on the run.

so here is the deal. i have grown up, in the blog sense, and gotten myself my own domain. FANCY, I KNOW. i’ll be updating my rss feed so any of you subscribed there should be safe (all four of you.) but if you visit a bookmarked link or you’re an email subscriber, visit lolasangria.com to a) see the new pretty and b) make sure you can keep reading. unless you don’t want to. no hard feelings.

so. head on over to the new lolasangria.

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come together.

now we know.

there was a time when we dove into friendship with such abandon, a time when it was irresponsible but it was ok because we were together. we forged bonds from steel and iron and i could have told you, those days, who my bridesmaids would be. i could have told you who i would marry. i was wrong on all counts.

i approach with trepidation. i let my heart jump but i stay quiet, on the outside, until i know. it used to be that i would throw my stories out there to anyone who would listen and some who didn’t, some who i just hoped would. and perhaps i don’t have the balance right still, i know i’ve revealed details too soon and i’ve scared people away with them but i like to think that i’ve learned, at least somewhat, the art of facade. and when the right time is to let it drop.

the thing about inexperience is that you never, you can’t, appreciate the process. when i was seventeen i made a friend over three nights in a hotel, where we talked on our little hotel phones and told our life stories. when i was thirteen i made a friend on a bus ride back from boston, where the windowshades and our shared love of chapstick served as our glue, for that day. but never through these could i step back and realize what i was doing. i could never appreciate the linking as it happened, i couldn’t see the bond as a third entity, like i do now.

and now, it grows and i can watch it, and it’s beautiful, the unfolding, and even moreso when it’s seen. we talk for a long long time and i am laughing, and it’s been a long long time since i’ve felt the newness of a connection. for the first time i have the sense to be grateful. i feel like i talk too much about gratitude, and it’s a word that’s bandied about the personal devleopment sector of the internet with reckless abandon, and there should be another way to say it. i have the sense to know that i am participating in something special, something rare. to know that i am lucky, so lucky for this.

the stories we bear.

how do we tell these stories.

i was born in chaos. borne into chaos. i had a dream that i was never sure was a dream of being held in my mother’s arms as a car spun out of control in las vegas.

tell me when the tales become yours.

the concept of history as we grow, the weight of it, what we let matter and what we don’t. what we tell people. there are these stories, you see, and these stories when they’re told properly, they make us. the draw the physical shape in the air of who we are, they show the core that cannot otherwise be seen.

does anything ever get erased.

we spend hours, days, years drilling down to the barest essence, that which is essential, what it means to be. a millenia of study on what might be contained within us, and this is the discipline i undertook, and i remember never feeling more full. everything i ever wanted to know, i thought i was the only one, and there were so many more who asked the same questions.

relief lies within solidarity and connection. or does it.

health. and stuff.

but it’s different this time.

side note: i am having a really problem not “shit girls say”-ifying everything in my head. like that right up there. but it’s different this time.

i’ve done this before. i’ve hopped on the healthy train, i’ve sworn off x, y, or z. i’ve told myself i will exercise every day or 3x per week or something. i have always failed, within a month.

last week i went to a zumba class, with a groupon i bought with some coworkers. it was so fun, but also, kind of torturous. i hadn’t had to really look at myself in a mirror in a long time, in stretchy workout clothes. i had not really seen myself and shit. myself didn’t really look like myself.

i am a size 12. i am probably around 155 pounds (which is a fairly hefty sum for a girl that’s barely over 5′, for those who are not good at calculating such things). i am not going to go railing on about how fat i am, because really, i’m not, and i know that. i also am not going to buy a scale, because i’ve played dangerous games with those before that i have no intention of revisiting. the reason it’s not frightening me to blare those numbers all over the internet is because they don’t own me or scare me anymore. they are numbers. they say very little, really.

but i don’t feel like me. and i know sugar (my god, sugar), and dairy and baked goods and indian takeout etc, etc, are not helping that sad fact. i know that salads and lean protein and fruits and vegetables will probably help that sad fact get better, along with physical activity. it sounds so gym class, right, physical activity?

so i’ve been to zumba and i’ve been to bellydancing class and i’ve been getting up early and spending half an hour with jillian micheals. i’m reminded (again) of how amazing and energetic i feel for the rest of the day when i make exercise the first thing i do. i wonder (again) why i ever let this habit go. i eat a lot of salad (a LOT of salad, guys. like, i have small salads for snacks.), and my stomach issues disappear and i don’t feel inflated all of the time. i cut out 90% of the sugar i’d been eating and after three days i don’t really want it anymore, save for the natural kind in fruits (pears. clementines. mmmm). i am not the emotional wreck that i normally am, and i’m actually able to calm down after about 10 minutes of being mad at my boyfriend, instead of raging all night. and i feel better. i just feel so much better.

and like i said, i’ve done this before. but i’ve never truly done it with a positive or healthy attitude. i’ve never said “this makes me feel good today, so this is what i will do”. i’ve sure as hell never said “i don’t even really care if i don’t lose weight. i’d really like to fit into my old clothes, but if i don’t, i’ll live with what i am”. i’ve never said, “you’re not a complete fuck up if you eat a brownie after a week of health and greens and such”. and now, i am saying all of those things. i feel better, and i feel good, and i’d really like to keep doing the things that help me feel that way. and if for some reason i don’t, after a while, the sky won’t fall and i’m not some kind of failure.

so. onward we march. (aka, i do not ever really know how to end blog posts).

 

reminders.

it’s a small reminder.

all it takes to make my eyes sting a bit, to grip my heart in a quicktight vise. a tiny mention of something we shared, something he introduced me to, and it’s impossible not to set off these little bells, impossible not to remember a different time.

i had a friend in the deepest sense i’d ever known that phrase, the deepest sense i ever may. we had a push pull tidal flow that was entirely too intermixed, probably codependent, maybe dangerous, but no one has ever been further under my skin. it was the only time i ever really thought about moving elsewhere, the only time i could see myself building a new life, because it was that important that we be close to each other, that torturous that 1200 miles separated us always. our bond was forged with the thickest links of iron you could ever picture and we swore it was for always.

i tell stories of how i have seen the first target store and how once i ate a whole chipotle burrito AND chips and guacamole because i was so hungry, about how once my plane had to circle and was going to get diverted and i was terrified because we had a concert to go to that night. i don’t tell stories of how i never felt more perfect or alive or right than when we were sitting in the grass outside of an amusement park waiting for the time of the afternoon when it would get cheaper to enter and watching the roller coaster go by above our heads. i don’t tell stories of how i know it was the moment my hand was taken while riding an escalator in an indian casino that changed things.

we broke each other’s hearts all of the time, in new and creative and different ways. the last time we spoke was almost three years ago. the last words we exchanged were screams. the weeks went by and i was bitter and by the time i wasn’t, it was too late. i put out my olive branch and all i heard back was silence. the line is dead, now.

bonds break and friendships die. some truths are hard, and ice cold. i don’t have to try not to speak of this, because i am always trying not to think of this. i know this is how you craft an identity, how you bury your raw bits beneath a layer so they are not exposed always.

winterlight.

winterlight.

i love the sunset, here. i’ve moved the bed and when i’m sitting upright on a day off from work, the only glow in the room is from the tv which i’ve put on pause and the computer i ran out to grab, ran because it’s cold and i need to be under the blanket. so i look out from where my head goes in this bed and it’s the crack between the curtain and the window, and behind this house i see the back of a six story apartment building that is brick painted white but it’s the dark rusted fire escapes that give it the right touch. reminds me i’m in a city after all.
i fall in love with the way the top of the building hits the sky when the light is like this, when it’s a thin pale glow, when the colors are muted, when everything is taken down, taken back, a notch. he asks me what i’m looking at and i say, “nothing”, as though it is my secret.  and i watch the lights go on and off in those homes, and i wonder what’s going on inside. and i watch the clouds go by against the building, against the bare tree branches. my secret slice of world.

variables.

and i think, and so do you, probably sometimes, because it is drilled into us, that when we have x and when we do x and when we have achieved x it will all be complete and that gauze of happiness will settle over us finally and it will be permanent.

i am learning so many things at this point in my life. i feel like i am learning all of the damn time and i feel like they are important lessons and i’m good with that, really, because i am a girl who loves to learn. loves. give me new information and i will eat it up like breakfast.

so that first statement i made, i’m learning how false it is. and i’m thinking, for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, about what it is i really want. really, really want. and if the things i have always thought i wanted, that make for a nice white picket fence life, are things i actually do want. maybe i don’t. maybe i only want what they represented. and i think about lives that seem boring and lives that seem exciting and i think of the people i know who are happy and unhappy in each, and i think it might finally be sinking into me, the concept of individuality in desire.

choice. it is the idea of choice that has been my most important lesson, recently in this life.

i’ve discussed with a few friends the idea that in my past, i always had a situation at which to direct my mental energy (which is a huge, probably larger than normal amount. i feel like i have ten bouncy balls going around my head at all times, if not more. i don’t know if it’s a real thing or a condition or WHAT, but it is my brain, and leads to a lot of my type a, neurotic tendencies). and for the first time, for the past two years, i’ve had nothing of the sort, and those urges are rising to the surface and affecting my normal, regular life. and it’s good, because i’m a hard worker and i’m ambitious and i try so hard to keep life in order, and it’s bad, because it’s really hard to keep life in order in every moment and then i feel like i am failing at all of the things.

but it is a choice. it is a choice to control my tendencies and control my feelings, a notion the bouncer introduced to me and one over which we had some vicious fights, and a wisdom i finally see. and perhaps, soon, i’ll finally be able to answer the question, of what it is that i really really want. and for once, i’m ok with the indecision.

#BiSC. finally.

my god, the number of times i’ve hit “new note” in evernote this past week to write a new potential blog post is astounding. 

 
three years ago my life was different. yours was too, i’m sure. three years is longer than we think. three years ago i was sitting in my bedroom in queens, in a house i shared with two other girls, only one of whom i speak to anymore. i was single for the first time in four years and more importantly, my heart was unattached for probably the first time ever. i wanted fun. i wanted to distance myself from being the girl who felt too many damn things, who wrote morose shit on the internet, who didn’t know how to get by without being at war with something.
 
i was doing a really good job of turning into that creature. hardly any weekend nights went by when i wasn’t out til four, five, six am and i kept everything just at surface level. and i found this community of people, who seemed to be funny, and awesome, and sadly, not in new york. but wait! they were doing this thing! in vegas! it was inconceivable to me at that point to just jump into something, so i watched from afar, kind of wistfully. and i told myself maybe next year. by the next year, i was no longer about the fun. and the year after that, i had the sparks of desire in me again, to go, but i told myself that i couldn’t afford it. really, i was terrified.
 
i’ve talked about this before. i haven’t accomplished what i intended to with this blog, but what i’ve realized is that i had the wrong intentions. i set out to put a very specific side of me in this space, and i am so much more than that. yet it’s still a part of me. people, we have facets, who knew?! 
 
so look. i get that i’m not the typical 20 something blogger. this space is not all sweetness and light and funny. it might not be any of those things, ever. but i have changed into a person who is not hiding in the corner anymore, terrified of not being enough of anything. and this year, i’m doing it. after a midnight conversation in bed with the lights already turned out, i realized i had to. 
 
so in four months i’m going to vegas with 59 other bloggers for bloggers in sin city (also known as #BiSC on the twitters). some of them i have never heard of, some of them i already read, some of them i have met, some of them i have worked with in stratejoy groups. and i am thrilled.
 
as a special bonus, paperd app, an iphone wallpaper app developed by some of the same cool people that are putting on #BiSC, will be refunding one person’s registration fee. i am hoping and praying it’s me. if it isn’t i’ll be insanely happy for the person who IS chosen.
 
so me. may. vegas. 59 other bloggers, probably 50 of whom are strangers to me. LET’S EFFING GO.

august break, revisited.

so i got me a pretty (and fancy, by my standards) camera for christmas. i am a lucky girl, in many ways.

it’s a fuji finepix. it has all sorts of neat settings regarding aperture and shutter speed. so, i present to you, a brooklyn christmas.

hey look, i have a camera! here is my bedroom!
(funny note: the ladder is in the hallway because i roasted a chicken in an aluminum pan. i also have a crappy oven and i do a bunch of cooking, so i also have an oven thermometer that hangs from the rack. the oven thermometer poked a hole in the bottom of the chicken roasting pan and i had chicken drippings making frighteningly smoky conditions and the smoke alarm was going off every six minutes. ah, holidays.)


snowflakes were my theme this year.

what was left after making nutella brownies. it did not last long.

this was a sweet potato souffle. it was damned delicious.

this was the end of a steak pinwheel. it was also damned delicious.

this is the door of a tattoo shop around the corner from me. i keep intending to get my nose repierced there one of these weekends.

cheap decorations at the local discount store. why yes, i did look like a fool walking around my neighborhood with a camera on my neck.

abita beer in the grocery store. the actress really likes abita. i don’t drink beer (or anything with bubbles), but i try to know these things about my friends.

my block, slightly overexposed. i am fond of too much light in pictures, i find.

also on my block. also overexposed. also, yes, those are really lots of shoes on a power line and yes, i think that is the most pointless thing ever and no, i don’t know if it means a drug dealer lives here. i haven’t met any so far.

this is a wee wizard candle. they were very popular when i was a teenager and people had collections. now, i can barely find them. i love this little dude.

a bell ornament.

a snowflake ornament. i said that was the theme, remember?

i am digging my camera. one of my goals for 2012 is to foster creativity and i plan on incorporating photography into that and incorporating that into my blog/the internet somehow, so we’ll see how it comes out. i think a project 365 will be a bit much for me – let me know if you have any ideas (and yes, i am already thinking of copying the deep old desk’s photo fridays…)

an excerpt.

y’all know i hopped on the stratejoy bandwagon this year. i’ve done two courses with molly and also have the journal prompts, which i’m woefully behind on (and i’m forgiving myself for that. forgiving. right now. see, i have learned things!). it’s been a rather transformational experience.

for a very long time, i can see now, i did not want joy. and even now, i waver. that may (will probably) seem silly to you folk at home but – well, we are all different, right? for a long time i thought the only way to be beautiful or to have depth was to be tragic. for a long time i thought i wasn’t made for happiness or joy or anything positive at all – i thought it was in my bones to be darker than that. i side-eyed positivity with an envious glare, but a glare nonetheless. i thought that joy was pinkness and asinine quotes and essentially trite, and i wanted no part of it because i was better than that, or because really, it was terrifying.

to be open to happiness is frightening. it means leaving a dark little cave that is dark and little but also quite comfortable, because we are creatures that consider comfort to be what we know. it means trying, and changing. it means being prepared for disappointment. it means work, guys, it really does.

i hesitate in saying that i am fully ready, and fully open. i am still afraid, tentative. but i, at the very least, will proudly declare my tentativeness. i speak often of chains of my own making and this, this commitment to pain, was one of them. and i don’t feel it anymore. i know now that it is a choice, and that i, like anyone else, can choose something else.

in order to do the courses and prompts, i needed a journal – something the actress got me for my birthday. another pretty notebook from my friend kim over at the deep old desk is supplementing with some other work. the latest course i did involved several free writing exercises, and as i was looking over it the other night, i couldn’t even remember writing this. but i love it, so here, i share.

the question was, what is it time for?

it is time to be unafraid. it is time to let go of expectations. it is time to leap forward. it is time to laugh. be a force. stride. learn and explore without hesitation. light up. light it all on fire. dance. exist purely. let it all shine. let go of the prickly layer. stop hurting. time for real love. burst forth.