Ordinary, Everyday Girl

ordinary, everyday girlI began yesterday with a complete road map of what the day would hold, full tank of gas and keys to a bitchin’ virtual Ferrari to get me there. By noon, I’d somehow ended up in the deep end of a swimming pool clutching a plugged-in toaster, wearing a bathing suit made of tinfoil.

Funny how life turns on a dime.

While I am in Los Angeles for the remainder of January, it’s not all sun, fun and games – it’s business as usual, only in a different locale. Granted, this locale has been in the 70s, sunny and fucking awesome for bike riding weather (not to mention Trader Joe’s — I’d hump a weasel to get one in Denver), and I do have a world-class velodrome where I can get my ass kicked a few days a week, but it’s business as usual for this ordinary, everyday girl.

The past 30 days have found me chasing a birth control pill across the bathroom floor of a Motel 6, watching a very pregnant friend become even more so with each passing day and hours spent in LA traffic that remind me of the many reasons I left California back in 2005. There are days where I think I can finally do better at moving forward to what’s next after losing Jason and then the next, I fall face-first down a flight of emotional stairs. And yeah, I’d give anything to get laid. I’m fairly sure that Battlestar Galactica was in its first (original) season the last time that happened. And yes, that’s an exaggeration. But then I realize that I haven’t been built for the “zipless fuck” in years – and so I accept the fact that I chose to travel without battery-powered personal appliances and I go to sleep.

At least I’ve been sleeping well.

And life doesn’t suck and I’m not depressed. I’m just dealing with the “becoming” part of the process for an ordinary, everyday girl. The best part of it all is no matter how many times I laugh, ride my bike, cry, scream, giggle, finish a project, earn a new one, rub my girlfriend’s belly, hug my dogs, miss my cats or get honked at on the 101 freeway, I remain an ordinary, everyday girl. There’s a delight in the ordinary. I think we exhaust ourselves pretty often trying to be exceptional that we lose sight of what it means to be the 38-year-old girl standing in from of a RedBox machine at 9:32pm on a Tuesday outside of a 7-11. We forget what cooler, humid air feels like and how it differs from a dry cool in the depths of January. Broken sidewalks remind us of what it feels like to walk somewhere instead of bitch about what it costs to register your new car. The homeless guy in the wheelchair with no legs reminds me what a gift it is to ride one bike on a regular basis and makes the other four in my cache seem a bit excessive.

Ordinary.

Getting the hell out of Denver has been fantastic and its hard to believe I’ve been gone for 21 days now. I’ll be headed back in 11. New rental digs? Check. House hunt? Initiated. Taxes? Yes, goddammit. FML – they are nearly done and my new CPA will be impressed. Book deals? Hanging in the balance with teeth-clenching anticipation that THIS will be the year I can write BOOKS for a living (well, PART of my living since I ain’t Stephen King). And this is all important.

Because I’ve never been without foundation.

I’ve not never known where I live, where I was going to live next. I’ve always had that foundation. I yanked the emotional rug out from under myself in 2005 when I ended my engagement, realizing that I’d spent the past 14 years of my life in a series of long-term relationships. From December 5, 2005 until mid-summer 2009, I was effectively single. Dates here and there, some dismal pseudo-relationships, but single. And it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Being homeless is the second best.

I’m an ordinary, everyday girl who gave life time to catch up with me. After running so fast, so hard, and for so long, finding myself in a place of uncertainty was…well, quite normal. Quite ordinary. And it smells kinda like dryer sheets instead of shit on your shoe. There’s a serenity in the uncertainty. It makes me think better. More productive. And fucking vulnerable (don’t LIKE but appreciate). With every colossal screw-up comes a small victory, and with each of those, a smile. And a reminder that I’m no different than anyone walking the streets of Los Angeles who has no goddamn clue what’s going to happen next.

I’m not counting down the days until I leave LA, but I am looking forward to being back in Colorado once again. It’s home, and nothing’s made that sentiment more clear than this journey that began back on December 27. It’s a pretty big foundation to build something on, the entire state of Colorado, but I have an idea where I’m going to begin.

And between you and me, I’m giddy like a schoolgirl to see what it ends up looking like. <insert schoolgirl picture here>

Erika Napoletano is Redhead Writing

32 comments
Q_Turner
Q_Turner

Enjoy Cali! But I must say that, being in Texas, I'd sell my left boob for some snow in Colorado. (Gotta keep the right one--sorry: it's far more comely. *Snerk*.) I'm a cold weather girl at heart, and I just miss seasons and sledding and skiing! And here's sending you POSITIVE juju for book writing. I, too, and hoping to finish my book this year and get some publishers salivating over it. Time will tell. pk2u!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks, lady. California has been good to me during my stay :)

Bailey
Bailey

Love this... sounds so familiar. You're not the only one in limbo, and I envy your time in Cali! Best of luck on the book deals :)

Shelly
Shelly

I'm glad that you have ability to do the things that you need to do FOR YOU right now! Here's hoping that your book deal comes through! (and LMAO on not being Stephen King... but did you mean "Diarrhea of the word processor or the fact that he could write a phone book and it would sell??) XO

The Redhead
The Redhead

Glad you enjoyed the post today and thanks for your guest post earlier this week as well!

Susan
Susan

I admire you for always being able to be so darn honest. And so entertaining. Colorado is cold and windy now -- enjoy LA.

Alex
Alex

I got nothing. 'cept: Be Well.

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Erika, Nothing about Ella or Louis or even Henry "Red" Allen today: Just Frank Sinatra. Shortly before he died, he invited a group of friends to his home. He wasn't well enough too contribute too much to the conversation. Then they started discussing the idea of "home." Frank sparked up and said, "Home is where your friends are." That's all he said. On that basis Erika, you have lots of homes. Embrace LA; enjoy Colorado. Regards Leon

AnotherRedHead
AnotherRedHead

Dig these thoughts mightily! I file ignorance of the blessings of ordinary along with the tyranny of the new, that relentless pressure to experience everything ahead of everybody and then say so. I take comfort in being just one point of light in the mighty universe; one can shine quietly and if your light goes out, no one loses, but if it lights the way for another, you shine brighter. Safe journeys home to the mountains!

Mark Aaron Murnahan
Mark Aaron Murnahan

Your confusion is palpable and easy to relate to. You are not alone, and I admire you for saying what so many people are too chicken-shit to publish. I am 39 (damn you for being younger, Erika), I have three kids, a wife, and a pretty predictable routine. The kids' school bus will arrive in about 32 minutes. I will chat with them about their day for 11 minutes. The phone will ring with another "choke-worthy" prospective client asking me if I will work to make them rich for the dime stuck in the gum on their shoe. Eight minutes later, I will say "fuck no" and hang up on them. I will take two minutes to craft a quick reminder to blog about their sorry assed shit-for-brains company sometime next Junevember when I have time. All of the sudden, it will be time for dinner, and my rompalicious wife will call me to enjoy my family for a meal. Then I will get back to the work of trying to explain why I am good enough, smart enough, and creative enough to lead some wrinkled up nut-sack appearing brand into the present century if they will just pay me enough to bring them up to last century standards. While all of this happens, I still don't have a concrete answer as to what will make me happier tomorrow than I am today. I have some pretty good ideas, and I am a hell of a strategist on the matter, but just like you, I will take it in chunks. I will learn from each moment, treasure the space I occupy the best I can, and look forward with a "what the fuck" deer in the headlights gaze. Today holds many windows into tomorrow. People can either watch a dirty window, scrape off the haze and see through them, or do as we do and shatter the fucking glass and get some fresh air. ;-) Cheers Erica!

Crista Hahn
Crista Hahn

Good for you. I hope you get your book deal. Best of luck back in Colorado.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin

"I think we exhaust ourselves pretty often trying to be exceptional that we lose sight of what it means to be the 38-year-old girl standing in from of a RedBox machine at 9:32pm on a Tuesday outside of a 7-11." Ordinary "WONDERFUL" girls like you help to pay my salary, as I work for Redbox. (If you have any Redbox problems please dont "Bitch Slap" me.) If everyone was out leading exciting lives, clubbing and socializing 'til dawn, no one would be renting movies! Thus, I would be unable to feed my "fur" children, (3 dogs) put gas in the 2002 Honda, pay the internet provider allowing me the ability to post this comment. So you are not "ORDINARY" after all. You are a one woman economic stimulus package preventing one man and his dogs from wandering aimlessly and begging scraps from strangers. Ordinary is actually quite exceptional to me! Oh and one more thing on a more serious note "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matt 5:4 Note it doesn't say when, just that you will be.

Xenia Smith
Xenia Smith

Love this post! it was refreshing to read.. thanks as always for sharing.. :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thank you, Michael. Appreciate you stopping by today to have a read. And hell, life's for the taking, not the watching, right?

Debra Schubert
Debra Schubert

Love the stark honesty in your post. Yup, we all fall face-first down an emotional flight of stairs, but we get back up, dust ourselves off, and return to the wonder of life. We get to manifest our souls by expressing our creativity, love, generosity, vulnerability, sadness, joy, compassion, and sense of humor. It's a unique yet hauntingly similar ride for us all. Thanks for pointing out the majesty in the ordinary.

Ingrid Oliphant
Ingrid Oliphant

One of the reasons you wear your extra-ordinary nature so well, Miz Erika, is that you are perfectly comfortable being 'just' ordinary. BRILLIANT!!

John Lutter
John Lutter

We spend most of our lives swimming up stream, and just when we are about to reach our goal, a bear jumps down and gobbles us up. There is nothing wrong with taking a break before you start swimming up stream again.

MegCarpen
MegCarpen

Wow, this post is one I'm going to have to re-read later. Off the top of my head, I'm somewhat envious of your current lack of foundation, while the other part of me is terrified by it. I think I need to think about it, see if I can figure out if this feeling is one I should embrace, or if it's one saying to hold tight a bit longer. Funny how you seem to post things at just the right time, and it's just enough to make me really stop and consider things from other perspectives.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Having grown up in Texas, I'd give the left one to be anywhere but (and delighted I don't have to!). Thanks for the good book juju and thanks for stopping by today :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Loving my time left in LA. I won't tell you it was 82 here today.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thank you, Leon - and yes, it does feel a little like home here!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks for the wishes of safe travels. Considering how much I detest driving over Vail pass, I'll need it!

The Redhead
The Redhead

What HE said! Aaron, you've got a guest blog here anytime :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Glad you enjoyed, it Debra - and it's good to hear someone else (or everyone else) understands how much that blasted flight of stairs hurts!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Ingrid - always lovely to see you. It's been awhile!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Shit - I have to worry about stairs AND bears? At least they rhyme...

MegCarpen
MegCarpen

That totally explains the confuzzled/crowded feeling going on!

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