To the Future,

Please don’t disappoint me.

In many ways, my life has been more than adequate. Good school. Great family. Let’s just say… I am the epitome of female white privilege. Am I thankful for that? Sure I am. Not as thankful as I would be if I knew what it was like to live without it, though.

The problem is… I’m bored. I’m living with the knowledge that there’s so much more where that came from. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my existence. It’s that I feel unsatisfied.

I wrote this in my journal tonight:

“I feel connected to something I’ve never actually looked upon. So you search for it. You spend your whole life searching. Perhaps that’s what they call purpose. Or perhaps it’s what we call death.”

And by “death,” I mean this “search” is kind of ironic, isn’t it? We waste our whole life searching for an answer only to finally get it upon death. Maybe there’s an answer in NOT searching—and just living. Life is meant to be lived, right? Do we concern ourselves with questions about our existence? Or do we save that for later, after we’ve taken our last breath? Or maybe even right before?

I want my future to be happy. Satisfactory. I want to experience love. Passion. Adventure. Most importantly, I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to endure pain and grief and grow stronger with each tear that falls down my face—like a rebirth. As it’s said in Romans 6:4:

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Strictly speaking, I’m not really a Christian, but you don’t have to subscribe to an entire movement in order to recognize and appreciate the potential for truth—in order to humble yourself to the universal code behind understanding the relationship between the soul and the human body.

I’m getting carried away. Always at risk for losing my audience. Going off the deep end.

Ah, I got it. Okay, Future; here’s what I want you to do. Listen closely. I want you to surprise me.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

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To the Present Moment in Paradise,

Where to start? I realize coming back from vacation is always really difficult for me—as is going away for vacation, but this feels different. I didn’t really know what to expect walking into the grand lobby of your domain, greeted by smartly dressed men with glasses of bubbly champagne.

It was hot… that was my first impression. And the pool looked so inviting, as did the guacamole. Guacamole always comes first.

I’m not sure I really let myself sink into your ethereal reality until that second night. We were buzzed from the watered down cocktails, making conversations with strangers who would soon become friends—friends we knew we’d never seen again after only a few days. I guess it made me appreciate our time together.

Captivated by fire and dancing and a dizzy, clouded judgment, I went to bed looking forward to the possibilities of tomorrow. You didn’t disappoint.

Shots were passed around, in a pool full of people who’d forgotten where they’d come from. Wild arms and legs. Wide grins. Loud laughter, and the sun so sweet on my tender skin. No inhibitions. I think you knew exactly what I needed, and you gave it to me. On one condition—that I’d suffer from empty hands upon returning home.

My hips came loose Sunday night, encouraged by your spirit. I fell in love with the effect you had over me—so in tandem with my rhythm. I tucked myself inside you, relishing life the way it’s meant to be relished. I threw my head back and then forward, diving off the beach and into the moon’s reflection, washing myself clean of the past. Together, we floated on top of the current. Was it the water or my eager passion warming the spaces between us?

I remember stepping outside of you that night, dictating my memory, commanding it to piece every detail together perfectly so that, if I ever wanted to, I could go back. I would frame it, like a puzzle. I would hang it on my wall. I would close my eyes, take another dive, and overwhelm my senses.

Most mistake sensuality with what we see in movies. A man. A woman. Two women. Two men. Tangled together, spied upon by the most skilled voyeurs of our generation—everyone. No, sensuality lives within the connection between the heart, the soul, and the celestial. It is only because of this connection that we have the facilities to sensualize ourselves and each other. We do not create it; we exploit it. You are the only avenue by which we might discover it. No mortal body could match the weight of your dependable influence.

Thank you for granting me entrance. Until we meet again.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

P.S. This is not a metaphor, but a very literal ode to the present moment. No living, breathing person should take credit. You know who you are. 🙂

P.S.S. Okay, you can take a little credit.

 

 

Dear La La Land,

I’m inspired.

Reality is highly subjective, you know, to the point that one must wonder whether or not reality really exists at all. Perhaps there’s simply an infinite number of realities, and all of them fit together to make one. actual. reality. An infinite number of perspectives. Like a thousand-seat theatre. Each seat a perspective. Row D, Seat 3… perspective. Row FF, Seat 17… perspective. The stage illuminates actual reality… moving about the stage. Exiting off stage right. Stage left. What happens behind the scenes doesn’t matter, because no one can see what happens behind the scenes.

It’s a nice metaphor and all, but who’s manning the spotlights?

I’m a romantic…clearly. I often write words, sentences, and the like only to erase it all in half the time it took me to create. Pretentious, I’ll sigh to myself.

I live behind a veil, most likely in part to the anti-depressant I take every morning. But La La Land is there… I can see it when the child who plays in my brain peeks over the white picket fence. Big eyes. Blue. Blinking. Long, long eyelashes. She longs to go there. Occasionally, she does, but only one toe at a time and never all the way for fear of floating off.

Perhaps. What a pretentious word. Curious.

I write to you, La La Land, on behalf of the child who plays in my brain. Treat her well when she finally finds it in her to let go. See to it that she never looks back.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

 

Dear the Uber Driver Who Drove Me Through McDonald’s On the Way Home,

You were my age once. I’m sure you understand what it meant to me to have a large, hot, greasy fry in my stomach after a night of both good and irresponsiblity-inducing spirits, but we don’t need to talk about the latter.

The point is… you came in the night like a knight at the helm of a shiny, grey, armored land-boat… equipped with four doors and air conditioning. It was hot, was it not? My God… why did I even venture from my house? If I wanted to come home as wet (from sweat) as I did, I might as well have dived head first into the James River… that is, if the James River was a sweat river. A river of sweat.

But that’s beside the point.

What I’m trying to say is I was nervous about asking you if you’d mind going through the McDonalds drive-thru. It was 2 a.m. and you had a family to get back to. (Ugh, I hate ending sentences with “to.”) I knew that. My friend, Chris, knew that. And yet, the words came tumbling out of my mouth as if of their own volition. “Do you think we could go through McDonald’s?”

I prepared myself for a firm but respectful negative. But it never came. You were more than happy to find a McDonald’s! Oh, happy day! I’m not sure whether it was the elation or the alcohol, but I believe I offered—no, DEMANDED—to buy you a cup of coffee, as you were up late and clean out of caffeine. Plus, let’s be honest, the life of an Uber driver at 2 a.m. on Sunday mornings must really be something. You just never know what characters will pile into your car next. I’d love to read a book compiled of outrageous stories told by Uber drivers. New York Times’ Bestseller list, here it comes!

Anyway, you may not ever read this, but I wanted to thank you. I also wanted to apologize for forgetting your name. But, let’s be real, the minute I got home and inhaled my fries, I was out. But I thoroughly hope you enjoyed your coffee. It’s the least I could do for someone who managed to save me from a hangover the following morning.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

Dear Cedar Point,

You know how much I love you. I don’t even have to say it. But I want to thank you for having me last weekend… You were just what I needed–what I always need, let’s be real.

It had been six years since I walked your streets last. Six years since your lap bars kept me from falling 400 feet to my death. Six years since I questioned getting on Wicked Twister because the wind was making it wobble. Six years since my adrenalized screams added itself to your symphony of noise.

Look at that thing though…

You are my very favorite place on Earth, you know that? I could talk about you for hours with my friends, which I’ve done before. Because I love metaphors, you’re like a religion and I, your dutiful missionary. I want everyone to know of your Greatness. Okay, I’m done with that…

But seriously, you’re awesome.

Dat sun doe...
Dat sun doe…

18 rollercoasters? Is that how many you have? One that hits 120 mph in four seconds and reaches 410 (or is it 420) feet in the air?

Hell yes you do!
Hell yes you do!

Oh, and you sit on an island surrounded by Lake Erie? Casual.

Don’t worry; I will be back… many, many times. I hope to have my bachelorette party under your metaphorical roof. I hope to bid my single life goodbye whilst free-falling down Power Tower.

I REGRET NOTHING
I REGRET NOTHING

My favorite part about visiting you is how I feel when I’m breathing your salty, lake air. Happy. Content. Excited. Warm. Energized. I don’t know where this comes from, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that, when I finally work up the nerve to sell all my possessions and find a nice, soft place under one of your rollercoasters to live indefinitely, you won’t have your employees kick me out for trespassing.

This will be the view from my bedroom.
This will be the view from my bedroom.

I promise to look as un-homeless as possible.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

 

 

Lesson #19: Adventure.

I know, I know… it’s been forever since I blogged. Don’t worry; I’ve hired my own personal Holy Mother, like the one from Game of Thrones, to follow me around and chant “Shame” throughout the day.

shame
Whatta bitch.

Life, man. It’s gotten away with me. But I don’t want to regret not writing about it.

I’m moving this weekend–really only an hour away, but still. It’s a transition, and I don’t do well with those. I’m moving out of an apartment in a quaint town to live in a house with one of my good friends and her sister in a bustling, up and coming metropolian. I’m ready for my new adventure. A new pool of people. New experiences and opportunities.

I only hope I like it–mainly because I don’t feel like packing up my life twice in two months!

pivot

I’ll be commuting to work, so about an hour each way. Honestly, I don’t mind it. The car is one of the rare places where I have room to think. I come up with my best stuff on the road, with my hands on the wheel and soft, indie music permeating the cool air.

I’m looking forward to the change.

Someone asked me recently, “What do you want out of life?”

The very first thing that came to my mind and then out of my mouth was, “Adventure.”

I want my life to be own great adventure, whether I’m reading a book by a fireplace or hiking up hills and deserts on the West Coast. I want to be happy, and I want to live adventurously. I don’t have to skydive or climb Mt. Everest. I don’t need to scale the Empire State Building or come face to face with the most gigantic alligator the world has ever seen. I don’t need to swing on vines in the rainforests of Costa Rica or hitchhike in Amsterdam.

I simply want to say “yes” to adventure. To take chances and advantage of opportunities that fall into my lap. I want to feel content with a nap on a Sunday but invigorated by the call on Monday. I want spontaneity. And joy. And laughter. And love. I want adventure in its purest form. I don’t want to take adventures for the sake of taking adventures, but because I really want to.

I want “doing nothing” to mean I’m doing SOMETHING. I don’t want what society calls adventure, but what it feels like to me.

I guess I just want to live. Happy and free.

adventure.gif

 

Lesson #15: Jack Dawson IS the King of the World

Turns out, Jack Dawson IS the King of the World. He knows his shit.

kingoftheworld

He knew exactly what he was doing when he took Rose to the front of that boat. He was well aware of the fact that if you stand on the railings and stick your arms straight out to the side, whilst rubbing your tush against Leonardo DiCaprio’s crotch, ANY girl will think they’re flying.

Now, my boyfriend, Tim, is, unfortunately, NOT Leonardo DiCaprio, but I love him anyway. He makes me feel like I’m flying in his own way.

There’s something you should know about me. I LOVE the movie Titanic. I was going to say I’m obsessed with it, but I don’t know if I’d go that far. But I do LOVE it (all caps). So, naturally, when I boarded the Freedom of the Seas last week for a one-week cruise, I planned on duplicating every major scene from the movie. At night, when I went to bed in our small little cabin, I imagined a Model-T car to be sitting idly five decks below, just waiting to get steamy. When I went to dinner, I whispered to Tim that I wanted him to slip me a note that read, Make it count. Meet me at the clock. And then, I wanted to meet him at the clock, where he’d ask me, “So, you want to go to a real party?” And then I wanted the scenery around us to magically morph into a wild, Irish music, below-deck dance party where we’d dance all night and I’d drink beer in one gulp and stand on my tip toes and impress all the foreign men around me who assumed high-class girls can’t drink or stand on the tops of their toes.

Well, that didn’t end up happening. But we DID have access to the front of the boat… where this happened…

For the record, I hate fedoras.
For the record, I hate fedoras.

Some random guy took this shot. I think he may have a career in photography ahead of him. I mean, look at this picture. It’s incredible. Speaking of incredible, this experience, for me, was incredible. Not because I felt, for two seconds, like Hollywood’s power couple. But because I actually felt like I was flying! What did I tell you? Jack Dawson, I repeat, Jack Dawson is the King of the World. He’s done us all well.

I was a little embarrassed at first, being so cliche and all. “They WOULD reenact the famous scene from Titanic. Typical white people.” But surprisingly, we weren’t judged. In fact, the guy who took our picture told us his girlfriend just had him do the same thing. PHEW! I gave her a look that read, Jack Dawson, right? So hott. She returned the sentiment with a cocked eyebrow. Now that I think about it, she might have just been confused. But I digress.

not lame

I think Tim finds my love for Titanic cute, because he doesn’t criticize it too often. Conversely, I think it bothers him how frequently I accidentally call him “Jack” in bed. Well, Tim, it bothers me that you won’t call me “Rose” and paint me like one of your french girls! Take a damn art class, you uncultured sloth.

I’m not obsessed, I promise!

Ok, maybe a little...
Ok, maybe a little… Damn.

Tim, I love you. And you’re an amazing sport. Thank you for putting up with me… I couldn’t ask for a better adventure buddy. {End sap.}

Lesson learned? Jack Dawson IS the King of the World. He deserves some kind of award. 

Ooohh... awkward
Ooohh… awkward