When I explain my past, its hard to really pinpoint a home. I have homes, but they mostly exist in my mind. As a kid, I moved so much that getting attached to a place wasn’t really something that I could do emotionally. More often than not, I don’t think of home as a place because home is not permanent. Is home a structure, a feeling, a moment, a person, or that warm feeling in your chest in the middle of the night when you feel safe? I’ve always felt like an outsider – which might just be my personality or a survival mechanism to keep me from getting too attached. Sometimes it is easier to maintain a certain level of distance in order to keep your sanity than to take a chance, but then you meet those people. Those people who strip the rust from your heart leaving you open and vulnerable just by not allowing you to stay far away. I can count on one hand how many of those people have walked into and out of my life. I’m not particularly fond of being noticed, but these people don’t give me a choice and it teaches me something every time. Each of these people represent a home to me.
Maybe home is just a moment crystallized in time. Just one perfect day where the dreams are allowed to exist and we speak our truths without so much fear and it is okay. We aren’t so scared of sharing our demons, because we all have them. In those 12 hours, life doesn’t really need to make sense and we don’t feel so damn overwhelmed by our brains. I had one of those days recently and I want to crystallize this day in amber so that when the darkness comes back – I can remember.
A few friends asked me to take some photos at a wine tasting they were hosting. The wine was Timbrus under Purcari Estate. The oenologist who helps create the wines is Spanish Manuel Ortiz Martinez was also at the event.
I nearly jumped out of my socks – its not clear to me if I was wearing socks at the time but if I was – then I jumped out of them. I almost felt like a real-life photographer at this party. It was so awesome.
This was my first time actually taking more focused pictures of people and it was actually really fun. People actually posed for me and that gave me this feeling of great excitement.
In this edition of Lindsay (+ hot husband sometimes) does South Africa, I’ll share my photos of Constitution Hill (with sad feelings) and the Johannesburg Zoo (with not so sad feelings). Choose your poison. Also, I wrote them in reverse order.
On Sunday, we trekked to the Johannesburg Zoo. By trekked, I mean we walked a mile to the train then got off the train and walked what was supposed to be another mile, but was probably more like two miles because google maps IS A DIRTY LIAR sometimes. Because we walked google maps took us through this fancy neighborhood which was not at all creepy and if my mom was here she would be trying to climb walls to see the houses because she’s nosy. Then she’d get electrocuted by one of those fences and hopefully it give her super powers or something. Or we’d get arrested for burglary.
(Also, burglary does not sound like it should have two r’s. Thanks english language.)
We finally arrived at our destination despite the lack of appropriate signage and google maps FAILING. This zoo was clearly not the best zoo. I mean, it was nice…but weird?
Upon entering we were accosted by a nice gentlemen who wanted to take our picture (the kind they take and then you pay for) and I said oh no thank you (because I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this interaction). His response was ever so tersely “IT’S PART OF THE EXPERIENCE. LET ME TAKE YOUR PICTURE.” Did you just imagine him talking in a demon voice? I did.
Hot husband being one big muscle was, of course, hungry, because cardio. He went to the snack truck which was, again of course, out of everything. Including water. No water for you.
We began our promenade around the turtle enclosure where a young family was VIOLATING THE RULES BY TRYING TO FEED THE TURTLES. WHY DO YOU DO THIS HUMANS? WHAT CAN’T YOU FOLLOW THE RULES? Hot husband noticed this immediately and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Clearly, I was wrong again. Don’t tell him I said that.
We then saw Violet the Turtle try and fight Buttercup the Turtle. Turtle fights don’t really show up well on camera.
Photos from our adventure
Then, we had to trek back and beat the rain. Oops. Overall successful event despite walking 9 miles.
The next day, I took myself to Constitution Hill where the Constitutional Court of South Africa sits and the historical prison #4 sight. Initially, I was hopeful because I managed to leave the house and do a thing – always a feat of strength if we are being honest. Then, I asked some guys where I go to pay for a tour (to be fair to myself, they were at a desk in what I didn’t know was the Constitutional Court welcome center. I was then promptly told that I “shouldn’t go places alone because then I ask the wrong people the wrong questions.”
I feel as though this is a philosophical statement, because it is clearly not based in any level of reality. Am I not supposed to go anywhere unless I have someone to go with? How do I know I am asking the wrong person? WHY DON’T YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE FOR THESE HISTORICAL SIGHTS? IS THAT NOT A REASONABLE REQUEST?
Anyway after I was verbally dressed down by a very mean bus tour guide – I found my way to the further spiral into situational depression. Photos are no substitute for experience, but Prison number four was a horrible place were people were treated very badly for crimes, political activism, and for simply breaking curfew until 1983 during Apartheid in South Africa. The guide showed us the solitary confinement cells and after she finished discussing the conditions and various stories, she allowed us to look around. I walked into the entrance of one cell which was the size of a small half-bathroom covered in writing and swathed in darkness from the lack of light through the tiny peep hole door, and I felt terror. The tiny room was so loud, violent, sad, and I felt like my chest was going to explode. There are not many places that make me want to hyperventilate while simultaneously ugly sobbing, but this is definitely number one. There’s not much more I wish to write about it, but I suggest you google it.
Following the tour of the prison we visited the constitutional court which was full of symbolism for traditional South African justice. Twas beautiful.
Last week, I had a melt down at work. The reason for the meltdown isn’t really the point – but I was reminded that people don’t really care all that much about anything outside of themselves (case-in-point I am writing about myself). Because of the type of job I have, I give too much when I shouldn’t. Part of it is guilt and, I guess, the other part just wants to make things work. I want to do a good job, but I do a good job at the expense of myself, sometimes. For example: We needed pizza for an event. My car was getting worked on that day. Instead of getting a ride, I walked to the pizza place (which was closed FOR NO REASON ON A MONDAY) and then walked to the location of the event (probably 2 miles from work). Ordered pizza online and it was delivered in the nic of time. However, why didn’t I just get a ride? Or have someone else order the pizza? Why did I feel the need to make it so hard on myself? Sure, its funny because its so insane. But, its not a good pattern.
It happens like once a month. Maybe, it’s because I find it difficult to ask for help.
I have found over the last year or so that sometimes things, places, people, organizations are just broken. This proverbial jenga tower cannot be rebuilt. Or at least, I am not the person to do it. Or maybe my jenga tower is broken. It’s funny despite everything that has happened over the last 6 years, I still haven’t figured out to how to let go or give less of myself. And, it tears me up because I feel too much, too strongly, too often. I am literally feeling down because of two fictional characters right now. I am literally anxious about trying to move in with my husband and encountering people at his work. It’s not for a month.
At the end of the day, the world goes on with or without me. Work will go on. People will go on. I am not a necessity. I’m not sure why I find this such a hard concept to understand. I am not the life-saving screw. I am just one piece.
I just want to turn off my feelings for a few weeks and catch up on sleep.
In other news, there are some photos that came out nice.
I keep my camera in my car, so if the mood hits me I will take photos during lunch. I think I’m going to do a series of abandoned buildings. As I would have a ton of material. Life is a little sticky at the moment, so these are my distractions.
And two random self portraits taken with my phone.
As you may well know, I got hitched to hot husband. In the week since, I think I’ve slept more than I’ve been awake (much to the disdain of hot husband).
The epic journey started in Moldova on a plane. I flew to Charlotte via Vienna and Munich where my sister picked me up so I could watch her get promoted to captain.
Then we woke up at midnight and drove for 16 hours to Connecticut with my sister’s dog Oscar.
Maybe not the best idea. By the time we got to Jersey (where HH is from) I was delirious and felt like I was surrounded by thousands of hot husbands driving like maniacs.
Then, two days later it was four hours to Vermont on Monday. We arrived in Stowe to this bad ass cabin with big beds and faux fur blankets that I wore like a cape to channel my inner Jon Snow. (No pictures of my fabulous cape, but heres some of Burlington)
We did the whole wedding preamble thing. There were venue things and flower things and wine things. Diy flower arrangements are actually not to difficult and kind of fun. The florist did our bouquets so that was much less stressful.
My sister planned this epic DIY wine tasting with my friends and it was magical.
And it was all great. Then we got married and stuff.
The day after the wedding HH and I got on on a plane to come home to Moldova with the dogs. For the last six days, I have been exhausted. My introvert and socially anxious kid inside of me have gone into hiding. And sense I can’t function without them, I guess I’ve just been sleeping.
I dont know if its because the wedding is finally over and that we managed to actually get married (I know you may think its a pretty simple process but due to HH’s job we had to fill out a crap ton of paperwork and finally got approved on April 27th). Or if my social meter was just clocked out (so many people).
Or if I was sad that we had one week until we are apart again until we figure out a solution to both of our jobs and the miles that separate us.
I have to go back to work tomorrow and I’m pretty sure I’ll slip into a coma at around 2:00pm.
In March I went to Germany to see Hot Husband during his region’s training exercise at one of the air force bases. It was my first foray into official spouse territory, which no one tells you is scary as fuck (50% marriage being generally scary). Growing up around the military gives you an understanding of things, but I often feel like I’m in uncharted territory with the marines. (One would think I would understand that being born into a certain community is vastly different to voluntarily joining it, but I’ve a thick skull.)
On the bright side, I got to hop around Germany in Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg. Naturally, I took photos.