findings.

There’s a lot of What am I doing here? happening lately in my life. I sit down at my desk at work each morning and it’s one of two types of What am I doing here?

It’s either the, Alright. What am I doing here? where I scramble to figure out how to juggle my workload efficiently and sometimes literally google how to do certain aspects of my job.

Or it’s the bi-monthly, What am I doing here? that is part of the constant existential crisis I have of wanting to be more and do more with my being.

Today, as I sat down next to the only other person in the office today and we both put on our headphones to indulge in our separate screen worlds, it was both kinds.

So I did what I do when I’m overwhelmed with first-world identity problems and I went for a walk to get a latte.

On the walk, I saw a young (age five or six) blonde girl sitting on a bench. Next to her—very closely—was a pretty rough-looking guy with tattoos up and down his arms. I almost didn’t give it a second thought until I heard him say…

– So where are your parents?

I stopped in my tracks and showed up to this scene.

The little girl wouldn’t say a word. And this man kept pushing. I figured out that he was truly trying to help, but he was being kinda scary. He would look to me every so often and say…

– I just found her walking down the sidewalk by herself!

With still no peep from her, I gradually got closer to the girl with each question. I saw a glimpse of trust in her eyes as she looked at me after a while and then I made the executive decision. I reached my hand out to her and said…

– Okay, c’mon. Let’s go to the coffee shop and find your parents together.

She edged up and almost took my hand before looking past me and darting off. She saw her brother down the sidewalk a bit and ran towards him. I then saw the two of them sprint to their parents—who were VERY far away, by the way.

The rough looking man and I kind of shook our heads and smiled to each other before parting.

Waiting for my latte, the little girl’s family came into the same coffee shop. She was a part of a gaggle of children—no wonder they lost one! I watched them trip over each other in line and navigate their worlds at different latitudes—the parents’ eyes on the chalkboard menu, the children’s wandering yet down. The little girl found me looking at her. Quickly embarrassed, she hid behind her father.

We almost had a grand adventure together. We almost had coffee together. We almost sat and solved mysteries together over hot chocolates and muffins. But instead we’re embarrassed of each other now. Almost strangers is always more uncomfortable than strangers.

———

This evening I procrastinated going to the garden until I was challenging daylight. I went out to a pretty muddy plot, since the sprinklers had already gone off. There were still a handful of tomato starts to plant and many weeds to be pulled. So I put in my headphones to listen to a podcast and took a few sips of wine out of my coffee cup and got to gardening.

About a half hour in, a man yells at me from the path. I take out an earbud and express that I didn’t hear him the first time.

– Have you seen a little girl??

– No. No, I don’t think so.

I study this man in these seconds. Oh my god, is this the same dad?? Did he loose her again??

– What does she look like?

His first descriptor knocked the wind out of me. The ones following did not help…

– She’s autistic. She’s probably in just a diaper and a t-shirt.

– No, I haven’t seen her. I’m sorry.

And with that, he sprinted off in his shorts and flip-flops.

Immediately, I regretted my answer that mimicked how you would answer the question, “Have you seen my sweater? I think I left it around here.”

Why didn’t I say, “Oh my god, do you want me to help you find her?”

As he took off, I threw my gloves down and pocketed my headphones all together and took off down a second path he left undiscovered. Running in my muddy sandals, I heard a child of some sort across the way and sprinted towards the sound only to find myself in a neighborhood with children abounding.

I walked along the stream praying I didn’t find her. Not like this. I wandered in circles. Looking. Scared. Confused. Looking. In tall grass. By the stream. Down roads. Down paths.

I didn’t find her. I don’t know if she was found. I went back to my garden and my podcast.

Finally, after a whirlwind search for a girl I’ve never seen, I went back to my garden and my podcast.

———

As I drove home from the garden, so close to dark, dusk holding on by spider web strings, this song came on the radio…

And like out of some indie film I want to make, I saw a neighbor girl run down the street barefoot in her navy pajamas. Her youthfully perfect blonde hair was flowing in the innocence of summer. She ran and looked at something before smiling and yelling back at her dad, back at their door. She turned on a dime and ran back to him, into his arms.

I parked the car and let the Lumineers finish as I cried a couple tears. So many little girls running, lost, found. I couldn’t help but wonder why they all intercepted with me today—found or not found. I couldn’t help but think of the niece who feels so lost from me. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’ll ever be found. I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever find a little lost girl and help her find the world. If she’ll find me.

Would it be easier then to answer to all the What am I doing here?s

[who knows.]

lovely little things.

these days, I have to remind myself to stop and breathe in life. love the little lovely things.

like the awesome card from your bff:
bees_knees
or the valentine from your dear friends and their BABY… their beautiful, wonderful babe:
jack_valentine

or remembering to watch your all-time favorite movie near enough to valentine’s:

I swear I interpret this film differently every time I watch it. I love it.
and I’m determined to drink a blue ruin someday.

or giggling throughout the day at the misfortunes of your partner in crime.
[which might make me horrid.]

or the full-on incredible valentine’s present from your mom:
crystal_and_hef mom_note

the little lovely things.

pinging joy within.

xxo.

…hooray.

wonderland texas_rain golf_fun backyard_basil basiling matchy_matchy bf_of_the_year_award emersons_attention the_boys stevens_sibs ry_snowcone deep_eddys_girls evan_darling grafitti_kiss
“heaps” is the answer
to how much I miss Texas.
but my heart is here…

my_heart_is_here
Listening to this all night and playing cards with my love made this night such wondrous affirmation.

I will always be proud of, and grateful for, where I came from.

And I will continue to be proud of where I am and who I’ve become.

Which is the girl who just wants to read this book over and over.

And refuses to be embarrassed about how much she wants to be Ira Glass.

I want to swim every. single. day.

I want to keep pretending and preparing for the conversation BJ Novak and I will have about how spot-on his book is and how we’re obviously bff.

And I will keep being unabashedly in love with this brilliant song/video:

It makes me want to quit everything and make music videos. Create and direct. Strong work. Strong.

Thank you, Ashely, for continually inspiring.

Let’s here it for Wednesday evenings back from vacation.

[hip-hip…]

where the smoke from a chimney ended.

Two things I very much want to share.

The first is this:

What 20-Somethings Want

“You want to find someone who will pick you up from the airport. It’s such a kind gesture but also one you would expect from someone who loved you a reasonable amount. The thought of having to wait for a shuttle while others are embracing their loved ones on the curb might just be too much for your little heart to bear. Where’s your car full of love? Where are the people who are going to make you feel welcome in this city? And, no, you are NOT going to take a taxi. You have too many friends who like you WAY too much for you to be taking that nonsense. Right? Hello? I’M AT TERMINAL 3. WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT LOVE ME? Dear god, people have started to hug on the curb. Come quick!

You want to live closer to your parents. It’s not because you need to see them more. God no! Who would ever do a thing like that? It’s for if you ever wanted to see them. If their health took a turn for the worse, god forbid, or if you ever felt lonely and needed to just sleep in a home that felt warm and loved, you could do it. Living far away from them has its advantages but you’re starting to realize how much you miss out on by being on the opposite end of the country. If you lived in the same city as your parents, feeling safe and secure would just be one phone call and a twenty minute drive away.

You want to be “stable” and see yourself make real progress. You would love to find the key to adulthood (Um, I think I saw it at Crate & Barrel next to the colanders) and not want to get drunk at happy hour anymore. It’s quickly turning into unhappy hour and you’re trying hard not to become a casualty of your age. You want nothing more than just to make it through the twentysomething rain and land on a nice job, a nice couch that wasn’t purchased from IKEA, and, most importantly, someone’s nice dick and/ or vagina.

You want to develop a backbone and start saying no to having lunch with the random friend from high school. In fact, you want to abolish “catch up” lunches altogether. People are either in your life as it happens or not in it at all. Sitting through these elaborate brunches with people who once meant something to you but no longer make sense, and talking about how great your lives are going while reflecting on the good ol’ days is a slow form of masochistic torture. It feels like performance art: *INSERT SMILE HERE* and *INSERT “I’M IN A REALLY GOOD PLACE. HOW ABOUT YOU?” HERE*. You’ve been through so many lunches like this that you could practically do them in your sleep. In fact, you should probably just arrive to the restaurant 15 minutes early and place a giant stuffed animal in the chair in place of you and run out before your old school chum arrives. Don’t worry, they won’t notice! You can even attach a tape recorder and have it come on intermittently to say things like, “You look great! Can I have the Egg’s Benedict?” Or my personal fave catch-up topic, “I saw on Facebook that you two broke up. What happened?”

You want to know that you’re not insane, that there are other 24-year-olds have never been in a relationship before, or that other people have gotten too drunk and vomited on their taxi driver before and it’s all okay because this is growing up. Or something. You’re not actually sure. You never received an official manual but you figure that this is what it’s all about — feeling alienated and vomiting on strangers and never having as much sex as you would like. You just want to know that the things you’re going through aren’t unique, that other people are in the same rickety brokedown palace of a boat. I mean, you don’t mind being crazy so long as there are people out there who are equally as psycho. You’d prefer it if they were actually crazier than you, so you could feel good about yourself and where you’re at in your life.

You want a job, a vacation, heath insurance, validation, a back rub, a scalp massage at the place where you get your haircut, people who are jealous of you, an ex who won’t stop texting you when they’re drunk, Twitter followers, happiness maybe sorta, someone to buy you lunch at a fancy restaurant, a mentor who can tell you what the hell to do with your life, a reliable internet connection, a reliable human connection, a gift card to the grocery store, dinner parties with friends where everyone will pretend to have their crap together for just one night, a nice flirty text message to wake up to every morning for the rest of your life, for everyone to like you even if you don’t like anyone, and one of those nights that doesn’t end till 9 AM and reminds you what it feels like to be young and alive. Oh, and $$$. That’s all. Think you can get that for me? For us?”

[the link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/what-20-somehings-want/]

Right?  I mean, right?

I love it.  I love it all.  Lisa [my most lovely] sent me that… and I just think it’s wonderful/hilarious/amazing.

Speaking of amazing…

Read this book…

Maybe my favorite book.

Another thing Lisa has given me that is beautiful and irreplaceably perfect.

Every time I think about this book… this precious book… I am brought back to reading it by the wall in the park near the museum in Sydney that I visited often.  Being in such a large city.  Disappearing.  Finding things.  Finding me.

Here.

Right there.

A powerful time.  Definitely a time for the books.

The book.

Read it.

And then watch the movie…

I don’t know if you’ll love/understand it as much if you don’t read the book first.

I just finished watching it… in the theater… by myself.  [by choice… not that there’s anything wrong with that.]

And I was brought back to that wall in the park near the museum.  Alone.  Filled.  Bursting.

I loved it.  I recommend it to you.

dance, dance, dance.

My life has been oh, so full of preciousness, hilarity, and excitement inside.

Of course I can’t tell you all about it right now because I’m on the tail end of my lunch break that was spent working on more designs and then there’s working late and then making appetizers for holiday parties and then book club and then repeat.

BUT I wanted to share this gorgeous/preciousness with you…

…makes me want more of this preciousness to light up my soul every day.

Also, what does it say about me if I find this little girl very suspect for stealing some of my moves?

i mean that to a degree.

During my lunch break yesterday, I wasn’t hungry [don’t worry I ate 2.5 dinners] and I was incredibly sore [hot yoga for the first time in forever], so I headed over to the library just to sit and read; relax.

I explored all parts of the Missoula Public Library and then landed in the periodicals, reading the paper in a circle of older men sitting, reading papers.  I felt very distinguished, like I was part of a club.

– Sorry, chaps… Am I late?  Gustav, pass me the Times.  Many thanks, dear fellow.

After catching up on who said what about the fault of our Nation’s debt, I stood and walked over to put my paper back in it’s resting place.  As I did, I heard the most rampant typewriting I have ever heard.  This intrigued and amazed me just at that because when I type on a typewriter, it sounds like one of the slower chickens is doing it.

T………H………………A..N………….K……………S………………………………….!

But this was,

THANK YOU DEARLY FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO MY PEANUTBUTTER JELLY PARTY. IT WAS TIME.

Thoroughly impressed, I went to find.

And what was I expecting?  Of course it was the tiniest little old man, surrounded by huge, leather bound books and paper, sitting in the “Research Room,” typing away with a huge smile on his face…. like he had been waiting all day, all week, all year, all his life for this amazing research, discovery… all to type it at lightning speed on the library typewriter.

It was just all too precious.  A scene from a movie I’d cry at [because of the music… they get you with that music!].  I couldn’t stop staring, watching.  I walked around that little research room and stole glances from every angle.

Too precious.

Too impressive.

And all this was with this song in mind, for no other reason than it’s beauty…

where you going?

– You haven’t updated “wull hay” in a while.

– Yeah, I know.  I just don’t know what I would say.

– That’s understandable.

– Just so much going on in my head right now.

What would I tell you?

How I made a checklist for my last weeks in Jackson and fulfilled it 75%… reminding me of falling just a bit short…

How sad it was to say goodbye to KHOL… and the realization that it saved me from myself… http://soundcloud.com/wullhay/the-last-morning-scramble…

How I had a full-on meltdown after my last soccer game…

How my new apartment is part of a little dream I’ve had for a while… I cannot wait to live LIVE there…

But, no, all things that come back to craziness too quickly.

So, I’ll tell you about wise words from Bardman.

On one of my last days hanging out with Bard, his dad was driving back most of their stuff to later meet the rest of the fam in Boulder.  He wanted to meet up with us in town to say goodbye.

I was caught off guard by him wanting to say goodbye to me… I guess I’ve been so numb about it all that I assumed he was just saying goodbye to Bard.  When we said our goodbyes and hugged and he wished me luck on my new travels, I got back into the car where Bard was already sitting.

As I fought back tears and reversed the car to get out of the parking space, Bard said…

– Ray Ray, where you going?

I composed myself, thinking of where we were going next and how to answer Bard.  I put the car in drive and started moving forward, when Bard, noticing the car, asked…

– You going forward?

– [crying now, smiling.]  Yeah, Bardman… I am going forward.