compassion and resilience.

did you know the enhanced license only works on land and sea? you can cross into canada and back, or mexico and back, but not by airplane. we had to learn this the hard way.

sometimes you learn things the hard way. tears make it seem less hard. they always do. cry and people instantly change their tone. compassion all the sudden appears from behind their cemented scowl. why does it take teardrops to bring out a natural human emotion? we are taught to be tough as children. or maybe we aren’t. but i was. taught by my parents. taught by my siblings. taught by the boys next door. don’t let them see you cry. hide behind the treehouse until you can stop sobbing. holditalltogether. but i never learned to hide my emotions very well. if i am sad, you see it. if i am mad, you see it. if i am happy, you see it. but we camouflage it. chameleon-ize the feelings into something that won’t make us ashamed. yet, it is when we have lost all our inhibitions against hiding our emotions that strangers start to care. your gut gives when you see someone in distress and welling up with water at the corners of their eyes. or maybe it doesn’t for you. maybe it’s just me.

a scene from a movie. getting from to chicago to phoenix only to be told you cannot take the second leg of your flight to mexico with your family. christmas is two days away and flights are booked. but the airline employees bend over backwards to stop your tears. anything to stop the emotion. see a smile. save christmas. put you on the beach next to your sister so you can burn and peel and relax.

resilience.

our ability to bounce back.

traveling from one city to the next. filling my moleskine planner with hour after hour of meetings and dinners and coffee dates.

portland to chicago. get picked up at midway by dad. sleep in late and move to the couch to soak in his flat screen television with recorded episodes of homeland and dexter. you need those days to recover. to forget to eat and brush your teeth because moving from the couch seems so hard. rent a car from enterprise’s strapping young frat boys who are on the corporate fast track. a brand new nissan versa. a mere ninety miles on the odometer. wow. this is the newest car i will probably ever drive. i returned it with over 800. up to michigan. pulling into grand rapids and immediately checking clients off the list. squeeze in some yoga with my fairy godmother, a visit to have company, and pizza at a new-for-me brewery in town. sleep. wake up. go down the list of appointments. no more than travel time penciled in between. end up back in chicago at a holiday party full of old high school friends.

wow. 48 hours. it is amazing what can happen in 48 hours.

but how about 72? add in a trip to wisconsin to see the grandparents, kick my cousin’s butt in some xbox dance game, and alter the universe with my best friend. head back to chicago to catch the last two songs of anna ash at the tonic room with coop. sleep. more meetings. a quickbooks lesson. rush to return the rental car by 6pm to the suburbs.

are you tired yet?

now add in another lunch and some christmas shopping. and then let the holiday chaos begin. my 26th birthday in chicago with my favorite group of assholes. yeah, i said it. followed by christmas with my dad and nancy. now on a plane to mexico with my mom and sibling(s). amy had to fly home to get her passport.

did you know the enhanced license only works on land and sea? you can cross into canada and back, or mexico and back, but not by airplane. we had to learn this the hard way.

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