It’s gonna be you and me, gonna be everything you; you’ve ever dreamed

Magellan,

Elemental Pole Theory in full effect this week. I also feel a long letter coming up so go grab a glass of water or something. Maybe a snack too.

My project to you came up a few times this week. When I applied to my job the first time I wrote to my future employers that I met a boy in a bar who was leaving to travel the world so I started a letter writing campaign to keep in touch- and included a link. (Apparently that helped get me on the short list). I spoke again of my correspondence to you this past Friday, in a bar at a table surrounded by people I had just met. I can’t recall how it came up but we were having a discussion about art and how to be creative outside of work.

I don’t think of each one of these posts as art so much as a therapeutic way to share a bit of myself with you while I try to make sense of my life and the path that has led me to this moment.

But they are art. Life is art! We are merely bags of bones with thoughts and hopes and dreams. WE DREAM! When we are not awake our body and subconscious create a one-of-a-kind, one showing only movie just for us. And we can write! All the ineloquent ramblings and the circles I write around my emotions are something beautiful, even if those instances are fleeting and full of grammatical errors and unfortunate word choices. So there you go, Magellan. You have no idea what beast you’ve unleashed. And thank you, Mag. I don’t know if you find value in these words but over here, once a week I feel like I get to be my true, unfiltered self for just a little while with you.

So this was a week. They are all weeks, it seems. Whataweeks. I feel like the more the world goes to shit the more my life starts to come together. Balance is a funny, funny thing. I think that life is rarely just plains. Them cannons and peaks are always going to present themselves as facts, whether they are truths or not. I have had some incredible conversations with new people this week. I have helped contribute to the naming of a company. I have picked up a paintbrush. I have cried almost every time I’ve read the news. I have defended all Goldfish cracker flavors as equals.

Trying not to be a weirdo. It’s hard. I’M INHERENTLY WEIRD! I think too much and am real awkward. You can’t take me anywhere. This is a whole lot of putting the cart in front of the horse and every other cliche about jumping the gun but I ask you, WHERE THE FUCK WOULD WE BE WITHOUT WISHFUL THINKING.

Trying to pay attention. To little details. I ride the 5X in the morning, and I usually am on the same bus at the same time of each morning. I’m starting to recognize the people who ride with me every day. You start to develop a loyalty to strangers. I’ve been watching all my plants too. Trying to interpret when they need more sun or water. Giving then reassuring pets. Leaving the oils from my fingertips on their leaves, as an indicator that they are mine and I theirs. We have a clover plant that we bought for a dollar at Lowe’s when we started being roommates and she is a very responsive little baby. Each morning she stretches towards the window to catch the first rays of sun, and when she’s thirsty she droops like a dehydrated dog on a scorching summer day. I also have a loyalty to plants. I took Aloeton John to work. He’s new, but he seems happy in the studio. Aloe Vera Wang appreciates being the only aloe plant at home. (AVW is bae).

I don’t know, Magellan. I’m trying my damnedest to be kind. I’m trying to exercise compassion. I’m trying to exercise (huzzah early morning runs!). I’m listening to the clues leaked by the universe. When I started these letters I didn’t know where they would lead. I hope I still have you with me, even though I follow no formal format or even stick to one point. (And fall infatuated with a new stranger each week). I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps I met you so I could write letters and get a job with people who want to help me figure out how to be my best self. And maybe you met me to realize you were born to be a therapist. Or an editor. Or just to remind you that no matter where you are, you’re not alone and you have a friend. A friend who names her plants.

Yours,

N.

Its not your heart that you’ve you been thinking of, just the feeling like you’re going to die

Magellan,

Skipped a week. I know. I have a job job now and I was more social/tired/active/lazy last week then I thought I would be.

Phew. Life is different. I feel like I got my groove back since I returned from the island. It’s amazing what having something to do each day that actually challenges and excites you can do. Two Fridays ago I went to a Creative Mornings lecture. I ran into this guy who I had seen at a few other events (and he came to the Fuckup Night). I managed to snag a card from him, and he ended up coming out that night for drinks with some of my friends. This past Friday we all went to a bluegrass fundraiser and my new friend came out again. Actually, most my friends came through at some point and it was just wonderful to see everyone. And live music! I need much more of that in my life, I really do.

The thing is, I feel a little guilty. I am having a really good fucking year so far. I got to go to a tropical island. I’ve gotten to start a new job that I think I love. I even got to see my little brother. For some fucking reason I have woken up at nearly 4:30 am every single day since I returned from the island, so I’ve been trying to go run everyday by 5:30. It’s odd, running in the dark but I strangely look forward to it as I try to fall asleep (or flat out pass out at 8:00 pm).

Seattle is quiet early in the morning and I like it. There are a few other runners, and last Thursday I even high-fived one (who the fuck am I? I hate 1, touching strangers and 2, high-fiving people while I’m running). I did get to run a little later on Friday and the sky was AMAZING. I don’t know how I lived without the mountains before.

So I did the march because, you kind of have to. I’m a woman who has friends been lucky enough to encounter (throughout my lifetime) humans that are of many different backgrounds, colors, sizes, shapes, gender identities, sexual preferences, religions, etc and my life is richer because of it. I had many feelings throughout the day. I might not be ready to talk about this one yet.

This letter is crap, Magellan, and I’m sorry. I wish we could go grab a coffee and chat in real life. I feel so incredibly different than I did back in say, November. I have so much more optimism than I felt before, especially with all things considered. While the yearning for a partner is still there (same as it ever was) I have a whole lot more things to distract myself with (like making new friends, seeing music and kicking some major ass at my job). My friend Harry told me it’s incredible how different I seem. I feel the same, just a whole lot better.

The sleeping is still hard. I fall asleep early most work nights only to wake up frequently throughout the night. Or, I lie in bed, tired through my bones and can’t seem to make the mind quiet down. I need a human to snuggle I think. I love Bon Jovi, but his little kitty face (and also the noisy one) might be keeping me awake.

Do you think love is a real thing? I’m not sure. I want to think it is. I think I love people. I know I care deeply for my family and friends. Friends who have become family. What crazy chemicals must be flowing through our brains? And the things that trigger their release.

Also, what are you doing in California?!! SO CLOSE, my friend.

Alright. Again, sorry for this jumbled mess. I didn’t run today, so clearly it’s affected my ability to structure a sentence. I’ve been thinking of you.

Yours,

N.

PS- about that Elemental Pole Theory. It’s when a street will be empty for a long stretch of time, but the moment a car is going one way another will turn in and someone will have to pull over so the other can get by (you know, on these small Seattle streets). It’s when you’re running at 5:30 in the morning and the only people you encounter (with their dog on an endless leash) happen to be passing a bunch of shrubbery and you get forced into interacting. It’s when you go grocery shopping at a late hour yet keep running into the same person who is the only other person in the store.

The universe is trying to give us clues I think. We have so much to learn.

 

 

 

 

And the next five years trying to be with your friends again

Magellan,

Here is leg 2 of my letter.

So I arrived in paradise and it was incredible and my carry-on survived berry free. We took a taxi to a boat and they rented some jeeps and we took a drive and headed to the compound. I have never stayed anywhere so extravagant in my life except for the time I met the tour manager from Rage Against the Machine in a bar and crashed at their hotel.

The group was split between 4 houses with 3 being in our compound. House of Wesseln- where I was staying, The Kitty Hotel had the bride and groom-to-be (and friends), and Chez Miller was where the father of the groom and best men (and co) were staying. That first night we went to Chez Miller for drinks and cards and it was a blast and when one of my house mates was ready for bed I took it as a cue to take her home.

I woke up early and watched the sky get light over the Caribbean and it was incredible. Day 2 was beach day and it was amazing. I got to know some of the group and we made jokes and had beach beers. The days all start to run into one at this point, but each one had its moments.

At some point, some of the other guests started showing up. The groom had a friend whom I had met previously (and got romantical with for a weekend) who was one of the late arrivals. We had both known each other was coming (he with his girlfriend), and the bride had put us in separate houses. I was fine with it, I thought. We had shared a lovely weekend (the one where the one who got away got married) but I thought those moments lived buried in a little capsule in 2014.

So I shit you not, but when he arrived and I saw him I pretty much forgot how to breath and everything but him blacked out of my peripheral and my god-damned heart squeezed and pulsed and blasted my eardrums, in the slow, drawn out way that medical dramas emphasize a patient’s cardiac movements in a critical moment. I think we exchanged a simple “hey” and then I realized that everyone else was around.

It was taco night at Chez Miller so naturally I got margarita drunk (I was responsible for a round of Nikki Surprise margaritas) and texted him one, eloquent text. “Get off my island.” (I have quite the way with words, lol). He said it was hard for him too. We spent the next day trying not to look at each other. Or maybe trying.

I wept again, on the fanciest boat I have ever been on (Feelings!). I snorkeled for the first time and it was basically all I could do to not have a panic attack. It’s so crazy to think you are just cruising around someone else’s home and then you see a sea urchin and hear each gasping breath and realize how small and insignificant you really are in the scheme of things.

We played cards that night and managed to play nice for the group. I made a pitcher of Nikki Surprises for the gang to enjoy. Apparently my drunk move is to throw cards on the table and go nap on the couch, but after boat day I was determined to maintain a level head. As the night wore on the remainders playing cards were disappointed I wasn’t more sassy, so when we were using Monopoly money for poker I picked up all the ones and threw them at Kate who was getting a little bratty in separating all her cash money winnings. I’m pretty sure he said “There is the Nikki we love.” At the end of the night I got a long hug and everyone parted ways to go to bed.

There were more adventures and beaches and everything was pretty magical. I had heart to hearts with nearly everyone. I cried (seriously, so much feelings. Also, my period was on it’s way which didn’t really help). I stayed up the whole night before the wedding with the brother of the bride and his groom and helped them cook the food (and by help I mean talked and sat at the counter while they worked).

The wedding was beautiful, nearly perfect and in one, amazing feat I had my best friend in the world ready early (for the first time in her entire life). I cried more, and delivered my Best Woman speech (and sobbed as I choked out the end) but I don’t think there was a dry eye in the cabana. I’m so happy my best friend is marrying one of my very good friends. I had made a bunch of jokes that I would murder him, but as I concluded my speech I said “I know I won’t have to because you are my friend too.” I also threw in a “park your car in the shade” for good measure (it’s a favorite line of the father of the bride that I still quote often in my everyday life).

Sometime during the wedding that guy I have all those chemical reactions to broke up with his girlfriend. Apparently she read the text from me on his phone. While I only sent the one on the island (I was in fact, very margarita drunk at that time) I have a feeling the other ones from long ago showed up too. They weren’t suggestive as you would guess, but they just explained that we had a deep friendship too.

Long story short, he ended up sleeping in my bed that night. And for the second time of that long, strange trip I finally slept through the whole night. Funny how sometimes you have to see someone again to realize how much you miss them.

I am a sucker, I guess. It’s not anyone I want beside me. I want the friend with the family that loves me for me, I want the chemicals that steal the oxygen out of my lungs. I don’t think I’ve yet found that in one person and I’m not sure I can. I think I have to hold out though. I’ve waited this long.

Yours,

N.

You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan

Magellan.

I know I’ve missed two of my Sunday deadlines but with good reason.

I spent my first Christmas all on my own. I woke up, alone. Put some fake Bailey’s in my coffee. Listened to music. Checked some texts. Had a few phone calls from friends. Wept. Took a few more phone calls. Wept again. Dusted myself off and went for a run. Full out cried in the shower. (Feelings, I know). Talked to my family on the phone. FaceTimed on the phone again to a friend I had already talked to.  Fell asleep talking to the same friend.

All in all, that ended up being over 6 hours on the phone with one person. Naturally that pesky “What if” kicked in. So, 5 days before I was supposed to fly to paradise I changed my flight to take a detour to St. Louis and Southern Illinois…

Tommy made me do it. I was all “What if this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done?” (surprisingly, it isn’t) and brother was all “But what if it works?” So, Yolo. A $500 flight change/addition later and I was on a mission to see if a 10-year wait was a real deal. It is, but not in the grand, Love Actually way I was really hoping for.

I got to spend an evening with my brother and his new boyfriend. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to see him happy for the first time. It took him 29 years, but now he has finally allowed himself to be his true person and it’s beautiful to see. We deemed my mission “Love Maybe?”

So I borrowed my brother’s car and took a long drive across prairie state lines. And I Nikki Surprised the shit out of that friend I had ran into at the festival earlier in the year in St. Louis. It took him half the day to be ok with my being there. And then we slept. I slept better for the next three days than I had slept all year. We played cards and Farkel with his parents and I saw what it would be like to spend holidays with a partner’s parents and my heart melted and I tried not to cry. It was amazing. We ate all the snacks and danced to our favorite music on NYE. I started the new year not alone, but with an old friend.

And then I left and drove across state lines again. I had a lovely gay brunch and hoped on a plane to DC and helped my friends pack for their wedding and didn’t really sleep on a couch. Adam bought a bunch of berries that I got stuck in charge of (bringing them through security and everything) and it became a running joke for the rest of the trip.

I’m going to break this into two letters because I’m going to need to find a lot of words to explain the second leg of my journey. I get it though- why you are out there. Looking. One of the reasons my last relationship ended was that he randomly booked a pretty extensive (and last minute) trip and I know you can’t go on adventures like these and not return changed. I didn’t want to stick around and see who he would be when he got back, he should have wanted to change with me. That was the real thing. Everything else I could have dealt with.

So is my friend who is temporarily marooned in Southern Illinois the one? Maybe, but still not quite yet. He needed a swift spirit slap, and I did my best to deliver one. I miss him, and I miss sleeping soundly through the night. My heart aches for family dice games and dancing in his parents living room. On New Year’s Day we played cards with them into the sunrise. They danced to Elton John and we held hands under the table. These moments were worth the price of the detour. As for my friend- He’s not there yet. I still need someone to consider my feelings, hopes and dreams first.  I need someone who is here, in this moment not in a hypothetical one in the future.

I’m very good at finding the friend zone, and I am one of the best friend’s you can hope to find. I understand those gaping holes in your heart that you can’t quite seem to plug, and when you feel joy I feel it too. Being a conduit for feelings is tough, but someones got to do it.

I just need to find that person to sleep next to so I can reset for each day’s emotions.

Love actually,

N.