Today is a wistful day. I find myself yearning for New York more than normal today. A vacation is definitely long overdue, perhaps I'll need to make it sooner than anticipated. I yearn for every second of New York. I long for the magic of the theater, the bustle of the streets, the quiet rumble of the subway, the rushed hurry, the palpable pulse in the air and in the ground. I miss the serenity of the park, the splendor of the buildings. I miss the brownstones and tree lined streets. I miss the Macys. I miss the people. I miss my 15th floor pre-war apartment building with the character, walls, and doors that speak of an era gone by. I miss my river view. I miss the way it rains in New York. I miss the way the clouds come so close to the buildings that the skyline is shadowed on them, casting an eerie and yet comforting flow around the city. I miss the breeze, I miss wearing scarfs and pea coats. I miss the humid heat, I miss carrying a big bag with my life and a change of shoes in it. I miss the trauma of the Bronx and Harlem. I miss the sirens, I miss the horns, I miss the people. I miss the smell of the hot dog stands and the bagels. I miss the fresh fruit stands. What I wouldn't give for a chicken salad sandwich on a roll with lettuce and tomatoes from Hamilton's Deli. I miss the quaint book stores and shops. In my mind I'm again sitting over lunch on a sidewalk cafe with friends. I'm at an outdoor jazz festival at Lincoln Center There is nothing New York that I'm not craving today.
The first time I went to NYC I was hooked. There is something truly magical about the city that was instantly under my skin and a part of me. For months and years after returning from my week long vacation I would see clips or scenes of movies/tv shows/commercials on tv and I had a literal pulling deep in my gut. New York was calling me, reaching for me, beckoning me. When I moved there, sure I was nervous of the unknown at first, but mostly I just felt at home. I left when the time was right for me and I knew it. I never could have made the break if it wasn't so. And since I've left I've had a constant ache for the city. Most days it's a dull roar in the background. Days like today it's as blunt and as in the forefront as my initial withdrawal. Sigh. So a vacation is due. Until I make it back, New York I miss you, and I dream of you day and night. Seattle still has my heart, and I learned long ago that I follow my heart, but my soul will always be in New York.
Today's episode of pain is beauty is brought to you by Laser Hair Removal. I mean seriously, OUCH!! I'm no wimp, but my gosh that hurt!! And let's remember that I've been waxing and tweezing etc for years. I'm kind of used to it. Now I didn't go into my appointment today thinking that it was going to be all tulips and daisies and spring sunshine. I knew that it was going to be uncomfortable, but I think I may have been playing it down too far. Today was just the legs and underarms appointment. It started off ok, but by the time she got close to my ankles I was sure she was satan reincarnated. Apparently the hair around your ankles is thicker so it hurts more. I seriously have bite marks on my thumb and wrist where I was biting to avoid screaming or kicking her. They're going to make spectacular bruises. But I gritted my teeth and didn't say anything. After all, it's all going to be worth it. Then she moved to my underarms, where I believe my exact words were, "Ah-HAhahaow!" To which laser satan giggled and said, "Yeah, you were doing so well I wasn't going to say anything to jinx it. The underarms are always the worst. After this the bikini is going to be a breeze." Really? Yikes. I never would have thought your underarms would be worse than your bikini line ...because, well, it just isn't so with waxing. But with waxing neither is too bad. I guess the good part is Monday's bikini appointment is going to be "a breeze." We'll see.
Oh, and don't worry. I'm OF COURSE still going to finish the course!! After all, beauty is pain, and after just five more rounds I'll not have to shave any more. Ever. Yay!!!!! Totally worth the pain, and the thought even makes the pain more tolerable :) I also should point out that I always thought lasik was going to be my first laser surgical procedure. Turns out groupon changed all that. After all, who can say no to a 90% discount?! Wahoo!!!
My short term memory is not what it once was. I went in to my hair appointment today and left my cellphone in the car. I realized this as I was already changed into my robe and waiting for my stylist. I figured the bliss of hair day would get me through the anxiety over not having it. I was correct. But when I was done I could not wait to rush to my phone and see that no one had called/messaged/emailed. Why are we so attached to these things anyways? It was only an hour, good grief. But i am. Terribly. I admit it.
But then later, I was halfway to work when I went to reach for my phone in my purse and realized I had left it plugged into the charger at home. Not enough time to go back and still be on time. It'll be good for me I thought, to survive an entire night at work without my phone (read: calculator, translator, and break time entertainment). It gets worse though, I got to work and realized that I also left my watch at home!!!!! This is for sure not ok! My goodness, I'm getting old. My short term memory definitely isn't what it once was! :)
In other news ...after I got my hair done today I went to get my official WA drivers license. The driver's licencing office was a special experience...
Thank goodness for spell checker ...that's a tough word to spell. Anyways, my name is Toni and I am a vapid narcissist. It's true. I come to realize this more and more. The most recent case in point was the holiday weekend. I spent the entire weekend in somewhat of a melancholy state. You see, I love my mother, and I love my family, and I miss them terribly. And on holidays especially such as this one it is quite hard for me to be so far away. This was not the main reason behind my mood however. You see, I realized that the mother's day holiday is a weekend long celebration and reminder of the thing I have failed at most in life. Yes, that's right, it's always about me :) See, you thought I was kidding about the narcissism...
Don't get me wrong, I love mothers, they absolutely get their own special day and deserve so much more. I in fact find it somewhat ...offensive? That people who are not mothers are lumped in this category. Let's celebrate the day for what it is. Motherhood. A day for the most noble most challenging and most rewarding profession there is. A day for the people who are primarily responsible for the raising and nurturing of little ones, no matter what their age is. Mothers that are and mothers that were, and the mothers that have given birth and then given the gift of motherhood to someone else. I'm an aunt and an auntie, I'm a role model (of sorts, or so I'm told), I'm a friend, and I am a pretty big deal in general (thanks Mindy :) ). I'm an important person, and I do many great things and I love many people, but I am not a mother. Not yet.
I yearn for this and look forward to the day when the blessing of wife and mother becomes mine. I struggle at times to remember that I am still young and clearly not ready or it would have happened already. For goodness' sake!! I'm only 28 years old!!! Life is great, and life is an amazing adventure and I revel in the things I learn every day and in the experiences and adventures that are mine and mine alone. As a dear friend reminded me yesterday (after a text inquiring if I was the only one feeling like the weekend was a glaring reminder of my failure in the area) I have not failed. I haven't attempted yet. And I still have so many more great and wonderful experiences to discover. Many more days to prepare me to be the best wife and mother I can be. I have a lot to live up to in the example of my mother and the many great mothers that surround me, and I certainly don't want to rush.
I'm not saying I want this now, the thought of it puts me in a certain state of panic... So why the melancholy? I don't know. Cultural/religious expectations born and bred into me? Maybe just because I'm a girl and let's face it, girls are crazy :) But someday for sure. For there truly is no more noble and blessed calling than that of mother.
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now this man was greater than I in many aspects. And while I don't think I'm quite here yet (not just in light of recent events but in general) I think it's where I'd like to be; what I'd like to work toward. I'm not a "true love conquers all" person, and I'm definitely not saying that "make love, not war" is the solution, nor do I want to be. Quite honestly I think both mottos are a load of crap. But I think it has more to do with attitude. Gratitude always, striving for humility, and still and always a firm believer in justice. But justice does not need to be boastful or prideful.
I'm a firm believer that war is a necessary evil. I am an avid supporter of our military, our government and their efforts. Our military men and women are truly heroes. But in my personal life, for me myself here at home, I love the saying from one of my favorite Broadway musicals, RENT. The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation. Create good things. Create positivity. And do so to support the war and the noble cause behind it. For conquer we must, when our cause it is just. And this be our motto, in God is our trust.
Nearly ten years ago I can still tell you nearly every step of my day. From pushing the snooze button twice, to going to my early morning microbiology lab and the rest of my classes, to the voice lesson I went to, I can even tell you the songs I was practicing that day. I can tell you where I sat in the TV room glued to the news before I had to go to my induction to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars ceremony. I can tell you every minute of that day better than if it was yesterday.
Now I can tell you where I was when I heard the news today that Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed. I was on break at work. At work at a career that I was working hard to obtain the education for when this war on terror began (I was not even finished with my prerequisites for the nursing program when this all began). I was sitting next to a Marine, both of us glued to the TV in silence. A marine who's entire 8 year military career took place in the time after the beginning of the war on terror, and ending before the mastermind was captured. A marine who's two tours of duty culminated in an unintentional flight in a hum-vee resulting in a broken neck and purple heart. He finished the tour of duty with a broken neck in Iraq in a hard collar. I hugged him and we sat cuddled on the break room couch watching the news. I texted my friend who is in airborne combat medic training for the army in Texas. He hadn't heard the news yet so I called to give the details.
I am reminded on this day that Freedom truly is not free. The blood, sweat, and tears of thousands have been shed for what we gained today. So that I can go to sleep safe in my bed with one less terrorist in the world. While it is a large step and closure for many people, we're not done yet. I said to my Marine friend, "I hope we make it through the inevitable retaliations with as little loss as possible." He looked at me and said "We'll be fine. They'll be fine." Meaning the servicemen and women who are beating down doors and living in sweltering miserable conditions as I type this very post from the comfort of my living room.
Gratitude, patriotism, and a certain amount of anxiety fill my heart tonight. Anxiety for my friends and thousands that I don't know who still lie in threat and harms way. Threat and potential harms possibly to get worse? I also can't help but yearn to be in New York with "my people" tonight. I've shared before that I often feel disjointed because my heart is in Seattle, my soul resides in New York City, and my mind with with my sweet little nephew back home. Today is one of those times. I feel a need to be in New York, the ultimate place of closure for today's news. I feel a need to hug a fireman. And a Navy Seal. And my parents. And I pray for the continued blessings and support of our servicemen and women who continue to give so much to ensure the freedom and safety of so many.
Now I lay me down to sleep...one less terrorist this world does keep...with all my heart I give my thanks...to those in uniform regardless of ranks ...you serve our country and serve it well...with humble hearts your stories tell... so as I rest my weary eyes...while freedom rings, our flag still flies...you give your all, do what you must, with God we live and God we trust...Amen!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --US Declaration of Independence