My first table read. For being happy to the point of tears.
Hearty laughs and fun at work with Marry, F*ck, Kill. Oscar Sunday. The beautiful 12+ year friendship I have with Kristen. (And the many years, experiences, and laughs to come!)
Surviving my first year of living in LA through all of the ups and downs. For strength when faced with adversity. The old songs that remind me of growing up. Lunch with old, familiar friends.
The cool Stone brewery tour in Escondido. Novel progression & light bulb idea moments. Peaceful beach walks.
A surprise Friday night off. Movie date with Tahmina to see the new Wes Anderson flick. My new phone and number. A fresh start.
Longer, sunshine filled days. Skype session with mom. Receiving her flight confirmation for a longer visit in May. My younger brother asking if he can visit when mom is here. (YES!!!)
Gorgeous, sunny days. Fun night out with classmates. Old school karaoke songs. Photo booth fun.
A free week pass for yoga. Yoga class with Tahmina. The humor in our side glances and smiles during some of the difficult poses in class. Surviving the advanced level class.
My great acting teachers. The exciting next step/new information of the Meisner technique. Being able to work with Mariah.
Inspiration. The short film coming together. Being involved in all aspects of the project.
For the earthquake…making me realize how much I’m not in control of.
The peaceful feeling that washed over me as I smelled some honeysuckle on a walk. Yummy tacos and margaritas. A night of dancing and celebrating St. Patty’s Day.
Lunch with Tahmina. Outdoor writing session at the lovely little Beverly Canon Garden. For putting the finishing touches on our short film script. To move into the next phase of the production.
Deciding on a title for the short film. Novel writing class and guidance. Weekly Nashville sessions.
Selfies from my mom. Productivity - days when I feel like I kicked ass. For Tahmina lending me a great play to read. Netflix DVD rentals. (Because lets face it… The movies available to stream aren’t always great.)
Passion projects. Trips to the library. Finding and checking out books I normally wouldn’t have. (Thank you, library card!) How a simple tense change creates a different voice.
A writing session that lasted until the wee morning hours. My sleep eye mask for allowing me to get a few hours past sunrise. “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Jimi Hendrix’s guitar playing - bringing out my inner rock goddess. ;)
FaceTime sessions with friends from home. The cute little boutique hotel in Soho. UPCOMING NYC TRIP!
Feeling glamorous, getting dressed up. Amazing dinner at Boa. The amazing view from Soho House. Not falling in my heels on the steep inclines after a couple of cocktails.
Punctuality. Having a chance to relax by a pool in Westwood between classes. Experimenting in classes.
For the 24 hour clinic nearby when I had an allergic reaction. For the steroid pills that made the swelling decrease. For the doctor and me being able to see the humor in my puffy lips - “So many people in LA would pay for this,” she said.
To be able to send flowers to a couple of friends for no reason. For having those special people in my life.
Receiving mail and packages. Random amazon orders - the bright t-shirt, “No one likes a shady beach.” :) ‘Saving the Cat’ screenwriting book. And Tom’s SLS-free toothpaste. Yep, love Amazon Prime.
A night of theatre. Surprise Book of Mormon tickets.
Grom gelato in Malibu. Lovely birthday dinner for Tahmina. Meeting new creative people.
I woke on my last full day in prison and stared at the cemented ceiling, the last day of my programmed routine. While heating water on the hot pot for my first cup of instant coffee for the day, I wasn’t sure how to take it all in. A moment I longed for the past six years was finally actualizing. The vision of me walking beyond the barbed wire was the only one that got me through the painful silence on so many of those lonely nights when I felt as if my life was passing me by. The lights clicked off at night, but my mind raced, daydreaming about the time when I would press the play button on my life again.
Choosing a Little Debbie package of donuts from my pile of commissary, I chuckled about how the six miniature donuts were so many things over the years. Chocolate birthday cake. Warm, fresh baked pie. Donuts from the little shop I used to visit as a kid. I sat on the lower bunk in my cell and flipped through a photo album. I smiled at the familiar faces in the pages I would soon see again. The memories of the real world came flooding in. I shook my head and told my cellie, “I never want to come back here, bro.”
“Do right then. That’s the only way,” he said, pausing between pushups.
I nodded and took off my white muscle shirt to rewet it in the sink. I wrung out the excess water and threw it back on. The coolness allowed for a brief relief from the heat on the scorching Texas day. No air conditioning on the unit, I sure wasn’t going to miss that.
After opening a worn paperback book to read, I stared at the same page for a few minutes, but quickly closed it because I couldn’t seem to concentrate on the words. The lines kept running together. My mind raced, forming my own stories- the stories I would actually be creating, experiencing, and living in once more. My thoughts overlapped with excitement as I hopped from opportunity to opportunity. I’d be able to dance, kiss, fuck. Fuck again. I jumped up and down in actual excitement. I stopped when I thought of how much time my cellie had left.
I opened the leather journal that served as my sole solace over the past six years and began to write.
“A year passed without acquiring any major disciplinary cases, and the Texas Parole Board finally granted my release. Having accumulated thirty-five cases during the first five years of my stretch influenced their perception and allowed them to deem the lack of violence a feat. I stood before a panel of members and demonstrated what they believed to be a changed man. Shit, I remember pleading with my mother, actually thinking she or a connection through my family could release me from this hell. I begged her to get me out of prison following a riot that erupted after only a month at the rockin’ French Robertson Unit. I held no gang affiliations, but I immediately recognized the alliance held within my own race. The adrenaline and fear broke that black man’s jaw. My feet may have pounded his head into the concrete, but I wasn’t only fighting him. I was fighting every man in the unit to prove myself. I converted the scared 19 year old boy to the warrior I deemed necessary for survival. It was as if my internal instincts of fight or flight kicked in, and the flight option was completely removed. The razor wire fences bordering the unit and tower guards with guns ensured that.
I wrote so hard in that letter home, cramping my hand as it bolded the ink with emphasis. I can still hear the sharpening of their shank in the segregation cell next to me, screaming death threats at me as the blade slid up and down the concrete wall, “White boy. We gon’ get you. Just wait.” I shivered as I imagined all they would do to me.
Save me, mama.
Medical prescribed Depakote after my mother insisted upon psychological testing. Life is an emotional roller coaster. I learned being bipolar was like taking the ride without a seat belt. I noticed an improvement in my moods after I quit tonguing the pills. The meds calmed the outbursts or at least muzzled the rage. With the desire to fight removed from the surface, I found I could monitor my reactions a little easier and bite my tongue despite being disrespected by the guards or other inmates. Drugs got me in, and drugs got me out.”
Frustrated, I scratched the pen on the notebook until the blue ink became a big blur on the white, lined page. Angry at myself for having put myself in the situation, I tried to remember that even though I couldn’t get back the years in prison, I could move forward.
“206 top, visit,” said a guard over the intercom system. I closed my journal and hopped down from the bunk. I sauntered through the unit to the visitation area after passing a kite for my cellie down the line. For the first time in six years, I had an energetic charge in my step like I was going somewhere. I didn’t recognize the feeling immediately, but I realized it was what it felt like to be a man instead of penned cattle. After I passed through the strip out, I checked in with Ms. Pike, the female guard at the visitation desk. She was the friendliest guard despite her tough appearance. She proudly wore a bald head after the year’s battle with breast cancer.
“How are the treatments, Ms. Pike?” I asked.
“I’m gonna make it, Summers. Until I don’t, which we all don’t. But, I’ll tell ya what, though. I sure am going to miss seeing you around this place. But don’t you dare think about coming back, you hear me?”
Her weathered face wrinkled up into a stern, grandmotherly look. I smiled as she pointed in the direction of my designated picnic table.
My mom stood as I reached the table.
“You little shit,” she said as she hugged my neck.
“Surprise,” I said with a big grin.
“I thought you weren’t eligible for contact visits, Jackson,” she continued, holding my hand as if it were the last time, “I thought I was seeing things when that lady wrote 2hrs, C on that little slip of paper. I think my hands even started to shake.”
“Let’s just say your baby boy has been on his best behavior. There’s something I want to tell you.” She leaned in closer, waiting for my answer with her green, hopeful eyes. They bulged a little as my tease built in the silence. “Well, I had my parole hearing last week and— .”
Before I answered her, I glanced around the room and nodded a hello to a buddy of mine whose son bounced on his lap. I sighed.
I interrupted her, “They decided that I can come home.”
“Now isn’t the time for humor, babe,” she said.
“Mom, I’m serious. I get to come home.”
The tears fell from our eyes as we shared the moment. I didn’t wipe mine away because I didn’t care who saw me being vulnerable anymore. I would break this damn wall I had built up over the years, brick by brick. It would tumble down. I was out of the hell hole and never going back.
At the dreadful five minute mark of our visit, we said our goodbyes and the pain of the separation began to set in. Not matter how good a visit was, the end always left a cold impression on the soul. I had to remind myself our next reunion would be on the outside and I wouldn’t be alone much longer. I looked to my friend when I heard the awful wailing. My friend’s toddler son cried as his mom carried him to the exit with his little arms stretched out for his father. It could be worse, I thought.
I drove along Highway 259, guided my car along the s-shaped curves of the road and tried to steer my thoughts in the right direction. The silence beneath the twinkling stars spoke to me, resonated with something deep in my core. The sky, like life on a good day, offered limitless possibilities. Looking up almost seemed to press pause as it brought my world back to balance when it felt off-kilter. My world seemed off-kilter at that moment. I was on the brink of change - college graduation. The idea of a monotonous nine to five bored me, but so did the thought of staying in Tyler, Texas. I wanted to burn rubber leaving the small East Texas town. I was ready for an adventure with the one person I could seem to understand in this world, myself. And hell, sometimes I wasn’t even that clear.
A dilapidated green sign read Broken Bow, Oklahoma, where I would camp for the night. I passed by the Indian casino with full intentions of real camping, with a tent and bug spray, the whole nine. I traced the winding familiar gravel road up the mountain to my family’s favorite campsite— the same spot where my mother and father honeymooned after their shotgun wedding, the same spot where I was no doubt conceived.
I parked between the trees where we would normally string line for the wet clothes to dry. I walked to the edge and while overlooking the water, I saw younger versions of my brother and I fishing.
“Will you bait it for me, daddy?” I asked.
CT chased me around with the worm container while I screamed. And while the cute and pesky raccoons found their way into the igloo cooler.
I laid a tarp across the ground and began placing stakes in the dirt, but quickly changed my mind after exhaling and seeing my breath take shape in the cold air. Nope, too cold. I decided the weather too unbearable. Instead of shivering myself to sleep, I rented a quaint little cabin—one with a fireplace. A perfect writer’s retreat. A perfect escape from Valentine’s Day, the holiday with a surplus of conversation hearts and chocolate bars to remind the single they were indeed, single.
Hopping in bed, I stretched across to claim every inch for myself. I woke up after a brief nap, still stretched out like a starfish, but with my love who never disappointed lying across my chest, a book. I opened the book, but paused when the liquor and laptop said hello from on top of the desk.
I always envisioned myself holed up in a cabin typing feverishly, drinking whiskey while a fire crackled. The fire and whiskey warmed me, but the whiskey failed to pull the words out of me. I moved to the wood grained bar and stared at the blinking cursor on my computer screen.
“Be quiet,” I said, “There’s no need to yell at me.”
I traced my finger along the indentations in the wood, circling the patterns over and over. I glanced through the guest registry and read their sentiments, “Thanks for a great stay!”
I stood to do a few jumping jacks before finally leaving the cursed cabin of creativity. Nothing like a good hike to clear my head. I walked along the trail between the pine trees with pepper spray as my best defense against any creature larger than the raccoons.
Afterwards, I grabbed a scarf and walked down to the sand bar swimming area at the lake, one of my favorite places in the world. Tossing my shoes to the side, I walked barefoot in the sand and felt the sand between my toes. I paused to embrace the falling sun and enjoy the bliss of the moment. The purples and oranges blended into the horizon. I smiled, remembering the day my father pulled me behind a ski boat. He pushed the throttle down to increase speed, I yelled, “Don’t sliiiiiiing shoooooooot meeeeeee,” while he flung me across the water and my bikini to my knees. I surfaced, blew the snot and water, smiled, and pulled the bottoms up. Ready to go again, I gave him a thumbs up sign.
After returning to the cabin, I cooked a healthy dinner to stimulate my words, get the brain juices flowing. The wine seduced me into yet another brief nap and after I woke up, I glanced at my phone and saw a missed call and voice mail from my dad.
The tone of his voice in his voice mail created anxiety. Nervous, I almost waited to call him the next morning. After a brief conversation about this year’s past super bowl, my dad said, “Well, I, uh, went to the doctor and they found a couple of, um, tumors in my liver.”
“What does that mean? Is it…Is it cancer?”
“Well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.”
Stunned, the rest of our conversation faded into muffled noise. I immediately wanted to go home to spend time with my dad. I didn’t have the nerve to ask him if the doctors had given him a time frame, but liver cancer didn’t sound good. That just seemed too delicate of a question to ask. I thought back to the previous Thanksgiving, and the dots began to connect. My dad, a typically reserved man, opened up with stories of his childhood and adventures. How long had he known about this?
The sunset painted the sky with radiant colors as the world kept moving, but I felt colorblind and stagnate.
Here’s February’s list of gratitude!
For the help with my resume. Yoga. Days with no allergies.
The charm of Manhattan Beach. Brunch with a beauty. Fresh squeezed orange juice. DELICIOUS food. Not feeling guilty about eating a little unhealthy. Finding a neat indie bookstore. The little gem, For The Sender, a book/cd combo I stumbled across.
Being asked to act in a sketch. For a classmate/scene partner who likes to rehearse and put in the necessary effort for class. An interview for a new cocktail waitress gig. Being offered the position. Opportunity to play a part in a web series/pilot.
The time to take a long, hot bath. A rainy day. Cuddling in a warm bed on a cold day.
Being able to attend the Bob Proctor Seminar. Feeling at ease. Being healthy. Feeling sore, like my body is toning up this very second.
Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. Bon Jovi 80s dance tunes. Friendly coworkers.
Sweaty, workout high fives. Making it through p90x Plyometrics. Finding the last humorous Valentine’s Day card in Target. A scrumptious steak Valentine’s Day meal.
For Andrew being able to break into my apartment through my 2nd floor window when I locked myself out. For being able to perform the cheerleader-esque moves to hoist him up there. The local dive bar (and celebratory burgers and beers) after our cheer stunt.
How Prince perks me up in the morning when coffee alone isn’t doing the trick. A balanced life. Open freeways in LA. Cheap parking.
The memory book my mom completed. The neat birthday idea for my younger brother. Amy Jo’s love, happiness, and recent engagement!
Adorable texts from my mom, “cruising on the highway and jamming to Adele.” New copy of Poets & Writers. That my mom was able to visit my younger brother in Albuquerque on his birthday. For having the little fart in my life these past 22 years.
Friendly cashier at the grocery store. My breakfast cooking skills. Rehearsal time with Andrew. A walk along the peaceful Venice canals. That Courtney is coming into town to visit!! That we had to hug twice when we first saw each other because once just wasn’t enough. And how we jumped up and down and around in excitement immediately after our hugs. Our slumber party and the girly, goofy conversations.
The tears of joy when I received the sides for my first bigger role in LA. That I receive my work schedule directly through an app. For being off next Sunday to watch the Oscars.
A good book that makes me laugh and cry. The rare times when I catch a sunrise. That I got a library card!
Lazy Sundays at the beach. Waking up with no alarm. Books that make me stay up all night and read.
The scenic hike to the Hollywood sign. The mexican dive with delicious $1 tacos and $2 beers. Another good writing day.
The rain. Smooth shifts at work. Money making shifts. My awesome coworkers.
As I lay hear in my cell, I stare at the cemented ceiling. I think of the noise, or rather, the quiet sound of air escaping her mouth.
I used to get so angry that she couldn’t make it through an entire movie without falling asleep. Now, it’s the thing I miss the most. Looking down at her blonde hair nestled in my shoulder. Her arm tossed across my chest. But more than anything, I miss the quiet sound of her breath as she slept.
What hurts is that she only has a single voice mail to hear the sound of his raspy voice, charred from so many years of Marlboro Red cigarettes. What hurts is how she fears she will never stop missing him. What hurts is that he’s just a memory now. Having never felt such deep, intense pain before, she holds the memory close to her heart for fear of him slipping away forever.
She feels guilty for all of the passport stamps she acquired in her short 25 years, knowing how his dimmed in comparison despite having lived almost 60. But she also knows how different they looked at things. He had a way of seeing the beauty in simplicity. And it was the simplicity that drove her out of the small town to the big, chaotic arms of the city. Isn’t it ironic how, now that she is amongst millions, that she feels her most lonely? Walking amongst so many, but none hear the pain of the heart break behind the beautiful girl’s lying smile.
The more I practice gratitude, the more I have to be grateful for.
A good sleep. Room service breakfast. On time flights. Smooth flights. My friend, Keary, who picked me up at LAX. That I took a chance and left my number for the cute waiter at dinner. A good movie and performances. That the cute waiter contacted me on the same night. That he called versus texted. The feeling of crawling into your bed after being gone for 10 days.
The beach bike ride date. That moment on a date when you want to kiss someone, feel it’s mutual, but don’t know who should make the first move.
Poetry. Having reached 100 posts on my blog. Growing persistence. Manis & pedis. That kissing burns calories too. That I “worked out.”
Creative collaboration. Getting pain out on the page. Healing.
Sunshine peeking through the blinds. Days beginning with meditation. For being able to truthfully say, “I’ve written every day this week.”
The Bluetooth speaker that turns my showers into dance sessions. Dinner & movie dates with friends. Being able to have fun when things don’t go as planned.
A good writing day. That feeling when you’re on a roll. The courage to “kill my darlings.”
The butterflies. Only watching ten minutes of a movie in between kisses. Feeling at ease around someone. Laughter. Comfortable silences.
My cute little neighborhood and it’s laid back vibe. That I live by the beach in California. The beauty of the ocean crashing into the rocks. That Matthew McConaughey won the Golden Globe. The sense of east TX pride I have for him winning & not caring how silly it sounds.
Inspiration and new ideas. Brain storming creative pow wow with Tahmina. Coordinating our schedules to make our ideas come to fruition.
For the discovery of how much easier it is to calm my mind with meditation AFTER exercise. Getting out of my mind slump. Gelato.
Hikes with scenic views. Outdoor workouts. Sweaty kisses. Chivalry.
The amazing dinner Nate prepared. The tasty Cabernet that complimented the meal perfectly. A ride to the airport early in the morning.
That I cleared out a storage unit in Texas. For the feeling from a chapter closed that needed closing. That the Southwest curbside check-in man didn’t weigh my checked bags. Uber.
Old photos. Photo induced memories. For feeling like I’ve met some of the best people in the world. Reading an old, inspiring letter from a close friend at the exact time I needed to read it.
E.E. Cummings. Kinder chocolate. Meditation & writing session with Tahmina.
For knocking “ride a motorcycle on PCH” off my bucket list. The smell of the salt air. Seafood by the shore. Surviving the ride with the crazy LA drivers.
EAGLES CONCERT. That Nate is just as goofy as me and belted/danced the tunes with me. Hearing some of my favorite songs performed live.
My new novel writing class. The amount of creativity in one room. Enthusiastic instructors. Guidance.
The much needed hairapy session. Feeling glamorous. For having someone who makes me smile when I think of them. Feeling happy.
Football throwing beach Sundays. Learning how to “properly” throw a football. Naps. Pulling up to a meter that has already been fed. Being able to navigate in LA without GPS.
A flight of beers to taste various ones. The sun kissing the ocean as he kissed me… Discovering “secrets.”
Pretty words and sentences. The excitement obtained from words and the creative process. Renewed enthusiasm on an old project.
The dream of my dad laughing uncontrollably. Coffee in bed. Sharing laughs over breakfast. Not feeling self-conscious.
Positive response to an audition. Finding the humor in being asked if I can thicken my accent for a role, especially after stressing over having the ability to turn it on and off.
— Jimmy Santiago Baca
A month ago, a fellow writer and former classmate inspired me to pay closer attention to the details of my life by taking note and being more grateful for the people, things, and experiences in it. (Check out Ruth’s blog - writingruth.com.)
Christmas music. Ugly sweater parties. Funny photos with my LA family.
That my upstairs neighbors don’t workout in their living room like I do. Finally using the writing prompt book I bought. Meeting the day’s writing goal. For being one day closer to a complete draft of my novel, but still being able to see the beauty of the in-between.
That I hammered through a writing goal with a migraine. Migraine medicine.
Beach jogs. A cool breeze on a sweaty run. Sunshine zapping the blues out of me. Ramen on a cold night. The delicious Sapporo to go with.
Rainy days. Getting to wear my rain boots in LA. Smell of books/bookstore. Cappuccinos & dark chocolate. Shoes that don’t make my feet feel numb.
Songs that induce memories. Those wonderful memories. Reliving them. The memories to come.
Lazy Sunday reading days. (Well, any reading day really.)
Free concerts. Small venues. Discovering a new artist. When an artist sounds better live than recorded. For the old man dancing more than the youthful people surrounding him.
Information being told in a new light. When something clicks. Learning.
An amazing friend in town visiting. Catching the sunset together. Dinner by the beach. Allowing myself to get lost in the sound of waves.
Good mornings from strangers. 77 degree December weather. Chocolate chip pancakes. Cappuccinos. Foam mustaches.
Walks without phones. The serenity felt with a beach walk.
A big bathtub. Hotel bath robes. Jumping on the bed with Courtney singing Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. Killer new shoes.
For when the weather matches my mood. Rainy days. Warm soup for my soul.
Curiosity. Being able to spin a negative into good. I’m thankful for the lady responsible for rekindling my fire.
That 2006 Barbaresco. Great Italian food. The truffle and honey sauce that is already calling my name back to the restaurant. Running down the alley after dinner & laughing like a hyena. Not being accosted by any scary people in the dark alley. The “just in case” mace my dad gave me before I moved to Cali.
A genuine compliment that made my day. Funny friends. A break from class.
TRAVEL. Adventure. For feeling brave. Inspiration. People watching in a new venue. The time to make stories for strangers. Imagining what the stranger’s story is for me.
Winning on a slot machine. A friend meeting me in Vegas on a whim. Carefree dancing with one another in the hotel lobby.
Smooth flights. The warm embrace from my mom who waited on me to arrive home. Seeing both grandmas on Christmas Eve. That my little brother was able to come home for Christmas. Peanut butter, chocolate no bake cookies.
My new boots & books for Christmas. Random road trips to a place I’ve never been to. Not over thinking and living in the moment. The bright stars DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS. Getting lost in the stars.
The bitter part of losing my dad becoming more sweet by my increasing ability to focus on all of our good memories. Losing the anger I felt for him leaving so soon. That my dad is no longer in pain.
Small towns. Big cities. Simplicity. Extravagance. Road trips. The beauty of the in between. The historically beautiful New Orleans. The curiosity and indulgence surrounding the city.
Live music. For stumbling into a bathroom stall that actually had toilet paper. Blues music that touches my soul. The sexy sound of a saxophone. The giddy feeling after making eyes with the drummer. Communicating to others with just a look.
Blues music following me everywhere I go. Page turning books. Writing advice. Learning from people, life, & experience.
Determining the changes needed and steps to take in my life. Accepting the fact that action is required. Opting out of feeling complacent and venturing into the unknown. The courage to let go. What is to come in the future.
She tilted her head to the side as she studied her face in the mirror. She ran two fingers along her defined cheekbone. “Are you as great as I imagine you can be?” she asked her reflection.
She looked into the brown eyes she wished were blue. Or green. Or any other color besides dirty brown. Maybe just an eye color with a little life to it. She tapped her index finger on her bottom lip. She then bit it until a tiny speckle of blood appeared. She just wanted to feel something.
Inspired by a fellow writer and former classmate, I decided to pay closer attention to the details of my life by taking note and being more grateful for the people, things, and experiences in it. (And how appropriate since this monthly list begins in the month with an entire holiday dedicated to thanks.) Check out Ruth’s blog - writingruth.com.
Homemade guacamole. The ability to submit for auditions online. Time to meditate. Funny snapchats with friends. Having people in LA I can call friends. Ruth for inspiring this list.
My comfy bed. Yummy peanut butter/dark chocolate/banana sandwiches for breakfast. Living room workouts. The beach. Sunsets. Books in bed.
Coffee. Auditions. A car that’s paid off to drive to these auditions—with coffee. The opportunity to pursue all of my creative dreams. Bowling with friends.
My now hairless upper lip. A waxing place within walking distance. Hikes. Post hike Arnold Palmers. The people I eavesdrop on. Quiet Friday nights.
Acting class. Finding another writer in the class. Cooking (mis)adventures. Being able to find the humor in mishaps. This veggie chili without chili powder.
The invite to a neat Hollywood Hills mixer. The dress that made me feel “Paris chic.” The confidence to mingle. Reflection time over city lights. Reminders of home.
Amazon prime. Blossoming friendships. Those moments when you click with someone. Discovering a new bookstore in my neighborhood.
Drives along PCH. The pesto pasta kitchen success that motivates me to continue cooking. Art & performances that make people feel. Leaving a theatre talking excitedly about a movie just seen.
Goodwill discoveries. Playing pretend. Expanding boundaries. Becoming less self consciousness in class/life. Feeling alive.
Skype sessions with old friends. Tender Greens. When a night exceeds expectations. Late nights that turn into early mornings.
How chicken & waffles cure a hangover. Flea market finds. MY NEW TYPEWRITER. Being able to find my way home without a GPS.
Good parking spots. Friendly customer service. Whole Foods. 99 cent store. Finding irony/humor that those two are next to one another.
The man who bought my dinner at my favorite restaurant last night to “welcome me to the neighborhood.” A roof over my head. Red wine. The sound of rain.
Dinner dates with good friends. Good conversations. Comfortable silences.
Seeing love gestures. Dinners without cell phones. Heated seats. My warm, hippy poncho.
Morning beach walks. Smiles from strangers. Friendliness. My siblings. Funny talks with my “little” brother. When I spot traits of my dad shining through my brother.
New Thanksgiving traditions. The 24 years I had with my dad. A good meal on Thanksgiving. The people working on the holiday to provide such a meal.
Nature. Mountain exploration. Sound of snow crunching under my shoes. Rosy cheeks. Snow ball fights. When I can end a day with hot chocolate and a book.
When I catch a sunrise. Prime Southwest seating. Leg room. Sitting next to someone as a stranger, but leaving with a greater understanding of the person and their story. Inspirational stories.
Grocery delivery. My health. A steady stream of keyboard clicks.