keep in touch.


Whenever people move on from one circumstance to another, they say those words. I think people usually mean it sincerely. I usually mean it sincerely when I say “we’ll still talk, it’ll be okay.” At least I think I do. It’s possible that whenever I say that I’m stepping into my motherly instincts…

Regardless, I think it’s hard to actually follow through on those three simple words, no matter how strong the intentions. Someone told me recently that Malcolm Gladwell talks in one of his books about the idea that a human being isn’t actually capable of maintaining every relationship in her/his life. As people move on to new circumstances, they meet new people; these new relationships become more relevant than the old ones and end up taking the focus when it comes to maintaining relationships.
It makes sense. It also makes me feel better about the fact that no matter how good my intentions are when I rest on the old cliche “let’s say ‘see you later’ because ‘goodbye’ is forever,” I find myself only knowing what’s happening in people’s lives because of what they have on facebook. Keeping in touch is a little easier to fake in the 21st Century with technology. It helps everyone to feel a little less guilty.

Last night, I saw a group of people who’ve come to mean a lot to me. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I had arms flung around me and had high-pitched squeals making my ears ring. I’m really hoping that I don’t fail at “keep in touch” this time. But I’m already nervous. As these fantastic women told me how happy they were to see me, I responded with, “You’re acting like I died, I’ve just been at home for a month.”
Apparently I don’t just need to get better at staying in touch, I need to get better at sharing feelings too. Here’s hoping I can start to master both of these things… and cherish the process.
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wisdom tooth.

I think the reason all I could think about this weekend was food is that I knew I’d only be able to eat applesauce and pudding today. I was way more nervous than I should have been about getting a wisdom tooth pulled; I think this might be because I only got one of the two out for now and need to keep going back for annual consultations until the other one’s ready. It’s a little frustrating. Mostly because I don’t handle pain even remotely well.
At this point, I don’t feel any less wise (holla!) but definitely feel like I just chewed on rocks for a few hours (ouch!). Luckily I’ve had my friends on ESPN and BET to get me through the day… and my teddy bear.

food.

I realized this weekend how large a role food plays in the relationships I have.
It’s possible that this is because I’m the pickiest eater in the history of the world. It’s pretty easy for me to determine how close my relationship with a person is when we have a meal together; some people are surprised when I order food at a restaurant that couldn’t be any more boring, while others are not even a little taken back when they see what I bring home from the grocery store (As a side note, I should be honest about the fact that I’m working really hard to not be as childish with what I eat, but it’s a much longer process than one would assume).
This weekend, I had a lot of “out of the ordinary” food experiences, mostly because I was trying to avoid going to the grocery store and the only thing that I had left in my pantry was oatmeal.
Friday night, one of my friends made us a dinner where she tried to “trick” me into eating a fancy version of mac and cheese. She was surprised when I was right in my thinking that children (and 22-year old women) can tell the difference if there’s a secret ingredient in an old favorite. That being said, I was a little surprised that her butternut squash flare didn’t completely ruin mac and cheese for me.
Saturday, I went to the Milwaukee Public Market and ate lunch while overlooking everyone shopping, after making small talk with the cashier who was confused at how basic my order was. I met my parents for a drink and appetizers, and then went to dinner with someone at a hidden gem of an Italian restaurant about a half hour from where I grew up (Seriously, go here if you ever have the chance). The waitress responded with “cheese and what” when we ordered our pizza, yet again reminding me that I don’t eat like an adult. It was a bit of a relief that I experienced this moment with someone who knew well enough before we ordered that I’d want only cheese… more proof that the people closest to me know how I eat.
And today, I made chocolate chip pancakes. There’s only one stove where I ever cook these for breakfast, not because I particularly love chocolate chip pancakes, but because sometimes certain foods are important to certain relationships. I also realized how frequently I eat noodles and red sauce.
While it’s completely true that all of these meals showed that I need to become more of an adult when it comes to how I approach meals, they had something even more important in common: they were all paired with valuable conversation that made me feel even more “full” than the food I was eating.
The strength of the relationships I have is proven by the interactions that happen over food; that’s something I’ve always been aware of. The beautiful thing, though, is that those same interactions are what makes the relationships I have even stronger.
In short, my discovery of the weekend was this:

Good food with good people brings great conversation; a good drink doesn’t hurt matters either.

January 6, 2012

January 7, 2012

January 8, 2012

cherish.

After two weeks of no real responsibilities, I’ve realized I’m really bad at having free time. I anticipated this happening because free time has always been a pretty foreign concept in my life, so I started planning my couple months off before they actually happened. For someone who’s typically a pretty good planner, I didn’t do so well. The one thing I told myself was that I’d enjoy my first opportunity to relax since I can remember, and I would figure out any way to make that happen.
I got a new camera as a graduation present, something that I decided would help to make these couple months of self-discovery much more enjoyable. I’ve been taking pictures of a lot of things, many that don’t actually “deserve” to be photographed. One of the pledges I made to myself was to take at least one picture every day in 2012. I’ve been pretty successful so far, but a lot of that is due to the fact that I have tried to find beauty and value in things that seem pretty ordinary.
My motivation for all of this… my word for the year is cherish. I came upon the idea to choose one word as a focus for the year ahead on a blog that I’ve become a big fan of. You can see the post here. I decided that in a year full of as many big changes as mine is bound to be, I need to have a positive mentality going in. I knew that my two months of “unemployment” to start my post-grad career would probably make me crazy if I didn’t think about the benefits. Moving to a new city alone in June and leaving behind everything that’s always been comfortable would be a disaster if I didn’t tell myself ahead of time that I would have fun. I decided that I needed to not only cherish all of these major things in the next year of my life, but the little moments as well.
So, I’m going to blog. Because I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, and I really want to remember everything that I cherished. I’d journal, but I’m a little spastic about having my home catch on fire one day and watching all of my memories burn to ashes. Evidently this blog will also be a way for me to show everyone how embarrassing and irrational my true thought process is.
Here are the photos I’ve chosen to represent each of my days so far this year:

January 1, 2012

January 2, 2012

January 3, 2012

January 4, 2012

January 5, 2012