i am done.

It was a hard year.  The hardest yet.

Last fall.  Leaving Yosemite in a blur to try and soften the blows of a family emergency and my sister’s divorce.  The darkness of that.

Fresno.  The tears of family, the delicacy of a two year old in question in your arms.  Hard. The frustration of uncertainty.

The pain of an uncertain love.  Being embarrassed by the pain and hopes of it all.  Dark.  Pain.

Twelve job applications.  No employment.  Lost.  Losing.  No direction.

Jackson.  Laying in bed, not able to get up, can’t see clearly.  Physical pain like I’ve never known.  Waking up in the middle of the night sweating, shaking, freezing, crying, confused.

Five minutes to get up.  Ten to get out the door and into my car.

At the Emergency Care…

– You have a horribly bad kidney infection.  We don’t even know how you got here by yourself.

– [trying not to cry and focus on the face of my doctor or nurse.]

– You could either just take the antibiotic for $4 or the shot for $170.  We highly recommend the shot.  You need to get something in your system now.

– [trying not to cry.] I just can’t afford the shot.  I’ll have to just take the pill.  I’m sorry.

– …We’ll be right back.

They leave the room for about five minutes and then return…

– Well, you’re in luck.  Usually the shot is $170, but today it’s on special for $25.  Would you like it?

– [crying.] Yes, thank you so, so much.

Georgetown.  Home.  Defeated.  In every single area of my life.  Not winning at anything.

Australia.  Australia?  Australia.

The. Family. From. Hell.  I kept searching for hidden cameras.  Not from the family, but from some kind of cable TV show.  This had to be a joke.

Lonely.  The loneliest.  Missing everything.  Everyone.

Crying.  Daily.

New family.

Lonelier.  How?

Mother/boss lost her job.  Fired.  What?  One week’s notice?  Whatever, screw you.  Middle finger to this place; I want to go home.

Beat down.  Defeated.  Desperate for living of any kind.

The darkest time.  Family, love, friends… All torn down, failed.  My own doing.  My responsibility for my darkness.  Powerful.  My responsibility for darkness in general.  Crushing.  Suffocating.  Ready to be done.  Making the decision that there is nothing to live for, nothing in myself that I want to look at… but the belief that maybe [some day] there will be something there again… and having to desperately grasp on to that.

Jackson.  Home.  Friends.  Calling it quits [again] on a love that cannot be willed into working.  Tears… always.  Empty.

Too many jobs.  Worn down.  Good thing?  Yes.

Throwing up.  All night.  Why?  Because this is a bad year.

Finding joy.  Finding light.  Getting excited?  Whoa… slow down.

Ear ache.  Ear infection.  What am I, nine years old?

More sickness.  Scared.

I was ready for it to all be over.  But this time it was different than that way I wanted it to all be over that last week in Sydney.  I’m calling it my bad year… hopefully my worst… and I’m moving on.  But there had to be something to symbolize the end.  Something big.

So I ran a marathon.  In Fresno.  Where this all began.

marathon.

the finish.

I hardly told anyone.  I didn’t tell my closest friends.  This had to be something I did by myself.  For myself.

It was hard.  Rightfully so.

I had a mix of songs throughout the year to listen to.  The songs started in Yosemite and ended with two weeks ago.  It was powerful.  You’re laughing at me, but I don’t care.

A mile for every two weeks.  Running.  Reflecting.  Hurting.

Mile 6, thinking, “Really?  I have TWENTY more miles?  What the hell am I doing?”

Mile 17, the stitch.  My right side, all the way down.  Thinking, “Oh god.  Please let this stop.  I’m never going to make it.”

Mile 20, my ankle failing me.  Thinking, “I want to cry.  I can’t.  I have to keep going.  I want this to be over.”

Men older than my dead grandfather passing me.  Women in metallic wigs passing me.  Me thinking, “Well, this is just embarrassing.”

Finishing.  Time: 4:57.  Slow.  I could care less.

My family there.  Cheering me on.  My sister, my biggest fan.  Yelling so loud, smiling so big.  So proud.  On both ends.

I’ve never been happier.

Finished.

I am done.

I’m glad to be back.

Thank you for everything.

All of you.

enjoy your day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to do this… how to post about this… and I’ve decided I’m just going to tell you about the beginning of my Monday morning.  I want to remember every part about it, so I’ll write everything down…

I woke up and walked downstairs at 7:30am to start work.  [Work = Nannying for a 11 month precious girl.]  I held her as her parents were about to head out the door.  Her parents, Kylie and Grant, are 28 and love pop culture… yes.  For the record, I’ve always really liked them.  We ate together, drank together, watched movies and really bad TV.  Anywho…

This past week, their phone had been turned off.  This was pretty upsetting because that’s how I called my family and love, but I figured it would be turned back on… Until I noticed Monday morning that their phone was gone.

– Hey, where’s the phone?

– Oh, we put it away… We don’t use it.

– Ummm… Well, where is it?  Can I use it?  That’s how I talk to my family.

– Well, it got shut off so we were just going to keep it off.

– Oh.  Okay….

Whatever, I’ve dealt with worse.  It sucks but it will all get figured out.

Grant walks upstairs and I remember to ask Kylie about the weekend.  It’s a long weekend for Australia [the Queen’s birthday] and they want me to babysit on Saturday night.

– Hey Ky, what time do you guys need me for Saturday night?

– Ummm… 5?  5:30?

– Okay.  Am I going to get paid for that?

– Oh, no… We were just going to give you Monday off.

– Isn’t Monday a public holiday?  Don’t I get public holidays off?

– No.  Not if you’re just doing contract work you don’t.

– Oh.  Okay…

Whatever.  I’m fine.  Whatever.  [p.s.  nannies get public holidays off… ask any nanny.]  I’m fine.

Then Kylie goes upstairs and she’s up there for about five minutes.  She comes down and leaves for work.  Grant comes down and asks for a cuddle with Bink [the girl I nanny for].  Then he’s just kinda hanging around and it’s pretty awkward.

– I’m going to stay home today… Just cuz, it’s gonna rain… I can’t work in the rain.

– What?  Didn’t it rain all last week?

– Well, sometimes we can work in the rain.

I should have known by now.  Grant was in his WORK clothes, it was not raining… hmmm…

– Okay, well I was gonna take Bink for a walk this morning.  Can I do that?

– Ummm… No, you can just go.  I’ll watch Bink.

– What?  Go for a walk by myself?

– Yeah… I’ll take Bink for a walk later.

– Uhh… Okay.  Then I’ll just ride my bike down to town and grab a coffee and I’ll be right back.

I was psyched!  Bike ride into town for a morning coffee by myself?  Sweet.  I grabbed $5 and put it in my pocket, got my phone, rolled up my jeans and put on my shoes.  Then Grant said…

– Before you go, just so you know, I wanted to tell you that this will be your last week here.

– [I was blindsided.]  What??

– It’s just not working out.  We need our space.

– What??  Why??  [at this point I’m crying.]

– Don’t be upset.  You’re great with Bink… she’s a lot happier now that you’re around, but it’s just hard living in a small area.  We need our space.  I’ll stay home this week with her so that you can find another job or something.  Get things figured out.

I don’t think I said actual words after this.  I cried a lot and I think I said “Sorry” at some point.  Then I just wandered out of the house… no bike.

I walked down the road, shocked.  I called my mom.  “I got fired…”  Tears, tears, tears, confusion.

Still walking.  I called Dan Long.  “What am I going to d-“…. “You know where you have a lot of people who lov-” …. “I feel so lo-” …. Our call got dropped about one hundred times.

Still walking.  What is going on?!  What am I doing?!  Where am I?!  I called Mark and Tamsin.  “Tamsin, can I just come over for the day?”  “Of course!  Yes, please come.”

Walking back towards the house, I pass the busstop.  There is a young Asian man standing there.

– Hi.  What time does this bus come?

Awkward smiles and nods.

– What time does the bus come?

Awkward smiles and nods.

You must remember that I’ve been sobbing for about a half hour, so it looks like I have, in fact, been hit by the bus.  This poor kid can’t understand a word this crazy sad junkie is saying… but I’m so desperate and confused, I just talk to him anyway…

– Okay, I’m going to go to my house and get some money and try to get back before the bus comes.

Awkward smiles and nods.

– Right.

I walk about five steps and see the bus coming.  Dammit.  They only come every hour… I can’t go home.  Okay.  I’m getting on the bus.

It’s $4.20 for my bus ride.  It’s a pretty crowded bus.  I sit down in the row in front of my busstop friend and think… “How am I going to afford the train ride to Mark and Tamsin’s?”  After about ten minutes I just think, “F*ck it” and I stand up in front of the crowded bus and say…

– Hi.  Ummm…. Hi.  I just got fired and I just need about five dollars for the train… Can anyone help at all?

Nothing.  Everyone avoids eye contact.  No one will even look at me.  I’m a mess.  One woman, who I had noticed looking at me before [because I’m an obvious mess], finally made eye contact and said, “I’m sorry.”  I looked around one last time and then finally looked down to my busstop friend right in front of me.

Awkward smiles and nods from him.

– Right.  Okay.

Nothing.  Dammit.  How am I going to get there??  We arrive at the train station and I’m not going to lie to you… I looked for a way to sneak on to the train.  I did.  I was desperate.  But, no… it was guarded pretty well.  So then I decided that I would have to ask… again.  Apparantly, I am not good at this… or people are not good at this… I’m not sure.  I asked two people, “Do you have spare change for the train?” and they just picked up their pace and kept walking.  Finally, I went and stood next to the ticket machine, to see how much a ticket would cost… exactly.  As I walked up, an older man also approached…… Okay, why not…

– Hi.  Do you have any extra change for the train?

– How much do you need?

– $4.60.

– Ummmm… [he counted the change in his hand… not enough.]

– It’s okay…

– No, wait, here, I have money.  [he fumbles around his pockets and pulls out his wallet.]  Where you going?

– Central.  [I start crying.]  I’m sorry… I’m fine.

He buys my ticket for me, hands it to me, looks me straight in the eye and with so much compassion says…

– Enjoy your day.

I fell in love with him.  He was my favorite person in the whole wide world.  Thank you!  Thank you!

And that was the beginning of my morning.

Everything will be okay.  I am okay now, nay great… I am great now.  More on what’s next soon…

I do just want to end this by saying that it is hard.  It is all hard.  But it is all worth it for the beauty found in the old man with the sweater with the patches on the elbows, who checks every pocket he’s wearing before he finds his worn, leather wallet, to buy you a train ticket…

Enjoy your day.

come dance wiv me.

Every morning, I take advantage of the fact that Bink¹ takes a while to get moving in the morning; she’s quite the sleepy head.  I sit her in her high-chair and make coffee, while she plays with whatever kitchen appliance I put on her little table.  I stand and make coffee and read a poem or two², maybe put on some music.  The music has been especially good lately… what with all the new tunes I received for my birthday.

The rain has been constant here and I’m slowly developing a cold, so the music [in the mornings] has been mostly slower and rainy³.  So Bink and I are chilling out in the kitchen this morning, playing peek-a-boo¼, reading poems, loving life… then this song came on my iTunes½:

[please take note that this video is mid-90s-skank-wretched.  it is not classy.  i recommend just playing it and then viewing my kitchen dance party.]

I was taken over by the urge to dance… so, of course, I did¾.  Bink was loving it!  Cracking up, laughing, smiling.  Do you have any idea how amazing that kind of audience is?  She was loving it… I was loving it… hope you love it… the ridiculousness of kitchen dancing… this is usually how it goes…

just makin' coffee... oh... oh... i'm gonna have to dance to this...

just makin' coffee... oh... oh... i'm gonna have to dance to this...

starts off pretty tame.

starts off pretty tame.

oh, i'm gonna have to put this coffee down.

oh, i'm gonna have to put this coffee down.

coffee mug is down.

coffee mug is down.

loving it.

loving it.

yes, uh huh.

yes, uh huh.

teaching bink some pointing moves.

teaching bink some pointing moves.

we call this one, "get that dog off me!"

we call this one, "get that dog off me!"

nothin' like dancing with all your heart at 8am.

nothin' like dancing with all your heart at 8am.

Could not stop smiling, laughing.  Ridiculous and I am not sorry.  So that was my morning… wish you were there.

¹ “Bink” is the precious 11 month old girl that I work for.  Her real name is Sienna but everyone calls her Bink.  Her parents named her Sienna because you can’t shorten it and EVERY name gets shortened here.  And they were right, you can’t shorten Sienna… So instead, she now has a clown name… which is awesome.

² Poetry seems like the only thing I have time to read these days.  I love carrying a couple books around during the day and sneaking a read in while watching Bink.  This mornings selection was “The Volcano Inside” by David Dooley and “Picnic, Lightning” by Billy Collins.

³ Damien Rice, Sondre Lerche, Bon Iver and a mix of all my birthday mixes.

¼ First of all, they’ve run out of subscripts.  Secondly, Bink likes to put a clear tupperware over her face to play peek-a-boo… So I can see her straight through it and it is absolutely precious.  She puts the tupperware over her face and I can see her eyes light up while I say, “Where’s the Bink?  Where’d she go?  Where’s the Bink?”  Then she puts it down and I say, “There she is!”  She loves it.  This morning, with tupperware in front of her face, she sneezed right onto it… It was hilarious!  Just picture a baby sneezing with their face pressed up against a clear window.  I was dying laughing… Tears, I think.

½ An older song from Triple J’s Hottest 100.  Triple J is my favorite radio station here and they put out a cd of 2008’s hottest 100 songs… I got the CD for my birthday from Bink’s mom.  It’s not the best song in the world… but it made me dance this morning.  Love it.  Except for the video… not so much.

¾ This has happened before.

let’s build a spaceship.

SUCH a beautiful morning.

Early this morning, I threw Bink in the car and we drove to get me a coffee.  I got a large this morning… look at me.  Bink got a latte… cuz she’s fancy.

Then we drove around and enjoyed a gorgeous autumn in Terrigal.  Wish I had pictures to share.

But the best part was the car dancing we did.  It was amazing.  It spurred on a kitchen dance party when we got back.  [sorry, no pics… i’m worthless.]

I am so happy about nothing in particular, but everything at once.  Weird feeling, probably the coffee.  I feel like I could post a million posts today about anything and everything.  Is that legal in the blahhhhg world?  Mehdunno.

Here are some of the GREAT tunes we’ve listened to today:

The second is my favorite as of right…. now…. for obvious reasons.

alltheloveinalltheworld,
raquel.

p.s. I don’t know why I signed off on this one.

i just wanna dance.

Some things [in order from least awesome to most awesome]:

First of all, I’m not too proud that I get this song stuck in my head on the regular.  It’s a very teenie bopperish song… but I sing it to Bink.  Instead of “Hey boys and girls…”, I sing, “Hey Binky Girl”… and dance… oh, there’s dancing:

I also sing this song to Bink more often than she probably desires… it’s also not the best song in the world.  These folks stole some of my favorite sitting/standing dance moves and I LOVE it:

These guys are having a blast in this video, as they should be… because this song/video is actually awesome:

And this song is so great that it doesn’t even need a kickass video.  I LOVE this song… New favorite?  Probs.  I play this song so so much and dance a lot.  I have a feeling Bink is getting tired of it, but she hasn’t said anything yet…

Remember: Ice cream is gonna save the day.

Oh, also: It’s still Nic’s birthday!  Holler!  [this is at the end of the post cuz it’s the most awesome.]