Being in San Diego over the past few days has been a warm embrace of familiar love filled with lots of laughter, acknowledging each others’ strengths and imperfections with humor. Most directly, being together again rings true why I have such a deep love for gourmet food and fine wines. The majority of our time together is spent investigating and discussing the next top restaurant we’re going to check out. This quality, concentrated family time illustrates the dynamic origins of my outspoken and spastic personality.
My mom provides on-going entertainment with her gullible, carefree, spunky attitude; looking around at every moment, taking pictures of everything (including way too many of me) and saying obvious (maybe unnecessary) things out loud like a small child. But those are the reasons that I love her; always at least 10 steps behind me in her braless camisole and keen sandals. I love her optimistic, go-getter outlook…her adventurous audacity mixed with everlasting thoughtfulness. She is the predictable obvious tourist pointing at a historic statue or stopping to read something, as I turn my head the other way pretending I’m not with her. But in the middle of our 50th photo together, I turn and give her a big kiss because I cherish all our photos together, all the good food we share together and the laughs that make me more humbled to accept people for who they uniquely are each day. It’s that comfortable feeling of being supported and deeply nurtured that is beyond words…thus I digress.
One lesson I learned this trip is, don’t ever give my mother, or any person for that matter, a coke and a pixie stick. To cure her hangover of gin martinis from our first night in Long Beach she decided a coke would cure all! And to top it off, a pixie stick at the front desk of our hotel in San Diego was the cherry on tip! The next morning she shouts “OMG” in the morning while I’m still in bed. I pop my head up thinking something is wrong, like she forgot her purse somewhere for the umpteenth time. She replies with a golly “Here’s coffee! And here’s baileys! PERFECT!” — “Good morning, mother” was my reply as I pulled the sheet over my head. I knew it was going to be a good day. Now I see where I get so much damn energy in the morning! Side note: Tanqueray, Baileys, Coke, and/or Pixie Sticks are all not on my mother’s usual diet list, but that’s what happens when she doesn’t see her daughter for over six months.
Beyond the laughs, clarity shone this trip of how I am like my mother in her resourcefulness and creativity. Today, when our car broke down in the middle of I-5, as I turn to google maps on my iPhone, she’s over at the payphone booth ripping out ads in a phonebook to the nearest mechanic shop. We end up with the sam result, but talk about a generation gap! Her ability to plan, tackle obstacles, and conquer is why I am intrinsically BIG picture and detail-oriented. After that, she gets out of the car with her camera and says, “breakdown pictures” and snaps a candid shot.
These shots will be just two of the 1000s of plane shots she took of the airplanes skimming the ground into the San Diego Airport. If you’ve ever been to SD, you know well the ridiculous proximity of the airport to the downtown area. If you haven’t, call me and I’ll get you some photos; we have plenty 🙂 After living in San Francisco for the last year and a half, San Diego is surprisingly spread out and traffic-free compared to my humble, dense and populated home. Getting outside my comfort zone and into a new environment is like a little game of pretend, a moment in time where I can imagine my life in another place, doing different things…but ultimately being the same Hannah.
All these random, spontaneous moments surely bring me back to a place of introspection. How serious do I need to take external circumstances and situations? And a bigger question, how serious do I need to take myself? That balance of responsibility and integrity is occasionally weighed down with some gin martinis and pixie sticks. But often uplifted with lots of leafy greens and kombucha. So at the end of the day, is taking things seriously driving us to a more superior summit or are we getting there (wherever that may be) twice as fast with half the fun? Maybe it’s about being 10 steps behind double fisting with a gin martini and kombucha (alth0ugh not appetizing together) and looking around with a full heart and open eyes. Lately, it has been a deep struggle for me to be 10 steps behind and have fun but I know now more than ever that it’s TRUE = Totally Raw, Ugly and Extraordinary. I know I wouldn’t be here today without my crazy family, but they are helping me find compassionate equanimity in my life…and for that, I am blessed.
From sunny and crazy San Diego