April 2, 2017

Ah, it’s spring!  The season of new stories.

It was everything I new I had been looking for, but didn’t know what it was until it was exclaimed from my yoga teachers mouth.

The last month of bustle was delirious and delightful.  Great connecting with my love and adventures abounding.  38th birthday, Paris, weekend with his family, NYC for 30 hours and getting our home whipped into shape.

Monday’s stillness came along with my hormones and all the things I haven’t had time to process as well.

This week has been a journey of unpacking those things and allowing myself time to find my identity in this next phase of life.  Me, the non gypsy, the attached committed lover, the being content in my stillness and figuring out what is next without my inner negative voice undermining me.

Intentions and mindfulness.  It is an art in itself.  I need some dedicated me time, and then I need some more work for my bills I want to pay down, and then I want to travel, and have a great body, have great sex, get married to my love, have babies, take great photos, HAVEITALL.  It all doesn’t bring happiness though.  It’s being content where I’m at, with what I have that does.  It is simply perspective and gratefulness that does it all.

Grateful for my hair on my head, my eyes and my fingers.  For my boyfriend who on a daily basis reminds makes me feel like i’m wonderful.  For my job that allows me to be free if I want, or busy if I want.  For my beautiful home, and all of its warmth and comforts. For my family and their love and patience.  For my friends and their desire for community.  I have all the things I could possibly ever want.

February 26, 2017

60 hours on London –

after zero hours of sleep, like a zombie I made my way yo Chiswick park to rendezvous with Amel and find our flat for the weekend thanks go Vincenzo.

A two hour power nap and I’m a new woman.  Amel and I meet up with old friends for a lovely indian dinner and then wine at Vagabound wines on Charlotte Street.  It was a great evening of catching up and heart squeezing memories.

The next morning we are brunching with Amel’s old friend and shopping in South Kensington.  We take a long midday pause for irish coffees and rooftop garden views with Flamingos.

Last minute dinner party invitations from an old friend’s older brother that lives in town and saw my proximity. My evening is unscheduled and I accept.  I stop to laugh at my life, I mean, of course this is how it goes.  #Grateful

Managing my way through public transportation and winning. Mosty anyway.  I easily fall into life wherever I go.  Except maybe where I am stationary. hm.

Morning finds my slow and feeling unwell.  I throw myself together and find I’m in better sprits after breakfast at the train station.  My blue morning is gone and the excitement of heading north and snuggling a few of my favorites for the next 5 days is just too much. Je suis content.

February 23, 2017

Non stop to London and I can’t sleep a wink.  Maybe I’m not tired, maybe I’m not anxious.

watching movies to get tired, adjust my clothing to be cool.  I’m going to be a exhausted mess during my 60 hours in the city. Always the whirlwind.

The guy I bumped into in Hoi an for two hours also turned up on my flight.  We realized it over our quick coffee catchup this week.  his first time to the US.  Kind, sweet, distant and respectful.  Perfect.  The theme of my life continues, serendipity strikes again.

I scan my phone for photos of us that make me happy.  I scan my phone for photos that make me sad.  He is not the problem. I am my own problem.  No one can make me happy but me.  When I hop a plane I am reminded of what I gave up.  When I’m with him I’m aware of how lucky I am.  The things I struggle with are not deal breakers.  The things I struggle with where my problems before now.

I’m anxious for him to crash into my sacred place.  I’m afraid of what truths I will unawarely expose.  This feels so heavy to me, and means so much to me that am able actually share the things that have been my rock with my new rock.

Like when Esther and Amel collided, it could have gone horribly un well.  But ten fold with this.  Paris for a week is a tease.

I left him a trail of notes.  I of course left it to the last second and my delivery could have been sweeter.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

I love him.  I love him I love him I love him.  The things I wrote about him from the beginning are clear. His quiet strength and sweet disposition.  I love his sketches, his writing, the way he cooks.  How he enjoys life.  We sat in a meeting for a children’s homeless shelter together listening eagerly about volunteer opportunities.  Just one of the things that we share passionately, and such a vital one as well.

He wrote a piece that I can’t even finish without sobbing.  He wrote of my journey, but wrote of it in a way so truthful to the ups and downs of my heart.  His astute attention humbles me. His elequency humbles me.  His adoration humbles me.

It’s fair to say I struggle with whether or not I am matching him in thoughts and affection.   I feel as though I am so lost in my own struggle of self that I forget to give him what he deserves.

Enter mindfulness in process…

i asked him at the beginning “how can you be so sure?”.  I want to ask him that every day.  Especially the days that I’m blue, or grumpy or selfish.

Thank goodness for word therapy.

.. and Paris therapy. A bientôt.

January 13, 2017

It was cold out and started to rain.  He made the 4 flights of stairs back up to collect our hats.   We walk slow because it’s wet and the steepness of the hill could be a tricky combo.   The sign on the door promised live music.   We snuggled into the corner booth with all the pillows and opted for the wine flight.  We talked and laughed and talked and laughed.  The wine kept up with us.  The music did not.

 

Favorite things party –

New Year’s day hike, 2016 reflections and so much to be grateful for. Goat hill swing. Twin Peaks picnic. Frozen to the bones. Hot toddy’s and irish coffees. Time to go home.

I love this man and his heart.  His face and kisses and hands.

I feel stronger, capable and unstoppable with him.

and now, which direction do I go?

 

January 3, 2017

30 day notice and the shift of new is upon me.  New home, new career, new love.   I’ve ignored my fears and jumped in.

Because that is what I’ve always done.

Word of the year is “New”.  Last year’s was transition.  The year before, balance.  and before that, Intention.

Time to seek new balance.  The next few months will possibly be uncomfortable during that shift.   I shall try to maintain my sanity.  I can do this.

December 10, 2016

I have enough money for rent.

My back itches.  I really enjoy hot showers.

It’s been raining for three days straight.  My engagement session is rescheduled until tomorrow. Promises of sun just around the corner.

A nightmare that woke me.  My kids crying.  Me unable to help them even though I was fighting to do so.

Mexico is 4 days away.  I need some sun on my skin and unknown adventure at my fingertips.

We’ve talked about moving in together.  I struggle with articulating my needs.  My need for space, light, and peace.  Space that is just mine and no one else’s.

I struggle with scaring him away, with forcing him to realize his mistake, and losing my one final hold on the bay area I can afford.

I struggle.

I need a good long run.  In the rain.

But I have a wedding I need to edit and finish today.

Today.

November 25, 2016

struggling.

restless beast.

May our choices reflect our hopes, not our fears. – Nelson Mandela

Struggling to decipher which way to lay my steps and intentions.   Away from but towards what?  How what is next?

Portraits. Business shoots. Crossing my fingers to survive the slow season.

How did I get here?  I can drive myself mad with the roundabout thinking.

If I don’t believe in devine design, than what does chaos have in store for me?

Suddenly I feel lost.

I feel his absence after he leaves.  Turns out I’m quite attached and perhaps fully smitten.  Care, support, consistency, depth of character.  This is the good man I have so long searched for.   I am myself completely, that freedom too is a uniquely beautiful thing.

There is no half way, or sort of’s.  I am 100 percent.  Now if only I can keep the restless beast away.  The beast needs it’s space, to be ignored, and just allowed the time to process.  All will be fine in the end.

November 22, 2016

home and all the restlessness I can muster.

You cannot measure the impact you have one someones life.  You cannot anticipate the difference you make in someones path.

flowers at the welcome home gate and snuggles and kisses I’ve anticipated for 4 weeks.

this program could potentially be my new path. It all starts somewhere right?  Teaching photography, giving value, giving love.  I can do these things.  Financially things are a complete mess.  I need to figure out what is next.

November 18, 2016

The photos are hung.  We’re expecting around 300 people.  It could be less, it could be more.  I’m really in aw.  This started with a small intention… and now its a living program, first ever gallery exhibition of its kind, and know the world over.

The roller coaster ride is complete.  The tears and heartbreak have been shed, but not over with just yet.  I know as I begin to process over the next few weeks it will come in waves.

Things I want to remember.

  • Sweet, shy, insecure, ADD Isha, who sleeps on the cement floor with just a blanket.
  • Giggling Versha and her red twirling dress.
  • Priyanshu’s strut.
  • Compassionate Uzma.
  • SK, 13 years old, father has passed.  Sews buttons on a shirt for 8 hours everyday after school. He makes 8 rupees (11 cents ) per shirt.
  • Reshma and Sryiansh, natural leaders, takes care of the younger kids.
  • Riya, Priya, Sumatra – lost their mothers and are on the brink of finding a new path other than what they’ve always known.

the three week mark was the straining point for Chris and I.  I could tell on our facetime that It dreaminess of it all was wearing off.   He missed me and was ready for this all to be over with.  He was less smiley then before and anxious about the coming days.  I felt that at week two for myself, as the program was at it’s longest days, and routine and close quarters were taking its toll.  As a team, the guys and I  survived though and our sprits are once again positive and uplifted as we are set to fly home in less than 48 hours.

His letter arrived, 3 weeks later.  A hug from home and a squeeze from that amazing man that I am so grateful for and lucky to have.

I struggle with the images or The Parveen family of 5 who’s father has passed and they are struggling to keep their home.  Their home that is half the size of my room and all 5 share one bed.  Two of those kids are our best photography students.  Sweet Saba, and hardworking SK.

November 12, 2016

Sapna – Hindi for dream

the realization that there is only 8 days left.  the realization that I’m going to miss these kids, but also asking, have I really done them good?

 

This week left me an emotional basket case.  Unexpected new president and the continued challenges of being here.  Food, health, safety, freedom.  Mirrored a world away but not so different overall.