Tag Archives: family

Wine & Love v.4

8 Mar

Hosted by Nora

I missed last week’s Wine & Love post and actually considered skipping this week, too. Life has been infringing on my writing time! I decided, though, that it’s far more important to me to make this a real priority. Perspective is integral to maintaing my own sanity, so without further ado …

… Wines …

  • I’m feeling restless again. My new job and new apartment sated me for a while, but apparently not long enough. I’m trying to figure out what I need to change (my location? my mindset?) to still my itching-to-go legs.
  • This week has been insanely busy. Between work and hectic social plans, I’ve had almost no time for myself and I think my body’s angry at my neglect.
  • I’m at a point where I feel very torn between the sentimental value of all my things and the undeniable impulse to get rid of all of it. This is both new and frustrating and I’m not sure where to go from here.

… Loves …

  • I’ve been having weekly Skype dates with Katie! It (almost) feels like we’re hanging out for real.
  • I successfully surprised Adam for his 25th birthday. He was so shocked and excited and we had so much fun celebrating! (Aside from the part where he blacked out and almost broke his foot. That’s probably in his “Wine” column this week.)
  • Despite the chaos, I’m so happy to have gotten to connect with some of my favorite people. Friends from college, old jobs, and my stepsister all made it onto my social calendar this week!
  • Being a vegetarian for March – so far, so good! Maybe I’ll dub this Meatless March. (Why did I just think of that?)
  • The Hunger Games (!) and the Kindle app for my iphone (!). Enough said.

As usual, go link up with Nora and let us both know what you’re loving and w(h)ining about this week!

Wine & Love v.3

23 Feb

Hosted by Nora

Presented without additional comment…

… Wines …

  • I’m totally have one of those ugh weeks. I’ve been cranky and irritable for absolutely no reason. Ugh.
  • I totally failed at making time for myself this week. I haven’t worked out, eaten well, or written at all. All of these things make me feel better when I make time for them and I know that – so it’ aggravates me that I slacked this week.
  • Since I’ve eaten like crap this week, I don’t feel great about my body right now. I know, I know, here’s the girl-comment-on-being-fat. I’m not fat, I just know I can feel better. I just need to take care of myself!
  • I still don’t have enough time to do everything I want. I’m going to whine about this every week until I find a solution that I love and can implement it.

… Loves …

  • My brother was in town for President’s Day weekend! We went out and got all drunkity one night and then my mom and stepdad came to hang out with us. We saw “The Vow” and my mom cried three times or possibly for the entire movie. Then we visited one of my aunts. It was a really good weekend balanced between family and friends and partying and chilling out.
  • The night Adam and I went out, Alana came too! It was so fun to meet her – I have to say she’s totally awesome (Hey, Alana!). I cannot wait to make her be my new friend here and also hang out in Vegas!
  • Speaking of meeting bloggy people, tonight I’m going to Bob‘s birthday party! We started g-chatting pretty regularly when we discovered he’s friends with a bunch of girls I know from college and now I get to meet him!
  • I’m going to the Poconos this weekend to ski. This should be interesting, considering it’s been 60 degrees and sunny all week, but whatever. I can’t wait to sprawl out in front of the fire with a bunch of friends, exhausted after flying down snowy (or not) hills all day, and roast marshmallows.

Everyone’s On Fire, or That Time My Grandma Set Me Up

13 Jan

So I got fired recently. Oh, you heard about that? Ok well lucky for you that’s not the point of this story.

I sent the obligatory Crappy Life Update Email to my ginormous immediate family since they are all (very loving) gossip mongers and hounds and if I didn’t tell everyone the (simple) story myself, it would snowball out of control until what really happened is that I was actually lit on fire.

(Yes, I actually got laid off, which is different from getting fired, but I didn’t want to make a joke about my family thinking I got laid. Or something.)

Moving on. So my grandma calls me shortly after this email goes out. She’s so frantic you might assume she was actually on fire, but no, she’s just very concerned and loves me very much and wants to know how I’m doing.

Unfortunately, it’s in this same conversation that I have to admit to having a boy roommate. It sounds like her already palpitating heart comes to a complete halt until she very nicely composes herself and accepts my explanation that it is 2012 and girls can live with boys and not date them and not be awkward and also not be destined to burn in hell. (Again, with the fire. That was unintentional.)

After her shock wears off and she’s sure I’m definitely not on fire or going to be on fire or suffering some deep emotional duress from being laid off (hold the sex jokes here, it’s my grandma), she has some other news.

Her friends from church have a daughter who just moved to New York. Will I please call her?

Seriously – that’s what she says to me. “My friends from church have a daughter who just moved to New York City. Can you call her?”

I said, Grandma, that’s awkward. But if you get me her e-mail address I’m happy to reach out to her that way!

Did I mention my grandma lives in Idaho? Can you imagine that phone call?

“Hi, Sara. [Oh, yeah, we have the same name, too.] This is Sara. My grandma knows your parents at church in Idaho. Want to hang out in NYC?”

Right? Awkward.

But then I get a letter in the mail with some stationery with Sara’s information printed on it. All of Sara’s information. Her e-mail address, her phone number, and her physical address. Like I might mail her something. Grandmas!

So I got this letter the other day and I sent Sara an email seeing if she wanted to hang out. Of course she did, since I’m nice and we have the same name and we are both from Idaho and now we’re in New York. Also, since she’s new and wants to make friends.

I met Sara today at Cafe Lalo, which is that super cute cafe featured in that horribly dated movie You’ve Got Mail, which is of course all about being introduced by that awkward old guy telling you that … you’ve got mail.

Appropriate setting, I think, for a blind friend-date set up by my grandma. In Idaho.

Oh, and there’s still no one on fire. Or getting laid.

10 Years Later: September 11

9 Sep

The day started like any other, as it did for most people. I went to school. First period came and went and sometime in the middle of second period – it was History, my least favorite subject – the principal came on over the loudspeaker. I can’t remember what he said, but Ms. Jakymec turned on the classroom TV immediately. And there it was.

One of the Twin Towers, a gaping, flaming, smoking hole on its side.

And then the second plane hit.

We all sat there, mouths agape. The room stilled. Everyone just stared. Even Ms. Jakymec, not one for being silent, seemed to be lost for words.

It was like watching an action film, but it was real and live and happening now. Minutes passed and it slowly dawned on us that there was no way this wouldn’t affect each and every one of us. Living 60 miles outside New York City in southwestern Connecticut, everyone had family, friends, or friends with family living in Manhattan.

The peer counselors were called to the office, which included me. We were expected to be the strong ones, available to lend support to any other student who might need a shoulder to cry on or maybe just reassurance that it would all be ok.

We just sat there in the office in stunned silence. No one could speak and when we could, words just seemed pointless. No one had any answers about anything. Why was this happening? Who caused it? Was it over? Were they going after other cities? My mind leaped to my dad, who at that time worked in the John Hancock building in downtown Chicago.

Then, my stomach already tangled in knots, my chest already heavy with suffocating anxiety, my eyes stinging with tears of worry and confusion, I got a call from my mom. My aunts, I thought, fear gripping and then releasing me as my mom explained that they were ok. I’d forgotten that one of her younger sisters worked at 7 World Trade, a building that eventually collapsed entirely that evening. She’d been running late for work; when she came above ground out of the subway, she saw the first plane hit and went straight back home.

The day started like any other and quickly devolved into a numb, chaotic blur. The news playing in the library. The cloudless blue sky. Kids leaving school to drive to Manhattan to catch some of the action. The novelty of a new school year. The not knowing. The images of people jumping out of the towers to escape. Each memory I have from September 11, 2001 plays through my mind like a television losing reception. All but one:

It was picture day. My curly hair had cooperated for once and I’d worn a bright pink shirt to make my dark eyes and rosy cheeks pop. I was a junior in high school, just eight days shy of the 17th birthday that would finally grant me the privilege of going to rated R movies without my mom.

My eyes were puffy from tears but it was time to sit for the photo. I forced a smile, but it doesn’t extend past my mouth. Every time I see that portrait, I’m reminded that minutes earlier I’d been crying on what would become one of the most historic days in US history. My least favorite subject.

On Loss, Hurting, and Reaching Out

8 Apr
Note to Readers: This blog is semi-anonymous. It’s easy to figure out who I am and if you know me personally, it’s easy to figure out who I’m talking about. I wrote the following post a while ago and I think it’s important but I ask that you honor the anonymity of it.

My phone vibrated a little after midnight. I was awake, but debated whether to look at the message or just force myself to sleep. Curiosity got the best of me and I scurried across the cold wood floor in bare feet and a t-shirt to my lit-up phone. It was a bbm.

You’re not by any chance up are you? If you are please call me.

I found her in my contacts and pressed send, not knowing what I’d hear on the other end. Would she be crying? Was everything ok? Was it a drunk dial we’d laugh about or was her heart breaking – again – like the last time I got a bbm like that?

She was crying. Everything was not ok. No one was drunk and her heart was breaking, but not for the reason I’d imagined initially. I was worried he broke up with her – turns out the news was unimaginably worse.

She sobbed into the phone. His dad killed himself today.

It was like the wind was knocked out of me. Crouching in my covers in the dark, I felt that pull of tragic devastation, that ache that spreads from the back of your throat and into the pit of your stomach. Tears sprang to my eyes. I’d never met him, but it didn’t matter.

Suicide is the most shocking act. When someone dies of old age, it’s considered natural. When someone is murdered, their killer is a monster. When someone succumbs to a physical illness, it’s tragic but there’s something to blame. But what do you do when the illness that takes over – and wins – is a mental one? When the person you’ve lost is the sole cause of their departure from your life? What then?

We agreed there aren’t enough curse words in the English language to articulate the pure gut-wrenchingness of something like this. Fuck, shit, goddamnit. This SUCKS. They all sound so trite, so useless, and maybe that’s because suicide, the ultimate act of helplessness, leaves only emptiness and confusion in its wake.

I got off the phone – she was at the subway, it was late in London – and as soon as my head hit the pillow, the tears came. Warm, wet, silent, seeping into my pillow and down my nose. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to have never lost a family member or close friend to suicide, but the tragedy is not lost on me.

Depression runs in my family and those closest to me have suffered greatly (but have thankfully overcome their demons). I’ve seen it firsthand – the pain, isolation, and hopelessness that surrounded my brother. And yet, he’s here today. (You might recall the entire reason I got my tattoo.)

So when someone doesn’t make it through, when someone hits rock bottom and allows the belief that up is too far to go and maybe not even worth it, it’s heartwrenching in the worst way.

It reminds me that I need to be grateful every single day for the people in my life and that I need to let them know how much I care about them. For everyone and anyone questioning it, believe me, you matter so much.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts – or even just needing someone to talk to – please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are people who care about you. You would be missed.
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