Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming of Age

Friday night My Runner and I drove up to Merrymeeting Lake in NH to visit with Face, Cap'n Mop, Smarty Pants, and a host of others. We sat around the campfire chatting, eating, and taking in the beautiful views of the lake. Being with my love and friends I've known for decades, I was very content.

Some unspoken consensus had the group head for bed before 10pm that night- they had been staying at the lake house the whole week and were likely tired from meat and booze- and My Runner and I tented out on the lawn. We kept the gorgeous fire going until after 1am, despite having to rise at the crack of dawn to head to an appointment. Chatting, listening to the loons, staring at the lights on the beautiful and huge houses surrounding the shores, we thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing evening.

It started out in the background, but in a moment of silence, my inner-radio turned up the volume. I couldn't believe what song was playing in my head... "Coming of Age." This song has never been played on the radio, and hopefully never will be, but it's the title track the 7th grade musical in which Smarty and I performed. An intellectually complex and emotionally charged- no, it was stupid and obvious exploration of puberty. Which, when you're actually going THROUGH puberty is really, really embarrassing to sing about.

With joy, I realized Smarty was mere yards away (as opposed to being in Ohio, so YAY) so I ran into the house, found Smarty's room where she was still reading. Peeking in, she looked up from her book

Smarty: Yes?

Me: Coming... of AGE! Coming... of AGE! Feeling happyy..... Feeling RAAAAAGE!

Smarty: (head in hands) Oh no... why?.

Me:(evil cackle, runs away)

This silly moment replayed in my head a few times over the weekend. I realized that this was the VERY FIRST play I was ever in, and I almost wasn't even in it. I had auditioned for a speaking role, but my voice was not up to par with the other nasal-singing 13-year-olds in Jr. High. At first, I wasn't even on the cast list. In my typical 7th-grade attitude, I thought "Eff this! It's stupid anyways," and wrote drama club off for good. I'd concentrate on singing (bad idea) and not having food caught in my braces.

Smarty, after a few rehearsals, somehow convinced me that I should just be in the ensemble because it would be fun. I didn't really want to miss two days of Animaniacs a week, but Smarty's a convincing person. So I joined the ensemble as a part of the "In" crowd. In "Coming of Age," the cool kids moved as a singular group, mocking those that were different from them and secretly worried that at any moment they'll get kicked out of the clique- unless they're too unoriginal to think for themselves. We were probably the only "cool" kids that wore black jeans and button-down denim shirts as our "cool kid uniform."

I'm sure I was thoroughly unconvincing as a cool kid. Even with training I'm not sure I could play a cool kid today- not really in my repertoire. Still, it was funny to look back at my very first play (and briefly at my stint as a priest in the wacky Cinderella-esque musical in 8th grade- who ran that silly drama club?). And despite those lack-luster beginnings, I went on to make theatre my major, learning not only about acting and directing, but all aspects of production. I moved on to working as an Education Director at a local theatre, directing shows and teaching classes. I worked closely with a small but well-respected professional theatre company, also directing and acting as well as assisting behind the scenes. Essentially, I came of age.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to Basics

In an attempt to simplify life in several different ways, I'm working to get back to basics.

First, financially. I explored several different cuts in my spending, and the big ones included insurance (thanks My Runner for out of Littleton that saved me, seriously, $600/year on the SAME coverage), cable/internet (downgrading to the "economy" internet isn't a big deal when you computer could have a high school reunion coming up), and a change in my tax withholding (no way I owe $10K/year at this point). The long term plan of a combination of saving and paying off debt should be a little easier with some extra change every month.

Smarty is home from school for a few weeks, and there's pretty much nothing I would rather do than spend time with her. And it's highlighted how much I don't MAKE time to spend with people I love. That time is being made, with much delight. Including, but not limited to, a fantabulous girls night this Friday, a baby shower (which was NOT the worst, honestly) and a party hosted by My Runner in which my buddies came up and had a glorious time. Mop even melted a glass beer bottle in the fire pit. I think that experience made the whole night for him. :-)

I'm starting to mount things on the walls of my apartment. Yes, I moved in April... I know I'm decoration-tarded. It's a slow process, and I've already had to fill several holes I incorrectly drilled... but it make my place so much more HOME. I've been going through printed pictures from my "early years" (ie, before digital photography... yes, Virginia, printed photos do exist) and reminiscing. It's a tough choice, what to honor with a place on my wall. Once I get started I might not want to stop...

Face has been working a pretty-much opposite schedule from me, and that's made face-to-Face time difficult. We've got a girls night planned for Friday, and it's pretty much the highlight of my week. Schools coming back, so work has been a bear. I worked a 12-hour day (voluntarily) today, and more are on the horizon, so I'm very much looking forward to some super-friend time at the tail-end of the week.

Also going to a concert with the runner, and possibly with the Strongs, who just finished their Long Trail journey this past week. Great Big Sea is a band brought to my attention by My Runner that I instantly liked. Folky-Irish-y without being the cloying "Irish" band. Not quite "Shipping off to Boston" but not "we make sweaters and our town drunks are hilariously goofy." They're actually from Canada, so more like New England without the "southern" immigrants from NY, MA, and CT. ;-)

So, it's back to the basics of what I love about life: my people. And there's a lot of people to love. I'm so blessed.

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