More like Julie
When I was a little girl, I thought that you were born with all the children you would have already in your body (which, in a way, you kind of are). I thought it was all predetermined for you from birth and you just sort of popped them out as needed. I was also convinced that people looked so terribly different on their wedding days that I might not even recognize the person I was supposed to marry — like I might mistake his best man or one of his groomsmen for him and accidentally marry them instead. I remember remembering that as I walked down the aisle towards Mark, one of the only coherent thoughts I had amidst all of my sheer terror of being in front of people. I went through a phase where I was OBSESSED with the colours my house would be when I was grown. I remember lying in bed one night, freaking out about it and unable to sleep. Eventually I decided on blue with white trim and I could relax (our house is green). Also: we had these orange-yellow light fixtures hanging from the ceiling over the entrance landing in our house, and when I was three years old, my mother told me we would be visiting India and I was convinced that we would get there by climbing into the glass orbs and somehow climbing out in my grandparents’ house.
I thought I was going somewhere with this, but I guess I’m not, not really. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how all-consuming things seem when you’re young — how when you’re watching a movie or hanging out with friends you’re just so in it. At least, that’s how I used to be, and then I lost that for a long time and I’m trying to find my way back to it. Maybe it’s different for kids now, because of cell phones and iPods and Twitter. I am so eternally grateful that Facebook didn’t exist when I was in junior high, that I (just barely) missed the major heyday of social media and cell phones. I had a hard enough adolescence without the constant presence of wall updates and Instagram photos of people’s amazing lives.
I think this sounds bitter; I don’t mean it to be. I am as guilty of technology addiction as anyone else. There are days when I check my email more than ten times. I also think there’s a lot of value in being able to reach out to someone across the globe. There have been many times when I’ve felt less alone because of a blog post from someone in California or England. Like anything else, the problem isn’t the source of the addiction, it’s your own interaction with it. Does that sound smart? I think it does.
ANYWAY. This has been on my mind because I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to document my life lately, both because of the blog and also because it can feel really good to receive positive feedback from people about things you’re showing them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but I need to be careful not to let that need for documentation to overwhelm my actual experience of something. I want to be more like my sweet friend Julie, who, more than anyone I know, is so completely involved in whatever she’s doing. We still write and mail letters to each other, something we’ve done for more than ten years. She can be a terrible e-mailer, but that’s okay! I totally understand why, and I wouldn’t change that about her. It would never, ever, ever occur to her to pull her phone out of her bag and place it on the table at a restaurant. I love this about her. When she’s listening to you, she is completely present, and so empathetic that it’s completely obvious why she’s a nurse. What a gift that is — the feeling of truly being listened to, and not judged, just heard. I want to be more like Julie. I want to be able to watch a movie and not have my mind racing, thinking about cleaning the sink or free-motion quilting, or what I might have for dinner the next night. I want to take Luka for a walk and think only about my immediate experience of that event — the damp air, how stupidly happy he looks racing towards me when I call him back. This is a lofty goal and I know I’ll spend my whole life trying to attain it. I need to remind myself of it every single day.
Some photos from last week. I fell back in love with quilting and whipped up this giant log cabin-style baby quilt in two days. I’m finishing the hand binding right now but will be back with more pictures of it soon.
Mark helped me turn this terribly average photo…
…into my Etsy store banner!
I love him for so many reasons, but chief among them this week has been the fact that he’s held my hand through this entire process. Also, have I ever mentioned that he makes my coffee for me every single morning?
Mark’s brother and his girlfriend gave us this beautiful plant last week and this is the first houseplant I’ve ever owned (except for my windowsill herbs, which are usually outside). I don’t know why I’ve never bought one before — this is actually making washing dishes tolerable.
Back soon with more
thoughtful ruminations pictures of Tim Riggins!