Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Well, we truly are bad at this..


I'm sorry for not writing back sooner.  Life happens.  But you know that...

I will write a real post later (or at least sometime in the next week-ish)- for now I just wanted to stop in and say let you know I'm still here & still care to get to know you.

(1. BBerry=extension of my arm)
I know we're not doing apologies, but I would also like to apologize to pouring my heart out all in one post.  It has been a long time since anyone has asked me about my life & past; I guess I just needed someone to listen.  I'm sorry I had you confused with my therapist or something of the like.  From now on, I promise not to post such intense (alcohol-induced) rampages about the shit storm that has been my life thus far.

Truly, I am a happy person- I have a lot to be thankful for & so many wonderful people in my life.  I am excited for the future, content with the present, and at peace with the past.  So, onward.. !

I will be giving a lot of thought to your question in the next week.  I am currently in California, which is where I do some of my best soul-searching.  Thus, I will get back to you about "who I am."  For now, just know that I am here & still interested in what you have to say.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hi, Again. And again.


I’m sorry. One thing you will learn about me quickly is that I enjoy grand gestures and leave abandoned projects in my wake, strewn like discarded dolls left hairless in my exuberance. I am also prone to pretentious images – please forgive me for both.

My only excuse is, I guess, was that knowing you so quickly kind of…well, it scared me. You are there, with your full and subtle life, and I asked you so presumptuously to share with me…and you did. That was the scary part. I hadn’t imagined you as a real person, as I should have, and then didn’t, and now can, and will. You are bold and brave in a way I both expected and didn’t.

Let’s try this again, maybe? Shorter entries this time, maybe. Fewer excuses and apologies – I don’t need any from you, and I won’t lapse to have offer any to you. I’ll try to write, as a friend would say, “not like such a damn old lady.” I want to know you, too – I am just flattered and blushing and scared absolutely that you want to know me.

So, in 500 words or less, who are you?

Hesitantly yours,


P.S. Sorry. Again. I really hope we can try again. This is supposed to be fun. And there's nothing more fun than making a new (old?) friend. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hello, again.

So, Christmas is "in the trash," so to speak, and I just wanted to see how you were doing.

I have been making attempts to lift the veil of self-importance, which has been inexcusable and entirely unwarranted. But enough about my obvious flaws...

Basically, I just really really want to hear more about you. Who you are. Who you were. How you got to/think you arrived at your current state of being. You seem like a very delightful person and I would enjoy getting to know you.

I would very much like to give you adequate responses and receive your feedback. Let me know what you think.

Hope to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Andie 2: Hourglasses&Forget-me-nots

Dear Anna bananaa fee fii fo fanaa,

Yes, I must say that I am emanating maturity right now. Life's too short to not make room for a little silliness, don't you agree? Ha ha :]

I am very sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your letter--like I said, this past week has been EXTREMELY busy for me. I went to Los Angeles this weekend and spent the greater portion of last week working and getting the apartment situation, situated. Not that you needed an explanation or anything. I just don't like to leave people "hanging."

Backtracking a bit: I, too, was a bit of a "shrew" in high school. Oh man, was I ever! Looking back, I'd say I was that crazy, liberal bitch who sat in the middle of class and enjoyed playing the role of devil's advocate. It's funny to think how much we still have in common, despite us having not seen each other in 15+ years.

Moving on.. There was this charming, friendly young boy whom I met at the tender age of two. He lived three houses down from me and, although you and I were close during our preschool years, I still refer to him as my first (and pretty much only, prior to 5th grade) friend. We rode bikes together, built forts in the desert, and pretended to be secret agents. He was solely responsible for my active imagination and ability to find humor in everyday things. He taught me how to make friends, as I was very shy in my early years (kindergarten-age thru junior high). I'm not sure where/who I'd be without him, as cliche as that sounds.
I don't know if you remember hearing about this, but about six years ago, a 13-year-old boy was killed on a go-ped after being hit by a truck. I'm sure you do remember it, actually, it was a pretty big deal in Scottsdale when we were in middle school. That was him. That was Wade. My neighbor, my best friend. He passed away October of our eighth grade year and, to be completely honest, life went pretty downhill from there.
I discovered my new coping mechanism in my parent's alcohol cabinet (we'll delve into that later) and my ability to organize. I arranged candlelight memorial services; I organized a song dedication at our 8th grade choir performance; I even helped begin designing a mural in his honor. The way I saw it, the more "together" I seemed to everyone around me, the more together I would be. But I was never okay, which became so very apparent in later years.

I don't know if this was what you expected in a post from me about life-changing individuals, but honestly, no one other than Wade comes to mind. I have other incredible friends that I have accumulated throughout the years that have made a similar-if not equal-impact. However, having the pleasure of knowing such a beautiful person (and dealing with the loss) changed who I was more than I could possibly explain. It's hard to fathom..

So, on a similar note, my question to you! I know it is supposed to be general, but it can be taken personally if you prefer. What are your thoughts (if any) on regret? Is it possible to live a fulfilled life if you still have some degree of regret? Or do you think one must release those feelings of regret in order to reach true happiness/enlightenment?

Similarly, a quote related to regret: "Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh." -Henry David Thoreau

Shamelessly yours (lol!),

Friday, June 19, 2009

Anna.2: People, Place, Thing, or Idea

Dear Andie,

Sorry this has taken me so long. Don’t worry about how long yours ever take you: I am here to listen (or read, as it is). Always. There is no expiration date on my curiosity or on my interest in the life of my old and new friend. But let’s stop worrying about it, okay? I’d love to hear from you in a day, but if you post any time in the next month I will be positively tickled. (But I’d really like it if we not abandon the project. Not that you would do that. Just sayin’.)

As you related to much of my letter, I relate to much of yours. If I indulge myself to be exactly who I am without thinking or without trying to make myself better, I am bitter and spiteful and quite intolerant of any weakness or softness in others. In high school I think I was a bit of a shrew, but I like to think that I have grown up a bit since then. I have realized that there is a higher calling than being clever, which was a tough thing to learn. I often held so tightly to the difference between my peers and I– in their stupidity, or their cruelty, or their insipid and puerile priorities – just because I wanted so badly to be different. I wanted to badly for there to be a reason, something to blame, for life being so difficult for me when it looks so easy for everyone else. It was a long, hard thing to overcome. I am still. Sounds like you had a progression somewhat like this, yes? I think this happens often for girls who have something to prove and the voice to prove it.

Mighty Mud Mania was totally me! My mom says she has a picture of us together there. That is so funny that you remember me as being fearless – now I guess I just more feisty and fierce than fearless. And yes, there is a building in my backyard, my dad’s garage for his business as an electrical contractor. My parents still live in that house. His name is Guy. My mom just reminded me that you had a nanny, I must have just assumed they were your mother. I remember once eating tortilla chips on the barstools in my parents’ kitchen and you said, “I was BORN to eat salsa!” My mom is still laughing. You came up occasionally when we broke out the Pace and Tostitos because of that line. I remember a locking safe or diary or something with a combination lock that we hid under a bed. I remember something about you not liking your sister, but I don’t remember your actual sister. It’s still so enlightening to me, what we remember. I hadn’t thought of Mighty Mud Mania in years until you mentioned that. Your words are exactly how I remember the preschool you: timid, silly, but sure of yourself. It’s nice to hear you’re still that way.

I am heartfeltly sorry to hear your parents are no longer together. That must have been hard for you, especially when being fourteen or fifteen is so rough anyway (at least, it was for me). I am incalculably lucky that my parents are the love of each others’ lives. They are good people, and for that I am grateful (but god, they are so annoying sometimes! ☺). I have no siblings; it is so strange to think how you might not know these very basic things about me. What seemingly obvious things don’t I know about you? To fill you in further, my two favoritest things in the worlds are books and chocolate, closely followed by travel and talking. What about you?

I guess I am lucky that I can say that not really much has changed since I was five, in my physical life. My parents still live in the same house on Cactus and the 101. I still love to read and I still love to talk. I still love art, pink, my cousins, and theatre. I still have a hard time with people my own age sometimes, I still get really nervous about nothing (like blogging). In my mind, I have been through some struggles, but as you say: they make me who I am. I never had any reason for this, I guess I am just inclined to being disproportionally melancholy. I have spent some time being lost, to be sure. But I have learned that instead of every arriving at the locale of Not Lost, it’s more like bridges between being lost. The bridges are getting longer, thankfully. Maybe I’m finally growing up. I have changed, too: I am much more forgiving than I was, much more outspoken and adventurous (though still not very, except with food). I like that line of yours: I have begun to like who I am today, scars and all. Well said. Though sometimes the scars of my struggles are more obvious than I might like, it keeps me honest. In the words of Popeye: I am who I am and that’s all that I am.

I am so much a product of where I grew up, that’s an astute and telling question. Would I love to travel so much if I grew up somewhere more exciting? Maybe. Would I be so attached to my books if I had a less boring life? Probably not. I realize now that boring is safe, and safe is good for a child. I am often frustrated by how very Wonderbread WASP I am. Couldn’t my parents have at least taken me somewhere more exotic than Payson? But again, it made me who I am: the library was my airport. What about you? As for the people, places, and events that made me who I am: I could go on for days. I’m a big fan of self-analysis, obviously. So let’s break that one up, okay?

This sounds like a good plan, to have one personal and one general topic. So for next time, here is your personal topic: What people have made you who you are? (You can leave out parents, if you want. I can assume that much.) So then you can pick the general topic? Anyway, we’ll just see where this goes. We don’t seem to be running out of things to say, huh? That’s good. I’m glad.

Just as one last silly, superficial thing: I am something of a connoisseur of quotes. Shall we trade a few, like one at the end of each letter? I’ll kick of the exchange:
“I can ask the wounded man where he is hurt, but I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me.” – John Green.

You know, I’d also be delighted to hear what’s going on in your right-now life, if you want to talk about that. The form I suggested was only for if we got tongue-tied, which we don’t seem to be. I am here to get to know you, in any manner you’ll allow. I am still grateful that you allow any. Thank you, again.

Rain-in-the-middle-of-the-nightly yours,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Andie 1: Currently listening to

Arcade Fire. On Pandora, which is quite possibly my favorite tool on the internet. The end.

Dear Anna,

“Sometimes I get so caught up in myself I forget other people even have thoughts, which is something no one should ever, ever be arrogant enough to do.”

Wow, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I identify with this statement. I, too, have spent much of my life disregarding others and failing to so much as entertain the idea that they might have something to say-opinions of their own. In college, I began to realize that this also applies to how I am perceived by my peers. As a result of living in Scottsdale my whole life, I think I must have assumed that everyone knows my story. This could not be further from the truth, obviously. And so here we are, telling each other our separate tales; of the very different (or perhaps very similar) lives we have lived in the time elapsed. Here goes nothing.

Looking back, I can recall some fond memories with you from my childhood. The first that comes to mind I guess is Mighty Mud Mania. (That was you, correct?) I have seen it advertised in recent years and, for some reason, it always reminds me of you and of our carefree days as preschoolers. I had always been a timid child and this whole experience seemed a little intense to me; however, I distinctly remember your seemingly fearless nature, something that put me much at ease even at age three. Again, I apologize if this was not you, but this is just what I remember.

Like you said, this is a lot harder than I had originally thought. Stringing together the bits and pieces of remembrances from the past into a solid memory is nearly impossible. So I will write them in fragments, for now. I do apologize for the unconventional writing style, I just don’t know how else to go about this task. A workshop or guesthouse in your backyard? Your dad’s name is Guy? Having your name listed as my only friend in my mother’s “nanny’s handbook”? It’s all so fuzzy right now, but it comes back little by little. I didn’t want to keep you waiting too long for a response.

In the years following our separation, I was most undoubtedly a brat. I wouldn’t say spoiled, but I guess that’s the first word that comes to mind. After the birth of my younger sister, I reportedly told my mom, “you never have time for me anymore; you only have time for the baby.” Mind you, I was four years old when I said this. I guess that was when our hatred for each other truly began. Growing up, my dad would affectionately refer to my mother as “the comandante,” which I’m sure needs no explanation. I had been a bonafied daddy’s girl since birth, and this in no way changed with age; I hated my mother and knew early on that my dad would always be my protector from her. I guess this could be why, 11 years later, I partially blamed myself for the demise of their marriage. That is beside the point here, of course. That is a topic for another day.

It is interesting to write this. I cannot believe how much has changed since those days; since my youth in general.

A part of me would like to believe that I have managed to hold on to a lot of who I was as a child. I am still shy. I am still goofy. I am still confident (perhaps overly so). I am still apprehensive. And with that, I am still a contradiction—after all, I am human. I don’t think I will ever lose those parts of myself. There are times that I look back and wish I had done some things differently. However, I am a true believer in the idea that we would not be the same without our individual life experiences. I have begun to like who I am today, scars and all.

That being said, I think I will introduce my choice for next week’s topic. Also, I have another idea for how we should go about doing this whole "Q&A" session. Perhaps once a week we should have a topic relating to us personally and then one general topic we both respond to. That way we can alternate who comes up with which? I don't know, it's just a thought. But anyway.. my question is, going along with what I said about life experiences: do you think you would be the same person if you had grown up somewhere else? What people, places, and events do you think have made you into the individual you are today? I guess those are kind of nature VS nurture-ish questions, so they double as a general&personal question. Hope you don't mind.

Allow me to reiterate, I am really, genuinely, sincerely glad we are doing this. Because, in the words of one of my best girl friends, "I really, really need to talk. And I really, really need to listen." I hope you do too.

Best regards,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Anna.1: Who We Were, Who We Are

Dear Andie,

I know this is sort of strange. It’s not every day that someone you haven’t seen in over a decade asks you to enter into a roughly constructed social experiment. But thank you, for first accepting my Facebook friend request, and now for agreeing to do this letter-exchange thingy-whatever with me. I like your idea to start these exchanges with what happened after we didn’t see each other anymore. We just weren’t friends any more because your parents put you in a new school, and I stayed. It’s just what happens, I think it happens to everyone. Anyway, maybe this is better, to meet you here: I was kind of a brat for most of the years between then and now.

I also really like the idea of having a daily or weekly topic to tackle. You’re right, I don’t know what has happened to you for most of your life, and I’d like to. What should our first topic be? Sometimes these types of questions are trite, but I really would like to know what moments have defined your life and made you who you are. I don’t even know something as simple as what type of music you like (to start that discussion, I’m listening to my Dispatch station on Pandora). Maybe each exchange we could talk about something to do with our lives, like the things we’ve learned or lost since knowing each other, and then we could talk about another outside topic, like college or the future or even learning and loss in general terms. As much as I love talking about myself and as curious as I am about you, I would also really like to hear what you have to say about things that don’t have anything to do with either of us. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself I forget other people even have thoughts, which is something no one should ever, ever be arrogant enough to do. So this time, we’ll talk about what we remember, like you said. In your reply, you can choose what our next topic should be (or I would be happy to chose).

I think this is going to be a really interesting experiment. It’s about psychology, in learning how we’ve grown up, and how we think what has happened to us makes us who we are. It’s about sociology, in how we relate to each other, in our parallel lives we lived to close to each other (in Scottsdale) yet lived so differently. It’s about friendship, seeing how well you can really chose your friends when all you have to bond over is crayon color preference and whether you both like crusts or not. It’s about what we remember and what we block out. I remember playing in the rocks with you during recess, and your long black braid with a bow on the end. I remember thinking your house was nice, and wanting to climb up to the alcoves under the high high ceiling where there were decorative pots. I remember a wash in your backyard. I have this picture of you in my mind in a white shirt tucked into jeans with a white belt (oh, toddler fashion). Why do I remember these things? Who knows. I’m sad to hear that you have had hard things in your life, to make you want to forget some parts of your childhood. I would be honored to hear what you do remember, and of those hard things, if you are willing to tell me. The big hard awkward thing is that I don’t know you, and I want to. And this isn’t exactly the usual way.

I think I’ll end this introduction and memory-spelunking here for now, to not take up too much of your time. Remembering concrete details of preschool was harder than I thought it would be – everything there is hazy and unsure. Thank you again for doing this with me. I hope you enjoy thinking about old memories and pondering your own psychology as much as I have. I am really looking forward to hearing what topic you’ve come up with for our general topic. But since you had the idea of talking about what we remember of each other, can I choose our next personal question? In our slow process of knowing, why don’t we talk about what about ourselves is the same? How much of you, do you think, is the same as when you were little? Do you like it, or don’t you? If nothing’s the same, why? What does that say?

Thank you, my maybe-friend. I am honestly, humbly, gratefully excited to hear from you.

Hat-tippingly yours,