Thursday, August 27, 2009


each year growing up, my parents took us on a "family vacation". mostly visiting family & friends in various places across the united states. there was generally a theme. the "east coast" vacation to cape cod via pennsylvania's amish country; the "capital" vacation to washington d.c. and new york city, ellis island, statue of liberty; the "southern" vacation to arkansas via kentucky, tennessee, missouri; the "western" trip to estes park, denver, and then north to the dakotas to see the corn palace. a "florida" vacation to relax during spring break, and the ultimate finale while i was in college: a christmas cruise that included touring the mayan ruins in mexico, rafting a river in jamaica, and swimming with stingrays. if anything, my parents wanted to show us that the world is so much bigger than it feels.

even though i complained about everything..."we're not flying, we're going to drive?!?!", "i don't want to eat lobster in maine, i hate lobster", "if i have to listen to garrison keiller one more time...", there was this excitement about visiting a new place, seeing different parts of the country, wondering if i'd want to live there someday. it was thrilling. it sparked a desire in me to want to experience life in different places.

during college i visited australia: swam in the great barrier reef, froze in the outback, and discovered the slower pace of life. in africa: saw poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth. in central america: tried to surf for the first (and only) time in my life, ate mangoes, and toured the panama canal.

the smells & sounds & sights are further away now. sometimes i forget to remember them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

on the route

i've always thought my twenties would be the years of self discovery. i would figure out what i wanted to do with my life (career), where i want to live, who i want to live with, generally discovering personalities that i can and cannot tolerate. i would fall in love, get married, launch an incredible career, and travel. maybe towards the end of that decade of life i'd start having children.

well, i'm twenty six now, and i can't say that i feel any closer to figuring myself out than i was six years ago. there are some things of course: i love living in a big city; i love my amazing husband; i want to finish my masters' before i'm thirty.

the last few years i've found myself on a continued path of self-discovery. like the "me" of my early twenties was just a copy of the people that i was living/studying/living with at the time. on my own, it's time to figure out who i really am. it's time to fall in love with myself, the inexplicable quirks & vices.

i heard someone describing the life process within the context of personal style & fashion: young women in their twenties are discovering the colors, textures, patterns, and fits that work (and don't work). they decide what trends they want to follow or dismiss. by the time the thirties roll around, they have discovered their sense of style has evolved into their outward expression of self.

now back to my twenty-something self i say: get your ass into the fitting room & start trying on some clothes.