Monday, November 29, 2010

the thinker.

"She scares me to death when she thinks and drives ...."

At times, I think my mind is my own worst enemy. My unruly imagination exacerbates the blind optimism that often accompanies (my) hopeless romanticism. Sometimes, it renders me unable to differentiate pragmatic thoughts from the idealistic surreality I create in my (day)dreams. It is this same cognizance that keeps me up at night. wishing. hoping. thinking. It is the reason I am awake right now. It is the reason I will feel like I am in a fog all day tomorrow. It is its resonance that makes me think I will never be able to quit anything cold turkey; why when something comes terribly close to ending, it catalyzes a sequelae of undefeatability that tells me this could be the new beginning to a very beautiful thing + I find myself fighting for it harder than I ever have. It is the reason I just drove thirty-two hours by myself and didn't feel an ounce of loneliness. It is the reason why instead of using that time on the road to shed my heavy heart of the woes of Winnipeg to start (mentally) fresh when I arrived in Knoxville, I spent it ruminating about the next five years and (accidentally) compartmentalizing all the things I really want to happen that can very well land me right back where I started from. It is the ironic reasoning as to why I couldn't see where I wanted to be having a steady job, an apartment, etc. but now that I have no stability or direction, my future is suddenly crystal clear to me. Now more than ever. I've figured out what I want. I know what I need. I've learned the difference between the two. For some, the hardest part is knowing what you want but for me, the real challenge lies in fitting all of what I want (and  this lover of the world wants a lot!) in to the same place... on the same page. Suffice it to say, those mountains are much easier to move in my head.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

thanksgiving tradition.

When I left Winnipeg on Wednesday (more on that in a future post), I was determined to get to spend Thanksgiving the most traditional way I know how ... with good food + great company!... With these simple staples as my prerequisites, there was only one place that could be ... in a (homemade) kitchen with the Gallos!  Lucky for me, Mr. Rick, Barb + Carly had flown up to D.C. to be with Meg+Danny and while it wasn't exactly on my way to Knoxville, it wasn't tooo out of the way either so after battling several blizzards which melted into rainstorms the further South I went, I made it with exactly one hour left of Thanksgiving to eat some of the tastiest turkey my tastebuds have ever known and Barb's infamous pumpkin roll!    
  I have spent the majority of every major holiday the last few years with the Gallos. Sadly, my blog does not reflect this and when I was pondering why that is, I realized it's because when I am with them we do very ordinary things that you normally would not document (eating dinner, watching movies, playing cards). But when in their presence, it becomes extraordinary + while its hard to capture in photographs, its definitely worth documenting, even if its hard to find the words to describe it, so I was trying to be conscious of taking candid photogs to remember this super special weekend.
When we're together, we spend lots of time cooking (most of the time I fall asleep curled up in a ball on the couch absorbing Barb's cooking skills via osmosis)

 Friday, we tackled the crowds of  Black Friday and the five of us did a little bit of shopping at our favorite stores (me = Anthropologie!). When we got home that afternoon, we watched Meg+Danny's wedding video and it was perhaps my favorite part of the weekend. To say their wedding was one of my favorite nights of my life would be an understatement. Carly studies architecture at Florida International University in Miami + Friday night we made a delicious Spanish style dinner while consuming yummy wine and dancing to reggaeton! 

so many laughs ... 


 It felt great to be back in the country that reserves every Saturday from September- December for (college football's) Gameday and it just so happened to be UF vs. FSU, both of our alma maters biggest rivalry game! We have spent many games together like this one and after a six year winning streak, the Gators lost (badly) to the Seminoles. Danny was super excited!! I feel so lucky to probably be the only person in orange & blue that Danny (FSU's #1) would hug while wearing "such ugly colors!"
Meg+Danny's closest friends in DC also came over to watch the game (They are LSU alum and watched their game simultaneously on a TV in the next room!) and afterwards we played many rounds of cards (the name of the game we played is a profanity that rhymes with shmasshole) until the "Must only speak in Spanish" rule was implemented and I had to call it a "noche". HA!

I'm not sure exactly what I am doing with my life at this exact moment but I am quite certain that surrounding myself with the people I love the most is at the top of my life list ... the Gallos (all 5 of them) are my "thanksgiving tradition" + I am so happy it worked out for me to be with them this year.

With a lot more inner reconciliation to be had, it was no wonder I hopped back in my car today and drove seven more hours to my sister's to see Kara, Grams + Reese.

Friday, November 19, 2010

complete + utter faith.

You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales, that fantasy of what your life would be, white dress, prince charming who would carry you away to a castle on a hill. You would lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming, they were so close you could taste them, but eventually you grow up, one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is its hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely cause almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they will open their eyes and it will come true.          - Meredith Grey

It began when I was a little kid. It grew 'til I was a teen. It took off when I was twenty. I pursued it 'til I was twenty-four. I let it go today but not in its entirety. I'll believe in it, always. With complete + utter faith.     -Jocelyn Kirk

bid me adieu.

A couple of weeks, I gave one of my dearest friends at work an end-of-shift report that went a little something like this: 

ME: This baby is a 27 weeker who is.... and then I just burst in to tears.
SR: Is it M---h?
ME: mm hmm.
SR: You need a glass of wine.
ME: Yes, let's meet for drinks!

I thought it was just going to be a couple of my favourite night shift ladies gossiping (we're nurses, it's what we do best.) over Caesars but when my fourth day shift came to an end + a snow storm hit like no other (more on that in another post), I walked in to this at the Tavern:  

my frozen flat-clad feet ( no socks, obvi) were instantly warmed with delight!
It was all my favourite people from days/nights (a.k.a. the perfect shift) at a bar to bid me adieu.
They showered me with (perfect!) gifts and the sweetest card signed by so many of the people I work with.
We had lots of great conversation over apps + bevies for hours til the night started to look a little like this...  

and the snow continued to fall... but I didn't want the night to end!! I am so lucky to have met all these fabulous ladies + Dave! I'm going to miss them!

Monday, November 15, 2010

my therapist, taylor.

I have worked almost every day the last week + am working almost every day until I leave. 12 shifts + 160 hours is one way to make the days fly by until I can leave. For twelve hours of the day, my mind is focused on one, incredibly special baby that I have taken care of every shift since I gave my notice. I'm hoping I can find a way one day to articulate what makes him so special without violating any privacy laws but the complexity of his condition has me facing, figuring out how to handle and overcoming huge obstacles on a daily basis. I have sat up with excitement when my alarm goes off in the morning at 5:55 and haven't even been hitting snooze 47 times before I finally get up because I look forward to going to work to see "my boy".
By now, the word is definitely out that I am leaving my job + in the few spare moments I find in my days to take a break, I have been inundated with an overwhelming response from my colleagues to my impending departure. I have engaged in so many great conversations, shed many tears at their such kind words and have acquired some great life advice from the wonderful women (and Sam!) I work with. I've always felt that I was naturally inclined to being a neonatal nurse; its my passion. It's the only career that's ever made sense and when you truly love what you do, it makes it pretty easy to be "naturally good" at what you do. "Going the extra mile" for my sweet, tiny babies everyday was just the way I chose to "do my job" and I hardly realized it hasn't gone unnoticed until I have heard at least twice a day for the past 2 weeks how much my leaving will be a huge loss for my unit. There are so many people at my job that have contributed to me "being a great nurse who will do great things!" I can't thank them enough, not just in regards to the work-related things but the casual conversations that taught me a lot about myself, too. The benefit to working with women who have all been there for twenty years is that they are all not only great resources for nursing questions but great advisors for the life things too.  
Between the two ways I've been dividing the time of my day, I feel pretty exhausted when I get in my car each night. It's become a horrible habit of some sort that I burst in to tears right about the time I drive past my old apartment (and continue on to my cousin's), a part of me wishing I could crawl in to our bed again, the other part wishing I could leave tonight. This is about the time I blast Taylor Swift's cd and bawl the rest of the drive home. It's these 20 minutes with Taylor that really help me let out the sadness that I bottle up inside to get through the day. As I look back on the songs that have helped me get over past break-ups, I noticed that T. Swift has been present in all 3 of them... it's like she times her record releases with my heartbreaks. In college, it was Picture to Burn, Teardrops on My Guitar, Cold As You and Should've Said No that helped me move on. Almost 3 Christmases ago, it was White Horse, You're Not Sorry + The Way I Love You that I played repeatedly until I couldn't feel anymore. Currently, Back to December, The Story of Us and Last Kill (Freudian slip) Kiss are the tracks that lyrically say my feelings exactly...
Unbeknownst to her, she's kinda like my therapist, except instead of charging $100/hr, its a one time purchase of $12.99 at Target.

I betcha would have never guessed the way this post started ... even thru the middle... it would have ever ended with Taylor Swift.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

flowers for emerson.

Flowers make me happy. So. simply. happy. When Carly + I wandered (*wandering seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life these days*) upon a beautiful, mini rose garden, I was immediately filled with glee + starting snapping photogs left + right, red + yellow. I couldn't decide which Ralph Waldo Emerson (R.W.E. is my homeboy.) quote I liked better so I put up 2 pictures to include them both -- living life on the edge, for sure, these days.
 Earth laughs in flowers.
Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.


the duffleys are dynamite.

in letting go.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

one tree, not two.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two." -St. Augustine

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

cliched love.

I was talking to an old friend (*that may be the undertitlement of the century but in due anonymity, I'm sticking with it*) whom I hadn't actually talked to (you know, like below the surface) in 3+ years a couple of weeks ago. It was an intriguingly awkward conversation with a once very acquainted now total stranger, trying to find a middle ground again.
He asked me if I had changed at all (since we were friends) + my mind initially surveyed the superficial obvious(es). I grew out my hair. I contribute bi-weekly to a pension plan. I still can't cook. I still have an ironic white-girl obsession with rap music. I still think frugal is such an ugly word. I still possess a very evident "I see a cute baby!!" face. I still am petrified of driving in the rain. I'm still addicted to coffee. In my wandering mind, I haven't changed a bit...
 Having no idea how to answer such a loaded question, I answered with something frivolous along the lines of "I started a career + must have grown up a little along the way." Unsure of what he was thinking of that defined me, he replied "Ya, but do you still believe in love? That's its blind + it conquers all + all its other cliches?"
It's funny because I have asked myself that same question repeatedly the last couple of months + pretty much had given up on finding the answer. Do I believe in (the power of) love? I once thought it was all you need but as I perpetually got lost further + further down a one-way street of unrequitedness, I'm beginning to think sometimes love just isn't enough.
If you love someone to the fullest, must you really let them go? ...But they take such a huge part of you with them, how do you fill the void if they don't come back? When will you know that they're not coming back?
I thought love was patient; I have obviously lost mine.
I thought love was kind; why does each day bring about so many feelings of pain?
I know it's impossible to love + be wise but I spent most of my summer trying to acquire the smallest inkling as to why my heart + my head were in two entirely different places... an internal civil war... battling my ever-present struggle of loving to the fullest without compromising myself...
As much as it hurts sometimes, I most certainly still believe in love + undoubtedly, the part of me that probably has remained the truest over the years is my desire to love + be loved. A hopeless romantic at heart, sometimes I'm blinded by the disillusionment that maybe fairytales could exist. Maybe not in the form of white horses and shining armour but definitely with perfect-fitting shoes + happily ever afters. Just maybe...
But it's time to remove my heart from my sleeve + put it in safekeeping while it mends...
Because as much as I prefer my love to contain an enormous dose of reckless abandon, I've forgotten somewhere that my greatest love of all should be for myself first + sometimes a little more selfish + a little less selfless is okay. That's where I will find the most happiness--within. Love heals all and I'm starting the healing process by outloving this bright, happy-go-lucky, yellow-striped sweater. Just doing up the buttons makes me bubbly... and it's about damn time.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I resigned from my job today. I didn't realize how much giving my notice was not just a resignation from a position within a company but so many other negative facets of my life too. I walked out of the hospital floating on clouds; a sense of freedom from the confines that have encumbered me so. I think I might have even twirled stepping off the elevator knowing that the weight of Winnipeg has finally been lifted; I'm freeeee. I can start living my own dreams. I can redirect my focus on myself again; get back in touch with the pathological optimist that lives inside me. I decided I was worth it; to pursue my own happiness. I could finally breathe again; right through to my spine.

Friday, November 05, 2010

it's the make-believe that makes us believe.


_ Venice


I noticed that there seems to be a semi-schizophrenia in my writing recently. By day, I am a fearless, resilient twenty-something ready to independently take on the world + by night, I'm a heartbroken mess of tears questioning everything from my strength (My heart hurts so much, I'm afraid it may burst.) to my judgment (Could I really have been that jaded? that blind? that insert-cliche-about-love-here.) ... + then somewhere in between the 2, I get angry (I'm better off. He's better off. He would just throw it all away. Grrrrr).

Seriously, my mind drives me crazy when I'm trying to fall asleep in the presence of only one heartbeat, an off-beat one at that. I assure you that this is only temporary as "time heals all," even heart-in-a-blender induced insomnia, right?

I laughed when I noticed the playlist I made for my ass-kicking work-out at the gym reflected the same observation:

1. Cake - I Will Survive.
2. Sugarland - Every Girl Like Me.
3. James Blunt- Goodbye My Lover
4. Lily Allen - F*ck You
5. Coldplay - The Scientist
6. Lady Antebellum - Long Gone
7. Taylor Swift- You're Not Sorry
8, Colbie Caillat- Fearless.
9. John Mayer- Comfortable
10. Avril Lavigne- Why
11. Parachute- She is Love.
12. Rob Thomas - Mockingbird.
13. Keith Urban - Stupid Boy.
14. Joshua James - Lovers Without Love
15. Blue October - 18th Floor Balcony
16. Marc Cohn- True Companion
17. Rod Stewart - Broken Arrow
18. Coldplay- Fix You.
19. Kelly Clarkson- Walk Away.
20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

I've put track #11 on repeat in hopes that falling asleep to it tonight will lessen the swollen redness surrounding my eyes each morning. I'm naming this revised single-song playlist: cucumber ... + hoping that somehow, just like the tangible veggie, the lyrics possess anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate the puffiness.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

i can the feel the sunrise....

I can feel the sun rise when I close my eyes... 

Tight rope walker practicing between two palm trees in Santa Monica at sunset.


Carly + I went to see a hip hop musical entitled Venice that TIME magazine (love me some TIME) named "The Best Musical of the Year!" It is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's play Othello + it! was! phenomenal! The music is amazing + the story is really moving! For the rest of the week, all my blog posts will reference this play because it just made my heart beat something incredible! It is not on Broadway yet but when it makes it to Broadway, I highly recommend you go see it! =)


Who will you reach for in the middle of the night?

What do you revolve around when the centre of your world is removed from your universe?

When do start to believe it + stop wishing he'll realize what he's casually disregarding?

Where do you go when the only home you know is in his arms?

Why are the shatters in my heart so excruciating if it's the right thing to do?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

kindles the great.

Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it kindles the great. --Bussy-Rabutin