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Behind the Windowpane

January 22, 2018

After dark, the streets of London are quiet, and the sky is a hazy grey. Everything but the bars and restaurants are closed and, behind fogged windows that are smeared with condensation, people gather. They are shadows behind the glass, mere outlines on display.

Candle flames flicker on the linen-draped tables, and a faint melody seeps from beneath the door and into the streets. Jazz music. Clattering dishes. Laughter and loud, fluid conversation—the kind that only happens when everyone has had a drink, or two.

The shadows move about the small and intimate dining room while a server carries a tray; another pours a bottle of wine. A chef and his line cooks move swiftly behind the open counter and a woman in a sequenced cocktail dress hugs a mic-stand like a long-lost lover; her voice is smoke and velvet.

Outside the clouds begin to drizzle and drops of water fall softly against the window. Everyone clinks glasses of expensive champagne, taking small sips between bites of culinary magic.

I stare, my frozen nose is almost touching the wet glass. Plunging my hands deeper into my coat pockets, I  steal one more glance of the world happening behind the windowpane before turning back to the quiet street—to my reality. And then I hurry along so that I don’t miss the night bus.

Just let it be

August 23, 2017

It’s been a day. I’m not in a place to write, at least not my preferred space—but maybe that is the best space to be in.

I’m moving, again, for the what feels like the one-millionth time in the last three years. I’m packing and sorting and donating and selling all my belongings. And I’m budgeting. I’m squinting my eyes and scrunching my nose as I try to understand all the numbers. All the bills and statements and balances that look like boring numbers on a screen but really hold a lot of value since they determine how I will eat, sleep, and survive in the world’s most expensive country. Why isn’t there another zero? I think. Shouldn’t there be another zero?

Today I allowed my emotions get the best of me. I should have stopped, breathed. I should have grabbed my yoga mat at the first sign of craze and forced myself to slow down, close my eyes, and breathe. I didn’t do that. Instead, I set my inner crazy free. I yelled and vented over texts at my husband who is fishing in the middle of the ocean. Can you imagine? He’s literally standing on a boat in the Pacific as his phone dings every few minutes with frantic messages from his stressed-out wife.

And then I cried. I felt it coming on early in the evening and, when I found out my plans for this weekend aren’t going to go as planned, tears began to stream—no pour—like a dam that needed to be set loose months ago. It was the tip. It was that one thing that doesn’t really matter but sets loose all the other things that don’t really matter. The last straw to break the camels back. Except it’s my back.

And like a tidal way, it all hit at once. Have you ever experienced that? You are standing in the ocean, playing in the waves like a carefree child when all of a sudden a monster rolls in. It’s unexpected and angry, clawing for you as it approaches with a possessive roar. You don’t have time to run—you barely saw it coming—and so you brace; you wait for it to hit. You are tossed and thrown, sand and salt seep in your mouth and eyes and lungs and ears. You can’t hear,  see, or breathe. You must let it take you. As much as you want (or need) control, you are forced to be overcome.

I feel all of this right now. This wave, the one that came out of nowhere. It’s knocked me to my knees and forced me to surrender. It hurts and frustrates me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I’m choosing this path. I’m not allowed to complain or feel anything other than bliss and joy and gratitude, right?


Blah. Blah. Blah.

I don’t think you are supposed to use Blah in writing, but that’s all I can think to type right now. Life is hard, but it’s not. The future is scary, but it’s not. I need to breathe, to ground myself in the present moment.

But sometimes I feel blah. And I feel like I’ve been tossed by a wave. I want to cry. Is that okay? Am I allowed to cry? To rage, even if only for a minute?

(deep breath)

To anyone feeling the pounding in your head tonight, the tears hot behind your eyes—here is your permission to do whatever it is you need to do. Breathe. Rage. Meditate. Drink wine. Whatever it is, do it. Whatever you feel, feel it. Sometimes the dam needs to be set free. Sometimes the wave will come. Thankfully, relief follows. Grace and self-love and the reminder that every day is a beautiful gift comes. We’re only human. Blah or bliss, tears or smiles, let it be. Just let it be. 

On Community

June 5, 2017

Community is not found but built.

It does not often look like parties, dancing feet and wild laughter (although sometimes it does). Community warms your skin. Like the fading sun on a sweet summer night, it pours gently on the walls of a tiny room, enveloping the few who gather with open ears and honest hearts.

Community sounds of stillness, of gentle tears, shed over raw, scary truths. It sounds like silent cheers and kind permissions; space created, so we don’t have to face life alone.

Community is everything we need, and it is everything we fear. It requires us to show up in ways that stretch our souls and expose the truths we work so hard to hide.

And community is grace. It is having grace when grace isn’t given. It is showing up, despite humanity, and believing in the power of interlocked fingers and tender hugs.

Community is built, not found.