our lives are open ended and our doors are opened wide


I was having a string of rougher days awhile back that I just couldn't seem to shake and one afternoon decided to pick up my old graph papered journal and flip through it looking for the last thing few things that I wrote. The specific entry I found was written just a few days after we had moved in, but it feels like it could have been just yesterday that I laid in our empty bedroom scribbling messy thoughts in chicken scratch. I had a lot of trouble sleeping those first nights. Restlessness makes you feel lonesome even when you know you're not. That mixture of excitement and nervousness that comes along with doing something you've never done before. How in those moments you have to fight for hope right there in the trenches. You have to remind yourself of the kind of muscle that the heart can be. And I remember how nervous I was about starting my new job the next day, about my family living in a different state, searching for familiarity in places I had never found it before. But I'm sort of a last minute kind of person. I grab bravery right when everyone thinks I'm about to give up.

"March ninth: I know that there will be a lot of greatness tucked into this year. I also know there will be a great number of mild fiascoes too. In fact I think it's even safe to assume there will be more fiascoes than triumphs. But hear me loud and clear--there will be triumphs. No matter how small, how few and far between, I will dig them up with all I've got. And on some days when I'm not busy concerning myself with what the future holds or how bad I fucked something up, I will bask in the joy of living a life I have been building from the ground up."

Next to the entry I wrote out a list of great things that happened in my life. Including, but not limited to:

road tripping up the west coast with two of the best guy friends I've ever had, camping by mountains in california, seeing my first shooting star above the grand canyon, having a story of mine turned into a short film, swimming in the lake at night in upstate New York, being married to a kickass human, some how collecting a small success and audience for my writing, picked flowers in Mexico with my mother, skipped class with my best friend in high school so that me and him could sit in the desks behind the gym to eat peanut butter sandwiches and play games of truth or dare without the dare,  flooded a university theater with sound and drained it entirely of light for plays that I accidentally became apart of (twice), watched a friend dance with strangers on Hollywood Boulevard, traveled across the country for people that I love, snuck into swimming pools that belonged to neighbors, laid on roofs with friends just to wait for the sun to come up.

I feel pretty happy about those things and it makes me wish I journaled more. I wish I took more photos too, because as good as I am about enjoying a moment when it's right in front of me, I struggle with having tangible evidence of its greatness and that can be a sad thing sometimes. There's something really wonderful about being able to thumb through captured moments and small summaries of the phases in your life.

I have a hard time with this life sometimes. I feel so small, so slight. Full of good intentions knotted with small disasters. And I take them gently because even if they're messes at least they are mine. And they're not as messy as I make them out to be sometimes. I also like to think they often have the strange and careful way of bringing me closer to something greater. Do you ever get that feeling? I know I feel it about the dude a lot. All of the mistakes, the sloppy poems, the boys I almost-but-didn't kiss over train tracks and in cars, all of the songs and lonely friends, how I was like a river bank once--the mud that gives a little when you step too close. Those are the things that led me to him. They're a little crooked, a little sad, but this is where they've brought me. I'm thankful for them, for him. We know how to build things together.

But more about the small disasters. The other day I wrote three pages in that beat up old graph-papered journal about how tired I feel, how I make excuses to put aside the things I care about, how sometimes I am just so damn sad when I start to think that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to break this cycle. How I don't know how to make myself chase after things, not trip over them. And then I'm laying face down in the bunched up quilts on our bed. I'm listening to Regina Spektor singing about how today we're younger than we're ever gonna be and suddenly I feel like crying because it's only Wednesday and I just want the week to be over. And there's my husband saying we'll do anything I want, we can go anywhere I want, and I'm just sighing because in the moment I don't know what to do and I feel exhausted and I feel annoying and I'm saying something about how I hate Wednesdays when Dylan says "But it's Thursday?--" and all of a sudden I'm smiling and it's like it's contagious because then he's smiling too saying

"Do you want to dance with me? Do you want to dance with me because it's Thursday?" And I do. I really do.

I am constantly floored by the way in which silly and simple things make the rough and rigid edges so much softer. Like when I'm running in the mornings and I feel like the sun is turning me gold. How it feels wonderful and right. Or hiking around beneath the most beautiful canopy of the greenest trees. And wearing the coziest white knee socks in bed writing short stories about strangers beneath the Christmas lights. It's stuff like that. It's stuff like cookies and home made pizza for dinner, drawing fake tattoos on each other, wearing your trusty old Black Sabbath shirt when you just don't feel good in anything. And it seems so goofy, you know. Thinking about how I really thought I was going to cry in that moment when for a second I really couldn't figure out how to shake those blues. But then we're stumbling over each other and laughing, slow dancing in our bedroom because it's Thursday and you thought it was Wednesday--and Thursday is just so much better, you know what I mean? Thursday is just so much better than you knew it could be.

P.s. Sometimes I feel so strange and silly posting this stuff here, it's a lot more straight forward and far less vague than most of my writing on the internet tends to be, and I think I worry about that. Like that these sort of things mean something to me that wouldn't make sense to a lot of you. But ultimately I feel good about having a space to talk openly about this stuff, even when I think its themes are repetitive or uninteresting to most. And to be honest, it's nice sometimes knowing that every now and then the same feelings snake between me and strangers.