Monday, July 22, 2013

Closing Time

Yes, the Semisonic song is in my head. I played it on both guitar and piano tonight. After a pretty intense weekend (in some amazingly good ways and in some difficult ones), this morning finally felt like something new had broken through. I was very busy today. I ran lots of errands. I packed my bags. Tomorrow, one of my closest friends and I fly to New Mexico for some girly road trippin'.

I have been feeling in the past few weeks like this trip is long overdue. For one thing, I've wanted to see New Mexico for years. For the other, it's been a while since this friend and I spent an extended amount of time together. It's also been a while since I travelled with a friend. For me, at least, it seems like a while.

I've been discovering little things over the past week or two, items or messages which I've decided to take as encouragement, even though I don't think I believe in signs. As a friend told me a while back, "life isn't a book, Aliza. It doesn't have foreshadowing."

But still, I've decided to post some of the wonderful little things I've seen, so that when things look a little darker, I (or whoever reads this and might want to), can look at them and maybe see something nice. I decided weeks back, pretty much when I saw the rainbow I wrote about, that this trip will mark a new beginning for me.  So here are my little new beginning "signs":

I found this little card the day after I finished the internship I'd had all year. I was feeling this tentative mix of relief and fear. But I met up with a few friends that day, and conversed very encouragingly with a few, I remember, oddly enough. I called it a good start.

On the day I started packing up my apartment for my big move (the day after I get back from NM! Just what exactly do I think I'm doing?), I was leaving my parents' house when, under the tree out front, my mom and I discovered this perfect half of a robin's egg. At first, I was scared that it had fallen out of the tree, but then I saw that it was clean inside, and that the bird had, in fact, hatched. I kept the eggshell.

Those of you who know me well know about my sketchbooks. I have been journaling/sketching in these books since my year in Israel, almost six solid years now. I still have every one of my sketchbooks lined up on a bookshelf. For the last three of those six years, I have been getting my sketchbooks exclusively at a little stationary shop in Budapest, where they print their own paper and bind their own books. It's pricey, but worth it for me, since my shelf is now lined with these beautiful objects. I've developed a friendly relationship with the staff there, and every time I go back (about once every 1 1/2 years), they always ask to see my latest.

This last time, I stocked up again, and when I showed my sketchbook to the woman behind the counter, she told me she would be retiring and moving away to Balatonfured. This was going to be the last time I could visit her, the last time I'd know anyone who worked there, if the company managed to continue. I remember coming back to our apartment there and telling my mom, "I think it's time I stopped buying these." I don't know why, I just felt like my sketchbooks had run their course. I had enough books for about two more years. Who even knows where I'll be?

Then, last week, I was wandering around the Upper East Side, and I stumbled across the same type of shop. True, it was an Italian, not Hungarian company, but my desire to look at new, beautiful sketchbooks returned. I haven't actually bought one, but who knows? Maybe now I will.

I think I'll post more little "signs" (although I should really rename them, since I don't actually see them as signs, more as little boosts of encouragement) as I come across them.

Anyway, I recently finished a papercut in which I expressed what it feels like to escape from a tangle of fear and uncertainty that comes with a stressful year and an unsure future. Here that is:

Finally, I think I can say I'm starting to get some of that slime off. And tomorrow, I officially start my own private little new year. I would say I hope it will be good, but I say that every year. Not this time.

This time, I have projects and freelance work. I have no new expectations. I have school, student teaching, and a (!) gym Groupon. This time, I'm not going to hope for a good year. I'm going to MAKE it one.


  1. Wow - reading your posts is like reading an unfolding, continuing story. A story of good times and bad times and times inbetween. I, for one, am becoming more riveted with each post.

    Wishing you continued best...


  2. Oh and of course:

    "Closing time
    every new begining
    is another new begining's end...."