Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm moving to a new city, and it's about time I gave this blog a new look.

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Monday, December 20, 2010


In life, there are many things and ways to feel love. While I lived in Spain, I loved sitting among classmates from all over the world learning together in a foreign language. Growing up, I loved that every fall Mom would fill the house with the rich spices and aromas of her homemade applesauce. I love finding the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one in a store after a long, arduous search. I love that next week I'll get to repeat the tradition of a slumber party with my little sister on Christmas eve. I have love for my friends, family, for reading, writing, sports and for San Francisco. But there are some loves that overpower us, and that lead us to change course in our lives. And when you find that love, it's impossible to resist, like a bug fatefully drawn to a bright light.

Writing about love is hard. I've tiptoed around the idea of really divulging what it is I feel, but this blog has transcended from just about the pursuit of a career into one about the pursuit of life, and what it is to be a young woman. And to omit love entirely would be a sin. But it is still hard. Love is so personal. Love is evolving, and love possesses a power that those who are not in love can not understand. And so, I've denied my ramblings and musings on how it feels to have fallen in love, yet it is embedded between the lines of all that I do each day, and all that I write. And so finally, I choke down my pride and expel the decadence I've so been longing to gush about.

I didn't write about love just to smear across my blog the effervescent sensation of happiness that has fizzled through me for the last several months, but to lead into something relevant: I am moving to San Diego because I am in love. Although practicality lands me here, love trumps practicality. Although my sense of security holds me here, love trumps security. And although I've fallen deeply in love with all of San Francisco, his love, it's deeper.

The adventure of life continues with a new chapter unfolding along the shores of San Diego.

"To live... To live will be an awfully big adventure."
- Peter Pan, Hook

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The Alchemist was the second of Paolo Cohelo's books I've read this year (the first being The Pilgrimage). While I enjoy the insight Cohelo intertwines within each page, I never find a personal connection to the characters- always his stories jump abruptly, written impersonally so that the characters never call to me as the plot twists. They seem cold, unfamiliar and distant.
Despite the impersonal relationship of Cohelo's characters, I revel in the spiritual lessons he portrays. The Alchemist is far from my favorite book, but the entire story harps on the presence of omens in life to guide us toward finding our own treasure, fulfilling our personal legend. Like many of us, the protagonist, Santiago, desires something more than the stability he's found as a Shepard. Despite the fears of losing everything, Santiago leaves behind the comfort of his established reality for the dream of discovering the treasure he's dreamed of. As he travels through Northern Africa in pursuit of the desired treasure, he is guided by the presence of omens. Void of any suspense or a trace of a climax, Cohelo never left writhing to read on, but he did succeed in inspiring me to inspect my own life for omens.

A few weeks ago I went for a long run along the Embarcadero, in need of some running to clear my head and help me think. As I raced to the edge of a pier, I turned around to admire the city. The Christmas lights had just been strung around the frame of several buildings. I stood there, mesmerized by the glittering lights, illuminating the city where I'd woven my own networks, built friendships and carved out my niche. Faced with a life-changing decision, I stood there and asked for a sign to tell me what to do. I inspected the night sky, searching for a star to glimmer; I listed for a siren to call; I waited to feel the wind swoop behind me and tug at my hair.

But my senses were void of the indications I sought.

I sometimes make poor decisions, but I have stomach that's the first to remind me. Whenever I do something that I know is not right or make a poor choice, a sinking feeling looms in the pit of my stomach. Prior to that night, I had the nervous feeling of the unknown: I didn't know what to do. And I waited on that pier for an omen to guide me, and to signal that I should go one way or the other, but as I stood there, I didn't witness an omen. I turned to head home, chilled by the cool, night air as my sweat began to dry. And when I arrived home and showered, suddenly that sensation of nerves had dissipated and I felt comfortable, and at ease. Though not immediately apparent, it was only after finishing The Alchemist that I knew I had found my omen.

And the choice? That I will reveal a little later...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

P.S. I LOVE this!

Working with a group of young woman is an entirely different world than working with men. At my last job, I was one of five woman in the office, and the only one who wasn't married with children. Since most of the co-workers I engaged with on a daily basis were men, my work relationships and conversations were starkly different from those I share now. Scattered around the conference room, the banter of sports scores and friendly trash talk pinged back and forth among my colleagues at my first job. Now, light conversations about clothing sales, bags and festive holidays parties flutter about the cubicles.

I enjoy a good conversation about great heals as much as I love pay homage to my favorite sports teams (Penn State, Eagles, Phillies) and trashing my most detested (Cowboys, Ohio State, Iowa). And while there are times I miss catching up on the wonderful world of sports with the guys, I welcome the acknowledgement of when I'm sporting a new pair of shoes or an adorable dress...

Since fashion and clothing is an every day topic, no good find or cool tip goes unnoticed, including one co-workers homemade vest. Yes, made from scratch. And though I have no way to gauge her crafting abilities, I'm more than cognizant of my own limits. (I learned my lesson last year when I tried to hand sew together my Smurfette costume for Halloween. Project Runway does entertain, but I'll have to remember to resist any inspiration it might provide...) However, the project for the homemade vest is surprisingly simple, directions found here on the PS I Made This blog.

The PS I Made This blog is unique and fun, but I don't think I'll be putting together any furry heals or square bags any time soon. But the vest (sans fur) might actually a rainy afternoon project I will toy with. Maybe the runway isn't as far out of reach...?

Monday, December 6, 2010

"I'm a shoebox novelist"

After the death of my grandfather, my family structure was shaken. Though we'd operated independently, we were much like a federation of families: each nuclear family managing and enforcing its own legislation though falling under the umbrella of family jurisdiction created and enforced by eldest generation. Each of the four nuclear families shared their own, unique partnership with my grandparents, and though we were spread apart geographically and our interests and passions were diverse, we were all bound by not only blood, but our conjoined dependency of the wisdom and central grounds fortified by Grandma and Grandpa.

Death sometimes creates blessings: I joined together with all of my cousins, ages 19 to 32, for the first time since I was 11 years old. Though each of us had a varied treasured memory or image of our grandfather, all of us were equally shattered by his sudden departure. After we all once again crossed the United States to return to our respective homes in New Jersey, New York, Michigan, California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Ohio- the memory of our grandfather tethered us all together, more closely than ever before.

In addition to bonding with my cousins, seeing second cousins, uncles, great aunts, and the like for the first time in years, I found myself finally making the concerted effort to connect with my Grandma and learn more about her childhood.

I called her after work today to see how she was doing. Woefully she managed to carry a chipper conversation, though often lamenting that she still found herself waiting for his call- to say he was just running late and would be home soon.

As we talked about her childhood, the aspirations she'd held, I realized how very much of her is in me. Excluding the past 15 years, she'd diligently kept a diary where she recorded"the important" joys and concerns of her years with hope of one day using the stacks of notebooks toward inspiration of writing her own book. After the death of her mother many years ago, she'd been tasked with the responsibility of sorting through her childhood home and the piles of clutter within it. In the attic, she'd found a collection of old letters her mother had stored since her maiden years. Exhausted with the overwhelming amount of invaluable items congesting all the rooms, my grandma chucked the letters and decided she'd also spare her own family the trouble of ever debating over what to do with her personal diaries, and later shredded the pages of memories, feelings and ideas that had accumulated with her years...

Though I'm disappointed that the most valuable relics I could ever hope to inherit were destroyed for fear they'd be viewed as clutter and junk, I revel in the realization that my dreams of becoming a writer and getting published are in my blood. My grandma had even fancied herself a "shoebox novelist", too bashful to pursue a publisher, and instead collected handfuls of stories always started and never finished. Though I never felt I totally took my grandparents for granted, I don't believe I ever really took advantage of their history, their own dreams and how much of them is in me.

While it's hard to accept that I won't have the opportunity to really indulge in my grandfather's stories, I've ever more determined and excited to spend additional time and place phone calls to my grandma. Though spawned from unfortunate circumstances, my relationship with my cousins and grandma have both been strengthened.

As the comfort of the reality of your childhood is dissolved, sometimes, even in the bleakest of moments and within the darkest of shadows, sunlight and blessings creep in through unexpected ways.