Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Plouf! Jen visits San Francisco

It's always nice to have friends visit you, but when you're t-minus one week from moving and in desperate need of an extra pair of hands, it's especially welcome. A World of Beth shout out is due to Jen, who helped to kick off the packing process and did not even blink when she had to put hundreds of books into boxes during her vacation.

But speaking of vacation, I must say there were several highlights during her visit that I quite enjoyed - dinner at Plouf on Belden Lane, viewing the city from atop of Coit Tower, finally eating breakfast at Mama's on Washington Square, taking photos of my 9x bus route through Chinatown and watching The Lost Boys during a lazy afternoon. All good stuff - now to get the rest of the apartment packed up in the next few days and then to hit the road on Saturday afternoon!

Full speed ahead....

Saturday, June 13, 2009


As a lazy person with copious amounts of free time on her hands these days, I find myself chilling around the apartment doing one of two things: watching bad TV infomercials and/or watching bad Internet video.

I must say I've become a wee bit addicted to what I can only call celebrity devotional videos on You Tube. This is a fairly new concept to the World of Beth, though apparently every 14 year old girl worth her salt can paste together a 3-minute movie montage of scenes with her favorite teen heartthrob and set it to dreamy music. Back in my day (shaking my cane in anger), when we were obsessed with a boy, we cut out pictures from Tiger Beat magazine and pasted those pictures in our lockers. This whole video montage tribute idea kind of makes my head hurt. The fact that Tiger Beat is now online also makes my head hurt.

As a side note, I do find those videos very convenient, if you're, say, ever-so slightly obsessed with Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. Never mind that he's the naughtiest dreamboat to hit primetime and that his eyes turn your knees to Jell-O or you're in your thirties and he's 17, or that it would never work between you because his heart belongs to Blair, or that he's, say, entirely fictional, I digress...I'm just sayin' - to the 14-year-old girls in the Midwest that are putting together these very cheesy videos of Chuck Bass in their parents' basements, I THANK YOU.

I hear Billy Mays screaming at me from the other room - I need to catch up on my infomercial viewing...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Radical Sabbatical 2009: Beth Re-Enters Suburbia and the Blogosphere

Ah kids, it's good to be back in the blogosphere! Six months after my last post (enter sad trombone sound here), and so, so much has changed. While I haven't gone all Jillian Michaels-ish and turned into a rock-hard triathlete, there have been some major renovations going on in the World of Beth.

To quote Ross and Rachel circa 1996-ish, I'm "on a break" from my boyfriend Mister Employment. Mister Employment was great - we had been going steady and strong for 15 years or so, but the time has come for a good old fashion summer vacation where I can reconnect with my friends and family, exhale and re-evaluate my options, and start to unfold the knotted up little person I've become.

This decision has been a long time in the making and one that both terrifies and inspires me, which makes me realize that I'm on the right track. For years I have had a card on my fridge that reminds me, "We must travel in the direction of our fear" and that's what this summer break is all about.

I read this guest blog post on Andrea's "Superhero Journal" blog that touched me and reminded me that this decision has me on the right path:

do you ever notice that when we slow down and pay close attention to our lives, we feel the enormity and the magic of beginnings, endings, and all the small yet meaningful moments in between? we cry when we hear music or read words that touch down into the spaces of our hearts that are a bit undercover, not frequently visited. we get emotional when we consider the distance we've traveled with our best girlfriends. we stand in awe when we see and hear stories of dreams coming true. we recognize the tiniest exchanges between us and our partners that leave us feeling loved. and we are deeply touched by the circle of life, stories told, and memories shared.

Although i feel the brightness in my everyday life, I'll admit that i really felt it while on vacation, when my heart had a little more room and permission to rest and to see. the downtime gave me a good dose of perspective and clarity about all the things i could do to infuse more joy and fun into my life back home. but wouldn't you know that the minute i returned home, i was back to overwhelm, long working hours, too much computer time, and an unbalanced routine that left me feeling dull and depleted. by day 3 of this i began to panic. is this the life i've chosen? you are so blessed, why are you complaining? geez kelly, what is your problem?

And that's when i sent out an urgent email to a few dear friends asking for help. after admitting defeat and overwhelm, i asked: how do you get out of the house, tend to your creative yearnings, build a business, maintain that business, nurture your relationships, meet your deadlines, and on and on? if you have a secret, please share.

Of course it turns out that nobody had the secret. we're all just doing the best we can, sometimes juggling it all with confidence + grace, sometimes not. it also turns out that by opening up the conversation, we each had an opportunity to relate, to feel less alone, to admit defeat in other areas of our lives, and even to celebrate what was working in our lives. the simple act of reaching out, asking for help, and hearing their stories of struggle and triumphs was exactly what i needed to take few steps back and adjust.

What i'm learning this week while i navigate these waters is this: that we are 100% allowed to stop - that we won't be forgotten if we do. that our overwhelm is a whisper worth listening to. that our dreams can absolutely change shape and our everyday lives/balance/routine can change accordingly. that we must speak up about our feelings of defeat/burnout/overwhelm, because we're not alone. and most importantly, that its our vulnerabilities that connect us and that we can soar, always soar on the brightness of being alive.

Stay tuned for more adventures from the Mile High Suburbs......