I don’t always neglect writing, but when I do it’s for 4.5 months

Dearest Nora,

I could start with profuse apologies for not writing for so many months… but instead of that, let me just say: I miss you and I hope you’re doing so well in Philly and I can’t wait to hear another update from you! Life has swept me up in a giant wave of wonder this year. Instead of stopping to observe and write about it I have just been experiencing it.

I’ve had something of a writers block. Or rather, with things happening so quickly, every time I’ve sat down to write you I get overwhelmed trying to catch you up on everything that’s happened and I have trouble putting it into words and I give up.

So here I am, finally writing you. And I’m not going to go into a chronology of everything that’s happened since August. The long and short of it is: I fell head over heals in a way I didn’t know was possible.

The love of my life strolled in and stepped into that role as though she were born for it, and life will never be the same now.

Before we moved in together during October, my heart had already set up home with hers. I know in terms of time it is early still. But by other units of measurement, we have known each other for much, much longer. My heart is at home. All the parts are aligned. In a little over a week, I am taking her to the Midwest with me to meet all my dear ones. Words cannot contain my excitement to have my worlds collide.

Gift I made her to commemorate how we met

In lieu of a detailed updates, here are some snapshots of life right now:

A day in the life: Ruth, Jessie and Magpie  Snugglin in bed as we press snooze multiple times and Magpie parades around our heads demanding breakfast, and then begins attacking our feet. One of us gets up to feed her and she sprints to the kitchen in excitement. Morning routine of packing lunches, taking showers and most importantly, make coffee.

Jessie really upped the coffee game in my life and the coffee she makes is so damn good that I only drink it black now.

Out the door to our quick commute to downtown Portland, as we’re leaving Magpie is getting settled in her shark bed to snooze for the day. General job craziness ensues and then evenings are filled with side jobs, other activities like choir, friend hangs or cooking dinner and unwinding. Sharing all our stories from the day and venting or laughing about the disaster and joy that is the world we live in. The day ends with me taking a hot bath & reading, or us cuddling on the couch watching Netflix or working side by side on our laptops, usually with tea or a whiskey, Magpie sitting on top of us bundled under a blanket, or bringing us a toy that she wants to play with. And then bed, falling to sleep with “I love you’s” in my ear, and her kisses on my lips, Magpie curled up at our feet and the sleeptimer set on the TV as we drift off to a favorite show (currently: Castle). My heart is filled to overflowing.

hella bonding

We drive each other just the right amount of crazy. She makes me laugh, she gives me butterflies, and I’m daily in awe of the woman she is–full of passion, empathy, love and stinkerness. She listens to me and shares with me and treats me like a queen. She has no doubts, and I have no doubts. We both know what we’ve found. We are not without challenges and disagreements, but we are committed to the process of building this together.

I recently read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (highly recommend–it’s a quick and inspiring read). “There are only so many things we can give a fuck about so we need to figure out which ones really matter,” is the overall premise. As I finish out my year of “mindfulness” this direction of thinking has been extremely helpful to me. I am someone who gives a fuck about way too many things and too many people. I feel like I need to help everyone, and be everyone’s friend, and take responsibility for all the things… I always thought that giving so many fucks somehow made me a better person, but the reality is: it meant there was a lot of stuff taking up my time and energy that wasn’t necessarily the things that matter most to me, or the things that build me up, or help me grow, or feel fulfilled. Life is so quickly passing by, and as I embark into my 30s, I am digging into what I give fucks about, and why.

I am saying “no” more. I am giving less of myself away. I am doing more soul searching when it comes to relationships in my life. I am doing my best to not do things out of obligation or pity, but out of only sincere fuck-giving.

Doing things that I don’t want to do, but because I “feel bad” doesn’t make me a good person, it makes me a disingenuous person.

Jessie is a self-described “people pleaser in recovery” and this has been both our biggest challenge and best challenge to work on alongside each other. We share similar tendencies in this area and it has resulted in both of us being taken advantage of for much of our lives. I say that, not as a “victim”, because, after all, we teach people how to treat us.

I say it as someone who is finally taking responsibility for this–I am owning my choice in life, of what I am going to give a fuck about.

Together, Jessie and I (and Magpie) compiled a list of the things we want our days and weeks and months to be filled with. Slowly, but resolutely, I want to work on filling my time with and using my energy for these things. I’m sure I will share updates on this!

One of those things for me is writing. I love writing. Even if nothing ever comes of it. Even if I’m complete crap by someone’s unit of measure. Even if I have nothing new to say, and no great way to say it. I have been filling my time with other crap in an effort to avoid having to try, and quite possibly fail, at a genuine writing effort.

Another book I’ve been reading is The Chronology of Water, a memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch (*all the trigger warnings for this one*). I heard Lidia speak at two different events this fall, and she moved me deeply. She’s a writer who lives in Portland, OR. Her process and love affair with writing and literature spoke to something in me. For my birthday this year, Jessie enrolled me in a writing workshop Lidia teaches. I will be taking it this spring and I am absolutely terrified. But terrified in the way you are when you know you need to do something that’s going to challenge and scare you.

So much more to come. In spite of my lack of writing recently, I hope you still know that our friendship is definitely one I give a fuck about.

Please send updates on how your heart is, and about you hamster friend, and your community in Philly and how school is going… and your exploration into career plans. And all the things! I hope your holiday season is filled with loves and pretty snow and warm moments.

I love you, my friend.

Ruth

Carry freedom in your heart, carry justice as a goal, carry love in every fabric of the fiber of your soul.  –”Freedom” by Tret Fure, a song I’m singing with choir ♥

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