Wednesday, November 23, 2011

hello old friend

I used to be so delighted over the fact that I had at least one blog for every month since I started this blog in 2009...that seems to be over now! It has been months, but I still love this here blog. I love knowing it is here, waiting on me to spill my heart and mind, and doing absolutely nothing else. This space is one of my homes.

my dad sent me this email on my 24th birthday (which was in October, I might add...). It is only a few simple lines, but it made me absolutely weep. and then I tried to read it to my roommate later and I wept again! and then I showed it to my friend, Rebecca and she, knowing my dad since childhood, also got teary. It is simple and beautiful. I hope you love it like I did. maybe you will weep too...

note* my dad was 46 when I was born and I was his first child. That is what he is referencing in the first line...

"My pretty Ashley:
24; The beginning. Forty six years doesn't seem that long, and yet it is. I was fresh out of the the service and into school at 24. A new V dub, my first apartment, riding high. In some ways I can still feel the excitement, only now its just a smile. When you talk of the restaurants and shows, the walks, the people. All new, that's 24. If life treats you right, you too will look back the years, in a quiet moment there will be a smile. Those days of 24.

Happy Birthday 24
Love Dad"

Damn it, he got me again! let the tears flow...good, grateful tears.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


This is an ode to my keds.

My keds are so beloved to me. They used to be a pristine, glowing white and I would wear them with sundresses and my pair of blue shorts. I walked about campus in them and wore them to Hollywood and I never played silly summer soccer in them because I wanted to avoid the grass stains on my beloved white Keds.

As it turns out, city folk walk a whole lot more than anyone else in the world. When I first arrived, this was news to me, but I came to accept it as a way of life. Now it is one of the things I love the most about living here. I don't bat an eye at walking 30 blocks. 30 blocks? That is child's play. There are days I have certainly walked more than a hundred. I do it absentmindedly now...I am not even aware I am walking. I am just getting to where I need to be. This city offers so much to see no matter where you are headed and putting all those blocks beneath my feet has afforded me the opportunity to see great things.
but oh, my Keds.

You may laugh, but my Keds are my sturdiest pair of shoes. Their white dreamy-ness was quickly lost in this city as they became my go to shoe. These shoes have seen three of the five boroughs, and logged endless miles. They have turned to a cloudy shade of grey, but somehow my fondness for them has only grown. These are tough shoes, my keds. I like to hope they will last forever: the shoes that helped me discover New York.

I am also thinking that maybe everyone should live, for a time, in a place where their main mode of transportation is their own feet.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happiness is

I am finding myself undeniably happy these days.

I feel like my life is full of promise and possibility. There is always this underlying notion of "anything can happen" and that is thrilling. I feel full.

It took me a long time to get here. The New York road was a bumpy one and I got lost a time or two, but I have finally found my way to a home. I feel at home. I feel happy. And it feels so good after so long.

It is a different happiness though.

When I was visiting California the moment I got off the plane I was overwhelmed with happiness. I just felt this surging joy and certain belonging. I still feel all those things when I think of California. I am happy in California. That is just a fact. It is effortless and wonderful. I love the people, I love the way of life, I love the weather, I love disneyland, I love driving, I love my friend-family. There is no work to my happiness when I am there. It just is. And I think that is a rare and beautiful thing. Someday I will return to that Happiness.

My New York Happiness is different. My New York happiness is earned. I have to work for it, and I always will. It will never be effortless and simple. It will always be a fight and it will always need to be maintained. It will waiver on many more occasions. But all those things do make it feel so very satisfying. It feels so empowering to know that I earned this happiness. To know that I can be in a place where I felt so lost and broken and sad and still come out the other side with a genuine Joy at the life I get to live here. I made this happiness. I built it on my own. (0bviously not completely on my own....I can do nothing on my own. I can see God's handiwork all over this last year when I look at it and I don't mean to claim any victories were mine. They were all His, but through me.) I found a way to stand back up. I am braver and stronger than I thought I was. I feel as though I can do anything.

Oh, New York Happiness, you complicated beast, Bring it on! I am ready to fight for you this next year. You are worth it.

somebody to love

There is a hurricane brewing outside.

When I moved to New York I never imagined hurricanes to be on the list of things I may have to worry about, but here we are. Actually, I am rather enjoying it; it feels exciting.

Right now the rain is coming down in heavy sheets and making a soothing pitter-patter-y noise and occasional gusts of wind whistle against the windows. The power keeps going on and off, making my evening viewing of "Cast Away" impossible and so I sit and write. But what should I say...

I think I have come to a realization recently: I have a problem with dating. That is to say, I can't get one. not one date. Of course that is not the realization, that is old news after 23 years. The realization is as to why.
After I moved to the city I decided to join okcupid under the peer pressure of some friends. That is a tale in itself, but to sum up: I hated it. Oh, how I hated it. And I am simply no good at meeting people in bars or clubs and it has been hard to make friends out here, let alone find anyone to be interested in.
So, I got to thinking, what was it about internet dating and things of that sort that I, personally, don't like. So I spent some time mulling it over and this is what I have come to:

So many people in the world want to fall in Love. They want it like a goal or a New Years Resolution ("This year I will fall in Love!"). They want to do whatever it takes to be in Love, to feel what that means, to live the way one does when they are in love. And it does sound like a noble goal, to fall in love. It sounds like such a nice thing to go after. How wonderful to be in Love...that is a great New Years Resolution.

However, I don't want to fall in love.
I want to love someone.

Falling in love feels much more personal to me than searching through a host of people who are all searching for someone, anyone, to love them. I don't want to find somebody who is just anybody. And I don't particularly want to be just anybody either.
I would rather meet someone and get to know him a bit and then realize that perhaps I like him and then maybe love him. And maybe he will love me too. But the falling in love is based on the fact that I met him specifically. Not because I was searching for somebody to want me, but because I was living my life the best way I could , and loving people the best way I could, and I met him.

I don't feel the need to chase after "falling in love" because my life has no lack of love. I have so much love in my life, certainly more than my fair share. I have so many people to love and so many people who love me. I have a full life that is filled with passions and adventures and doing things I have always wanted to do, as well as things I never dreamed I could. In truth, I want for nothing. I don't really think you can find love if you are looking for it because you feel like something is missing. I guess I think real love sets to overflowing an already full life.

I am finding it difficult to explain exactly what I mean by all this...I don't mean to say that it is wrong to want to fall in love, or that you shouldn't feel lonely, or even that finding someone online is, in any way, a cheaper experience than another way...I don't believe any of those things.
This was more my realization about what I want from love. About why it is difficult for me to find. Of course, this realization doesn't really change anything. It doesn't get me a date and it still finds me hanging out, eating vanilla ice cream and watching "You've Got Mail" by myself on a friday night. But I don't mind it, at least not for now. (in my book, anytime spent watching "You've Got Mail" was 2 hours well spent! haha)

My life is so full of wonderful right now.
and that is something I would not have said a mere few months ago. And I am so grateful.
and so loved.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Can someone please tell me what happened to July?! Where did it go? How can it be over?

Time is flyin...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

a tale of woe

Saturday last, I had a lovely evening. A lovely day really.
I went to my class and I wandered out around madison square park in the rain. I went to see an Improv show and enjoyed a beer at the bar. I used all my guts and talked to the bartender.
I felt rather good about the day.

At 11 I decided it was time to head home and I left the theatre. It was still raining out, but not terribly, just a little drizzle. I didn't even open my umbrella, I just clutched it in my hand along with the bag of leftovers from dinner. I carried my purse in my other arm.

I had known it was supposed to rain that day, but for some reason I either didn't want to believe it or I was in denial, and I wore my flip flops. That was unfortunate.

So there I was walking along down 23rd when suddenly around 5th ave the pavement got very smooth and suddenly before I knew what had happened I was on the ground. Yes, I completely ate it on the concrete right on the wet corner of 23rd and 5th in Manhattan. I heard people gasp all around me and begin proclaiming, "are you okay?!"

No one has ever jumped up and yelled "I'm fine!" faster than I did at that moment.

I scurried away as fast as I could, even while the passers-by were still trying to ask about my condition.
I know how to end a good day!

Tents and houses and homes.

I have ever so many homes.

Some of them are more solid, and some of them are the tents my heart has pitched as I have gone along.
It is funny, I never really realized how many places take up space in my heart, even places I thought I would never want to return to. I was fortunate enough to get to visit many of my heart's homes a few weeks ago.
I went to visit my friends (who are really much deeper than simply friends) in California where we all went to college together, and most of them still reside. I don't know if there will ever be a feeling so warm as returning to those people. I felt so loved and so worthwhile while I was with them. So known. Especially after a year that was filled with so much loneliness, I felt so joyful and alive to be there! We just did the regular humdrum type of wonderful things; we ate, and slept, and laughed, and cuddled, and ate in-n-out, and caught up on our lives. We had a bonfire at the beach (oh, is there anything more wonderful than a bonfire at the beach). We built a sandcastle and the next day my legs were so sore! I do think that nothing was ever more worth the sore muscles than 3 hours of sandcastle fortress digging! Mikael took me to the ballet...
and then Mikael and I went driving down pch one dark night. We got all the way down to Pepperdine and that is when I first realized that, despite leaving that school after one brief semester, and thinking I was miserable while I was there, it had cemented itself as one of my homes for a time. I had little memories pinging all about my mind as we drove down the highway. I thought of how devyn and I used to steal salt packets from the taco bell because we thought it would save us money (I think we were both unaware of the fact the salt is like $1.50...). I thought about late night photo shoots and dorm room silliness. I thought about my solitary hikes to the ocean and how I loved them. I thought of ocean devotion, and malibu yo, and that one time Dev and I volunteered to be a part of that crazy research study even though we had no idea what it was. And for that time my heart felt a small stinging loss for that home. But a bittersweet loss, because leaving that home led me to so much greater places.

Then I started thinking about all my homes. I thought about my APU home, and my little apartment in Denver home, and my Pepperdine home, and my Broomfield home (I actually got to visit my broomfield home as well in a surprise turn of events! oh, Heather what fun we have together...). All these places are so dear to me now, and each of them have changed me and shaped me and taught me more about what it means to be at home. And I started thinking about New York.

Sometimes you leave a place for a short while and you realize that it has somehow become your home unwittingly. I think a part of me wished for that. I wanted to go to California and think to myself, "wow, I really miss New York. I can't wait to get back there!" But that did not happen. In fact, I rarely gave New York a second thought while I was there. I cried on my last California night because leaving this beautiful, wonderful home felt nearly unbearable. I was never more certain that New York was not my home.

I got back to the city and resumed my life. I looked for things to do and I kept busy and I remembered that New York is full of many wonders. so much beauty and inspiration haunts you here. I have found a way to feel at home here. I think you must always find a way to feel some sense of home wherever you are, there is always something to find comfort and happiness in if you let yourself find it.

New York is not my home. But it is one of the places my heart has pitched a tent. And, someday, whether it be this year, or the next. or five, or ten years from now, when I leave my heart will sting for the loss of it. There is good to be had here, and I am going to have it all while I can.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

radio silence. over.

once again, it has been much too long since I have written anything...
I literally have a constant list on my computer of things I want to blog about and I am not sure why I haven't written about any of them, but right now it is three in the morning and it is time to turn in.

but here is one random fact about me just for fun:

I love jalapenos. my mouth, however, finds them much too spicy.
I eat them anyway.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I love/hate you.

Oh New York, our Love Affair is so hot and cold...
Sometimes I think we are made for each other. Sometimes I think you are the love of my life.

but then sometimes I hate you. passionately.

and so it goes, back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes by the minute.

But whatever the case, whether I love you or I hate you, I will always be thankful for you. I am thankful for the things you have taught me and the realizations you have brought me. I think when you move to New York you can't help but let it change you...perhaps change is the wrong word. In fact, change is definitely the wrong word. It is more like New York awakens the parts of you you never thought you had.
As an actor I am aware of the full humanity of all of us. That is to say, whatever one of us is capable of doing, we are all capable of doing. We all hold the same capacity to feel every single emotion, to do any or every deed. Being aware of this common humanity is essential to great storytelling and to creating believable, relatable characters. And while I always believed in this, I would still find myself thinking, "I wish I could be as bold as this person" or "I just don't have it in me to do that" or any number of thoughts of that nature.
And then I moved to New York. And now I can say, with complete conviction, all those people you wanted to be like, you are already like them. All those things you thought you didn't have it in you to do, you have it in you. All the strenghth. All the boldness. All the silliness, and the joy, and the hope, and the willingness and anything else. We all have everything inside us.

and sometimes you need to move to New York City to let it out.
and sometimes you love it. And sometimes you hate it. and sometimes you feel both at the same time and you have absolutely no idea how that happens...
but that is precisely one of the things that makes you love it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For When I am an Interesting Old Lady

When I ran through my living room and *somewhat ashamedly* announced to my roommates that I was on my way out the door to do a spur-of-right-that-moment something that was absolutely beyond silly, I paused for a moment to hear their feedback. I waited with anticipation for the gentle, loving teasing that was going to come, ready to bear it with head held high! or at least with head held up... but to my surprise there was no mocking to be had. Yes, they giggled for a moment at the sheer ridiculousness of my plot, but then Dana said, "It is just like Dani says, 'it will be a story for when you are an interesting old lady'".
I have probably heard Dani say this before, but for some reason, as Dana quoted it to me, it struck a new chord.
I think, perhaps, of anything I have wanted to be an "interesting old lady" tops the list. When I reach the age of old lady, whatever that may be, I want to have a slew of tales to share. I want to earn that interesting title and give it more meaning than it ever had before!
In discovering this desire in myself I have found an incredible freedom. For one to become an interesting old lady, one must begin to build their arsenal of stories and experiences now. So whenever I feel so inclined to do something bold or silly or important or frightening, I now think to myself, "This shall be one of the tales for when I am an interesting old lady" and suddenly I am free of that pesky fear that sometimes likes to hang itself from my shoulders.

and I will have you know that said ridiculous plot was completely worth it.
I am going to be a very interesting old lady.

Texts from my dad. Volume 7.

Hippidy Hoppidy Boppidy
You know Hot Cross Buns
Ash and Heather making their
egg runs.
Hop Hop Baskets full to
the top.
Girls can't stop
Candy, candy, all for Pop.

Happy Easter.


Happy Easter to all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

hearts, then and now

This memory snuck up on me today and warmed me right through the rainstorm happening outside.

When Rachell and I were 12 or 13 we spent a lot of our time imagining our futures, as children are prone to do. I had big plans to be a Broadway star and Rachell was already hatching a plot to become the CEO of the Disney Corporation. However, seeing as we were young teenage girls, the vast majority of our discussion focused more on our romantic futures. We would lay in bed and watch the clock tick away the wee hours as we tried to avoid getting in trouble for being awake far past our bedtimes. We reached inside ourselves and examined our delicate girlhood hearts. Back then they seemed so strong and resilient; they beat out a lively song and they were smooth and pink and waiting expectantly. Our hearts were so open and ready then, they were eager and hungry and practically bursting out of our chests. Of course they had yet to be touched then...yet to be broken. I like thinking back to the way we envisioned Love then; considering the unblemished view of what we thought the future would hold. Some of the uncompromising hope from those days always sneaks back in to my heart when I remember those sleepovers and hours of giggling.
On one occasion, for whatever reason, Rachell and I decided we were going to design for ourselves the perfect boyfriends. We were going to get out our pens and paper and write our profiles of our dream men, and their attributes, and the stories of our relationships with them. That way we figured that should any unwanted advances come our way we could say, "sorry, I have a boyfriend" and then be prepared with a backstory...Not to mention we just thought it would be fun to think about. Perhaps we believed that in writing all this down we would will it to be true...
So Rachell and I set to work thinking of the perfect names and occupations and backstories. We made lists of the good qualities they would have; important things like "good hair" or "nice to his mom" or, for Rachell, "wears a backwards baseball cap." After we had created sufficient backstories and molded precisely the correct character we sat in my bedroom with the unfortunate pink walls and read them out to each other. Rachells "boyfriend" was named Shawn, as she had a deep and undying love of Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World. He was a bit of "bad boy", at least by 6th grade standards. He skateboarded. I don't really remember much else about him, but Shawn was effective for Rachell...she used him as her imaginary boyfriend when needed and he suited her just fine.
As for my imaginary boyfriend, I cannot remember what I named him because as soon as I read his profile out to Rachell I promptly ripped it up and threw it away. As I was reading it I realized I didn't like him at all, in fact, I had created for myself the world's most boring boyfriend. And from that day on I have refused to make a list of who the "perfect man" would be because I realized that real people are so much more interesting. I realized that while I may know myself well, I need to be open to being surprised. I need to understand that there are some things that I don't know I desperately want. So often the best things in life come in those surprising moments, in the things you never expected, or the things you thought you never wanted. I don't want to miss those things.
There are many lessons I am so glad my heart has learned, despite the inevitable damage those lessons have inflicted on my heart. I can never love the way that soft girlhood heart would have loved, because I am different now. I like to think I am better. I am thankful for the way I see Love now. I am thankful I can see it as something real and tangible, something to find with my feet on the ground, something that exists not in this lofty realm that is above us, but rather on the streets and sidewalks we use everyday. But I do think there is still a bit of room for the core of that little girl heart that is still inside of me. There is a space for its hope and wonder and boldness; for the open arms it welcomes life with.

So I will try to unfold my arms from across my chest and let a little bit of surprise in. I will let some real living into my life.

let me grow old.

This is one of the most beautiful videos I have ever watched.
"we don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing." -George Bernard Shaw.

This is what I want for my life. I want to never outgrow some shenanigans, and to always remember how much fun it is to hop in puddles, and to always have people living beside me who are willing to play.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

go forward.

When I began writing this post I was going to say something to the effect of, "Today I shall run right up to something most terrifying and I will look deep into its eyes and I will say, 'do your worst'. "

but then I realized that is not true.

what is true is that I am going to do something today that frightens me to my core and sends shivering nerves all up and down my spine and out through my fingertips. However I won't run up to that fear and challenge it with my feet firmly planted. The fact is that I will probably shuffle my feet and slink up to the base of that fear, instead of running towards it. and for a while I will try to avoid eye contact and pray that I make it through, rather than challenge it with an unwavering gaze. and maybe. hopefully. eventually I will be able to look right at it and say, "Do your worst."

But for today, it is ok to still hold onto a little bit of fear. because I am still facing it. I chose, of my own will, to look for something that scared me and do it. I can't do it with a brave face or with any bravado...but I am still willing to try. Perhaps that is the most we can ask of ourselves; the willingness to try.

home is where you keep your couch.

In 5 days it will be the 7 month anniversary of when I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. Two days ago we finally got a couch for our apartment. And it is comfy. And I am sitting on it right now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

someone once said...

oh, do you know what I love more than almost anything? a really great quote.

I mean it. I seek out quotes on an almost daily basis. I will choose a topic or a person I admire and then start searching for whatever someone else said that can shed some brilliance and change the way I am thinking about life. I am hungry for all the perspective, and wisdom, and experience I can find...for the thoughts of minds greater than my own.

I could fill pages and pages with beloved quotes. I have hundreds of them written down in journals or random word documents or letters or post it notes on my desk. But for now I will just post this one. This is my favorite quote; it has been since I was 14. Unless you are an unexpected stranger who is reading this blog (and if you are WELCOME! I hope you like it here) you have already heard me say this quote. You might recognize it as one of the ones I scrawled across my closet mirror in blue window crayon...but I don't think I can ever read it too many times. and it has been too long.

" It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 21, 2011

tunnel. trouble.

One might think that the Lincoln Tunnel would become easier to go through the more times one went through it.
One would be wrong.

I have found the opposite to be quite true. The more times I ride the bus through that tunnel, the more time I spend trapped in bus tunnel traffic (the very worst brand of traffic), the more difficult it becomes for me to look at the walls of that dubious cavern and not imagine the little tiles slowly popping off one by one and streams of water starting to break through the concrete.

One minute we have entered the tunnel. The next minute my mind has placed us in an end of the world action movie and I find myself looking around for Will Smith who will surely swoop in and save all of us buss passengers who will, without a doubt, be drowning in the very near future...

It is time for me to move away from new jersey.


I do believe there comes a point when the idea of never having your heart broken becomes far more terrifying than the idea of having it shattered into a million shimmering glass bits...

just a musing...

Friday, March 4, 2011

somebody tell those butterflies I am not twelve anymore.

Dear Current Celebrity of Choice,

I have such a silly crush on you....

and it is some of the most fun! Thank you ever so much.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Before I left I thought I knew what it meant to miss something.
I thought I knew what it meant to be homesick.
I thought I knew all sorts of things...

after I arrived I realized I didn't know anything.

And I learned so many knew things. I learned definitions of many words beyond the brief, removed dictionary. I learned in buses caught and missed. In conversations had and skipped. In teardrops shed in the shower. In time spent awake in very wee hours.

I learned new definitions. new words. the old words I thought I knew became obsolete.

and despite the inevitable harshness of the way life teaches lessons, I have found I am grateful.

Sometimes I think there is nothing more comforting than remembering I have so much left to feel. So much I haven't experienced. So many words I think I understand now that I will come to realize I have had all wrong.
There is so much left in life. so much life to be had.

and I want to feel it all.
I want to live the definitions. and perhaps make some of my own.
I will create new words.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I had nearly forgotten the sun.

Day after day of lacy snowflakes and murky ice puddles had nearly pushed the sun all the way out. The bitter wind had blown it about, round and round inside my head until the sun seemed like a dream from a child's fantasy.

but, that feeling of opening the front door and squinting through the bright light before you begin to feel a growing warmth slide across the surface of your skin like caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream. That feeling of pure delight and contentment. That feeling of boundless light going all the way through you to your bones until it is all you can do but close your eyes, spread your arms and smile up to the sky. That feeling of curling up in the sunny spot the window is creating on the floor, exactly like you have seen your cat do a million times. That feeling. The sun...I must have known it once, because I still have these suntan lines. I see them daily in the mirror as I undress and redress . I trace over them with my index finger. Around my shoulders and down my neck. I think about the time it took to acquire them and the countless hours pretending to be a mermaid in the swimming pool. The tan lines are fading, but they are still there; they are slow to fade. Upon further inspection I find more evidence the sun and I had been old friends once: permanent freckles and beauty marks on a complexion I was so certain I could protect. Those will never fade.

It has been months since I have seen the sun, but it is slow to fade with me. I remember it without even wanting to. Much the way I do with you. You are slow to fade with me. Have I loved you? Have you hurt me? Have you taught me something? have you loved me? have we laughed together? have we cried? have we mattered? I remember it all. It is there, written wordlessly onto my skin. Under my skin. I trace the suntan lines over and over in my mind noting the bits that are lighter than they were before and finding new ever fixed freckles I will never forget. I find I am glad for both the pieces that fade and the speckles to remember always.
I am thankful for the snow. I am grateful for slow fading.

and more than anything I am glad the sun found me today and reminded me there will be thousands more sunny days beyond the winter.

and new tan lines.

Monday, January 17, 2011


wording is important.

at least, I believe it to be. Anyone who has received an excessively long email from me can attest to that fact. I explain and explain and explain until the message is long enough that I am certain the mere sight of it is daunting to the reader. I do this because I want to be precise, and more importantly, because I want to be understood. I want to convey exactly my thoughts as closely as possible so that people can best understand my heart. what i believe, why i believe it, where i am coming from. what all my theories are based upon.

even simple phrases we use each day imply a certain philosophy or worldview. Recently I have been pondering this one, "fall in love/fall out of love." I am certain I have used this phrase. But i don't believe in it.
I don't believe in the idea behind the wording. to say "i fell in love" implies that it was something i did not intend to do. almost that it was something that just happened to me. as if one day i was walking along and i tripped over one of those breaks in the concrete and love is where i landed. Of course, that is not the case. First of all, I believe that in order to "fall in love", you have to be willing to "fall in love." though i suppose i should say "be in love" rather than fall. Loving someone is not a passive feeling, but rather an action. It is something that takes a great deal of our time and energy and thought and emotion. It is vulnerable and frightening. Before we can be in love, we must be willing to love. and that is not an accidental, serendipitous happening of fate; that is a decision.

i do fully admit that there are some bits about being in love that are beyond our control. Particularly, that bit about who it is we are in love with. We don't seem to have full control over who that is...this is a mystery i will just never understand.

Even more than i disagree with the notion of "falling" in love, it is the notion of "falling" out that i despise. as if love was a place, like a floating island in the clouds, and by taking a wrong step you may just slip off and land right back on earth. We don't fall out of love, we stop loving. And those are very different concepts.

in fact, let us, for just a moment, imagine love to be a floating island in the sky (because really, that is kind of fun). If one is truly in love (on the island) then that is a place they have decided to go, and they don't fall off, they leave. In this scenario to really be in love means that you don't go anywhere that even presents a danger of "falling off" the island. you don't go near the edge, you don't test the boundaries. you don't explore dangerous territory alone. you choose to stay right in the center of the island. even when you tire of the company and even when other places seem to have much greener grass.

We don't fall out of love because love isn't something that happens to us, it is something we do. or don't do.

Sadly, these phrases have become so commonplace. (We have all discussed falling in or out of love. Even as I was writing this it was hard for me to think of other descriptions.) And because These ideas are frequently used, our culture has embraced the implicit philosophy behind them. Particularly the falling out of love side...I have heard many people claim the reason for their separation from their boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife is that they just fell out of love. People are relying on the empty idea of live rather than the alive reality. And that is part of the reason people are so afraid of love. Isn't it terrifying to think that one day someone could wake up and say, "I don't love you anymore" or, for that matter, that you may wake up and look over to the person next to you and think, "I don't love him/her anymore."? of course it is. The idea that we have no control over when love comes or goes would leave anyone hesitant...but it isn't a reality. Even when we don't feel like loving, we can still love. and that is the idea we should be spreading about love.

that is why wording is important.

have you missed me?

oh has been so long since i have shared my thoughts with you. Have you missed me most terribly? i thought you might...

to make up for my absence, i will share with you a most peculiar and slightly embarrassing fact:

I am terrified of taking a shower in the dark.

i have no idea why.

just the idea of it makes me shudder....*shudder*....