birthday update

Hi. How goes it? I hope it goes well. I'm stopping by today to give a sort of state of the union, since Thursday was my birthday and it's been ages since I've just given a straight update on my life.

Work.

Work is great. It's been six months now since they foolishly put me at the helm - but I haven't crashed the ship yet. In fact, hilariously, I have actually turned out to be rather good at it. Of seven stores, mine is by some measures the most profitable, and has in fact only been profitable since I took over. I am constantly insisting to my bosses (who I love) that this has nothing to do with me, that I'm just showing up every day and making common sense decisions and trying to keep people (employees and customers) happy -- and they are constantly insisting that I'm killing it. (Their actual words.) It has been a huge and unexpected boost to my self-esteem, and despite the work being unglamorous in the extreme, I absolutely love my job. I work with a crew of funny, caring, and awesome people who've become great friends and I count each of them a blessing every day.

Social life.

I spend a lot of time with coworkers and ex-coworkers who've remained friends. They're awesome and supportive and we're close knit to a point where it actually feels like family. And if you've been following me for some time, you know how much that sense of belonging is like heroin to me. It's all I want. And I have it again, after not having it for some time. And it's so, so great. I see the my LA friends (the few who didn't move away) every so often, and Cameron (still living in Texas) and I talk every single day. I couldn't imagine life without him in my corner.

Love life.

The thing that I've been writing about since March is still going. He lives in North Hollywood, which is a right bitch to get to from where I'm at, so we're only able to see one another once or maybe twice a week. But we recently had a talk about this and I agreed to tweak my schedule a bit so we can change that.

Most nights that we get together we immediately fall on the bed and just lay wrapped up in one another's arms, talking and laughing and listening to music and only leaving when we're too hungry to sleep. Sometimes we go on day trip adventures. Sometimes we cook. The other night at midnight he wanted "to bake" so we went to the store and got stuff to make cake and manicotti. Sometimes we go to shows. These are my favorite times with him. On these nights he doesn't let go of my hand, and he pulls me through crowds, spinning me to the music, blatantly showing off to strangers how happy we are, smiling at me for hours and hours in a way that makes my heart feel brand new.

I've spent the past two months falling for him, and here's why:

We have the same sense of humor. Absurdities in the world and in other people strike us the same way. He tells great stories about ridiculous things that happen during his day, because he has a knack for finding the humor in adversity. He has this one laugh that he only does when he's laughing really hard, and it's about the best thing ever. I'm in love with that laugh. He's the biggest cuddle bug I've ever known and can fall dead asleep no matter what crazy position he's twisted himself up against me in. He brings out a nurturing side of me that I didn't know I had. With him I'm a more patient, accepting, and grateful person. In return he guards my heart and my body in the most beautiful ways. When we walk down the street he always, always, always maneuvers himself to be closer to traffic, to be between me and some shady person. He comes out to the street to wait for my Uber and when he puts me back in another one at the end of the night, he tells the driver to please drive safe. "Precious cargo." (It is of course to be silly, but it's adorable all the same.) And he monitors my mood and happiness like -- well, like Chaucer did. Very closely. He knows when even the slightest tiniest thing has bothered me and will not let up until I admit it. He makes sure I am good -- and that we are good. It's important to him.

He's a songwriter (by hobby not profession) so he feels and thinks in lyrics and music. He's made me half a dozen playlists. I've made him two. When we miss one another, we turn to these. That's a really big thing for me that I've missed. I shared my blog with him. I showed him what I'd written about him. I didn't know how he'd take it. The first thing he said after reading was "No words." Then he described my writing as "next level" and said some other really sweet things. His creative life is very, very important to him, and he protects his creative time carefully. I love and respect and find inspiration in that.

And more superficially, of course, he is absolutely, positively perfect for me physically.

Health.

I'm running fairly often and still doing my dumb little faux-ga / faux-lates moves that I do at home. I'm pretty happy with my body. I wish I had more self-discipline when it comes to sugar and eating too much too late at night. But generally I'm feeling fit and healthy.

Writing.

As is obvious, working full time still takes a pretty big toll on my creative life. But lately I'm coming to think there's another reason I don't blog as much. Same reason I stay away from Instagram. I'm just losing my taste for self-reflection. For talking about myself at all. For selfies. I have a theory as to why this is, and it's pretty simple: the happier I am - and I'm talking true contentedness with who I am and where I'm at in my life - the less I need to shout about it.

But I still love to write.

So to that end, I've been toying for some time with the idea of taking a fiction class. Because I just have no clue how to approach fiction. Last year I met a published writer who's been through Iowa Writer's Workshop and was just listed as one of the best 15 fiction teachers in Los Angeles, and I'm on his mailing list.

I'm thinking about it, but it's pricey -- and my little free time is very precious -- so I dunno.

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And that's all the news fit to print. Birthday girl, over and out.