I wanna hurry home to you, put on a slow, dumb show for you and crack you up

Magellan,

How does that saying go? Life is what happens when you are busy making plans? Well. Shit. (I’m going to swear a lot in this letter).

I spent my first Christmas alone and I cried a bunch. Like, snot running down your face ugly cries. But I talked on the phone a lot with people I love and distance is only a measurement of spaces between.

I’m getting myself in a situation. I can’t tell if it is the novelty of it all, or the wistfulness or what but I think I’m in trouble. Whether it turns into something or doesn’t, I don’t want these butterflies to go away.

10 years ago I was a hot mess in college. (Mind you, a hot mess that not only graduated first (because I sat next to the dean at graduation) but cum laude, so.). I was seeing this guy, Ben and was absolutely enamored with him but then one day he sat me down and gave me the “I recently got out of this long term relationship and don’t want anything serious right now” talk and then asked if he could spend the night. If that’s not a proverbial slap in the fucking face than I don’t fucking know what is. I was an idiot and probably let him stay. Because sleeping alone is often the worst. (I’ve been sleeping alone for the last year. It is the worst).

Like what the hell. I’ve always tried to abide by the “He’s just not that into you” mentality and when someone doesn’t want to give you their all you shouldn’t give them anything. I am a kick ass person. I am thoughtful, clever, creative and kind. I deserve more and I knew it then and I know it now.

Ben took me out for dinner right before my birthday. Then we went out to the bar (as you do in college) and I met someone I had not met before, and they had the bluest eyes. Pierce your soul-romance novel eyes. One fucking gander into those baby blues and I just remember being done with Ben. I remember that Ben got mad at me for flirting with this guy (because he had taken me to dinner) but I was already over him for not picking me. Magellan- don’t be that asshat. If you meet a girl and just aren’t into her and she’s not the one nor will she become the one don’t be that guy who doesn’t want anything serious. And don’t try to keep it going after you say those things. Nothing hurts more than hearing “I just don’t think you’re good enough to give up the idea of someone else.” I have heard that one, a few times and to that I say Fuck. You.

Like what is this fucking idea and why are we all looking for it?

So the thing is, 10 years later I’m in St. Louis because LCD Soundsystem is headlining Lou Fest and LOW AND BEHOLD Mr. Fucking blue eyes is there, handsome as fuck with those god damned eyes that are still as blue as a fucking ocean that I want to let swallow me whole.  10 years later and this man looks even better than when he stopped me in my tracks on a very confusing evening a decade before. I knew he would be there and planned to try and meet up but the universe and my Elemental Pole Theory deposited him not 5 feet in front of me 5 minutes after my brother and I had entered the festival through a break in the fence. I didn’t need to text him or look for him because he was right there. This moment where I was feeling a sort of sorrow for being alone in life (and hungover on all the gay vodka from the night before) and my friend was right in fucking front of me.

And he was with a woman and I assumed they were together and that was fine. In that moment that fucking familiar face was all I wanted to see. It was a day where we would part ways and find each other and part ways again. Then, at the end of the night a little bit left of center and a few hundred yards back I found him for the last time that evening and I got to stand next to him while we watched a fantastic show.

But now the kicker. We’ve kept in touch. And now I’m having phone conversations that last hours. And I’m learning about this human and their life and the things that have happened in the past decade. And I’m trying to share parts of myself. And its this brutally, honest unfiltered version of myself (the scary not cute shit). This long-distance friendship is spanning 1800 miles, and decades.

And all of a sudden, I just don’t feel so lonely. And this evolving into more than a friendship might not be plausible or very likely- or smart! It’s not smart, Nikki, stop it. But there is a human out there who talks my ear off. And I know, it’s a novelty. (Much like wandering into a bar a week before an other handsome gentleman is about to leave for potentially forever). The idea that it could be something is a fucking delightful novelty, the hope is a novelty. I JUST CAN’T FUCKING EVER DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY! Gah. I don’t know where I’m going but 10 fucking years ago I made a comic for the college newspaper about our first conversation. And now this man actually picks up the phone and speaks to me (or makes me FaceTime after a day of ugly crying with puffy eyes). We’re smiling with our teeth again I think. (Even back then he made me smile with teeth).

So now, back to this idea that we are all questing after. That someone, who maybe much like myself needed some time to figure some things out (and probably still needs more). Time is such a weird, purely conceptual method to keep track of instances in existence. The most valuable commodity. You can’t buy it, and it’s infinite but you only get so much. You can’t plan for it. It just is, and it’s cruel and unkind, extending beyond you in all directions. And your heart! It’s just a fucking organ that pumps oxygen and blood through your body but when someone makes you feel anything you give it all the credit. But my phone dings and I feel warmth and hope. Fucking hope that was probably gone for a real hot minute. I’m terrible at timing. I don’t wear a fucking wristwatch- but Mr. blue eyes does.

Am I looking for meaning that isn’t there? Probably. But it’s a lot more fucking fun then feeling all alone in the world. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I certainly like entertaining the idea of it all.

Yours,

N.

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Maybe I’m crazy to suppose I’d ever be the one you chose, out of a thousand invitations you’ve received

Magellan,

Sorry this letter is 2 days late.

Truth be told, I’m not even very sure where all the time has gone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Element Pole Theory. (The one where the universe squishes unlikely people and objects together for moments in time). Obviously, I notice it most when I am out running. There will be no one for miles then all of a sudden, bam, 2 couples walking in opposite directions, a labrador and a tree or light pole. And me.

The universe is strange. I am still not sure whether it is chance or fate that propels us forward. For example, I met a person on OkCupid because I ran a marathon and was broken and lying in bed and swiping right on anyone with a cute dog. They only happened to be in Chicago because there were terrible rain storms. I ended up in Seattle because this person suggested it, and now he is a good friend who might be selling me his car.

Or, I found a kind stranger on Craigslist who picked me to live in an attic apartment and now we are entering our third year of living together (now in a sweet house). Or, how I think I met you on the internet then one day a year later walked into a brewery where you happened to be working in your last week in Seattle. But now I have this project that I get to think about and do. Hopefully you find value in it too.

I think we get pushed together to help each other out. We can either take the opportunity or let it pass, and then we have to sit around (or go out and run about) and wait for the next chance. I am going on one last Tinder date tonight because I accidentally superliked this guy back in March and he (or two glasses of wine) finally tricked me into agreeing to a date. I’ll give the universe this chance. I don’t expect much, hopefully a new friend. After this, I’m deleting all the aps and waiting to run into my future husband while running. Or volunteering, or bus riding, or really anything.

On another subject, I am a little more depressed about the fact that I am not seeing my family this holiday season than I thought I would be. It’s my first Christmas that I am not spending with them. My brother gave me footed Blackhawks pajamas so that is pretty nice. The gal pals who are still in town are going to come over Christmas Eve and we are going to drink festive beverages and watch holiday movies.

My best friend is getting married in the Virgin Islands during the first week of the new year (the reason I didn’t spend money on plane tickets for Christmas) and I have to admit, I did not stick to a very good fitness plan. But, once I realized I’ll be the only single, dateless person in the whole wedding group I pretty much decided to give zero fucks. That’s the thing. Maybe the universe just wants me to do all this shit solo right now. It’s hard. My biological clock is straight-up ticking, loudly. It’s Christmas and I feel like I should be sharing all these traditions with my own family. The absence of having these things makes me question my value. It’s as if maybe I just don’t deserve or get to have these things. Like there was an Elemental Pole moment where I made the wrong choice and now I have to wait (and wait and wait) for another chance moment.

Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you can have it.

I’m still hoping for my Christmas miracle, though not sure I believe in Santa anymore. Life gifts are far and few between and I can’t believe I found the right job. Asking for more seems greedy. 2016 has been a whatayear. I don’t know right now. I’m trying to remain optimistic about things, even though I just want to stay in bed and sleep until 2017.

I don’t have plans for new years eve. Just once, I kinda wish I had something fun to do with a human I want to spend the evening with.

I don’t think I’m greedy because I just want someone to share this life with.

‘Til next time.

Yours,

N.

Meet up with the old crowd, music’s playing so loud, it all feels right

Magellan,

You’ve been radio silent for about a week! Hope you are doing ok.

It snowed last week in Seattle! On Thursday I went in to my *new job* for a few hours and did a little orientation stuff and then I went to a networking thing. (Bleh, only went for the free snacks and drinks). Then, I met up with a few of the friends to watch Home Alone at Peddler. It was freezing, but then the most magical thing happened- SNOW! I was so, deliriously happy to dance around in the snow. I was little-kid excited. I guess I just really miss it, you know. Not the miserable coldness that freezes off your nose, but the big fluffy flakes that blanket everything.

Snow lasted all of 24 hours, now it’s gone. All that remains are a few lumps of what used to be snow people.

Last night I went to my new job’s holiday party. We were supposed to go bowling, but apparently there was an electrical fire nearby the place in West Seattle, so instead we went to a place in Chinatown, where one of the cofounders ordered ALL OF THE FOOD. I crushed the white elephant gifts. I’m so happy to have found this team. I think that it is going to be incredible working there. Everyone seems so kind, and creative and overall, happy. Being around happy people is vital.

Then, it was time to celebrate my fake friend Hector’s fake birthday. Last year we created this fictitious birthday to give Jenelle an excuse to leave her work holiday party early. Throughout the year we have all joked about how we were looking forward to Hector’s birthday. What a difference a year makes. I am super thankful to have this little group of friends, even if I am the only single one in the bunch.

I think for the first time in a long while, I feel happy. It’s like I’m going to jinx it by writing it for the world to see, but fuck. I’m happy. It took the entire first 2 years here find the right opportunity for income. It took the first year to find a group of friends. It took until now to feel comfortable on my own. I’ve never been afraid to be alone, but I’ve been afraid to be ok with it. I just know if I sat around waiting for someone else to complete me or even join me on all my adventures I’d just be sitting there, waiting. Does the fear that a “normal” life with a family or partner won’t happen for me exist? Absolutely but I’m not going to let it paralyze me.

I haven’t ran into the last guy I dated since we broke up. We met on the internet. When I was in Chicago for Alexandra’s bachelorette party I ran into an old roommate. She asked about him and when I told her I never run into hims she pointed out that maybe we just weren’t meant to be. I don’t think Seattle is that big of a place, but maybe she on to something. (Also, I just didn’t care for his friends. I found them less than inspiring). The universe works in strange, mysterious ways.

But now, here I am. Another week down. There was SNOW! And I don’t know how I did it but I fucking found my dream job, that comes with a team of kind, hilarious humans in a work family that I didn’t know I needed. Also! I found a pair of jean-colored jeans that fits perfectly. It all feels fucking right.

Yours,

N.

But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life

Hola Magellan,

What a difference a week makes, eh? I still don’t believe it but it appears I’ve managed to land the creative job of my dreams. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but aren’t those difficult things the ones that produce the most beautiful results? I’m counting this as part of my Christmas miracle.

I always thought I was a person who flew by the seat of their pants, but I think in fact I am a secretly organized planner who builds time into the itinerary for flexibility. My move to Seattle seemed to many, very spur of the moment and impulsive but it something I was working on for years. While I figured out where I wanted to go I researched, whittled down my possessions and weighed all the odds. When I found Seattle, it was a natural fit and though spreadsheets and calculations I completed a move here in less than a month.

Turns out, I plan other things too. When I quit my job in August, it wasn’t something I ventured lightly into. I had stopped spending excess money much earlier in the year. I had bulked up on extra freelance work. I waited until a time when it felt natural and I could as gracefully as possible make an exit. I wasn’t done working either. At least for the first few months I was handing in about 40 hours worth of work a week- at least. To my friends, it looked as if I was funemployed, but really I was just working around different hours of the day.

I went on a date a few weeks back, and the guy told me he didn’t want to be defined by what he did, implying his job was not his actual passion. Frankly, I’m not sure he had much depth anyway, but that admission really got me thinking. It turns out, I am a person who wants to be defined by what they do. Sure, work is only a part of it but if you are going to spend the better part of your life trying to make the money to pay for it shouldn’t you be doing something that gets you excited? Shouldn’t you work with or for people who inspire and challenge you? I’ll be the first to admit the things that have paid my rent and bills haven’t been filled with passion, but they were buying me the time to find and figure out what I wanted to do.

But anyways, now I’m a CAREER WOMAN. My friend Ashley just moved to Seattle from Chicago and our shared experiences and mutual acquaintances allow us to easily be friends. We both spent many, many years in the food/bev industry in Chicago and see Seattle as a chance to start again. We keep calling ourselves “career women.” It’s hard to leave the industry, especially when you have to take such a large pay cut but at some point you have to ask yourself “is this what makes me passionate?”

So Christmas miracles… I got the job (more of a Thanksgiving miracle, really). Roommate and I have watched a few super cheesy Christmas movies (complete with matching sweatpant-pjs and a cat in each of our laps). In these movies, the girl ALWAYS meets the perfect guy and then it snows. I think this is how she knows it’s clearly, a Christmas miracle. Maybe I should just plan on meeting the perfect person and then it will have to happen. I don’t think it works like that. I should just plan to be strong on my own with my “life partner for right now” roommate.

Perhaps I got the job on my own but do you think Santa delivers men? Yea, I don’t think so but it can’t hurt to ask! I’d like some help figuring out how to buy a car though… adventure awaits.

Yours,

N.