Thursday, October 29, 2009

a good memory

there was a week night in january or february, i think, of 2007, when i got a call from my boyfriend. he was an admissions counselor, and he was staying in bakersfield that night, visiting high schools in bakersfield and trying not to be too bored. he looked up one of our favorite musicians, to see if he could surprise me with tickets to a show in the future - but he found out that this guy would be playing at a lounge in LA that night.

so, this very spontaneous "P" of a boyfriend called his plan-ahead "J" girlfriend and suggested that they both drive from their respective places - santa barbara for her - to largo, in LA, for the show. she surprised him and said yes, and so he drove down the 5 and she went south on the 101 by the ocean until camarillo, and they parked their cars in really lucky parking spots and met each other outside the restaurant - bar - lounge - venue.

the menus had big pictures of marty feldman on the cover, and it was hard to get over the googly eyes while they ordered their penne al pesto and red wine, but the whole place was eccentric. their table was a few feet from the musician, and the opening act pleasantly surprised them, and it was the kind of night that made them both exhausted the next day and that found them both on solitary highways at 2 in the morning on a thursday, the moon glimmering off the ocean for one and almond fields for the other.

she had so much fun that she went back the next night with three girlfriends, and again the next year. and now, coming up on three years later, these two are sitting together in their little bungalow of a house listening to teitur less than one month after they got married to each other. it was a good time. it is a good memory.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


sometimes, i feel like i'm the only person in the world who struggles with anxiety. of course, that's part of what all people who struggle with anxiety feel, which sucks, because worrying alone always makes matters worse and makes your mind feel like it's on constant spin cycle, like the washing machine, wanting for rest and peace all the time but never getting one second of it, really.

i will make a confession to the internet: about six years ago, i was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. and it makes so much sense to me, because when i think back on school from an early age, the first week was always like a living hell for me. everything was new, nothing was familiar, i had to make new friends - which takes time, and people with anxiety are low on patience - and had to be away from my family, who i had made into my rock and my refuge. then, sometimes, waves of worry would come over me for no reason at all. the only language i had for it was a mental image i got, of me standing in the ocean (in carlsbad, if you must know, wearing my red plaid one-piece bathing suit) with sets of overhead waves hitting me again and again and again; allowing no time to get my feet under me.

so as the years have gone by, i've sought relief from my anxiety in different ways - often through other people, or seeking control of different variables, or trying to get perfect grades and test scores, or counseling, or talking, or hiding, or medication, or prayer. but it still haunts me, nips at my ankles and clouds my mind, this unwanted friend.

now, my life circumstances include almost all new things - only even more intensively than the beginning of the school year or going to Europe for a semester. i'm married, and we live in a new house, and i quit my old job and don't have a new one waiting for me, and this is hard. zack bears a great deal of this burden with me, but i'm still working on the extent to which we should carry it together and the part where i bring it to God and lay it at his feet.

i had a fun coffee time with a friend this morning, and she mentioned that she leans toward anxiety at times, too. cognitively, i know i'm not the only one. but experientially, i feel lonely in my anxiety.

all of this is to say something publicly that i think is good to say publicly, and also to issue a giant thanks to zack, who i love with all the sappy, grateful, fierce love that i have. and the rest of the reason i don't really know. but there it is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

back from the honeymoon

and, though i have plenty of words, for now, i'll let the pictures do the talking. you can see a couple sets here:

Shanni's Blog

and here:

Gabriel's Blog

with love love love to you all!