Alright with Me

A bottle of water, passed your way on a very hot day. An empty beach. A good hard climb. A nice flat rock. An offshore breeze.

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An easy silence. A cooler you didn’t have to carry. A set of footprints to follow into the soft sand. A new person to learn all about. A different story to start.

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A phone with no reception. A towel for your seat on the way home, when leather would have been lethal. An A++ playlist. A pit stop or two. A tomato so ripe it sits heavy in the palm of your hand.

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What’s on your list of little luxuries?

I’m adding one to mine this week, although it isn’t in keeping with our carefully constructed coastal theme. This may sound strange, but: an apartment with a bathtub.

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My last two haven’t had one. As a result, I’ve grown accustomed to the showers you stand in, the ones with the glass doors you should feel free to tell me no one actually squeegees, as per laminated instructions.

Would you say you are strictly a shower person? I thought I was, too, but it turns out there is a lot to be said for spending the better part of an hour soaking in a cast-iron tub, with your hair piled high on top of your head and one toe in charge of turning the tap on and off. Maintaining the ideal bubbles to water ratio — it’s a science, I tell you.

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I’m finding the tub to be a suitable place for thinking. I am gentle with my thoughts, in here. There is a music teacher a few floors below me, and every evening strains of certain melodies filter up through the courtyard and swing through my open windows. I love the sounds; they’re so soothing. So different from the city’s shrieks.

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If I knock my knees together, my inner thighs will kiss. But does it matter? I don’t think it does.

My east coast self is harsher, more critical. Self-conscious, still. But my west coast self is so much nicer, so much more relaxed, and so much more fun to be around that who I was before doesn’t matter anymore.

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I think we’re really getting there. Life’s too short to be scared of things, especially of how other people react to your body. There are ways to move away from where you were.

I still remind myself of this all time: everybody has a chapter they don’t want read aloud. I’ve been brave with mine.

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It will take more courage now. To take some more risks — some bigger chances on life and love. As up and down as it may be, I don’t want to shut any uneasiness out of my life.

I wondered when I would be ready. When I would be able to sit across from someone and feel like looking forward, exclusively. When I wouldn’t catch myself dredging up any old memories, or hanging onto any old hurts, or nurturing any old hang-ups, even as I smiled and nodded and said I’m glad we did this.

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It has taken two years and two cities. [Tooooo many phone calls to Mom.] I think this might be the first time in my life that I have actually been ready. I don’t want to be in a relationship because I’m lonely, or because I’m at loose ends, or because I feel like I’d better hurry up. I just really want to make somebody else happy. And I feel like I can do that. I want to do that.

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I don’t know if it will take lots and lots of tries or just a few. I don’t know if I will be crushed several times in the process. I don’t know if I will discover, real quick, that it would probably be smart to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve quite this way. I don’t know if I will ever truly enjoy the games we play to protect ourselves — particularly in the beginning, when things are new and who knows and fingers crossed. I don’t know how many times I will disappoint, or be disappointed, or how many more Sundays I will spend watching wayward tendrils of hair become bouncy ringlets, sitting in this old white tub. And that’s just fine.

You are not foolish for hoping. You are not stupid for trying, or for texting first, or for replying too soon. You are ready to love someone, and think how wonderful that is. You are ready to let somebody in. You are ready to share. You are ready to lose an argument. You are ready to compromise. You are ready to forgive and forget. You are ready to just sort of wait and see.

[Well…maybe you will need to work on that last piece. Someday there will be someone just as interested and just as attracted and just as ready as you are. I promise.]

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“Somebody asked me if I was looking for something. I am looking for everything.” -Sam Sheridan

{Oregon coast via @plumedpdx, rainbow bikes via @mrtommyblades, Portland in silhouette via @portland, bubbles via @megaguire, downtown Portland via @portland, adorable A-frame #93480928 via @alliemtaylor — all on Instagram.}

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2 thoughts on “Alright with Me

    • <3. I was just thinking of you! I had a minor disaster while making dinner and the all-things-Maine tea towel you sent me last year came to the rescue. I was afraid to use it the first 6 months but finally decided it was too pretty to sit in a drawer, and it turns out it washes beautifully. Xoxox

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