Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The things I draw come true.

Crew Scheduling has not been using me much these past few days, so I have reignited my love affair with an old flame: New York. I have a torrid and steamy affair with this city, especially in the summer when it's so sultry that I am sweating and panting the moment I walk out the door. But even in the winter My Lover feels warm and inviting. As comfortable and as enticing as sharing a bottle of Prosecco with your best friend.

Until this week I have had a busy January. I went on a short vacation to Disney World with JoAnn. She and I were there 20 years ago together. 20 years! It was in 1992 and I was 15. Here we are:

In addition to my vacation, I've also been busy with other things this past month. I've had a few dates. I've been to Raleigh a couple times. I had lunch with some old friends in the city- some of my favorite people in the world, including Joe, my former boss (Joe- I hope you're reading this!) I've made some new friends. I lost 20 pounds. (Although I can't claim that this happened all in one month- it has been happening since October). I've been logging a lot of hours at work: Cancun, Las Vegas, Houston, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and multiple cities in California- more times than I can count.

This photo is from the balcony at my layover hotel in Cancun:

Of all of these things keeping me busy, I think Disney World really made me really think the most. I really was never crazy about the crowds or all the screaming children, but in January there were neither one of these two things and I am glad that we decided to come here again as adults. To me Disney World represents three things: 1) Happiness 2) Imagination and 3) Creating the future. The themes there are so in-your-face, so obvious, so apparent, and so bold, but I never paid much attention before. These themes are just begging for me to make the correlation and find the relevance in my personal life, as I face such a cross-road and shift in scenery.

Since that trip I've done some soul-searching and some thinking a lot about all three of these themes. I've had some thought-provoking conversations with smart friends. I've started to create a new "vision board" with new goals. If you don't know what this is, I'll explain: It is essentially a collage of sorts with photos, words, phrases, and such related to what you want to accomplish in your life. Life by design instead of life by default. I have done vision boards with magazines, poster board and glue. And I have done them as Power Point presentations with photos that I copy/pasted from different websites. And so I reviewed my old vision boards the other day, and I realized they were all travel-themed with a little teeny bit of focus on health, love, career, and home. Well this is great, because all of the things on my board came true.

Did you ever watch a cartoon called "Simon" as a child? This cartoon was featured on Captain Kangaroo. Don't you know my name is Simon? And the things I draw come true. Won't you take me, take me, take me over the ladder with you?

That was the theme song. Simon would create a chalk drawing and then climb over the ladder into the chalk world that he created. Well a vision board is kinda like that. Heavy focus on the travel coming true and a little tiny bit of focus on all else coming true for me. For example: I created one board before I took my Semester at Sea voyage in 2009- created the board before I even knew the program existed. And about 90% of the countries that I copy/pasted onto my vision board were countries that were on my itinerary. Amazing, right? Sooooo, since that worked out so well for me, this new vision board is heavily focused on love and home. I think those two things are a package deal- synonymous in my book - at least in this phase of my life. I am putting all of my attention on a healthy relationship in New York City. Photos of happy men and women kissing and snuggling and laughing and eating and drinking and just doing happy things together in the city and in beautiful Manhattan apartments.

And I am trying to step into my dream. Instead of flying into Raleigh on my days off and spending time trying to keep a worn-out relationship alive, I am driving into Manhattan. (Although until I phase out my PO Box and get my belongings out of storage, I still do have to go there a couple times a month.) Disclaimer: my "relationship" or whatever you want to call it from this past summer/fall was not something bad. It was actually something very good. It just ran its course. As sad as I was (am) that the momentum is gone and that it didn't develop into a serious commitment, I am still happy it happened. We had a great several months, and we will continue to be cordial, but he is done with me. And in essence, I am done with him, even though allowing myself to believe that is taking some time. After all, I am the one who chose to move away for my career.

A close friend said to me earlier this month "The opposite of love is not hate- it's indifference." And I got lost in my head for a few days trying to determine what the opposite of hate is. I think the answer is acceptance. Instead of hating your life, hating what happens, hating your situation- instead of all that, you just accept. Acceptance doesn't mean you have to love it. It just means you are at peace with it and zen about it and that you allow it instead of fighting it.

So I am accepting. All the things that I mentioned two blogs ago: The confusing work schedule. Not having a home. Not being able to renew my car registration. The relationship that is over. Making less money. Missing my Kitty. All of that- I accept it. It is just temporary. Everything will be fixed over time.

And I am enjoying the things that I do have and trying to re-focus my energy on being grateful. Like the long oceanfront layovers in Cancun. And all of this extra time I get to spend with my friends in the city. Tonight I am going to a Vaudeville/Burlesque show at the Highline Ballroom with my friend Emmalyn. I really can't wait. And on Sunday I have a date with someone new. And next month I am going to Copenhagen with Dara. And to Ohio to see my family.

Nothing really sucks that much. I promise to keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, I'm treating myself to a Donut. (Which has nothing to do with anything in this blog. I just really want a donut.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tús Úrnua

Thank god for January. Even though this month is bitingly cold, frigid, and bitter, I feel happier. The promise of a new start takes away the sting of December and refreshes me. The cold air manages to numb my soul as much as it numbs my nose and I don't feel as hopeless as I did when I wrote that last post.

Right now I'm in Baltimore. Long 32 hour layover near the wharf or the harbor or the waterfront, whatever they call it here. I lose track in all of these cities. I'm on a four-day trip. We spent the first night of this trip in Denver, which was a surprisingly mild 60 degrees. We got in to Baltimore last night at 11:30 PM from Houston and we have two nights here. An interesting crew on this trip indeed. There is a married couple in their 60s. We'll call them Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde is working in the back galley and Bonnie is working First Class galley. I am the Load, which means I am in the aisle during boarding, and then work in the First Class aisle, and I'm not done yet, because THEN I move to the back to pick up trash. (Told ya this job was glamorous). The Lead is this very chill surfer guy who travels to places like Fiji and Australia on his days off. He is essentially the one who is in charge. Makes the announcements, communicates with the gate agents, etc. We'll call him Jake. Jake and I share the two jumpseats up front. Jake smells great. I like sitting next to him.

So Bonnie and Clyde are weird. During take-off and landing, the cabin lights are adjusted to the level of outside, so if there is (God-forbid) an evacuation, your eyes are adjusted to the appropriate lighting. At night it is very dark in the galleys. Bonnie and Clyde sit in the jumpseats in the back galley. Jake goes back after we have cleared 10,000 feet to get ready for our service, and discovers that they are making out. So he turns the lights on bright. Clyde also keeps making these weird noises with his nose. Jake and I laugh about all of the quirks and go about our business.

So when we arrived late last night we decided that a cocktail was much needed. Unlike the mild and unseasonable weather in Denver, the weather in Baltimore is absolutely biting. I don't know if it's the wind or just the air itself, but the cold cut right through you like a knife. Everything was closed except for this divey bar about 6 blocks away. So there we went. It was a bizarre mix of college students, old drunken Irish men, and us. The beer was served in plastic cups. Somehow I think that dehances (not a word, but I'm keeping it) the flavor. Whatever. It's been a long couple of days. A long week. A long month. And January deserves to be celebrated.

So we closed down the bar after four beers in plastic cups. We returned to the hotel, ears, fingers, and noses numb. Maybe we needed some whiskey instead of beer.

My room is next door to Jake's and across the hall from Bonnie's and Clyde's. When I got into my room I heard all of these doors slamming and opening. And voices down the hall. I opened my door to see what was going on, and Jake was standing with his door opened, a puzzled look on his face.
"Bonnie and Clyde are lost," he told me. "They are trying to open my door."
"Are they nuts?" Jake asked.
"My god, YES." I answered.
"Are you still frozen?"
"My god, YES."
"Do you want to snuggle?"
"My god, YES."

Baltimore got a little bit warmer.

And the promise of 2012 got a little bit brighter.

2011 wasn't bleak- it was actually quite happy, but I am ready to unravel some tangled webs and cleanse myself of some things that are not going to be compromised. I feel happy, well-rested and at-peace ( least until the airport van picks us up at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning.)

Happy New Year, Everyone. Thank you for reading my weblog.