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Adopting in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Odd in an Even World

I am an odd number in an even world.

Every person needs to be self-reliant. We have to support ourselves and believe in ourselves and be strong enough to defend ourselves in the "big bad world." But, I don't really think that anyone can do it alone.

You need other people. Batman has Robin. Mom has Dad. Meredith has Cristina. Everywhere you look, there are pairs. Heck, even most college mascots have significant others (who look freakishly like themselves but usually wearing a dress).

And somewhere in this mixed up equation full of numbers divisible by two, I'm odd. Don't get me wrong, I love odd numbers. Sometimes it even makes me sad that my birth year is in a decade that starts with an even number, because it means that my birthday can never just be odd (despite being prime numbers). But what does that mean for me?

It means that when I have a terribly, very bad, no good, absolutely wretched day, I come home to myself. My outlet has become volleyball - the only "place" I can go where I literally think of nothing else but the game. I'm in my zone.

But my body can't stay at volleyball forever (especially my poor knees). That means that eventually my mind has to come back too. I have to come back to the place where the world starts surrounding me and I'm standing there trying to hold the walls apart for long enough to let the air in so I can just keep breathing.

It's like the trash compactor in Episode 4 of Star Wars (A New Hope, the first of the originals), minus the other people. I do have a C3PO on the outside - my family, my friends. I know they're fighting for me, looking out for me, worrying over me. But, I'm still in a trash compactor and there is that giant snake-like thing that keeps taking the legs out from underneath me everytime I seem to get my footing. I call it self-doubt.

Because the truth is, I know I can do this alone. I've been mostly alone for most of my life. Minus 2 years of college and one year in high school, I've never really had a person. You know, that other human being who sticks to you like glue, who can't go to bed without hearing about your day, who doesn't need an excuse to come and hang out with you. I miss that.

Don't get the idea I'm being all self-pitying about it. I'm not. I feel super blessed to have had those two people, and am looking forward to whomever comes next. But, since I'm in the odd position - which the majority of the world is not - let me say to all of you who have a person, that you should thank them.

They don't have to listen to you complain when you get home from work, or pick up your dry cleaning, or make sure you have milk for breakfast. They don't have to watch college football with you on Saturdays or come home with you for Thanksgiving. You do that for each other because you love each other and you can. So, just say thanks to them for me, okay?

I promise you - oh, even numbered ones - being odd after you've been even... you do know what you're missing. And for another sensation like a heartwarming hug that feels like coming home... well, I'd be willing to be even again.

Love always, ~Heather

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 3

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

This morning I slept in as late as possible (I desperately need to fix my curtains again so I can PLEASE not have the sun glaring in so much), and then lounged in bed finishing Anne of the Island, the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. I’ve been re-reading them the past week or so, and am falling in love with them all over again. (Wow, I am exceptionally girly .)

I got up and journaled, talked to the landlord about the rat in our backyard, had breakfast and otherwise putzed about. Rachel and I worked on getting the Internet revived (because it still is horrifyingly slow and awful at our house), and the landlord surprised me by mowing our backyard, weeding the patio, and weed-wacking along the fence. I was thrilled to be relieved of those chores, and the yard certainly looks nice enough now.

So I went out and repotted a calla lilly I received for my birthday, a Mexican heather I’d bought but hadn’t planted (its sisters died in the June heat), and the basil that had been rooting in water since Father’s Day. All three are now happily basking in clay pots around the living room.
ASIDE (the third): This summer has been a real ringer for me. I’ve tried to be as positive as possible in my posting, but I was getting over a broken heart, pushing through a tough work environment, and trying desperately to find myself amidst a big pile of personal mess. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt myself return to happiness. I’m glad to wake up in the morning, I’m losing weight (on purpose), I’m cleaning up my room and the other parts of the house, and finding it really difficult to not look on the bright side of things. I haven’t felt light like this (on a regular basis) since Valentine’s Day. I am LOVING feeling a bit back to normal.
The flowers and herbs aren’t the only ones who found new homes today either. I hung five frames that have been leaning against walls, tidied the foyer, and relocated two of our three wine racks (Yes, we drink a lot of wine here, but it’s too delicious not to!).

There are still plenty of things to do, like putting away a box of dried goods in the kitchen, cleaning the carrots I pulled out of the garden to thin the bed a bit, letter writing, bill paying, hanging out with Malise, and cleaning off my dresser (to mention a few). But for the first time in a long time, I’m not dreading the work. Oh, sure, I’m dreading the chores themselves - who really likes cleaning out drawers, cabinets, and closets? – but I know that when I’m done, my life is going to be much more put together. And I love that.

So, with that, I’m off to take a shower before we have dinner at our new neighbor’s house (I love having friendly neighbors!) and then maybe getting to the rest of the housework before bedtime.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend too!

Lots of love, ~Heather

UPDATE: Dinner with our neighbor was great, and it was super fun to hang out with all of us roommates together too. Definitely a magnificent way to round out the weekend.

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Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 2

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

Sunday morning was bright again, and somehow in setting my alarm I’d messed up the actual time on my bedroom clock, so I wound up getting up a full hour earlier than necessary. I spent the time reading the newspaper and getting myself ready for church.
ASIDE: It has been an exceptionally long time since I bothered to read the newspaper. I got horribly discouraged during the campaign season last fall, and haven’t been able to pay attention to any non-work-related news since then. I know I’ll be kicking myself later – because it’s not good to live in a world where you’re ignorant of current events – but I honestly feel like living inside the Beltway makes me incredibly cynical that anything is actually being done in the world for the good of other human beings. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to work myself out of that.
It was my first time up at Little Flower in a couple of weeks, since we had our regular August hiatus. The church has been under construction and the new organ looks nice. I have really missed singing there, but I sort of wonder to myself if I just miss Ginny (my fabulous friend and choir mistress) and singing or if I would really miss LF as a parish. I’m inclined to believe the former.

After church I hung out with a friend: grilled chicken and pineapple for lunch, lounging on the porch in the shade, Lean On Me, and then what seemed like 20 Questions for a bit until we eased into normal conversation.
ASIDE (again): Lately, I’ve not been an excellent conversationalist with new friends. I’m not sure if I’m trying too hard, not being myself, or just attracting people who aren’t great matches in terms of long conversations that just flow together. Apparently, as soon as you can stop being awkward in some types of social settings, the awkwardness just pops up someplace else.
When I got home, I finally hung up the pictures I’d printed (with Rachel’s help) and then we had pizza and watch The Karate Kid. I love classic movies.

More to come in Part 3.

Love always, ~Heather

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 1

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

It’s been an excellent holiday weekend.

In my brain it really started with Lorien and my having a date with the Gamecocks. We had dinner and enjoyed the atmosphere as USC stood their sloppy ground for a 7-4 win over NC State. Luckily, the Jets were beating the Eagles on the next television over, so I got to see both of my teams win on the same night.

Friday I left work a little after 1 p.m. and didn’t look back …

After lunch I went out and did a bit of volleyball conditioning on the sand courts down by the river with a friend from the Wednesday night rec pick-up I’ve been going to. It was our first time conditioning together, so it was a workout, but I foresee much more challenging sessions as we get used to each other.

I cleaned myself up a little bit, talked to one of my aunts for an hour and then had dinner with Kate (lamb, green beans, and blueberry crumb cake) while helping her prep for the next morning’s brunch with her new beau. I rounded out the evening with a good book and a reasonable bedtime.

Saturday was so bright and sunny that I couldn’t help but get out of bed at a reasonable hour. I washed my sheets and made banana cake before heading out to the front garden. It had been awhile since I’d had the time (and strength of will) to tackle the weeds that started overtaking the garden. In about an hour I’d: trimmed back ivy crawling in from my neighbor’s yard, lifted all the dahlia bulbs I could, trimmed the gladiolas to their bases, dug out the two holly bushes that burned out and couldn’t revive themselves, and swept the errant mulch from the walk.

Then I cleaned the dirt off myself and went out to get some pictures printed for the collage wall we’ve designed in the living room. It’s going to be lovely when we’ve finished it, but it definitely needed some art in it.

But, I didn’t wind up getting them in their frames, because it was back to the bar for the Florida vs. Charleston Southern slaughter. I’d call it a game, but seeing as it was 42-3 at the half, it’s hard to say there was much competition. It got super smoky, so Lorien and her boyfriend and I went to watch soccer elsewhere, before I decided to get to bed.

More to come in Parts 2 and 3.

Love always, ~Heather

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Seriously...

  • Stop asking my advice and not taking it.
  • Telling me to just do what someone else says when we all know it isn't right.
  • Expecting perfection of me and accepting mediocrity from others.
  • Respond to phone messages and invitations in a timely fashion.
  • Say thank you.
  • Be nice to me. I'm nice to you.
I'm really trying here, and being treated like I'm merely there to serve everyone else's needs all the time is belittling. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that only you can make yourself feel inferior. She may be right, but I think other people can plant the seed in your mind and water it (with Miracle Grow) every day.

I'm trying to be a weed killer. I am. But if I have to pick up my roots Ent-style and find a more hospitable environment, I'm not the only one who's going to be "ripped up" by it. And if I get that far, I seriously won't be sorry.

Love to all of you patient readers, ~Heather

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Shoulder Massage

Most people who really know me know that I don't particularly like having my neck/shoulders/back touched, better yet massaged. However, I'm thinking that today, I could definitely use a shoulder massage.

The tension that is physically building up in the muscles supporting my weary, overworked head is reaching a serious threshold, that will, I believe, induce me to just give in to some serious hand-on-muscle action later. Well, if anyone offered anyway.

But, as I'll be spending this evening running around from work to the gym to the bar (Gamecock football, baby!), that opportunity isn't really bound to come up. I wonder if the Gamecocks really blowing out the Wolfpack tonight, will give me enough relaxed energy to counteract all the frustration that seems to be tightening cell by cell in my neck right now.

Ugh. I'm going to sleep. Wake me when the September-October of back-to-back events is over.

Grumpily yours, ~Heather

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Climb Up Where the Air is Fresh and Sweet

... and as I sat there on the roof, looking at the stars, I felt alot of things. Most importantly though, I felt happy.

Love always,

~Heather

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