I love it when we play 1950

This amazing Sears home built in the 1878 belonged to a saint of a woman named Dorothy Gilmore Roman. (Of course she was a Gilmore!) She was smart, generous, adventurous, an active Democrat (yas kween!) and she lived to be 101 years old. Her home is now open to visitors of Buena Vista, Colorado to stay--like me and B this past weekend--and her style and legacy and story live on. 

"What is the purpose, the meaning of living? One must use the difficulties, disappointments, and hardships that come our way as material, which the mind can force to become somehow good. The desire to look back over the past is a sign of age and weakness. We need to look forward and develop into what we are capable of becoming. We may be sure there is deliverance from every unfavorable condition in our lives when we have fitted ourselves to accept it. Believe in yourself, believe in humanity, believe in the success of your undertakings. Fear nothing and no one. Keep in touch with today. Teach yourself to be practical, up to date and sensible, and then you cannot fail."

--Dorothy Roman Gilmore


Make Your Mark

From this Modern Love essay, "The 12-Hour Goodbye That Started Everything"

"Shortly after starting my new role, I went back to my therapist and told her: “It’s been a year since we broke up. I thought my dream job and exercise would heal me, but I still think about him every day. What more can I do to let go?” 
First, she told me a story about a man she loved in her early 20s, nearly 50 years ago, whom she still thinks about to this day. Then she said: “You’re asking the wrong question. It’s not about getting over and letting go.”
I looked down at my hands and considered how this could possibly be about anything else. 
“It’s about honoring what happened,” she said. “You met a person who awoke something in you. A fire ignited. The work is to be grateful. Grateful every day that someone crossed your path and left a mark on you.”'


My First Smile of the Day

Today I was dropping off some packages at a UPS store and an older man with a straggly beard and slight limp walked in and said, "I need to ship this here trombone to this here address." That was my first smile of the day.


This is 30.

Engaged couples have professional photos taken. Newborns have professional photos taken. Families have professional photos taken. Why can't a rock solid girl gang have professional photos taken too?! 
That's what I thought. 

Thanks CH for being alive, turning 30, and preserving this moment in time with 9 women who love you so much. 

(Photos by the talented and patient Michael Tucker)


Can I Get a Witness?

Lately I've been having the kind of days when your shoulders feel heavy and tasks like not being able to open a jar of salsa make you want to burst into dramatic Disney-princess tears. For no particular reason, lately I kinda can't get a grip. But one day last week as I was driving home from work feeling tense and unreasonably melancholy, I got stuck behind a slow Fed Ex truck on Monaco Parkway, and I thought, "Of course this would happen to me!" And then the truck started to slow down for no reason, and I threw my hands in the air with frustration like a real diva. Then I watched as the truck driver extended his arm out of his window and offered a homeless person on the side of the road the rest of his Popeye's chicken. The homeless person accepted the food, smiled, and the driver sped up with the rest of traffic.

The whole transaction lasted 10 seconds at most, and a week later I can't stop thinking about it. It's not because it was such a profound act of generosity; the chicken was probably cold and leftover and the whole event was fairly unremarkable. But that quick less-than-10-seconds took me out of my head and out of my world, and I'm grateful to have been a witness to someone else's experience. I wonder what other things I could see if I stopped worrying so much about my shoulders and jars of salsa.


Time Capsule

I've been re-reading old drafts of blog posts and journal entries, and I've both cackled in laughter and wept bitter tears at stories that I had written but didn't deem worthy of sharing. I'm going to try to be better at that, starting with this little guy I wrote 1 month before leaving New York City.
"Half of me is so excited about and hopeful for my new life in CO. I daydream about a new apartment containing shelves filled with every book I own, at least 8 thriving houseplants, and an over-sized arm chair in a sun-kissed corner. I imagine myself driving in my jeep--music blaring--finally able to sing out loud. I think about having a career again--not just a job, but a place where I can do the work I think I was meant to do. I long for a job title without the word "assistant" in it. I fantasize about having a bank account that contains a bigger positive number than a negative one, and because of that, the ability to travel and give and host. I dream about having a new community of friends/family, maybe a dog, maybe a bearded mountain man who will read and play music for me. I am so ready for a fresh start and a new space [...]"
2018 Update:
Bookshelves: Check
Jeep: Check
Career: Check
8 thriving houseplants: Define "thriving"...


Nothing Good Gets Away

"And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away."

-John Steinbeck to his son Thom, on being in love


Today I...

listened to jazz
took my jeep to a carwash
finally threw away the birthday flowers I dried to preserve
checked my bank account
laid on my couch staring upward for an undetermined amount of time
dusted off the blades of my ceiling fan
listen to HRC's new book while washing dishes and cried
cleaned out my kitchen cupboards
returned all the dog stuff I'd hastily bought at Target last week
listened to HRC's new book while scrubbing my shower and cried
watered my barely-surviving plants
felt blue
realized, while showering at 4pm, that I hadn't spoken to another person all day
sent some emails
dusted off my mandolin, tried to remember any of the three chords I once knew, returned it to its case
felt inspired
wrote this blog entry


Feeling ALIVE

This video has 17,999,407 views, and I'm pretty sure at least a couple hundred are from me. It makes me want to travel and move and explore and LIVE. It also makes me want to buy a GoPro so I guess it's a pretty effective ad.. Dare you to watch and not be addicted to this song and prompted to contemplate quitting your day job.


Girlfriends > Boyfriends

I've been striking out hard on the boyfriend lottery, but with girlfriends I've hit the freakin' MOTHER LODE! I think that maybe I lucked out so much with the women in my life that the universe was like, "oh, we better stick her with some asshole dudes to even things out." And honestly, if that is the case I think I'll take it. Men can break me, as long as I have women to put me back together. These last few weeks my lady pit crew has been doing just that.

CH and TR brewed me heartbreak healing potion (essential oils) and LJK and CH sent me snail mail with pep talks and self-care recommendations. HR suggested books to read and music to listen to. LS checked in throughout the day and the week, letting me cry and analyze about the same 10 things over and over again. LJK suggested a trip, listing ideas of foreign cities and other future adventures. PD brought me pho and red wine and sat on my couch listening while I recanted every blissful then painful memory I could think of. MA and NS went on walks in parks with me because I couldn't sit still. SS and HR read email draft after email draft with thoughtful feedback and support.

When boyfriends leave you, girlfriends show up more than ever. They speak tenderly of your heartache and profanely about the idiot who caused it. They tell you they're so mad at that dickwad that they thought about messaging him themselves, asking "What the f*ck is wrong with you?!" Girlfriends tell you you can call them any time, and they really mean it. Sometimes you need to. They carefully navigate the oh-so-cathartic but kind of misogynistic ritual of shit-talking the other woman (you keep each other in check though--it's not all her fault). Girlfriends proofread emails and tell you if you should actually send them or "maybe wait a few days." They remind you of past heartbreak when you didn't think you'd survive, but then you did. They promise you will this time, too.


Stars, to me

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
   and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
   much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.


When Your Father Dies

Shifting the Sun
by Diana Der-Hovanessian
When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.