Cooking

Monday, March 25, 2013

Too little time, but only for a bit longer

I'm feeling so inspired today, so driven, so wanting to do something with my new blog, write, run, do yoga, clean, decorate, shop. But I cannot today. I have to go into work, the spa, for one of three last shifts. It's a terribly inconvenient shift too, 11-7. That takes up almost the entire day. And, so that I could fulfill my silly notion of not leaving them without a month's notice, I had to pick up an evening shift at the restaurant tomorrow so that I could work at the spa today. So silly. I long for April. March has been truly difficult.

However, the cogs in my mind are creaking and oiling themselves with the taste of freedom, days off, and less worry and stress about my income. I think my sudden inspiration is due to the proximity I am to be able to utilize it. It's twenty after ten now and I'm wondering if I should leave early to get a coffee or stay here a bit longer, in my chilly apartment and pick up a little so that when I come home I can focus on writing...?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Mine was relatively tame, uneventful and as usual, full of work. I hope to be able to define work as writing, and not waiting tables and answering phones. Oh the many somedays, may they reach me soon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Mother's Garden



I bought a basil plant from Target for a dollar. I have always wanted to have a thumb as green as my mother’s. She has, over the years, coordinated her backyard to change colors in perfect synchronization – pinks and yellows and whites of the daisies and tulips and daffodils in spring, changing to bright and vibrant purples and reds of poppies and lilacs, swooping softly to tangerines, and fiery oranges of Chinese lanterns and mums. Her garden has chapters, each day turns to a new page of color. She will claim that she had no input on the coordinating timing of colors – but she has and continues to.

I will probably kill my basil – if it sprouts at all. My mother bought me a beet starter kit last year. And I had the very best intentions for it, until I forgot about it. I left the tray out in the hot sun, parching the seeds and zapping the soil of its nutrients, only to then let it be drowned by a rainstorm, the clumps of dirt and sickly seedlings spilling over the side onto the concrete of my balcony.
Spring is coming upon me earlier this year because I now live in Texas. Hydrangea trees hanging heavy with their think purple bunches, bushes, that I thought were just that, are now sprouting bright white flowers with deep crimson centers. The sky is almost always blue, the grass is the green of the south and not the recovering tan and patchy brown of snow-soaked earth. Lying by the pool or going hiking are real possibilities for my day off tomorrow, in early March. People are not foolish to wear tank tops.
There will continue to be sun and warmth and flowers and green leaves to encourage my writing. My mind will not be stilted or numbed by the cold. Even if my basil plant doesn’t make it – I know I will.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dreaming of Paris

Ok, I really need to stop reading Ernest Hemingway. All I want to do is wander down cobblestone streets, sip port and too-strong coffee, watch and record the world go by in a notebook. Then later, I can climb a rickety staircase up and around to the top floor and take my notes and my free writing and thoughts and turn them into stories and essays, plunked out on an old typewriter.

So here's to dreaming about it until I can make it a reality.

Au revoir!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Today

Today, like most days now, I got up early, about 7:32. I took the dog for a meandering walk in the misty rain of the morning, solidifying my decision that there were several things that I should be doing during my morning off instead of running away to hike (although, a good and occasional "running away" is something I firmly believe in). I ran errands, cleaned, organized, and settled back at home for a few hours before heading to work. I dedicated those hours to a "mood board", the homework I was assigned for the blog e-course I signed up for. I cut out pictures in magazines of colors and fonts and images and photograph styles that I was drawn to. More importantly though, I found myself cutting out statements, one-liners that caught my attention such as "You Got This," "Down But Not Out," and "Start Your Day Off Right" and my favorite, was "survive a quarter life crisis." This last phrase was the headliner for your typical solve-your-biggest-problem-in-a-thousand-words article in a women's health magazine, not usually where I find my advice on living or inspiration for my future and outlook.

However, it struck a chord. I moved here a little over two months ago, and I'm sure you've noticed in my past posts, how not-so-perfect it has been. I assumed that after graduating college, moving to a new city, buying a dog and putting my best efforts forth at utilizing my degree and capitalizing on my passions I would find happiness and fulfillment. But it hasn't happened yet. And I look around, and notice that the people I work/ed with in restaurants, have friendships with, and even popular television shows such as the characters on Lena Dunham's show Girls, are dealing with the disappointment of all that was promised to us educated and "new" women, isn't coming to fruition as soon or as easily as we thought it would. And it's so much harder when there are those select few that, (again, I will reference Lena Dunham and her wild success with her show), as well as those bloggers that I know I follow and looks towards for inspiration, make it look so easy.

So, what happens now? Now that I have self-diagnosed a quarter-life crises as an explanation of my anxiety, quiet drives home from work fighting the urge to get on the next plane back to the Midwest, and general lack of motivation to do anything - now what?

Well, now I'll write through and about this phase in my life. I think I've stumbled upon my new theme for my new blog that I am e-coursing my way into creating. I know I can't be the only one out there, (I definitely am not according to the current issue of Women's Health) and I hope that I can work my way through this time with insight into what is causing my feelings of being lost, misdirected and unfulfilled. Be it exercise, religion, diet, philosophy or the simple act of writing and expressing my own unique type of creativity, I will figure this out - or try until I reach my mid-life crisis....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A bit from before

We all have our little stories. And most of us consider them worth hearing. We rehearse them – a perfect script when asked what we do, where we come from, are we married, any kids. Mostly, we’re trying to impress others and validate ourselves. But what often happens is we forget the most interesting parts – the dirty parts, the troubled times, the struggles.

It is an interesting thing, migrating from the north to the south in the middle of winter. My body and mind feel deceived – as if I am in a waking dream. The warm sun on my face, the familiar heat causing my freckles to sprout and cheeks to pink feels unnatural. The sound of the breeze and leaves still hung on the trees is a music my ears are not ready for.
In the north, the air itself feels frozen. The snow and cold muffles the sound of traffic and wind and children. It is a weight that cannot be shaken and the sun itself cannot penetrate very far past offering a milky light on the crystalizing snow. People become fossilized in the north, their bodies scrunched up tight, shoulders grazing their earlobes trying to brace themselves against the wind and the piercing cold.
But here, in the south, tables are left out for people to sit at restaurants and cafes year round. It is the middle of January and I have sunburn. Whatever dream I am walking through right now, I hope not to wake. My shoulders are relaxed, I can hear and smell and taste things. My tongue and eye is not numb to the cold. My body will remain loose and agile. I will smile easier.



This was written weeks ago. Before I had a dog, before I had two jobs, before I was lonely. It's nice to go back and read something written when I was happy. It gives me the hope that the sun will shine again, I'll write again, that the bits from before that were beautiful were once ahead of me, and that there might be more, ready to be written about.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Refusing to do "Work"

I sit here, at the spa, as I usually do when my days are numbered and my mind yearns to be elsewhere, I blog, and dream about a life outside of this "serene" music and "relaxed" clients.

I have begun reading Hemingway again. I vowed that I wouldn't, hating his misogyny and self-absorption, but as embarrassing as it is to admit, after watching Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, I thought I would give A Moveable Feast another go. And it has been lovely, even the first two chapters. One of the most striking ideas that has been burrowing in my mind like a field mouse is that when one is bogged down, or blocked or wondering if anything that you're writing is worth anything at all, simply write one, true sentence. And go from there. So my one, true sentence for today is this:

It is a terrible thing to be lonely.

There is no one to walk the dog when you need a few more minutes of sleep and you've been running a fever. There is always coffee left over in the press and no one to drink it before it gets cold. Going to the movies is something that is no longer done because, while going alone can sometimes be enjoyable - no one to have to share the popcorn with, no awkward moment deciding where to sit, freedom to giggle at parts without worrying if you'll be thought dumb for finding some parts funny - you don't go because, well, why? Who are you going to talk about it with after?

There is no one to tell you that a box of cookies is not a sensible dinner. There is no one to tell you that watching the same movie, every night, is a waste of time. There is no one to take the trash out. There's no one to give you a hug and tell you it's all going to be ok. There's no one.

Moving away, all alone, was something that I never really thought I would do. And if I did, I thought, perhaps, I would magically makes friends easily and seamlessly. I would fit into a new spot of warmth, encouragement,inspiration and success. I never thought that I would struggle. What a silly being I have been. What idealistic notions did I have. I don't want to move back. I don't want to return to the beginning. But I still feel stuck - as if I alone am not enough to push forward. Stupid insecurities, I know, but still feeling them right now, at this moment.

And that is my little truth. My moment of shriveled anxieties and hopeless wandering. Apologies for lack of light and uplifting notions, but I simply don't have it in me today. I refuse to do the work at my job, and at my life. Not today.

V

Friday, February 22, 2013

Early Transitions

I have been in Texas for nearly 2 months, and I am already transitioning from one job to another. I didn't really expect to be making these calls so soon, I suppose I became comfortable at home, in Indiana, always relying on the jobs I'd had for years or knowing about the places with the guarantee they would be good and good for me. I took the second job that was offered to me here, a mere three weeks into my residence. It sounded right, familiar position, respectable hourly, "paid vacations and benefits" (which I've yet to see any sign of) and eagerness to have me. So I took it. I was fearful of poverty and having to ask for help or being forced to get some sort of menial job that would kill my soul faster than my savings account. And eventually, as some things do, what seemed good at first, turned out to be less than good, bad even. I often worked mid-shifts, those detestable 12-8's and 11-7's which had me trying to get up early enough to take advantage of my hours in the morning and staying up too late, unwilling to accept that the day was already over and I should go to bed. And most importantly, I haven't been writing. I have been so worried about money and the time I didn't have, I shut off, shut down, and shut out the one thing that makes me so happy.

And here I sit, in Panera, having gotten up later than I wanted, not getting my new license or plates installed on my car but attempting to enjoy a bit of my morning before going in at 12. I wrote schedules for the transition to my absence until my eyes crossed last night, emailed the managers and owners of my plans and wait, eagerly, for their response. I just want it to be final. I don't mind putting my notice in, I don't mind the time I work while working my way out. I do mind not knowing what they have to say. I want to be able to write my own schedule, I want to write in my time to write. So I wait.

It was just an hour that I had here. Barely enough time to drink a cup of coffee, making it through my blog roll, find inspiration. But one must attend to their responsibilities while they are still theirs to handle.