A Quiet Summer

(me, unbothered, sipping my tea)

“So, how’s life in Jeff City treating you?” they ask, with overtones of another question. Why the hell did you move there? is likely the root inquiry.

To refresh your memory, I relinquished my apartment to a friend in Seattle, transferred my base to Chicago O’Kurr, and changed my permanent residence to Jefferson City, Missouri. I’m a native of the town, and I’m back— on my own volition. I did this because it wasn’t financially prudent to stay in Seattle, and my base was shrinking. Overall, my quality of life was rapidly decreasing.

And to be fair, I’m not in Missouri all that often. I’m striking while the iron is hot, grabbing the fun and well-paid trips of the summer; seniority sure has its benefits. However, when I am home, I’m keeping a low profile and working on myself.

I had a little bit of a tumble when it comes to romance— while it’s somewhat of a broken record for me, this instance was particularly devastating. I met a darling individual at an event, and we hit it off. The whole song and dance ensued: butterflies, texting, long phone calls, and grandiose summer plans— I even bid my entire month of July to overnight in his new city. We really connected, and I was given all the signs that this was something meaningful and had potential to last. And then it took a nosedive.

It turns out, he’s not physically attracted to me. I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to body image (read deeper into my blogs, and you’ll see it’s not an issue from which I stray). And I don’t even fault him for that; you can’t force these sorts of things. It’s typically not something develops over time— either you are or you aren’t. You know it within minutes of meeting someone; however, this primal instinct is cutting when someone decides, “No, you’re not the one for me intimately.” And while I am no stranger to this type of rejection, I felt blindsided, especially since at no point did he clarify this with me. I was, for better or worse, full speed ahead, all systems go.

(me, glowing in my natural habitat)

Luckily, I am very comfortable with being vulnerable and wearing my heart on my sleeve. It’s stitched into my identity, sewn into the fibers of my being, and it takes a lot of courage to do so. I do not regret one thing I said, even in my heartfelt, handwritten letters.

Chalk it up to his youth, perhaps, but the lesson learned here is that it has nothing to do with me. That’s difficult, because I almost always think I’m culpable for some part of a SNAFU. Through this experience, at first glance, I wanted to shift course and not put all my cards out on the table. I wanted to throw up my hands and be done with romance as a whole— and that’s exactly what I’m not going to do. I’m going to love deeply, even if the outcome doesn’t turn out in my favor. This is who I am, and this is who I will continue to be.

If anything, this has given me the fire within, the “agni” as we call it in yoga, to press on. Lizzo has been the queen of my empowerment anthems. While this might be a low-key summer for me, I’m recalculating: I’m getting quiet, listening to my truth, the Source, and shedding everything that which does not serve me. This includes, but is not limited to, rocking out some yoga teaching, making strides for that next career move, and finding pure joy within myself and others. As I’ve anguished over the past couple weeks, three questions came to me that I’m attempting to answer at the end of each day:

  • What have I done for my spirit?
  • What have I done for my body?
  • What have I done for others?

Hopefully, these will quell any self-nagging that creeps up from the anxiety surrounding a minor heartbreak. I’m trusting the process and embracing the journey, for what seems like a setback is really a liberation.

Oh, and I finally bought a car. After months of research, test driving, and downright lusting over the right vehicle, I introduce you to Gustav Mazda-San. While loving material things isn’t particularly advisable, I love the hard work I’ve put in to afford and deserve this. Zoom zoom.

Soundtrack, litrilly every lyric: Lizzo – Truth Hurts

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Springtime Transitions

The cherry blossoms are popping, and so is my booty. Springtime is here, as indicated by the sunshine and my allergies. It’s time for changes and rebirth— and speaking of, it is the month of my birth, so all rejoice in this heavenly presence of The Queen!

If you’re in the market for making change, it doesn’t have to be drastic or dramatic to have a positive impact on your life— even though my recent life changes have been slightly drastic and dramatic.  

I’ve had a lot of feelings since I left Seattle a couple weeks ago. My heart got a little tingle the other day when I saw a Seattle-bound flight on my walkaround. The thing I keep reminding myself: this was all my choice. I left under my own accord for the necessity of growth. I hold my friends there in my heart, and keep them close via social networks and the like.  

Your body knows much more than the mind (read: ego)— but the mind has more control. It wants to hold onto familiarity for its own sake. But a flower bud in nature knows exactly what to do. And in a day’s time, it opens up to a beautiful bloom, at its own pace and without much fanfare. Our bodies are open to this intrinsic playbook, too. That’s how change can be: rapid with little notice. And it explodes day by day, supporting the illusion of time; it isn’t as linear as we think. As we train our focus, we observe the peaks and valleys of time, soaring through the immeasurable vast that is experience divided by intention— but I digress.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve spent some time on the farm, a plot of land that has been in my family for several generations. I learned a lot out there: how to drive, hunt, rotate tires, and raise livestock. This might come as a shock to you, since I present my fabulous self as some sort of city folk— and it’s true, because I’ve forgotten a lot about country ways. (Rewind a week ago when I high-centered the four-wheeler in muddy tractor tracks).

I have a lot of ideas and plans for the farm. Other than a few cows, tended to by a family friend, it remains unoccupied. The Shop, where my grandpa fixed most anything and everything, stands in a snapshot exactly as he left it, albeit covered in dust since his earthly departure. Going through some of his things is overwhelming and saddening, because I seek his advice on exactly what the hell to do with all this…stuff. It will take years to get this place in order, what with my job and schedule that take me in and out so often— and how nice would it be to find a cute ranch hand to refresh my memory about all things farm!

Maybe I’ll have a vineyard or have bees or build a yoga retreat center— any or all of these endeavors excite me. And I’m definitely building my dream house here. What terrifies me, though, is the time it will take to commit. On the other side of these grandiose ventures is the harsh reality of success. The good thing is that this place isn’t going anywhere, if I can help it.

Despite the affront that pollen has had on my sinuses, spending time in nature is a huge blessing. I went mushroom hunting; there’s no cell signal anywhere, except two bars worth on a hill— just enough to make a phone call if needed (but don’t call me). As I scoured the hillside for this springtime delicacy, I couldn’t help but notice how loud it was. I expected quiet stillness, but the racket of swaying branches and chirping birds was enough to make me think I was downtown Chicago. That noise, though, is so rejuvenating.

Last night, I fell asleep to a springtime thunderstorm, another noise that I haven’t experienced in quite some time. And this morning, when I awoke, I looked out into the backyard, delighted by the dark, wet bark juxtaposed by the verdant, budding leaves.

This is all to say that it’s working out so far. The commute to Chicago, with the help of benevolent friends, isn’t as bad as I imagined. And being home in Jeff City has yet to sink in— aside from going to yoga and grabbing food, I haven’t ventured out into the public eye. I like it that way, figuring out the answers to the questions in peace and on my own time.

Something so illustrative to this new chapter is buying a car— eventually, I’ll need my own vehicle, as I can’t mooch off my family (their words in jest, not mine) for much longer. As I consider the options of leasing, buying new, buying used— not to mention various opinions of brands and projected reliability— the question becomes “How long do I intend on being here?” That question had historically been answered with, “As soon as I can get the hell out.” But now that I’m back, I’m facing that discomfort head on as the great opportunities abound. In a sense, I will always be here, even if my job takes me elsewhere— the What Ifs of life are nothing more than a distraction to the current moment.

All in all, I escaped so that I could come back— and therein lies an indescribable power, managing my own fears on my own time. Now someone help me build a house and buy a car. 

Soundtrack: Anywhere But Here – Hilary Duff

Like Yourself

“I like you Freddie. Call me when you like yourself,” Jim Hutton told Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

That line stung. I knew why, but I put it away for the rest of the movie while I sobbed over the renewed wound of losing an entire generation to AIDS— I really know how to pick the most emotional movies on flights.

The journey to my self-worth has been long and arduous, but I’m picking away at letting my light shine.

So then fast forward to a recent trip— I was doing the walk around when I caught my reflection in a window to the terminal. That little voice inside my head, the one always babbling, said for the first time in a really long time, “I like the way I look.” I did not expect this, because this voice rarely says anything nice to me. But there I was, twirling around the plane in a mix of emotions, a small grin and tearing up over the confidence and dapper feeling that is ever elusive.

Not too long after that epiphany, NBC News published this article with the headline, “Are sexy gay Instagram accounts fueling disordered eating?” It goes into detail of Thirst Traps leading the masses to alter their eating habits in order to obtain a body similar to that of the accounts (a thirst trap is an account that mostly posts shirtless/revealing photos, highlighting one’s taut physique, and you are “trapped” there from gawking so much).

Little Ace of Base enjoying Palm Springs sunshine with Uncle Bobbie

Months ago, I stopped following accounts like this, because, although I didn’t have an eating disorder, it was causing me to compare myself to nearly unattainable Adonis-like bodies. Having always had an issue with my body image, it was out of self-care that I focused more on health instead of image.

And for a long time, I scoffed at thirst traps. I called them vapid, cliquey, and exclusive— but I’ve changed my narrative. While some of these guys are certainly not the nicest or most welcoming for people of my body type, they, too, harbor the trauma that is being gay in the modern world. Specifically, white gay men are higher on the privilege pole than most other minorities, and they do an amazing job at masking their pain under the guise of professional success, creating a fanciful image of their lives. Underneath all that, though, is still the brokenness and confusion of being queer in this age. Sometimes, Thirst Traps are posting to thwart their own insecurities; it might take them as much courage to post a shirtless picture as it does for me, even though their body fat is way less than mine. They might be more accepted, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult for them.

That’s a tough pill to swallow, because it’s easy to be mad at them for their shortcomings. It’s easy to accuse them of being pompous and egotistic, but all that does is reflect on us for assuming that their path is trouble-free. What’s even more difficult is to embrace and love your body the way it is, exactly in this moment no questions asked, unconditionally. Society tells us otherwise, because there’s always something we could do to improve ourselves. In the grand scheme of things, of course there is— but it’s not at all urgent.

Mask4Mask Self-Care is so masculine

At the end of the day, the infighting amongst our queer family over who looks better is petty at best. I call on our community to put down our arms and find a bit more compassion— mostly because our battles are not suited with each other, but against the onslaught of disparities of our QPOC (Queer Person of Color) family members and trans* family. If we could get past the fat shaming and build each other up, we would be poised to use our privilege for the entire breadth of the queer community.  

In that moment where I saw myself in the window, it didn’t fix the years of stress and stigma I’ve put on myself. I don’t even necessarily feel that great about myself today; this is not a linear journey, and there are certainly ups and downs. But it was a glimpse of what I have found to be capable in myself— satisfied and comfortable in my own skin.

Astute & Resolute: Do The Work

“Alright, yogis. It’s out there. Now, let’s do the work.”

My first yoga instructor, Megan, says this after we set our intentions for our class, and it’s fitting to highlight this profound statement as I get ready to start my Yoga Teacher Training in a few days.

I might’ve made resolutions in the past, but I’m being softer in my aggression to get them accomplished this time around. To me, resolutions are different than goals. These are more or less intentions, seeds planted that may or may not grow into something else.

I have a peculiar sense that 2019, despite whatever political firestorm may erupt, will be an intense year for me. I generally don’t like odd numbers, so I’m skeptical at best. But I’ll give it a shot.

In no particular order, here are my resolutions:

  • Reevaluate my relationship with food. This isn’t a diet. I’m not going all out keto or vegetarian or paleo or any sort of strict, scripted dietary fad. For me, it’s not sustainable. I almost always break that commitment after a week or two. In this process of reevaluation, I’m looking into why, when, where, what, and how I eat— because I know I don’t eat for fuel. Whether it’s emotional or boredom (or true sport!), the combination thereof is not healthy for me. This, in turn, will also help me look at my body image through a better lens.
  • Drink for the occasion and not to excess. A few months ago, I went stone cold sober, omitting alcohol and maintaining a healthy social life. When I did this, one of my friends said, “WHY, what happened?” Nothing happened in particular, but I knew I was hitting the sauce harder than I should have. When I came back to drinking again, I realized that I enjoyed not drinking heavily— and my friends were very supportive of the change. Now, a glass of wine at a celebratory dinner or a fancy cocktail for a wedding will suffice.
  • Limit social media interactions. This one is huge, since a large part of my social life with my job is online. I’m not always in the same town as my friends, and keeping up with family is so much easier when it’s on the internet. But in a sense, it cheapens the experience when I scroll, scroll, scroll endlessly— and I haven’t accomplished a damn thing. I don’t exactly know what this looks like yet, but I will likely delete Facebook from my phone and only access it on my laptop, once a day (if that).
  • Delete online “dating” apps. It’s time. They didn’t serve their purpose, but the proverbial horse has been ground into a pulp. Bless its heart. Grindr, Scruff, and Tinder are so last year.
  • Get serious about career advancement. I’ve enjoyed my journey of being a First Officer, and I could’ve taken an upgrade to captain awhile ago. But life didn’t dictate that for me, and I was unwilling to compromise my quality of life. That joyride is over, and it’s time to start getting my ducks in a row if I want to go anywhere in this industry.
  • Pet more dogs. Self-explanatory.

2018’s mantra was “Reclaiming my time!” à la Maxine Waters. I don’t think I accomplished it, because I sure as hell wasted a lot of it. But what I discovered is that it’s ok if I waste my OWN time— I can hold myself accountable for my actions and act accordingly. What I cannot stand, though, is when others waste my time. I had my time wasted in a romantic way, and that won’t happen again. Thank you, next. And that’s all the energy I’d like to give to that subject.

2019’s mantra is “Do the work.” I am, admittedly, lazy. But it’s time to get it moving and flowing and shaking! Starting off the year with Yoga Teacher Training will surely set the mood and change me forever. I’m excited and terrified for this endeavor, because there is nothing more tantalizing and awesome than a dream coming true.

This happened in 2018. This won’t happen in 2019.

Tangentially, it is simply not enough to be your talents, as you can’t possess them— you actually have to do something with your talents for them to have meaning. Harboring your creativity or humor, or whatever it may be, is only a disservice to yourself. The world wants and needs your full, true identity for equilibrium and harmony to occur. I don’t know what form my expression will take this year, whether it’s a novel or podcast, or, hell, my own talk show. But something performative is in store. I feel it. I need it.

Now that I’ve written it, it’s out there. Let’s do the work.  

Danger: Rejection Seat

IMG_2565I’m hitting my late twenties hard this last month. Feeling an existential crisis, I did what any pop queen would: shaved my head and grew a mustache. I had the excuse of Movember behind the face fur, but really I just wanted to see how it looked amidst emotional turmoil.

Not one to air the particulars of my dirty laundry, let’s suffice it to an age-old story: I developed a seemingly more-than-friendship with a guy whom I admired deeply, mistook vibes and cues, and turned it into a romance that never was. I’m an expert at this, I can assure you, as this is not the first time I found myself in the Friend Zone™.

At this point, you’d think I’d know when to pull the ‘chute and descend to safety in my rejection seat, but I keep going. I’ve learned an interesting thing about rejection, though. It hurts. But it can hurt a lot less if you’re direct and clear. “I’m not interested in you” stings, but it’s blunt and clear; there’s no loose end, versus, “I don’t know what to say,” which says it all. The delivery of rejection precludes being “the nice guy.” Perceptions will change; very simply, you cannot have your cake and eat it, too.

And then there’s the behind the scenes of it all. At some point, rejection after rejection, I have to believe that it is me, that there is something about me not palatable to those whom I’ve admired. The soul-searching questions arise like “Why am I not viable?” and itching comparisons come to light— what exactly am I missing that the coupled or courting are doing? I guess I’m a FOMO homo.

Yes, this sounds awfully pitiful. But this is where the work comes in.

I’m a longtime fan of Brené Brown and her lessons of vulnerability, which I’ve heeded. I have been honest and open, vulnerable to share and communicate my feelings clearly and effectively. All that said, however, it wasn’t enough. It was a valiant effort, but it didn’t result in the romantic splendor that I craved. There is no formulaic answer to this problem, and it certainly won’t be solved overnight— when there’s no spark for a flame, nothing catches on fire.

validation
This image that I saw on a friend’s Facebook is entirely too cheesy, which is why it resonates with me.

Bottom line:

I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man. But seriously, behind the humor, I’m working on myself diligently to be the best that I can be for myself and no one else. And that is attractive.

Soundtrack: Son – Sleeping At Last

The Vagabond is Back!

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It wasn’t even just two years ago that settled into my Capitol Hill bungalow, leaving the vagabond life behind. I’ve loved almost every moment of living in this Emerald City, and yet I have solidified plans to leave.

Seattle has been a wonderful experience. I moved here to find clarity, community, and achieve goals. Fiscally speaking, it’s not prudent for me to stay. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck for much of my professional life— and I don’t regret that for a minute. Living in the neatest neighborhoods (read: paying the highest rents) and surrounding myself with diverse people, I have seen and explored and experienced most haven’t in my short 26 years.

But it’s time to go home. In a bizarre change of plans, my calling is to return to my hometown. Please, simmer down. I’m freaking out as much as you are. But this is why: the rent is too damn high. My mom is retired, and she has a new lease on life (which is, truly, the most beautiful thing I’ve seen). She plans to travel extensively, visiting family across the country and exploring in her own right. Therefore, her house in Missouri will be mostly vacant— and what spells more millennial than free rent?

The other reason is that I’m going to complete my Yoga Teacher Training in January. My dearest friend and instructor since youth has loosely offered me a teaching position at her studio— an opportunity that just drips with energy. In a way, I’ll be giving back to that which gave so much to me; and more specifically, she who gave me so much. While I get my feet wet as an instructor, I’m dreaming of different endeavors to cater to the teen yogi population, from which I benefitted as a youth. I’m talking free classes, scholarships, and a lot of love to kids who need it (all of this is up in the air, but the possibilities are endless).

Bluntly, there’s also a trauma inflicted upon me by the town in which I grew up that I need to investigate— it was terrible for a young queer person. Jefferson City isn’t exactly the cultural beacon of Missouri. But I’m in a position of power now; I have a solid career, a clear mindset, and a bulletproof skin. In my liberal bubble of Seattle, I’m protected by my neighbors who think and act just like me. But maybe there’s more to life than seeking likeness. Perhaps there’s a sweetness in conflict— by coming back , there’s a way to get to the heart of why I left. I want to hold the hatred in my hand, examine it with love, and see what happens.

I don’t like my hometown. I’ve made that vehemently clear throughout my life, and I vowed never to return. Well, never say never. With the flying gig, I have the opportunity and obligation to leave for work and get breathers. And it’s not all that bad— of course, I have some of my family there, plus esteemed souls like my former English teacher and childhood best friend. It will be nice to reconnect with a sense of nostalgia, all the while having a different perspective on living in my hometown.

With every move I’ve made in life, I assumed some sense of finality; when I moved to Chicago, I thought that would be it until I moved to New York. When that didn’t work out, and Seattle called, I thought I’d be there for a very long time. Jefferson City was never on my radar— but like many epiphanies, it hit me all of a sudden. It makes sense. And I’m not putting a deadline on it. It could be three months, it could be three years. I just have a vague outline of things I need to do at home— that includes, but not limited to, spending time on my farm just south of town and doing butch things. Maybe I’ll build a cabin. Maybe I’ll grow a big garden like my grandpa did. Maybe I’ll buy a cute little car and zip around the countryside, blasting music and singing my heart out— something I dearly miss. On 160 acres to play around, I can get back to my roots. But I probably won’t go squirrel hunting again, like back in the day. Yes, I did.

Having a bit more financial freedom, what with the lack of rent and a recent raise, I’m excited to see what this life brings. I’ll transfer back to Chicago O’Hare, still as a First Officer, still with the same company, and I’ll hold about 10% seniority— a world of difference from my ever increasing 60% in Seattle. Columbia Regional Airport (COU) is 25 minutes door to door from my house, and it’s a 45 minute flight; commuting won’t be fun, but I’ll be able to manage my schedule better in this base.

The timeframe isn’t as drastic as you think: I’ll be transferring, effective in June and selling the majority of my pristine furniture as I make my way across the plains. Over the past year, I’ve taken a look at what brings me great joy. That includes traveling internationally and conjuring up blog posts for fun. I’ll also be able to travel more freely and won’t feel regret every waking minute that I’m not in my expensive apartment.

I’m opening up to a lot of new things. My hippie side senses a blossom of energy on the horizon. I’ve challenged myself— and been challenged!— over the course of the last few months, and this is the result of the latest phone call with god. You might think it hokey, but it works for me: everyone has a direct line to Source or god or whatever that voice inside you wants to say. I, however, have trouble shutting up long enough to listen, and this is what it had to say. Getting still with myself, I can’t believe that I’m going through with it. It’s against everything I’ve ever said— but it feels so right.

In a sense, I’ll be a vagabond again, floating between Chicago for work and my hometown— or wherever my travels take me. To the Emerald City, I’m sure I’ll return someday for another stint, and I thank you for your hospitality. And I’ll start the bidding for my cute apartment, fully furnished!

Scandinavian Charm

It’s an inexplicable yearning, a quest for one continent. It doesn’t matter where— Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Copenhagen or Stockholm. And I have so many more cities to explore, but I absolutely love Europe.

IMG_1847.JPGLooking at my travels, it’s roughly every six months that I get an urge to hop the pond and breathe in the sights and sounds of languages not my own. I revel in the struggle to pick through signs and navigate metro systems. Because I have almost no extended periods of time off work, I usually have to cram an entire city into three days or less; it’s always funny to see the shock on locals’ faces when they ask how long I’m visiting. “Just a short stay?!”

Europe is a romantic continent, and I certainly have an attraction to it for that reason— it seems that every time my heart flutters, I escape to the old world to figure things out. It just so happened that this time, I was returning to the homeland of Scandinavia, specifically Sweden, after a particularly interesting wedding weekend.

If you haven’t caught on, I’m part Swedish. An 1/8th, maybe 1/16th, I’m not quite certain yet. Out of all of my ancestry, that’s the most interesting nationality (sorry England and Germany or whatever countries make me a mutt). Therefore, I have an affinity for the language and culture, however cold and biting they may be.

This was my first visit to Copenhagen and third visit to Stockholm. The quick day I spent in Copenhagen, I did what I always do when I travel solo: walk. I take a look at the map, see where I might want to go, and I let my feet do the rest. That allows my brain to relax and recharge, all the while doing something productive. My first stop was The Marble Church, or Frederiks Kirke. I’m not religious, but I do like taking a few moments to step inside and feel a moment of quiet. I left and walked along the water to find the Little Mermaid, perhaps the most hyped monument in the town. It was neat, but it was just a statue. I walked through an old, yet still active, military installation shaped like a star; the leaves had just started to change in mid-October, a coolness permeated through the glow of a sun that wouldn’t quite make it high enough in the sky— my perpetual mood.

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The rest of the day, I took a nap once my room became available. Then I ventured out into the night to find a kebab, the pinnacle of European junk food. I went to a prison themed gay bar— which isn’t as raunchy as it seems— and met a cute and friendly Italian couple. Copenhagen is the standard of a Scandinavian city: clean, straightforward, and expensive. But my heart is in Stockholm.

The next morning, after a short hour flight with SAS, I landed in “hemlandet,” or The Homeland. At this point, I’m an expert at finding Flygbussarna, buying my $12 ticket to the city center, and relaxing for a 45 minute journey from the airport to T Centralen.

IMG_1878Aside from my familial ancestry to Sweden, my other connection to Stockholm is my cousin Sarah and her husband, Fredrik, and their two bambinos. Fredrik runs FlightRadar24, a flight tracking website and app that has found much popularity around the world. I got the tour of their posh headquarters, studded with aviation relics and modern workplace gizmos— even a treadmill and drink station á la Google. The coders were friendly but short, giving me smirks as they continued to hack the world via aviation.

Later that evening, in a quaint Swedish restaurant named Eriks Bakficka, Sarah gave me tough love. As I recounted my recent romantic endeavor, she called bullshit on fronts I was attempting to smooth over— lovingly, of course. In so many words, her advice about any relationship was this: it should be clear, it should be relatively simple, and it should not be complicated. “Making sense” and checking boxes on shared interests is settling. Love should be explosive and dramatic as the best pan-seared duck breast I was eating.

IMG_1893IMG_1901I let this advice sit with me over the next day as I strolled through my favorite part of Stockholm, Gamla Stan. The bright colors on a cloudy fall day gave me the hideout I needed as I wound through the windy streets. I stopped in for a fika at a coffeeshop, blessedly without WiFi. I ended up at Vasamuseet, a museum showcasing an ancient warship that had sunk in Stockholm. In the dark recesses of the exhibits, I did my best thinking and drafted up what I would convey. The Vasa could be a metaphor for my love life: deep-seated feelings that sailed for a brief moment, sinking to the sea floor but preserved by cold, pure waters— only to be resurrected hundreds of years later and admired from afar. I should start charging admission.

Sarah and I had thrown around the idea of going to another museum for the evening— but I was museum’d out and just wanted some family time. She cooked me a fabulous but simple traditional Swedish meal with dill and crayfish. We sat around the kitchen with her kiddos until it was time for them to do regular life stuff— I made my way to my room across town and got ready for the long flight home in the morning.

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I thought this retreat to Europe would reveal clarity through the cobblestone, as if my ancestors would whisper wisdom through the channels and fjords. But actually it was a real life family member, staring me down, pursing her lips, and giving me the truth I absolutely needed with so much love.

 

Soundtrack:

Säg mig var du står – Carola