not dirt, since orchids grow in the wild on desiccated trees -- they grow where things have died. They prefer humidity, so its aerated pot sits atop a pile of glass rocks that she keeps wet. She took care of this plant for 4 years hoping to see it bloom again.

So why now? Why at this exact time, a time when the whole house is disrupted, amongst this chaos, when its about to be relocated to another part of the country, why is it blooming now? And why did it change from white to purple?

This got me thinking about the act of lovingly caring for something even with no signs of life present.

Having faith and waiting patiently for something beautiful.

Blooming in the midst of chaos.

And then proudly displaying a new face.

A new color.

A new life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I moved!

I survived it... kinda.

It was intense, stressful and emotional. I feel like I was living in asylum for the last few weeks as my parents and I got ready to move. They headed to their new home in the southeast and I to my new apartment here.

My new home is fresh and clean and filled with sunshine, I have access to a huge communal backyard, I have friendly and helpful neighbors, green grass, big blooming trees... and I absolutely love it.

Almost everything I have now is brand new to me. I purposefully didn't keep a lot of what he and I shared together from our old apartment. I didn't want those reminders. I wanted to start from scratch. And I love that when I look around all I see are things that have no ties to him; its all completely mine.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Uprooted... again

I’m moving soon. And my feelings about this change hourly.

After the break-up, I moved in with my parents. Living with them has actually been one of the most positive things to come out of all this. It’s changed my relationship with them for the better.

I fully thought that this was going to be a big mistake, but I had nowhere to go and I knew I needed support. My relationship with my mom and dad had always been good for the most part, short of a few screaming fits here and there over the years. They've lived in the house they live in now for only 7 years. I've never lived there before, didn’t have a room, and the things from my childhood were in boxes in the garage. It felt very foreign to me in the first weeks. There was nothing inherently comforting about it.

I remember the day I moved in; I could barely deal with what was going on. It was the middle of February, cold but sunny. I was just going through the motions, doing what I needed to do to get out of my apartment and into their house. Movers filed into my apartment, took everything I owned piece-by-piece and piled it into a truck. My mom pulled up, I heaved the crate containing my giant cat into the backseat, and as we pulled away from the apartment she burst into tears. Feeling so awful for me, she cried more than I did, and we tearfully drove to her house. That night, after this long day, I went into my room, closed the door behind me, and scanned what contained the life I shared with him -- all boxed away and surrounding me, the giant cat wondered around the boxes and bags. I felt a wave of relief, what I had been dreading for so long, moving out, was over. It was done. Finally. I sat on the floor, grabbed the cat who was purring over to me and we laid down on the floor in a heap. The life I shared with him, our home, what took 9 years to build, had been completely dismantled and transported in a matter of hours.

In the next month, I slowly started to feel at ease in their house. This took some time, but soon it felt like my own home -- and I really enjoyed it. I read the paper every morning as I drank my tea. At 5pm dad served us cocktails, mom cooked us dinner, we all solved our daily Suduko puzzles together and ate variety of desserts and candies every night (See: The Infamous Candy Drawer). I had a schedule, a routine, and this was so helpful to me then. The more time I spent with them, the better I got to know them too. We talked about their childhoods and mine, and what we all thought of the fact that we've moved 7 times as a family, across the country, since I was 8 until age 18-- it's kind of amazing how many times we did this. But, I learned a lot about them and I think they learned a lot about me as an adult.

This makes me think of honesty. Honesty seems to be something coming out of this break-up. I never told my best friend the extent of what was going on in my relationship; how I felt lost and alone. She assumed I was happy and we were getting along, she assumed this because I didn’t talk about it with her. I just couldn’t bring myself to face it. Same thing goes for my parents; they didn’t know what was truly going on with me. But now, everyone knows, it’s all out in the open, and it feels good to be known in this way.

Soon I’ll be uprooted once again, this time though I'm on my own. I’m nervous and excited, anticipating the independence but also fearing it. So we'll see how this all pans out, but I plan for my new home to be a happy place -- fun, colorful, calm.... full of candy, Soduko, and the newspaper with my morning cup of tea.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ladies, One Word of Advice: Lipstick

Ladies, I have some advice. Never, ever, ever leave your house under any circumstances without doing your makeup, fixing your hair and wearing something super cute. I'm not talking about full on makeup and hair, or a red dress and pumps (although the idea is tempting). Just wear a gorgeous shade of lipstick, thick black mascara, and cute jeans. I thank god that I did that today because you never know who you'll run into.

Today, I had to run out to the shops in my neighborhood in search for a dress for a wedding. It was kinda rainy and grey (yes, its July) but I put on a cute outfit, did my makeup, put on my lipstick and curled my hair. I like to look good when faced with myself in dressing room mirrors, don't you?

So as I was crossing the street, I spotted a familiar face from my long lost, 4 months ago, past. It was one of his band mates and he was walking towards me. We timidly walked to greet each other and awkwardly said hello. "How are you?", "Good, you?", Good." I glance at the floor, touch my hair nervously. "What are you up to?", "Oh, just shopping." It was all smiles and nervousness, paired with a knowing look that we both knew something substantial, but wouldn't dare bring up. And then we said goodbye. It was all very pleasant, but it was like seeing a ghost, a pleasant ghost I guess. My past became real again, real life and in my face. We didn't know each other that well but he was one of the good ones, always sweet to me, very kind. But seeing this person felt as awkward as running into an ex-boyfriend might feel. This is the only person from my past that I've seen since the break-up, who wasn't a close friend.

A few months ago, I began to turn my focus onto myself. I got swept up in hair, makeup, and clothes. Purging all of my old clothes and getting a new haircut gave me a feeling of change and difference in perception. I needed more confidence and I needed to think solely of myself, because for a long time I was so consumed with my relationship that I couldn't see much else.

So this run-in today has granted me further proof, crystal clear evidence, that I must a) always dress as if I were going on a date, even to the grocery store, even to take out the trash!, b) flee from this city and never look back, and c) find myself some supportive friends, ones that wont walk away when shit gets real.

And flee is what I am about to do. But not without my trusty lipstick, ladies.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The source of the negative feelings I'd had towards him had been vague for a while. They were just sitting on top of me, heavily.

So I began to wonder, what was the source? People would ask me, "What do you want to say to him?," and I didn't know how to answer that. Then one morning I thought about what I would say if he were standing in front of me. As I thought about it, I realized what I was really angry about. I thought, how could you not deal with what was happening to us?

Lately, I've begun to wonder what he was really capable of dealing with. I think he could see what was going on, but wasn't able to talk about it or even react to it.

So now I wonder if it's fair to blame him as much as I have. It isn't entirely his fault that he wasn't capable of dealing with my feelings. That's just the way he was. And I didn't push very hard for him to understand what I was going through either.

I think that the more I see things for what they were, the more I realize how different we were, how incompatible, and that we processed our feelings and dealt with each other very differently. And although we loved each other, we were just too different.

Neither one should be angry at the other. Now I can see, with clarity, how I deal with things. I have a much clearer view of what I need in my life and that's what's really important now. Writing about this has helped me to do that and it helps me make some sense out who did what and why. Neither one of us is necessarily a bad person. It just wasn't right.

Grass Stain Green

I am an avid note-taker, list-maker, letter writer, and journal keeper.

Field Notes has just come out with a new color for spring and it's very exciting.

“Grass Stain Green” FIELD NOTES feature a letterpress-printed super-heavy 100# French Pop-Tone cover, with a light green ruled graph paper grid to match."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guarded Trees

For a while, this site has been void of images.

So here are some from my tumblr blog, Guarded Trees. I like doing it. It's fun. And it helps me think about what I like, and what I see as beautiful, charming, interesting or inspiring.

Credits for all images here:


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