Saturday, December 14, 2013

This semester has been about pushing through. I threw in the towel on 2013 not being a giant heartbreak months ago. The small moments are what have kept me breathing.

Well, the small moments and these people...

My 826LA kids: Every Thursday, these kids fix whatever went wrong in my week. I've got about 9 kids I always work with. When they are waiting at the door to line up and come inside, they see me in my chair at the back and they start jumping and waving. They charge in and fight over seats at my table. I get attack hugs, they play with my hair and hang off my shoulders while we do reading and writing and multiplication. One of them, Lourdes, doesn't like that I'm a teacher because she thinks it means I have other students who might be my favorite, meaning she wouldn't be my favorite. When she goes through my phone and sees photos of other 826 kids, she always gets this look on her face and says, "who is that?! tell me now!" I've volunteered at a lot of different places, but I've never been somewhere long enough to feel like I can truly connect to the people I'm working with. But by the time I graduate, I'll have been in LA for 5 years, which means I'll have been with these kids for 5 years. D, my best girl, who was 9 when I met her, will be in high school by the time I leave. There are times when I have to remind myself why I chose this life over having a family right now, but getting to be with these kids makes that decision infinitely easier, both because it reminds me how not ready for that life I am and because it gives me just enough time with them that I feel like I get the best of both worlds.
Can you even imagine a cuter cuddle puddle?
Lourdes is the most adorable human in existence.
This poem from the new chapbook the kids made these past few weeks reminds
me of my favorite ZSchomburg poem. 

My retired couple from airplane: The other day, I was with Roberta and she was telling me about this garden at Pepperdine. I told her I'd never been and so we got in the car and she drove me up there. It was the perfect time of day. I swear, every time I'm with her and we do something outside, the weather's always perfect. On the walk back to the car, I told her it's officially been over a year since we met and she said, "it feels like we've known each other forever." And it's true. I know the drive to her and Ben's house by heart. When I get there, we usually stand outside or next to the window for the first 10 minutes just watching the hundreds of hummingbirds that dart around their backyard. She cooks me dinner and teaches me how to make meals for myself. This time, we ate turkey pot pie, then watched Educating Rita. Ever since I went over there the day after I had my heart broken, some line was crossed and UB and Robo became my family. I love everything about them. I love that they adopted me without a second thought. I love that we cook dinner together and eat and sit cuddled up in blankets in front of the fire to watch movies. Last week when I was sitting in the comfy recliner, feet next to the fire, covered in a fuzzy blanket, watching a movie with Robo, I looked around and thought how crazy and amazing it is that this part of my life just appeared and stuck and became incredibly important to me. 

My amazing yoga instructor, now close friend: Today, Marja gave me this bracelet. It was given to her by a friend, and it was given to that friend by his friends. I'm leaving tomorrow for a month, and I'm terrified to go home, and M knows it, and in my last LA yoga class of the year tonight, she said everything I need to hear. I am my own home. Home is wherever I am. I am safe. When I return to these shapes, when I return to my body, I am safe and I am home and home is with me, meaning M is with me, and my life here is with me, even when I'm gone. 

And also my PhDschool crew L & A. And my lovely Cupcake. Because they listen to my venting and my silliness and keep me company and challenge me in all the ways I need to be challenged. Always.

Oh, and here's my family Christmas card. From me, my cat & fishes to yours... Merry Almost Christmas and Happy Almost New Year!

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