Wednesday, April 18, 2012

another goodbye.

On a sunny day in DC, I walked around the neighborhood catching up with E. Constantly distracted by buildings around me, I was looking up as usual. It was a lovely neighborhood, all painted houses closely knit amid trees and uneven brick sidewalks. We passed a church--a pretty old brick church tucked into the city. The grounds were bursting with flowers, their blooms filling all the available space in the gardens. I interrupted E (who fortunately puts up with this) to comment on it. She grew quiet before speaking. 

This lovely, quiet space, so out of place in a city of hundreds of thousands but perfect all the same, was the location of their final goodbye to Kirby. I learned that this tiny church was full well past capacity to accommodate everyone who loved her. 

The silent prayer in my head will never be enough to honor her memory, but it was all I had as I took in that tiny, beautiful space. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


You guys. 

YOU GUYS. You know I like to tell you about the men who pop in and out of my life. I pride myself on having interesting encounters--if the relationship isn't a success, might as well have a good story, yes? 

I have a good story. I have a really good story and I want to tell you all about it. BUT YOU GUYS. You also know I never come right out and say, "So I met this guy named Brad Pitt and he's an actor and here's what went down." I like to give these guys a tad more anonymity than that--whether or not they've earned it. So I keep some of it to myself and we're all good. 

But guys. The story I want to tell you is only really good because of those things. Without certain details, it's a rather generic story and you know what? I don't do generic. So you'll have to just trust me on this--I had a really, really good vacation. 

Someday, please remind me to tell you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feels like home.

My Smith friends make me feel the most like myself. It's like I'm the best version of myself when they're around. Maybe it's because my Smith years were the time when I figured a lot out. Maybe it's because they endured years of me in sweats and they love my anyway. Maybe it's because they know too many secrets. Who knows? 
Friends from other areas of my life raise the bar as well--don't get me wrong. I have to step up my game in different ways and I love that about my friends--all of them. I love having friends who challenge me. How boring it would be otherwise...
I'm currently in DC, visiting some of those fabulous ladies. I'm currently forcing myself to get done the work I put off earlier this week, while they are at work and I have time. When I arrived last night and sat with them, drinking wine and telling stories...I felt whole again. The piece of me that I never realize is missing was back. It happens, without fail, when I'm with Smithies. 
Maybe it's because I'm with them and feeling normal...but last night I was able to vocalize the stuff about work, about life, that's been rolling around in my brain, looking for words. I'm not ready to make a blog announcement or anything, but I'm ready for a change. I've been working in the same place for 5 years and for me that's a long time, for anything. I haven't challenged myself on a big scale in a long time. The scary stuff that makes my heart skip...I used to make myself do that. I was terrified when I got to college and didn't know a single person. I was nauseous when I got ready to travel abroad by myself for 9 months. But those were the best choices I've ever made. And I've let myself get really safe and comfortable. Those are great feelings...but at what point does comfortable become stagnant? Boring? 

Quite a question. But if anyone can help me figure it's Smithies. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

On family.

I have a lot of families. Not in a child of divorce kind of way, but in a "I surround myself with quality people" kind of way. I have a big biological family but I have a huge chosen family. No matter how different each family is, I stick by one rule for everyone: you don't talk shit about your family to outsiders. My twin and I can laugh about the aunts but don't you dare tell me those ladies are anything but wonderful. It's not a hypocritical thing, as far as I'm concerned. When I tease my family, or vent about them, or (yes, sometimes) straight up complain, it's coming from a place of love. A place where I know the good and the bad and the weird and the fabulous and I respect all of it. Knowing all that, I vent because I know there is so much more to them than this one facet I'm focused on. 
I consider my community another branch of my personal family tree. I'm from the Detroit area--Dearborn, Michigan. That's my hometown, and like it or not it will always be a part of me. If you've heard anything about Dearborn, it's very likely something about either Henry Ford or the large Muslim community. If it's the former, then you're older; probably old enough to retire. Most kids aren't full of Henry Ford fun facts unless they field tripped to his house and museum on multiple occasions. Of the two, it's more likely the latter. 
I love my childhood community. I never really considered that it was a diverse population--that's how kids are, though. They accept as normal whatever you present to them. So I'd alternate my Merry Christmases with Happy Eids without batting an eye.
Terry Jones can't stop thinking about how diverse Dearborn is. The pastor from Florida has been to visit our community several times recently, and hasn't exactly been received with enthusiasm. He came here with the goal of rallying against Islamic law and Islamic extremists. Surrounded by a few supporters, he spoke at City Hall while so many more gathered across the street, protesting his words of hate. Terry Jones doesn't know anything about us. He knows hate and ignorance. He obviously doesn't know any Muslims. Our community, our family, is just like any other. And now he is coming back again this weekend to attack my family. He is concerned that we are being taken over. Well, Pastor Jones, I am not. 
This weekend is a holiday weekend--it's Easter and Passover. I will be spending it with my family--my whole, extended family. And I wish Terry Jones would consider doing the same.