and puppydog tails

dogs filled my life growing up. at one point, we had a couple — sherry and jasper, then penny. penny was black with a white bone-shaped patch of fur on her neck. she was named after we watched “dirty dancing.” i was maybe too young to watch it; i was 13.

we had a cat named “dick” who went by “richard” at the vet. we didn’t go as far as chevy chase’s “yellow dog,” but we may not have always been up to snuff in the name department. my own name was meant to be unique; it was on top ten lists of most popular names given that year. 

dogs pepper the outside world these days. they bring a soothing and positively distracting energy to most situations. they attract what they give out, like the spirit animals they are. they help us lose focus on ourselves. we need that. 

this dog makes me smile like no one’s business. on heavy days of depression, he knocks it out of me. when he can tell my legs are weak and achy, his eyes are knowing and they soften. he is gentle. like his owner, he sees everything, yet makes us feel more competent and confident despite whatever the foibles are that day. 

lately, in referring to myself, it became obvious to me that, physically, i am not unlike a human dog. i tend to follow. i don’t move a lot when i don’t need to, choosing to sit and rest instead. my legs tire easily, and they don’t move a lot. i can go and fit almost anywhere. i’m working on the “good companion” part. in comedy, that is what we called being “a good hang.”

my life was always side-by-side itself. i was a dual major in college, adding the study of communications to my passion of understanding human psychology to make me marketable. i was in a sorority and played ice hockey. i worked at a coffeeshop on campus where i parsed intellectual snippets of conversation. i spent summers in LA listening to comedians and actors wax on esoterically about character arcs and anecdotes.  

this life now is a quieter version of that. it took me a while to see all the similarities, but they’re there as you seek them. lessons remain and repeat, as in all karmic cycles that still have elements needing attention. it allows for constant practice. perfection is boring and humanly unattainable. here’s to enjoying all the moments. even, and especially, when you get to live them again.

vermont trip

when i first told people i was writing, the only advice admonished on me was to not embarrass my parents. that was spoken with loving warning by a nervous family member. otherwise, my tales i think make others’ seem more palatable. we get to be relatable again.

but that note is always on my mind and the message is important to me. they are important to me. my name isn’t the same now, and i look so different. if there are embarrassments in my stories, they usually were somehow profound learning experiences for me. and i end up in the oddest places and situations sometimes. 

the issue i face moment to moment, however, is this: all that once seemed real in the world now feels blurry. time, words, footing. it has all become fluid. all of my memories appear suspect now. current information is almost always errantly interpreted in my brain by mis-calibrated and re-calibrating body sensors. it is like i am always wearing incorrect eye glasses. only ones not only for sight, but also somehow for sound, touch, taste, smell. thought. words. connections. all the inputs are warped and seem to be disconnected. from me. from each other. 

i have MS. while i was diagnosed in 2011, i was physically unaffected by it (knowingly) until 2015 or so. but truthfully — i believe that likely, i was born with it. 

all that is known for sure about the autoimmune condition is that it is a degenerative disease. fatal, to be more candid. the associated complications affect everything from walking to swallowing. what no one comes out and says when you find out this is your foreseeable life is, “you will die from this.” the artificial confusion surrounding the illness is misleading and distracting. medicine for life maintenance was the only system encouraged. how to live with it was not discussed. it feels inhumane.

the accompanying neural demyelination that comes with the MS, the effects of which often seem like regular (if sped up!) old age, has revealed my brain’s hand-crafted secret garden of mystery. coming back through the weeds is a nightmare. in part of my diagnostics, a sleep study was done. all the person reading the printout from my night wearing electrodes could tell me was that i have paradoxical insomnia. he didn’t know what that meant. but for simplicity’s sake, dreams and nightmares seem real sometimes.

it seems that i have subconsciously learned to neurally make the darkest fears palatable in order for my primitive brain parts to feel they can survive enough to operate my body. but now, my body is a disaster. it desperately needs some foundational exposure to and learning of the basics. in short: it seems that my lack of sleep over the years has led to some substantial miswiring that needs rewiring. 

there is a movie i watched one time that stars robin williams — “what dreams may come.” the MS journey for me feels like that sometimes. dark and misleading and treacherous, but with gorgeous and illuminating moments, sights, and revelations, too. like there is a path of extraction from the mire that came with this genealogical defect. for that breadcrumb, i am grateful. 

the fated trip of this family gravestone picture was in march of 2016. the stone is in a small town in vermont. the site is quite. the town is small. the gravesite was indicated on a map online, but thankfully i was able to text with a relative who had been previously, or i never would have found it.

that time ended up being one of those eye-opening experiences where things you don’t know are still lurking in the recesses of your soul smack you in the face. everything that needs to be seen and heard makes itself very known. it feels to come at you seemingly out of the blue. of course, it isn’t new. 

something in me knew this would be the last time for a while that i would be driving. or would be able to rent a car. that intuitive feeling has always been with me. while i usually hear it in hindsight, like a voicemail, or mute it completely, this time it made sure i felt it.  

when i was a teenager, when i drove too fast and passed a cop, my legs tingled as i slowed. those were early signs of numbness. but we didn’t know what we didn’t know. i used to yawn a lot before big swim events. while exhaustion also makes logical sense, the motion was shallow. likely it was more an aggressive symptom of anxiety. but we didn’t know what we didn’t know.

in vermont on that trip, i yawned a lot, but was wide awake. energized even. alone in the car with my music, i loudly belted out lyrics. they may or may not have been accurate. i saw a state trooper on my way home. my legs tingled.  my smile was huge, and felt connected and real as i waved at him. we laughed a lot when i got back to my friends’ house that evening.  

a lot of the memories from that trip are oddly reassuring. i got to experience so many life rhymes — it was like a memory refresher almost. a contemporary reminder of reality. that says to me that somehow, even though it may look really out of whack at times, i’ve survived worse already. always remember: it will be ok.

it rains every day

an uber driver was proudly telling me once how he was sending his mother on a trip. she deserved a vacation, he’d said. she had wanted to get away, go somewhere tropical. 

he had been planning to send her to hawaii. but someone had told him it rained every day there. he had chosen another destination, and she was leaving the next day for somewhere else instead. i forget where he said she was going exactly, but it was domestic, inland, and not at all tropical. 

it does rain almost every day on hawaii. on all the islands. whatever the weather indicates, intermittent showers are expected. 

the wet respites are welcomed and ultimately appreciated, even if they are a nuisance in the moment. the lands are more lush for it, and when the levels are up, there are breathtaking waterfalls. they are everywhere you look, it seems. 

when i was younger, i have a vague memory of a luau at a backyard gathering. we were living in bakersfield i believe, before we headed to the chill of illinois. i remember the introduction of hula dancers, and an overview of the aloha culture. i was young. the party was for adults. 

the calm i saw in the dancers got lost in the efforts of keeping guests happy and entertained. i know no one in this photo, and recall little else of the evening. clearly, though, that aloha spirit hit my little soul. i think, thankfully, it got stuck.

i went to hawaii twice for business. being part of either moment in time makes me beyond fortunate, and being intimately involved with both is pretty magical. they were linearly years apart, but lifetimes separated them otherwise. each experience was thrilling, haunting, and damp. the scenery each time, while starkly different, was enchanting. one event that brought me there was a comedy festival. one was a theatrical press junket. 

both times, it rained every day. 

interviews and mic checks were interrupted. makeup dripped down faces, and soon, stopped being worn outdoors. extra face towels and clothing was purchased locally as none of us were prepared to mix our professional wear with the precipitation and dirt.

photos of those trips have mostly been lost. the press trip was pre-iphone mania and cameras weren’t obsequious yet. the studio selected press attendance, and the actors let their hair down a bit. it was a rare opportunity for us all.

plans were usurped, changed, cancelled, and modified. someone’s emotions usually spilled out sideways like the daily rainfall. no one, it seemed, could control their feelings in paradise. mindfulness wasn’t en vogue yet, and actions on those feelings were not always harnessed. triggers work that way, too. 

years later, when i returned to that spot, i was overcome with emotion. for all my past intellectual judgements, it seemed that i also could not control my feelings in paradise. tears flowed like the errant rainfalls.

i was mortified. for one of the first times i can recall in my adult life, i literally had no control over the faucet from which they sprang. the smile plastered on my face that had worked so well in the past did not have the same effect. it hasn’t since. 

and that’s what i see when i remember the rain clearing in me that day. not to mislead anyone — it would take me literally years to see what the rainbow was. what was there authenticly and naturally had been obscured by the emotional rain. what gets revealed after each wave still surprises me sometimes. such is life. 

it rains every day on hawaii. may we all be so lucky.

discretion

parameters of discretion are always nebulous. they’re subjective. personal. intimate. there were once “common sense” edicts that directed the topics of social conversations. money, religion, and politics were kept hidden in the superficial layer of our cultural purview as best possible. this trickled into personal lives. 

rules were created and decisions were made as a means to protect friendships. boundaries were created to keep mixed company divided. great efforts were made to maintain the illusion that business and pleasure were conducted separately. 

the antiquated directives of secrecy spawned their own confusion; a lot of lines are blurry now. in this growth spurt of social transformation we are in, we are finding also that material barriers don’t always align with etherial desires. and that the human condition is a stubborn beast. 

people became secretive in efforts to protect themselves. from prying eyes, from the public, from family. they hid and created roadblocks in preemptive attempts to control the scope of their conversations. subjects and situations that triggered emotions needing to be felt, addressed, and looked at were instead ignored in lieu of dry facts. facts that could be proved and supported — by other facts.

applying general evolutionary ideas to language usage and colloquial boundaries, all that was once clearly boundaried gets muddied as social understandings change. secrets and hidden proclivities push people to separate from the pack, so to speak. 

as life becomes more and more public, we create our own safe havens to hide in. we end up keeping ourselves more and more private. cloaking ourselves in armors of retaliation and defense, we surreptitiously connect from behind computer screens and through electronic communications. text, messenger, social media, zoom. we keep things from everyone, both intentionally and inadvertently. including ourselves, as it turns out. 

it came up recently that there are no names used in my writings. the stories would be more powerful, perhaps. the lessons in them more impactful. conceptually, intentionally withholding information is not usually beneficial to anything i believe these days. i find the practice inherently destructive. it is misleading in its kindest application; detrimental when the intent behind it is malicious.

but i also believe that discretion is the facia between blind candor and mature honesty. the practice requires discipline, constant awareness. once we get good at it, we don’t have to hide anymore, and can be forthright without over-divulging. it lets us connect with everyone over the real things; the important things. 

when i was in my twenties, usually when i was on planes, i scribbled lightheartedly on lined call sheets between phone numbers i’d jotted down. there were messages about the unimaginable moments and life-altering experiences i was having. in my rare silences, if someone noticed the source of my distraction and asked about my writing cadence, i proudly exclaimed that “i write like i talk.”

as life splayed out, however, memoir writing increasingly came at odds with my old profession in public relations. the fear of exposing others crippled my writing. so i stopped for a long time. eventually, the fear of exposing my truth in an environment of secrecy crippled me. 

a lot of my most intense memories — some of the amazing ones and some of the traumatic ones, both — involve famous people. others involve people who would much prefer to not be public at all.  proper names illuminate figures big and small; and while communities are strong, they are often vague in what their actual reach is. 

connection is transcendent and invisible. and, in my opinion, what is most important. the communication of facts without it is not the same, despite all the best efforts to convince us of such a fallacy. it is the underlying distinction between what was public relations when i practiced it and what marketing has become today. 

writing leaders push us to “write what we know.” so i am — but with discretion. the emphasis is on the connections, not who’s who in the anecdotes. famous people are still people. as one car guy i know astutely noted, we all have the same emotions. my stories are simply instances of how they were dealt with. 

by famous people, by people employed to be around famous people. by minions and kings. we are all the same. in my memory that is filled with holes and in everyday life. all stories can be input with the names and faces we prefer. questions are welcomed; i will answer how i can. we’re all evolving. 

in a fellowship i am involved with, the term “God” is used a lot. the readings and wordings there have been modified colloquially to not be off-putting, and now each person is called to choose their own concept of what that means to them. meetings are a lot less acrimonious since that addendum. 

it makes sense for me to see all writing that way now. so we can share and connect on the important things. find what speaks to us and not be distracted. pretty shiny things like proper names are but superficial details. seasoning, perhaps. leaving names out lets my memory flow without being hijacked by accompanying emotions.

foodies intrinsically know that modifying seasonings allows us to expand our flavor profiles. 

we are what we eat. food, media, clothes. what we read, what we think. i encourage all to pick and change and expand their flavor profiles of all kinds — so who am i to sour the soup?

aloha ohana

recently, i had the opportunity to reconnect with a couple of former colleagues. over the years, and a lot of (mostly) awkward shared experiences, we are thankfully, actually, friends now who just happened to have met through work forever ago.

as far as i know, they don’t know each other. they’re both introverts who, like me, usually donned extreme extroverted personas back then. the situations we found ourselves in, though, were often delicate. discretion looks different on them; they are both different kinds of pros. they’re also both the kind of people you get to proudly say, “i knew her when…”

one woman, i crossed paths with tangentially over the years, years ago. like the middle-aged women we are now, we meet for early morning coffeedates. well. she gets tea; i get decaf. there’s always some kind of cookie. the baristas laugh. the coffeedates last hours. we talk about life and astrology and our still-wacky midwest-type families. 

the other woman, i shared a cubicle with for a couple of years when we did personal pr. we were in our twenties, but the specifics were modified depending on our audience. our bosses shared a wall and a penchant for mischief. their friendship predated me, but what i saw was rooted in their work, though their clientele (and they) couldn’t be more different.

she and i would get called into the hallway by one of them a few times a week when the phones were eerily quiet. we stood at the office equivalent of “attention” while they critiqued our outfits. we had no fashion sense to speak of. i looked like i had a cat and loved to read. i do and i do. she looked like she wasn’t white and liked dance clubs. she isn’t and she does.

we were quizzed on the contemporary industry lineage of the time. who worked where. when. who knew whom. how. it went beyond the gossip of the day. in a very subtle way, we found out who the good people were. where alliances lied, where there were old emotional landmines to sidestep.

the web of all our respective former jobs created the superficial intimacy of the entertainment industry culture. the ether of our past experiences carries us into the present. we see in each other what we saw then. we see what we did and endured together. who we knew and loved and lost and celebrated.

as we watched shows she would have to figure out how to market, plant-roasted superfood snacks and kettle corn replaced the late night pizza orders i remember kept us returning to the gym. navigating the different roles we have now has treacherous moments; what we wouldn’t give to wear ill-fitting jeans and be laughed at.

the topic of other assistants whose paths we crossed came up, and inevitably, some were google-able. we are all older. some of us look it. one of us who was on a reality dating show is married to a rather wealthy, very older man. one of us is no longer. some we can’t remember, while others make sure we dont forget.

at the culmination of each anecdote, i saw us both in quiet moments of reverie. whatever else they were, the times we all shared were special. being together for pieces of it lets it be relevant again when we’re together. the rest of real life happens in it all. this week, my old life was salient. racism and tv and pulled episodes. rushed launches and late night memos. 

i don’t miss it. but i do miss the camaraderie of it; the resonace that no one’s alone. we may be disconnected but we are all in this together. in the crazy-feeling, hectic, hairy & scary times, it helps to have a stunning backdrop of memories. 

thankfully, we lucked out there.

goodbye nanci

the last couple days, my social media feed has been strewn with heartfelt letters written by former colleagues. some were about the company we all worked for at one point or another. some were about the former colleagues themselves. they were all in response to the passing of a woman we all revered, but at one point, have all also feared.

most of the people writing the condolence pieces seemed disconnected in some way. some have moved on to have spouses, families, and full lives of their own. almost none of us do the job we know her from. 

the lessons we are all sharing that we picked up from her seem to actually be life lessons, though. perhaps, that’s the real part of the job we learned from her.

all of my professional life ties back to her in some way. i was best friends with an assistant of hers for years. i had a couch for a while that had been that of one of her clients. i worked for a man in a department she spearheaded. it was mostly made up of women, but she had an eye for talent of all kinds.

the kind of clientele we had was vastly different from hers. she worked most often with actresses known the world over, high fashion, and however those words collided. 

we worked mostly with male comedians. some were considered “urban” at the time. some were considered to be blue, or dry, or acerbic. all were insanely funny. she knew that, and her clients saw it, too. my boss was a king there, and that lady was responsible for setting up some pretty notable couples over the years.

the first weekend i worked at her firm, in fact, my boss told me to change the outgoing voicemail and to leave my cell number as a contact. he was going to be out of the country and unreachable for the next few days.

he was in a wedding between two such company clients, though he told me none of this at the time.

i remember meandering the aisles of a local grocery store when a tabloid editor called me to “get a statement” on nuptials i didn’t realize were even taking place. it was the early 2000s, internet didn’t dictate the flow of information yet, and having cell phones were kind of new, still a luxury. that lost its luster when it didn’t stop ringing all weekend.

i surmised later that this had to be something like “mean girl” trick #172526 he learned from her. she played dirty, and showed us all how to, too. we all followed suit for awhile, and got good at navigating the mire.

but she also made herself available to us as a steamroller as we traversed a treacherous land. she swore at press, producers, managers, agents, photographers, actors, writers. anyone who blocked an angle she was creating. she lived a hard way, and loved a lot of it for a while. and, we loved her, so usually we found a way to love what she loved.

we thank you immensely. because of our time there under you, when we remember to breathe, even in the weirdest of circumstances, we find ways to love and celebrate the crazy. what a gift.

be well nanci.

life rhymes

this place where i was felt so familiar, yet so distant at the same time. the sensations of déjà vu were omnipresent. for the first time in a long time, though, i didn’t ignore or deny them, but listened and saw the messages put there for me instead.

the face that popped into my mind surprised me. it caught me a bit off-guard as visions of memories past and intersections with my “now” came rushing in with it.

what i am doing here at all in the first place still feels like a big, overwhelming, looming question mark most of the time, i’ll admit. but a huge smile erupted on my face with gratitude — even a most cynical attitude can’t dampen the sparkle when i see the synchronicities around me sometimes. it’s pretty amazing to believe in the power of magic again.

images of dirty cars, jeans, heads rolled back in laughter, and the smooth shifting of feet that comes with confident driving flooded my mental camera roll.

over the years, he and i had spent hours talking about drives across the country, being young and having motor vehicle responsibility, and how simultaneously crazy and beautiful the world of the entertainment industry is.

life rhymes.

like so many of the people in my life years back, i met him through work. he had told my boss about an embarrassing promotional appearance he’d made once. he wasn’t sure where the tension lied, he’d said in the meeting with his team, but it was holding him back professionally, and he hoped we could somehow melt the tension that remained.

separately, over months, i found out the full story. it had been egregious, but knowing the men and circumstances involved, it likely wasn’t nearly as fatal as he had concocted it to be in his head. where the tension lied and what needed resolve became more and more obvious with each resentment that spilled out, though, and soon we sounded like we belonged in a parking lot after an AA meeting.

names of movies he was in years ago are now alarmingly relevant. others he has made since are as poignant, if perhaps more personally exploratory. one particularly notable to me involves a monumental life transformation and unearthing hidden parts of oneself when the love of another suddenly takes precedence.

he brings a sense of levity to the heaviness of it all, and that lets us do the work, too. that ingratiating exuberance is in all he is. in all he does, in all he makes. even when he doesn’t know it. we are all so lucky.

he exuded in celebrity the rare desire to be better. not to be more famous, but to be more in alignment with what he found important as a human. that concept was foreign to most of us at the time, and he was seemingly the odd one out.

how silly the rest of us were. chronology was irrelevant. he had years on us having already started to face and accept his own demons while we attempted a business out of thinking we could hide those of everyone else.

the team of us eventually made his dream of an in-person opportunity at redemption possible. but what i ultimately remember is his curiosity. his beleaguered consternation at the obvious that was assumed around him. his confusion at most of life, and his simultaneous unflinching awareness of it.

as we grow and change, life rhymes i think to remind us of what we like. of what we find relevant, and of what lets us feel relevant. of what makes us happy.

and of how amazing it is to believe in the power of magic again.

happy accidents

there once was a time i ended up on a spiritual and yoga retreat without knowing it.

admittedly, this is an instance of a confounding juxtaposition of reality i find myself in often these days. laughter is the best salve for the fog that comes about with the dissonance. what is obvious now though, is that while i used to proudly tout my book smarts, i am definitively lacking common sense in some areas. foundational building blocks are loose, misplaced, or missing. it is chaos, sometimes, but happy accidents thankfully are often the result.

drinks meetings became what we all did for a while. many had expense accounts, and the dating rules were applied to gatherings. from who chose the location to who paid, and all the variances of information exchange in between. gender was not a factor.

having drinks was always a good excuse to duck out of the office, and working with athletes, an afternoon absence was not questioned. these meetings were how we stayed connected and up to date. with each other, the business, our worlds. life made rare conversational appearances, and usually involved the aforementioned. we didn’t have much else going on then.

one such meeting kept me entertained with copious amounts of wine and the rare entertainment writer who saw the depth of what she covered outside of the superficial we both knew her editors would print. amidst our television knowledge, it was figured out that we were both single and long overdue for a vacation. mere weeks later, we were in tulum.

we watched fishermen on rocks catch what would be served for dinner that evening. the granola was locally grown and made, and tasted more sweet and delicious than anything we eat for breakfast here. we did yoga twice each day. ate organically. went to sleep under mosquito netting; earlier than we had when we were fifteen.

internet was not piped to the rooms, and in fact, the main room usage was highly discouraged in an effort to promote calm and quiet. she and i agreed to be silent with each other, not engage in cross talk about nonsense. we would log on and work from our respective work laptops at lunch time only. we had boundaries, we said.

the first couple days we fretted about what we were missing, but once we realized how acutely unimportant we were, that panic resided. or, at least in my case, was masked by temporarily-applied trained indifference.

booze was allowed, and there were organic offerings available with dinner. we drank few of those beverages, however, opting instead for the glorious tasting hydration from local fruits. the option of an evening in a sweat lodge was presented, and we both lept at the chance. for the experience, the opportunity. for the self-realization it offered; we both knew we needed it, but never spoke of it.

when it was time, we followed the rest of the attendees to a tent and sat cross-legged in a circle. a fire smoldered in the middle. it was warm and humid inside; there were times breath felt heavy. people around us wept and my friend broke down while i remained disconnected and falsely stoic. i hugged her, and felt both a mass of empathy for her spilt emotions and deep envy of her mental freedom.

as we meandered through the airport in texas for our connection a few days later, images of another, unfortunately fatal, sweat lodge flooded the news coverage. we stopped discussing where we’d been with fellow travelers. anything of a spiritual nature brought speculation, uneducated questions, and the odd look conveying the anxious assumption of a close call, which we hadn’t experienced.

we landed at home and soon went back to work. other than the awareness of a few that we hadn’t physically been on-site, our return to that corporate life was filled and busy, but negligible. we caught the bug again, though, and would run into each other at industry events.

over the years, we have both switched jobs entirely, and moved counties (me) and states (her). we have seen each other only sporadically in the years since that trip, yet she comes into my mind all the time.

whenever i see this other gal we know, she tells me how she met her husband at a birthday party of mine years back. i don’t know if that is indeed the case — discrepancies have surfaced as to whom was invited and who came with whom. but their daughter’s name is the same as that retreat, so however it worked, it feels fated.

her mom went to that retreat once, and while it was a seminal experience for us both, neither of us knew the other had been. our friendship has always been aloof like that. deep and intimate with some things we know too much about and laughably distant and unaware of some things we should know about one another.

we’ve been in each others’ orbits for a long time.

both personally and professionally. we have seen a lot of each others’ histories. we are both in a season of new beginnings. especially with stress, we bring out the cattiness and obnoxiousness in each other. the love and grace, too. our bonds run deep; we are energetically connected, it seems. like family.

and happy accidents.

10 years

for years, getting around was not anything i put thought or awareness into. for my work, i got up, got ready, and drove to the office or wherever my first appointment was. traffic in LA is just traffic. it‘s heavier than a lot of places, but you just work it into your life, as one does with weather anywhere else.

when i traveled, it was often with celebrity clients, or, at least on their behalf. car services always picked us up to bring us to the airport, and cars were arranged by studios for any in-person interviews and appearances on site. and as a sidenote, i will simply say that regardless of who set up the press bookings, no one ever declined a car in NYC sent from a david letterman talkshow.

for years, driving was simply a utility for me. and i treated the process as such. dismissively working it into my life as needed, but not engaged in it outside of obligations and requirements. i drove nice cars, but that was more about vanity, and somewhere back in my mind, safety. but when i’m really honest, it was just an easy ease of ownership; i was focused on different things at the time.

ten years ago was a marker in life for me. i have tried and tried to find any photos that capture the transition that time was for me, but the only photo from that day, randomly, is a stock photo of a red balloon. the memories before it can be jogged and remembered usually, but are harder to recall on their own. such is life.

may 31, 2010 turned what i knew as my world completely upside down. it came out of nowhere. suddenly, all i was enthralled by was joy and beauty and fun and nature. all else went by the wayside; authentic happiness was new to me, and i was enamored.

i suddenly was looking forward to off-roading, and eventually i stopped worrying about getting dirty. how i look became increasingly irrelevant. for a while, i attempted “sassy” and “witty” and “sardonic,” but those manifestations from my old wheelhouse didn’t work anymore, and actually, were disastrously smarting instead. wtf.

happiness got confusing for a bit.

my astrological chart tells me that partnerships are how i explore my shadow side. it tells me also that my sun is in the house of partnerships, that my life force shines its light on my unions. which has its own implications and pitfalls of course!

it seems as though i made it this far, though, to explore all of this further. what this 10 years has made abundantly clear to me is how important the basics are. emotions that come up now get in the way, now that i like having an actual life, rather than just work. i read once that having it all is possible, just not at the same time.

so on this 10 year mark, i choose to celebrate what i have now. not all i will have eventually, but what we have made and created. unions are hard and eye-opening, but when you get down to it, really, what else is there.

thank you for coming into my world, showing me how much i love another old, very fitting, nickname i had at work, that of “sidecar.” jeeps on hawaii and porsches anywhere will never be the same, and that makes me so happy. you have showed me more of what is really valuable. what a gift — i wish everyone gets so lucky.

i love you and am grateful for you always, mr. whatever this life looks like. aloha

this is the end… movie

THIS IS THE END was one of the greatest projects i got to work on. the story is magnificent; the characters are full and relatable. despicable and loveable, like all of us.

this movie is perhaps more relevant today… no one cares anymore about the celebrity inclusion in it, and i am grateful we think bigger than that now.

but here is an “inside-baseball” type pro tip: we — all of us humans — are represented in this story. we aren’t all the lead or focal characters — that would make life pretty boring. but we are all there. we can all grow out of the paradigm we put ourselves in. laughing through it at ourselves helps keep perspective open. movies are good tools to do that .

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