Three weekends ago, I had that night that inevitably comes after any serious relationship ends: the one where with no notice you find yourself in the vicinity of each other for the first time in nearly a year (bonus points if you get that knock on the door when you're just out of the shower with no makeup on, being antisocial on a Saturday). While I would have loved for it to feel genuine and heartfelt, for me this time, it just simply, didn't. I felt caught in the conversational equivalent of the world's most awkward ping-pong game -- a back-and-forth laundry list of life updates on who is doing what and going where -- and by all means, I probably lost the match on those merits. But it got me thinking about what I actually want out of a new year, a different me. You simply can't not change after shedding the skin of a past relationship and abandoning the mundane details that make your daily routine what it is when someone is 100 percent part of it, and then all of a sudden not.
I bet you thought this post was going somewhere poignant and intellectual, but really, all it's going toward are llamas.
When faced with the question, "What have you been up to?" I didn't have trips abroad on the schedule or a new job and planned triathlon to talk about. Instead, what I found pop into my mind were abstract images of things that make me laugh, arbitrary lines of poetry that might make something of themselves, and faces of people I've fallen so hard in love with over the past few months -- with no bullet-point list of concrete achievements to assign to any of them. Long after this conversation ended, sitting alone in my living room playing it back over in my mind, these pictures lingered and I realized just how much they mattered.
Truly, I will be outstandingly happy this year if all I do is love people, make shit, and act out on silly, whimsical ideas.
And in that vein, I dragged two coworkers with me on a 2-hour drive to somewhere in the hills of Jamul yesterday. Despite not noticeably crossing any borders, our cellphones told us we were in Mexico, and we found ourselves knocking on the door of a stranger named Ruth to ask if we could play with her llamas. I've been talking about doing something so specifically random for two years, and -- because 2014 is the year for moments to matter, and confessions of love, and a no-holds-barred, fuck-it level of vulnerability -- finally wasted an entire day of my life doing so. It was comical, insignificant by all traditional accounts, and absolutely my go-to party story now for all of time. I hope the rest of this year has the level of lighthearted happiness and frivolity that yesterday had. Cause if not, what are we wasting our hearts on?
Yesterday, the damn cutest llama named Marika leaned in for a kiss from me, and I GAVE HER ONE. How is that not the coolest thing to happen so far in 2014?