THE CITIES I'VE INHABITED AND THE PEOPLE I'VE BEEN IN EACH
Oh, the places you'll go! (Thanks for the epicness of this request @brookielyons.)
- •Bolinas, California: Happy Cult Baby.Birth to 2. With the Alive Tribe, a quasi commune-cult with heavy focus on psychospiritual release (read: rebirthing, pillow screaming, naked yoga on Thanksgiving, men wearing blue eyeliner, etc.). My time spent largely being dressed up in white lace by the other Alive Tribe kids, a la 1983 Madonna.
- •Ulupalakua, Hawaii. Misplaced Redheaded Child.2 to 18. We lived in two other parts of Maui prior to settling in Ulupalakua, "place where the breadfruit ripens." Time primarily spent reconciling white minority identity with dominant local/Hawaiian culture, having fairy tea parties under jacarandas with my mother, talking to pomegranates, and writing a new short story every day in order to populate my world with "friends". Beach? For mermaiding only. (Cue massive beach shirts I was forced to wear for sun protection. Hawaii and redheads 🚫.)
- •New Haven, Connecticut. Melancholic Bohemian Ivory Towerer.18 to 21. Time primarily spent masking severe intellectual insecurity by using words like, "praxis," "liminal," and "hegemony," listening to music reminiscent of pre-Raphaelite sylphs in an atonal coven, plotting future as Surrealist French poet, lounging on moss-colored velvet pillows, learning Sanskrit, and sitting on the floor of the grad school cabaret listening to the brilliant Deb Margolin hold court. (Sidebar: We need to get Deb on here stat @bjnovak @brookielyons @mandi @jansonebwoodlee.)
- •Avignon, France. Wandering Redheaded Jew Does Not Come of Age in France.19. Time primarily spent baking in Provençal summer heat, languishing with my supremely cool half french, half Moroccan host who smoked a single cigarette at sunset each day, learning to love fresh tomatoes, and exploring the sandstone cliffs of islands off the coast of Marseilles completely alone whilst others my age did age-appropriate things like take advantage of underage drinking and feel each other up.
- •Pukalani, Hawaii. Dismal Yoga Crusader.21 to 22. I moved home to save the world with yoga. Instead I housesat for people who owned the entire DVD box set of Friends and watched episodes on repeat whilst crying at the depth of aloneness I felt. I was also extremely certain I knew all the secrets of the universe and could communicate them to you via downward facing dog.
- •Rochester, Michigan. Sex-crazed Yoga Crusader.22 to 23. I moved to Michigan to live and work and sex and teach yoga with a boy I fell in love with at our yoga teacher training. Time primarily spent having "tantric" sex for 3-6 hour periods, trying to be exactly like my Jesus-esque boyfriend, and gradually unraveling to the point of discovering that I was trying to be someone I was most pointedly not.
- •Ulupalakua & Haiku, Hawaii. The One Who Grieves (aka No More Namaste).23 to 26. Time spent managing grief of aforementioned Jesus-esque yogi breaking up with me (largely prompted by faux-guru reporting his Vedic astrology chart indicated relationship would always be a burden; he's married now) three days before my mom was diagnosed with late-stage endometrial cancer and died a year and a half later. Time also spent having my bullshit-ometer zing through the roof as I realized I could no longer tolerate or teach all that I'd previously espoused. No more namaste.
- •San Francisco, California. Recovering Human.26 to 29. Time primarily spent cutting off 8 inches of hair, writing (unpub) memoir about death and fleeing the yoga empire, discovering the power of a good red 💄, shivering in gorgeous Victorian house with three roommates, repeatedly falling in love with man uninterested in monogamy, exploring the art of the farmers market, taking refuge in my kitchen, learning what real bread tastes like (thanks Josey Baker!), and climbing hills for fun.
- •Los Angeles, California. Human (work-in-progress).29 to present (31). Time primarily spent blogging whilst lounging half clothed, working in community gardens, seeking oases of all kinds, writing work that doesn't make me feel 💀💀💀, drinking wine outside at sunset, holding hands with friends I've known for over a decade, and getting a book deal for work that isn't about 💀💀💀! Being alive FTW.