Once upon a time, Little House on the Prairie was my sporting events companion, but then people figured it out, I love a good story. And the Sarah used that against me. Now I’m vested in the Washington Nationals. From stories about their families, getting arrested for speeding, over the top D.C. weddings, weddings that didn’t happen, kidnappings in foreign countries, and so so much more! You guys, baseball is almost exciting! Also, we have Shake Shack at Nats Park. So, there’s that too. #winning
The answer has lingered for a long while. Listen and glean, think and share. I can manage the first three without lifting a finger, it comes easy to me. If I sit still long enough, life stories come to me. They, however, don’t go the other way. I have had more than one counselor/pastor suggest finding that one person that I can spill my insides to, three years later, I’m still wondering when someone will catch on to the fact that still hasn’t happened.
Part of that doesn’t mesh though with a very small calling that has grown from within. To be a storyteller, visual or narrative, requires a level of self-disclosure that I don’t possess. The echo inside continues. I continue to ignore it. I want to be a storyteller who doesn’t have to share her own story. The brokenness can stay locked away. Hopes can stay inside where only I can be disappointed if they don’t happen. But reminders of my running away are everywhere. Opening Instagram, I’m given beautiful imagery and quotes that convict. I spend days as a stay-at-home roommate thinking, today is the day to get started! And then I take a nap, twice.
Share the past. Live now. Hope in the future.
Live now in the hope of the future rooted in the living memory of the past.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare…For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” — Jeremiah 29:4-7, 11-12
We live in exile and we have forgotten where we came from. Without a past, without the story of broken people being made whole how can we hope for a future that we can’t see. For years I’ve thought it’s just baby steps and eventually I’ll get there. But why take baby steps when we can leap and twirl and run. How would we live life differently if we actually believed “I will hear you.” Not I will hear you sometimes, just, I will hear you. Period.
My nerdiness knows no bounds, except you know, the bounds that I try and make sure that no one knows my loves of fantasy and science fiction, that I have a favorite Star Trek series and as a 12 year-old wanted to marry Wedge Antillies (yep, the x-wing fighter from Star Wars). I’d say it was a phase, but it’s actually life.
Then Buzzfeed gave me this gem with the Which Doctor Who” Companion Are You? quiz.
Yes, I have a favorite Dr. Who companion (who doesn’t?) and yes, oh yes, it’s Amy Pond. My baby brother can attest to this. I haven’t been able to watch any of Clara’s season because I was a wee bit distraught when there was no more Amy and Rory on my TV/computer. I will of course overcome this little blip and continue on in my Dr. Who binge watching, but I will always have a place for Amy Pond in my heart. And thanks to Buzzfeed, I can now believe that we’re the same person.
The Emporiyum is a food-extravaganza and this past summer, it was in Baltimore and much to my sadness, I didn’t make it (mind you cider was had and dinner at Woodberry Kitchen so it wasn’t really a loss). But, when it was announced that Emporiyum was coming to D.C. I was in! So with my V.I.P. ticket in hand, and a partner in crime to explore I ventured off to Union Market and ate and drank and was joyful.
The vendor line up includes tons of great D.C. foodies that I love: Toki Underground, Neopol Smokery, and Astro Doughnuts. But I really was excited by the out-of-towners and there were a lot of them. Charleston, S.C. natives Bittermilk and Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. showed what small-batch mixers can do for a cocktail. Between Bittermilk’s Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour mixer and Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic, I knew my bag was about to get a bit heavier and my wallet a little lighter.
Woodberry Kitchen came down from Baltimore with lechon tacos in tow and this gluten-free girl did a little dance of joy (well, as much of a dance as is possible with a lot of people around). That dance of joy continued all the way to Brooklyn Slate. Funny story there, I love me some Brooklyn Slate, not shocking based on my love of cheese boards. Once upon a time on a trip to NYC, I acquired a couple as Christmas gifts on a trip to Brooklyn Flea. Nothing sounds bad about that, right? Wrong. It was at the start of the day and apparently I was going to schlep those slate boards (and a cake stand) all over the city for the rest of the day, which included shoving them into a locker to not have to balance them on my back while ice skating. It was really nice to be able to make a purchase and then put it straight into my car. It’s the little victories.
Of course, I had to end with my favorites, D.C.’s own Typecase Industries. If you are looking for fun letterpress cards, prints, and coaster…Emily, Alessandra and Stephanie are your girls. They regularly take all my money with their amazingly hysterical cards and their D.C. centric prints and coasters. Also, if you need a koozie reminding you that you’re a “Grown Ass Woman”…they can help you out. They’re good like that.
Just because, why not end the day with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
My mind has been blown. I never was, nor every will be, this good. And I am a-okay with that.
Every time I try and get into a regular rhythm of blogging, my life goes crazy. So here it is, I’m going to try harder, I will fail less, and I still won’t have a regular posting schedule. So there’s that. And without further ado…shopping.
Of a Kind, it is pretty safe to say that I’m obsessed. If you have no idea of what I refer to, here is a bit about them per their website:
“We select designers whose work we love and feature them on the site, one at a time. We share a series of stories about each designer—inspirations, personal life, taste, training, you name it—along with a limited-edition piece designed exclusively for Of a Kind.”
I love the products, I love the designers I find through them, and I love the weekly emails from the founders Claire and Erica (I’ve been known to forward them to many people and use them, in meetings with my boss, as examples about the proper use of email newsletters). I also really love that right now everything is on sale and with that, I’m sharing my current “I Want” list with the world.
**If you were not recently reminded by your mother that you are on a budget, you can take 35% off everything with code UPINYOURGRILL through 07/08/2014 (so exciting!)
There is something about compliments and attention that has always made me hesitant.
Lately (not shockingly), I have been settling into the image of my perfect single life. It’s the image of world travel, and photography, and caftans, and essentially perfection. But it’s a band-aid image. It is the image the covers up the wound that says, you don’t get a relationship or a family. It is the brightly colored Dora the Explorer band-aid that keeps out the dirty and the ugly and gives you a chance to heal. And one day, it will heal and it will also probably leave a bit of a scar. That doesn’t make it good, but it also doesn’t make it bad it just makes it life.
Me. I’m skittish. I would say I probably always have been. I grew up in a land where princes and princesses reigned supreme in my imagination and all of my friends “kissed dating goodbye.” The rest of them, hussies. Obviously. Good girls, the golden children, they didn’t date…they went to school and got good grades and when to more school and got a job and their attention wasn’t to be pulled to the right or the left by a man. And so I was, and remain, highly cautious of everything and everyone. I shy away from connections and with that, I probably self-sabotage any chance of relationships. With that realization, the need for the band-aid became more of a necessity than a want. Because it is easier to imagine a jet-setting life of adventure, than a life of endless yearning.
A yearning and a mental picture of the what if and the what could be. It doesn’t need to define my life and all of my choices, but it does exist and it deserves a voice. It is a voice that longs for someone to call my own, for babies, to care for the orphans and those left with no one to love on them. There are silly family portraits and dance classes and hippie-dippy schools.
When push comes to shove and the curtain is drawn back, the hope and the desire still exist. The belief that someone can break through the stubborn and sharp edges to see that I might be a wee bit of a challenge, but I really am just full of a lot of feelings.
Maybe the actually realization, is believing that about myself.
The moment hits when the thought in my head isn’t a never-ending blame game, but it’s the realization that is may not be about what others don’t see and more that what I choose not to acknowledge on a regular basis. The unending loop of “not being enough” never really goes away. Instead, it is about staying so busy that I really don’t have time to think about what is lacking. It isn’t shocking to believe that I doubt the future existence of relationship, because I also doubt the chance of even a coffee date. I friend-zone myself to keep the world on one side of the glass, while I remain safe on the other side. Compliments often make me think, at some point the rug will be pulled out from under my feet because this is just the build up for a good joke. I doubt the possibility in my mind because I know if I was the one choosing, I wouldn’t pick me. There are better choices; ones who are fun, pretty, active, charming, not abrasive, and less panicked about life. Whether it is true or not, it becomes part of the narrative to cover the wound and plan for what feels like reality.
Though the truth of the matter is, the want and the yearning won’t go away. We are beings created to want and long for more. The reality won’t be dramatically altered, but it makes us pursue higher callings and when taken off a pedestal and placed into the guiding hands of a God who loves, it can lead to a more fulfilling and wholehearted life.
But sometimes, it also just makes you want to weep a little bit.
I think it is fairly safe to say that I love the Son family. I have been friends with Daniel and Kate for quite some time, like pre-babies/marriage/dating quite some time and it has been so fun to watch their lives grow and develop over the years. It has been even more fun to be one of their family photographers! I had the great joy of photographing their first-born Gigi’s newborn and six-month photos and was so pleased to be able to be able to photograph their family before they leave D.C. for the wilds of Buffalo, NY. I’m going to miss you all!