In the next 10 years of my life, my age will start affecting me: Aches and pains will pop up, and friends will start dying. Billy is, I guess, in his mid- to late 50s, and he talked about being at the point in his life where he’s looking back on his life. He had just returned from a trip home to Mississippi to visit family and friends. He spoke about the trip home with such happiness, and was full of smiles. I asked him if he wanted to move back eventually, and he said “yes.”
He talked about relationships he’s had, and how as we get older, even if it’s difficult, you should try to stay friends with people you’ve dated, even if the relationship didn’t work out. I’m not really sure how we got on that topic. He described a recent phone call with a female friend, and how they’d come to an understanding of where things stand with them right now. “It could come full circle a year from now,” Billy said.
He’s from Biloxi, Mississippi, a place that I visited several times when I was little, with my parents. I used to love those trips – I remember beignets, the beach, visiting historic places. I haven’t been back there since I was a kid, but I’d love to return. I’ve heard that it’s changed, with casinos, even. And some of those places were trashed due to Katrina and other storms. Mary Mahoney’s is still there, but I don’t see the seafood place we used to go to on the water. I also remember going to a plantation and learning about cotton picking, and buying a little sample of cotton still in its shell and taking it home. Beauvoir may be the one that I’m thinking of, but it looks like (sadly) most of it was destroyed in Katrina.
In my dreams, last night.
lots of them, or at least enough to submit the topic to memory.
Dream dictionary definitions say:
To see a kitten in your dream represents a transitional phase toward independence. You are ready to explore new things that life has to offer. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes innocence and purity.
To dream of kittens means new life or new experiences in the future for the good;; a trusting relationship
This dream could also suggest that you are somehow feeling disconnected from the more feminine side of your personality.
For a woman to dream of a beautiful fat, white kitten, omens crafty deception will be practised upon her, which will almost ensnare her to destruction, but her good sense and judgment will succeed in warding off unfortunate complications.
To see a kitten in your dream signifies deceit and trouble ahead. If you dream about a litter of kittens, you may be drawn into a social conflict. This dream could also suggest that you are somehow feeling disconnected from the more feminine side of your personality.
The cat or cats were not fat. I am sometimes allergic to cats, but not very often these days. I did not dream about a litter of kittens. An ex-boyfriend used to call me “kitten” as a nickname.
I can’t remember the other part of my dream, but it had to do with the word “lusk” or maybe it was “lux” but I seem to recall a four-letter word.
Lusk is a town in Tennessee and Wyoming. It’s also a village in Ireland. And the name of a band.
I’ve never taken a pregnancy test, and won’t have kids at my age unless it’s through adoption or a future boyfriend’s slash partner’s slash husband’s existing kids. I felt distant from the whole “women having it all” debate from a few months ago because, let’s face it, I am an outlier in many ways: I’ve never been married, don’t have children and will never “have it all” in the eyes of some people. Sometimes those eyes are even my own.
I didn’t tell my parents about the break-up with J. I was just getting ready to tell them that I was dating someone, that it was serious, that we’d been together five months, that we’d dated last year and got back together, and it all turned on a dime last month. I then started thinking about friends I hadn’t told and I started to wonder why I had kept somewhat silent with certain people, and had not told my parents when it was really a happy situation and I was in love.
I didn’t get sad until I walked across the tarmac at the airport in Puerto Vallarta. But as Olivia and I approached the plane, warm sun beating down on our heads and shoulders, it hit me that this most restful and physically challenging week was coming to an end. I was heading back to Seattle, Wash. after a week in Sayulita, Mexico with 20 sort-of strangers who were now friends and/or friendly.
This was my second time on one of Jen Isaacson‘s yoga retreats, and the second to Sayulita. Last year’s trip was rejuvenating, and transformational (as I described when we set our intentions on one of the first days), and I loved the sleepy yet vibrant fishing and surfing village of Sayulita.
This year’s trip kicked my butt, mostly because Jen was going full-steam and there were lots of enthusiastic yoginis who asked for more and more each day.
Last year, I was tired on Friday. This year, I was tired on Tuesday and had to skip a class to give my bod a rest. It also gave me the chance to catch up with Wendy, who was on the trip last year. We did the girl talk thing (talked about boys) and I was really happy to see her again. She’s young at heart like me, and she helped me find a fabulous necklace. (Thanks to Marta on that, too.)
So, the yoga kicked my butt as well as the hills I trekked up every single day. We did so much ab work one day, and then went surfing, that I had to roll sideways out of bed that night and the next day because it hurt too much to sit up. I didn’t feel quite so wimpy when I heard some of the younger and super-fit on the trip say the same thing. I also brought back war wounds in the form of bruises on my hips from surfing. That’s not something I can write all the time, so it’s important to document. Yo.
The group this year was a lot more light-hearted and independent than last year’s group. The light-hearted brought laughter to every class and every party, and it was something I really appreciated. I was baffled during last year’s retreat about the negativity that some people brought along for the ride, but I suppose Jen would just say that those people are just where they’re at, and it just happened to carry with it some negative vibes.
She said something great on one of the first days to help all of us let go of whatever we were carrying on the trip. She talked about being present, in the moment, and related it to when we were leaving Seattle and had our boarding pass and were getting on a plane. We knew in that moment where we needed to be, for sure.
It isn’t always easy to put aside stressful thoughts about work, or the boy who said he needed space and broke your heart a month ago (yes, girl talk) or where you are going to get coffee after class, but Jen provided encouragement during every class to help take my mind off things. I’m pretty sure others would say the same thing.
One of my favorite memories from the trip & class was the day we were rolling backwards (like into plow) and then coming forwards pretty quickly so that we landed in a deep squat. I was among the last to get to my feet. Luis was looking at all of us and maybe struggling a bit and he said, “Man, you chicks kick ass,” which meant he also needed to complete the task to join us chicks. Okay, one of my other favorite moments with Luis is when Jen was having us do something with the block and he wasn’t digging the block, but she thought he just wanted a different size. Not this block!
Other great memories – connecting with Jodi and appreciating her positively infectious attitude; hanging with Teal and Olivia, the Capricorn (slow and steady wins the race) and meeting them on the bus ride into Sayulita; being around Allen’s goofiness, which was a big part of the light-heartedness we all enjoyed during the week; tequila bottle in class (yes, Jen, I encouraged Allen to put it near the altar); seeing that Alaina had Rufus Wainwright on her iPod; meeting Nichole, who works at Harborview & having that work connection; having a fabulous meal of mahi mahi and other amazing Mexican food at Alaina, Rose & Lauren’s place (group dinner was a fabulous idea); being around the dynamic duo of Amanda (sexy booty shorts – I need to get a pair) and Allison (sorry I missed the bartending night!); Hannah’s exotic and quiet beauty; Andrea’s fabulous hair; talking with the Aussies from Capitol Hill and appreciating their exuberance and back flips in the ocean, and descriptions of the Villa Amor (will I really be there next year on my honeymoon? It’s a thought); last meal of a small Mexican baby, I mean burrito, outside the P.V. aeroport with Allen & Olivia; learning that I’m not the only one struggling with relationship issues right now (duh); taco truck, surfing, blue-footed (and other color) boobies.
And I’m sure there are other things I am forgetting and leaving out details from the other beautiful people on the trip. But here are some thoughts for now, after my first day back at work, before time passes and Sayulita is too distant of a thought. Namaste.
I love the Sunday New York Times. I used to feel guilty when I couldn’t read most of the paper and I’d have to dump a massive pile of unread newsprint in the recycling. It’s that Catholic guilt thing again. But then I decided if I was able to read at least one article each week, it would be enough. I set myself free and continue to enjoy such well-written pieces that amaze me, educate me and make me happy. Pretty basic, I know … but it means a lot.
Case in point – Sept. 19 SundayStyles section. It had been lingering on my coffee table. Yesterday, I put my recycling project into gear and I’m glad this section didn’t make the cut. The Amy Ryan profile caught my eye at first and I thought it would be good bedtime reading. I then reconnected with Vows, the somewhat elitist weekly column that features a wedding. The Sept. 19 article profiled Ariana Rockefeller (yes, of the Rockefellers) and new husband Matthew Bucklin. Like other Vows features, the Rockefeller-Bucklin story relays a fairytale-like, sweet romance. Love lost, and found again. Missed connections. Long distance trials and tribulations. Love found later in life. You get the picture.
Vows used to be among the first, if not the first section I turned to when I opened the paper. It varies nowadays, and I’m not sure if that is because I’ve grown more cynical in the whole finding-true-love story, still angry at the last guy who broke my heart or if the stories perhaps depressed me because I’m still single. I do still believe in love, for what it’s worth, and perhaps the reconnection with Vows can help me remember that.
That whole “being single” thing brings me to Modern Love, a fabulous column where I hope, one day, my writing will appear. I recently submitted my third essay to editor Daniel Jones and have been rejected twice. It almost still feels like victory to be able to submit a piece.
In that same Sept. 19 issue, there’s a great essay by Seattle-based writer Kathy Harding. I must find her and congratulate her on this beautifully-penned piece, “Diving deep to reach the surface.” Penguins, a chance meeting with a guy at a party … and then, it happens. Sigh. Another good reason and reminder to read the Sunday New York Times. And I haven’t even unwrapped the packaging on today’s issue.