Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween XII: memories & soulmates

Sharry and I always considered Halloween our first anniversary. October 31, 2004 was the day we had our first kiss and from that point on we were pretty much inseparable for what would have been 12 years this Halloween. I was her first and only kiss, if you can belief that, and she was my third. It is important to note that I don’t really count my first as it was in middle school and after encountering my skilled lips the girl said “’s ok maybe some guys just aren’t meant to kiss” really Shar was number 2 haha.

1st Halloween

October and specifically Halloween were always times of fun, haunted houses, family, costumes, treats, scares and celebration. For multiple Octobers we would watch a scary movie almost every night (or Simpson’s Tree House of Horror episodes) which would lead to us being so afraid by the end of the month that we would take turns waking each other up out of fear, despite leaving the lights on, and just giggling (or let’s be honest sometimes arguing) groggily into the early morning.

Dressing up together occurred every year. Our first time we aimed to be Rogue and Gambit (X-Men) but couldn’t pull it off so we were matching Batmans. Other highlights include: Mario & Luigi, Penny Lane (Almost Famous) & Bob Dylan, Holly Golightly, Aragorn & Arwen (LoTR), Shaggy & Velma, Ghosts (we did this so we could trick or treat at the ripe age of 24 and 21), and last year a scarecrow & a black cat.

I do not know how I am going to make it through the holidays without her. Sharry LOVED the Holidays. Of course there was always a bit of frustration and disappointment but overall she loved celebration and October through New Years bring plenty to celebrate.

She enriched my life in innumerable ways.

Recently I reread one of Shar’s blogs that touched me deeply and kind of left me reeling. In it Shar writes of our first meeting from her point of view and does so beautifully and the preface is a quote by Emily Bronte, “Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  This made me think of something else she wrote in her personal bucket list so heartbreaking (now) in how she describes the depth of our love and connection. “I’ve never met another soul so suited to mine, another person so connected to me, or another human I never seem to tire of. My life of love and adventure, art and literature, family and friends- begins and ends with him. The longer we are together, the more my heart becomes a part of his and molds into one, somewhat unhealthy, enlarged pumping organ that cannot be separated without killing both.”

I ache excruciatingly for the missing, greater half of my heart, of my soul.

I haven’t had a “happy day” since JJ’s birthday. Happy minutes and hours? Thanks to my job, JJ and family fortunately yes, but not an entire day that felt pre 6/16 level good throughout. Will that come? I imagine so. Do I want that? sometimes.

For 12 years (minus 137 days) we lived as one.

For 4,243 days we were mutually obsessed with each other. With a conservative estimate we probably kissed at least 127,300 times! (and yes that math checks out, cheesy TMI we would do clusters of little kisses upon saying farewell and reuniting each day)

She was usually the top thing that my mind would return to. What is Sharry doing? Remember that awesome ______ with Sharry? Isn’t she amazing for XYZ…? Can’t wait to see baby girl after work. Think of point X in the future and Sharry is the keystone of the plans.

Healthy? No. Did it work for us? I was incredibly happy, fulfilled and utterly, completely in love.

(To be clear of course my mind had other obsessions that included but were not limited to: video games, my students, climate change action, Bernie Sanders and food among others but Sharry was always the premier event.)

Try undoing a happy yet entrenched habit that you have had in place for 12 years... to this day 4.5 months since seeing her face and holding her hand she is still the headliner in my mind’s stage. Throughout the day when my mind wanders inevitably it returns to her.

Like a planet with a missing sun I have no orbit. I am drifting in space.

Fortunately I have my little star. My up and coming band. But just because you have Justin Timberlake (obviously don’t know who’s hot with staying power right now) doesn’t mean you don’t desperately miss The Beatles.

Pumpkin & Corn on the cob

My Sister Jen took these awesome 4 month pics

Sunday, October 23, 2016

California Dreamin

For my fall break this year I was able to make a pilgrimage of sorts to the sunny shores of California. Sharry and I always loved going on vacations to California. Our very first “trip” together when were dating was a trip to the Pacific ocean and back within 24 hours. Our parents weren’t the biggest fans of us staying the night together and we were good kids. So we left right after 3 AM drove way too fast and made it to Malibu beach before 8 AM California time, it was a fun and exhausting day. Sharry would tease me that I may be her one true love but the beach and pacific ocean were her first love.
Sleeping in the car in one of our many Cali trips

Bumming it up at the beach

Over our years together we typically would visit some part of California annually. These visits covered a wide range of fun activities which included but are not limited to: lots of beaches, beach camping, honeymoon, driving up and down the 101, snorkeling, boogie boarding, beach campfires, kissing while driving, amusement parks, national parks, lots of concerts, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez (who we hung out with afterward thanks to Shar’s persistence), Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Coachella Festival 2x, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival 2x, family visits, family trips, tons of good food, visiting University campuses and dreaming of amazing grad schools, many museums, attending synagogue, meditating at buddhist temples, Tijuana, intense sunburns, super sunsets, great road trip tunes, vacation fights & vacation makeups, Chargers’ preseason game, Padres’ game, sleeping in the car, sleeping in ghetto motels, getting lost and loving it and so much more that I’m sure Shar could add to my foggy memory.

Museum of contemporary art
I wanted to revisit what has become hallowed ground enshrined within Shar’s journals and my memories. So thanks to an amazing Mom (JJ’s grandma) I was able to make my first ever solo road trip. I loaded up Shar’s California playlist, some audiobooks on near death experiences and hit the road. (here’s a spotify version of Shar’s Cali tunes). It was a tough trip with many tears shed but I’m very glad I had the opportunity to do it.

For the majority of my trip I felt like a ghost. I did not seek out human interactions and as a weird looking single dude not too many people looked my way either. In fact I spoke far more to Sharry than any other living human. The only human I spoke more than a sentence to for the first part of my pilgrimage was a psychic which probably still fits within the realm of “ghostly behavior” haha.
Snorkeling in La Jolla

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

After the long drive there (far less enjoyable than road trips in the past btw) I headed to La Jolla near San Diego. My first visit was the San Diego LDS temple where I walked around the beautiful sunny grounds and reminisced about doing the same thing with Sharry a couple of times. Next I headed to La Jolla Cove one of our go to spots. I was both to sad and cold for snorkeling but loved walking up and down the coast people and seal watching. I also finished my very last Sharry journal there which is such a difficult and sad thing for me. In an upcoming post I’ll share more wisdom from that account. Then following our footsteps from a few years past I walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art where I soaked in photography for political action, modern installations, sculptures and a beautiful garden grounds. I would close my eyes look back in time and imagine Sharry there with me. In fact I would do this throughout the trip even reaching out my hand to hold her imaginary fingers.
Me 2016

Sharry 2012
Finishing Shar's journal

Next I decided to check something off of Sharry’s bucket list, “consult a clairvoyant gypsy.” I googled psychics in San Diego and found one with the best sounding written reviews. I went in thinking this would be an interesting and unique form of entertainment and it ended up being a comforting and spiritual experience. At some point maybe I’ll write a post about this interesting experience.

At the end of the day I returned to our beach campfire spot on Coronado island with its soft sands to watch the sunset and walk along the lapping waves. There was a beautiful little wedding happening on the beach as well that was beautiful to watch.

Friday morning after sleeping in I went to visit Balboa Park and to visit the beautiful ground and many of the beautiful museums. Then I revisited the first Thai restaurant that Sharry and I ever went to years ago in San Diego that began a life long love affair with this delicious food.
Balboa Park

Then I drove up the 101 to Irvine California to visit with Sharry's awesome brother his wife, and their cute kiddos. It's always great to get some Buhanan time in any day and in such a beautiful location this is of course magnified. We ate good food, went to a few beaches, saw beautiful sights and reminisced. I love me some Buhanans.

After Irvine I headed up to one of Sharry's favorite museums ever, "The Getty." Beautiful gardens and inspirational art made me emotional in my third visit (first without Sharry) to the gigantic museum.
Our 2005 visit to the Getty

2016 solo visit
Really enjoyed these. Made me emotional applying it to my life. Top right an old couple, what we always hoped for. Bottom right, a woman surrounded by family in bed, what I hope Sharry has now in her current existence. Top right a man in a wheel chair, how I feel without my other half.

Eve. I feel like Adam without an Eve. 

Finally to end my pilgrimage I desperately wanted to track down our very first contact with the beach together on Malibu beach and after searching up and down the coast I found it!

Over 11 years later, found the whale tale bench

Overall it was a very difficult trip with many tears and intimate conversations with God and Sharry but it was a very positive experience and on the last day I could not wait to get home and see our baby boy. When I made it home I ran downstairs with him to cry, hold and love on him.