Friday, July 30, 2010

Living.

Today, was better than yesterday and yesterday, was better than the day before.

Slowly, so very slowly, I'm beginning to get comfortable, a little less in shock, and slowly etching out my Malaysia.

I am learning to find my identity, the things I associate with. The person that I am, my wants, my dreams, my beliefs. I am learning to define who I am here, if my core values are still the same, if my purpose has changed, if my outlook on life is shifting and switching and finding just the right position in which I can stand on.

I rewatched the season finale of Grey's and cried like a bitch baby. And there is something so incredibly raw and painful that strikes me and strips me of all pretenses. It is in this stripped down honesty that I can see how far I've come and how easy it would be to just fall back into it all. I remember, that pain, that infinite hole of darkness and fear, that infinite hole of devastation and desperation. I remember, and it humbles me. I have come so far, but there is still much more to go.

I will choose to live my life fully. Completely. I will choose to love and be loved. I will choose to put good, strong, incredible people in my life. I will choose to help, to serve, to be compassionate and to give. I will choose to push myself just a little bit more, to challenge, to not settle. I will choose to do it all with integrity, with blinding honesty, with credibility.

I talked to the lawyers(and six hundred other people) today. Tying up loose ends and trying to shut down the remnants of my life in America. It is surreal and crazy but it is good at the same time. A year ago, I didn't think I had it in me to make the decisions I am making today. A year ago, I didn't think I'd ever heal, ever see the sun shine again. A year ago, I thought my whole life was over and the pain would never ever go away. A year ago, I was so completely and absolutely wrong.

And there are still so many lessons to be learned. Lessons that have been taught, lessons that are being taught, and lessons that will be taught.

Of self image. Of confidence. Of independence.

On-going.

Some days better than the others, some days in the pit and the muck of it all.

But they are happening, and for that, for that, I am grateful.

Grateful for the opportunity.

Grateful to have a choice.

Grateful to be humbled.

Tomorrow, tomorrow will be a great day.

And at the end...at the end I want to be able to say..

"See I’ve lived, I mean I’ve really really lived. I’ve failed, I’ve been devastated, I’ve been broken, I’ve gone to hell and back. And I’ve also known joy, and passion, and I’ve had a great love. See, death for me is not justice. It’s a end of a beautiful journey. And I’m not afraid to die. The question is, are you?"

who said TV is all bad?




Monday, July 26, 2010

Just the two of us: LA in transit.

Months ago when I booked my ticket to fly home, I asked the boy if he would like to fly out to LA with me. I cannot even begin to tell you how nice it was to have some special time together. Just us. Pretending to be tourists. Exploring a new city. Sharing a cupcake. Talking. Believing in our hopes and dreams. We lived a little bit in denial, enjoyed ourselves, cried, laughed together. And when I left, it felt so much like I'd left a part of me behind, like something was missing.

"Thank you for making my heart smile."

----

LA in pictures.

We checked in and of course after rushing and running around like madmen, we found out our flight was delayed. Then, the realtor called and said she was showing the house that night. The same house in which while rushing and running around like a madmen, I had thrown stuff everywhere, where unwanted clothes laid haphazardly, and all the extra things I couldn't take with me were stuffed into every possible crevice and spot. Yes, I'm sure the lovely couple that came to see the house were totally impressed with the crap that exploded all over and the dog that was going crazy.

:)

So we took a bunch of pictures at the airport.

checked in and delayed.

sgf-lax

We were starving and got in crazy late so we had the most delicious pizza from the hotel. The chef stayed late to make us that special pizza and it was amazing. Who knew cilantro on a pizza could taste this good?

The next day, while trying to decide between Santa Monica or Universal Studios, the concierge told us about this trolley that took us to the Manhattan Beach area for only $5!

trolley to the beach!

While waiting, we took the requisite picture with palm trees.
palm trees and traffic.

A requisite self portrait.

bus stop boredom.

...we also discovered that Joe is freakishly tall.

as tall as the sign!

We had skipped breakfast so we thought it was only appropriate that we started with desserts first.

of course we hunted down a bakery.

cookies and cupcakes and pastries and nomnomnom.

Maple BACON Cupcake!!

maple bacon cupcakes!

And we ended up with these choices.

our choices.

And of all odd reasons, we felt like some Mexican.

nacho salsa

nacho salsa

We stumbled upon an incredible farmer's market. With kebabs and chiropractors. Balloon makers and crepes. Handmade baskets and a shit ton of nannies/kids.

Also, the juiciest peaches and sweetest berries.

farmer's market berries.

It tickled my little eco-conscious lover that they had trash cans for recycling.

recycle trash bins!

We shopped and saw bougainvilleas, which reminded me so much of my childhood and home.

bougainvilleas


flippie-floppies pointless photo.

but more importantly, we found the beach!

manhattan beach.

manhattan beach pier.

manhattan beach.

wait for it...wait for it...


going home take 2

And for dinner, we went to Gladstones in Malibu.

gladstones.

We had a gorgeous view and spent dinner watching a beautiful sunset and making new friends.

freaking gorgeous!

sunset.

sunset dinner

i think i could live here.

For $39.99 a dish, the food was okay. Not incredible but okay. I was a little disappointed.

market seafood pasta.
crusted spice ahi tuna.

But more excitingly, they wrapped up our leftovers! This amused me for hours.

wrapping left overs.

penguin.

The man is a genius!

genius.

That night, we had a glass of wine at the bar. Joe pouted and showed off his unexpected sunburn. Apparently, the rays were a little more vicious than we thought.

boo.

The next day, early, sunblocked, and ready, we took a 7hr "Grand Tour of LA". We pretty much went to every available tourist trap. It was silly, exhausting, disappointing, fun, depressing, annoying, scary, and long. I think we mostly spent the day trying not to remember that I was leaving that night. We'd both been to LA on separate trips so there wasn't really anything new. I think we did it more to do it together and have something to do than anything. It definitely wasn't what we expected but we made the best of it.

tour bus

tour bus

tour bus

And that night, we had dinner at the hotel, did some last minute packing, took the shuttle to the airport, cried and prayed together and then said goodbye.

boarding sad face.
That, that kinda sucked.



-Unknown

Counting Down: Last week in Springfield (in pictures.)

My last week in Springfield...

Joe's mom came for a visit. She made yummy yummy food, helped me pack, and it was nice to know that when Joe came back from LA, he had someone to come home to.



In the meantime, I...

grilled and made up some new recipes.
it ain't the 4th without barbecue.

salmon dill concoction

Painted some pottery w little g and sleepy baby e.

thank god for little girls!

cute little g.

My honorary boo drove in to say bye so we cried, laughed, drank, ate, and took a huge walk down memory lane.

besties.

amycakes!!

i flippin freakin love cupcakes!

yay!

drunken debauchery/farewell.

i love this kid!



and of course, we paid tribute to a time honored tradition.

tradition.

really, he came to participate in a drunken debauchery and a celebration of friends.



drunken debauchery/farewell.





the bromance.






which resulted in my FAVORITE. Picture. Ever.

FAVORITE PICTURE EVER!

in between, I made the room explode tried to pack.

messy cluttered crazy packing.

then I did the hardest thing in the world and said goodbye to my surrogate family.

miss a!

?

artichokes!

liv la.

but what was even neater than artichokes and hollandaise sauce, was being elevated to homemade pizza status.

homemade pizza status!

and then it was over. I ran what felt like six thousand errands, miraculously fit eight years of stuff into three suitcases, made room for all the special cards and gifts, packed and repacked then repacked again, and we were off to LA.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
-William Arthur Ward