Time Travel

I time traveled today. in Amy Poehler's book she refers to time travel - specifically that all of your life experiences are multiple points of reference. These separate points (separated by any amount of time) can be seamlessly brought into one experience when certain things align (stay with me here).

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I experienced this today on Lake Tahoe. In 2006 I graduated and decided to use my graduation money to buy my first puppy, Olive. 2 weeks later I went on a 2 week trip with then boyfriend and left Olive and then cat Bazoo to be watched by a friend (who did a shit job, enter scene: mom guilt). We went to San Fran, Sacramento, Napa and wouldn't you know it, Tahoe. to the exact spot I found myself in today - Emerald Bay. 

I recognized the lake, but only after hiking down did I realize that I had been here. Exactly here. And laid in the sand and done a sand angel. And now. Just now. I realized that I book-ended Olive's life in this precise location. The first time feeling guilty because I was vacationing away from my brand new puppy, this time feeling guilty because I didn't bring my baby girl's ashes with me to commemorate her life.

It's ok though, once I'm ready to let her go she will go some pretty cool places.

The Love Study

My new guy and I sat face-to-face answering a series of increasingly personal questions. By question 27, he professed his love to me. No. This was way too much, way too soon. How'd we get into such a mess?

Two months earlier, my mom had sent me an article about falling in love with anyone (even a stranger) after answering a series of questions together, then staring into their eyes for four solid minutes without looking away. At the time I wasn't dating anyone, but saved the article just-in-case.

A month later, I took the leap onto match.com at a time when pretty much everything in my life was on a track I had chosen and I wasn't even that interested in dating (reverse psychology, but my thoughts were to put myself out there when I was least needy in order to attract the right, non-needy people).

Sure enough the 2nd person I met was all-in for the Lulu-Package. I saw signs of deep insecurity in him and even pulled back a few times letting him know that I thought he was more into me than I him. But he let me know that I would definitely come around (and I quote... "I can't wait for you to realize how good I am for you"). So we persisted. About 4 weeks in we threw all sheets to the wind and decided to do The Love Study.

Not shockingly, the study opens you up with some pretty intense questions that lead into intense conversation, connection and vulnerability. Additionally, I don't think most wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am bros would be like, "Ya babe, I def. wanna do a love study with you for 2-3 hours. sweetnezz." So by agreeing to take the test both parties are probably open to the idea of loving one another. 

Most of the time I ignore the emotional and tender side of myself and so it was a great surprise to both of us when I burst out in tears to question 26, complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “. My answer was olive's death. my 9 year old bulldog. How apropos that the next question read If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know. To which he answered "I love you..." (I returned the sentiment because you kinda have to at that point and also I was feeling all of the feels, ugh).

Amazingly, I think the true outcome of the test was me falling more in love with me. (narcissistic applause ensues.) But you know what? I had to let Olive go in June (1 month after I ended things with stage-27-clinger, more stories on that to follow), and I had one of my very best girlfriends in the world by my side, holding my hand, crying right along with me. I think the love study works, but not like you'd expect.

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Olive

How could I start a blog and not write about you? Half of my heart (the best half) that saw me through my entire 20s and so many wayward decisions with only the occasional side-eye of judgment (I agree, that was stupid, oh and that, you were right). Your little heart was so strong and so ferociously brave and yet you retained this puppy-like exuberance and wild spirit (and were almost entirely untrainable). I'm not sure if you kept me younger or if we did it to each other but there you were, my curmudgeonly little snuggle-bug who maintained a svelte and wily way even through your last moments. 

olive english bulldog love of my life

Now you're gone. And I know it was for the best but when I think about the cause of your death I keep thinking back about what more I could have done. You would have done more for me. I cried all the time at first and now it's about once a week (and every time I drink - hence two months of no drinking cleanses since you left). Mom says that the beauty of your life is that you taught me how to love so deeply, and that your absence has opened up something inside of me that I can share with someone else. I sure hope he is worthy, you've left some big shoes to fill. 

Baby bully, you're so many places I go - the Fens where you used to dive bomb geese-poop-treats, Christopher Columbus park where you growled at the sketchy guy you didn't trust down the alley, under my covers, when I crack my eggs in the morning. You were my perfect reminder to relax because life is so damn short and that really, hundreds of fuzzy belly kisses are the cure to anything in the world. Thank you, without those memories and reminders I would be way less human. 

You're there on my shelf too. In a cedar box. It's not totally befitting your goofy + wild nature but it's still so special to me. I hold it and it's weight grounds me (in death you finally got on that diet I always joked I would put you on...). We've got some big plans this year, and although I'm not ready to open that box just yet, there are some amazing adventures in store for us.