22 July 2018

feeling goodbye

Telluride, CO | May, 2018 | Nikonos V | Ilford HP 5 400, pushed 2 stops

I begin this note much in the same way as I began this quest for Italy: sparked by a death of a food critic and fueled by many short videos from Bon Appetite.

I am beyond excited to join Isabella and her family in Turin. Torino. An epicenter for skiing, museums, vegetarian food. I've already picked out my climbing gym. 

As the days get closer and I'm crossing things off my list (visa, schedules, tickets, duolingo, pizza), my mind has more space to think about what I'll miss.

I'll miss coming home to Juliet's post-spin salad, where we talk in the kitchen about art and relationships, a few feet from the corner where masterpieces are stacked away from appreciative eyes. Her paintings remind me of swimming in a clear Puerto Rican ocean - a feeling of complete buoyancy, clarity. She is a light of positivity, a unicorn of tenacity. Thank you for showing me a good six months on Detroit st.

I'll miss hours spent at the rock climbing gym with Nick as he sings some off-tune (but on rhythm) song while I struggle to climb a route which he has the patience to belay. Arms pumped, mood elated. He doesn't sugarcoat what I need to hear, and for that, I am grateful.  It won't be easy finding a friend, photographer, and climber who I trust so completely with my life, and I'll miss his post-climb, pre-ramen hugs between sessions of vegging out on padded floor. I won't miss the ramen, but I will miss lazy nights on the couch and a million conversational tangents in the car. Thank you for being there to catch every fall and to answer every call. Don't get any more concussions, thanks. 

I'll miss the gentle embrace of Sara's angel hugs. She is a bundle of serenity, the sweetest yogi you will ever meet, and with an understanding of the world I hope to reach someday. She gives guidance in times of struggle and silence in times of gratitude. Sara, you are a beautiful yam, and I've loved getting to know you with each outdoor adventure (also, you definitely know me a bit better after Bears Ears. Thanks for laughing at and with naked desert goddess sarah). Thank you for having an open heart, and for showing me that family is the people you surround yourself with.

I'll miss the everything about this ginger devil. There's a playfulness in her bite of a no bullshit personality. Under mini horns lies a deeply caring, completely genuine individual with a passion for our political future that I, frankly, do not understand, but I love it all the same. I have learned so much from her in the last few months. Korina. How do I even describe the influence you've had on my being? With your help, I've become more comfortable at who I am at my core. You've taught me what respect looks like, how it feels in too-warm hands, how to tend to it like a fire. I am so grateful for this mutual unfolding of discovery. Thank you for your continual support. I will love what I find, even if it's not what I'm looking for. 

I'll miss the pistachio of awesomeness that is one Emily(ia) Padilla. Despite miles and schedules and days and years, we've turned a random housing assignment into bestfriendship. Emily has experienced the highs and lows of being my best friend: the high pitched whine comparable to a pteradactyl of a crush unrequited, the low voice of after-night phonecalls. She's the kind of friend you can call at any hour of the day to share excitement or woes which feed waves into life. Selfless as they come, an Emily Teresa to outbest the mother. We've come far and haven't at all since freshman year of college. You are the Ron to my Harry ( or am  the ron? ), the Hufflepuff to my Slytherin-turned-Hufflepuff. You are the best god damn redvine in the packet, and I will miss you so dang much. Thank you for reading through my B.S. and for being an utter saint in this world full of Malfoys. Love you, and come visit me. 

I'll miss the first friend I ever had, the best sister a girl can ask for. Johanna is a willowtree - a shelter to outside forces, a blanket of shade in the dead of summer. Together we've scraped knees, gotten beestings, dreamt engagement rings... We've grown up together and in the last twenty years, we've experienced each other's joy, heartaches, thrills, and hardships. I can't wait to see you and Christian grow together, and I am so happy to be a part of this chapter (and every chapter) of your life. I will miss your laugh and your hugs. I am still jealous that you're taller than I am, and that you can eat anything and not gain a pound. I so appreciate witnessing the love between you and Christian, and it makes me believe in a love greater than myself. I can't wait to see you next June for your special day.

Each one of you has a piece of my heart (and probably a piece of my property - sara, nick). You (and so many others) make it hard to say goodbye. I love you. I will miss you. I'm definitely not getting emotional while drinking Porto on my front porch the night before a shoot. Thank you for showing me love, for making me feel less alone, for being more than okay with my craziness, and for not holding back. I'll see you in a year (and some change).