Monday, December 30, 2013

A Look Back at 2013

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be completely satisfied with my writing. Sometimes I think it's ok if I'm not. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. But either way, I wrote a lot this year and that was the satisfying part. 
The following is a recap of the things that seem to summarize this year of our lives best. I noticed when I was re-reading some of the stories that I talk a lot about what I am working on as a person, which made me think that I will probably never be fully content with myself either. But I think that's how it's supposed to be too. I'm beginning to see lately that it's all about the process. And the people and the places and the passion and the love (even though it doesn't start with p).
January. The best thing about this January was being brought closer to Scott's family through a trip to Hawaii and a sketchy, rainy bike ride down a one hundred thousand year old volcano. 
In February, I entered a film festival that I had participated in last year, but this year my film didn't get accepted. Does rejection ever get easier? I should probably ask myself. I guess I would say kind of, but it's hard to see the benefits of it until some time has passed. Fortunately, I feel the benefits of surfing immediately as that blue salty thing seems to make me feel the joys and sorrows in life all at once (especially in the cold and even if I almost run somebody over). 
In March we followed our favorite trail, that trusty, sometimes surly Highway 1, up to San José for my best friend Nicole's wedding. Along the way I did a photoshoot for the Roxy Outdoor Fitness line. It was supposed to rain that day, but I think someone was looking out for me. Was it you Nonny, Poppy, Jo Mamma and Grandpa-I-never-got-to give-a-name-to (I call you Grandpa Frank in my prayers)? I thought so as I was biking down that big hill in the sun. 
In April, we camped in the hills of Malibu for Scott's birthday. While we were there, he was an axe wielding, sea swimming, free spirit making fires by hand, while I was the wild haired girl I was meant to be. Nature will do that to you, remind you exactly of who you are. I believe this is because nature is always exactly who it is, never holding anything back from us. Maybe that's why we all respect it so much. At least, that's one of the reasons why I find it so mesmerizing. 

Towards the end of the month, Danielle surprised my mom and I for our birthdays. As my birthday approached, I begrudged it for bringing age and change, which is really rather unchanging of me and seems to be becoming somewhat of a tradition. I did take a moment to reflect on the things I learned that year.
In May I got 2nd in a surf contest and even beat a few boysMaddie graduated and moved home. Danielle was soon to follow.
June and July brought my dad's 60th birthday while a faraway sailing trip to celebrate it brought us pretty close to Somali pirates. 
My August calendar page was so filled I could barely look at it without having an anxiety attack. They were all good things, but more than just my calendar was at capacity. Thank goodness my mom had the sensibility to remind me not to worry so much, because it's only life. 
In September, we traveled to two different big cities for two different big weddings. One in Chicago for my college friend Nell and one in New York for my cousin MarisaI also changed the name of the blog because someone threatened to sue me over a trademark issue. I hated the moment when I got the email about it. It made me feel significant and sad all at the same time. I was happy to have redesigned the blog myself though and the experience is something I needed to help me learn about being more flexible. 
October's probably one of my top three favorite months of the year. I'm not sure what the other two are. Probably July and then a toss up between April and December. I like October because of Halloween, plus the weather's starting to change and the direction of the swells too. This October was nice as ever. Basia visitedScott's Parent's too and Scott and I walked in old footprints in Newport Beach. I even got an apology I never expected to receive (and did not get punched in the face in town on Halloween!), but I also found out I was going to lose my nannying job since the kid would be going to preschool. It doesn't even feel right calling him "the kid". He was so much more to me than that, which is still sometimes a funny thing for me to think about. It's very like me to get attached to things that I have a connection with, and I expected to connect with little buddy, I just never expected to love him. I didn't feel I should love him because it was only a job and he wasn't mine. I guess it's not a bad thing to feel and share love, though. I guess that might be one of the best things I did all year.
In November we camped near Hearst Castletore out the kitchen and remodeled it right before we hosted Friendsgiving. But life likes to balance things out. It wasn't all pitching tents and decorating tables. I also ran into a problem dressed like a person in one of my other jobs. I wanted this person to be the kind I like to believe in, not the kind I don't. But, reality set in, as it likes to. I began to wonder if some people aren't good. It was a secret concern that would sneak up and overwhelm me. Feelings of resentment camped out in my mind. I'd find refuge in the ocean. Staying out there seemed almost as distracting and peaceful as dreaming. 

While this was going on, I started two new jobs; one for my dad and one nannying for a new family. In a time of so much change and transition, I felt out of control and confused at times, but it will probably be one of those months I look back on and feel most grateful for simply because it tried to teach me so much. Kind of like those miserable years of high school. I can hope for all of that at least, but I actually feel like the experiences from the fall have been shaping me already. Bad things happen, but you have to stay true to who you are. If you are persistent, rough spots will help make you who you need to be. Thankfully the ocean was there for us through it all (not just at home, but in OceansideSalt Creek and San Clemente). 
The problem from November felt like a wish in a well by December, but closure was a Christmas present two days late. I realized that the world is filled with nothing but wonder. How it sneaks up and surprises us. In little pebbles, big waves, fog banks, faces and experiences. 

There are still a million ways we can grow, but Scott and I remembered to bring snacks and water on our Christmas commute, so I know we learned something this year, and I hope a little but more, too. 


Finally, I just want to thank you for reading. I will be grateful for your support and encouragement for the rest of my life. I was thinking about that the other day. 

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Shoot the Pier

It felt like a long time since she'd been in the sea.
She could feel how much her body loved the air and the water.
Her skin loved the sun and the shade.
Her eyes loved to be closed and open.
Her heart furious and calm.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A (Black and) White Christmas

too big for my childhood bed
made by mom
these, too

It never really feels like Christmas until we're around family.