Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Being separated from who you love

I used to try to decide, and I would ask people, which is worse: to love someone you can’t be with, or to want to love someone, but not have a relationship? When I was single, I thought it was the latter, but now I’m reconsidering. Today is Carlos’ 28th birthday, and he is half-way around the world on deployment… Again.
He was supposed to come home a week ago, but the government had other plans for him. My heart is sad… I missed our first Christmas, his birthday and our first anniversary last year, and now I’m missing our second. I didn’t know I signed up for this☹ And I thought maybe it would get easier… Yeah, it doesn’t.
I was trying to plan a big celebration this year, since we didn’t get one last year. I wanted to go to Hawaii (to also go to a friend’s wedding). Then I thought we should stay in WA, and go to an awesome resort, go white-water rafting, kayaking and horseback riding. Or I thought maybe we’d go to the fantastic hotel we stayed at our wedding night (across the parking lot from the best restaurant in Washington, and next to the Red Hook brewery and the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery.) None of my plans came to fruition.
Sigh. I am not very good at grieving the loss of him. I either busy myself at home (I planted 53 things in one day, with my mom’s help!!), or avoid home like crazy… I just hate looking over at his side of the bed when he’s not there. Having Burly helps a ton, but no pet is a replacement of your true companion. I immediately planned a trip to Texas when I learned of his change of plans. I was all set to go ahead when Los called me out on avoiding reality.
Dangit. How do you do it? How do you tell your heart just keep waiting? The definition of patience is long suffering. I believe it. There’s something beautiful about it, because it keeps my heart in the right place, longing for his. But it is also like torture. I love the Navy, for all it has unexpectedly brought into and provided for our lives (the people, the places, the Kingdom of God in surprising ways); but this is certainly the hardest part. I am proud of Los, and glad his heart is for service. But Godspeed October when I can wrap my arms around that guy… (it doesn’t help that my ‘love languages’ are quality time and physical touch, eh?)
Holler at me if you have free time, I am available☺

San Francisco- great sea food and Gordon Biersch fries

One of my goals in life was to go to every state in the United States. Now that this has almost been accomplished (5 left), my next goal is to be on every continent, in as many countries as possible. Call it the travel bug, call it wanderlust, call it what you will; I just can’t get enough! I love people and places, I love marveling at the diversity of creation.
And luckily, one of my favorite places I have ever been is somewhere I can go regularly, the Bay Area. Living in Berkeley (5 years ago now, I can’t believe it has been that long since I moved there) was one of the highlights of my life. It had a lot of what I love about Seattle, plus it was close enough to drive to see my family in a couple of hours.
I went there this weekend with my parents, and had the most fabulous time. We got to eat at the world’s best pizza place,, and then go into the City for the night. While my fam went to a musical, I hung out and read in Union Square. I sat by a mentally-ill homeless woman for about ½ an hour and she cracked me up. I paid sporadic attention to the monologue she was having, it was quite entertaining. I love the worldwide class of SF, combined with the culture and grittiness it has.
I stayed at my cousin’s cute apartment in the Marina district (she’s a bigshot for Banana Republic and gets to travel around the world- jealous!). That is such a fun neighborhood, and we walked along the beach toward the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning. I used to really look up to her when I was a kid. It was special to hang out with her and reflect on life; somehow we both became adults!
Sunday afternoon we all went to the Giants-Dodgers game, which was a blast. My dad is a diehard LA fan, growing up in the 50s and hiding his transistor radio under his pillow at night when he was supposed to be asleep, so he could listen to the games… Conversely, my step-mom grew up watching Willie Mays and the Giants. So their rivalry is hilarious. We sat right above the dugout in these killer seats, and I got to see my homie Barry Bonds in action. We chowed down on the game food and enjoyed the close game. Afterwards we decided this is going to an annual tradition.
I like it. I’m in.

Reconciling with my past

For some reason, it has taken me a long time to be okay with ‘where I came from.’ I don’t know if any of you have ever felt this, but if so, speak up, I would love to know I am not alone.
Maybe this is a normal coping mechanism, but who knows. When I went to college, I was proud to tell everyone I was from California. I loved growing up there, and had a fabulous experience there. Everyone in Seattle that was from the Northwest would think it was ‘cool’ that I was from CA. But everyone from CA in Seattle would ask the clarifying, “where from?” and when I said Fresno, they would put me down, “oh that place sucks.” That was surprisingly damaging to me, and I learned to feel embarrassed of my hometown, when I hadn’t been previously.
After that I had this compulsion to adopt the Northwest as my ‘home’ and to distance myself from where I grew up. I was kind of ashamed, in a way… Apparently it isn’t as cultured as the Bay Area, and doesn’t have as much fashion as LA, or the beaches of So Cal, nor the green of Tahoe. It is a close drive from everywhere, but doesn’t have much itself. Except it does, the community there is great, and I am thankful for it.
It took me years to embrace what the “Valley” has to offer. Even though there are 500,000 people there, I love the small-town feel, where people know each other. And funny enough, but I love the agriculture, even though people mock it for being farmland. It is humble, and I like that. And they provide most of the nation’s food! On our way to/from San Francisco this weekend, we passed a million wine and table grape vineyards, as well as pomegranate and almond groves, and acres and acres of onions, garlic, melons, hay and alfalfa, among other things. I like that my homeland nourishes the nation, however ungrateful everyone else is.
I finally realized that you don’t have to polarize one place as ‘good’ and another as ‘bad.’ Doing that says more about a weird insecurity/need inside of you, than it reflects on a place. You can appreciate different things about different places, and allow other people to feel open to tell you about what they cherish from their hometown. This summer we had a couple over for dinner, and when I asked the girl where she was from, she mentioned a town in Idaho and seemed embarrassed, as I had been in college. When I asked more, she came alive and was proud of where she grew up, and it was cool to hear her heart. And to finally feel more reconciled in my own…

Sadly, no new puppy...

I met her, and she was really sweet... but on the way to CA I realized that would be too much for us for now. I am about to get my husband back, resume school, and start working in a hospital doing spiritual care, which I am excited about; but that is a lot, to throw in potty-training to the mix. In a year we'll live somewhere else in the world (CA, FL, overseas???) and begin a new chapter of life, but for now we're busy enough finishing this one well with the investments we have... And Burly is enough for us to dote on in the meantime.