[there’s something about wandering alone in foreign cities and eating outside by myself that makes me feel the most like me]
I studied abroad in Cambridge the summer before my senior year and fell seriously in love with London. Later, when MGH moved there for grad school, I fled real life to go live with him. It was a magical couple of months and to this day I’ve never been as tan as I was on my way home from Heathrow—sunkissed on our slow walks to go window shopping and people watching. It only felt right to take my 5 week, twice busted, still swollen like a m’ther fucker, foot for a walk for the first time in Leicester Square, in center London, the city that’s always felt like second home. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to make one line change and a travel a total of 6 tube stops (handicap people of Europe I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT, but I will say the kindness of British men who offer to carry you or at least to find a ‘lift’ must help A LOT), and when I made it out of the underground I was standing in the exact spot I took a photo of an old friend, 10 years earlier. I celebrated with rib eye steak frites and giant glass of white wine (a la Copenhagen) when I finally arrived. ;)
ps. I’m a thousand percent certain my “finally on the mend” foot became THRICE broken from my little London excursion. Wanderlust is unbreakable but apparently my new bones are not.
After talking about how jarring a feeling it was having not having June jet-setted like I usually do, it turns out I will be taking a VERY quick, completely unexpected trip over the pond anyway. I blame finding the personalized British adventure book Michael made me while I was home packing and discovering I could do this without dying. ;)
me: i don’t know if i want eggs or wine and popcorn for breakfast …
dad: there’s no reason you can’t have both
To my Dad, who didn’t skip a beat when FOUR was my answer to “one or two eggs?” and is currently helping me trouble shoot a broken toilet in the apartment I’m house-sitting because that’s just what we do. ;)
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DAD.
It will be hard to say final goodbyes when closing day comes, but if I’ve learned anything in my many moves over the last decade it’s this: Home isn’t an address. It’s not the phone number you’ve known since you were 8 years old. It’s the people. It’s the memories made. And for me—it’s my parents. Who rearranged dinner plans (and kind of the entire day) so I could do a photo shoot for a friend, with the square shaped hamburgers from my Mom’s family farm. It’s my Dad making a special trip to the farmer’s market for the fattest tomatoes and my Mom going back to the grocery store upon discovering only strawberries were in local, peak season. It’s her retrieving the super-summery, red-speckled dishes from the top shelf I still can’t reach without standing on a chair and him saying, “Do you want pickles for your picture?” And it’s eating together when it’s all over. :)
I am so tempted to finally set up the pancake/bacon station on the mini fridge next to my bed but am less excited about being medivac-ed from my apartment when I weight 3000 pounds only to DIE ALONE.
This is why we have day jobs. To keep us from the emotional turmoil that is deciding between daily breakfast in bed and self respect.
I took this photo on Monday morning from workout wife’s home office. It was sunny and breezy out on the patio (hello WASHED and windblown hair!) and I’d eaten a REAL MEAL to top it off. I was optimistic and fairly positive I would hear good news from my doctor, confirming that while falling on your broken foot is HIGHLY DISCOURAGED, I hadn’t done any major damage. As it turns out: I WAS WRONG. So while this week should have marked the start of walking *without* crutches, it ended up being the beginning of another two weeks instead. :/
I sent gun emojis to everyone I know and proceeded to ride the most pathetic float in the self-pity parade for the next 48 hours.
This afternoon after work I’m hauling my broke ass up to Connecticut to clean out the rest of my bedroom since my parents did the damn thing and will be closing on our home mid next month. Assuming I don’t accidentally tumble into the Union Station train tracks, I’m looking forward to a few days of family and central AC from the comfort of the couch. Meanwhile, I’ve been playing a little game of alternate universe and in the world where I didn’t break my foot in THREE PLACES WHILE WALKING (in sandals NO LESS), I am headed to NICE on Saturday night to relax in a FREE AIRBNB for the following week. Where instead of packing up 14 days of dirty laundry; I will be tossing all worries to the French Riviera wind. :)
ps. In alternate universe I am currently bolting to Banana Republic to pick up this totally apropos TOMBOY clutch.
intern: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FOOT
intern: ARE YOU OKAY
DO YOU NEED CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
(can you even eat chicken noodle soup? #gf)
[still not sure who dropped these off for me at work but sure glad they did]
Crutches were hard this week, in more ways than mere mobility. I fell TWICE on my broken foot and likely busted it up for a second time, just as I was supposed to be getting ready to walk. It was my fault. I took my crutches onto WET TILE to take a photo for work. And even before then I’d been politely ignoring my (*multiple*) doctors’ advice to stay off my feet all together for two to three days. When you live a very active life and your main source of mental stability is staying busy and workout out, it’s no small nightmare to suddenly be stationary. I went in for more x-rays today and am waiting to hear back about the damage. To try and make myself feel better the tech and I looked at the scans together, which is about as helpful as typing anything into webmd.com, having ZERO MEDICAL EXPERIENCE BETWEEN THE TWO OF US. The only thing we could say for certain was that shit is DEFINITELY still broken. :/
This week sort of whooped my ass on the emotional front too. A lot of those Big Changes became reality and even with significant foresight I still felt a little blindsided. But as I recently told JVA, the best part about having the equivalent of a marriage followed by the most amicable break up of all time is that you learn. You REALLY learn. You move forward knowing what is worth fighting for and what is always going to be the way it was. And you do it without an iota of bitterness.
I keep coming back to this quote by Princess Diana: “When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal.” Because despite 6 days I would rather not relive and missing out daily on so many experiences I’ve had my little summer heart set on; What a blessing to be EXCITED to get back to them.
ps. I’ve always had a funny soft spot for Joe Biden’s inability to filter, but his remarks at Yale really won me over. After nearly 3 years of abandoning full time academia, I still can’t get enough of a well executed commencement address.
In the most ironic comedy of errors; the one person I can sucker into helping out at work, around the city and in/out of the shower is ex-boy roommate, who just happens to have broken his left hand exactly one week earlier and is in a cast up to his elbow. It’s the same fracture as I have in my foot and after sassing him HARD about being more careful, I’m even more grateful for his literally helping HAND. Tuesday morning he stopped at Starbucks before picking me up for work and accidentally spilled an EXTRA LARGE ICED COFFEE waiting for me to get ready. So out of the apartment we went with one tiny iced coffee for me and a 10×10 rolled up area rug COVERED IN WHOLE MILK for him. In the 5 minutes we weren’t making new messes, I managed to drop my cell phone hoisting ass-end into his car and didn’t notice until I arrived at work. Luckily, a stranger answered and he went back to grab it. I slumped down at work with my big ol’ boot, coffee in one hand, phone back in the other to find it wasn’t even 7 am … ;)
Asking for help has always been hard for me. It’s not that I don’t want or don’t need it (in many cases I desperately do) but rather that I often think I don’t entirely *deserve* it. As my Uber driver so sincerely said to me after watching me take a digger down some concrete stairs in my crutches, “You have college degree! You live in America! ALL IS GOOD!” And he’s totally right, you know? I DO have a college degree! In fact, I HAVE TWO! But some days that Master’s Degree just isn’t enough and I’ve seen what happens when I don’t know how to ask for the help that is.
Thankfully, I have best friends of over a decade like MGH who know me well enough to disregard my “I can get new ice packs!” every 2 hours with doses of Advil every 4. Who hoisted me up and carried me down to the lobby in his apartment building even after I insisted I could hop the whole way. And my parents who sent a care package with pizza money and PAPER PLATES (because after accidentally falling into the fridge yesterday I really don’t want to reenact that one with the dishwasher). I also have new friends. One who brought me to the ER at 1:30 am, left because he knew it would “freak me out” if he stayed and came back at 4 in the morning to drive me home. Who made it so much easier by saying, “Ask me to pick you up, I want to.” Another took me grocery shopping on a day I didn’t really need new food as much as I just needed a friendly face and fresh air and is currently putting together a one-less-leg friendly workout plan so I don’t go nuts sitting still. The boys at the gym keep an eye out on me, kid sister style. There’s one in particular who texts periodically to ask if I’m “elevating,” and will give me free leg rubs when we’re at work. He came by bearing now DC legal drugs yesterday after wiping out TWICE on my crutches in under an hour. ;)
Everything on me hurts this morning, but my heart feels full.
From the boy who sat with me on memorial day and re-wrote my entire resume to silverline a crummy situation:
MGH: hows the foot? can we get rainbow tape for your crutches for ptown?
MGH: omg you can put drinks in the basket http://www.amazon.com/Steerable-Scooter-Turning-Crutches-Alternative/dp/B006G0M77C/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8 and drugs
Breaking my foot on Sunday night and being house bound Monday on a gorgeous (and breezy!) NYC summer day during a 24 hour trip would have been a waking (and walking!) nightmare, but thanks to the incredible people in my life I will always remember getting to spend an afternoon splayed out on the back patio with MGH, going on a dinner date at sunset and learning to use crutches for the first time in Union Square before heading back home. Surround yourself with people who lift you up (aka carry you to and from the car) has a WHOLE new meaning. ;)
All those one-legged bikram yoga poses were practiced for the exact moment this morning when I dropped my doctor’s business card outside the hospital in 95 degree heat.
When I first met ex-boy roommate, I told him about the weird coincidences in my life. I recounted instances of irrefutable fate, the proverbial crossing of paths, serendipity, and the uncanny alignment of stars. He said coincidences didn’t exist; I was exaggerating, and couldn’t convince him otherwise.
After a year of living together he said my life had absolutely made him believe otherwise. So when I told a friend last week that I felt the snowball effect starting and Saturday night mentioned how JVA and I were always bewildered by the number of girls in walking boots around here it’s no wonder I broke my foot almost EXACTLY 24 hours later. He says, “thinnest silver lining at least we know someone in a walking boot now.” ;)
Somewhere along the way, summer became SUMMER!; This tour de force of sweating, park picnicking, mediocre (but FREE!) outdoor film festivals, new friends, artisanal ice cream and unpredictable adventures. I never know what to expect until it’s actually happening (last minute tickets to Amsterdam, etc.) and can’t even begin to comprehend how it all comes together until we’re far off into autumn. If “every summer has a story (and I do believe it does),” I’m reading one page at a time right up until the very end. This SUMMER! already feels different though, even as we’re just getting underway this weekend. Like instead of discovering my story, I’ll be writing it instead. :)
Both the May travel bug and from living in a city that was just ranked the 3rd worst in the country for mosquitos this summer.