2017, Year of Change

As the year ends, I am dusting off the blog and reflecting on the past year. As with any year, 2017 has been a mix of highs and lows, but mostly it has been about change. I guess every year is about change, but we have made some big ones in the past couple of years.

In 2016, we moved from Michigan, where I was born and raised and never left, to Colorado. I moved quite a bit throughout my life but always throughout Southeast Michigan, so this was a huge transition. My husband and I tend to make leaps of faith. With this one, we said goodbye to jobs and longtime friends, sold our little house in Ypsilanti, did a massive purge of stuff, and packed up what was left along with two dogs and one kid and headed west.

For a bit more than a year we lived with my in-laws and most of our belongings sat in storage in boxes. While that was difficult at times, mostly because of my fears, we could not have done the move without the help and support of my in-laws. In many ways it was a special year that allowed us to hang out together in a unique and wonderful way. We are glad we moved. We love our new home state. We love the mountains. We love the sunshine. We love the rivers. We will be launching a new blog in 2018 that will focus on our big move and our new life here.

Still, all this happened in 2016. In 2017, we made another leap of faith and moved again. This time, just a few miles away, well a little more than a few, but we moved into our own place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, exactly where we’d hoped to be at some point. As with most things in our lives, it wasn’t a planned move. It was sort off a

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Bohn Park View

sudden thing. An opportunity arose. We weighed the pros and cons, and we jumped at the chance to live where we could step out our back door and walk to the river. As a bonus, the community we have moved into has welcomed us in such a warm way. We feel quite at home in our new place.

 

This year also saw the release of my first book, a chapbook of poetry, and 2018 will begin with an official book release event in February at the local library. Kiki began taking college classes. That helped her meet some people here. That was the hardest part of the move for my social butterfly. All of her friends are in Michigan. Now, she has some good friends here in Colorado, and that is helping her adjust a bit more, that and the fact that she now has her driver’s license. Jay got to do a lot more fishing. It helps that he can walk into the park behind are house and make casts. We did a bit of hiking, not as much as we would have liked, but the hikes we went on were wonderfully cleansing. We saw some of our dear friends from Michigan in June when they came to see Dead and Company with us in Boulder, and Kiki welcomed lots of new and old friends when she attended her first Little People of America National Conference, which was held in Denver this year. We also took a trip to Gunnison, where we fished and hiked.

It has all been good, but life is life and that means with the good comes the not so good.

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Maynard was always a bit of a hotdog.

This year ends with the loss of one of our beloved dogs. Maynard the Wonder dog left us just before Christmas. He wasn’t feeling well starting a couple weeks before Christmas, and then everything progressed pretty quickly from there and he was gone. He was a good dog. A bit of a mischief maker, he had penchant counter surfing and for chatting early in the morning if he sensed Jay or I making even the slightest move toward waking up. He loved splashing in rivers, got excited for a good long walk, and relished a good belly scratch. We miss him so much. He definitely made deep imprints on our hearts.

 

As sad as it all was, 2018 will be here in a handful of hours and we will move on. There is a lot to look forward to. We have been so blessed to be able to spend more time with family, which is what we missed in Michigan. It’s extra special to have the opportunity to see our nieces grow up and to get to spend more time with our parents. We’ll do a lot more of that in 2018. Happy New Year to everyone who finds their way to this little blog! My hope is that you all make steps toward fulfilling whatever dreams and goals you make.

 

The Quest for Re-Inspiration or the Importance of Stopping the Quest and filling the Well

img_5769I suppose I have been on a quest of sorts. It has been a while since I have felt the connection I used to feel to the world of words. It has been a while since I have had the time, space, etc., to fill the well. I take the blame for that. I have spent a better part of the past many years wanting, wanting to be a writer, wanting not to have screwed up my undergrad experience, wanting to have a career that offers some kind of stability, wanting, wanting, wanting. I used to feel like I was treading water, biking up a steep, steep hill, whatever the overused metaphor, perhaps you get the idea. I internalized the stress of thinking I needed to be something other than what I was or what I am, and I ended up in some kind of endless cycle of doing all these things I felt I should do to meet an end that was abstract at best. Of course my creative suffered. I shoved it aside with the thinking that I could create the perfect scenario to be able to create.

Not so long ago my husband and I did something nothing short of crazy. He being the Trekkie that he is would call it blowing up the Enterprise, and I would agree that it was a blowing up the Enterprise of sorts. We quit our jobs. We sold, donated, or tossed out nearly three quarters of our stuff, sold our home in Michigan, and crammed what remained of our belongings into two U-Haul trailers that we hauled across three states to Colorado.

Here I am. I finally have space. I have some job prospects, but I am learning (not so naturally) to embrace the space and time. I am using it to write again. I started this blog as one step, and I have been engaging in some writing-related activities in my new home. Bit-by-bit I am connecting with writers in my new home state. I even took time to take a real vacation, one where I could explore and be inspired. I visited San Francisco to hand out with family and to explore the city that has such a storied literary tradition.

I came away with the understanding that what I really want is to embrace the process now rather than to push it away. Part of that is due to the trip, but part of that is also because of the time I am taking to read more than I was able to before, at least read the things I want to read. The trip, though, is where I found The Poetry Deal by Diane di Prima, a book I read cover-to-cover while on the plane ride home. Some books appear at the very time I need them and this book is one those and it did appear. Out of all the books I could have come away from City Lights Bookstore with it was the one I needed most. Her inaugural address for her term as San Francisco Poet Laureate, her subsequent poems, should be read out loud everywhere right now. Something in all the poems touched me. Maybe because she dared to do so much of what I was afraid to do. She dared to be her strong, amazing self. She dared to commit to the poems and not much else except for her children.  “Memorial Day, 2003” is one poem that comes to mind with lines like “Remember it’s not a safe time & all the more reason/To do whole-heartedly what you have to do” and “remember/that all you need to remember is what you love/Remember to Marry the World.”

So, I’ve learned from di Prima and from blowing up the Enterprise that the quest is not important, the journey is. Now, I just need to keep remembering that.

Back to the Blog (but New and Not Necessarily Improved)

img_5649I’m blogging again. I’m blogging out of want and kind of out of necessity. I’m blogging because this is the real me and the other Cristina Trapani-Scott blog is not the real me, so no I don’t write about the benefits of Acai or whatever. I write about writing and about change. Yes, I said change. I have been through some lately, like changing from lifelong Michigan resident to Colorado resident. I could say change is scary, but change is always happening. Nothing is static and that is for the most part good. Yes, there has been change, like changing from being a steady working chick to dropping everything and having no job. That’s change. That’s scary change. I’m getting used to it, sort of. I’m not planning on making that permanent. Still, right now I’m using the free time to hang out here in San Francisco where I am visiting family and riding buses and running on the beach, or in the ocean as Map My Run likes to show. Really I’m here to find myself as a writer. I guess I lost that part of myself for a while. It has been hard to find in some ways, or maybe like everything else that part of me has changed and grown a bit as well. I am not the writing child anymore. I am the brooding writing teenager, growing pains and all. Well, I have said all I have to say for today. I will be heading to North Beach tomorrow, the Italian section of San Francisco. I am sure I’ll find inspiration there. Maybe the ghosts will speak. I will be listening. img_5672