I feel I should start this with a warning – I have no idea the point that I’m about to make or even if there is one to be made. That being said, I have the need to write, to ramble, and completely sidestep the theme of the blog.
One constant in my life is that I never settle. The minute contentment starts creeping in I either make a dramatic change or my subconscious wills the universe to make it happen. The truth is, I desperately wanted to find my happy-medium – a situation that makes me feel like I can continue to grow and be challenged, but is comfort at the end of a long day, a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, a warm hug for no reason at all, the acceptance of the crazy that I can be, the affection that comes from a kind soul with a strong heart…I wanted to find true, deep, understanding, unrelenting, passionate, beautiful, amazing love.
Now, as irony would have it…or maybe this should be expected, I don’t know…it is actually really difficult to receive something so incredible. I constantly want to find fault in it. I want to make sure I’m always a step ahead of any potential disappointment. I am terrified compromise is equivalent to losing my sense of self. I want everything to be “my way”. Argh. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a man as stubborn as I am and with much more wisdom than I ever give him credit for.
My love, the one I see myself happily living the rest of my life with, is struggling with something I can’t help with or even relate to. I can’t fix it, I can’t do it for him, I can’t even give him advice about it. It truly sucks for a control freak to be helpless. Even worse, I know he’s going through this because I want him to be my Mr. Perfect. I hope he realizes that no matter what he is a gift, he’s my soul mate, that I believe in him, and that he’s the reason that everything else that has happened in my life now makes sense. And I’m not going anywhere, no fear.
Ah, so I did have a point apparently…
While it might seem narcissistic to some, I love the fact that a blog gives me the opportunity to memorialize the people and experiences that have made my life the adventure that it is. And not that I think my existence is any more interesting than the next guy’s (or girl’s), but damn if I haven’t met some extraordinary, special characters along the way.
The first round of Shiner Bock, my first blog post, was written about New Year’s Eve 2011 and the ensuing inspiration to start this collection of ramblings. The part that was saved from that post for later was the history and legend of my dear friend who not only taught me that getting lost in life is sometimes how you have to find your way, but also that it helps to have some crazy, unabashed fun in the process.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that MM and I met at a bar – an English pub in Monterey nearly 7 years ago. How we became partners in crime and a staple of friendship in each other’s lives is not quite as clear.
Maybe it is because we don’t judge each other, which is certainly not to say we don’t have opinions (ha!) – but we have always been able to be completely honest, even in our not-so-finer moments.
We tell each other when one of us is about to make a bad decision. Not that the other one ever listens, but later we don’t respond with “I told you so” – only strong shoulders, open hearts, hugs and understanding.
We let each other cry when we are sad. Or happy. Or Drunk.
We pick the other up when one of us falls down in life, or in the street, or in a hedge of bushes.
We answer the phone at 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. to vent, brainstorm career direction, analyze relationships, lament our current mental state, or piece back together the debauchery of the night before.
When we fight, we are over it the next day. Or possibly we just forget what we were arguing about.
We understand and appreciate our differences. I’m cabin in the woods, he’s Four Seasons.
We celebrate. Almost anything and everything – at the finest of restaurants over an expensive bottle of wine, or at the corner pub with half-priced appetizers and beer served in plastic cups during happy hour.
We are happy for each other when life is good.
And to his credit, he is always willing to create laughter for me or for a group of 20, even if it is at his own expense. The man is extremely driven, hard-working, successful, intelligent, witty as all hell, a phenomenal cook and host – but if needed he will throw himself under the bus to make someone’s night better with some rolling chuckles.
Another round of Shiner Bock was lived this past weekend in San Antonio. Although it was much of the typical craziness, one moment brought all of our trials and tribulations of the past seven years into perspective as MM was reflecting on the past year since we made our 1/1/11 resolutions…
My “what I wanted to do” issue turned out to be less about as a job, but more about my direction. I am no longer struggling with what comes next. Not to mention that I have been blessed with having that someone we all dream of finding one day come into my life, and MM loves him as a person and as a person for me.
My friend has found his mojo again. He has improved his life in so many ways: health, confidence, career, more traveling for fun, friendships…less overanalyzing, more contentment (the good kind). And he will be an uncle in about six months! …an indescribable happiness for him.
Yes tears were shed on this escapade, but while smiling with pure belly-deep happiness. Cheers to that!
The only things that could possibly make a hike around Convict Lake even better…
Congratulations T, I’m so incredibly happy for you. Looking forward to hearing about the adventures you are about to embark on in this new chapter. A 395 (or two) will be had in your honor this weekend!
Taken nearly 14 years ago…man I miss this guy lately :-(
November 8, 2004 was the day I met my soul sister. Looking back now it was the start of a series of events that prove to me yet again how 1) everything happens for a reason and 2) how blessed I am with the people I have in my life and the timing of my acquaintance with each of them.
When I moved to California from Minnesota, it was just me and my then-husband and three-year old son, leaving behind all of our friends and family. While I remained very close to my family and we visited back-and-forth frequently, 2000 miles is a little far to drive for coffee, meet up for happy hour or enjoy a fun evening out. So when I walked into my cubicle on that first day of my first job since moving to the west coast and met my colleague in the cube next to me – who was also starting her first day in my department – I was relieved to realize that Californians are not all like the popular stereotypes. Some of them are down-to-earth, a little bit dorky, incredibly fun, and a lot of awesome.
It was such a relief for me to go through the struggles of those first few months – a new job, new employer, new network of professionals, etc. – with someone who had a sense of humor similar to mine and a work ethic to match. She was new to the industry, but familiar with the organization we were working for, so we were able to help each other through it and formed an incredible bond in the process – far beyond the walls of our cubicles.
The “soul sister” realization came when we were sent to an industry-related conference together in Monterey, CA. After arriving and completing the typical registration, check-in, etc. we had nothing to do until 8 a.m. the next morning. Being in Monterey, a charming, beautiful and character-rich coastal city in central California, we would have been silly to just sit in our hotel despite the rain and bone-chilling wind. When we found ourselves playing pool in a funky two-story bar on Cannery Row, entertained by Blue Moons (this was pre-November 7, 2009 – the day I was properly introduced to IPAs) and watching pool balls haphazardly flying off the table, over the railings and down the steps, all the while laughing to the point of tears, I clearly understood this was only the first of several adventures I would share with this woman. Not only was she more like a Midwestern than most people I had met since moving to California (and even eats her corn directly off the cob, never using a knife) – she enjoyed (and more often than not, instigated) beer drinking and spur-of-the-moment outings in a laid back, go with the flow, bring it on, no-drama fashion as much as I did.
We showed up at work wearing matching outfits more times than I can count (unplanned) – not to mention arriving separately as bopsy twins to the golf course (again, unplanned); she and her husband and two kids (now adults…wow time flies) are the ideal family to take for a weekend on the river (boaters – especially those that like to get up before dawn to ski understand this…and she drives a boat like a pro, although her backing up of the trailer on a busy weekend is one of our – well, my – most hilarious memories); she was a rock through my separation and divorce – being both a friend and a constant source of honesty and understanding when I needed it most; she let me share in the planning of her wedding and I was fortunate to be her maid of honor; I love her son and daughter like they are my niece and nephew; they designated a couch in her house as mine for when I need to spend the night; she and her incredible husband helped to get me out of my post-divorce blues and start enjoying life again (granted she about fell off her bar stool as she witnessed my first real attempt at flirting); not to mention the countless mid-morning coffees, lunches, happy hours, workouts, winery trips, pool parties, new positions at work (oy!), holidays (dare anyone to match these), mud runs….I think the only thing left is for her to experience a week of a Minnesota winter with me.
In all seriousness, I can’t imagine what the past seven years would have been like – or if I would have survived them – had it not been for the good fortune on that first day at work and the lifelong friendship sealed by the clinking of pints garnished with orange slices. I now have this truly indescribable group of friends that has become my California family, but it all started with the fateful encounter of a fearless, intelligent, confident, witty lady that has been a non-judging sounding board, an understanding shoulder, a drinking buddy on lazy Sunday afternoon, a kick in the ass when I needed one, and hours of laugh-out-loud entertainment. Cheers to my soul sister :)
I can’t tell you how many times those infamous words were told to me: “It will happen when you least expect it, and, you will just know it is right.” Whatever.
The ironic part is that I wasn’t even worried about “it” anymore; I was truly happy with my life and had settled into this content place of independence and adventure, blessed with the company of incredible friends and family.
Living in the one of the largest suburban areas in the country, 2,100 miles from my hometown of a mere 3,000 people, the last thing I expected was to have it happen at the end of a dock with someone I had known for as long as I can remember.
Looking back, considering the love for this particular lake that he and I both shared, the moment could not have been more perfect. Not only had each of us spent the same week here every July since we were born, but we had in common a passion for the water, the time with our families, the boats, skiing, and waking up at the crack of dawn to bust open the untouched, flawless water of the bays with the heels of our bare feet.
On the last night of this vacation, after our families were sawing logs in their cabins, he suggested I enjoy my last remaining bottle of Summer Shandy with him at the end of the dock. Dangling our feet over an entire lake of glass, listening to the sounds of loons calling each other from across a lake lit only by billions of twinkling stars draped with a backdrop of purple and blue, and streaked by the occasional shooting star, it was impossible to deny this was exactly the way it was supposed to happen, and he was, without a doubt, the person it was supposed to happen with.
And yes, they were right.
I think cereal and beer make a great post-workout meal, no? …hmm…protein ale…this should happen