getting out of a phase

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I sit in the car, no longer on the beach, escaping the rain. it's dark outside, and the lights of other cars are flashing through the window. this is how all good stories begin.

is being someone a phase? I think, and what comes out is,

am I really this way, or am I acting this way and taking on characteristics because I like you, and this is who you are and what you like? 

I remember in high school, feeling different around different people, changing my personality to fit whomever I was talking to.

if I liked someone's company, I did what I could to keep them close: make jokes they'll get, tell them things about you that are similar to them.

 talk about your life in relation to theirs. encapsulate who they are by what you share with them. 

and in that way, I felt like I wasn't sharing who I was.

and on that night, I felt like I was doing it again. something I hadn't done for a very long time, and so I asked again,

what if I only like these things because you like them, too? 

there was a long pause. another conversation in between. and finally

I think if someone brings something out in you that you like in yourself, there's nothing wrong with that. 


I had been blaming myself - olivia, you weren't compatible with these people because you faked who you were. you didn't like these things, even if you really did. stop liking them, start over new. and that was your downfall. you pretended to like things that you didn't like, be a person you weren't, and that was why you fell.

but that night, I didn't feel like I was falling. I lay there, getting it. understanding ten years of mistakes, of reading seventeen magazine for advice instead of watching the world.

there are some things about me that are good.

and when people around me bring those out, those are great things. I shouldn't feel wrong or guilty about liking those things, because they are deep inside of me, hoping that they'll have the opportunity to escape.

but there have been times when some people brought out things in me that weren't actually there - I fabricated them from the hopes in my heart. 

and so with that, I look back, and I admit, in an ambiguous train of words:
I like soccer, and I liked playing with you in the summer. But I liked listening to you play the drums a lot less than I led on. I liked being free, and that's why I didn't meet you outside the lockers that one time. I also sort of liked your best friend, so there's that. I liked that you let me apologize for everything, because that's who I am, but over time, I grew bitter. I like the city, but I love the countryside, too - and so I'm stuck in this place of where I want to be in five years and it's not fair to tell you otherwise. I like the forest and I like being barefoot and I like the grateful dead - but there are other things about me that I like, too. there are always more, always more things.

always more things, the honest things about myself, that I should share.

on being so busy

Thursday, May 22, 2014

it's been a while. it's been a while because I cannot remember a time in school when I have been this busy. senior year of high school, maybe? college has never felt this overwhelming. I've got a to-do list a mile long. I work fridays, saturdays, sundays, at a camp - all hours of the day. and I've never felt so stressed! 

and so when I stress, I need a break. 

I need to sit in silence for a little bit. this past weekend, I took a break in the camp garden, sitting on a log, sketching in my journal. I drew the trees, and the sun began to set, and I closed my eyes and took a breath. 

because at the end of every to do list, you should always add:


how I'm trying to eat more vegetables

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

when it gets warmer, I always want more cold food (especially ice cream). less tomato soup, less grilled cheese, more strawberries and watermelon and salad.

every morning I've been packing my lunch: a tupperware container of peas, strawberries, blueberries, cucumber slices, and a sandwich wrapped in a napkin (hand-sewn by mamá). so many vegetables! so many fruits!

for dinner I've been sautéing zucchini and kale and peas and broccoli with olive oil and lemon juice. and roasting tomatoes and putting them on toasted french bread. and that is so good. 

so I recommend the following:

1. go to the store and buy a baguette of french bread and a couple large tomatoes. 
2. go home and slice the baguette into thin slices (I'd say about 1/4-1/2 an inch). brush some olive oil on them and sprinkle on some rosemary or basil (or both!). put them on a cookie sheet.
3. then slice the tomatoes, pretty thin. 
4. heat up a pan on the burner, and throw on the tomatoes. sprinkle on some pepper. 
5. put your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and pop the bread in. this is to slowly warm/toast them. 
6. once you've fried your tomatoes a bit so that they've gotten darker and softer, throw them on the pan with the bread and bake them for about five-ten minutes. 
7. take them out and let them cool for a couple seconds. then eat them!

you see, I find that if you incorporate bread into vegetable meals, the meal is even more appealing. 

oh yes and always, have fun. 

mother's day 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I remember posting last mother's day, which is a scary thought to me, because - it's been at least a year since I've had this blog? and I'm still wearing my mother's clothes, in typical olivia fashion.

last year we spent time at the park, this year it was warm and beautiful enough to barbecue. fish and veggie fajitas with chocolate ice cream cones and strawberries for dessert. I love cooking at home.

this year, I made a scavenger hunt for mom, margaux and emme found her the comfiest pajamas, dad bought her a ukelele, and she cried, and it was the sweetest thing. when I was getting in the car with my sister, my mom gave me a hug and said, "I love him so much." she's such a loving mother, every day, and will do anything for anyone. I can't begin to explain the love she has for people.

and so, I love you mamá, every day. a happy mother's day to all mothers and their children!

wise words from my grandmother

Thursday, May 8, 2014

a few months ago, I was on the phone with my father. 

I called him in a moment of panic, in a "dad I am so sad and I don't know what to do, please help me" moment.

normally, I would approach him after dinner at the kitchen table, as he rereads the day-old newspaper and finishes our food so it doesn't go to waste. but this time he couldn't see my face, couldn't read my expression, or give me a hug. so words would have to do. 

"you're like me," he said, explaining to me his young adult years, "I always thought I was the one who was ready, and no one else was, then my mom said to me,

'the right person at the wrong time is the wrong person.'

and then I caught my breath in a large sob. and the crying began again, and I couldn't stop. I didn't want to admit that I had made a mistake, that I was so ready at the wrong time. 

I didn't want to be wrong. and I certainly didn't like that statement. because what if you meet that person again, and the time is right? does that make them the right person? 

but that was future thinking. and future-thinking is something I'm trying not to do. because when I future think, I hold expectations. 

I hold these expectations. when I meet someone, I almost instantly have expectations for what and who they will be in my life. what imprint they will make on me. and I expect that imprint to happen at a certain time, and when it doesn't happen at the right time - I get sad. 

last night, in the dimness of my star-lit room, I realized: 

"I was sad," I whispered. 

"you were sad?"

"sad because I always expect more, constantly. I always want more love. I want everyone to love me as much as I love them, at the exact same time."

"that doesn't seem fair, olivia."

no. it isn't fair. 

I let myself curl into a ball and lay there, thinking of how to defend myself, thinking of what I could do to be right in that moment. but in that moment, with the dim light, and the heat from the hot day still in the room, and my eyes falling shut as the clock stretched on, I couldn't defend it.

because my concept of time is unfair. my concept of the right and the wrong time. I want every moment to be the right time, the right time for everything to fall together and be perfect. I want every moment to be exactly what I have planned, exactly what I have expected. and when it's not, I fall. 

when my father said, "the right person at the wrong time is the wrong person," he was not trying to despair me. he was not trying to tell me to move on and grow up and find another path in life. he was telling me to let the time come. 

to let things happen without expectations.

the right person will be the right person because it is the right time, not because I expect and hope them to be the right person at the wrong time. 

"the right person at the wrong time is the wrong person … maybe," I whispered. 
and with the cool air tickling my skin as I lay backwards on my bed, I smiled a sad, but understanding, smile. 

the essentials: fresh garden peas

Monday, May 5, 2014

and strawberries are pretty good, too. my parents could never successfully grow more than two, though. 

am I suddenly writing a lot about food? recently, I've had so many desires to eat fresh foods. lots of vegetables and fruits. lots of lemonade, especially. it always gets that way when summer approaches, when it's warm enough to eat cold food and carry around iced tea.

and so with that, I've been eating so many snap peas. I've been carrying them around to volunteering and classes and just out on the street. they're crunchy and snappy - just like chips, except they're healthy and sweet.

and especially, they remind me of my parents' garden.

each year, when school came to an end, we would have endless pea plants growing up our fence. I would sit on the sidewalk, scribbling with chalk, and every once in a while, steal a pea from the plant as my mid-drawing snack. and when emme was old enough to eat solid foods, I picked her up and convinced her to try a pea from the garden. she would pound on the front, glass door, pointing outside and saying, "mmmm," wanting to run outside and pick peas from the garden.

and so these snap peas have followed me to seattle, and I've re-embraced them as the most perfect snack. if only I had a garden to grow them in, seeing as I go through my grocery-store supply way too quickly.

but there you have it: snap peas. they are essential.

and it's just a box of rain

Sunday, May 4, 2014

the sun passed us quickly. after a week of almost ninety degree weather, this weekend was rain, and that was okay.

(because let me just pause for a moment to explain to you how absolutely perfect my job is)
I work at an outdoor camp on weekends, and often it rains (it's the pacific northwest). but seeing a kid's face as they run to play ball in the mud or climb up ropes or even come into the arts&crafts garage to warm up and make a friendship bracelet - it's so sweet. it is sweet to see children and their parents playing together outside, exploring. even when it rains. 

so anyway, I'm setting the scene. I sit here with "american beauty" playing as my night's soundtrack, after having an exhausting weekend of painting faces and dancing in the rain and eating lots of junk food.

today, on the drive home from camp, I had one of those moments.

one of the moments where Sam tells Frodo that there's some light left in the sky, a little bit of blue in the otherwise dark sky, and maybe there's some light left in the shire, some shire sky.

these are my favorite skies. that speck of blue is always there.

and you don't really realize that unless you spend more time outside. inside, you're in this stationary position, maybe staring out the window, or glancing every once in a while. and you see the grey and don't want to go outside, or you see the sun and long to go outside.

but unless you're outside in the grey and the black and the rain and the hail, you won't see that tiny pocket of blue sky. or you won't appreciate it as much - knowing that you fought for that blue sky is a satisfying feeling.

no metaphors. no analogies.

just acknowledging that feeling.

this was may day

Thursday, May 1, 2014

we were supposed to go to a poetry reading, but no one read any poetry. 
so we ate chocolate chunk and salted caramel and peanut butter ice cream in waffle cones and listened to advice from a nice man dancing outside the ice cream shop's window. 

then the day eventually whirled down, and my skin stopped sticking together, and our sweat was cooled by the new air. and that feeling is something I always acknowledge. that feeling of the disappearing heat at the end of a long, sweltering day. seattle, you've been so sunny for us lately, and it's lovely. 

thank you for giving me that much needed feeling. 

may 2014

loose dresses and floppy hats and sandals - I want to soak up plenty of sun this year / red fences and gardens, I'd like to spend my time in gardens, among flowers / on that note, lilacs, always / "ask her what she craved, and she'd get a little frantic about things like books, the woods, and music. plants and the seasons." charles frazier, nightwoods.

I used to love celebrating may day with my mom. we would gather all the newly blossomed flowers in our garden and fasten them into bouquets. we'd place them on our neighbors' doors, so they'd have a happy spring surprise waiting for them when they arrived home from work. that's may, for me.

happy may, to you.