Woohoo, it feels good to be back!! I really appreciate all the nice comments, thank you : ) In response to the comments, it caught my attention right away how well my siblings and I understand each other, no matter how far apart we are. My sister Sadie reflected on how she felt after spending weeks alone traveling abroad: “I had a great time being by myself and seeing so many sights but at points I got this strange disconnected feeling, like I was in freefall or could come unhinged or just strange.” I can’t explain it better. That is exactly how it feels, and I had those very words in my mind to write down, but to be honest I guess I couldn’t bring myself to write an emotion so private on a blog. But that’s how it all started to feel after a while — you start to feel like all those cobblestone streets could swallow you right up; you wonder if you even exist anymore. It is such an odd, unsettling feeling, and I think even more disconcerting is the fact that you don’t notice it start to sneak up on you.
The other comment that really got me was what my brother Gabe said about writing. (as well as getting chills coming back to this site – me too) I think writing can do all sorts of things, paint pictures, transport readers, provoke emotions. But what I love most about it and what’s driven me to keeping a journal since I was a kid is exactly what Gabe said – it gives you control and ownership over your thoughts and feelings. So many times the opposite happens – you can allow your ideas and emotions control you, they take hold of you and take away any peace of mind or clarity that you had before. Or,we feel ashamed or embarrassed about our feelings, and we try to ignore them, not wanting to ‘own’ them, unable to just embrace them. Honestly I don’t know how anyone goes without keeping a journal or writing once in a while – it is the best way to get your thoughts out, read them, re-read them, until you can accept them, let them go, and get on with your life. It’s good to suffer sometimes, to feel passionately, to really live your emotions deeply, yes, but at a certain point, with certain emotions, I also think it is good to see them from an objective viewpoint and detach yourself from them. And to me, writing has always been the best way to do that.
Actually when I think about it, I guess writing is a lot like running – you don’t always know where you’re going to end up when you start out, and you always end feeling better than when you started. Maybe that is why I like them both so much? : )
I really wanted to write about the craziness of this past weekend, but I didn’t count on writing so much about writing! Suffice to say that on Friday we went bouldering up in the mountains with some friends (my second time since attempting it with Gabe at Joshua Tree National Park during my run), later on, exhausted, we realized we should check for ticks before going to bed; Alex had two, I had one, and when Alex pulled it out, the head stuck in. And so we stayed up til 3 am picking apart my skin, trying to pull the head out. Saturday I had an amazing run up to these wheat fields on top of a mountain, looking down over all of Saalfeld(the fields truly make you feel like you are running in an ocean up in the sky) Saturday night I made my debut as an American bartender in Germany – worked a Beach Party at a local bar – what an experience! I had thought I would just be barbacking, but the party turned out to be so busy and crazy that I became the 3rd bartender at the Cocktail bar, where they don’t use a computer (and price drinks at $1.90 and $2.70 – no easy math there), and tip maybe ten cents a drink, which is just blasphemy to any American. If there are any fellow bartenders reading this, imagine being behind a totally new bar, working the busiest party of the year, not really knowing German, calculating in your head and translating the cost of 7 Mojitos priced at $4.70 each, and serving drinks until 7 am. And then coming away with a grand total of 25 Euro in tips. Whew! That gave me renewed appreciation for bartending in America! It was a good challenge though, and quite the mental and physical workout – so much so that Alex and I decided to be as lazy as possible on Sunday, sleeping until 3:30 in the afternoon and then stretching a lazy breakfast into the evening while we watched “Once Upon a Time in America”. A great weekend : )