The incredulous, “Fo Realz, Week? Why you gotta be so dramatic?” selfie.
The incredulous, “Fo Realz, Week? Why you gotta be so dramatic?” selfie.
The “Wishing I was Outside Right Now” selfie.
Drinking: A guatemalan pour Frank insisted upon (it’s really good, he was .. I won’t say right, but justified, in persuading me to try it rather than my usual)
Well, if the inability to sleep for just about the entirety of a night is any indication of successful introspection, I would have to say that Project Introspection was a raging success.
So here we have the first late night (okay, it’s almost 8am. It just feels like it’s 4am and time for bed), kitchen/living room selfie. Thanks over-active brain/too many feelz heart/general sleep depravity, for making this possible! :p
Drinking: Chamomile Tea
Listening to: Delta Spirit - California
All of the feelings that I know you’ve never felt
And all of the simple words you never said
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself
They’re not for me
I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms
I want you to hide yourself from all I see
And though my heart will fight until its dying breath
You’re not for me
Weird face for a weird night.
"I miss old Sara, too. But I agree, the new version will be better."
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that he also felt like I was, already, someone so different than who he had met.. that I was falling farther from the person I have been, and farther still from the person I want to be. But it was eye opening and disheartening either way, to feel, not only my own disparity between my past, present, and ideal future, but know that it was felt and noticed by the people I care about, too.
That I am somehow deviating from all the best I could bring to myself and those around me, and somehow settling for something lesser, something un-named, still unidentified, fully.
I’ve been trying to fill today with introspection, trying to just remember how to think, process, as I don’t think I can truly fix anything when I barely have paid attention to the symptoms. But months and months of blocking things out and filling empty spaces with anything and everything else seem to make it hard to know where to start.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been so thankful to be stranded by a thunderstorm (I biked to Ventana, and could have probably biked home by now, soaked anyway, had the wi-fi not gone out and my bill unable to be paid until it returned), as it at least got the process started. But now the wi-fi is back, so I’m going to go pay, attempt not to get struck by lightning/hail, pray that the street lights are bright enough that passing vehicles notice the cold, biking girl frustrating their speeding plans, try to shake this unsettled, unstable feeling, and hopefully.. start growing more and more in to the person I am meant to be.
Drinking: Wisehopper, Cold Brew, and all sorts of water
Listening to: Vance Joy - We All Die Trying to Get it Right
(Think you’re in control until you’re not
And you’re so in love until you’re not
Find a place where we can be alone
Find a place where we can be ourselves
So aim high, and aim true)
The “What a Great Saturday” Hair-Flip Selfie.
Beautiful bike rides, gentle rain, a pleasant work day, the first taste of fall, art outside, free drinks (RADLER - Kosch with orange san pelligrino, what’s up) , Karebear & Brian, an unexpected phone call from the far away bestie, and now poetry and tea while watching the sun set turn this quiet neighborhood in to various shades of gold.
I am pretty sure I have never been here without seeing Neil, a Stone Spiral regular.
He never remembers me, but always talks to me anyway. My responses have varied from pretending not to have heard him (:() to imagining he was a family member who I loved dearly and wished people would treat him well (and therefore being probably too friendly).
Our third interaction of the day went like this:
Neil: “So Sara, what are you going to do when it gets cold?”
Me: “Probably put on more clothes.”
Neil: “Do you have a winter coat?”
Neil: “Well, but how do you get around? Isn’t that your bike?”
Me: “Yeah, I try to bike as many places as possible.. but I also have a somewhat unreliable car.”
Neil: “Oh, okay. Well, Sara, I’m going to leave in about twenty minutes. But it was great to meet you, I hope you have a great day. And a great weekend. And I don’t know if you go to church, but if you go to church, pray for me.”
What a sweetheart. I hate how easily I dismiss strangers sometimes. He doesn’t even realize we’ve met multiple times before, yet I can guarantee that my and other patrons responses to him (whether dismissive or engaging) have altered his day, even ever so slightly. I want to treat ever stranger as an invited guest in to my selfish, little world, and leave them feeling a little more loved for it. Overly ideal? Maybe. But we’ll see. For now, it’s time to meet my mom for dinner!
Three cheers for food and family!
Sometimes a photo seflie just can’t adequately display the full spectrum of emotion involved in my brain.
So, I present to you, the video selfie. Entitled, “If I was on a First Date with Saint Louis.” To be explained later, since my friend just got here and I’m being rude.
I must be a special brand of friendly today.
While sitting on the patio (I’ve since moved indoors.. battery problems), an elderly gentleman approached me and laughingly asked me how I could see anything I was writing. I smiled at my sun-glared computer screen and responded, “it’s not too easy, but it’s worth it for the sunshine!”
His name is Don and he’s been building his dream retirement house in Panama, finally ready to enjoy his years of hard work, but his plans were delayed when he was diagnosed with cancer last year. “I’ve got cancer in my gums, had to get all of my teeth pulled. Tomorrow I’ll get dentures. It’s been a tough 8 months,” my heartstrings were pulled at his simple, honest story.
A traveler, a life-time learner, a die-heart catholic, a family man, and someone with seemingly a history of wealth and education, thinking he’s about to enjoy the freedom and beauty of retirement, but finding instead, sickness and hardship. It’s interesting, the twists life takes.
"It’s sad, you know. It takes something like cancer, something like getting old, to make you realize what is important. You get closer and closer to meeting your maker, and the little things start to fade away, suddenly seem less important," he sighed.
I guess this is where I have a special position, a response not everyone can give. An experience where I, being young, can watch someone else go through something, and gain a similar (albeit lesser) wisdom. “You never know, Don. When I watched my dad get sick, I learned a lot from him about what’s important. Maybe you’re a special testimony to people, maybe you can help others to remember what is worth living for, and even in this difficult time, be an encouragement and guide to others.”
He smiled, his toothless grin.
It was a good encounter. I think we both, but know that at least I, left feeling enlightened, encouraged.
I am so thankful for all the different people on this crazy earth, all with different experiences, all still learning, seeking, hurting, loving.. I want to always remember that, always feel there is something intrinsically worth engaging a conversation with a stranger.
It’s happened again. The “I have an entire room to myself” seflie series. So many reason I should never be alone. ..Four, to be exact.
The “Selfies you Never Saw” because I never got around to uploading them. Part 1.
Why now? You may be asking.
Why, after all these months of hoarding your unpublished selfies, would you release the first collection?
Unfortunately coffee is not the only thing that keeps me up some nights.
Thankfully(?), the internet is a great, mind-numbing distraction. Only I’m not using facebook, and have already reached my quota of obsessive e-mail checking and instagram scrolling during the nine hours of traveling.. So, here we have the motivation behind the first of the belated coffee shop selfies.
The “Oh man, I love this girl so much” selfie/’us-ie’” (as my ever hip grandfather has informed me is the appropriate title)
New York the 2014 has been, ah, yeah, the best. I don’t know that I can compare it to many past visits (it is GREAT, but DIFFERENT, not necessarily better), but it is just what I needed for this moment.
The perfect blend of remembered friendship, foreign and familiar experiences and places, cultural blends, forgotten norms, revelations, family, purpose, and presence. I feel as if I have thought, felt, and realized more in the past week than the entirety of the past few months. Every day is full of good conversation, inspirational reads, delicious pastries and endless milk teas, parks, shows, slow mornings and perfect sunsets, everything unplanned but full and perfect..
I just feel MYSELF. The version of me that breathes freely, explores endlessly, thinks deeply, laughs loudly, and loves boldly.
And at the same time, I’m so surprised. I guess I am a lot closer the person that past Sara-In-NY would only look at from a distance.
Instead of quickly jotting down lyrics from bands heard overhead in the “cool” areas of town, I already am humming along.
The people I once admired from a distance (the effortless fashion sense, unique and creative self), while they, well, seemed to ignore my overall existence, have actually started seeking me out. Haha, what? And isn’t NY supposed to be unfriendly? I’ve found myself in more conversations with strangers than ever - only this time it’s not the disabled, drunk, or creepy who strike up a conversation, it is the people who I would consider wayyy to cool to talk to me, haaha. Of course, is it really an accomplishment that people who actually look hip are okay interacting with me in public? Considering that sometimes the more fashion conscience a person is, the more vain and the less interesting they seem to actually be as a person? Probably not an achievement to celebrate, hah. It is, though, reaaaally surprising (you guys! I’m from the midwest!! We start thinking something is cool, like, three years after you stop wearing it!)
Rachel’s boss asked if I could stay and work with them (that means free housing. In Brooklyn that’s unheard of), “She doesn’t want to stay? ..Well that’s a shame,. she’s really great, has such a great spirit about her.. but that makes sense that someone would already be utilizing her in Saint Louis.. that’s too bad..” …I didn’t even think he liked me!
On Sunday, suddenly aware of the fact that I was standing alone, eating in the corner as everyone talked in groups around me, I made my way over to Nick and Eric and said something like “I just realized I was the awkward kid at the party, who’s best friend is the punchbowl, so I thought I would join you guys.” Nick looked sort of disgusted and retorted something like, “No, you’re like the popular kid who everyone is talking to. ..Wait, no, you’re like the popular kid who everyone wants to talk to, but can’t because you;re busy talking to the unpopular kids.” He’s made several comments since, all regarding both Rachel and I’s intense popularity. ..What? I am pretty sure that is just about not anything that I would think about my nyc life, haha.
It”s just weird. I don’t feel different, yet the way people react to me is so different than my first internship here so long ago. At the same time, I can see a difference between my NYC self and my STL self.
In Saint Louis, there are so many truly great people and things and causes and activities that I want to do but end up becoming overwhelming.. it’s like I give everything the least I can so as to spread it out to everyone/everything. I’m positive that’s part of why I’ve felt so scattered, so absent, lately. Part of the magic of NYC is that I don’t have to think about tomorrow. About the piling tasks, the emotional weights, the expectations both real and imagined that hold me to standards that end up being more imprisoning than freeing. I can give everything to the MOMENT, and it’s so invigorating!
Speaking of the moment and hitting quotas, my indoor-on-a-beautiful-day quota has been reached, so I’m going to go now. This post makes me feel weird. I’m not trying to say I’m awesome. I’m trying to say that something has changed in the way I experience NY and the way it receives me, and I’m not sure how to take it. I also feel refreshed and lovely, and more true to myself and to God than I have in awhile, and I want to remember and learn from that. …I guess this paragraph could have accurately described the entire previous gazillion paragraphs, but aaaah well. ;p
Currently at: The only real coffee shop within an agreeable walking distance from 8th Ave - The Green Fig Bakery
Listening to: Hot Chip - Warnings
Drinking: Iced Chai