You Yell In Your Head A Lot

That day at work, the one that is so mind numbingly boring where you can’t even remember what you talk about. You sit and stare, you cross and un-cross your legs to keep your ankles from going numb. That day where you know you’re not going to want to go home right away so you make plans with an old friend, you find a new bar and you plant your ass on a stool for a few beers and talk.

You talk and the shit that comes out of your mouth sometimes makes you realize that, in this moment, your voice is unrecognizable. You’re half way through your first 8% beer and you realize the bar now looks blurry, only because you’re looking through saltwater and your friend pats your right shoulder.

Looking down, your left knee is supported by the bar while your right ankle crosses over it, you look over and your bearded friend, a friend from years ago, that is only ten years younger that your father, and his legs are crossed the same way.

For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been like a strong, proud, black woman. He says, lifting his hand off your shoulder, complimenting you. He begins to share his stories about his relationship, because you decide to get another beer and change the subject to him. You want to stop looking through saltwater and getting the focus off you will help that.

The bar fills up as you realize the coffee stout you ordered is actually good. After years of loving coffee and loving beer and hating the two combined, this brewery does it–it goes down easy, lights you up with a buzz and mellows you out with a different buzz. The conversation continues onto beers, breweries, brewers and bars.

He compartmentalizes your life by drawing circles and squares on the bar top with his fingers, connecting them with imaginary lines and arrows, showing how they all really are connected–see, if things are good here, they have the potential to be better HERE, he taps hard on the upper right circle,

Meanwhile, you use your thumbnail to pick the coaster and to avoid eye contact, you’ve been refused coaster use in bars you regulared at in the past but the tender doesn’t notice you tonight. You blink back, close your eyes a moment and return to making scraps that he’ll later have to clean up and throw away–you’ve worked at bars and know how annoying it is to clean up other peoples messes.

The four compartments are all different, yet work together, if you create balance, you equal a happy, healthy life. Who can juggle balance? Where does this come from? WHERE, HOW?! You yell in your head, you yell in your head a lot.

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Keep Your Lady Balls In Check

My bed has sucked my morning mojo out of me. My OkCupid profile claims that I’m an extreme morning person, I’ve always said I’d rather wake at 5am rather than stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I love enjoying a cup of coffee or tea alone with a book, my journal or my computer. I love the alone time of the early AM and savor every minute I’m up before my roommates are. But since I bought the bed that I wanted, the firm mattress my back craves, the cozy down comforter I stole from my mother’s house when I moved, the pillows that support my neck just right–I have a really hard time getting up. The bed swallows me up and hugs me tight so I am unable to leave when, in the past, I would normally wake.
Things I enjoy doing in the morning: running, reading, writing, researching, cooking, journaling… my basic brain function is best between the hours of 6am and about 2pm. After that I can’t promise my best self, my best attitude, or my best effort to care about anything. So in an effort to be a better human being I’m trying to get up earlier again.
Yesterday the alarm went off at 5:16, yes, a Sunday alarm set for 5:16. By 5:42 I had laced my running shoes, buddled up as much as possible and set off to run five miles before the sun was set to rise at 6:49am. I’m determined to run all winter long and train for a January half-marathon. In college I did, why not now? So Sunday morning was to prove to myself that I still have the lady balls to get out there and log the miles–no matter how far below freezing Chicago gets!
The still morning reminded me how quiet the streets of Thailand were when I began my training there. However the temperature difference, the idea of quiet alone time was still the same. Morning mediation on my feet. Discovering what the city looks like, smells like, feels like, early in the morning is something I’ve done every place I’ve lived and visited. This was a first for me in Chicago–I’ve walked the streets late at night after a night out with friends, exploring new bars, parks and taken bus rides to avoid the cold or heat. But nothing compares to being on foot, alone on streets you’ve walked or rode a bunch of times before the sun peaks above the skyline.
Everything looks different in the morning. Stores are asleep, coffee shops are just blinking an eye to be awake and get the day started–running past them shut down and dark the city looks so different, it looks at peace.
I am at peace when I’m out there. My run yesterday cleared my head for the day to come, set my schedule and tired my legs. At my turn around point there was a bank clock and thermometer that read “6:04am 14 degrees”. Now I KNOW I can run that far, in that cold, that early. Every time I do that I have mixed emotions; now I know I can do it, so that means I can’t wuss out–and now I have to one up myself, I have to go further, earlier and when it’s colder just to prove to myself I can.

This morning I wussed out so I could spend the early moments reading and writing. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and winter is only getting colder.

A Tea Morning

I hate hate hate hate to admit I’m wrong, luckily it rarely happens so I only have to endure it a few times a year… But I have been off of coffee for over two weeks now and to my surprise I am not dead, I’m not miserable and I’m not lacking energy for my day to day obligations. I’m fine. I look forward to opening the little paper square my tea bag comes in, reading the uplifting message on the tab at the end of the string. I love the color it turns when I pour almond milk into the mug and the smell of vanilla and cinnamon wafts up and warms my face.

I also love that my skin is clearing up. For the past three years I have covered my face in make up to hide the blemishes that scattered on my cheeks, I hate wearing that much make-up. I hate going to the gym and seeing my cheeks not only red from exertion but red and speckled from the adolescent symptoms my face can’t seem to leave behind. I’m not sure if I can 100% attribute the better skin to the lack of coffee and caffeine in my diet but for now it’s motivation enough to continue on with the experiment.

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