You Have to Love.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Over the weekend, I reconnected with my friend John (and several other dear friends, as well as my favorite state of California). On Sunday, he posted his favorite quote and it so perfectly summarizes what I've been going through this last year, as well as how I feel about this beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking world we live in. 

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."

— Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

More to come soon, friends...

Bags, Bruises and Coming Home.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm going to admit something here, something I don't say out loud to very many people...

I'm tired. 

Sometimes I'm so tired, I break down crying on the way to work. And although I am in the middle of moving into my own little apartment with my sweet girl and my darling pup and there are literally bags and boxes everywhere, the bags I'm referring to in the title of this post are the ones residing under my eyes.

If I told you it has been easy, I would be lying. It has been many things, but easy has not been one of them. There are days that the work of motherhood and career and paperwork and daycare drop offs and screaming baby commutes get the best of me. There are days, even with all the love I am surrounded by, I feel very alone. There are days I cancel dates with nice, probably well-intentioned men because I just don't have the energy, emotionally or otherwise. I tell said men I'm really busy this week and that I'll get a hold of them when things settle down, knowing - deep down - that the call or text to announce things have settled down might not ever come. And, on those days, the tears roll down my face. Because it's hard and because it hurts. And because second only to loving my daughter, the silent work I am doing  most while I make that loud commute and type up my usually late paperwork and drop off my curly haired girl is healing my bruised heart. 

But I'm not really supposed to blog about this, am I? I'm supposed to post pretty pictures that edit out the bags under my eyes (and any other imperfections I might have in that particular photo). I'm supposed to write about trips to Greece and nice, probably well-intentioned men. I'm supposed to present the life I want you to think I have, but really don't because, in certain parts of the blogging world, that's just the way it's done. Not here, though. Not on this blog. Why? Because I started this little space of mine on the internet to write, to set the words inside me free and the only way to do that is to tell the truth, my truth. So, here it is...

I'm tired. I'm bruised. But even through the hurt and the exhaustion and the tears that sometimes fall, I feel a peace and a strength I haven't in years... And, earlier today, after I carried those heavy boxes up the stairs and into what will soon be my new residence, I sat down on the floor, looked around, wrapped Violet in my arms and cried. Because I was tired. Because I was bruised. And because I was finally home.

When To Let Go.
{... and a new writing gig.}

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A few weeks ago, I promised an upcoming blog post about my trip to Greece filled with photos. Yeah, um, I guess that didn't happen... Here's the thing, mama is tired. Bottom line. Just the thought of uploading all of my vacation photos is overwhelming (and, let's just be honest, I haven't even compiled all of my photos yet - I took over 1,100 on my iPhone alone), but a Greece inspired post is coming soon, guaranteed. However, the mentality of "I have to post about x by such and such date" is part of the reason I needed a blogging break to begin with. It just wasn't fun anymore and, as I've said before, this should be fun. I have enough deadlines in my life and really don't want them here. So, sometimes I need a little reminder that this space is just for me to express myself. No rules, no deadlines.

Moving on...

There is a lot going on in my little world. Lots of big things and little things I'm really, really excited about and I'll be sharing a few of them soon. (See what I did there? Not this week, necessarily, but soon.)

One thing I'm really excited about is that I've become a contributing writer for the website, We Love Dates. My first post is a really personal one called "When To Let Go" and it was posted last night. Please check it out when you get a chance.

Until I see you around these parts next, happy Wednesday!

Don't Call it a Comeback.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hi, friends...

My last post, before my little hiatus, hinted at some big changes taking place in this small town girl's lonely world and the need to step back and reevaluate the direction of not only this little blog of mine, but of my life, as well. I've thought a lot about this first post-break post, about what I wanted to say about where I've been and where I'm going and, honestly, only one sentence repeats itself in my head over and over again like a mantra...

I'm back.

Yes, it's true. In more ways than one, I'm back.

Let's talk blog changes first. Thanks to my dear friend Andre (who just so happens to be my pup Samson's very best friend), I have a new and improved layout here on just a small town girl. There are still a few small tweaks to be tended to here and there, but I really couldn't be happier with Andre's work and am just so grateful that he put up with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies while we worked out the kinks of the redesign. Another change is thanks to sweet Jasmine. After only a few texts exchanged back and forth, she figured out how to give me what I like to call my new big girl URL ( Hooray! This is something I have wanted for so long, but just couldn't seem to find the time to figure out how to do on my own. And the great news is that if you continue to use my previous URL, you will be redirected here. You also may have noticed my fancy new header. Oh, you didn't? Well, look up! Isn't it pretty? Steph over at Hearts and Laserbeams is responsible for it and was truly a joy to work with.

Okay, real life changes. Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? There have been plenty of changes, some good, some bad, all likely very needed. And as any good blogger would, I'll talk about them here at some point. What I will tell you now, however, is that I am sipping my coffee and writing these words on my laptop as a single mama. Not where I thought I would be, not where I wanted to be, but where I am. Let's see... what else do I have for you? My little Violet turned one at the end of May and is now walking and falling and running and falling and saying "Uh-Oh" and getting right back up again. In other words, we're in very similar places. 

So, there you have it. Lots to catch up on. First up, the trip of a lifetime. Check back in next week for photos and a post about my trip to Greece with the family (and no less than eight flights in ten days with the short one). And there will be more. Breakups, breakthroughs, dipping my toes cautiously back into the world of dating, moving out and moving on. Lots of inspiration around these parts.

It feels really good to be back.

Oh, and PS, you can actually call it a comeback if you want.

Under Construction.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{image via}

You may have noticed, but it's been a little quiet around these parts as of late. Turns out, just a small town girl, and the small town girl behind it, are both going through a transformation. We'll be up and running in no time, I'm sure, with a new look (both the blog and the girl are getting makeovers) and possibly even a new name. Stay tuned on that one... It's been hard to find my footing where my blog is concerned in the last year. New mamahood, coupled with a few life knockdowns, have made me reconsider the direction of both my writing and my life. So, when we're back - and it will be soon - it will be with a fresh perspective, a new attitude and a whole lot of inspiration for upcoming posts (trust me on that one). 

I think I got lost in the Dear Violet letters, the 2012 recap and baby's first holiday posts. I felt as behind here as I did in the other areas of my life. And, as any good blogger knows, this should be fun. It lost its fun for a minute there, as a lot of things did, I'm afraid. But I feel a change coming on, personally and here in my little backyard of the blogosphere. And fun is a big part of my comeback. So, although I'll keep writing my own Dear Violet letters and tucking them away for the book I'm making my daughter, I'm not going to worry about catching up on posts any longer. In fact, I'm not going to worry about a lot of the things that have been taking up my time, my energy and my heart the last few months. (How's that for a new attitude?)

If I've learned anything in the last few weeks, it's that there's no going back. From now on, we're only looking toward the future and it sure looks sparkling from here.

So, if you've checked in here recently and heard the crickets, thank you. This blog is part of my heart, as is this community. But for now, the blog and the girl are under construction...

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Nobody can intervene and make it right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal... The healing, the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud-change is entirely and absolutely up to you."

- Cheryl Strayed, from her Dear Sugar column, "How You Get Unstuck"
{Warning: if you read the entire "How You Get Unstuck" column, you will cry. You will ugly cry, in fact. It will break your heart and crack it open wide with love all at once. You've been warned.} 

"You Gotta Get Up."

Monday, February 25, 2013

I love the Oscars. Period. I've talked about it before (in a favorite post entitled "Homo-loving Sons-of-Guns - read it, you'll understand) when my blog was just a chubby baby. This year, I was busy doing a hundred and twelve other things during the ceremony. Feeding and putting Violet to bed, talking to my friend who was over, cooking a far more complicated than I'm used to dinner (I'm on a two week cleanse of sorts) and finishing up a week's worth of paperwork, my dreaded Sunday ritual. So, some of the show was lost on me. Ben Affleck's beautiful speech, however, was not. You know, the one where he thanked his wife for all the hard work she puts into their marriage and cried dedicating his award to his children (one of whom is named Violet, thankyouverymuch). And these words. These words had me reduced to tears on my couch. 

"You have to work harder than you think you possibly can. You can't hold grudges. It's hard, but you can't hold grudges. And it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that's going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up."

2012 was the most beautiful year of my life because it was the year I met my sweet Violet, but - damn - that year knocked me down a lot, too. And while I was starting to get firmly on my feet again by years end, my life is coming together in so many ways in this new year. So, Ben's (yes, we're on a first name basis now) words strongly resonated with me. And I know that while things are lovely right now, I'll get knocked down again. That's what life does. However, I now know something I maybe didn't know before 2012, nothing can break me. 

So, thank you for your speech, Mr. Jennifer Garner (favorite mom in Hollywood). You've come a long way from your "Jenny on the Block" video appearance. So, thank you for that, too.