Life is Busting out ALL Over!

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OH HEY neglected blog!

Poor thing, it requires thoughtful and meaty posts that I can’t seem to write. Life is good, my head is swirling with lots and LOTS of work stuff, lovely love stuff and discovering this city stuff.

Which is why I’ve started a new place to jot my thoughts in an ADD-typical-millenial style… on tumblr.

So come visit me, and if you have one of your own follow me so we can reblog our brief and profound thoughts together.

Happy weekending!


One year ago today, on December 31st, 2008, I moved into this here apartment I’m typing from right now. I had actually driven into Austin two days earlier but thanks to the wonders of logistics and company office moves 10x more important… my stuff didn’t show up until the early morning of New Year’s Eve. (I wasn’t mad, I was just a simple girl with a storage unit thankful to be moving up and out of her parents house. I had a job and a new beginning. Waiting 48 hours in an empty apartment was worth it)

A year ago today, I spent New Year’s Eve alone. I was officially alone in my new city, in a new apartment and I had finally gotten all my stuff. That day and night, I unpacked the things I own into a new place (in record time, thank you very much), opened up a bottle of bubbly, and turned on Anderson Cooper. At midnight, 2009 started and I turned a year older as it was my birthday. My privilege of having this birthday is that I am able to celebrate the very second it starts… with friends. I highly recommend it. Last year I did not spend it surrounded by friends.

In fact, when the ball dropped, I was outside on my porch toasting the moon and the stars, giving thanks for the opportunity to stand where I was standing and everything that led me to that moment.

2009 was an incredible year for me. I am the only person I know that feels this way, but I am very sorry to see it go.

Tonight, one year later, things are going to be a little bit different. But I plan on ushering 2010 in the same fashion, thankful for everything that brings me to that moment at midnight… and for the kiss that will follow. ūüôā

Many wishes for a happy, healthy and good for the soul 2010!

Somehow, during last 12 months, which have been the most changed filled of my life, I found myself.

I have also found my way home, this life. My heart is full, my cup runneth over. I am content.

For all of it, I am thankful.

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Growing up, I usually had my head in the clouds, most definitely in a book, and I didn’t pay much attention to where I was going… which is what made following the crowd so appealing: the hard work was already taken care of. However, I have always had instinctual awareness that I wasn’t going to leave many broken hearts in my wake.¬† Being a girl “who goes from one boyfriend to the next” was just something I wasn’t designed for.

I’ve had a¬†feeling it would be a slow road for me love wise. That it might take a while to find the right person. Now that I’m in my thirties and the first round of divorces and babies have already hit, certainly being cautious plays a role. But more than that, and always that, it takes a lot to turn my head and take notice. There is a certain mix that seems to be a formula for me, and it doesn’t roll past me very often. I also know that I’m a certain mix too. So when these certain mixes flow past each other, it’s some heady stuff. And also FINALLY because it feels like this only happens on the order of an Olympic timeline or Halley’s Comet.

The short story is that I stand in the wake of meaningful, life-lessons-I-needed-at-the-time, I’ll-never-forget-his-name relationships. Not a lot of them but holy was there stuff going on in them. The kind where even if you know the break up is coming, you continue to shoulder the burden of everything you possibly can hold to make up the difference… if only to delay the inevitable.¬† You did this. You owed it to your heart, who invested so much, to stay afloat just a little while longer (maybe so you can prepare it, too) because when it’s done, the heart is done and in such miniscule pieces that¬†they only energy they can muster is to¬†just lie there rather than begin to mend together.

My most recent breakup, nearly two years ago, was the most significant for me. Both in disappointment but also effects of the relationship. That relationship and then that break up were instrumental in pushing me towards the life I lead now. The one that scratched the itch towards thinking about grad school, then urging me to go, then reevaluating where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, since it was no longer necessary to find ‘whatever I could’ in attempt to go back to Chicago and any next steps of the relationship. I know in my bones that had I not met R, fallen in love, pushed, scratched, and fought for that relationship to work, and then resigned internally to existing in a relationship with an expiration date I so desparately wanted to push back, I would never have moved to Austin and met and fallen in love with Zack Morris.

That’s right… fallen in love. I have and I¬†continue to do on a daily basis. It’s¬†pretty amazing.

But what I didn’t know was that the hardest part of a break up is NOT getting over him. The hardest part of a break up is resetting your own relationship clock, it’s the invisible baggage you bring with you.¬† When the break up was hitting me the hardest, my friends and I discussed what I had learned and I realized what I “needed” out of a relationship. We all thought it was good to go through this process so that I can determine if I’m getting what I need out of a relationship. I could look back and see the holes that would need to be filled in the future.

What they don’t tell you about break ups is that is not him at all that affects you the most. It’s the relationship. It’s the pre-set expectations that if¬†any behavior in ‘future relationship’ happens to fall anywhere close to¬†the “WARNING SIGNS!! Behavior similar to your previously failed relationship!! CAUTION” buckets you’ve placed, you will be disappointed. You might generalize that your return on almost investment isn’t going to break even at all and what the hell, NOT AGAIN. Woe is me.

But you’d be stupid and you’d be wrong. And it’s not until you realize that maybe the reason he hasn’t called you all day is because you told him you had¬†to get some stuff done for work¬†so he was WAITING for you to call, not that once again, you seem to be a low priority and HELL if you’re going to wait around for the phone to ring for some guy to call you. And once you’d made dinner, you realize, crap, was I supposed to call him? So you do. And it goes to voicemail and you leave a message. And then you put your phone in your bag so you can’t hear or see and obsess over it.¬†Which is helpful when you¬†miss his two calls immediately, so hours later when you finally notice he called back, Oops, you call him and find out that he’s on his way over because he was worried something was wrong. And the moment he comes into your apartment, everything feels better, all of your anxiety GONE,¬†I can’t believe I ever freaked out.¬†¬†When he asks, “What happened today?”, it will feel¬†like a wall of water rushing through Titanic, the memory¬†wherein¬†you remember the conversation of that morning…

Crap. It was  me.

So those bags I’ve got the ones filled with disappointment, being a¬†low priority,¬†“It never seems to be enough“. Those?¬†I lit those on fire.

Because he, the one I’m most concerned with, the one that I love, does not deserve my¬†pre-set expectations. Especially expectations¬†that were set¬†by someone else.¬†¬†He does not¬†deserve the percentage of The Real Me I’m willing to¬†give because I’m¬†trying to protect¬†All of Me. He should get all of it. And a blank canvas with nothing painted on it but the¬†colors of¬†getting to know each other, the good and the bad,¬†our real colors, the ones¬†that made us fall in love.

Now I know that no matter how much I think that ratty old luggage is trying to protect me, it’s just weighing me down.¬† I’m starting to believe packing lighter makes me happier.

So, there are some cool things about dating someone who’s first name is basically similar to Zack Morris. When you talk to your bestest friends who live 1200 miles away or scattered somewhere else across the country and tell them about this great guy who they probably won’t meet unless things end up super serious down the road but yet their opinions still matter to you, chances are as soon as you say his name, their response almost always close to: “Ooh, nice name. I like him already.”

Thank you Zack Morris and Saturday morning live action TV shows on NBC when we were teenagers. So, Zack Morris it is.

There are other reasons why my Zack Morris is particularly awesome including:

Awesomer #1: That time a couple weeks ago when we were planning to see this movie and I insisted we have dinner at the theater – all one large popcorn and two cokes style – and when he suggested we could¬† get grosser and go for a hot dog, I replied that having a¬† crappy hot dog at the theater will make me sad because it will only remind me that it’s not a Vienna Beef and that would make me homesick for Chicago. So instead he takes me to a movie where we eat dinner and drink surprise beers anyway without any sort of gross hot dog or nachos on the menu. Awesome.

Awesomer #2: After the Vienna Beef discussion,¬† I sighed I was getting homesick and memorysick (is that a real thing? I think it is) for Chicago and familiar things in the summertime that do not involve anything to do with worrying about how to adapt my day for heat in the 100s day after day. (Seriously, Texas? Hottest July on record, I GET IT. Let’s move on, and lower our standard, please. 89 would be great. 95? Maybe??) Saturday afternoon,¬† Zack Morris picks me up for an excursion. I decided randomly to go to IKEA and he offered to take me.

I jump in his truck and Zack Morris tells me he needs to make as stop first because he’s hungry, and asked if I was hungry. (I wasn’t but the dude NEVER eats and still runs and bikes for 49 hours a day, which I don’t get, so I was THRILLED to hear him actually want to get something to eat and wasn’t going to derail him). We drive and we drive and we drive out to the “suburbs” where IKEA is and now I’m starting to get hungry and my stomach is growling and I’m hoping that he’s not thinking of the IKEA cafeteria because I just don’t think I can stomach it there (I know, I know it’s supposed to be good but it just appears to me as wrong).

We get off the highway and pull into here. A Chicago style grill – legitimate Vienna Beef hot dogs served. I saw the sign on the shop and my heart melted. And then I walked in and I almost started to cry. On the walls, no, COVERED on the walls were posters of Chicago. The one place in the world I could close my eyes and get anywhere. Home.¬† Images I have not really seen in great detail for 7 months. I stood in front of the poster taken from the Sears Tower looking north, framing the river and River North and Streeterville for 10 minutes. I pointed out the older beautiful building on Hubbard where I worked for years, the old Sun-Times building, the Tribune Tower, explained the Marina Towers to him.¬† I explained why I gasped at the owner’s own pictures of the original Portillo’s restaurant, Al’s #1 beef, Giordiano’s establishments that were framed on the wall. He quizzed me on the poster showing the players on the field from the 1985 Chicago Bears squad – who he already knew were responsible for me thinking for YEARS that the Super Bowl goes on for days, not just mere hours. I couldn’t even taste my Chicago Dog, I was so happy. AWESOME.

Awesomer #3: As we pull into the massive shopping center where IKEA lives, we both see another store and shout, “REI!!!!!!!”.¬† So we made a detour. Wherein Zack Morris spent way too much time fascinated by a fold up/in bike, and then rode the bike and then stared at bike tubes and tires and widgets.¬† And then! He made ME get on a bike to measure my bike size because I forgot about my bike riding abilities the moment I got my driver’s learners permit years and years go and I don’t have one to go riding with him. And he asked me if I like the bike (I did!), noted the size of the bike (19 inches! I have no idea what that means!) and told me he has something at home that would work for me and then grabbed some tubes (??) or widgets (??) or something he needed to fix it up. (Yay! A Bike!)¬† Then we went over the the camping section and looked at sleeping bags, where all the ones I picked out are suitable for getting through ZERO degree weather

Me: I LOVE this one, it’s so pretty and blue!

Zack Morris: Yeah, but it says it’s made for 0 degree weather, where would you use this?

Me: Chicago.

Zack Morris: Unless your parents make you sleep in your backyard during Christmas¬† it’s too hot for Texas, even at night.

Me: But it’s so blue! and soft!

Zack Morris: I have already have two bags that work at home.

Me: But..

Zack Morris: I’m pretty sure they are blue and soft.

Me: Okay… I guess that makes more sense.

Then I spotted a map room and he found a map of his home state (where I didn’t think anyone actually lived. Well, except Dick Cheney. Booo.) and got excited showing me where his hometown was, that National Parks to him are like how growing up by shopping malls were to me, and the best spots to view the Milky Way are. I think he might have won the”coolest place to grow up” game. I lost as soon as he said “Gorge”.¬† We sat at that table in the map room for a long time, talking and deciding we wanted to do small road trips, but realizing that it would take so long to get out of Texas that they will have to be here. Which means West Texas desert camping, exciting for a midwest non-desert non-mountain girl like me! We finally left before we got kicked out and continued our conversation over margaritas and chips and queso. Awesomer.

Awesomer #4: Then the next morning he told me he LOVED me. It was totally surprising, although I thought some feelings might be spewed at some point, I was. not. expecting. that. But hearing it was pretty awesome and felt easy and natural…

I’ve been alternating replaying it in my head and freaking out and trying to rationalize and somehow come up with an answer to something that may not have one.¬† But I go keep going back to a conversation we had hours after the L-bomb was dropped, when we were driving to another bike shop (for more tubes and widgets, I think. I don’t even pretend to understand) in silence he looked over at me and asked me if my ‘freak-out’ had started. I said I think it was. He asked what I needed from him. I told him some time to process and then to talk it out. He dropped me off later that night, called me¬† the next day and came over the day after that. To talk. And we did. And it feels good.

It feels good. easy. comfortable. happy. and unspoken. Except although it feels unspoken, it no longer isn’t. I’m done questioning it. It just is.¬† And *that* feels right.


And away we go…

1. 500 days of summer

GO SEE IT!!!! Seriously. Like right now. Go!


I had been waiting and listening to the soundtrack on the website for WEEKS.¬† I watched the trailer every day,¬† I cheered every time the trailer came on TV, and I’m sure the boy was all “What the hell have I gotten myself into? This girl CHEERS for movie trailers yet I don’t even watch TV, heck I even listened to the 2008 election on the RADIO. Maybe if I tell her that she¬† is adorable when she cheers for the trailer, she’ll stop… Nope, that just made her cheer LOUDER. Crap, I think I’ll go run 20 miles barefoot”.

The boy and I got tickets for opening night here in Austin and Friday morning I suddenly became TERRIFIED.

I realized that I had reached the point in which there was NO possible way the movie would ever live up to the expectations I had set for it in my head.¬† I was pissed at myself (this tends to happen a lot) and then suddenly mortified because I was dragging another person along with me, someone who incorrectly kept referring to it as a chick flick.¬† P’shaw!! As IF!! I couldn’t wait to prove him wrong, until the terror took over. What if it sucks? It could taint my ability to make decisions, to make decisions that are cool and awesome. We are still at the stage where the boy would use words like ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ to describe me. I’m not ready for it to plummet just yet.

Friday night, I didn’t want to go. The boy lured me with food by taking me here to watch the movie, where the waiters brought us our chips and queso and his pizza and beer. And then brought me a surprise beer! (I wasn’t going to have anything, and then I gasped when I saw Strongbow Cider and then I had to explain my love for certain ciders to him and then promptly ordered a coke instead) The boy put in our order, or whatever he wanted as I was still so nervous for the movie that I couldn’t eat,¬† via paper on a clip (Metra train style – I had to explain that one too, I’m sure the people next to us LOVED me) on our table and 30 minutes later a Strongbow showed up just like that!! It was a Christmas miracle! It was a good sign.

The movie rocked. It is not a weepy love story per se (it did well up emotion BIG time for me, however. Secretly), not one at all actually, but I’m not ruining anything by telling you that, it’s in the trailer. It was WAY funnier than I thought. Told from a male point of view and dudes dig it. This should be the movie that girls drag boys too so that in the future they will be willing to go with you to those “chick flicks” you’d want to see.

The point is I was totally validated, will continue to cheer when movie trailers come on TV and  some child actors grow up to be way cute:


2. MAD MEN YOURSELF!!! (dot com)

Man! If only I had gotten my worthless Advertising degree in the 1960s!!


3.¬† So, I’ve totally replaced my summer love for baseball with a new love for the Tour de France. I know, I’m super ashamed but there are a couple reasons. a) I don’t get WGN, and Comcast sportsnet doesn’t exist here so I’m SOL when it comes to Cubs games b) the Cubs tend to do much better when I don’t pay attention to them, not that I’m the solution, I’m just sayin’ it’s statistically better this way and c) The Tour de France is DRAMATIC. Like full on male hissy fits and stuff. The jury’s still out on Mr. Armstrong, but since he lives here, I definitely hear some crappy things but he’s also an amazing athlete who like bikes home from the airport and stuff so I have to give him props. But then there’s the shady stuff, I mean I guess you live long enough in Austin, you’ll have an LA story, right?

Anyway, did you know the Tour de France is a TEAM sport? I had no idea! It’s super fascinating. Not to mention that the dude who won yesterday is Lance’s TEAMMATE and since the team basically does what it can to help the No #1 guy to win, LA had to stand down and help the dude win. And the Dude was all “I’m so happy to have Lance working for me” and Lance was all “I’m happy to be the dude’s domestique, I’m proud of him” and then refused to comment any further on his teammate, the dude who won,¬† during the last stages so you know LA was PISSED – because LA loves him some camera time. And then after a total dramatic stage when the dude basically crapped on everyone else, including and especially LA, Lance goes on to announce coming BACK next year with a NEW team – interestingly the winner dude has one more year on their current team… which is pitting LA’s new team vs the current winner dude’s team (LA’s team this year) for a SHOWDOWN!!!

When you think about it, the Tour de France is like the General Hospital of sports. Can’t wait!

BONUS: I have a name for the boy but it’s related to other stuff in a forthcoming post. It’s going well, slightly freaking out but that seems to be norm for me, I feel like.¬† The whole thing is mind boggling. When he laughs for no reason when he’s with me, he calls them HAPPY GIGGLES. He bikes up and down one of the highways on his lunch hour and has a watch that tracks the calories burned (and heart rate and other stuff). I mean, WHAT? How is this whole thing even possible?

Seriously, if you told me that I’ve just woken up and am part of a new civilzation on a little place we like to call Mars, I’d totally believe you. I mean it would explain a lot and Lord knows it’s hot enough here.

He literally came out of nowhere. I had no time for it really. This one was a disappointment and crashed and burned very quickly, which actually was preferable to any awkward motions of dating to be polite that I cannot endure. I thought it was better that way because by the beginning of June, I had no time for dating. Or so I thought. And I thought wrong.

The connection has been instant, feels intense, and sometimes intimidating. But so unbelievably natural, that I feel like I have to barely lift a finger.

I spent most of June out of town. Zipping across the country.

He has made me love phone calls. Long hours worth of phone calls, which I normally dispise, even in the  old days when I would take some smokes to my back porch just to get through a long call with an old friend or a supportive call to my sister. But his phone calls, from his place overlooking the Austin hills to my beautiful but shallow hotel room in Manhattan, his phone calls always made me sad when we eventually hung up.

He is nothing like me. He is a scientist of sorts. His analytical mind makes mine look like I’ve been just wasting my time, when I actually consider analysis one of my strengths. He runs marathons, and not just any marathons, ultra marathons. He puts his body through hell and then decides to run barefoot so he can hear the mechanics of his stride.

He used to love fast cars and now owns the world’s fastest motorcycle, one in which you have to sit in the fetal position to drive. My response? “So you have to drive it on your side?” Naturally, because the only time I ever would lay in the fetal position is while I lay on my bed.

He owns a TV but only to hook up a DVD player. He does not watch TV. I watch so much TV, I have a DVR to record the shows I’m missing because I’m watching another show.

I am not attracted to his looks. Of anything I could imagine I’d like to gaze into, I don’t think I’d choose anything remotely close to what he resembles. Yet, I can’t wait until I get to see his face.

In July, I arrived back to our city.

It has not been perfect. Oh no, in fact, I almost botched it completely. Lost the whole thing in one fell swoop. It was after one  specific instaneous, intense and slightly intmidating time together, I freaked out the next day and decided to lay low for a little while. Let him take the lead on where this would take us next. This had always worked before, the man dictates when and what we define, where we are going, and what we feel. Except this one.

So¬†what did I do? I waited for him, like I had done countless times before. Not for him, specifically, but the waiting for the other to tell me what was right, that I did. And I waited, and I waited. I waited for what seemed like years, but in fact were just days, a week if not a little more. I made a mistake. I assumed he was like every other man I have dated and that their reactions would be his reaction. Then, when my analytical mind couldn’t possibly rationalize the silence any longer, I reached out. I expected¬†defeat,¬†par for the course, what typically happens. “He’s just not that into you”. Except this one.

He reached back. This one sensed that I needed time to process (I did). This one wanted me to come back to him when I was ready (I was). This one was ready to let go if that’s what I wanted (I didn’t). This one didn’t feel rushed but his feelings weren’t the ones who concerned him. Mine were.

He is attentive in ways I would find annoying on paper but makes¬†our time together¬†feel like it counts in so many different ways now.¬† He responds with a hug or a squeeze¬† when my boyfriend Pavlovian response is to wince or wait for laughter directed towards me. He tells me stories,¬†but only the ones in which I derive what matters most to him. He states out loud how¬†he is feeling when he is feeling it, and we aren’t even talking major emotions, and I know he means them. He follows through with actions and not words. But his words?¬†His words¬†state the thing I was thinking anyway, but did not want to say. ¬†He looks me in the eye and does not shift his gaze.¬†¬†He takes his time and I am not bored.

This might turn into something incredible or it might just fade out as another chapter in the Lessons Learned book of my life. Truth be told, I didn’t want to actually write this, because I didn’t want “jinx” anything. But the real truth is, that I want to remember this. Not that I would forget, but should time, emotions and bias influence in anyway, this is how I want to be treated.¬†It is worth it, to feel this way. ¬†Love can be possible again.

I do not have a boyfriend. I am not in love. It doesn’t even matter if it gets to that point here, but the idea that I can see it again, for that, the man deserves to be named (maybe even a category but let’s not rush things).

Name and more stories forthcoming, so stay tuned. This blog is not called Life is Stagnant All Over, after all!


musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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