I think that it takes time to be kind, but not so much time that it matters. There are good people everywhere, and I want to be one of them. I want to leave tracks everywhere I go, even if none of them lead back to me.
Kevin and I spent Thanksgiving day flying home from Nashville. We celebrated the day before with my sisters, and post-flight with my extended family, making sure to get our fill at both meals.
It's funny. We have now spent three Thanksgiving's together, each in a different state. Hawaii first, Ohio second, and Tennessee third now. We have no semblance of a Thanksgiving tradition - we have no traditional foods, and we are used to giving cheers with plastic cups of Ginger Ale on the plane.
I guess I could be sad about it, but instead I feel humble and grateful. As long as we are together, no matter where we are - we will always be okay. I love that I realize that.
I started to write in my journal on the plane, listing everything I am grateful for but the only thing I could think of was family - that word reverberating across the many places we are. Spread out across so many places, states, soon to be countries and they are still my greatest blessing. I have two families to be grateful for now, a heart full of gratitude for each one of them, and letters and words that connect us to each other no matter how far apart we get sometimes.
photo of our Thanksgiving dinner in the Chicago airport
I am currently in Nashville Tennessee visiting my two older sisters and their sweet kids. They are the perfect remedy to cheer me up after Jessica (younger sister) left last week and I never want to come back to reality.
Family is really the best, you know? When you live with them growing up you don't appreciate your time together but when they are all over the country you miss them everyday. Funny how that works. Have a Happy Thanksgiving every one.
p.s. If you want to keep up with me while I'm gone follow me here on twitter, or @mvoisin on instagram.
I think about being brave - about courage a lot. Probably a lot more than most people, and definitely a lot more than I should. People associate bravery with war-heroes and risk takers but I think to be alive on this earth and not fall apart sometimes is bravery too. Most of the time it is so, so good to us but sometimes it's not and I think it's okay to admit that. To move on, to wake up and have jobs and get married and have children and brush our teeth and floss is brave. It means we believe in a future, and it means that we are preparing ourselves to be happy in that future. It means we know that bad things might happen to us and the people we love and facing it anyway.
I think brave people are war heroes and such, but I also think that women who have miscarriages and men who lost their jobs and have a family to feed and missionaries who leave their homes for 18 months are really brave. I think people who go to school for a long time because they believe in their future and young moms and comedians and grocery store clerks are brave. I think kids who ride a bike for the first time, and single parents and waitresses are brave too and I think we need to give each other more credit for courage.
Look at us. We're brave people.
My sister left today. For weeks I have been sad, and not just because she was leaving but because I had this big goodbye I felt like we needed to say. I thought about it all the time when I was alone, wondering what my last words to her would be, how much I would cry, what would be unspoken. I have been carrying this lump around in my throat for days, and keep tissues in every pocket.
Our actual goodbye was a little rushed. We hugged, and I meant to get a picture but I forgot. When I pulled away from our tight hug, we both had tears that weren't there before. She forced a smile, and it was a sad smile and I told her I loved her and she left.
Somehow my drive back brought me peace. I thought about what she is doing for the first time really. I realized that God loves her as much as I do and somehow that made me feel better than anything else. I realize it may seem dramatic to react this way, and that's fine with me.
Now that she is officially gone, I feel so lucky to love her enough to miss her this much. Missing someone is sort of beautiful if you can get past the painful part. The reality is that she misses me just as much and I think that the mutual missing is poetic and sad and lovely all at once.
p.s. if you want to keep up with Jessica you can follow her mission blog here, which I will be managing.
photo taken last night on instagram
Sometimes life wears down on you so much,
and all you look forward to all day is coming home to curl up in bed with wet hair and sweats.
Somehow ending bad days like that make all of our bad days okay though.
Maybe not good,
But better than they were before -
Which is all you can really expect.
It's nice to have someone to end my bad days with.
“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
There are classics I have always been curious about. You see them on t-shirts, referenced in popular culture and discussed in literature classes but no one really says, "You should read this, you'll love it." So at Powell's in Oregon, I purchased my first copy of The Catcher in the Rye, having really no expectations for it.
It surprised me. I started out so confused by it - who was this rambling, depressed teenager? It is written in stream-of-consciousness which I have read before, but not like this. Because Holden Caulfield holds nothing back, you really do feel like you are in the mind of a teenage boy at first - which is equally entertaining as it is frightening. All I can say is, give it a chance because the first few pages are rough and you wonder where it is going.
The more I read though, the more I began to see what a beautiful person Holden is. He notices things - small things about human nature and records them. He kept saying, "That depressed the hell out of me." I began to notice that things depressed me, too. Seeing a grown man holding a sign in the Arizona heat for a furniture liquidation, a mother slap her three year old in Walmart and people who are waiters their whole lives. All of these things depress me too, but I didn't let myself feel them, or think about them because they depress me. Holden is not afraid to feel things, in fact, he feels too much. Sometimes I wonder what is worse, but I definitely know that I try to block things out so I don't have to feel them. Sometimes feeling things is way too much for me, but like Holden, I would rather feel something instead of nothing.
It was full of bad language, didn't have much of a story line, and you don't fall in love with any of the characters, but I still liked it. I decided after reading it that I did like it because it made me think above all else, and made me more aware of the things that made me happy and sad. The reason it is called "The Catcher in the Rye" is really beautiful too, but not something I feel I can just share because it was the best hidden gem of the book.
I'm not sure if I'm recommending it right now or not. I guess the best way to say it, is that I'm really glad I read it and I don't feel like I wasted my time. Take it for what it's worth. In the words of Holden Caulfield, "I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.”
Love fails me sometimes. And not love maybe, but the word love. It is not enough to say, "I love you," because that doesn't describe this physical ache you feel. It is the same feeling as heartbreak really, and is suffocatingly delicious and terrible at the same time, and that is love.
I have a goodbye to make in a week, and it feels like the biggest goodbye I have ever made. My sister is leaving for 18 months, and although I should feel happy for her I am constantly weeping anytime I even think about it. In the grocery store, on every drive home - chopping vegetables for dinner.
I flew to Arizona for the weekend and seeing all of the reuniting and goodbyes at the airports made me cry even harder. For seeming so small at times, this world is a little too big for me. I wish I could be a mother hen, gathering everyone I love under my wings and keeping them there and that is what I would like to do because it would make this love containable and safe.
I am not good at doing hard things. I am not good at goodbyes. I am not good at saying I love you in the way it begs to be said. I am not.
Winter has come to Utah.
I suppose I could complain about the short days, and frigid nights - where the cold doesn't seem to leave you, but rests like smoke on your hair, your face, your paralyzed hands.
We trudge through the drifts, we catch snowflakes - unintentionally - bringing the cold to our homes, but leaving it outside on the front porch. Let the cold watch us through the window, hungrily wanting what it can't have, where the people we love are waiting for us, and the warmth finally sticks.
There is something beautiful about this season that makes us need each other a little more. Our hugs are longer, our kisses not so brief, our laughter takes up more space.
Winter may not need me, but I need winter. It is the best season, and I hope I always live somewhere with lots of snow.
p.s. I guest blogged here today, answering questions about my wedding. So much fun to reminisce about. Thanks for having me Joelle.