Okay. Glasses smudge-free? Check! Well-lit area? Check! Take-away coffee within reach? Check.
Let’s do this.
Hello again. It’s been a while, I know. And I’m not placing blame on you, of course. It seems my ridiculous schedule of Wedding Contest Promoting, Little-Sister Birthday Party Planning, and Traversing 11,583 Kilometers from Montreal to Vegas to Dublin to Amsterdam had become quite the distraction from this beautiful thing we’ve got going here…. but all that is in the past. My apologies for keeping you hanging. I’m back now, and ready to fully commit to this relationship. Promise.
There. Now that’s done. Moving on….
Holy Ganesha has this past month been a doozy! (Kind of like trying to master a full Scorpion pose the first time you attend a casual yoga class. Hello! Pretty overwhelming!) Not only was I not able to even begin to sit down and gather my thoughts long enough to record them because of my time constraints, but also so much seems to have happened in such a short amount of time, the sheer idea of trying to communicate all the craziness of these four short weeks has been too daunting a task for me to face. It’s not even a question of whether I was lacking Inspiration or not, it’s that Inspiration was suffocating me! When the whole world is screaming at me to write about it, and all I have the energy to do is take a 20 minute power nap, chug a sugar-free Rockstar and get back to my To Do list, it’s almost more than I can take. However, while working at *trendy yoga/running gear company in Vancouver the first half of this year, one mantra (subtly scribbled alongside the recyclable bags from the store) that actually stuck with me was “Do it now.”
*Name of said trendy yoga/running gear company has been retracted to protect the cult-member-like ambassadors of the brand.
Confession: I have a tendency to Procrastinate. I’ve been like this my whole life. As in, “Well, I can’t really see the floor of my bedroom through all the clutter, clean and/or dirty clothes, magazines, empty hair-spray bottles, Playbills, and the like. I guess I’ll pick up a little. Just as soon as I finish this page…”
Once I actually started listening to my Recyclable Bag Mantra, I found myself doing the dishes as soon as we were finished with dinner, or starting my day with asana practice rather than telling myself I’d do it later. Things would get done, my space became clutter free, and I actually feel more at ease with life in general since there doesn’t seem to be too much hanging over my head to get done anymore. So. What does that have to do with this? Good question, I knew I liked you for a reason. Well, I’ve been putting off and putting off and putting……. off……. catching up on our communication that the list of things I have to journal has just become overbearing. Since my college degree is actually in Theatre (Performance), I feel it only suitable at a time like this to give you the CliffsNotes version of September so that we can move readily ahead into my second delicious European Adventure. That’s right Professor Brewer, I never read Death of a Salesman. I was 19 and far too concerned with alternating my Juicy Couture sweat-suits to pay attention to literary genius. Sue me.
Whoever invented bullet points, I commend you.
- On my way back to Vegas from Montreal, after careful observation at each airport, I thought it only fair that I share a piece of travel advice with you. When you go to the airport, relax. Meaning, don’t be that girl in line who starts to freak out the second someone cuts the queue. Don’t be that guy that heaves a massive sigh of disgust when you have to take your laptop out of your carry-on to send it through security. Don’t be that person that treats the airline staff like rubbish when they tell you your bags have been delayed. It’s the airport. This drama has been going on since the beginning of time (or air-travel) and people still have such high expectations of what their airport experience should be like. It’s shocking to me what a negative energy you literally feel the second you walk through the doors of the place. People just look stressed. Dirty looks left and right, strained eyes, frustrated couples, kids crying. It sounds like a pretty crappy way to start off any vacation or trip home to your family. Try breathing. Remind yourself that your plane will get there when it gets there, your luggage will too. I truly believe you’ll add years to your life if you’re able to relax at the airport. Breathing helps. I had to repeat this to myself several times as I unpacked half of our “over-weight” luggage into an Air Canada box in front of half the airport before they’d put our bags on to get to Vegas. Yes sir, it’s a box of tampons, please stopping staring.
- Some things will never change. This became more and more obvious to me when 4 of my friends from high school came to Vegas for the weekend. These are people I’ve been friends with since I was about 9 years old. After going off to Vegas for college, it was usually several years between the times I’d see these girls. The first of our group of 7 was married this summer and all of us attended the wedding. It was just like old times, both the good and the bad. Now we seem to be making more of an effort to be involved in each other’s lives. Jobs, travel, boyfriends, girlfriends, life… can very easily get in the way. But what is amazing to me is that the moment I’m with these girls again, I’m not the Girl who has made such massive transformations in her life in the past 2 years; I’m 15, in my best friend’s basement, listening to Master P and the Spice Girls, talking about boys and cheerleading, not realizing how quickly these moments would fly past. We’re not The Lawyer, The Teacher, The Sales-Rep, The Yoga Instructor, The Hair-Stylist, The Medical Professional, The School Administrator. We’re just kids. Nothing has changed. If you have a relationship in your life that can make you feel 15 again, cherish it.
- Be careful what you wish for. In my last submission, I wrote about the amazing impact the Freedom2Wed wedding competition was having on my life. The feeling of connection and support was unsurpassed by any other experience I’ve had. It was just as one of my teachers said, the air that you breathe right now has traveled all over the earth to reach you. The love we were cultivating with our participation in the contest was reaching from all sides to support us. I was humbled by it. BUT…. I’d like to call on Newton’s Law of Motion to continue: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The actual process of campaigning to obtain enough votes to win the wedding was exhausting. Training for the half-marathon and p90x were only two of the casualties of this plight. I never thought I’d actually be able to say the words “Today I’m speaking at the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association Annual Brunch”. But I did. In the end, we didn’t win the contest. It was incredibly poetic that the couple that actually testified to the Supreme Court in DC in order to legalize gay marriage there in the first place, took the grand prize. We’re very happy for them. We’re also very happy it’s over… Which leads me to my next point:
- Sometimes you have to spread the Awesome around. My life, my path, has been incredibly blessed. Littered with exceptional people, the gift of travel, unconditional love, luck and amazing circumstance. In no way can I cross my arms and pout about not winning a contest. Or anything else in life that doesn’t go my way. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else have a little bit of Awesome. And to genuinely be happy for them rather than begrudge their good fortune.
- Spring for the Cotton-Candy Machine. Due to the nature of my lifestyle, I’ve missed a lot of important days. Birthdays, Christmas days, school play days. So this year, LJ decided to reorganize her Sweet 16 birthday party around my visit home. I was going to be there for an important one. So, we went all out. Now the presents are forgotten and added to the mess of her bedroom, the 4 foot poster-board lollipops and peppermints we made to add to the “Sweet” 16 theme have been discarded, the cupcakes are long gone. And while I didn’t really have the intention of staying up ’til 2am to make a massive welcome banner, or of making the cream-cheese (YUM! God, help my thighs!) cupcake frosting for her “Cupcake Bar” from scratch, I did. It was a complete labor of love. I got to be there. It was important to her, but also to me. I sprang for the cotton-candy machine, even though we only used it for about 10 minutes. Life’s too short. Make it count when you can.
- Have a conversation with a person over the age of 65. This was my favorite part about our trip to Dublin. While the Hop-On Hop-Off bus ride, the tour of the Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse, the day trip to the Cliffs of Moher (where parts of Harry Potter 6 was filmed!) were all delightful, our last night in Dublin we traveled 25 minutes outside of the city to enjoy traditional irish music, food and dance at “The Merry Ploughboy”. The cab driver that picked us up had to be 72. He actually was the uncle of two of the musicians who ran the pub, and was called on for transport when his nephews got in a bind. His name was Dez. Instead of ignoring that he was there and taking the ride like any other customer, I actually conversed with him the entire swervey ride to and from the pub. ‘A’ was busy trying not to succumb to her motion-sickness. Dez told me all about his life, Dublin, his wife who had recently passed, his one-time trip to the States where he and his wife found themselves staying at the same hotel in San Francisco that was hosting a Transvestite Convention… the Irish truly are story tellers. Perhaps that’s where I get it from. An hours worth of conversation didn’t necessarily change my life, but when he dropped us off back at the Hilton and got out to say goodnight, he held my hand and said “Girl, I feel as though I’ve known you my whole life.” And he hugged me. If you’re not willing to get to know the people of a place you’re visiting, you might as well not take the trip at all.
And that brings me back to Amsterdam. Ah….. Amsterdam. It’s like coming home. I am so very thrilled to be back here again. I don’t suppose much has changed about the city since our stay in 2008. But everything about me has changed. And if I loved this city as much as I did when I didn’t necessarily love myself, I can only imagine how magical it will be for me this time, when I’m the most balanced I’ve ever been.
Okay, there. That does it. You’re all caught up, and we can steadily move on. I’ll report back shortly… over plenty of those european carbs I hold so dearly to my heart. It’s good to be back.