Summer

Strangely delicious Italian food in Gila Bend, Arizona, after a quick post drive dip in the pool.

A bunny stops, silhouetted in the light of San Elijo State Beach’s bathroom, and stares a me, frozen, and I begin to brush my teeth.

It’s been years since I’ve been camping. Lattes, croissants, and groceries a short walk away, just over the PCH and the train tracks. Not the camping I’m used to. Each night I sleep better than the night before, traffic and trains blurring into white noise. I envy the kids’ ability to shut it out completely.

Red eyes from days of sun and salt.

S’mores.

A quick detour to Williams, Arizona, on the drive home. The Grand Canyon in its late morning, early summer glory. The perfect knife found in a general store.

Open roads, canyons, beaches, and picnics.

The first summer I can remember spending off of a film set in a very long time.

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You were never not…

Every once in a while I look around at my life, I should really do it more often, and marvel at how I was never not going to be where I am. It was never not going to happen.

One year ago, more or less exactly, I was in my apartment in LA, overcome with the feeling that somehow along the way I’d managed to take a wrong turn and was, in fact, not living the life I was meant to live. A horrible mistake had been made.

And even though, deep down, I knew that it was impossible to have made such a mistake, it was not a good feeling. So, I made a drastic left turn and moved back to New Mexico.

One year later, this morning, I came across a journal/scrap book I kept sometime in college. The dates of torn out magazine pages and scribbled entries seem to fall between the years 2000 and 2004. I love this book. A one inch spiral bound journal overwhelmed and stuffed with images, cards, and patterns, bursting to 5 or 6 inches wide. And guess what? I haven’t changed! Images of beaches, vintage clothing, surfers, and women designing lives they love pour out of the pages. The same things I still pin on Pinterest and dog-ear in magazines.

But, the really crazy part?

I’ve manifested the whole thing! My life is the images I tore out and glued in almost twenty years ago. I have created everything I used to want and that I didn’t know how I was going to make happen.

At the time I was making aprons out of vintage tablecloths and selling them to stores. After years of saving McCall’s pattern books and drawing fashion catalogs on the kitchen table after school, I wanted to work with clothing but really didn’t know in what capacity. I wanted a beautiful home and a creative way to make money and to fall in love with a surfer so we could travel to different beaches around the world. Ding ding ding.

Did I make it happen? Did it happen because it was always meant to and all I had to do was show up? Did years of thinking the same thoughts lead me to an inevitable conclusion? And where will it lead from here?

I have no idea!!

But, it is a trip to remember how powerful we and our thoughts are and to remember that we were always heading to where we are now. Even my confusing time in LA, or time spent with the wrong guy, or saying yes to a job I regretted; it was all part of the plan. No matter how curvy the road may have been or how many left turns we take upon realizing we don’t like our trajectory. This was never not going to happen.

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On your mark..

On your mark, get set…

As I drive to another day of work on a movie set, all I want to do is stay home, wash, size, measure and photo the vintage clothing I’ve spent the last month purchasing, with the intention of reselling. This makes me laugh as I’ve spent the last sixteen years washing, sizing, and photoing clothing and thought I just wanted out, never to do any of it again. But this new gig feels different. Completely.

“You’ll never do it,” he said to me. “You’ll just talk about it and keep doing what’s easy.” He says this to get under my skin. It works. My competitive Aries ‘I’ll show you’ nature rears its head. He knew this would happen.

Within a month I have a rack of vintage clothing in my studio, lines of shoes, belts, and bags on the floor and jewelry trays full of accessories. The steamer, rack, tagging gun, clothing tags and pins that I keep in my shed, with bins and bins of costuming supplies, take on a new life, one that excites me.

I go to my first ever Estate Sale. I arrive at 9:45 and am accidentally the first one in line for a 10 o’clock open. At 9:58 there is a line of people behind me, chomping at the bit. I make my way upstairs to the bedroom and fill two bags with French Rag woven tops, hand loomed in California, circa 1986.

Knockabout Vintage begins.

knockabout

adjective

knock·about |  \ ˈnäk-ə-ˌbau̇t

Definition of knockabout

1: suitable for rough use: knockabout clothing

Vintage clothing with a Western slant. Men’s Wranglers and Levi’s worn by women, Western shirts, mini skirts with cowboy boots, hats, snakeskin bags, denim, leather, workwear, jackets, blazers, shoulder-pads, and fringe.

Years of working on Westerns, with used clothing, and here I am again. Happily.

“You’ll never do it.” The best motivation. And off we go. Yee Haw.

Knockaboutvintage.etsy.com

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40

I have to say, at least I still make myself laugh! Like that time I moved to LA in large part because I saw 40 approaching and was totally freaked out that it would arrive to find me in the same house, city, and career I’d been in since my mid twenties. Or that time I moved back from LA into that same house, city, and career and breathed a sigh of relief that they were all still there, two years later, patiently waiting for me to realize that none of those outward things had anything to do with inner peace, contentment, or joy.

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.

-Leo Tolstoy

And now 40 is here, today, and that makes me laugh too. I was so worried about this particular birthday and all of the arbitrary meaning imposed upon it. If anything, I now feel excited to begin a new decade in the same way I felt excited to begin 2019; a clean slate upon which to design a life I love. img_0331

My twenties and thirties were weird! Good parts, bad parts, and a lot of heavy, confused, conflicted parts. I am happy to say that by the time my late thirties rolled around, I’d become better at having fun and at seeing it all as an adventure, which eased much of that self imposed pressure.

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Am I evolving backwards? I wonder. I was a serious child, teen, and young adult. When my peers listened to pop, I preferred Leonard Coen, Bob Dylan, and any cowboy poet crooning over love and loss. I would draw and design my “fashion books” for hours at the dining room table and fall asleep to Italian lessons on tape at night. An odd duck.

Now, I just want to dance. And laugh. And write and draw and relearn the languages I studied as a child, but have mostly let go dormant.

Spirals coming back around. Never the same lesson but one that takes me just a bit deeper.

Life is short.

Are the 40’s the decade in which the self finds a groove, some clarity, and answers appear? Maybe.

Or maybe we will always feel like our five year old selves inside, amazed when the world bestows the word adult upon us? It seems that little girl understood herself pretty clearly and that ever since I have simply been coming home, back to her.

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The Slow Down

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What the what is going on?!

This week I learned that there is such a thing as a bomb cyclone, that entire trains can be blown off of their tracks by high wind, and what happens in the aftermath of a blizzard induced multi car pile-up in which, Thank God, loved ones were uninjured. And, just yesterday, I saw a car unexpectedly catch on fire, had to cut someone out of a coat in which they were stuck after the zipper broke, and later found myself in the orange barrel lane of an interstate that went down to one lane without warning (I was not alone in this predicament).

What is going on?!

As a lover of astrology I’d be inclined to blame it all on the current Mercury retrograde, but really? The Ides of March perhaps, that notoriously unlucky day on which Caesar was assassinated in the Senate, after he failed to Beware.

Coming on the heels of a week in which most of my circle, myself included, were sick with some version of cold, flu, or allergies, was this week simply another sign to slow down and take it easy? A reminder of how little we are in control of and of how quickly things can change from “normal” to chaotic and uncertain?

On March 14, 2009, I was putting clean sheets on the bed after getting home late from a party and as the rust colored fabric billowed in the air I thought, for no apparent reason, “tomorrow is the Ides of March, I wonder if anything weird will happen?” The next morning I received a call telling me that my former boyfriend had died in a car accident the night before, right around the time I was making that bed. I was devastated. Fifteen days before my 30th birthday, it set the tone for my thirties and what would be a strange decade. As I made the drive from LA to New Mexico for the Memorial Service, the Mojave Desert was carpeted in yellow flowers, something I’d never seen before  and haven’t seen since.

One year later, on March 15, 2010, I was caught in a blizzard driving to Las Vegas, New Mexico, for the first day of shooting the Coen Brother’s film “True Grit”. What should have been a one hour drive became four and, little did I know, they closed the Interstate just after I made it through. So, most of the crew was stuck in Santa Fe anyway and it didn’t matter that I’d made it past multiple accidents and to the motel, crying.

Is it just a crazy time of year, a time best spent by resetting and slowing down, before Spring’s warmth and greenery begin? Time to til the soil and prepare, before planting? A slowdown meant to recharge and ready us for Summertime trips, hikes, and projects?

After a few days of below average, freezing temperatures, today is gorgeous, sunny, and wind free. The energy is calmer. I spent the morning digging up old plants, getting my hands dirty, raking leaves, and preparing to plant seeds soon, once it’s warmer. Dirt always grounds me, no pun intended.

The past two weeks have been a needed reminder to slow down, notice the beauty, rest, prepare, heal, and take a moment to appreciate our precious and bizarre time and lives, never taking any of it for granted.

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Forward>Backward

IMG_1071I was recently granted one of those rare opportunities to step back into the past for just long enough to see how much everything has changed. As Zora Neale Hurston wrote in her book Their Eyes Were Watching God, “there are years that ask questions and years that answer,” and, after so many spent in the question phase, it is a relief to feel and see  answers popping up all over my life.

I spent February in Los Angeles, working on the same TV series I spent half of 2018 on. Same characters, same costumes, same locations and crew; and yet my life has totally changed in the six months since we initially wrapped. No more Silver Lake apartment or weekends spent wandering aimlessly. No more dating or existential beach walks during which I wondered what to do next; Should I look for a new place to live in LA? Move? Give that boring guy a second date? So many days, weeks, months spent going in circles, trying to figure it all out in my head, trying anything to alleviate constant anxiety. Until one May morning, last Mother’s Day weekend, I woke up and knew it had to change. I was unhappy and the beach walks weren’t working. It was time to throw it all up in the air and stop trying to force anything.

I started meditating every day. I stuck with heart opening mantras in the hope that my heart always knows which direction is best and would guide me in ways my head only ever pretends to.

And the answers began to come…back to my little house in the desert…back to part time work and hiking and making and cooking and creating and love and to family and connection. I fell back in love with the life I had taken for granted just a couple of years before.

And then February, 2019. Back in LA. Back for a quick taste of what I left behind and all I could think of was how I couldn’t wait to return to the desert, to the man, house, yard, couch, family, and to the life that happened as soon as I stopped trying to force the answers.

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