Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Art of Hospitality

From Paris to Zurich, I declared that I would absolutely throw out my itinirary. Literally. I cancelled all of my hostels that I'd spent hours reserving before I left the States and said, as it is my motto, fuck it.

As I sat under the "big clock" at the train station in Zurich waiting for Barbara my "host" I had no idea what I was doing....I was in a strange country, that's coffee costed eight dollars for a small cup and there wasn't a "Heidi" look alike or anyone from a Ricola commercial anywhere in sight. When she rode up on her bicycle and recognized me only from a picture I knew staying with the locals was a much better choice than staying alone in a hotel.

The next two days were full of several white wine spritzers (this is the Swiss drink of choice for the ladies) and her roommates were kind enough to cook me fondue, since I was a fan of the "cliches" and upon departure to Milan, they left me a few Swiss chocolate bars (and a map, sicne my sense of direction is for shit), since it was "the best in the world." Which, it is.

The whole experience was such an eye opener.....when Europeans say they want to help, when they open their doors to strangers or when they offer to cook dinner, they genuinely want to. American's say, "come visit" or "absolutely, no problem I'd love to have you over" then when people follow through they're mostly waiting for them to leave so they can get back to their normal routine and not be "put out" having to "entertain."
After leaving Switzerland reluctantly, I hopped on a long (but beautiful) train ride to Italy....where I am now sitting in the garden of a Villa in Tuscany, writing this.
The pictures on the internet looked amazing, but I knew pictures can be deceiving. Not only was I not deceived but my expectations were beyond exceeded. More to come on the shenanigans of Tuscany later on.......

The first day the family of the villa offered to drive me into town, then when it was too difficult to get a taxi (since the town I'm in is so small I'm not sure that it even has a name) they drove through the winding hills in the pitch black to pick me up.

The only other people staying in the villa are a couple on a honeymoon! from Australia and noticing that I'm stranded without food (I didn't think to get a car?) they offered to cook barbecue and share their bottles of red wine, which we enjoyed (after a wine/olive oil tasting) over four hours and talked of life, yoga, travel, spirituality and hospitality.

Traveling has taught me this most definitely; people, are good. We get so caught up in our day to day lives so often that we forget to acknowledge that we're moving about amongst other people just like us, searching for a connection. We walk past each other without making eye contact and turn our heads so often even when we notice that someone else, may just need an extra hand. Rather than putting ourselves "out" we instead, act as if everyone else around us can figure it out on their own, when sometimes if we just offered a little hospitality we both may be better off.

I've had incredible conversations with complete strangers on this trip, people from different countries and of different ethnicities or religions and because we both stopped to engage, to recognize that we are living on this Earth together, no matter how different we may be, we've found even through our differences, we are very much the same.
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Everyone can use a little help sometimes....if someone looks lost with a map, stop and ask where they need to go. Individuals are all striving to be happy, to feel like they're living full lives that are of substance. We all want to be healthy, we want our families to be happy; we all get stuck, or confused. We get lost....sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively, but knowing that there people around you going through the same thing, no matter what country you're in is indeed, very comforting and reminds you that we ALL could be a little bit more hospitable....eventually, it may be you that needs a helping hand or a friendly face.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An American in Paris

When I was a little girl, An American in Paris was my favorite movie....funny, even when I was five the allure of the city was interesting to me. I danced around the living room like Gene Kelly was right there with me, I borrowed my Mother's perfume bottles and imagined dabbing my neck just like Leslie Caron at the Perfumerie, then breaking into song and dance with perfectly coordinated outfits as to match my curtains and the paint on the walls. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about.....Paris is magical, the movie captures it so well.

Even now, after I've grown and experienced quite a bit of the world I'm still in awe of the Parisienne lifestyle.

First off, how in the hell do they get away with eating so much damn bread and they remain to stay so very waifish? That is a miracle. Fuck surviving a plane crash, or that fact that Bumblee Bee's defy the law of physics; French people are a science project in the making. How do they do it?? Not to mention that anytime they open their mouths it's to place a cigarette delicately in it, they're walking smoke machines....line up a few Parisiennes to set the mood as I emerge from a "smoke filled dream" me and my Leslie Caron impression and you have a An American in Paris Part Two. Smash hit I'm sure of it.

Tomorrow I leave Paris for Zurich, Switzerland.....at first, I didn't want to leave. I was too much in love with the baguettes. Was? No, am. Then, after a few days here....I couldn't handle anymore of the intense eye fucking that the men were giving me, so it's time to move on.

No, seriously. I get the whole "city of love" thing, from now on anytime I say the name, "Paris" I'm going to get all hot and bothered. Even the homeless people are kind of hot....in that dirty Johnny Depp way. Parisienne men look at you not just as a moving object, or a person walking down the street but as the star in their own porno, starring YOU and THEM, and they're casting it in their heads all. day. long. Or so I believe.

Most people kept assuming I was French (which made me feel less nerdy than normal), then when I shook my head no, "Italiano?"....not going to lie, I got a few scoffs when I finally fessed up to being American. Though, I kept my head tall....Had they looked a bit closer they would have seen the difference just in mannerisms.

I've been studying the difference between "me," or "us" and Parisienne women.....Parisienne women are much more confident than American women. Much. Any shape, any look, they all own their fierceness. From the littlest puff of a cigarette to the biggest spoonful of chocolate mousse (which is incredible here, by the way) they OWN every moment and decision they make. Regret is something I'm quite sure they don't know the meaning of.

It took me at least a day to not curl inside myself anytime I was faced with the "intense eye contact" that is common in Paris....American's, look away. Look straight ahead. Parisienne's, will run straight into a tree before breaking eye contact first.

As I sat in the cafes through Monmartre, or on the steps of Sacre Coeur; as I skipped (literally) down the Latin Quarter and Saint Germaine Des Pres, I watched them....watched what some may confuse as "pompous" or many American's would confuse them as being "rude" or "stand offish" whatever cold adjective we often come up with....I realized they aren't that at all. They're just OWNING IT. "It" being whatever they want "it" to be. They're proud to be Parisienne and proud to be themselves....now, that's a lesson us American's could definitely use......

So as I leave somewhat reluctantly, I am owning "it"; my awkwardness, my characture features, my indecision, my small breasts, my DAYS, everything, my constant craving for nutella? I'm owning it alllllllll.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

It takes a confident woman to say, "Table for ONE please."

Mishap number one....(it had to start somewhere? This is what people tell you and you want to think they're lying, but they aren't....you will have mishaps...it's simply how we react, which is where I receive an F) I was supposed to leave for Paris today and of course, because I waited until the last minute....trains were sold out. Luckily, I have generous friends who let me stay an extra night. 

Last night, as I uncovered this snafu and realized I was headed to the beautiful city of LOVE, completely loveless and with shoddy accommodations.....I HAD A MELTDOWN. Oh yeah, the kind of crying, mascara dripping, snot filled meltdowns that children stop having after the age of five. Where reason can be thrown onto the street and traded with a few stomping fits and breathy exasperation's

I wanted to lay on the floor and kick and scream spoiled Veruca Salt things like, "Why can't I afford even a two star hotel and WHY OH WHY don't I get a golden eggggg?????!"

Paris was supposed to be easy, Paris was supposed to be were I fled after a week of Englishmen turning their noses at me and where I would be fumbling through a simple order for a cappuccino and Pierre would swoop in to help finish off what I was trying to say, which was that I'd like a "chocolate croissant as well." Paris was where I everything was going to start running smoother. 

So as I lamented my mistake, my youth, and my account.....I sucked up the 99 cents a minute and called my Momma....crying, in London

Mother's are irritating for a few reason; they say exactly what you don't want them to say, but you know is true and they aren't as sympathetic as your Father. Daddy's are much easier on you when you're crying. 

"Well Chelsea, I could have told you this would happen........"


"Maybe part of this whole lesson is whatever it is you're looking for isn't in a PLACE, but within. "

PERFECT, my fucking Mother just wrote the perfect revelation line for a script of some fairytale movie starring Drew Barrymore or a Disney film where Miley Cyrus reveals she actually can act in her role as Fairy Godmother and now, she's reciting it to me....for 99 cents a minute. Fantastic

"If what you're missing is the company of a companion, that's what you were missing here.
 If you're missing a man being there to enjoy it with you, that's why you missed here. It's the same. So rather than letting that get in the way, assume that you won't meet Prince Charming and instead treat it as a fantastic adventure that you're LUCKY to be doing ALONE. An adventure that you'll get to repeat in a different way, someday, with your husband or boyfriend or whoever....but now, this journey is YOURS."

She was right. I do romanticize. I think of my life in terms of scripts, in short features, monologues and scenes. It's the theatrical side of me I suppose. I believe that artists were made for that very reason to create those moments....moments that are ordinary are actually completely extraordinary when you're open to them.

 I've attempted living my life as the beginning of a very incredible story with a detailed beginning, solid and strong body all to come back to a very complete ending.
That's the thing, I'm in the middle of the story. As I'm here in London, I'm in the midst of this fantastic story....I'm not ready for "happy ending" yet. Just more chapters. Sure enough, I met two wonderful guys today who I had great conversation with and after thinking about my conversation with my Ma over a pint of Strongborw, I decided in honor of ME, I took into account another piece of WISDOM my Mother taught me when, already, doing impractical things....


What does that mean to me? It means I booked a hotel....a three star, beautiful hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris. 

Because right now, I am a young, vibrant woman who deserves, if she wishes, to go to the market grab a bottle of wine or champagne (or both) a selection of pastries and some Brie and to curl up into my bed before the sun goes down, in my silk robe with a good book. Sure I'm not engulfed in the arms of some sweaty man, entangled in the throws of lust....but why do I have to be?

I'm only alone in Paris once, which is right now and RIGHT NOW is all there is. Right now I want to take a bubble bath or drink espresso on my balcony and take pictures of pigeons and lovers, I want to wake up late and eat breakfast while everyone is eating lunch and I want take a trip to the countryside and spend a few hours at a vineyard. 

Right now, rather than being upset about being a party of one.....I am learning to OWN and embrace that I and my own company are taking this incredible journey together....

After all, I'm certain my next love would undoubtedly be jealous of my very keen adoration for macaroons, often over men. Paris may not have had room for the both of them. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

SERENDIPITY comes in the form of Shakespeare

"Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere."
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Looking up at the sky through the circular hole cut in the top of Shakespeare's Globe theater I thought to myself, "Ah....now this is what people feel when they speak of serendipity."
Without intending to I dedicated today to the greatest of art....it just sort of fell into my lap. 

After wandering through Borough Market, taking pictures of the giant cheese wheels, sampling marinated olives from wooden barrels and flirting with bakers who arranged pastries that looked fit for a Queen, who, because they're too proper to say so simply offered me free samples to show their returned affection for me (or so I like to believe), I tried Turkish Delight...which is indeed, delightful and some potato concoction smothered in sea salt, sweet pickles and cheese?? Then, I felt it was only necessary to say "thank you" for such heavenly gifts by going into the nearby church and lighting a prayer candle. 

Though I'm not religious in the Biblical, Christian, Catholic...whatever, sense, I am extremely spiritual and a Woman of great faith and hold a belief in a higher power...churches in Europe simply pay homage to that type of faith, whatever it is you believe in. They're magnificent. The details, the history, the stained glass....every part of these churches point to the fact that there is something GREAT channeling through us to create such beauty. 

I kneeled, I prayed....then when I arrived at Shakespeare's Globe Theater I had only intended to tour the theater, but arrived in perfect time for a show!  The only thing....the show was completely sold out...for the next couple weeks. Then! As if Puck himself had placed her before me, a woman at the counter handed me her extra ticket, refusing to let me pay her. 

The play? A Midsummer Night's Dream, my favorite of all of Shakespeare's brilliant plays and one that I "just so happened" to have been in as Hermia when I was in school. Ah yes, serendipity. 

As I stood there watching people share their talents, talent that was given to USE...I thought of what an honor it must be for them, to do a Shakespeare play where Shakespeare first debuted his works; where he spent hours in rehearsals, where he cut scenes and made actors repeat their lines, where he wowed his audiences, made Dukes and Duchesses, royalty and commoners laugh and cry...where he brought together people of all ranks to share one thing that had no title, no ranking, no status...it simply just was; art.  

This was the place where actors first spoke such famous words that we've all come to know. Where Helena said, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind" and Jacques revealed a truth, " All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players." Where Olivia so brilliantly said in A Twelfth Night, "Love sought is good, but given unsought is better." This is where William Shakespeare created these words, these revelations and where the actors spoke them for the first time.....and I was there. Listening to some of those famous words, watching as he did. 

The first few days in London have been a bit homesick at times, funny seeing as I don't technically have a home), there have been lonely moments and exhausting ones...and this is only week one. I've learned to say brown toast instead of wheat, skinny instead of non-fat. Which, I like much better by the way. American's saying "non-fat" is almost subconciously saying that we think we are fat, that's why we need "none." Ordering a "skinny latte" rolls off the tongue so much better, while subconsciously saying to yourself, I drink "skinny" things. 

Though my words pale in comparison to that of Shakespeare, I have discovered one thing that is imperative to the smooth running of the rest of my trip...and for my sanity: 

Takes the edge off. 

ALSO UPDATE: I ditched the hostel.  Luckily, my Momma has a friend who was more than happy to let me stay in her lovely home in St. Johns Wood...where I am currently blogging from and sending emails to other"friends" or "friends of friends" in the rest of the countries I'm staying in so that I don't have to whip out my CC (credit card.....CC sounds like a much nicer friend than saying the whole world) in order to book a hotel instead. Whatever, I'm not a budget travel kind of girl. 

So tonight I go to bed with a new kind of inspiration....I surrounded myself with brilliance today, with famous quotes and paintings by Pollock, Warhol, Picasso and Matisse and the art made me feel, at home.  

Great art always reminds me that there is something, "up there", within us, "around us", or above us that has a master plan for each of us and is always masterfully taking care that we are where we need to be. 

What serendipitous moments have you had?????

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER."


I made it. I've realized that there's a slight chance I may be too vain for this type of traveling. I wanted to get on and say, "Everything is splendid!!!! I've already met five new best friends from five different countries and I had a slice of humble pie....." The thing about traveling is, no matter where you go the stupid and very trivial things follow you if you aren't consciously aware of changing the thought process...... Insecurities don't just fall away when you decide to go to a country where you know no one....I wanted to kick myself in the face today when I was sitting in Piccadilly Circus and I started thinking, "Man. My face looks fat." WHAT?! Why the fuck was I thinking that???? Why did I have to pull the nuerotic girl card and start mentally noting how much mozzarella I had just eaten? Why does it matter??? The truth is, at this very moment I AM EXACTLY who and where I need to be, moon face or not.

Why wasn't I just enjoying the moment and running off to get a scone with Devonshire cream. The fact that I even bothered to bring oil sheets and eye liner in my purse made me feel like such a tool.

I'm hoping that it's just a case of travelers grumpiness, jet lag, or acknowledging that sometimes I'm....human? A woman? Entirely too hard on myself and that I need to just chill out. Sometimes even the most whimsical, seemingly carefree people can let shallow things hinder their thinking. Who the fuck cares if I look like Bridget Jones? Colin Firth was down with the "wobbly bits."

Even though I'm here....I'm still nervous. My hostel is making me nervous, getting lost today for four hours made me nervous....even though there were people everywhere. Being NERVOUS is making me nervous? All dizzy and jumpy like. Like a little Chihuahua. I'm talking fast and my selfdeprecating humor is actually fitting in well with the humor or the Brits, so I'm at least making myself look like an idiot when I feel like an idiot has made a few people laugh. With me or at me.

On a separate note:

A few things to remember that often slip your mind while traveling:

-Your feet swell, so please...buy a size larger than usual this is a lesson in :Mind over matter while your feet are bleeding but you really want to walk to Buckingham Palace....pain is mental.

-Starbucks will haunt you everywhere. So will McDonald's....but please, gag me once I see a Wal-mart. It's disappointing that Europe thinks Burger King and Abercrombie and Fitch are worthy of their foreign soil. Lesson: Every country likes greasy food and men with six packs in their underwear......two universal loves.

- You'll most likely get seated next to Mr. HOBO (Horribly Offensive Body Oder) on the plane or the train or whatever and that is to teach you these lessons in: tolerance and tact enough not to cover your face with your scarf for nine hours.

-Hostels are gross. Get over it. Lesson: this is my inner self telling me not to be such a snob.....but really is it snobby to like a single person shower and a bed sans bed bugs?

-Learn to like George Michael and Kylie Minogue....I seriously did hear them three separate times today. Lesson: Native music may have you doing the locomotion.

-Even when you're thousands of miles away from home the issues that taunt us still carry over. Lesson: PRACTICE BEING PRESENT.

So far I have already hopped on the double Decker, BRIGHT RED, tourist bus to see the major attractions....very worth it might I add. Tomorrow I'll be dedicated to my musical roots and taking a rock and roll tour (with a large Beatles influence) and I may get out and do some sort of tour around the countryside. Also on the agenda: Cruise down the Thames river, Jack the Ripper walking Tour, watch the changing of the guards.....share a drink with Lily Allen. I am convinced her and I would be friends, even though she was snarky to Sir Elton John.....not that he hasn't had his share of bitchy moments.


This is a lesson for me to let go of vanity- I don't need to be Kiera Knightly, I'm not in LA or NYC- I'm not auditioning or dressing to impress. Anxiety and silly trivial worries and nerves may fade if I sleep off with a PINT!!!! Until then, in all my nomadic imperfection.....cheerio! ;) (I'm bringin' that back, the way Justin claims sexy.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ciao! Arrivederci! Au Revoir! I'M OUT!

Butterflies are eating away at my intestines right now, they're fluttering up into my throat, they're making heart beat just a little bit faster than usual.

In about five hours I am boarding a plane to London......I'll be gone, alone, for two months.

Sure, I don't deserve a medal, people do this kind of thing all the time.....but not anyone that I know ;) By next week I will have had high tea, attempted to get a British guard to share a pint with me when he get off work and can "talk." I will have done things that are English cliche's and hopefully, while I'm sitting in Paris eating a croissant and writing my blogs I'll have some stories worth telling.

My iPod is fully loaded; Joshua Radin is going to sing me to sleep until I wake up across the water. Santogold is going to WAKE ME UP and make me want to party and hopefully a little Fleet Foxes will calm my butterflies down to a steady flutter.

For the next two months I'll be blogging from London, Paris, Zurich, Florence, Munich, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam....with some cities in between.

Me, my camera, my moxie and my guidebooks will do their best to document the whole thing.....so I'm OFF!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sometimes the only way is JUMPING

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."
Franklin P. Jones

Life requires a certain amount of bravery in order to actually live it. It was brave of us to take our first steps, little did we know that those tiny steps were only the beginning but had we not taken them, had we not been brave enough to let go of the coffee table and attempt running into our Mother's arms, we would have never walked. We would have rolled around on the floor waiting for someone to pick us up forever.

It was bravery that helped us apply for our first jobs, to ask someone out without knowing their response, to wear capri pants to school before everyone else was (yes that was me....people thought they were strange until everyone was wearing them the next year), to eat wasabi and to attempt parallel parking for the first time.

Often we forget that even the tiniest actions of ours have required even the smallest dose of bravery in order to perform them. I don't believe our lives should ever be governed by fear...sure, that doesn't mean you should throw yourself into the bears den at the zoo and hope to pull off Anchorman stunts, but it means allowing yourself do things in spite of fear.

I can't even tell you the amount of times I've considered going back to ballet class, or trying to pick up with guitar again; how many times I've sat down to write something but I was afraid it wouldn't come out right so I didn't say anything at all. I've said no to opportunity before, afraid I wouldn't be able to live up and I've pushed people away, afraid that I'd fail them.

Subconsciously fear takes part in our every day lives....it keeps us from saying what we mean, from being the way we want, from doing what we desire, from going after something that seems elusive and beyond reach. So for now, I've decided to be brave instead. Am I afraid of things? Absolutely, every single day. I'm pretty sure it was Madonna who said something like, she makes it a point to face at least ONE THING that she's afraid of every day no matter what....considering she's also the same woman who said she was going to "conquer the world" progression through fear had to play an important role in her life. Look where it's gotten her....I'm quite sure she doesn't regularly opt out, or make excuses to hide the fact that she's actually just, too afraid to do something.

Often we say "no" before we let ourselves BE brave.

With my trip just four days away, BRAVERY is my motto. With today being September 11th there's a feeling of bravery that is tangible.....the bravery from the people who lost their lives, the bravery of the soldiers who are in Iraq or deployed overseas, the bravery of our country standing together when we could have easily fallen to pieces in fear. To everyone who was brave on that day and to everyone who is being brave for those of us who can't, or aren't willing to, thank you.

Though it's on such a smaller scale compared to fighting in wars, or running into buildings to save lives, we ALL have our moments of bravery. We all share different degrees of what bravery means to us....

Whether you've been brave enough to tell someone how you feel, to embrace uncertainty to pursue a dream, to get up and speak your mind even if you're in a room full of people who disagree; to cook for your Mother in law when you're only accustomed to using the microwave, to learn how to cry, to feel uncomfortable and move through it, to tell a stranger they have spinach in their teeth- cause you know they'll secretly be grateful later, to run with bulls in Spain...whatever it is you've done to be brave, I salute you.

Maybe there are some things that you WISH you were brave enough to do, to be, to say. Courage to be brave is a choice, a simple decision to leap and to say FUCK IT to whatever anyone else thinks, to the nagging "what if I fail" moments, or to your own self doubt.....FUCK IT.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live."

So today, I am going to be brave. Tomorrow I'm going to be brave and sometimes, that just means getting up and making it to the gym when you think you're too out of shape. My thoughts, my love goes to all the families who lost someone on Sept 11th and to the families of the troops and to the men and women overseas.....thank YOU for being brave.

What have you done that required you to be brave???

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Friendship is my favorite type of SHIP

"I just did something REALLY, really embarrassing......"

Now this, is what friends are for. I've been coming off the love-low (much different from a love high. It involves less sex and more of self loathing, I prefer the former) and trying to deal with some of my anxiety over leaving for Europe in 6 DAYS, so after a good evening out with the ladies, I was really excited about this text.....

You know someone is an incredible friend if they're willing to tell you something that they'd rather shave their head before repeating again, especially if it's simply because they know the story will make you laugh so hard you pee your pants in public. Something like this:

"I just slept with (blank), it was great, really great....but then, while he was sleeping, I farted SO loud it woke him up."


God graced me with the privilege of receiving such a text message.

Friends can be a shoulder to cry on, a partner in crime when finishing off three bottles of wine (which Nicole helped me do) or they can give you a little GEM like this one when they know you're in need of cheering up. AND, they don't mind that you blog about them (anonymously of course.) Not to mention, I was allowed to ask her countless questions like; Did the bed rumble? Did it smell? Will he ever have sex with you again? Which yes he did. Did you laugh? Did you cry? etc. A good friend also, gladly answers such mortifying questions.

I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately. My girls, the women that have held my hair, that have defended me, that have let me cry with my head against the steering wheel, slamming my head against like a child as much as I wanted and were there to make sure I didn't drive home without a sufficient gain in confidence and completely dry of tears. The ladies that have been there to remind me of my self worth when I stray.

There are so few, yet so many who have been part of different chapters. There is the core and then there's a little opening for other strong ones to come into that bond.

I just got back from Los Angeles where I visited Nicole Anoinette....she is absolutely one of those people, a core person. As funny as that may seem to the people outside "Blog Land" but as I've gone through my twenties I've seen so many friends grow into entirely different people, people that are virtually strangers, who remain friends simply based off the history we have. Then there are new people (like Nicole), some who know you better that many of your current friends. Anyway we are absolutely soul sisters brought together through the divine workings of the Universe, aka. the internet. And the Universe, I'm a believer in the universe ;)

So this is just a little bit of a tribute to my friends. MY REAL, LOVELY, TRUE, friends. You know who you are :)

Thank you for texting me about your misadventures in your sex life, once I have some horrifying stories of my own I promise I'll share (cross my heart), thank you for making me feel less alone when I'm lonely; for acting as if you share my love for cheese plates (even if you don't), for not getting angry when I screen your calls cause I'm wallowing, for being able to drink me under the table (sometimes), for loving ME when I don't. Thank you for being incredible, beautiful, women. I am honored. Like Emily Dickinson said, no matter where I am....." My friends are my estate."

What do you have thank your friends for?????

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Heartbreak can turn ANYONE into a country singer

I almost drove to Tennessee two days ago to start a career as a country singer. No, seriously. I've embraced my impulsiveness, no matter how expensive and reckless it may seem. It's "of the moment," and I'm good with that.

Originally I was supposed to leave for Europe Sept 1st, then a few things came up that pushed my trip back to Sept 15th....which seems like light years away, when you're in the midst of (considering) recreating your entire identity, strapping on some chaps and getting a purse large enough for Aqua Net and Velcro rollers.

Coming to terms with something being "over" is something I've never liked. I'd rather something taper off until one day you're like, "hm. How did that end?" or "Strange, I haven't talked to that person in awhile." I suppose, "The Taper" is really just what cowards do to avoid the inevitable, so call me cowardly.

In my futile attempt to move forward; forward from my New York life, forward from my L.A. life, FORWARD from my "him being the only guy in my life forever" life, I've moved into what is now a country singing, traveling gypsy who lives on wine and cheese plates. Even when I move to the next chapter, I return to the old ones A LOT. Sure, it's different every time, but NEW is on my horizon.

I texted Nicole and told her to meet me there, in Nashville. I was ready and wanting anyone that was ready to bring their cowboy boots, their hankering for BBQ, their best line dancing moves and their shotguns to accompany me. Yeah bitches, shotguns.

Country music does that people. I can go from yoga peace loving hippie to Levi wearing, shotgun yielding, tobacco chewing cowgirl. Miranda Lambert needs to be my new best friend...maybe real girls are made of gunpowder and lead? Or maybe the reason I've migrated over to country lately is I understand the common themes in the music: family, love, heartbreak, home, and beer. Mm, beer.

Maybe, I just like the idea of things being simpler. Less deadlines, less cryptic speaking and less time worrying about "playing your cards right." I like the idea of being happy with a ranch and your favorite horse. I love the idea of a gentleman picking me up in a truck, hopping out to open the door for me and then surprising me with a bouquet full of wild daisies on the seat, or a picnic by a creek and a tree with a tire swing. I love the idea of someone simply, letting themselves fall in love. Is this real? Or did I see that in Hope Floats....or something?

I like the idea of things that we make so complicated, just being what they are. Courting someone shouldn't be brain surgery. Feeling your emotions and putting them into the proper outlets shouldn't be so daunting. Falling in love shouldn't be met with question every single time. Saying YES to something new shouldn't be as scary as we make it out to be. Living contently doesn't mean we stop striving or growing but we appreciate.

Baggage should be less heavy. People should be more trusting and trustworthy. Loyalty should just be, because we only get one life and the people we're given should be cherished. Dessert shouldn't be seen as a number, as calories, or guilt it should just be exactly what it is, delicious.

Why are fixing what isn't even broken? Are we meant to sabotage certain things to learn the lesson, to stick our hands in the pot and start stirring what was already perfect at a soft simmer, is the simplicity of things just being good too hard for us to handle???

Who knows, maybe after my trip to L.A. (where I will be hanging with the lovely Nicole Antoinette) and my journey across the water I'll head to country, cowboy boots in tow. That is if I can manage to keep things....simple.

Until then, I'm brushing up on my country repertoire....what's your favorite country tune??? and why??