Thanksgiving

I started a tradition with myself where I ring in the new year with a word. Maybe it sounds weird, but every year it feels more like the word chooses me than I choose it. And during the 365 days which follow, this word becomes my grounding point, my focus, my meditation. I learn all it’s meanings and contexts. I study the etymology. I basically spend the year trying to embody this word. It has been ridiculously uncanny how the word ends up becoming a perfect descriptor for the year it’s ascribed to.

2014: surrender (the year my entire world turned upside down)

2015: fierce (the year of facing fears, growing pains, and healing)

2016: expectant (the year of patience and waiting)

Latin expectare | ex– “thoroughly” spectare– “to look”

Await. Defer action. Look out for. Desire. Hope. Long for. Anticipate. Regard as about to happen. Count upon. Trust. Rely on.

All year I have worked to create a sense of expectancy in myself. To trust that good, beautiful things are both here and to come. To fall open to anticipation even when the waiting feels arduous and itchy. To not grow anxious about the unknown, but to be expectant– hopeful.

I spent the first five months of 2016 applying for jobs. Fourty of them, to be precise. This came after four months of thirty-nine applipactions. I nannied part time and volunteered at DMCW and The Alzheimer Association. I started my See Through Stories project. I just kept perfecting, polishing, and pursuing. The only door that opened was one that led me to Edinburgh for the Fringe festival. I had wanted nothing more than to be back in Edinburgh and even though applying for jobs there wasn’t working out, I was ecstatic for the opportunity to return even for a little bit. I knew it would feel like torture when I had to leave, though. And it did. Especially when everyone around me seemed to be getting good news and I was still waiting and wishing.

But I came home with high hopes that I’d be back in no time. You see, during my days off of festival work I researched, cold-called, emailed, and visisted organizations doing dementia-related work and talking about my project. I ended up meeting with the founder of my favorite one and the promise of a potential job opportunity was definitely there. A couple of months later, they posted an opening. You guys, if I could’ve written myself a job description, it would’ve been this. A total dream. I emailed. They wanted me as soon as possible. I thought, this is it. It makes total sense. Everything that’s been happening has led to this. All that hard work is paying off. This is what I’ve been expectant for. I’m so happy.

But a total dream it will remain.

I just spent this week moving into an apartment here. I now have a lease and a marketing job. It all happened really fast. I am thankful for it– all of it. But it is not what I was expectant for. I’m so sad. To have that open door slam in your face the second you’re about to walk through. Oooft. Ouch.

My sad self co-hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at the worker with my friend Joe. There were eight of us (some friends, some strangers) and we probably looked like The Island of Misfit Toys, but oh god, was it lovely. I hung sheets for curtains. Joe lit donated hot pink candle sticks. We drank wine from plastic cups. Some of the kindest words anyone has ever said to me were around that table and I will never forget them. We dined by candle light, sharing stories and asking questions. Everyone went around and said what they were thankful for. When it was my turn, I felt extra aware of my senses. Belly tight with food. Eyes beholding faces I love. The smell of hot candle wax and wine. The taste of Joe’s mama’s sweet potato casserole. Intermittent hums, silence, and laughter. All the goodness was overwhelming.

If this is where and how I get to do this: Await. Defer action. Look out for. Desire. Hope. Long for. Anticipate. Regard as about to happen. Count upon. Trust. Rely on.

…then I am thankful for that. Hell yeah, I’m thankful for that. Perhaps the lesson is to only be expectant for this day and to look no further. To trust that I will find whatever I need to get through this day, is something I can do.”Give me niether poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

Love,

Taylor

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7 Things Sunday

LONDON

One. Men of America…you really need to step up your suit game. The Brits are killin’ it.

Two.  Saturday morning at Camden Lock market was unreal. I have never seen both food and people from so many different places in my life. It just went on for forever. If my wallet and stomach didn’t have their limits, I would have been there all day. No questions asked.

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Spanish Omelettes

 

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‘Tis the season

 

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We found poffertjes!!

Three. Nothing beats family, sweatpants and home cooking on Thanksgiving but if something were going to come close, this would definitely be it. Having Thanksgiving dinner at The Mayflower. It was the nearby landing steps to this pub that the Pilgrims set sail aboard The Mayflower Ship towards America. For dinner, the pub (their wifi password was Scurvy1620- ha!) served pumpkin soup, roasted turkey with sage stuffing, sweet potato mash and vegetables, topped off with pecan pie and ice cream. Needless to say, we left full and happy.

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Four. I really like people watching and I do that thing where you kind of imagine everyone’s story in your head. Public transportation caters wonderfully to that interest. So, quite honestly, a highlight of the trip to London was just riding around on the tube. You never know what conversations you’ll have or hear. There’s drunk people, kissing people, crying people, sleeping people, etc. No one can hide. So much humanness cramped into a tiny cart. It’s a beautiful thing.

Five. For days I was debating whether or not to fork out the 30 quid to see Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio. It was completely worth it. Literally everything you could want to see or learn about, you had access to. It was truly magical.

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Six. We had a few art dates around the city but I’ll have to come back because there’s so much more to see (The HP Horst exhibition at The V&A, The Tate Modern and The Painted Hall at The Royal Naval College)!

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Seven. London was wonderful, but I’m much more content with the pace of Edinburgh. It feels good to be back. Well, except for the fact that being back means I have roughly two weeks to research, study, and type 7,500-ish words…all that stuff.

TTFN.

Love,

Taylor

P.S. Thanks Jacci for being the bomb.