Monday, April 22, 2013

Hometown: Connected

I don't know what I can say that has not already been said, but I know that I can not write about anything else, until I address what happened in Boston. It is hard to believe that it has only been a week. It is hard to believe that it happened at all.

You do not have to know me well, to know that I am from Boston. I live in Minneapolis but all of my family and some of my dearest friends still reside in and around the city. I have never been shy about my pride for my hometown. Boston is a remarkable place and I miss it very much.

Nick has commented to me on a few occasions that the city has a connectedness to it that is intimidating to an outsider. It feels like everyone knows everyone else. The house that my parents live in was built by my great-grandfather and that is not uncommon. Roots run deep and people love their city with a passion that is usually reserved for states and countries.

And it is with that connectedness, that passion, that my city responded to horrific tragedy. Watching my home splattered on national television was heart-wrenching. It felt like a nightmare and it stretched on for days. I sat on my couch trying to learn as much as I could. I flipped channels, yelling at national reporters for mispronunciations and at local reporters for pulling away from coverage to discuss weather and traffic. I endlessly texted and checked facebook and refreshed I worried about my family and friends and I prayed desperately for those I knew were not okay.

I commented in this post that before I go home again, I will have traveled a long way. I could never have imagined what that meant. I wish so badly that I could be there now, to look upon the people and the place and reaffirm that they are there, picking up the pieces and moving forward. It helps to see videos and to hear stories. It helps to know the strength of my city and the humor that peeks through, even in times of horrendous tragedy.
Boston, you have my heart.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Teaser: Baby Name

Kaia practicing her ballet moves.
I probably shouldn't write this. I know I am asking for it, but it's too fun not to share.

As you probably know, we are keeping hush on the baby name until she is born. People judge easily when there isn't a little face attached to the moniker. I have asked our friends and family to not make guesses. Some are better at following this request than others (ahem, Steve and Tracey).

The other night, Nick and I were driving home after date night at this restaurant, when the song I know, that has her name in the title, started playing. Nick had typed her name into Spotify to see what we would find. I was surprised by the results.

I have always thought that her name has a musicality to it, a sing-song sound. My thoughts were confirmed when more than half a dozen songs came up in the search. And maybe I am biased, but I loved each one. The first was pop/rock, then country, and the rest were much older. It makes me happy to hear her name put to music.

Being somebody with a unique name, I know I am setting her up for a lifetime of not finding her name written on combs and bracelets, but at least she will have the music.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The List: In One Year

 The summer after I graduated college, I was living at home and working my first full-time job. I was saving money and planning a move to Minnesota. I was figuring out life after college.

One day on my lunch break, I was reading in the cafeteria when I looked up to see a guy I knew. He was the friend of an ex-boyfriend and I knew he did not think highly of me. Still, it surprised me when we made eye contact and he stared at me with a look of hatred. He held my gaze for as long as I let him and his eyes burned with animosity. I could not stop thinking about it and by the time I left work that day, I felt sick.

It wasn't until that night, going over the image for the millionth time, that I realized something and just like that, let it go. I started thinking about everything that had happened since the last time I saw him. I realized that he did not know me, not really. A list of events from the last year started populating in my head, each one pushed me forward. And suddenly I was too far away to be touched, too far for his eyes and his anger to hurt me.

As soon as I realized this, I went to my computer and started typing. My intention was to write down all that happened and what came out was the list. Each item was a memory and a thousand stories. With every line, I recalled a moment, planned or unplanned, that had transported me. It was the sum of all these parts that reminded me of all that I had accomplished and all that I have left to do.

I shared the list with my parents and a few friends. When at the end of that summer, I packed up my car and moved halfway across the country, my mom presented the list to me in a frame. Again at my wedding, my older sister read the list in lieu of a speech. Today, as I cleaned my office to prepare for my parents to stay here after the baby is born, I found the framed copy. And again, I am reminded.   

In the past year I...
July 5, 2004- July 5, 2005

Traveled to another country alone
Lived in Australia
Learned another culture
Traveled the eastern Australian coast
Met amazing friends
Fell in love
Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef
Held a koala
Hugged a kangaroo
Ate kangaroo
Danced on a fire bar
Chilled in an ice bar
Traveled to New Zealand
Went bungee jumping
Went white water rafting
Dove out of an airplane
Rode in a jet boat
Hiked up a glacier
Fell through ice
Conquered a fear
Flew in a helicopter
Climbed an iceberg
Tried absinthe
Went on a road trip
Played with dolphins
Stayed in a hostel
Learned to surf
Flew in 30 planes
Saw an opera in Sydney
Saw the Red Sox win the World Series
Traveled to Minnesota
Traveled to Wisconsin
Celebrated with a Valentine
Tried sushi
Lost a passport
Almost lost a loved one
Walked all night for Relay for Life
Did an internship
Wrote my thesis
Decided to move
Graduated college
Turned 22