Ten Years – I Promised Myself I Wouldn’t Cry

On this day, 10 years ago, I was in a hospital room sucking on ice chips as my world was about to change permanently.  10 years ago exactly, I became the mother to the most amazing human being I have ever known.

DSC07107

This journey has been far from easy.  In fact, it has been more difficult than any other dare devil task I have undertaken – from jumping onto moving trains, to jumping out of planes, to launching myself backwards off a trapeze.  When it comes to risking my life, it’s a shrug and a smirk on my part.  But, creating life, nurturing life – that causes so much more anxiety.

Before she entered this world, I was angry, depressed, and lonely.  I was eager to run away from the world.  At 15, my only goal was to finish high school so I could spend a year backpacking in Australia, with the determination that I wouldn’t stop traveling after that.  At 16, I found out I was pregnant.

It took two years and a few thousand miles of separation before I was able to be a mother.  I was trudging through the routine, going to college and working, and still trying to remember to feed her, get enough sleep, and still be attentive.  When an opportunity to study in Ireland presented itself, my parents urged me to take it.  They insisted they could handle things, and that I needed to be do it.  So, I submitted my application and found myself living in Derry for 6 months, and doing archaeology on Achill Island for 2.  In the middle, Ellette had her 2nd birthday and I realized that I really wanted to be a mother to her.

porch

Ellette is my counterweight – she pushes when I am still and digs her feet in when I move to fast.  She has always shown compassion for everyone, and constantly reminds me to see the good in people.  She helps me remember to be silly – from walking like cats down the bustling streets of Chicago, to singing about pink pajamas at the top of our lungs as we walk home from school, to building snow day forts and making silly faces.  She is my light.

scarborough

My adventure never stopped.  I have criss-crossed the country with her at my side.  We have had spontaneous road trips and meticulously planned trips, and she has been eager for every one.

dc

She has never asked “Are we there yet?”  She is the queen of 15 hours in a car – packing books and sketchpads and music and games to entertain herself.  She tells me to cool it when I feel road rage and is entirely game for detours to junk yards with rusty planes and vintage bikes and museums for obscure artifacts.  She can run across the fields with me and sit in the shade eating ice cream cones.

trf

So, 10 years have gone by so quickly.  And we have managed to pack a hundred adventures into them.  Let’s take the next 10 by storm.  Happy birthday, munchkin!

playa 13

Advertisements

Decompression/Recompression

My life is best described as a flurry.  Not quite a full-force blizzard, but close enough.  It’s just hectic enough to make people wonder if they should come out and build a snowman with me, or huddle under blankets by the fireplace, safely in their own abodes, letting me rampage on my own outdoors.

Today marks the one week anniversary of our official arrival in Boulder.  One week into classes, into work, into my new life.  I came off the tail of a grand adventure with no time to breathe before launching into the next – but if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably already guessed – this is how I roll.

I hate being bored.  It drives me bonkers.  Makes me angrier than if someone ate the last of the ice cream the day that a bus splashed dirty street water on me as I was walking toward some really bad news.  Boredom is generated and controlled by no one and nothing but yourself, so I take it as a personal failure when I feel bored.  The world at my fingertips, and I can’t figure out what to occupy my time with?  That’s ridiculous.

I’m almost settled into the new place.  I have to figure out how to get my desktop hooked up to the wifi in the apartment, and there are a few lingering boxes, and I’m not quite sure how to store my yarn with the limited space that I have, but I have to think that I’m almost finished settling in, or I think I might just snap and spend the rest of my “free” time sitting in a corner chewing on boxes.  I went on a tear through my boxes, knowing I saw the cord for my cameras and tucked them somewhere that made sense, but now I can’t seem to find them in any of the places that make sense, nor any of the places that the Mad Hatter would consider appropriate.

I’ll edit to add pictures when the item is found, but until then – stories, because words are still important to convey my experience.

I had one week between the end of the Aerial Dance Festival and the start of Burning Man.  One week, with no obligations, very little money available to spend, a child, and a car.  There is a lot you can accomplish in one week, and still I wish we had more time.  Ellette and I picked up our friend Ari from the Denver Airport on Thursday, which was the earliest he could fly out to meet us, and we started driving West.

Excitement was high at this point.  Freedom and a roadtrip have a habit of creating that feeling.  (4 days later we were extremely happy to have arrived at our destination where we could take a break from being in a car, and being stuck with no one’s company but our own).

We drove through the mountains towards the Grand Canyon, because I gave Ellette free reign over our destination, and that’s what she chose.  Knowing we had time to kill, however, led us to stop when the desire took hold.  Utah is a beautiful state, and I highly recommend taking a leisurely drive through it.  There were so many view points, that we eventually had to put a cap on how many we would actually stop for.  They were gorgeous.  I really don’t have any other words to describe it.

To break up the immobility of sitting in a car, I tried to handstand my way across the country.  I did a lot during the trip, but completely forgot once we got to Burning Man.  I did remember to do one when the man burned on Saturday, and had someone photograph it for me, but that was the only handstand accomplished.

The Grand Canyon was more breathtaking than the last time i was there in 2009.  That time was just me and a guy was I on-again-off-again dating, and the experience was just not very enjoyable because of outside emotions.  This trip, i had a clear head and a clear heart, and Ellette and I loved exploring together.  We climbed everything we could get a grip on and resolved to return in the future for a longer stretch of time, with better gear, so that we can hike and camp and experience it closer.

We continued driving West after that, through Nevada until we reached Black Rock City.  We had a minor detour at a town called Rachel, which is located on Extraterrestrial Highway and caused us to stop by the presence of several flying saucers.  The town had a couple of trailers and a bar.  We stopped for a drink, chatted with the bartender, and left a dollar bill taped to the ceiling with our names written across it.

And then Black Rock City.

My birthday was spent in the line, waiting to get in.  I enjoyed meandering up and down the line of cars, offering chocolate covered doughnuts to other burners.  It wasn’t until I received my first hug on the playa that I realized what I needed this year.  It was a long and close hug, each of us holding on tight and welcoming each other home, and I settled in to it.  All of the anxiety, jitteriness, and excitement started to quiet, and I could feel my breathing deepen.  This was to be the burn of hugs.

It had been just me for the summer – no significant other, physically removed from my close friends, and constantly bustling through my adventures, that I had forgotten how nice it is to share a moment with another individual – a hug, a handhold, a side lean.  And here I was, tossed into a crowd of 60,000 people all ready and willing to hug the breath out of me if I just asked for it.  I found myself seeking out that contact – giving camp mates hugs every morning, holding on long and tight with each one.  I wanted to forge connections, I wanted stories and laughter that would sustain itself off the playa.

Ellette and I didn’t leave camp as much as we did last year, but I’m alright with that.  I got my chances to explore, even having an entire night out on the playa, as an adult, jumping from camp to camp, meeting new people, biking into the deep darkness, chasing a vision of people and lights, and falling asleep briefly inside of a giant genie bottle, only to be woken by gentle chatter just before sunrise.  My companion and I wandered to the 7am burn, where we watched two larger-than-life lovers locked in Embrace turn to dust and smoke as the sun came up.  I wandered back to camp, only to doze off on a couch on top of a school bus before making it to my tent.

We had such a brilliant time and built a few lasting friendships, along with meeting more lovely people than we can ever keep straight.  We have little stories tucked into our arsenals that simply cannot exist in the blogosphere appropriately, and we’ve come back very satisfied.

Now, entering the default world on our return.  I had been curious how decompression would strike us.  Ellette is like puddy, adapting fluidly with the changing situations.  I have been keeping my focus pointing forward as I knock to-do’s off the list, hoping that the brunt of depression would be deflected by being in the studio 30 hours a week working on what I love.

And then I realized that I’m craving human connection.  I’m craving sitting in the dust watching the sunset, a cold beer in my hand and good conversation afoot.  I’m craving quiet moments standing close to people as we share our thoughts on a towering art structure.  I’m still finding my footing here, carving out my place and setting my schedule so spontaneity is a possibility, and lacking the freedom I had all summer is taking it’s toll.

I realize also that I haven’t knit in over a month.  This could be contributing to my feelings.

Photos to come, I promise. I see that reading through this all a second time isn’t quite adequate in describing the thoughts and feelings coursing through me right now.  If only I could think like the March Hare for a little while to find that elusive cord…

I’m Just Going to Leave This Here

After four weeks if summer camp, followed closely by a determined two day drive, I find myself here:

image

And I have never been happier or more excited moving forward.

Today begins the Aerial Dance Festival at the Frequent Flyers studio in Boulder.  I’ve got a jam packed two weeks ahead.  I’m ready.  Are you?

Sunshine and Yarn

I want to talk to you about knitting, which hasn’t been very present on this blog this month, but has indeed been happening intermittently throughout.  It just stays hidden in the background, clung to desperately during those few quiet moments I have to myself.  It has been the time to reclaim my sanity in a rather bustling world.

I bound of Rosarian today.  I tried it on.  And even unblocked, it is beautiful.

image

It looks weird right now – undulating stitches with no definition.  I’m going to block the heck out of it tonight, but for now it remains a ridiculously soft mass of springy fiber that is secretly something amazing.

I’m back to the socks now.  Don’t be alarmed.  I stopped because they seemed a bit small, so I waited until I could try them on the feet of their intended, which I was able to do last weekend.  I was so wrapped up in Rosarian, though, that picking up the sock was torture.  Now, it is calming.  Strange how that transition happens.

Things have been stirring around here, and I’m happy to report that the audition proved fruitful.  I have been doing a three day giggly happy dance over here, followed closely by the extreme paranoia and “Oh, crap, I’m really moving across country.”

I drive on Friday!  Next post from the road!

Messy Endings, Fresh Beginnings

The past 10 days have been some of the worst I’ve had to face recently.  Decompression from Lakes of Fire didn’t really hit, but was masked by the head first dive into packing and purging, followed by problems with both U-Haul and my landlord, and losing a friendship that means the world to me.  I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now, trying to think of what I need to take care of next.  I’m essentially homeless, jobless, and right at this moment, I feel kind of lonely.  This morning, I was sitting in the car getting ready to take care of the loose ends, and instead started thinking of places I could drive to to escape it all.  Tying up these loose ends is like tying your shoelaces with buttery spaghetti noodles and a pair of broken chop sticks.  I feel like a fumbling idiot.

image

In the end, my worldly possessions are packed in a box that measures 8x5x7.5 feet.  Everything that means anything to me is in there.  It’s exciting and terrifying all at once.  I can do anything, and with that comes the niggling fear of failure I’m constantly trying to buck.  I’m trying to patch up friendships and frayed nerves, knowing that if I don’t do it now, the chances of accomplishing it when 2000 miles lies between us is nearly impossible.

image

My apartment lies empty save for the painters’ gear.  It no longer is mine.  Four years ago, I signed the lease and started moving in, thinking it would only be a year, it would be a blip in time when I learn amazing things and then go off to bigger and better things.  The first two years were a struggle to stand on my own two feet, being away from my family and friends.  I got stuck, and the last two years have been a massive struggle to keep my head up.  Hence, this year I decided it would end.  I had nothing keeping me here – I hated my day job, I had no family or significant other in the area, and the things I wanted to do were far away.

Sitting at this crossroads now, right on the cusp of change, still a small amount of quickly dwindling time to change my mind and my plans, I am heaving a huge sigh of relief.  While this may be one of the hardest, most frightening decisions I’ve made, I think it is also one of the best I’ve made.  It feels more right for me than any choice I’ve had to make to date, and that gives me hope to keep looking forward.

Quiet

The blog went dark for awhile, I couldn’t really help it. Everything kind of went crazy – including my phone, which decided it no longer wants to work (and has continued to frustrate me to the point of tears). I was cleaning and packing and designing and finishing and worrying and antsy. And then I went on this fantastic adventure around Seattle to celebrate my munchkin’s 9th birthday, and it was a really special trip that I would have liked to post about from Seattle if only my phone were working consistently. And I started knitting this shawl at the airport and four hours later is doesn’t look like much of anything, but one thing it is is inspiring. And I’ve got these designs that I’ve been sketching that I personally think are wonderful, and I just haven’t had the time to work them up and it makes me a little sad.

And so I went quiet. When there was so much to say – so much I want to rant about endlessly and so much joy and excitement that existed in my world – my mouth zipped shut and my fingers couldn’t handle much of anything. I need to get a new phone, and I think that will solve some of the issues, because then I can upload photos and tell you what’s happening around here.

And with the Seattle trip completed and other plans falling in to place, I think I’ll have much more to write about, and wonder about, and share. You’ll be excited, too.

So bear with me as I get things back on track. I’m exhausted and my emotions are hanging by a splitty thread at the moment, and my poor family has taken the brunt of it. I want to focus on recuperating and then I can focus on inspiring.

And…and….Thank you for understanding.

And Tom Waits Plays on the Radio

It’s the last day of 2013, and I alone in a house that is filled with music to drown out the silence, and the heater is blasting to try to keep me warm, even though it never quite reaches my bedroom.  I am sifting through the paperwork that has spent the last year growing on my dressers and inside drawers.  I’m unwinding forgotten knitting adventures and putting away the stray knickknacks.  This is the first time, in the all the years I have been in this apartment, that it did not feel like home.  Today, it feels cold, quiet, large, and cramped.  I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and the lack of connection I feel suddenly.  Maybe it is simply that I have been alone since I returned on Sunday, and that in itself was a shock after being completely surrounded by people and conversation, whether or not I had decided to engage, for the week prior.  And maybe it is getting to the time I move on.  Right now it’s hard to tell.

But I am looking back at the year and marveling at how intense it was.  Looking back over the posts, and I’m amazed at how quickly everything happened.  I jumped from adventure to adventure.  Perhaps it is simply the bitter cold that is making me restless.

I taught aerial as much as possible and pushed myself to my physical limits.  I have so much inspiration to help me focus on my work now.

wpid-IMG_20130223_175533.jpg

There are plans.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure how my main goals are going to turn out because of my shoulder injury.  I am still healing and it bums me out very much.  The key here is patience.  I must have patience.

I traveled to Seattle:

wpid-20130503_151418.jpg(And plan on going back)

And Boulder for the Aerial Dance Festival:

wpid-20130731_095627.jpg

I went to Lakes of Fire:

DSC06431And Burning Man:

DSC06643

And I hope to find a way back to each in the next year.  Plans are in the works for Lakes of Fire, Burning Man is much more expensive and requires a lot more time off work, so it’s still up in the air.

I did reduce my yarn supply, but not nearly as much as I wanted to.  And on the designing front, I did not complete much.  I have a couple patterns in the testing phase right now, and a couple that just need to be written up.

*****

I’ve been staring at this for awhile now.  I left to think and work a bit more, and just returned to it.  I’m not quite sure what else to add.  I don’t quite have NYE plans and it’s the first time in years.

2013 – a wonderful year.  I grew more than I thought possible.  I went on many lovely, and sometimes frightening adventures.  I met dozens of beautiful souls throughout those adventures.  I’ve healed my broken heart (and don’t feel jaded, either).  I’m a lot stronger, wiser, and ready to take a leap.  Now I face a new year, different challenges, and some of the same, and I’m excited.  So many more adventures are coming up.

 

Previous Older Entries

http://livesoftheaerialists.com/

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

Fiber, craft, life, and random silliness

The Creative Pixie

eat up from crafty goodness with this creative mama

My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures

Ramblings from an obsessed knitter

Funky Air Bear

Traditional & Modern Knits

The Circus Diaries

Circus Thoughts From Circus People

art predator

art predator )'( seek to engage the whole soul

This Is What it is

A topnotch WordPress.com site

she shoots sheep shots

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

Half Crunchy Mom

No Extremes, No Judgement

by Annie Claire

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

No Parachute Theatre

theatre.aerial.dance

From My Insides Out

My journey to save myself

circus of humanity

A site dedicated to Circus/Performance Arts, Freaks and Geeks, Self-Acceptance, Financial Freedom, and Enjoying the Journey!