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You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Tag: dreams

It’s all about the journey

Hm, blogging… let’s see if I remember how to do this.

First of all, thank all of you for your kind comments here and on Twitter about my dad. Things could have been so much worse than what they were. He’s not all better yet but he is recovering and for that I’m so thankful.

So much else has happened since I fell off the blogging wagon I don’t even know where to start so I’m just going to skip to current time. I may eventually try to recap things but my current adventure is way too exciting to bother with that right now.

Yesterday Joel, Phoebe and I began Epic Road Trip 2011. We’re in the process of completing number 27 on my 30 by 30 list. Driving across the country on Route 66.

Or getting our kicks on Route 66 as they say.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been on more road trips than I can count. They’ve always been to get somewhere in particular, as most road trips tend to be. Because they’re destination focused it doesn’t leave time for the random things in between.

Like the word’s largest rocking chair.

Every time I’ve taken a road trip I’ve always said that someday I want to take a trip where I get to stop at every strange and stupid thing. Just for the heck of it.

This is that trip.

And it’s even better than I hoped it would be.

It’s unbelievable how true flexibility makes things so much more enjoyable. Any time-table? Ours. Any rules or guidelines? Ours. If we decide something looks cool, we stop. If not, we don’t. If there’s a particularly dull stretch of road we may hop on the interstate for a few miles to save a few minutes that we can later use on something interesting.

We stopped at that ridiculously large rocking chair.

I kissed Mater.*

We’ve laughed and talked and joked and dreamed out loud and just had the most amazing time ever.

There’s no rush to be anywhere because here is exactly where we’re going.

I often have a hard time living in the moment because I’m so focused on my goals and where I want to be in the future. This trip is exactly what I need to remind me that there’s really nothing more important than right now because right now is my life.

It’s all about the journey.

*Oh hi Disney/Pixar, obviously I meant a Mater-like tow truck. Don’t sue me.

Neverland

This evening I saw Peter Pan at The Lookingglass. They never fail to put on an amazing show. This particular show was special to me because of the connection I feel to the story of Peter Pan.

When I was younger I truly believed that happy thoughts could really get you to fly… if only I had pixie dust. I spent many days trying so hard to fly, thankfully the highest point I tried from was the living room couch. Once my best friend and I put glitter in our hair to see if that would help things. Perhaps it was a good substitute for fairy dust. Turns out, not so much. Also? Very, very difficult to wash out of hair. Our mothers were not impressed.

I’ve always had an obsession with flying. No surprise I guess considering the career I chose. I love being in the air. I would love to feel the wind on my face and the icy clouds whip past as I soar. I want to feel lighter than air. Have you ever stuck your hand out of the car window when you’re driving down the highway and just let it glide along? I want my whole body to feel just like that. When I’m working on the plane there are moments on descent where the plane makes a relatively sudden drop in altitude. If I’m walking down the aisle at those moments my tip toes can barely touch the ground and I almost feel weightless. Incredible.

Anyway, back to Peter Pan. All growing up I firmly believed in Neverland. I never believed in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or any of those mythical figures like a normal child. Neverland however was different. I really believed in it. If only I knew which one the second star to the right was and if only I could find a pixie to sprinkle it’s dust on me I could find it and fly happily away to a land of rainbows, mermaids and eternal childhood. I’ve always been a little afraid of growing up.

And now, I suddenly find myself grown up.

When did that happen? When did I go from daydreaming about castles and horses and strong, independent heroines captured by evil villains to thinking about bills and car maintenance and how well my pants fit? Things used to be so simple.

When I was watching the play I realized something. There’s still a tiny part of me, deep down that believes. I still feel like I’m waiting for a fairy to come to my room and give me the ability to fly away into the night.

It’s not that being a grown up is all bad. There are great benefits like choosing my own bedtime… and other night time activities of the married variety. Maybe I just miss my imagination. It used to be so vivid. Now even when I imagine it gets stuck and I start thinking about cost or logistics. Or where the story is headed. I need to remember how to let go, let my brain dream without trying to structure it.

Maybe if I can find a balance between child and grown up I’ll create a world for myself that’s even better than Neverland.

*I’m taking a break from blogging about India for the weekend. I’ll be back to posting about it on Monday.

Stupid piece of paper

Today I was asked by no less than three people where I went to school. I don’t remember how it came up in any of these conversations. The only thing I know is the conversations continued like this:

Them – “So, where did you go to school?

Me – “Uh, well… um, I didn’t…

Then comes the nervous ramblings:

I graduated high school then I moved to Europe for awhile to be an au pair then moved back because, ya know, I fell in love ::giggle:: then I became a flight attendant and traveled all over the world and then uh… stupid economy… and now I’m here. A barista… slash waitress. And, yeah…

Them – ::blank stare:: “Oh. That’s. Nice.” ::backs away::

And they walk away probably wondering what the heck they asked exactly and I’m left feeling an inch tall.

There’s a sinking feeling in my chest whenever I think about it. About how I judged I feel. About how stupid and backwards and behind and lame and worthless they must think I am.

Then, not much later one of the askers made a comment about me not even having been to college. It was a negative comment. I can’t remember the wording exactly…

Because I was so shocked and had to fight the urge to burst into tears. Or run away and hide in a hole.

I’m not stupid.

I’m not.

And I could have that stupid piece of paper. I’m smart enough. I was a straight A student for goodness sake. I love school.

It’s the idea of taking on ten of thousands of dollars in debt that terrifies me. Especially because that dumb piece of paper is no guarantee that I’ll have any better job than I do right now. But people would think better of me. They wouldn’t think I’m stupid.

Because maybe some of them don’t. I might be paranoid.

But I know some of them do. The comments prove that to me.

The “Oh but you’re… smart.”You seem like such a smart girl.”A degree isn’t everything.”

And I smile and laugh and agree while wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole.

I want to scream going to college doesn’t make you better than me! I’m smart dammit!

::sigh::

The thing is, I love my life. I’m so happy with my life, I wouldn’t change anything. There’s no point in my life experience that I can imagine changing. I’ve had an amazing life. I’ve done more in 24 years than some people do in a lifetime. There’s so much more I have left to do and I expect it’s all going to be just as amazing.

So yeah, I didn’t go to college. I want to. I will.

But in the meantime… could you please just not ask?

Dreams in a box

In the bottom of this box are dreams disguised as dance shoes and clothes. The shoes are loving worn out. Not quite with holes, just worn spots and discoloration where my toes used to rub the floor the most. They’re still good, I could still wear them. But I don’t. I don’t dance anymore.

There’s nothing in the world that makes me feel more alive than dancing. It’s the way my soul speaks. When I hear a song it’s rare that I’m not dancing to it. Only now I usually only dance in my head.

When I was younger I was a dancer. I danced all styles of dance but I wanted nothing more than to dance on pointe shoes. I took classes several days a week. When I wasn’t in class I was practicing for class. As a little girl my favorite places were the aisles of the grocery store. They were the best for practing spotting as I twirled. My mom didn’t seem to mind. At least she never stopped me. My mom was wonderful like that.

My dance teachers were some of my favorite people in the world. They were beautiful and when they danced it was like magic. They didn’t just perform steps, they sparkled. Dances weren’t just a series of steps put together, they were their feelings set to music.

One day the head of the studio called me into her office. I don’t remember why. I do remember her asking me what my goals were. Among other things I mentioned how much I wanted to dance en pointe. I don’t remember anything else she said in that meeting except for one thing. “You don’t have the feet for it.” Everything else is a blur. I don’t remember if I cried then. I don’t think I did. I don’t think I said much else at all. All I remember are those words and feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. I don’t have the feet for it. Just like that.

I didn’t stop dancing then. It was several years before I stopped altogether. But a little part of me died that day. That dream was snatched right from under my nose by cruel genetics. To this day I cry if I see ballerinas dancing en pointe. Why did that have to be my dream when I wasn’t made able to do it? Cruel.

There are so many reasons that my dance dreams lie in the bottom of a box. Money, time and age are all factors. But packing up things to be put into storage I’m reminded of that moment. The moment one of my dreams died. I’m also reminded that I don’t dance anymore.

My subconscious is very modest

I’m a little obsessive compulsive. Not that I’ve ever been officially diagnosed but there are certain things that cause me a lot of anxiety if they aren’t a certain way. This makes getting to sleep very difficult because things really have to be just so. Want a glimpse inside what it’s like sleeping next to me? Ok, here you go…

First of all the sheets can be a big issue. I cannot deal with having any wrinkles. If we had new, tight sheets that wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately a lot of the elastic has gone out of our sheets and that means, unless I wash them daily (yeah right!), after a day or two they start to shift around. If I remember, I’ll pull them tightly right before I get in bed but if Joel is already in bed or I forget it’s,

wiggle, kick foot, pull sheet, try and relax, feel another wrinkle, wiggle wiggle, kick kick, pull sheet, try to relax etc.

until I don’t feel any more wrinkles. Luckily the whole bed doesn’t have to be wrinkle free, just the space immediately under me.

Then there’s the top sheet. It has to be folded over the top of the blanket at least 8 inches. No, I don’t actually get out a ruler and measure. I’m not quite that crazy. I can’t stand lying in bed and having the top sheet fall over my face or get bunched up around my neck. If it’s folded over the top that doesn’t happen.

That’s just a taste of the crazy but I don’t want to overwhelm you right off the bat. Anyway, with my problems with wrinkled or bunched fabric you can imagine it’s very hard to sleep clothed. If I’m wearing pajamas then it’s a vicious cycle of straightening sheets and then kicking my pants down so they’re not twisted or bunched up. And then if I move? It starts the whole stupid process over from the beginning.

In order to save my sanity (and Joel’s because sleeping next to Wiggle McWigglepants is not very restful) I’ve stopped sleeping in pajamas altogether. Hope that’s not too much TMI for you all. It’s just easier, I get to sleep faster and Joel and I both stay asleep.

Or at least usually. Last night I had a dream that I was in bed. I was of course naked but someone was in my room other than my husband. It wasn’t scary, more like a visitor wandered in looking for something. I didn’t want to be seen naked by the stranger in my room so I slid off the side and hid next to the bed. I then pulled on the t-shirt and pajama shorts I keep next to the bed in case of emergency. Joel asked me what I was doing and I admittedly told him something about needing pajamas. Then I crawled back in bed. Clearly I was trying to be a great host for my visitor. My dream continued on from there.

Not a very interesting dream, right? The thing is, when I woke up later I was in pajamas. I definitely didn’t go to bed in pajamas so at first I was confused. Slowly my dream came back to me and I realized that my dream and reality had gotten mixed up. I asked Joel about it later.

He said he woke up and only saw the top of my head because I was sitting next to the bed. He said it looked like I was folding laundry. He asked what I was doing and I got very upset and mumbled something about needing pajamas. I then crawled back in bed and fell asleep.

We laughed and laughed. I may be crazy, but at least it’s entertaining sometimes.

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