I guess the simplest way to say this, is that I’m sorry (OK I guess this IS an apology) I’m not much of an updater on this site (or at ALL). I thought by signing up, the ideas would flow and I’d be able to write like I used to. And the truth is, I have the ideas, and I put the words to paper, and then… nothing. I get stumped half way through, or I decide it’s not good enough, and because I’m incapable of giving anything less than my absolute best I give up. I’m believe that nothing is ever good enough for the fine people that still swing by to see if I’ve written anything.
All 12 of you…
I want you to know that I love that you still do that. Really. I appreciate it more than you know; and somehow it makes me feel like I’ve let you down.
In which case, if I HAVE let you down.. Free hug next time I see you?
But really, if I’m going to do this, it has to be for me. You know? I’m surrounded by amazing talented writers and bloggers who never cease to come up with the perfect pithy, witty phrase whilst I’m trying to mentally edit out my “umms” and “aahhhs”. Which is bloody intimidating. Even though I love them, their superhuman writing abilities scare the crap out of me. And what MAKES them so intimidating, is that they stay true to themselves. They don’t take crap from anyone. They don’t write for anyone, but themselves. And it shows, in their voice, and the frequency with which they write.
As some know, this past year has been particularly trying for me. It’s been AMAZING. But also very very hard. I’m looking forward to moving forward. Life is never calm, but I’d never felt less in control of it than I did the last year. So, my HOPE is, that while I grow and mature as a person, maybe I can make some progress with the site.
Maybe. No promises.
I don’t drive. Like, at all, I don’t have a car and as long as I live in a city with adequate public transportation I fail to see any reason why I should.
- I hate tomatoes. Unless it’s a caprese salad. Other than that I have a firm no tomato policy and will pick them out of things, even if they are minced into oblivion.
- I have an intense loyalty to three things: Family, friends and Husky Athletics. You trash talk any one of those and you will have me to deal with.
- I have a tendency to be a very private person. I’ll give you the “broad strokes” about me, but I don’t care to delve too deep. This is an exercise in moving past that.
- I come from a long line of workaholics. You give us a job and we will do it until we have a foot in the grave. I think traveling is my way of providing some balance to my intense work ethic.
- When I was 16, I got sick. Really sick. Knocking on heaven’s door, call the Chaplain, sick. For me, it provided the perspective that life is short and there are no guarantees so live the life you want. Looking back though, I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for my parents to watch me wither away. That has to be the scariest experience for a parent.
I have two homes. One is Seattle, which I am hopelessly in love with. Even when I bitch because it’s too hot too cold too gray too wet too liberal and too crowded. My other home is less obvious, the one I’ll only tell you about if I like you. People’s preconceived notions of the place have made me realize that not everyone feels the same way I do.
Montana seems like an unlikely choice. Or maybe not, most people I tell have never been, “but would love to go.” I think it’s the romanticized version of the place that they got from A River Runs Through It. There’s definitely that part to it, but there is so much more. Every time I go, my eyes are opened to the little things that make Montana an amazing place. People like to think that it’s a little backwater state where everyone carries guns and wears cowboy boots. Those people are sort of right, but it’s like saying all Seattleites listen to NPR and drive VW’s. It’s only part of the story; and not the most important part.
Over my life I’ve made no less than twelve trips out to Montana, I’ve actually lost count. The very first time I went, I “drank the kool-aid”. I even considered transferring to Montana State University, I loved it that much. Driving through the state from Seattle on our way to Bozeman I was like a kid, my nose pressed to the car window, staring at the scenery as it passed. Seeing something you’ve never seen for the first time is bound to make an impression. Up to that point my trips had been mostly urban: London, Paris and San Francisco were my top visits. But as we drove across the vast state, through valleys and mountains with a sky even bigger than they say, I couldn’t help but get lost in the vastness of it.
But that’s only half of Montana’s charm. Beyond the mind blowing natural beauty, is that of the people I’ve met from my repeated trips there. Nowhere else have I been where people come up and want to know why they don’t know you. Not because they’re busybodies, but because they’re genuinely concerned that somehow they’ve failed to become friends with you. Never mind the fact you’ve only been there 15 minutes, and 5 of those have been in line for the bathroom.
One of my favorite examples of how amazing the people are, is from my second trip there. We had driven to Butte, for St Patrick’s Day; and as three college kids we were STOKED. Apparently this was the place to be if you couldn’t make it to Boston, and we were ready to take the town by storm. Storm it we did, we dropped off our stuff at the hotel and hit the streets. Uptown is closed to car traffic, people wandered the streets with open containers, kegs chained to dollies, and more Montana style food carts than you could dream of. (Montana meaning potato and apple sausages and meat pasties, yum!) It was amazing. Sometime during the day, we stopped to take a bathroom break and hit the port-a-potties. Shortly after, I realized I lost my wallet. IN the port-a-potty. There was nowhere else it could be. I was screwed, it was the beginning of our road trip and that wallet had nearly everything in it, save my ID. Naturally, it ruined my night, I had no cash, and even though my friends were more than willing to pay for my cover and drinks, it took the wind out of my sails, and I called it a night fairly early.
The next morning, I woke up to a missed call, and listening to the message I COULD NOT believe what I heard. The woman was from the company who owned the port-a-potties, and this morning they had picked up the toilets, and found my wallet. It had fallen into a small crack at the bottom of the floor, and landed on the ground underneath. She’d grabbed it, and using my student id, looked me up on the student directory, found my number and called. When I called her back, she decided to bring my wallet TO ME. She wouldn’t hear of me coming to find her, wouldn’t take a reward and was just happy she could help. I still, to this day can’t believe how out of her way she went to make sure I got my wallet back. That act of kindness made me realize how lucky we are to have places like that that still exist. People that still value a golden sort of rule and have a kind word or smile for a stranger. It’s a lost commodity in today’s society and that I think that’s part of the reason why I identify so strongly with Montana. We need that positive influence to help keep us afloat in a world of snark and cynicism.
Over the subsequent trips back, my feelings have only solidified about Montana. Going back and forth as many times as I have has afforded me the opportunity to observe what the place is really like. Like anything, you take the good with the bad. But every time I go, I can’t help but leave a little bit more of myself there.