Finding Myself In All These Lights.
{An Identity Crisis in Sin City.}

Monday, August 30, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I was out at the pool at The Flamingo. It was a gorgeous Saturday. My sister was in town. Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas" was bumpin' on the loudspeakers. I was looking at the happy, drunk tourists and all I could think was that my head hurt. Well, that and the fact that the girls in the pool with the headbands across their foreheads (you know we love them, Liz) clearly hadn't yet experienced the dreaded headband sunburn.

Don't get me wrong, I heart Vegas. Period. I have never been happier than I am right now amidst all this sunshine, love and glitter. However, as a gal from Seattle, I sometimes look around and think, "What the HELL am I doing here?!" When I went home to Seattle earlier this month, I flew into the little town of Bellingham, WA. (How do I explain Bellingham? As my high school Spanish teacher once told me, "They grow their own food there.") The woman I sat next to on the plane turned to me mid-flight and said, "I saw you at the terminal and knew you were a Bellingham girl." When I explained to her that although I am from WA, I currently live in Vegas, she looked stunned. "You're kidding, I never would have guessed that."

You and me both, sister. You and me both.

However, when I was in WA, it felt like an outgrown favorite sweater. Comforting, but it no longer fit. When I returned to Vegas after my almost three week trip "home" - I became instantly and acutely aware of how much I need to make this my new home. But how does a person do that? A person who (with the exception of a rare morning mimosa) does not want an alcoholic beverage at 10am, thank you very much. A person who longs for the days of last call, when people were expected to be in bed at 2:30am. A person who drives past the strip on her way home from work with needy children and looks around at all the opulence and thinks what a beautiful waste this all really is. A person who is unapologetically liberal and has come to expect convenient recycling receptacles. (Honestly, Vegas, what is up with your lack of recycling? It is, at best, an outrage.)

Maybe my job is to find a way to nurture the me that makes me me in this lovely desert, in all these blinding lights... So, here I am. Waking up in Vegas. Lost, but happy. Homesick, but - perhaps - home.

{image via}

Women as Weapons of War:
How To Help.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have been on a break as of late. A break from blogging, a break from work, a break from almost everything. To put it mildly, I've been lost and pulling into myself to come up with what my next step should be. At the best of times, I've been able to look at my current struggles as a necessary chapter in the story of my life. In the worst of times, however, I've felt pretty damned sorry for myself, let's just be honest.

Then, the other day, I read this article about the atrocities women in the Congo are suffering. (WARNING: This is, by far, the most disturbing thing I have ever read. Unless you are willing to shed many tears, shake your head in utter disbelief at how people are able to survive what must be unbearable at best, reexamine what you think of as the hardships in your own life and, lastly, jump into action and try to help these women, children and families, I suggest you not read this.)

This article - and the several I have read on the systematic sexual abuse of women in the Congo since - have haunted me for days. These stories have asked me to not only realize how very, very fortunate I am - even in the hardest of moments - but also to look at what I can do to help.

I found this incredible organization, Women for Women, that gives you the opportunity to sponsor a woman in one of eight war torn countries, including the Congo. Please take a moment to look at this and, if you are able, help out in a big or small way.

Either way, I hope we can all take a moment to be thankful for how lucky we truly are.

This, right here, is my heart.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love at the Lake.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords." - Mark Twain of Lake Tahoe, 1861

Several weekends ago, I joined Jenner, his dad and some of his lovely family for a perfect few days in Lake Tahoe. I had never been and, let me tell you, I was simply blown away by the beauty. With the exception of a few pockets of the world I was fortunate enough to visit in southern Africa, Lake Tahoe just may be the most beautiful place I've ever visited.

It was one of my favorite weekends in a really long time.

For days, we barbecued, paddle boarded (well, my clumsy and still handicapped self did not), kayaked, swam, read, watched movies, had long talks and longer laughs.

I can't wait to go back.

The only place left to go is home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

{image via}

After my very big disappointment last week, I've felt really lost. Unsure of what exactly my next big move is, my sister generously offered to fly me home for a couple of weeks to spend time with family and regroup.

So, I flew into WA on Sunday - exactly fifteen hours after my ticket was purchased - and spent the last two days laughing with my sister and loving on my nephews in Seattle. Today, I hopped on the train and headed to the ocean.

So, here I am. In the smallest of small towns. With my mother, two dogs and no cell reception. I miss my boyfriend already, but I have to tell you... I am so at peace here.

For the next couple of weeks, I plan on mostly wearing pajama pants, having long conversations about life with my mother, telling my nephews repeatedly that they are my very favorite people on the planet, taking walks on the beach with the pups, enjoying wearing a hoodie away from the Vegas heat, reading myself to sleep, giggling with my best friend, listening to the rain and simply taking care of myself in this small town.

Because, sometimes, the only place left to go is home.