What I’ll Miss, What I Won’t Miss

I live in California now.
welcome to californiaI left Boston three weeks ago yesterday and embarked on an adventure, documented on Instagram under #crosscountryrachel. More on that later.

For now, here’s a post, inspired by the late, great, Nora Ephron, on what I’ll miss and what I won’t miss about Boston.

What I Won’t Miss
slipping on ice
humidity-tainted hair
everyone always complaining about the weather
the coldness
being far from my family
rotaries
inefficiently placed roads and streets
the MBTA
particularly, the orange line
and also the green line
expensive avocados
bad Mexican food

What I’ll Miss
fall
changing seasons
the first snow
the coldness
my church community
Render Mondays
walking through the Public Garden in the spring when the tulips are in
JP Licks
being close to Vermont
being close to New York
being close to Europe
being an East Coaster
the view of the city when riding the red line to and from Cambridge
buttery lobster rolls

Commuting With Crystal

billy crystal still foolin emI’ve been reading Billy Crystal’s book on my kindle during my commute to and from my temp job, and it makes my ride on the T drastically better. Have you been on the orange line during rush hour lately? It’s kind of dreadful. Anyway, I love these types of books because they make me feel like I’m reading a friend’s blog, and I love my friends and I love blogs. I’ve particularly enjoyed Billy’s (we’re on a first-name basis since becoming friends) book because of the perspective on life that he’s unknowingly imparting to me.

He writes about getting old, and shares anecdotes on aging, as well as emphasizing the importance of dental hygiene. He also writes about his career, a topic of which I’m most interested in, since When Harry Met Sally is my favorite movie. In one chapter, he begins by sharing how he was anxious about turning forty, because it seemed like he was running out of time in life. But, as it turned out, his forties were “one of the most fertile and successful times in [his] career.” billyorangeHe couldn’t have known that at thirty-nine. Or at at twenty-seven, when his career was only just beginning. I’m sure if someone had told him who he would become, he wouldn’t have believed it. He couldn’t have imagined it. But now, he can look back and see how everything lined up and worked out, how the small pieces of the puzzle that is his life were slowly coming together to form a great picture, one that he couldn’t see before because he was just too close. But now it’s crystal clear.

Sometimes we need these reminders to help us reorient our perspectives. And to remind us of the importance of flossing.

Currently

Hello there. Happy Spring! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Here’s what’s been going on.

Reading: I just finished reading And Still She Laughs, which I recommend to anyone, really, but particularly to anyone processing grief. I also recently finished reading Invitation to Solitude and Silence. I tried reading this years ago, and never really got into it, but I was listening to this sermon series, where this book was referenced. I decided to pick it back up, and this time read it all the way through. And I’m very glad I did. Solitude and silence is such a great practice, and giving myself the grace to remember that it takes time and practice to grow in it has been especially encouraging and beneficial. And walking through the pseudo forest outside my apartment helps, too.

Watching: This Is Us. I try not to allow myself too much time for TV, lest I fall into the habit of never leaving my apartment for the sake of it, but I give myself all the time for this show. The first season just ended and it’s everything I want out of a show because I can experience a whole range of emotions just from one episode.

Eating: tacos. One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat more tacos. I’ve been doing pretty well so far. I tried Casa Verde in my neighborhood for my birthday when my sister was in town, and I’ve paid many visits to my neighborhood fave, Chilacates (who just opened their second location; yay local businesses!). I don’t cook for myself often because it bores me, but I’ve been forcing myself to eat in more to save money. That, along with the motivation to eat all the tacos of 2017, has lead me to make my own tacos, thus continuing my progress even from the comforts of my own kitchen. And apparently, tacos are trendy, so there’s that. #racheleatstacos

Building: websites. I’ve picked my coding habit back up and have been brushing up on the coding things with Codecademy. It’s been nice to realize that I actually know more than I thought I did (take that, imposter syndrome!), but I do still feel like I have a long way to go. This quote by Earl Nightingale helps.

Planningso many trips. I’ve been doing some temp work, but have some random days off this coming week, so I’m going to Philly! It’s been on my list of places to visit for a while now, so I figured it’s now or never! Then it’s Easter, then I’m going home for Sarah’s bridal shower. AND THEN, I’m finally going to finally hold a lamb. More on that later.

Anticipating: so many changes. More on that later, too, but let’s just say that I’ll be spending the next few weeks purging and packing up my life.

Hello 2017

Hello 2017. You are like a breath of fresh air. Welcome.


Here are some random thoughts and goings-on:

La La Land is one my new favorite movies. I just watched it for a second time today and it was even better this time around. Go see it immediately.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat more tacos. I’m considering ordering this to guide me along.

Thanks to the Bible Project, and their app, I read through the entire Bible in 2016. I fell behind about a quarter into the year, but that’s the beauty of being unemployed–you have lots of time on your hands for catching up. I’ll be embarking on this journey this year as well (though, hopefully, as an employed member of society). Join me!

Speaking of reading, in my attempt to return to my former life as a reader, I read twelve books in the last three months. Hoping to read at least twelve more this year.

I rearranged my room yesterday in honor of the new year and it’s amazing what a difference a little change like this can make.

I recently got contact lenses, thanks to an eye doctor friend of mine. I still plan on wearing my glasses the majority of the time, but it’s nice to have options.

I’m thinking about bringing hoop earrings back into my life, but there’s already a hoop in my nose. Is that too many hoops? There’s a lame “jumping through hoops” joke in there somewhere…

I’m going to be 29 very soon. The default next sentence would be “I feel so old.” But the truth is, I actually don’t. I remember when I was 15 years old, and I thought that 18 was SO old. My life would basically be over by the time I reached that age. And now here we are. And I feel young. And that’s good.

I’ll leave you with this:

“To write a diary is to make a series of choices about what to omit, what to forget.”
Sarah Manguso

Happy New Year!

Many the Miles

funemployment
Today I have been funemployed for exactly nine months, and it has been wonderful. I’ve traveled to many places, as shown above, and done the typical broadening of horizons that should occur when one embarks on such a journey. Life is fun. But now it’s time to get a job. Here’s to the next adventure.

A New Day

A lot of people woke up yesterday feeling like this, myself included.@gemmacorrell

But today is a new day. I’ve never been much of a wallower, so while yesterday was very much a time of mourning for many in our country, I’m ready for today, along with the next four years and beyond, to be a time for grit.

We all need someone who will help us to not quit on a bad day. Let’s be those people for each other.

I Ran a 10k…

I ran a 10k. And didn’t twist an ankle, or faint, or slip and fall, or do any of the things that would make my cousin Lily say, “you would, Rachel.”

My runner friends say that the first two miles are always the toughest, and then you feel like you can go on forever. I agree with the first half of that sentence. I’m a slow runner, which means that there were parents pushing strollers keeping pace with me. All was well until the Mile 3 marker. There were trees with autumnal leaves all about, and it smelled a little like burning firewood out, which is one of my favorite scents. And then there was a long and slow-ascending hill.

That hill was horrendous. I ended up walking up it because walking was faster than running at that point. I also spent those .5 miles talking to myself. If running is mostly mental, I was embodying that. At this point, I had lost sight of my stroller/parent friends, and was on that hill alone. So I only had myself for encouragement to keep going.

Finally, the path flattened out a bit, and it took everything in me to start running again, but once I did, all was well once more. Before I knew it, I was at the Mile 4 marker, and my brain erupted in a celebratory “only two more miles to go!” chant.

Only it was 2.2 miles more to go, and that extra .2 miles feels like way more when you’ve been running for an hour and your nose is running with you because it’s 42 degrees out and suddenly you’re being passed by a 67 year-old woman. Only she was probably actually 87 because running keeps you young.

And then, just like that, I was done.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running