On Self Control

Boy do I love old things. I love old things so much that I have had to have a serious talk with myself about the very finite amount of space in our apartment and how accumulating old cool objects at my current rate will end with me becoming the star of a Hoarders episode. My new rule for myself is that any object purchased must be functional in some way. No more dustables.

But.....there's always a but.

We went to a brocante this weekend with my family and I fell hard for this vintage Swiss army lantern (and a whole bunch of other army things...between the five of us we left that tent outfitted for all manner of apocalyptic adventures) and really felt that I could not continue to live life without it. From my limited understanding of the vendor, I need to find a somewhat medium sized, square-ish battery type thing and then fill the rest of the space with cotton and it will work. So it's not functional...yet. But it will be! I can also clip it to my belt for maximum fashion points.

The same cannot be said for the nineteenth century blank ledger book that I also ended up buying...but really, there was no other way around it. I also amended The Rule to read as follows: no restraint need be exercised when confronted with awesome old ledger books. Or old photos. Or vintage medic armbands...

Aaaannnddd we're back!

A particularly lovely sunset from my bedroom window.

It's been a whirlwind the past two weeks as we left for Chicago on the 29th to get our visas. All we knew about the process was that it involved loads of paperwork, cash money, some poor quality Walgreen's headshots and could take anywhere from three days to a week. So, we packed our bags, bid our little apartment adieu (French!) and headed back to our former stomping grounds.

It was pretty strange being back in Chicago after a very definitive parting of the ways in December. In the span of six weeks, it seemed like everything had changed and yet our old haunts were comfortably unchanged. As we went to grab a bite to eat at a favorite restaurant it would hit me - I thought we already said goodbye to this place and yet...here we are. Then I came to my senses and decided to stop philosophizing about the delicious pizza that was awaiting my consumption. At times like this, it is helpful to have such an insistent stomach as it helps a girl keep her priorities in order.

It was all in all a busy but emotionally fulfilling ten days. Between work, I got to see these guys and watch a rehearsal for this as well as get a surprise visit from my family. I stored up a lot of good conversations and time well spent with all the people I love that will hopefully last until I see them next.

As our last day in Chicago drew to a close and we still had heard nothing regarding our visas, we began to get anxious about our chances of making our flight back that very night. At the last minute, they came through, we raced to the embassy and jumped on a plane.

Now we're back

(and legal)

. Let the adventures begin!


It's been rather quiet this past week on the blog as the living of life has taken precedent over the documentation of it. In the span of nine months, both members of the celebratory couple in the photo above have moved on from this world.

'Lost one's battle with cancer' implies a number of things that were not in Jean Dwaileebe's character, chief among them admitting defeat. I am not sure that stubbornness is technically on the list of cancer treatments, but I can't help but think that it might be now and should probably be studied for its surprising effectiveness. 

Stubbornness, a penchant for mischief and the ability to always appreciate a good joke are the characteristics that she had in spades. On my best days I like to think that I embody two of these traits. On the rest, the other one. We are, all of us, a mixed bag of personality from the various members of our family trees. I feel lucky that I was able to get to know and love the source of many of mine.

There's a change in the weather, a change in the sea...

Back in August I posted this, knowing on the periphery of my mind that 27 had the possibility to be a year of intense change. Nothing was concrete yet, but the inklings of a major shift in the status quo had begun to pass through my day-to-day life. 

Three months later and everything has been aligned, cemented and now November (what's left of it) and December will be filled with preparations for a rather monumental journey.

On December 31, A and I will be moving to Lausanne Switzerland for work, return date unknown. Even as I am typing this, the words are not yet registering in my brain as being true. These kinds of adventures happen to other people, far more interesting and adventurous people than a homebody and bookworm such as myself. But even as I fail to comprehend the realness of it, there is the piece of paper on my desk defying my incredulous reaction to the situation. Girl, you are going. Better start packing those bags.

This process has been long and fraught with anxiety, disappointment and (ultimately)  exhilaration. Even when the conversations began in earnest back in August, it was hard to accept the situation with any sort of finite possibility. I have always been a worst case scenario person, a closet optimist who spends a significant amount of time grappling with the very real possibility of defeat, while a tiny, hope-filled balloon tries to stay afloat in the face of my overbearing pessimism. With the signing of the papers, the tether of worry binding that balloon to the earth was cut free and has started tentatively floating upward, gathering speed and volume and beginning to grasp the infinite possibilities of the future.

A future filled with excitement. Exploration. The most tantalizing unknown experiences.

December 16th is the date I drive out of this beautiful city that I have called home for almost four years. Chicago, we have had such a relationship. I have grown up here and started the foundation of a life that I am so excited to call my own. There are so many nooks and crannies of this city that I will miss dearly. And please let's not talk about the people. Not just yet. The thought of leaving the wonderful people I have had the sheer joy to meet and laugh and play and cry and work with here is too much to handle right now.

Oh, the goodbyes will come. They have to. But not yet.

I can't believe this is happening.