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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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lady in Waiting

There is a line from The Holiday that always struck me as meaningful, "I should be the leading lady in my own life." (this may be paraphrased, it's a bit foggy right now)

Right now I feel like someone in the role of Supporting Actress. I'm not playing the lead, I'm a lady in waiting (and not in the Episode I of Star Wars way). I'm like that actress who is the best friend in everything, but who I've never seen play a lead in anything - even I can't remember her name without looking her up!

I'm an impatient sort of person; as I've previously mentioned. So I'm setting out to turn my life around before 12/29/2009 (my last day in the U.S. for 2009). In 2010, I'll be turning an ideal age (based on my own weird thing - the last "good" year was predestined to be 23), and when I get there, I want to remember myself taking action now, not just accepting my self as a secondary character.

I hope Judy Greer does too. She's a great best friend character, but everyone deserves to have the spotlight for a little while.

Love always, ~Heather

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Real" Dreams

Last night I had a series of what I call "real" dreams. These are the types of dreams you have where you wake up and honestly believe that what you dreamt happened, because it felt so real.

Here were the weird things I dreamt:

That I decided to say hello to someone I haven't talked to in months because we were in the same place at the same time, and then all of a sudden we were in this tiff, and then I left.

That a kid I was babysitting had a pet lizardy thing that looked like a baby dinosaur that I found in one of a series of fish tanks. Oh, and I had to find a bucket to scoop out the little dead fish in all the tanks.

That one of my co-workers had figured out how to access one of my personal accounts (think Facebook or MySpace) and was warning me that my boss now could too.

I dreamt these things like they were real. Like baby dinosaur pets existed and that I was in the same place at the same time as someone I'd rather not see.

I have no idea what all of that means, but maybe it was an omen for the type of day I'm having right now. Maybe the thought of cleaning out fishtanks was what threw me over the edge to having to spend this afternoon on my couch, instead of at my desk. Or maybe I should stop walking around in the rain when I already have a sore throat.

I guess there are a lot of things I shouldn't do. Things that aren't possible or good. But how do I tell that to my dreams?

Love always, ~Heather

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm just saying.


Love always, ~Heather

Kudos: to the unknown creator of this image.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boxes Upon Boxes

Today I had a chance to go through a bunch of old boxes of my stuff, culling out the things I cannot even remember why I bothered to save in the first place.

I found journals, poems, stories, school papers, newspaper clippings, stickers, paintings, and a horrifying amount of tediously penned notes. From 15 gallons worth of plastic tubs and a shoebox, I now have about 3 gallons worth of papers and another 2 of empty binders and folders I'm hoping to donate to a school somewhere.

Most of my life, I've thought it might be cool to go back one day and create a book of all of my old work. Incorporate my journals and short stories and random school assignments into something I could keep forever (and if I got famous, edit and sell). Realistically (after about 5 hours of this treasure hunting), I'm not sure it would be worth anything to anyone - perhaps not even to me.

One thing about looking back is that it gives you a chance to see how far you've come; and how far you have left. For example: when I left for college, I was a total square. I was incredibly serious about my grades, work, and extracurriculars. Now I am significantly more like a rhombus, or at least a three-dimensional something or other.

Some of the most interesting things I read had to do with advice I gave to others and dreams and aspirations I had for myself. I wanted to be the President of the United States, an astronaut, or some other noble career that I might make people proud by having. I reminded others to "look for the happy" and never let go of their dreams.

I also found love letters - some more scandalous than others - from my two high school boyfriends. These I found incredibly amusing.

Looking back, I can remember thinking how different I thought my adulthood would be. I always assumed I would have some of the same friends forever, that the grown-up world was less clique-y and difficult, that I would always know what was coming next, that I would be healthy, strong, sure of myself ... that I would be everything I dreamed.

I'm a little glad some of those dreams didn't come true. Some of the biggest "wrenches" thrown into my life have become my most treasured moments: not making show choir got me involved in hall council which led me to being an RA; not making the walk-on spot to the volleyball team helped me pull together a club team that still exists today; and some of those people ... well, I wouldn't have the friends I have today if I'd always stuck with the friends I had then.

And all this reflection makes me wonder what things I'm focusing on today that could wind up in the (now overflowing) recycling bin ten years from now. Will I want the same things from my life? Will I still know the same people? What new challenges will there be?

I'm looking forward to meeting that person. That future me, sitting somewhere in 2019, looking back and wishing she'd stressed a little less and lived a little more. I hope she loves her job. I hope she has her own family; one that is still close with siblings and parents and cousins. I hope she has seen at least 10 more countries than I have, and visited a few more states. I hope she's happy and healthy and doing something to make the world a better place.

But most of all, I hope that she - like me - can look back and honestly say that she has no regrets. That every piece of her life has made her better and stronger than before. That the world is still full of amazing possibilities.

There are more boxes to go (why am I such a pack rat?), but I think they can wait for now. Between remembering the past (primarily middle to high school) and reflecting about the future, I'm not sure how many other versions of myself I need hovering around in my psyche right now. Bed sounds like a pretty tempting option.

Have a good night. Love always, ~Heather

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Pensive Puzzle

I'm supposed to be spending this week thinking. I have a lot on my mind. Here is my list of things so far:
  1. I used to be much better at asking about other peoples' days. I need to focus on being a better listener.
  2. Emotions are tricky things. There is a time to show them, a time to guard them, and a time to assess what all those feelings really mean and where they come from.
  3. Balance in life is important. Too much (or too little) of anything is a really bad idea.
  4. Being good at something and loving something are two different things. The ideal situation is a combination of the two.
  5. I'm incredibly lucky to have an amazing support system of family and friends.
As I was taking the dogs for a walk just now I was trying to find the right words to fill in the rest of this list. What I came up with was actually a metaphor for the main thoughts I've been having the past couple of days.

Our lives are like puzzles, with pieces scattered over the course of our lives. Our early influences help put together the edges, slowly building out from the corners. Each experience we have puts another piece in the center of our puzzle, even if it doesn't connect to anything else right away.

In the puzzle of life, not all the edges are smooth. They're like those edgeless puzzles; designed so that as we meet compatible puzzles, we can connect with them. But we also have to maintain ourselves. We have to keep the pieces we've got together, and try to gain what we need to keep developing, without losing too much when things break off.

Breaking can be caused by illness, moves to a new place, everyday decisions, or world-shattering events. It's our job to put the pieces back together when this happens, or adjust to keep ourselves together without them.

I'm not 100% sure I know where I'm going with that, but now that I've got the imagery down for you, I'm off to watch some more Apollo 13 before heading to bed for the night. There's a lot of driving in my immediate future and a lot more thinking about life. If I figure out how that puzzle metaphor is going to ork out for me, I'll let you know.

Love always, ~Heather

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Finally Finished

Guess what folks? I finally finished a hand-made project I started last year. A fabulous, super fun, totally great, going-to-be Christmas gift. Sadly for most of you, the all too amazing woman who will be receiving this prize is a reader, so I can't show you now, or she'll see it too. BUT - I promise to show pictures of it after the holidays.

I brought some stuff to start another project (now that I'm a bit of an expert), but since I am dog-sitting this week, I have to be careful as the fur of my friendly house-mates sticks to EVERYthing.

Speaking of which, I am being nuzzled pretty seriously right now, so I better just play with these totally hyper pups.

Love always, ~Heather

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

10 Super Good Things About Today

  1. Waking up with a great friend after a totally girly slumber party, talking about boys and eating chocolate chip cookie dough.
  2. Singing some fun songs at church.
  3. Having lunch with a totally kindred spirit.
  4. Hanging out while Lorien packed for her trip to open a new theater in Lynchburg, VA.
  5. Talking to my Aunt Babs about the readings from today and all the other stuff they made me think of.
  6. First attempt at relinquishing control of a situation I really only pretend to have control over. [Success to be determined in self-appointed two-day time frame.]
  7. Gajillionth attempt at not-internalizing successfully accomplished with the help of #5.
  8. Talking to every member of my immediate family on the phone.
  9. Getting a text message at a crazily (in?)opportune time.
  10. Buying 8 tickets to an upcoming USC football game for my family and friends (!!!^3).

And I still have 4 hours left.

Love always, ~Heather

P.S. Quote of the Day: "I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist." Paul Harvey, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you. :)

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Coeur Ouvert

He made a choice.
I'm making a choice.
They have to match.

No one's winning.
No one's losing.
But we aren't tied.

Someone will lead.
Someone will follow.
And one way or another
We'll arrive at our new year.

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