Okay, so I forgot to update a little longer this time... but oh well! That's what happens when you're doing other things like, well, not all that much. I was laid off and I've been trying to get my shit together, pardon my french, to apply to jobs in Germany. I don't know that I've ever mentioned it on here before, but I am indeed bilingual and did indeed live in Germany for a bit in high school. Now feels like it might be the perfect opportunity to try that again!
I'm really not sure what to write about right now, but that's how I always feel when I'm trying to update the blog portion of this just for the sake of updating it. What have I been up to recently? My mom got me an Adventure Cycling subscription for Christmas, so I've been reading the Adventure Cyclist when it gets delivered to me. I've been riding my bike more. I'm off of twitter for the time being (as of right now, the last time I went on was January 7th or 8th, I can't remember which) (though I recently had a friend log on and tweet for me because I worked more on that western-y jacket that's on my projects page here and I wanted to update my buddies) and have recently deleted instagram from my phone. Maybe I really am making that change this time! Who knows! I'm trying to read more. I need to update the books page on here because I have read a few things since I last did. Funny enough, when I first made it in July (? August?) I was reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and then I forgot to finish that book and only just finished it a week or two ago. Again, have read a few things in the meantime. But quite funny and a bit of a full circle moment for me!
I'm thinking about making a page for random thoughts. Almost like this but for things that are more overarching and maybe I'll have larger topics and then divide those into little entries on specific days? Rather than talking about random topics on any given day and having it be chronological the way it is here? I'm not entirely sure.
I discovered Notion the other day. I've been looking for a new job (as you do when you get laid off, have I mentioned that yet? Yeah, I was laid off. They laid me off btw.) and it's got a template for that that's just like the spreadsheet I'd made for myself but, like, infinitely better.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do, career-wise, with my life. I was working as an architectural lighting designer and that's what I studied and I do genuinely enjoy the work, but I've always known that's not necessarily what I want to do with the whole rest of my life. There's so much life to live out there! How am I supposed to know what I want to do! I do think it would be cool to run an artist residency thing. I don't know what that entails or how they work or how I'd even get into that field, but I love the idea of supporting other people in their artistic endeavors and providing them with this peaceful space outside of day to day life to help them connect with themselves and their artwork. I just think I might be better cut out for things like that where I'm doing a variety of tasks and running something in a more logistical way than doing the job I was doing. I'd also love to do something creative myself. But I've been feeling uninspired, artistically, for the better half of a decade now. I feel like there's something I need to break through in order to connect with my artwork and my own style and to improve in a meaningful way. I used to draw people day in and day out and recently all I've been doing is watercolor landscapes. I never used to do watercolors or landscapes and yet, here I am.
I feel like I want to take a break from everything but like make it a really meaningful break. I'm not sure how to make it meaningful! I don't know what I'm doing or what I want! Ugh! I think I'd like to take a few months off before I start working again. Like properly take them off, not like what I've been doing so far. So far, I've been panicking and working on my portfolio and applying to jobs and going to all sorts of little webinars for unemployment and this and that and I've been so tethered to my apartment and to my laptop in a super not fun way. I also have been realizing that it might be time for me to get a new laptop. I was ignoring that before but it's sort of an unavoidable thing now that I'm using my personal laptop all the time rather than having a work laptop anymore. But of course this is becoming apparent now that I'm unemployed and one of the main things about being unemployed is that money is not coming in and you can't afford to buy a new laptop. Or at least you don't want to spend the money on a new laptop.
I tried bringing my clothes to crossroads for the first time today. Previously I'd always organized clothing swaps with my friends and then taken the remaining things to the thrift store, but I decided that I ought to try to sell some of my things if I'm going to be getting rid of them regardless. I was at crossroads for over an hour and got $45 for like eight items. Not too bad, all things considered. I hadn't realized I'd be at the store so long though, otherwise I would've brought a book along. Instead, I was stuck there with my cellphone at 20% and no social media apps to scroll on.
Back to the topic of possibly moving to Germany. I think it would be great, but I've only just moved here a year and a half ago and the idea of having to find new community all over again is, quite frankly, exhausting. But the idea of getting to live somewhere new and see my old friends again is so exciting! And I love meeting new people!
Oh my! I forgot to update my site for a whole month (almost)! I'm so sorry to have neglected you. There's somehow so little and yet so much going on all at once! I went to New York (for a very last minute work trip)! I was covid exposed and discovered that going camping all alone is maybe not all that fun! My best friend from high school visited me! I turned twenty-four! Wow!
Twitter's going down soon. Probably. Maybe. I don't know how to feel about that or what I'll fill that void with. Ideally, I'd like to just let bygones be bygones and live a more offline life. But I am just so connected to the internet at this point that I don't know if that's in the cards for me. I have so much I want to do but not nearly enough energy to do it because of work, so I'm not sure what else to do with that. I've made some good friends on twitter! There are people on twitter I've never talked to outside of the app but talk to more often than I talk to some of my real life friends. I have penpals I met through twitter. The guy I spent the last year crushing on is somebody I met through twitter, originally. How bizarre is that.
I'm in flux right now. I'm not sure exactly who my community is or who my friends are or what it is that I want to be doing. I find myself missing the time when I was with my ex and everything was simpler. Not better, necessarily, but simpler. I knew what to do with all my time and I knew who and what to focus on. But now I don't. That whole relationship is wrapped up and tied in a bow and a thing of the past, but I do find myself reminiscing sometimes because it's the only real romantic relationship I've ever been in and I felt very safe and cared for, all things considered.
It's 4:47 pm on a Friday and I finished up all the work I need to get done already an hour or two ago and I've just sort of been waiting for my evening plans. I really ought to be cleaning my apartment. I had a tea party last weekend for my birthday and still haven't bothered to wash the dishes from that. I really need to do that. But not right now. Not today, probably. I hope to get it done tomorrow. I want to feel cared for. There's something about washing dishes all alone in my apartment that both emphasizes that I am alone and also makes me feel as though I'm capable of taking care of myself. Giving myself the love and the care that I need. Those two definitely go hand in hand. I don't know. Sometimes it would be nice to be with somebody and have one of us cook dinner and the other do the dishes after. Then watch a movie snuggled up on the sofa, flaking on whatever thing we were going to go do that evening.
I don't know what it is, but a lot of people I've been involved with have been fixated on describing me and categorizing me and trope-ifying me. I do believe I will fall in love again and when I do I believe it will be with somebody who meets me and thinks to themself "wow. Everything Charlotte feels, does, says, etc. makes so much sense. She is the default, the baseline. What other way is there for a woman to be?" I think I'm done being fascinating. I feel like I'm very regular and whenever people express that they think I'm odd or peculiar or whatever it makes me feel like they aren't even bothering to try to know and understand me. I'm not complex. Well, not any more complex than anybody else around me.
I want to go cross country skiing.
Here are a few photos from my recent solo camping trip.
Tonight I'm going to this rave thing (I've never been to a rave before) where they email you the location day-of, so I've just received the location and am making plans with my friends to get dinner beforehand. I'm bleaching my eyebrows after work today. Need to figure out exactly what it is that I'll need for that, supplies-wise. I took my car in to the mechanic this morning and I need to have my brake pads and rotors replaced. So expensive. What a bummer. I don't drive very often, so it feels silly to be paying so much money for something I use once every week or two. But I suppose it's a necessity. And when I do use my car it's to go out to the mountains, so it needs to be reliable and trustworthy. I didn't go camping once this summer. Okay, actually I did once. The weekend I went back home. That's kind of funny, to only go back to my home state once this year and spend most of that time camping. I'd like to go camping more. I wouldn't mind doing it in colder weather, but I'm not sure I've got the right gear and gear is pricey pricey pricey. I'd like to be hiking more. Maybe the weekend before Thanksgiving I'll drive out to the mountains Friday night, sleep in my car, and do a big hike on Saturday. That's my next free weekend. It frustrates me a bit that weekends fill up so quickly so far in advance. Where does all my free time go? I never get to see it!!
Nobody understands me and I am so tragically, beautifull, complicatedly misunderstood! Just kidding. But actually I feel like the way I approach my life is extraordinarily straightforward and people wilfully misunderstand me and everybody I date is always saying things about how I'm so interesting or an enigma or whatever and like... if I fall in love it will be with somebody who thinks the way I approach my life is perfectly reasonable and understandable. No more of this quirky girl bullshit.
I haven't finished reading a book in months. Literally since July. That's four months of being like halfway done with one book that I just can't seem to finish for some reason. It's because I only choose the most inconvenient times possible to sit down and read and then I have to stop again after like fifteen minutes and then I forget about reading for like three weeks straight. I have been working on a number of little art projects recently. And have been taking time to relax after having had my friend visiting me when they had top surgery. I've been really into the idea of making paper mache masks of my own face. I want to make a bra out of two of them. I also want to make a masquerade mask that's fully painted white and has pressed flowers glued to it. And an all white outfit to go with that. Right now, though, I need to focus on my halloween costume. I'm either going to be a mosquito or a beetle, really just whichever I can figure out most easily.
I've been so bad recently about writing in my actual diary. I think it's becasue I've got this blog portion of my site and because I've been writing a lot of letters recently. Just feels excessive to be writing about my thoughts and feelings in so many places at once, but I do think the actual diary might be the most important place to do it and that's being neglected. I generally go through phases frequently of writing and not writing, so we'll see when the pendulum swings back in the other direction.
Today has been a particularly good day. And this weekend has been a particularly good weekend! I have a friend staying with me at the moment while they recover from top surgery. They've been here since Tuesday and the surgery was on Wednesday. It's been nice to have somebody else in my apartment with me, I've missed having roommates/living with my ex. I do love living alone but I feel less alone in the world when there's another person in my home. It feels nice to be needed.
This particular friend is mostly vegan (formerly vegan, in the process of transitioning out of that) so I've cooked some yummy vegan meals during their time here. On the day of their surgery I made baba ganoush and lentil soup (the lentil soup was for the following days, it was a very big batch) and since then I've made some hummus. Tonight is the night of our first non-vegan dinner and I'm gonna make that same miso salmon recipe I made for the equinox dinner party I hosted recently. Not sure what sort of veggie I'll make to go with it, but we'll see.
Yesterday we got up in the morning and I did our laundry, the dishes, and made the aforementioned hummus. I never do that much on Saturdays but I never spend much time at home to begin with so I like... can't. I wouldn't have the time! But right now, taking care of them, I do suddenly have the time. I've kept my social calendar completely open so that I can support them through this, so I've not been busy at all. Today I went and ran some non-urgent errands. I've been on the search for a new pair of jeans because the crotch blew out on my favorite pair (well, not really, but I've been patching the crotch up for years at this point and it's patches on patches on patches going halfway down the thighs), so I went out today and found myself a pair that'll do as a replacement. I also have been meaning to go to a camera store because my mom gave me an old Olympus point and shoot film camera a year or two ago that she never uses anymore and wasn't even sure worked. So I finally did that! I went to this enormous camera shop and asked the guy what I needed to get it going and if he could make sure it seemed functional. Going places and admitting I know nothing about something and asking for help with it usually fills me with anxiety but recently I've become a much more relaxed person and I did a good job of keeping it at bay. But that was the thing that had been stopping me all this time from going. I think it'll be fun to have this film camera! A very nice way to document my life. Maybe I'll post the photos on here.
I'm so much better at taking care of myself when I'm taking care of another person.
I've been writing some postcards! And letters, but more postcards recently. I've been meaning to make a page for them on my site. Maybe that'll be a right now task! It really shouldn't be too difficult... I've been trying to remember to take photos of them as I go so that I can put them on here. Very exciting stuff! And I've been pressing a lot of flowers. I need to get as many in my collection as I can before winter comes so that I don't run out of them to put in my letters before spring rolls around.
I've spent the evening sitting on my living room floor, listening to records, and painting a little picture. I feel so much more myself in this moment than I have in ages. I've been feeling more and more myself this past year.
I've felt like drawing again this week (and had ideas for what to draw) for the first time in years. Probably since I was a teenager. It made me so happy thinking about it tonight that I had this great big swelling feeling in my chest and wasn't sure if I was laughing or crying. I used to spend all my time drawing when I was a kid and it was just incredible to feel that same joy in it again. I genuinely had given up on drawing entirely and mourned the loss of a favorite hobby. But I'm back, baby! Who knows for how long! But finding out that I can go through these surges of motivation and inspiration are proof enough for me! I'm so excited about this, as you can tell.
Yesterday was equinox and I hosted a dinner party for a few friends of mine. I made baked salmon with a miso glaze and it was so delicious. I had never made any sort of baked fish before, I don't think, and was kind of nervous beforehand but it proved to be a success! I've also been feeling more motivation to cook recently, which is lovely. Below is the aftermath of my mulled wine.
Another unfortunate occurence! I accidentally deleted this blog post when I was adding in the September 23rd post... a tragedy. I had a fun quippy little line about how if I wasn't meant to love fall I wouldn't look so good in brown (my ex would always send me memes like the meme i've pasted in below to make fun of me).
I also wrote a bit about this guy I had a crush on for a while this past year whose birthday it was recently and how it's odd that you can go through so much, emotionally, about a person without them having a single clue. He was my first crush since I was nineteen! Wow. Maybe it's better that I accidentally deleted the post because that portion was a little bit embarrassing, I think I likened having a crush to having your heart claw its way out of your chest which, while true, is maybe not something to put online. But here I am, putting it on my blog a second time. I wonder if he'll ever see this and I wonder if he'll realize it's about him. I'd imagine he'd realize if he saw it, but I don't know why he'd ever see it.
I literally wrote an entire long blogpost and then my laptop died and I hadn't saved it!!! Frustrating, but I'll write more later I think.
It's a little bit later and I'm back. What a bummer, that post wasn't particularly good or anything but I was finally back in the groove. It's 11 am now and I'm sitting in my living room. It was 7 when I wrote the first one and a good friend of mine from my hometown who's visiting was asleep in my bedroom (we fell asleep watching a movie last night) but now they're awake and we've eaten breakfast and are deciding what to wear today. We're thinking we'll go to a farmer's market and then have a little picnic. Very fun stuff!
I had two friends visiting last weekend as well and have been so so so busy lately. Next weekend will be the first weekend in a little over month that I haven't either had houseguests or been a houseguest. I'm very much looking forward to it. I'm going to be so relaxed.
I haven't had that much interest in writing down my feelings the past week or so. Oh well.
Summer is coming to an end soon. Happy and sad about that. I've been really enjoying this summer, but I'm also sort of ready for fall weather and for the excitement to die down a bit. Lots going on in my life at the moment and I feel less settled than I did a few months ago because I feel like I'm just going from one Big Plan to another because I'm going out of town or people are visiting me. All. The. Time. Not really complaining, though. I do love visitors and I love going places.
I've decided I need to practice the concertina more. I bought myself one (anglo C/G 30 button) at the very beginning of the pandemic and have barely played it at all since summer 2020. That's two whole years I could've been practicing! Imagine how much I could've improved since then! Instead, I only know two and a half songs, and not even particularly well at that. One of the craziest things about growing up, which I never could've seen coming, is that with most things your brain knows exactly what to do, even if you've never done it before, and how it's supposed to feel. But your body just doesn't do it!! So frustrating!! I feel like I should be much better at playing this instrument than I am. Maybe because I feel like my fingers aren't quick enough. But they're so quick when I'm typing! That should translate better! Maybe I'll put some little updates and maybe videos on my site about my concertina learning.
I've cracked the code to happiness. No I haven't. But I did get to go home and visit my friends from high school and go to a music festival and dance my little heart out and have a generally swell time. The entire weekend, I kept thinking to myself "wow, this really is what it's all about, isn't it." And while I unfortunately can't be camping out in a beautiful place with many of the people I love most and listening to bluegrass every day of my life, I do think there's probably something to be learned from this. Unsure what it is right now though, I'm still busy basking in the glory of it all. I hadn't seen my friends in an entire year, since the last time this festival happened. Some of them I likely won't see again until next year. But it's really the perfect opportunity to go home because I get to have everybody in one place for one brief moment.
While I was there, I would express to people how good it felt to be home and that I was happy to be within my community again, even if only for a brief moment, and they kept saying things like how it's only a matter of time before I move back home. That felt oddly dismissive. Also, I've only been living here for a year now, which is nowhere near enough time to have a real community or friend group. Maybe it's because the people saying that to me are the people who have moved back home. I don't know. Oh well.
I'm not entirely sure what else to write in here today, but I feel like I should write more because I haven't in ten days. Which isn't that much time but does feel like quite a long time.
I just remembered what I was originally getting at when I started writing this morning. I wanted to write about how I feel most secure in my life when I know I could "go dirtbag mode" at any moment. When I say dirtbag I mean it in like the dirtbag climber way, although I myself am not a climber. I do, however, want to know that I could just pack all my shit up at a moment's notice and live out of my car or bicycle or whatever and travel and not be tied down to any one thing. I feel the urge to simplify my life and get rid of stuff in order to make sure that this is a possibility at any given moment because, right now, it is not. But I'll get there. Or maybe I won't. I feel like, when it comes down to it, I'm too responsible of a person to actually go dirtbag mode without planning it out in advance. Also, I plan too much. I don't have any crazy big plans this weekend that I couldn't flake on, but aside from that I only have one weekend between now and mid-October in which I don't have anybody visiting and I'm not going out of town. Not ideal. But oh well. I think I'll try to do a better job of spacing things out in the future.
Another thing! I feel as though I've lost interest in dating almost entirely recently, but I had quite a nice moment with somebody this weekend. The first night, we got together around midnight or one in the morning and just sat by the ocean and chatted and looked at the stars until we went to bed, separately, at three. The second night, I invited them to come meet me at a jam I was at with some local folk music people I vaguely know at their campsite, again around midnight or one in the morning, and we listened to the music together and danced a bit and it was just a really beautiful moment. After that, we went back to our spot by the ocean and sat and chatted some more and they put their head on my shoulder and I wore their beanie and then forgot to take it off before I got into my tent for bed that night. I returned it in the morning. We have only spent about fifteen minutes together in the light of day, but I kind of like the freedom and openness that the darkness of night affords a person. I think they might come pop by to see me here at some point later this month while they're in the area. I feel sort of like a teenager all over again.
I think a large part of me feeling weird was actually entirely due to being tired. Arguably even exhausted. I'm going to try to keep this brief because I need to go to bed early tonight in order to wake up early tomorrow and finish packing and washing my dishes and taking out the trash so my apartment isn't a total mess when I get back. But I wanted to write a little something. Just a small update.
I'm trying to figure out what other things to put on this site because I don't have any hobbies at the moment that would really lend themselves to this. As I've written about, I've been feeling a strong desire to be outside and active as much as possible and I just don't know how that could translate to a webpage. I think I might try to keep a little log of the different outdoor activities I do and how I feel as a way to help me train for the bigger things I'd like to do (bike touring, mountaineering, etc.) but that does require me to leave myself time on the weekends to get out and do those things and, well, at the moment I've been quite bad at leaving myself time for more solitary activities. After this weekend I don't officially have anything scheduled on the weekend for a little while, but we'll see if I can get out.
Recently I've been thinking about just how addicted I am to my cellphone and how, even though deleting twitter and instagram from it has helped quite a bit, I feel like I'm just on it too much. My screen time has gone down quite a bit and I've been hovering at an average just under four hours a day for a while now and that feels much better. But I feel like I want to do more. One day a week where I turn it off all day long? But what if somebody needs to reach me? Urgent contact doesn't happen very frequently but it does happen. I'm just so anxious when I can't be reached but I also am anxious when I can be reached so I suppose there's just no winning.
I decided recently that I wanted to try writing songs. I don't remember if I wrote about that in here. My mom has totally influenced me and caused me to really appreciate music that isn't about love but about other things. But I have no idea to write those sorts of songs. I mean, I really have no idea how to write any sorts of songs, but it's much easier, generally, for me to write about love and romance and the like and so I think that'll be easiest to write songs about. But that's caused me to reflect on all the crushes I've had and how I've felt about them and that's most definitely opened up its own can of worms. Last night I had a dream about the most recent crush I had (and admittedly am still not entirely over... it's hard to get over a crush without finding a new one). I haven't seen him since I think the first weekend in October of 2021 and we actually only ever met in person a few times. But he is the only person I've had a crush on since my ex and I broke up and that feels very significant in and of itself. The way things played out between me and this guy was so frustrating and I am sort of tempted to contact him to hash it out a bit or maybe to hear his side of things or maybe just to air my grievances. But that doesn't seem like it would actually be helpful at all. We have mutual friends but he lives a state over from me so we aren't ever going to coincidentally bump into one another. So what do I do? Probably nothing. But it is a nagging thought.
My little sister was in town this weekend. She left last night. I've come to the conclusion that I'd be a happier girl if my siblings lived in the same town as me. I can't imagine a greater joy than being able to eat dinner with them on a weekly basis. I would give anything to spend enough time with them to be able to get to the point where I'm annoyed with them instead of just a few days here and there. I have spent about five days with her in the last calendar year and that simply is not enough. The day after tomorrow I go to visit her and my parents for a few days, which I'm quite happy about. I just can't help but feel that it isn't enough. But what is there to do about it?
It's a million degrees out right now and I'm about to go to the beach with some friends. Today at work I finally had the opportunity to say something to a coworker of mine about his obsession with nutrition potentially being detrimental to his daughter. He talks frequently about how obsessed he is with food and veganism and only eating "good" foods and reminds me so so so much of my mother, but more extreme. He also talks about how his seven-year-old doesn't eat the way she should and that he wants her to understand the importance of nutrition. I'm genuinely worried he's going to cause her to develop an eating disorder. Last time he brought it up and I was going to say something, I got a phone call and we never talked about it again, until!!! today when I said something about a plant in our office being super healthy because it has its own grow light and that that's what I would be like if I had a nutritionist and personal trainer and personal chef and then another coworker responded that I already have my mother and don't need another nutritionist and the coworker with the daughter asked what he was referring to and I got to go into it a bit!! It is very very difficult to navigate because I don't want to outright tell him I'm afraid he might give her an eating disorder but I also don't want to be too gentle with it and have him miss the point entirely. I told him about how my mother is (and was when I was a kid) and a bit about how that has affected my relationship with food, but I wasn't sure how to express to him the gravity of the situation without oversharing to an extent I'm uncomfortable with in the office. Like how do I tell him it was very detrimental to me without telling him that I went multiple months last year where I ate less than one full meal a day most days. That's just not appropriate to be saying in the office.
Regardless of whether or not he understood me fully, I'm quite glad I was able to share that bit of my story with him. He can do with that information what he will, but I would've felt bad if I never at least tried to express that to him.
I don't have anything in particular to write about today. I've got weekend tickets to go to a music festival in my part of town but when I went last night and the night before I wasn't particularly into it, so I'm not very motivated to go today. I've already missed the main person I would've wanted to see today, so I'm not sure I'll go. But a girl I want to become better friends with is there and I was a little weird when we hung out there yesterday. She and her sister wanted to be farther forward than I did because I was feeling a little iffy and wanted to know I wouldn't be squished to death and overheat and pass out and throw up. So after chatting with them for like ten or fifteen minutes, I excused myself, saying I'd let them know what I was up to later on, but I never did. After listening to the first few songs of that group's set, I ended up going to the park right outside of the blocked off area of the festival and sat there by myself for a few hours. I really was just watching all the people mill around at the park, chatting and drinking and sitting and standing and playing soccer and skating. One of the guys who had helped to set up (and organize?) the skating competition that had happened earlier in the day ended up sitting and chatting with me for a bit and now we're going to go to a roller rink on Monday with a few of his friends. It really wasn't at all bad, but I do feel like I need to redeem myself in that girl's eyes.
I remember writing on here about how my brain had been telling me that my friends secretly hated me a little over a month ago. I haven't seen any of that group of people since before I went on my trip to Mexico. And one of them, the one I'd been friends with the longest and through whom I'd met the others, sent me the most bizarre text message recently. We hadn't spoken in about a month and a half because I decided to give up on contacting him because he kept flaking on me when I tried to make plans, so the message came entirely out of nowhere from what I can tell. He said that the energy between us hadn't been the best for the past couple months and that he wished me all the best, which made me think it was somewhat of a friend-breakup text, and then he went on to tell me his general schedule for the next few weeks and that he'd see me around, which made me think it might not be a friend-breakup text but a text that is meant to open back up the door for us to start hanging out with him again. Maybe one of the girls in that friend group made him send it because the tension between the two of us was making things weird. Maybe that's why I haven't seen any of them. Maybe he sent it of his own accord. Maybe none of them ever want to see me again. I don't think I really care that much anymore. I reached out to some of them individually to see if we could make plans and things kept falling through, so I've mourned the loss of their friendship and have begun to move on.
My kitchen sink is clogged. It doesn't drain properly and hasn't in a little while. I've tried a number of times to clear it out using a plunger, which does not work. I think I need to remove the P trap, but I can't get it to detach in one of the spots, so when I try to do that I have a halfway disconnected P trap and can't clear it out. I hate having to contact my landlord for things, but this seems like one of those things I shouldn't try to deal with on my own past this point. Also, I don't have a garbage disposal. Not really relevant, but felt like some good background info to give you.
I think I might just stay in for the rest of the day. Maybe I'll buy a bike helmet tomorrow so I can actually start riding. It's very scary here without one. I wish I lived in Amsterdam where you don't really need a helmet because of the blocked off bike lanes.
I went out dancing on Tuesday. There was blues dancing in a park with a few friends and there was a bigger swing dancing event with live music. I went to the first and then went with a guy I met there to the second. I've been itching to dance more and I'm so glad there's more of an opportunity now that it's summer. In particular, I'm happy about the free opportunities.
I have been practicing playing concertina a little bit recently. I'd like to learn a few new songs, but I haven't even started on that yet. I need to better grasp scales and reading concertina sheet music and whatnot first. I'd also like to learn to play mandolin, but I don't know where to get one for cheap (I contacted somebody on facebook about the mandolin she was selling but she never got back to me). I might try to take concertina lessons. It seems like there's only one person in the city who does them.
I went to the beach today with a friend and a few of her friends. It feels like I'm cycling through friends at the moment trying to figure out who's right for me. Odd feeling to be having and not one I've ever had before.
I'm dog sitting now. Another friend of mine was supposed to do it but he forgot that he said yes to this and to popping down to Portland for a weekend to see another friend. So now I'm filling in. The wifi password the family sent him is apparently incorrect, so I've been using a mobile hotspot. And I don't know where a blanket is and I'm to sleep on the sofa, so I'm not entirely sure how that's supposed to work. I took some zyrtec when I first got here, so my allergies shouldn't act up too much. I'm not sure why I agree to dog sit, considering I'm quite allergic to dogs.
I've just finished watching the new Persuasion movie. It wasn't very good. One of the worse Jane Austen film adaptations I've seen. But I love period pieces, so I did enjoy it anyway. I've only read the first quarter or so of the book, but it wasn't true to the style. Which I could probably say with a degree of certainty even if I hadn't read any of it myself, seeing as that's all anybody's saying about it. I do, however, very strongly identify with Anne Elliot in some ways. I, too, get melancholy for extended periods of time over somebody I've distanced myself from and imagine that they have no regard for me whatsoever. Anyway. I thought the fleabag-ification of perhaps Austen's most emotional novel was an absolutely bizarre choice. I think it makes sense why they chose to do it but I would imagine that there are a hundred and one better options they could've chosen while staying true to the tone of the original novel.
Is it humiliating to admit that I've been thinking more recently about somebody I had/have a crush on and haven't spoken to since February (when I asked him to stop contacting me)? I think that's my current Anne Elliot arc moment. He's been on my mind quite a bit. It feels as though there's unfinished business there and I'm not sure what to do about it. Do I reach out to him? Do I let it go? I can hardly forget he exists, we have some mutual friends (in spite of us living in different cities in different states) (but not hardly so different as they could be, it's only the difference between Portland and Seattle).
Sometimes it can be fun to be a melancholy woman. Though, admittedly, I don't think I particularly am one. Anyway, I should be off to bed now. In spite of the fact that I don't know where to find a blanket for myself. I have belly dance in the morning and I need to get to bed by a reasonable hour so that I can be fully awake and take the dog out tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams.
A side note, there will likely be a blog post about blues dancing soon. Be prepared. Maybe I'll make a page dedicated to dancing content. Within my "stuff" page. I can connect my favorite videos on youtube and songs and general info and stories I have regarding them. Until that point, I leave you with this, one of my favorite dance videos.
I've always been a bit of a homebody. Or maybe a better descriptor is couch potato. I'm the least outdoorsy and active of my siblings, my friends, my general social circles. I don't think I'm actually that much of a couch potato, it's just that the people around me are particularly active. I have friends who work on trail crews and as guides on mountains and in canyons. My little sister lives and works on a sailboat and, for the one year she was in college, was a D1 rower. My older sibling has a general rule of having two sports/outdoor activities they focus on in every season, from skiing to climbing to running. They ran a half marathon last fall with no training just because they wanted to join in on the fun with our mom and aunt. My mom is one of those people who, if you tell her what you cooked for dinner last night, will describe to you how you could tweak the recipe to maximize the nutritional values of the ingredients. She's cycled across the US and is, at 61, considering getting into backcountry skiing. My dad is perhaps the most my speed, but even he is regularly out for a fat tire bike ride or a cross country ski with friends.
Now that we have that context out of the way, onto me. Growing up, my main hobby was drawing (although I don't have all too much to show for that anymore, I haven't drawn anything in years) and my parents never ever sent me to my bedroom as a punishment. One winter when I was in elementary school, we lived in a little apartment in a cabin in Utah and skied competitively. That winter, you coould most often find me curled up under the bottom shelf in the linen closet with a headlamp and a book. I complained every morning putting on my snowpants and ski boots, dreading the laps I'd have to do on my skis around the a-frame our team met in. In high school, I did sports to get out of taking P.E. classes. I was terrible at every sport I did. The only types of movement I remember truly enoying growing up are riding my bike and dancing.
After drawing, dancing has been one great love of my life. I started swing dancing when I was in middle school because of the folk music summer camp my parents sent me and my little sister to. Once I started, you couldn't get me to stop. I swing danced, I contra danced, I took dance classes at my high school, I took ballroom dance classes the year I lived in Germany, I also joined a dance team in Germany, I started going to social dance classes held at the lounge in a hotel in my hometown my senior year of high school, after I returned from Germany. That one's a bit of a funny story. Every week they'd tell the dance instructors they were going to start carding people at the door the following week because, technically, it was a bar, and every week they'd freak out because I was only seventeen and we came up with a whole elaborate backstory about how one of the men who regularly attended the classes was my father and that they should let me stay because of that. He wasn't my father, didn't even really look like me, he was just a random middle aged white man. When I got to college, I dove headfirst into the social dance scene. I was dancing swing, I was dancing salsa, I was dancing bachata, I was blues dancing. I got to a point where I was dancing on average four nights a week. I started to dance west coast swing in addition to east coast swing. I danced both salsa how you're imagining it and rueda, Cuban salsa. And then the pandemic hit. I stopped dancing entirely.
Fast forward to now. I've graduated from college, I've moved halfway across the country for work. When I started dancing here, I realized just how much muscle mass I'd lost in my legs. I couldn't dance all night every night the way I had before! I was devastated. Not really. But I learned to pace myself. I've been mostly doing latin dance this past year because that's what's available within walking distance from my apartment and at convenient times. Not a particularly interesting reason. My favorite type of social dancing is blues dancing, but that's difficult to find because it's mostly done at house parties. I've finally found an in, after a year living here, and will be going this week. I've started belly dancing with a woman I met at the Beltane festival in town and her friends, we get together in her kitchen every week for an informal lesson. But I want more.
I want to be outside, I want to be swimming, I want to be climbing, I want to be biking, I want to be hiking, I even want to be running. I want to feel strong and alive. I have never had so much joy in movement as I do right now, and I'm going to ride this wave out as long as I possibly can. I've found a few new dance classes I want to try, I've pumped up my bike tires and am rearing to go, I'm going for hikes and walks and considering dusting off my running shoes. I sat down to write this, in part, because of the wonderful time I had this afternoon after a dance class with my friend who teaches belly dance and another woman we met at a drop in class today. We went to the diner next door and ate and talked about somatics, the joys of movement, the desire to dance, the way it occupies your every waking thought. We talked about other hobbies like martial arts and yoga and love and whatnot. I'm writing the second half of this paragraph now, six hours after I started writing and was interrupted (not interrupted, my friend and I met up to go for a walk), and I'm trying to wrap it all up but I do not remember at all where it was supposed to lead. Regardless, I have decided on all sorts of lofty goals about this sort of stuff and I hope I'll achieve one or two of them. I am going to give it an honest shot.
I know this post ended up being similar to the travel one, but it's just been on my mind a lot recently! This feels like the right place to write about it for some reason, rather than my physical diary.
Well? Am I? A very important question to consider. Surprisingly enough, no. I haven't spent time with another person since early Monday morning when the friend I visited sent me off on my way at the airport (I haven't even been in the office because of my international travel and our COVID policies at work). I know that's only a few days, but this is the largest chunk of time I've spent alone in who knows how long. I would've imagined I'd feel lonely without meaningful social interactions and yet I feel totally fine. Better than fine, even. I've been loving this time I've spent by myself. I've been cooking a lot more than usual, getting up early to go for a walk or a bike ride before work, dealing with the last few boxes I never unpacked when I moved here a year ago (I finally have reusable produce bags! I never thought I'd see those again), and generally just hanging out with myself. I always make fun of people in Seattle for being such homebodies and taking unnecessary pride in their introversion, but I think I get it now. It's odd, because the other periods in my life in which I've spent a large amount of time alone I've been, like, sublimely unhappy. But I suppose that wasn't the effect of my lonesome lifestyle but the cause of it. Of course, this is less than a week of time spent alone and I'm now gearing up for a weekend of at least two different social engagements a day, but it does somehow feel significant. But what can I say? I'm a very sentimental person and everything feels somehow significant to me.
I'm sitting on my sofa, surrounded by my things, and hanging out a bit following my flight back from Mexico City. This was my first international trip since before the beginning of the pandemic, and funny enough was to the same place as my most recent trip. Well, not entirely, but there was some overlap. I work a full time salary job now (yay! and even in my field!), which means that I no longer have summer break or winter break or any break, only a measly ten days of PTO. I've just taken half of that time this past week for a trip to visit a friend in Mexico. I think it didn't really set in until now that I am no longer in school and I'm not going back to that sort of environment any time soon, if ever, and that I'll have to plan my trips around project deadlines and coworkers' babies' due dates and other things like that to make sure our little team is never too low on people. I remember talking with my older sibling about graduating from college when they were out visiting for my graduation and I asked them when it becomes real and they told me that it was when you don't return to school in the fall. But that wasn't the case for me, I think because I started my job around the time that the fall semester starts. It all felt quite natural. It's only now that it's really, truly setting in that there are no transitions that are happening anymore unless I make them. I'm not working toward one single big goal anymore. That's so crazy. Anyway, onto the trip! And travel in general.
Every time I travel somewhere or make a new friend I spend a lot of time with or move somewhere new or have some other major change in my life, it feels like I'm opening up a little pocket universe in my life. I've never been all that good at remembering that other things I'm not actively experiencing are still a part of my current reality (like not remembering the weekends exist while I'm in the office and vice versa), and I've always wondered to what extent other people feel that way. I'd imagine it's a pretty universal experience that we just don't really talk about all that often. The friend I visited said he felt very much the same way.
I wasn't actively thinking about it, but by virtue of me having deleted social media apps from my phone, I made the trip much more relaxing for myself. I was barely on my phone and spent most of my down time reading, which usually is more true to how I imagine my life to be, rather than how it actually is. It was quite nice to be living that way for a while. I read three books and started a fourth. I think I may start a little book review section of my website. Maybe in the "stuff" section, maybe in its own. Unsure. My older sibling was on my ass for a bit about starting a newsletter, which I never did, but I think if I were to I'd like to include a little section on what I've been enjoying reading recently. I think I'll make a page writing about the books I read this week right after I finish this diary entry. See how I like that. I'll also try to add photos tonight as well. I didn't take many, but I do have a few!
My desire for adventure is growing stronger and stronger. For a bit I've been dreaming up a year-long trip to various locations around the world, a year of living out of a carry on and never being in one place longer than perhaps a month or two, depending on what I'm doing. I'd like to do some portions of it that are more urban and some that are more rural/backcountry-y. I'm not sure how I'll manage that with just a carry on, as the two do require pretty different types of luggage and clothing. But that's a few years off at least. I know you shouldn't reduce your lived experience to numbers, but I checked my steps for the days I was on my trip and I averaged ten to thirty thousand steps a day, save for the day we went to the climbing gym and took a nap. I can't really keep up an active social life and go for multiple hours of walks every day, in addition to working full time, so I'm trying to figure out what I can do instead because I really felt fantastic. I always do when I'm traveling. I wake up relatively early in the mornings every day, go about my various activities, walking and taking in so much new information, and go to bed exhausted every night. I'd like my everyday life to be more like that. I'm considering what hobbies I could take up in order to feel that way on a day to day basis. I have already decided to go climbing with my friends, who already go and frequently invite me along, and maybe start running or cycling or something. I used to loooove riding my bike, but I haven't done it really at all in recent years. I want to ride my bike from Seattle to Portland. There's an official tour/race thing. I went through a bit of a jogging phase when I was sixteen/seventeen and living with my aunt in Germany. I've never been much of a jogger, but it is a more efficient way to exercise than walking is. Unfortunately. I love everything that I get to see when I'm walking and am not excited about the prospect of losing in order to gain speed, but I suppose we can't always have everything we want.
I've totally derailed this post and now, instead of being about traveling, it's about adventure and exercise. I suppose that's probably what I needed to get out of my system by writing about it. I've been awake (except for a nap on the plane) since 4:10 AM, Mexico City time. It's 8:00 PM Pacific Time now, so I've been awake for eighteen hours. I'm getting tired. I haven't made myself dinner, but I snacked a lot this afternoon and am not hungry. I might just have some yogurt and call it a night. Maybe I'll write more about my travels (and books and upload the photos) tomorrow. That feels like a good idea. 8:00 PM bedtime for the sleepy girl.
I've been actively on social media for a decade, give or take. I know I made my facebook account on my thirteenth birthday, which was in 2011, so it's been at least since then. I'm not entirely sure where I was first or what exactly counts as social media (does anybody else remember google buzz? it feels like a fever dream and very well may be). Recently, I'd been more active on social media than I have been in years, tweeting multiple times a day and posting every fleeting thought, every interesting leaf, every tree whose knots look a little like a face to my instagram story. "I'm using social media more effectively than most people." I think that's true. I fostered and maintained friendships through my two favorite platforms. I had a community. But I think it was making me go a little stir-crazy. They should invent a word for when you're going stir-crazy in your cellphone. That's what it was.
Something was off. I don't even remember exactly why I did it. What the reason was. I think I felt myself being contained inside of that little glass box. I was sitting at my desk one day in the office and was scrolling through twitter, waiting for some file I'd been working on to export and I just deleted it. Actually, if I'm being completely honest, I didn't just delete it. I'm really baring my soul here so maybe it's best that nobody actually reads this, but I first took a screen recording of all the unsent tweets in my drafts folder. The oldest draft was from well over a year before, when my ex and I were still together. It was about him. And it wasn't even very funny. But there I was! I had the screen recording and I was done! I wasn't sure what to do next. I felt a bit free and a bit wild. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it was a bit like the feeling of going to the desert for a weekend and fantasizing about leaving your everyday life behind to live among the vagabonds in a van or a tent or a trailer and go climbing every day and roast in the sun and read and swim in the river and never worry about money or anything else. Such a shame that we can't all be free spirits. I'm not sure when instagram went, it might have been the same day or later on. That one comes and goes. I've had a bad habit of redownloading it regularly just to check in, not even to post anything. I think it would be one thing to do it if I'm only going to post, but instead I do it just to scroll.
I think the deleting of social media is where this website comes in. I'd had the idea for a while that I wanted to learn to make websites, but I never actually took any action on it. But not anymore! After deleting social media apps I realized that the urge to check in isn't actually all that strong (at least not every day, and not as much as it was at the beginning) but the urge to scream all my innermost thoughts and insecurities into the void that is the internet is very strong! It is alive and well! Since making this and starting to write things on it, I've felt less and less inclined to post to social media. No longer am I redownloading instagram five times a day to post to my story (and once or twice to scroll).
This website doesn't serve any one explicit purpose, it's really just for the sake of it. For fun. I think I'll probably naturally stop updating it when it stops being fun, but as somebody who loves to talk about myself, even when nobody's listening, I don't think that'll happen any time soon. But who knows! I think I'll likely try to write something again sometime on this topic once it's been a little while longer of being "off the apps." Until then, this is all I have to share.
I didn't wake up early to watch the sunrise at the park. And I didn't finish that entry. I'm sure I had all sorts of important and interesting things to say, but they just never quite made it out of my brain and into the computer. In my defense, I was a little bit stoned and don't typically get much done when I'm stoned. As is the case for most people.
I've been doing a bit of an "all my friends secretly hate me and don't want me around" thing and, because I am an adult, I am trying to combat that and invite them to hand out regardless. Grabbing coffee with a friend tomorrow morning before work. When I sent her the invitation text, I had already thought through all of what I might say if she responded by saying that she didn't want to because she doesn't like me anymore. As it turns out, she doesn't hate me and responded with an enthusiastic yes. Funny how the brain always tries to convince you otherwise.
I'm sitting on my bed in my apartment writing as the sun goes down. Tomorrow is the solstice and I want to wake up early and go watch the sunrise at the park.
I'm not sure how to format this page, so I've decided to just take a stab at it and write a blog post/diary entry thing to see how I like the formatting. I think it'll be a bit hard to tell just yet what I think of it, as it'll be only one entry on a page that will eventually have a whole number of them and therefore look a bit different. But I've got to start somewhere.
Today, I woke up and worked on this a bit before I met up with a new friend to go to the solstice parade. There was a naked bike ride, which I thought I might participate in but didn't in the end, which rode through first with the parade following. Not to dwell on the naked people, but it boggled my mind that so many of them just stayed naked and went to the festival that way. So many middle aged and older penises. Anyway. I think she and I have the potential to become relatively good friends, as we seem to share a lot of the same views and hobbies. She used to dance samba for a period of time and said the two of us should try it together. I don't think I told her about the bellydance brunch thing I go to every week with the middle aged ladies, but I think she'd find that fun.
I'm really not sure what to write here. Usually when I've blogged in the past it's been because I wanted to write about a specific thing, thought, event, etc. rather than because I wanted to fill a page. But oh well! I'm just doing what needs to be done. Maybe this is long enough. This should be long enough.