If I’ve been walking around in a daze the past week, I’m sorry. I haven’t been great about responding to people’s messages or answering emails. A lot has been going on. Which is to say– I have a new job! It wasn’t an easy decision… I really love my co-workers, but this is the year of Yes and I’m excited to step out of where I’ve been and try something new. The work will be much of the same, but with new faces, new projects, a new location and new systems. I have a chance to learn, a chance to lead, and I’m starting to get over the fear of change and move towards excitement.
I told everyone at my current job today and the general response of kindness and support shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I’m going to miss this gang.
What a year. January isn’t even over and already I’ve thrown wrenches in just about everything that I can. I suppose January isn’t a great marker– I started to mix things up in October of last year. At the onset of October I was upset and heartbroken, living in a small apartment. I’ve since: moved into a place that feels like a real home, gone on international travel, climbed harder than ever, started a poetry series, begun training for a triathlon, welcomed a roommate, started to learn to ski, shed clutter, taken on a new job…. Life is careening forward, as it should. There’s so much more to do.
If you’re in Seattle, come join us as we figure out how to turn a glass fishbowl into a poetry venue. My dear friends Geoff and Ryan have volunteered The Glass Slipper as a poetry venue and we’re testing it out this Thursday, January 30th. We’re starting at 7:30 and you can come listen to Arlene Kim, Jeff Encke, Carrie Kahler, Aaron Barrel and myself with a beautiful view of Lake Union in the background. And if that doesn’t work for you, I’ll be up on Capitol Hill Friday night for our company party. I expect it’ll turn to a little bit of crying and a lot of celebration and you might even be able to convince me that I want to debut my karoke skills if you play Robyn. Or mention Robyn. I might start singing. I’m sort of in love with this song. Come find me, come dance with me. (I’ll dance at the poetry reading if you play Robyn as well…)
It’s 9:30 in the morning and still grey—Seattle, I love you and your gloomy skies. It’s the cusp of the New Year and while I’ve been pensive for a while, thinking about what this year has been and what next year makes pensive seem a small word.
In a certain sense, I’ve finally found my footing. I’m stronger than I was a year ago in many ways and I’m starting to organize again—both poetically, artistically and athletically. I’m in a place where I can host guests and have dinner parties. I have a car to pick up friends at the airport and I’ve helped my company nearly double in size.
In another sense, I still have no idea what I’m doing. I still don’t know how to occupy emotional space with anyone else. I still crush on boys that are wrapped up in their own stories or for whom the timing is just enough off that it’ll never work. I still have heartache and loneliness. I burn my dinner and I’m socially awkward and I have bruised knees and tangled hair and can’t keep my laundry folded and in order if someone were to pay me only for that.
In other words, same old same old. Just a person, as any person is. I am starting to think, even more strongly, that we are all replaceable. That sounds self-deprecating but I really don’t mean it that way. It’s just—we’re all so similar, even in our differences. One of the strangest things about my father dying was how completely specific and, at the same time, how completely impersonal it was. My grief is unique but every single person on the planet will either go through this same thing or die and their parents will go through the same thing. Biological parents, chosen parents, the family we are tied to with blood or the one we find for ourselves—we all lose someone or are lost ourselves. It put a lot of things in perspective for me. So, heartache. So what? So, love. So what? So strength or weakness or sorrow or joy. It’s all this big roiling mass that we dip in and out of as our lives weave our stories.
I don’t know what 2014 holds for me. This might be the year I climb a 12a. This might be the year I fall joyfully in love. This might be the year I start publishing again. This might be the year I don’t get another tattoo. This might be the year I break a bone, the year I really start to bike around the city, the year I learn to drive standard, the year I learn to love broccoli, the year I start using hot sauce. There are so many possibilities—it’s just a lovely, terrifying blank page. I realize, in writing this, that I have no expectations.