The Love Story

by Rachael on April 2, 2013 · 50 comments

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Most of you who talk to me outside of this blog know this little ditty by now. Many of you have even met the incredible man I serendipitously moved in with, and immediately fell for, when I landed in this fair city last spring.

But for the rest of you… well, it’s about time.

In truth I got a little too lucky; people shoot me death glares when I mention how we met. (Actually, Shawn hates that story, since I enjoy telling people that “we met on Craigslist.” Granted, it was in the apartment listings, not the casual encounters, but what can I say – it makes me laugh, anyway.)

It was all very moth-to-flame. I warned myself, I swore to friends that I wouldn’t let his cuteness faze me… and then promptly forgot all of that the moment I moved in. He was too funny, too brilliant, too witty, too sexy (and with just a trace of an eastern European accent – seriously, what’s a girl to do)?

The next few months, quite honestly, should have been captured on film. (Let’s just say Britney’s “Chaotic” had nothing on us.) It was a whirlwind of emotions, of highest highs and lowest lows (all of which were patiently borne by our innocent bystander of a third roommate. God bless you, Brian.)

But we got through it intact, somehow. Eventually we decided to do the responsible thing and date like normal people, so I moved out in September, a whole half a mile away… which lasted all of four months. But it was long enough for us to realize that living apart, while responsible and whathaveyou, was wrong in every way.

We’re now bunned up in an adorable Pac Heights apartment with Girl Cat and a new furry addition:

Please to meet L'il Sebastian.
Please to meet L’il Sebastian.

It’s been such a short, fun-filled, wonderful year, but in that short time, I already can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. I feel like something (fate, karma, call it what you will) was literally dragging me across the country to meet the one person who could inspire me to become the girl – the woman – I’ve always wanted to be. He challenges me in ways that both drive me nuts and that I always knew I would need, and I am desperately, beautifully, satisfyingly head over heels is love with him.

So that’s the story. Sorry for the one-year cliffhanger, for those of you who only know me through this blog… I didn’t want to jinx it. But now that L’il Sebastian’s in the picture, I’m pretty sure he’ll be sticking around.

/schmoop

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Rachael Act II: Back in the Habit

by Rachael on March 8, 2013 · 25 comments

Sister Act Rachael

I think the reason it took me so long to return to this place is that I don’t *just* want to write; I want to write well. Sharing with e-friends is great. Recording memories is even better. And being a part of the “blogging community” (at least as it was Once Upon a Time) is the very best of all. But my primary motivator has always been to produce something I was proud of; something that would make people laugh, or at least feel something.

Even though I’ve (finally) been pushed to come back here thanks to a very cool project with Sony (more below) — and I’m very grateful for the much needed nudge — I’m still a bit hesitant because, honestly, I feel like my writing rhythm is gone. Or at least in need of some serious re-discovering. But I suspect the only way to conquer that is just to attack it head on, bull-in-a-china-shop style. (That’s always been the method I’m most comfortable with, anyway.)

So here we go! Fortunately for you, my first posts back here will be quite media-rich, thanks to Sony’s ridiculously fun Unedited 408 Project. They’ve chosen social-savvy people from all over the country to rep their cities in the photographical sense, and I’m thrilled to be their Bay area person of choice. Over the next week or two, I’ll be taking 50 unedited photos of my fair city; things I believe show the true San Francisco. (I hope this doesn’t have to be PG-rated, because the real SF is generally not family friendly — and we like it that way.)

I’ll be leaking a few of the shots here, and then the whole collection will be up for viewing in the Santa Rosa Sony Store (hence the #Sony408 hashtag, for those of you wondering why it’s not 415!) before finally being online for the whole world to see. This will be especially interesting for me, because I am one of the worst photographers on. the. planet. If there’s bad lighting, I’ll find it. I never know when to use the flash, and even my cat has a double chin in my pics. Still excited you picked me, Sony?

No matter how they come out, ultimately, I think  it’ll be a blast. And my ulterior motive is that by the end of it, I’ll feel comfortable blogging (at least somewhat) regularly again. Uber win.

(Please leave tips for beginners below, photogs!)

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Getting Back to Home

by Rachael on March 1, 2013 · 36 comments

This place, which was essentially my second home for so long, has been quiet for the better part of a year now.

And if I’m being honest, it wasn’t very loud in the months leading up to that. A pitiful smattering of (unintentional) teasers, vague-isms, and a few brave moments I probably shouldn’t have published (but am ultimately glad I did, and not just for the e-hugs I so desperately needed at the time).

I’m surprised at how that stretch of silence has ticked on and on, honestly. I suppose the past year was just such a roller coaster, it was all I could do to live it, never mind find the energy to share it. I’m not sure yet if I’ll regret how much time I missed getting down on paper; how many memories will disappear because I couldn’t find the wherewithal to save them here.

But it is what it is, right? And I can either continue to sit on my ass and ponder that, or I can shut up and start to hit publish again.

Fortunately, I was handed a fun shiny new project out of the sky today – something that will require posting somewhat regularly for the next couple weeks. It’s one that I’m actually excited about, so I think it’s the perfect excuse to get back into the habit of sharing, (Or over-sharing, as we all know is much more likely with me.)

So that’s it, for now. I’ll try to play catch up over the next couple weeks, and get back to a place of normalcy here, so that it’s no longer this big, fat, bully of a blank page that stretches on for eons and can’t possibly be filled. Instead, it will just be my little old life, day by day-ish, again – a place I once again love to call home.

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On Courage (Or the Lack There Of…)

by Rachael on June 5, 2012 · 32 comments

(First off, I know, I know, total cliffhanger, Batman. But you know how these things are – potential jinxings, and whatnot. I guess if you want the official scoop, you’ll just have to email/gchat/come visit. Smooches!)

When it first started to sink in that I was moving from DC to California in the space of three weeks, the stress of everything that needed to be done and all the pieces that had to fall into place for it to work was entirely overwhelming. I was a veritable ball of anxiety just thinking about trying to adjust to a new city, a new home, and a new job… all at the same time.

(To say nothing of the daunting task of leaving my robust social circle back in DC, and building an entirely new one – and for an extreme extrovert like me, there is no fear like the fear of being lonely. Trust.)

But since picking up my life and moving it, my job, and my cat across the country almost two months ago now, I’ve had a ton of really sweet comments, emails and conversations with friends and readers who’ve told me ridiculously outlandish things like “you’re so brave” and “you’ve inspired me to go for that kickass job/move to a new city/insert freaking awesome goal here”.

These kinds of statements, while unbelievably sweet (and certainly not unwelcome, ha) always make me a little bit uncomfortable… because I don’t feel brave or strong or courageous. I suppose that if the definition of courage is doing something even when you’re afraid to do it, I might be able to claim a bit of that title, because lord knows I was absolutely terrified in the weeks leading up to the move, and, well, here I am.

But at the end of the day, I’m not brave. I didn’t summon some huge burst of GUTS ‘N GLORY that gave me the kick in the ass I needed. To be perfectly honest, there’s one reason, and one reason only that can explain my current status as a resident of Northern California:

I didn’t have a choice.

It’s simple, really; I was more afraid of boredom than I was of being out of my comfort zone.

That is – tragically – all that this enormous life-changing milestone boils down to. I spent five years in one (albeit glorious) city, and I needed a new challenge, because I’d seemingly conquered it.

I just felt like I’d done it all – like I’d made the lifelong friends, and found the favorite restaurants, and become a (hopefully favorite) fixture at the events. Granted, my “scene” was the deliciously dorky tech/whiskey-swilling scene, and I loved every second of it (how do you not?!) – but the fact remains that I outgrew it as only a true child of the first ADD generation, AKA Gen Y, truly can.

It was time for a clean slate for many reasons, sure. But the moment I was no longer attached to someone who couldn’t leave the District, I knew I had to fly. At the time, where I went didn’t seem to matter – but of course, hindsight is 20/20 and blah blah blah. Because the second I touched down in SF, I immediately knew – no, felt – that this was EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be.

Bravery is great.

Courage is grand.

Listening to your gut and following your instincts is better.

So much better. Because you don’t just get to call yourself brave, at the end of the day – you get to KNOW, in the pit of your stomach, that you’re on the right track, meeting the right people, and doing the right thing for yourself. You’re in line with How Things Are Supposed To Be.

After being lost, sometimes for such a long time… you’re BACK, baby.

And it feels so freaking good.

[image source]

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I’ll Be Your Shot of Whiskey*

by Rachael on May 25, 2012 · 73 comments


When you’re 19, you have a new crush basically every five minutes. Like bumblebees, we flit from this flower to that without a second thought, tasting from all over and allowing our libidos and ADD attention spans to rule everything we do – up to and including the new person we fall for every other week.

At that age, you can barely blink without being drawn to someone new, because at this point in life your standards for what makes someone attractive are so low. “Let’s see… great butt, has all teeth? Check, check. Sweet, it’s make out time!”

As we get older wiser and have our fair share of failed relationships (ahem, learning experiences), we ultimately come to know more about our personal values, must-haves and deal breakers, and consequently it becomes less and less frequent that you meet someone you LIKE like. As in, “check the ‘Yes’ box” kind of “like”:

It simply becomes harder to find, thanks to the inevitable laundry list of character requirements we develop through the years of dating All The Wrong People. “Must be 5’9″ exactly for maximum spooning enjoyment; must be able to recognize any and all Arrested Development quotes in everyday conversation; must not only tolerate but encourage my penchant for brightly colored skinny jeans, my undying love for all memes involving cats or Ryan Gosling, and my desire to one day own a teacup pig.”

But by the same token, it becomes that much more precious when you DO find someone who gives you those same excruciatingly intense butterflies you got back when you were 19 and dumb as hell.

Someone who excites you. Someone who surprises you. Someone who makes you want to do and try things you’ve never done before, and learn every. last. THING there is to know about them. Someone who you truly enjoy spending time with – a lot of time, actually – to the point where the rest of the world suddenly seems a bit, well, lackluster when they’re not around.

Nearly ten years later, it’s so rare that I’d almost forgotten what it felt like.

Almost…

{Title credit, and generally adorable video here.}

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