I hate to admit this, but I have been procrastinating writing a blog post. It is tough for me to admit this because 1) I have loved throwing myself into this blog and 2) I am not a big procrastinator (usually I am the one who helps loved ones stop procrastinating by telling them you feel so much better once you actually start the task).
I have started blog entries about my weekends back in the U.S. and at night when I can’t sleep I think of new entries and write them out in my head. For some reason the next day though I never end up writing them. This could be because I do not want to face stepping back and observing my life right now as I am not yet sure what my next year will look like. Or it could be because I feel that my life is less “blog-worthy” in the U.S.
Either way the pattern stops now. My life is certainly less exciting as I have not traveled to anywhere where there is a chance I could be captured by Somali pirates and I have not seen any wild elephants recently, but perhaps that does not mean it is less “blog-worthy.”
Since being back in the U.S., I have participated in the stereotypically American tradition of bachelorette parties, with two parties on my first two weekends back in the U.S. For the first one I traveled to Montauk, New York by myself and tried to make it feel like another adventure (because as silly as it sounds I was nervous about the car trip and ferry ride alone). It actually worked and I enjoyed being on the small ferry by myself and staring into the pitch-black ocean while the wind whipped my hair around. I arrived to the dinner late and was greeted by a gaggle of girls yelling my name and hugging me. What more could one ask for? Everything in Montauk was perfect and the entire weekend I would not shut-up about how adorable everything was. I think part of my enthusiasm came from being recently back from Kenya and savoring the beauty of adorable East Coast beach towns. Each group of girl friends has its own pressure points for potential drama, and this group is no different, but everything came together this weekend. The weekend was about giggling, catching up on gossip, and sharing the things about our lives that only this group of girls would understand.
The next weekend was a different set of friends in Rhode Island; another chance to be in a beautiful beach town. This group of friends is girls I have known since I was eleven years old, although we have been in and out of touch over the past 15 years. I realized that no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other and how much we have to catch each other up on about our lives, that feeling of familiarity never fades. The memories of our awkward middle school phase are even more hilarious now and we spent the weekend recounting first kisses and our rebellious period in high school. There was a comfortable feeling of knowing each other’s weaknesses and strengths, but also accepting that we have all grown up over the years.
Both weekends made me appreciate just how much joy these friendships bring into my life. I never would have thought of bachelorette parties as something special and meaningful, but it turns out they actually are. It felt to me that they actually had very little to do with weddings and were actually a wonderful excuse for friends to be together. In the past few years I realized how much I love meeting and bonding with new people and this was a big part of both bachelorette parties. Each weekend I met the bachelorette’s friends (from another walk of life) and immediately understand why we were both friends with the bachelorette. We formed inside jokes and by day two were as comfortable as old friends. I was already looking forward to both these weddings, but now there is the added fun of seeing both old and new friends.
After the bachelorette party in Rhode Island, S and I took a mini one-night vacation in Newport. We stayed at a bed and breakfast and had a special leisurely dinner at a restaurant on the water. It is not that we usually rush through dinner, but it felt that we savored each moment of conversation and each part of the meal on that evening. The next day we explored Newport and went on the cliff walk to see the mansions (somehow getting lost on the way back). We later went to the beach, but first we had to stop at a seafood shack for lunch. This has become a tradition of ours in the summer. We like to sample the famous seafood shacks across New England, usually for a late lunch and accompanied with a local beer. I was acutely aware on this trip how special our little get-aways are even if they are only for a night and we are only a few hours from home. Each one adds to our memories and traditions.
This next week is about my familial relationships. We have my annual “family reunion” at my parent’s house. With my three siblings and their four kids under four it is a lively event. The week will certainly be filled with laughter, like the past two weekends, but there are even more feelings at stake. Just like with friends groups there are those pressure points for drama, but in families there are a million more sensitivities. Now that we are all adults and there are little kids in the mix people’s nerves and emotions are even more raw. Although at the same time emotions are more easily turned to laughter when something happens like my spunky niece pooping on our pool deck (last summer’s family vacation). Family vacations are a balance between intense joy and feeling like that little sensitive kid again. I have been home for over twenty-four hours and so far I am embracing the feeling of being back in my parents house. I walked in and inhaled the smell of our house, the sound of our feet padding around the wood floors, and the warm greetings when I walked in. I am not used to the quiet noises of the suburb at night and woke-up several times last night. It seems that sleeping will no longer be a problem because after a day with my nephews I can barely muster enough energy to read a Superman book for the fourth time.
This is my attempt to break my blogging procrastination. My life in the U.S. is not something novel or fascinating, but the feelings and experiences hopefully are something everyone can connect to. And of course some fun pictures of food and the beach don’t hurt 🙂