Tuesday, June 30, 2009

won't you be my neighbor...

She honestly makes me feel like I'm the funniest person in the world. Her laugh is particularly great, its honest and jovial and given with complete abandon.
There's nothing I can't tell her that she won't listen earnestly to, she takes in every word and gives thoughtful feedback.
She is mellow, direct, easygoing, and so much fun. Those are the things I love about her, and she kindly says I'm all those things too, and likes that about me.
She never ceases to make me feel wanted, like I'm not just family but that I add to her life in good ways.
I met her almost four years ago, she was holding her darling little boy and had a sweet husband whose name rhymed with hers. They had just moved into the house next door. I made up a whole story behind them, and I love that I was way off, and that once I heard their actual story I adored them even more.
She lets me ramble, be neurotic, be upset and then gives me a glass of wine and helps me figure it out.
I honestly don't know what my life would be like right now without her.

The other night I gave her the Myers Briggs test. She came out as an ESTP. I was shocked and laughed, telling her that I could see how she was an ESTP but that funnily enough, I've said before that this exact type was my worst romantic match. I read more of the description to her and she said wryly, "Yeah, I would make a really bad boyfriend for you."

She and I and her darling six year old son burst out laughing. Her gorgeous little blonde baby clapped her hands.

Karen may be right about that, but she makes one of the most incredible friends I've ever had.

Friday, June 26, 2009

a great slice

Last night at around 11 I found myself walking alone for many blocks up State Street, all dressed up, and devouring a piece of pizza.

I'd just been at a fabulous museum event, with live music, bananas foster hors d'oeuvres, young and fun people all dressed up, outdoor dancing and more. I was with great friends and we laughed and gave toasts to the wonderful summer to come. We left hungry and went to our new favorite chic place for some appetizers and more fun.

Sitting there on the patio, I realized that all night I'd felt truly in the moment, excited to be right where I was. It was a relief. My goal at the beginning of the year was to work on doing exactly that, and avoid thinking too much about the next step or what could be different about the present. And I've been doing so well I surprised myself. Until the past couple weeks, when anxiety about the future came rushing in, stealing my sleep, edging out my gratefulness for where I am. It's been maddening. So last night was a welcome relief, a reminder that when my life is normal, nights like these are what it includes, with friends like these, and how lucky am I...

I decided I didn't need to celebrate my respite from worry with $16 lobster mac n' cheese. In fact, it would be nice to celebrate it, to soak in this gratefulness, alone. Maybe on a cool evening walk, with a cheaper snack, on the way to my cozy bed.

And so that's how I ended up in my high heels and fancy headband, heading the opposite way of most dressed up young folk walking on State, with my clutch under one arm and both hands dealing with the delicious slice of $3 veggie pizza from the hole-in-the-wall in Paseo Nuevo. Of course the worrying came back today, but I feel quite a bit better since that walk.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June Moon

It was a cloudy day, but the sun was still visible, trying it's best to warm the channel between Santa Barbara and the islands. Boats sailed by. People passed walking their dogs. And we talked... and talked... and talked. About the recent election. About traveling. About music. About families. About where we've been, where we want to be... and then,
"I never do this, you know, meet someone out somewhere, get their number, go on a date."
"Really? Are you kidding? I never do this. I never have, actually."

"So then..." he said with an amused and pleased smile, "I find it quite interesting that here we are, on this bench, two people who never do this, but are now, with each other. Very interesting."

And I knew it was the beginning of something, what, I couldn't anticipate, but that something was going to happen. Somehow, even though I couldn't guess how things would turn out, I knew that I would, should move forward with no regrets. I told myself, you can handle whatever may come of this... this instant chemistry with a handsome, driven and thoughtful man who grew up on the other side of the world... who would be moving back home in seven months.

And it was so very very fun... because of this I was challenged, I laughed, made other new friends, and felt my thirst for experience and knowledge about the world expand. How glad I am that it happened, and even gladder that I experienced caring about someone and being cared about in a way that left absolutely no regrets but gratefulness on both sides. And though the romance ended, the friendship has not.

So a few days ago, we ended up, unplanned, in that same spot from months before, overlooking the ocean, and talked as friends the night before he flew away, with a June moon shining down instead of a November sun.

Know yourself and proceed accordingly, but seize the day with a grip so fierce you'll remember how it felt in years to come.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

stunder som den här *

There's this song that I love that is from a band that played at the summer camp I went to while I was in high school. It poetically lists some of the most lovely things that you can have memories of with people you care about... the songwriter tells of dances in the ballroom, sailing until the dawn, going through the fields to camp on the grass with all of his friends, telling stories by the fire and falling asleep under the stars... I think that ever since I first heard this song I've subconsciously held these things in my mind some of the highest forms of true fun you can have with friends.

The songwriter also lists a few things for whomever he's singing to about what will remind him of them, and hopefully, what will remind them of him... "you'll remember me when you see the horizon melt into the sea"... some beautifully written verses.

For friends we have to say goodbye to, whether for a short or long or uncertain time, what a lovely thing it is to have made the most of your time with them, for it to have been quality time, and for you to part knowing that it will be truly good things that will remind you of each other.

I said goodbye on Thursday, and upon reflection, I will think of my Swedish friends when I...

have a bonfire in my backyard
hear the anthemic, explosive beat of good house music
choose to walk instead of drive to downtown
go to Northstar Cafe...it was like a second home
don't take the sun for granted even though it's easy to do here
go to Indochine and (if the music's right) dance the night away...

I will remember J in particular when I...

see the color coral this summer
lay out at the Villa Constance pool (May Grey and June Gloom stole a few afternoons from her though)
next go to the Boathouse
go to Urban Outfitters
grill salmon this summer
see a beautiful girl who can't resist a good beat
stroll down State Street to shop but don't have a wise and thoughtful friend to talk to

I will remember H when I...

hear Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"
slice bananas into my cereal
next go to the Getty
play with baby Carly; she adored him and how he spoke Swedish to her
am on a dancefloor with a smoke machine
see or play all the music added in the past six months to my itunes/ipod
think about being 26
next need something fixed in my house/car/computer
hear someone make up hilarious and creative metaphors
go to pinkberry, especially if i get raspberries
am cold but don't admit it and someone is observing and gives me their coat anyway
have lively opinionated discussions about international affairs
want someone to talk with about history
next stand at the end of the pier
remember my old studio
remember this studio someday
think about Santa Barbara someday

And like they've said, among other things, they will think of me when they remember their wonderful year abroad in California, they'll think of me sometimes when they miss sunny Santa Barbara, they'll think of me as their American friend that they were grateful for and want to know for years to come...

I couldn't ask for anything more than that.

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.
~Henry David Thoreau

*moments like this