Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Snow, Parades, and Some Thoughts for Your Wednesday

I haven't felt much like blogging recently.  I'll half-heartedly begin posts that pivot upon some semblance of a theme and then just as half-heartedly abandoned them, relegating them dusty annuals of drafts that will never be fanned out and curated for viewing.

January was a rough month.  I sort of knew it would be but somehow the knowing it would be didn't prepare me at all for the fact that it actually was.  I am often plagued with the pervasive fog that lingers in the wake of the holidays and this year--with everything that's happened--it was ten times worse.  I was moody and anxious and not myself and it was frustrating.  Especially because I didn't show myself the same compassion I so often do with others who are having difficult time.  Instead, I scolded and lectured myself daily, which, of course, only perpetuated the vicious cycle of moodiness and anxiety and not myself-ness.

But then January changed into February and almost as suddenly as it descended, the gloom seemed to dissipate.  Go figure.  Sure I still have my moments--grief arrives at random intervals, heaves its weight upon me, and then wanes--but in general, things are better and I feel a little bit less like straight-up clawing someone's eyes out on the T when I hear them complaining about their Poli Sci Professor.  Or maybe I still do, but my revenge fantasies are decidedly less gruesome.

So onto lighter, happier notes.

I don't seem to mind winter and all the snow we are getting as much as everyone else around here seems to.  Perhaps it's my seven year reprieve from winter, which causes me to find such thrill in a snow day (we've had five over the past three weeks! What I can only assume is an administrative nightmare!) or such charm in the frantic grocery store scurry for bread, milk, and water.  (Like, what is this the zombie apocalypse?  Throw some in ammo and a stained wife beater and it might as well be.)

Yeah, it's cold and I miss eating lunch outside and wearing moccasins to work year round and it's sometimes tricky to navigate the narrow labyrinth of snow undergirded by brick in the downtown streets of Boston, but I can still find the loveliness in a snowfall (even if it is 18 degrees outside) and I don't dread the infinity of winter because I know it always ends, making the return of spring that much more gratifying.

I am a huge believer in relativity in the sense that we can only truly appreciate happiness through the existence of sadness.  I know that's not quite relativity but whatever.   If it really bothers you, you can cry about it into your nerd pillow.  I have one too.  It's reserved primarily for the tears that accompany references to Emily Dickinson on shows like Gossip Girl.

Regardless, there is something so satisfying about the change in seasons, particularly the change from winter to spring.  It was a feeling of triumph totally absent from my days spent in sunny Southern California, with the exception of maybe a few notable warm winter mornings and a few equally notable breakfast burritos.

But fine. Go ahead and vote me off the island for being a winter sympathizer.  (This is 1999, right?)

All of my colleagues keep asking me if I miss California and I do but not for the obvious, more temperate reasons.  I miss the patchy, bald mountains of its circumference.  I miss the bike paths along the beach.  My heart swells (inexplicably) when I think of the intersection of the 405 entrance nearest our apartment and the Days Inn (with Technicolor Television, always a selling point)--the visual cue that we were almost home.  I miss the bright, edgy fashion, the art, the inability for most people to understand sarcasm, the art deco/strip mall hybrid architecture of the city.  I miss my friends and family and Mexican food.  Although, I think I've finally found the knack for buying avocados on the east coast.  Feel every single avocado in the store, pick the 1-2 that are just on the verge of softening, wait 2-4 days and enjoy.

All I'm saying is: check your avocado privilege LA.

Of course there is so much I love about Boston too: I love the brick and brownstones and history that seems like a barely perceptible hum to the city--you know it's there but it's soft and unobtrusive.  I love the bakery down the street from our apartment and the seasons and the Charles and being able to walk or take a train pretty much anywhere I want.  I love that my sisters are here.  I love my job and the possibilities life holds in this city.  And I love how blue collar it is.  Of course, I also love the glamor of LA, so I guess just call me Denise Richards because My Life: It's complicated.

I still don't get the sports culture of Boston...and frankly, I doubt I ever will.  It's nothing personal, it's just not for me.

But I do have to say that there was tangible sense of excitement in the city during the last 10 minutes of the Super Bowl--a sense of excitement that I personally had been fostering since the first glimpse of the lion puppet that Katy Perry rode into the half time show on.

And there was certainly something remarkable about watching the Patriots Parade pass by outside my office windows.

It was bizarre and sort of magical and it became difficult to resist the feeling of pride that swarmed my heart as I watched the players wave to their city and the confetti billow and collect in the nearby construction sight (where the workers had all paused to watch the parade).

And then I remembered that I was watching the parade because the team couldn't wait until the weekend to go on vacation.

But perhaps I too would be itching for a topical getaway at the end of my six months of work.  Good for the joints, you know.

So life carries on here and I carry along with it: steady and content with my eyes towards spring.