Monday, May 8, 2017

these people raised me

Spoiler alert: I was planning to fly to Seattle in June as a surprise for my moms birthday and Fathers Day but now that doesn't seem feasible.

In my hype I've gotten nostalgic. Or maybe it wasn't nostalgia and hype. Maybe its been finding out about pregnancies and passings, graduations and weddings. People are living their lives and I don't get to be a participant. I accidentally decided to be a bystander. 

I've been inundated with reminders of home. Ed Sheerans new single Castle on a Hill has been hitting me particularly hard:




I'm just tired of the realities of living so far away from loved ones. I'm tired of disjointed conversations due to time differences. I'm tired of hearing about life changing news and not being able to be there for support. Worse, I'm tired of not being told news at all because I'm not around.

But I've messed it all up anyway by acquiring a whole new set of loved ones out here. Pizza Fridays and Wing Tuesdays (doesn't have as good of a ring to it). Yesterday I watched a seventy year old woman ride a hoverboard for the first time and last week I took the littles to a softball game and told poop jokes for a couple hours. There's so much life happening on all sides and its doing my head in. Hazards of the job, of course, but I'm reminded of the pleading words of a wise three year old,

"I just want all my people to live together! Forever!"


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

identity

Last week the five year old asked me if I wanted to change before we left the house. After sweating through my dress, getting them home, fed, and washed I realized I was still wearing the sweatpants and t shirt I put on when we first landed at the house. Apparently my look didn't work for her. She suggested I put my dress back on and gave me some jewelry to sweeten the deal.

While I have no doubts the five year old got her fashion and forwardness from me, sixteen year old Diana would've been mortified that I had to hear those words at all.

I change for people. A lot.

Up until two years ago I didn't like sneakers. Up until a year and a half ago I didn't like shoes at all. Two years ago I stopped wearing a full face of makeup because I thought it would make someone enjoy my company more. Before last year I didn't like asparagus or BrĂ¼ssel sprouts. This isn't a case of "people change". This has become a case of "people change me" and I'm finally realizing how sad that makes me.

I've spent a long time sacrificing little parts of me to appease people. To make them happy, to make them stay. Three people on this side of the country know I'm a force. Everyone else thinks I'm a laidback, happy-go-lucky people-pleaser.

When I was thirteen I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted. I was confident in my terrible fashion choices and awful taste in comedy. Then I spent one night at a bowling alley in Shoreline being chastised by a friend in the bathroom who berated me and told me I'd never know who I was. She spent the night asking blasphemous questions and belittled me when I challenged them. I'm sad to say after three hours I let her get to me and doubted myself for the next five years. At eighteen I had a handle on it again but during the tumultuous time of my early twenties I got lost along the way. That why I kept going back to London. I always knew who I was in London.

Now, at twenty six, in my tiny apartment on Main Street and in between classes and work, I'm figuring it out again.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

itsy bitsy teeny weeny

why have I been MIA, you might be asking? I moved. Again. The lease was coming to an end and I went to a new town on a Girls Day to get my nails done and I fell in love with the brick buildings and little cafes with outdoor seating and the duo screen movie theater with its giant neon marquee outside.

So I did what any rational person would do and got online and checked to see if any apartments were available. I didn't factor in distance to the entire life I'd built up in Holland. Didn't consider how parking would work in a metered town, or how inconvenient it would be to see my friends. What's that thing I have...blind determination? Thats it.

But here I am. A mere three weeks after that Girls Day and I live on Main Street in the county seat or whatever that means. By a courthouse and a police station and a Starbucks that's 67 feet from my bathroom. It's the First Apartment I've always wanted. Everyone has to have a scummy one and I'm glad mine is in a secure building in one of the safest towns in one of the safest counties in this weird conservative state. It's got more charm than it knows what to do with which makes it easier to forgive the drawers that don't open all the way, or the way the floor dips by the fridge.

I've been under a mountain of stress lately (new job! new apartment! school! parking tickets!) and I'd love for it to subside, but for now I'm really really pleased to have a place (and a couch) that I can rely on. I made dinner for the first time last night and even though I burnt everything and set off the smoke alarm, I can still say I made it by myself. I'm doing it by myself.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Twelve Months

It's been a year now since I uprooted my life and left the only place I've ever really known. I've attempted to write about how much I've changed, or the 12 Things I Learned by Moving Across the Country but I kept coming up blank, so instead, here are 12 of my favorite photos from the last year - one for every month I've been gone. 

1. 
I drove across the country with my dad, so it didn't feel like a substantial change had been made until I got to Pennsylvania. Luckily I had the opportunity to completely neglect my adult responsibilities and enjoy some time with Brooke in Manhattan. She let me crash with her at the Waldorf Astoria and we ordered room service and watched the Kardashians and vegged.

2. 
Long story short, after trying very unsuccessfully to find an apartment in a neighborhood that I felt comfortable in after dark, these littles, their mom, and I packed up and moved into a townhouse together. I moved into the finished basement and they occupied the two floors above me. After a particularly hectic weekend, or during some weird transition times, they would venture down to my room and snuggle up on my soft furry blanket and watch art videos on YouTube while I did laundry or planned my outfits for the coming week. One of my favorite parts of living together.

3.
One of the biggest changes in my personality is how social I've become. I trained with my predecessor for a week and at the end of that week everyone went out for drinks. I was terrified but sucked it up and tried to socialize. This coworker in particular would become one of my closest friends out here, introducing me to one of my favorite Jersey beaches, as well as day drinking.

4.
Another one of the biggest changes came in the form of my physical health. A nightly run with this little punk was a habit of mine. He was such a good sport.

5.
This picture might be blurry for the same reason my eyes look glossy. My sister was in town for her #dirtythirty and we went to one of my favorite restaurants. Oh well.

6.
This picture is blurry for very much the same reasons as above, except we were in my hometown and it was my best friend's bachelorette party which got completely out of hand, the way all great parties do. Being able to go back to my hometown after a few months and being right where we left off meant more than I thought it would. This trip is also the one that made me pining to return to the PNW full time. 

7.
Above mentioned best friend's wedding. The biggest, best, longest party I've ever been to and I got to be front and center for the whole thing.

8.
Summertime with these cuties. This is one of my favorite pictures and has been since I took it and I'm still not totally sure why.

9.
This isn't a great picture but it was a great day. I attempted to surprise my sisters and fly in for their birthdays but this one thought she had it allll figured out. Then I "convinced" her to go to her favorite dessert bar and got mad when she hesitated going inside because she wanted to take a picture of the exterior all the while inside, patiently waiting, was her surprise party. A debt I'd so wanted to repay for the person that threw my surprise 24th, endured unimaginable spousal abuse, was raising a miniature me, and doing it with good humor. It had to be done. 

10 
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time and will probably end up framed in my house.

11.
Because we have the exact same personality and crave an ungodly amount of attention, we really only do super well when we're alone. This was Christmas morning playing with one of her presents. Best Christmas I've ever had, even though I accidentally guided her into some random guy's ass.

12.
I tried to avoid using pictures that have already been seen on social media, but this one was taken on my birthday (before I found out Carrie Fisher had died) and Buddy was so excited that our hats matched and it was a very good morning.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

city of boats & balconies


I went to Venice today. Barely. The airports were far, the flights were early and my energy sapped. Somehow when the alarm went off at 230AM, after having fallen asleep a stunning 3 hours prior, I got up and made myself look decent. Well, decent enough to get into the Uber for the hour long drive to the airport during which I promised my boyfriend that I needed the window seat on the plane to apply my makeup in peace. As I'm sure you can figure the makeup application occurred on the ground in Venice. I digress. 



If I had been alone and had to ask the concierge to print my boarding passes and pay the hefty fee for the transportation i didn't factor in when I made the impulsive purchase for the Italian Extravaganza there's a high chance I would've cancelled altogether. I don't know, maybe that's why I'm with him - he fixes the problems I don't / won't fix.


Venice is magical. Once we crossed the bridge from the train into the city and wandered until the sounds of rolling luggage and selfie stick salesmen died out I began taking pictures. Of mundane things too. I guess I was so worried it would end. The magic was bound to run out eventually and it was all I could do to capture everything and keep it forever. I am not a romantic person and I'll go so far as to say I would've felt this way whether or not I was wearing a new dress and with my boyfriend  and it happened to be Valentine's Day. While I have spent my entire travel life being told to be mindful of Italy because the men are pigs and the hands are sticky, I have been simultaneously inundated with romantic alliterations. And the latter wins out.

There was a couple in the gondola ahead of us who bought the extensive package that included a private serenade. Being in such close proximity during the gondola tour we had the privilege of being subjected to such luxury. Without a doubt it made the experience considerably better. I'm not going to tell you to saddle up and pay the 60€ difference. It probably wasn't that outstanding. But I've never felt the way I did sitting in the slim boat slowly passing balconies that have seen their fair share of Juliets, and alleyways that held century old secrets while the staccato of an Italian ballad echoed off the calm water.



We ended the day drunk on Italian wine & cannolis - my Italian boyfriend's favorite. If you're ever in that part of the world, just go. I've never heard regret come from a "what the hell" decision. 



Thursday, February 9, 2017

a trek

I did it again.

Not move, sadly. Although Tampa will always be in my back pocket for those days I can be comforted by escapism. No, today I find myself in London. Specifically, in the lobby of Premier Inn perched precariously between Terminal 4 & a brand new KFC. A vanilla latte that would make your garden variety green aproned barista weep. There's a couple behind me talking about death but their accents somehow make it sound elegant. I don't know, I fell asleep in a cramped chair about six hours ago and woke up here.

I've been told my whole life that when a person grows up they can't ever really find a place that feels like home. First of all, bummer. Big time bummer. As I grew old and restless and set out to make something of myself (as unconventionally as possible because, after all, I'm me) something kept pulling me back to London. Maybe it was the societal standards, the archetechture, or political philosophy. I mean, probably not that last one but my point remains. The last time I woke up here was three years ago and there were times I didn't think I'd make it out alive.

Being back here now, older and with lots of life experience behind me, driving down the familiar streets and seeing the change and the constants, I realize I made myself a home. I forged a path in undiscovered lands,  slayed some dragons and got bruised up. But I licked my wounds and I'm back. Mamas home.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

contradiction of epic proportions

I hate change. Can't stand the thing. Even if something is going absolutely terribly, I try to ignore it and stay as even keel as possible. That's how I landed in the hospital with near kidney failure the on the eve of 2017. I thought if I kept ignoring the symptoms, they'd go away and nothing in my diet or daily life would have to change. My idea of heaven. 

An IV drip and a few bouts of painfully (literally) aggressive antibiotics have taught me otherwise. 

I moved to the East Coast without paying attention to it. As previously mentioned, I got an idea and followed it blindly til I came up for air about three months ago. 

Look at this thing I accidentally did that changed my whole life! What am I like...

Now I've been here for 11 months. Been at the same job for 315 days. Been drinking this tea for 2 hours. You get it. 

I've got big life changes coming around the bend and I find myself already grieving the life I made the first few months I landed here.I'm still grieving the life I had in Edmonds. A whiff of Spring air sent me back to last year when I spent my afternoons in Tyler Park watching the river and today I heard a song I listened to with some close friends outside of Taki Tiki on a cold Autumn night that should have found us indoors. 

 I certainly don't think I've found a place to hang my hat yet. I don't know when I'll be done roaming, so in the meantime I'll keep my roots firmly planted in the ribcages of the people who make this all worth endeavoring.