anxiety, breakup, dating, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

no

I walked outside my building last night to find the Artist leaning awkwardly against his car in an unflattering sweater and I thought…no. Who can explain these things? It was just a big fat no from the first moment. After he did the gallant car-door-opening on my behalf, I sat in the passenger seat having a small panic attack that this was just all wrong. I gave myself a fast pep talk as he walked around to the other side: “Just let him be who he is and keep track of how you’re feeling. Breathe.” Small relief. Good conversation up to Golden Gate Park but too many peppered references to our already locked-down future together: Please always give me the benefit of the doubt. Our dates should always have a theme. It will be so nice to have someone to do things with.

We parked in the gloomy fog and strolled in to the Academy of Science. Once inside, looking in the aquariums, I longed for the simple life of a fish. It felt like such a big farce. This was just not at all the guy of my imagination. He gave me the strong impression he had not dated in a million years, or maybe ever. Just a rejection story from Burning Man and a conspiracy theory about a former boss… a theme was emerging of being wronged, misunderstood, victimized, the perennial single guy. After seeing the roof and the penguins, I announced, “Let’s get a drink.”

Over at the Alembic, I ordered an Old Fashioned, which can be trusted to take the edge off anything. He asked me what I’m looking for in a relationship. I told him, honestly, that I want to have a family. And, I kid you not, with a quick disclaimer that “I know it’s early,” he told me he would be an awesome dad. He asked if I was open to adoption because he’d been reading up on problems caused by “older dads” (he’s 38). He has always wanted kids and has even considered adopting them on his own. I was thinking, “This is totally nuts.”

I mean–how crazy that here’s a guy just begging for the whole enchilada and I’m on pins and needles hoping he doesn’t touch me. I ordered a second drink.

In the car, I thought I’d let him kiss me good night since it would be one last potentially important piece of information. The information was not good. The information confirmed my decision to let him down easy the next day.

Amazingly, when I walked back into my building, I felt relieved, happy, free, loving my single life. Feeling like I have a backup plan. I’m trying to have a baby without trying to make it work with some guy. I was light as a feather having had the perspective, yet again, of trying and trying to make something wrong feel right which is a huge exhausting burden. I won’t do it.

He didn’t know me at all and yet was ready to talk about being an awesome dad to my kid. It really wasn’t about me. And I caught it early. Success.

I sent the following email today:

I’m so sorry but my heart is telling me we’re not a match. You have so many great qualities and talents, and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know you over the past week. I’m unfortunately just missing that intangible spark.
I wish you the best of luck in your search and in all things.
Today, my assistant called this message “breakup gold” and asked me to forward it to her to keep on file (she’s 26).
He was quite gracious in his response, so it was a friendly ending. I’m glad for that.
And I’m super glad to be heading at this moment to happy hour, then dinner, then dancing with girlfriends.
I’ll see the Moroccan tomorrow for coffee in North Beach at 11. I feel like I’m just getting warmed up.
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dating, meditation, running, writing

quietness and escape

In bed post-work day, post-run, post-burrito, post-bath. It’s 8:49pm. I had intended to keep working this evening but just gave in to the need to rest my brain and write and get some extra sleep.

To pick up where I left off, the phone call cleared everything up and made me like the Artist even more. I felt so silly when I re-read my reactive tough-girl emails now that I could see his true intention. A mini-misunderstanding, a mini-outburst, and a mini-resolution. Afterward, he said he found this ‘strangely encouraging.’

My behavior is new and fits with my new no-bullshit attitude. Just enough anger to cause a messy little scene plus trigger its resolution. I got perilously close to dismissing him altogether (and probably vice versa). I’m on the right track here.

Meditation was well-timed last night. I felt so wound up and totally un-grounded and worn out and stressed. I slowed the F down. I sat. Thoughts and fantasies and fear and wonder spun through my brain and spiraled on until I got quiet. And then, at the dharma talk, I heard this:

Quietness

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.

Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.

Escape.

Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.

Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.

Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.

Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

The speechless full moon
comes out now.

– Jelaluddin Rumi

When Howie recited these last lines, I was left breathless. “The speechless full moon”–so poignant, so how we always find it there. I saw it there tonight, hanging speechless in the lavender sky, above the fog.

And the running from silence–we do, we do, we do.

Meditation is an escape, but you’re not running ahead of a pack of wolves; you’re still, you’re silent, you’re (in the poem) dead. You’re peaceful. Who doesn’t crave this?

Today, there was an uproar on facebook over what seems to be an untrue rumor that old private messages were now showing up as public wall posts. Everyone, including me, freaked out. Before I could really evaluate what was there, I erased it all. And I felt mad at this entity that connects us and yet controls us. The type of escape that’s great in moderation but over time becomes addictive, that eats up free time, that can leave you feeling less-than. Running from silence.

Then Pema Chodron posted this (on facebook!):

RENOUNCE ONE THING

“For one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.”
(From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)

For me, for now, my ‘one thing’ is facebook. I’m doing a terrible job of renouncing it (even just went there to get the quote!) but I’ll keep trying until I can get it to unlock its grip. Slide out the side.

I’ll see him again tomorrow night. Early dating is feeling much like early pregnancy; the mantra is: don’t get too excited. Stay grounded.

He came up with a good second date: Nightlife at the Academy of Science (theme: fungi) followed by one of my favorite bars with fancy bourbon drinks. But not too many.

Become the sky.

dating, donor sperm, meditation, single mom by choice, SMC

jumping the gun

I’m pretending today is a sick day so I can just stay home in my pajamas and catch up on my to-do list. Today’s innovative strategy for tackling the list is to integrate work and personal tasks so that it looks like this: “breakfast, meditation, email B re: gifts, write card to D and J, assemble work to-do list, blog, clean closet floor, install shoe rack, do symposium agenda… ” etc (that’s only half of it). So far, so good.

Yesterday was a really good day that ended with email drama. I came home from the date wanting to blog all-caps WE LIKE THE ARTIST! but I restrained myself since I was then off to a bowling birthday party (good lord do I suck at bowling) which pretty much took me up through bedtime. The drama was related to an email that followed the date, which resulted in the kind of email fail for which email is world-renowned.

After parking coincidentally adjacent to my sperm bank, I showed up at the appointed meeting spot to find that the Artist is tall and cuter than his single online photo in which he’s doing kind of a half-scowl. I felt comfortable right away, we settled on a brunch place and had such a good conversation in line that people around us were chiming in. We sat outside–it was absolutely gorgeous and hot in the sun. He’s interesting and earnest and whenever he touched on something personal he had this way of bookmarking it as such and then taking a step back from it and then asking more about me.

We finished up lunch and went around the corner to the Center for the Book street fair called Roadworks where they were pressing linoleum cut tiles with an actual steamroller, kind of a cool gimmicky thing to promote printmaking and the crowd gave a huge round of applause every time a new print was lifted up and displayed.

We strolled, I bought a journal and a card, he bought a gorgeous print of redwood trees for his parents for $200. Afterward, I walked with him to his new Prius he bought the night before so I could check out the differences with my 6-year old one (there are many), he drove me to my car, I gave him a hug and he said he’d call me.

Then he sent this cryptic email that I shared with C in the bowling alley in an effort to understand its point. It was about whether or not I’d looked at the art website he shared with me via email like a week before, with all of his paintings, sketches, etc. I had seen the site and been genuinely impressed with it–but between emails and our live conversation it just didn’t come up. I perhaps jumped to the conclusion that he was accusing me of committing a crime by not specifically addressing it, and that this was some type of nutso dealbreaker for him, which got my hackles up. So my last response was like, “I can’t believe you’re calling me out on this after such a nice time…what am I missing??” And then he just called.

Now that I’ve listened to his calm, rational voice on my voicemail it all kind of makes sense again and I feel like a dork. Probably I jumped the gun. C will tell you though–the original email was weird. He says he just wondered if I missed it originally because he’d sent 2 emails in a row–he wanted to share it, not scold me for not mentioning it. He tried to make it lighter and flirty in his next email (which actually made it worse), which is why he picked up the phone because I sounded upset and he wanted to explain. And see me again.

Sigh! Why is dating so complicated. Am I just going to jump on every hint of odd behavior, assuming there are mountains of oddities behind it? Is my baggage piled so high that it’s a fortress? Can we all just get along?

Even as I peer in on the woes of my friends in the kinds of long-term, committed relationships I aspire to be in, I see that even the best of them are full of really enormous challenges at one time or another. And sometimes it’s non-stop challenging. Just another one of those life arenas where you never really “get there,”and it truly is about the journey. (I’m feeling grateful right now to have separated the dating journey from the mama journey–theoretically, at least, it helps to simplify.)

So, in an effort to continue learning about myself, and maybe also him, I’m backing away from the keyboard and picking up the phone.

dating, donor sperm, IUI, pregnancy loss, privacy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

more guys

I’m in a t-shirt and yoga pants, listening to Aimee Mann’s new album (kick A), baking lasagna and peach cobbler for my long overdue rendez-vous tomorrow night with Ju and her three munchkins. I hear the littlest one is a cuddler.

The big headline in neon lights is that AF is back in force! After so many weeks of spotting, I had no idea when to expect her, and didn’t really think it would be so soon. I also didn’t know if I’d recognize her, or if she’d make a weak appearance and give me reason to doubt the true kick-off of a new cycle. I should not have second-guessed her. She reappeared like clockwork and set up house. I asked her if she wanted to guest blog and she glared at me, rolled her eyes, and went back to folding laundry.

Still–her arrival, oddly enough, put me in the best mood. It’s the end of a sad era and the beginning of a hopeful one and I’m out of limbo and back on cycle and I decided to get back into official trying mode this month.

I transported my latest guys from PRS to UCSF on Monday morning–a much different transport than the first time around (My Guys) where it was sunny and I was singing along to the radio and thinking about babies. This time it was foggy, I was listening to an audiobook about finances, and never once thought about babies until afterward when I remembered that both vials on the first transport got me pregnant, which gave me a burst of hope. This transport was three vials. Did I ever tell you that the SMC ladies call them “Pop-sicles”? I sort of can’t believe I’m getting back on this roller coaster.

This morning, I attended a networking event in which one of the panelists seemed to be speaking directly to me about my blog and my recent fears around the security breach and what would happen if everyone knew and was talking about this. The panelist said something along the lines of: “Speak your truth, and then stand behind it. As long as you say it with confidence and good intentions, it will never come back to haunt you, even if people find out who weren’t supposed to know.” I believe in this. This blog is my truth and my lifeline and I can’t tell you how reinforcing it is how many readers tell me, “keep writing!” “keep writing!”

I’m glad you enjoyed reading about the paramedic (with the exception of my dad who said it was a little more than he needed to know, understandable). This one is anti-climactic but I went on a date with a new guy on Friday night. I’ve been trying to find a nickname for him but am coming up empty-handed, mostly because I don’t care and he won’t be sticking around. But it was kind of strange–as you know from my last post, I wasn’t that excited to meet him beforehand. I started telling my friend M about him with, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with him.” which she took as not a good sign. He showed up, was good-looking, tall, polite, smiling, bought me dinner, and we had the most enjoyable conversation. There was actually a moment where we both threw our heads back and laughed and I thought–this is nicer than I thought it would be. We have a lot in common. After dinner we went to another place for milkshakes. Then I hugged him good night and heard myself say, “It was nice meeting you!” which in retrospect is not a super encouraging thing to say, or maybe it was my tone, or maybe I was thinking, “It was nice to have met you!” I went home and never thought about him again. Apparently the same for him as there’s been no communication. No spark! And no nickname.

The Adorable Disaster of many months ago inexplicably re-friended me on facebook one day last week. I can’t imagine what he’s up to beyond a game of passive-aggression and I will not be enticed into that game. I’m pretty sure he passed me on his bike while I was running through the park last week–our eyes locked for a split second and he was gone. Ignore.

On the bright side, I have a date on Saturday and I’m cautiously excited about it. This is The Artist. I think I’m excited because I know next to nothing about him and probably have filled in all the blanks in my mind. But we did trade websites (his art and my music) and admired each other’s work. He seems like a legit real artist who does paintings, sketches, fire arts, book arts, and also teaches and takes graduate classes. His students like him on Rate My Professor.

I should not blog and bake at the same time because I just scorched the top of the cobbler. Ah well… good thing I had leftover peaches and batter, I’ll make another one. Good night!

dating

cuddlegate

I have received (many) gentle reader nudges that I’m leaving you hanging on the dating front. Lots of lead-up and then withholding of juicy details. I know. I wasn’t sure how to describe these dates without TMI. Or wasting unnecessary time and energy on something insignificant in the long run. But you know what? These stories are hilarious. (Shout out to my sister’s friend who had a blog called the Vagina Monoblogs in which she averaged 3 dates per week and detailed them all with no mercy–I was addicted for months, until she got into a steady relationship and quit writing.)

In an earlier post, I summarized the paramedic in one sentence, which reminds me of how the narrator in Lolita summarizes the circumstances of his wife’s death in a parenthetical “(picnic, lightning).” (also the title of a collection of poetry by Billy Collins, but I digress.) So, I’m going to shift gears and tell you about my date with the paramedic and hopefully one day we’ll all laugh about these stories when I meet my Good Match. In fact, we better start laughing now, because the alternative is….crying.

Two hours before my date with the paramedic, I got this text: “Woo hoo, our night of dinner, drink, unbridled passion and petty theft is only 2 hours away!!!” He also advised me to bring a signed document waiving him of any wrongdoings, a recent blood test, and my insurance card. Also, he told me I should take Monday off. I giggled and told him I was getting my documents in order.

He was running late so I texted him that I’d get the first round, what did he want? He texted back, “A tall glass of YOU! Or a Stella. Whatever’s cheaper!”

Then, “Do not think that you’re automatically gonna get lucky tonight if you buy me a drink!”

He arrived at the bar and I could tell right away that he wasn’t as funny in real life, maybe even a little shy, but he was cute–sort of a skater version of Ed Norton, Jr. with tattoos the length of both arms. He started right off with a big dose of bitterness about how he hasn’t gotten promoted and even started in to how he hates San Francisco and loves the east coast (he’s lived here for at least 15 years). We moved on to a tapas restaurant where he refused to try the octopus no matter how highly I recommended it and said that he could eat the same thing every day as long as it was something he loved. No, he’s never been to Spain and basically has no impulse to travel the world. Somehow, he kissed me at the table sort of on his way to the restroom, which should have been awkward but was nice and somewhat made up for our mounting incompatibilities. He paid, and we moved on to another bar where he knew all these people smoking outside (foreshadowing). We had beers and whiskeys and he made me promise him that if our firstborn was a boy we’d name him “William.” Finally, he said he needed to go check on his dog and I said that I’d love to meet his dog. At that point, I was pretty sure this was not my Good Match so I might as well have fun. Plus, I was having fun. We agreed on the way that no one was getting lucky tonight.

We fooled around in his room in the blinding overhead light with his pit bull and two terrible little grunting Boston Terriers he was dogsitting, surrounding the bed like a snorfling canine audience. It was a minor and brief and drunken encounter that lasted around fifteen minutes, tops. Suddenly, he sprang out of bed and threw his clothes on faster than I thought was possible, saying let’s go in the living room and watch TV. I said, what? Oh hell no, get back over here! Spoon me! I truly thought he was kidding. And then he abruptly read me the riot act on cuddling: “I don’t cuddle. I will never cuddle, I am not a cuddler, I hate laying around naked. I hate being naked. I only take my socks off 10 minutes a day to shower. If you need cuddling in a relationship, I can never be that guy.” We talked about it long enough that he called it “Cuddlegate.” On my way out, I caught him smoking cigarettes in the living room, getting worked up about the guys I’d probably meet in Brazil. And, with that, the paramedic completed his dramatic fall from grace.

Around 2am, I texted him from the bus ride home, “Found someone to cuddle me on the bus so I’m all set.”

acupuncture, anxiety, dating, pregnancy loss, privacy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

karma

Last Saturday, the day after my return from Brazil, I went on a 10-mile run through Golden Gate Park with my housekeys, a $20, and my driver’s license in my little shorts pocket. When I was within half a mile from my house, I was suddenly ravenous enough to eat my arm, so I opted instead to duck into Falletti Foods, an outrageously expensive grocery with a buffet of hot food. In my delirious hunger, I grabbed a crazy mix of foods and the cashier totaled it at $14 and change. I handed him my slightly moist $20. He gave me back a $10, a $5, and some change. I blinked and walked away.

As I sat there eating my chicken & artichoke lasagna and french fries, here was the voice in my head, “This place charges an insane amount for its food. They won’t miss $10. I could give it to a homeless person. Redirect the corporate surplus. I should stop being so honest all the time. I could donate it to the Obama campaign. I could keep it. I’m sure it didn’t cost them more than $5 something to make the food I’m eating. But……..won’t I spend the rest of the day stressing about it? What if the cashier gets in trouble? What if it comes out of his check?”

And, with that, I finished up and returned the $10 to the embarrassed and grateful cashier.

This morning, I was running through my neighborhood and saw a BART ticket on the ground. I thought, “I should stop and see if there’s any money on it,” but decided to leave it and see if it was still there on my way back. Half an hour later, there it was. I picked it up. $13.05. The universe gave me interest!

I’m sitting in a café with a tall Pellegrino. It’s 7:22pm. I have a date here at 8, or “8-ish,” as I believe he said, which bugged me. I can write until he gets here which I will bet you will be in one hour. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being out of my mind excited to meet him, I am a 3.

Sigh. It’s been a wild week. Coming back from the forced respite from this project was a little tough, re-facing the reality of it. But, as my acupuncturist told me a couple of hours ago, why not just continue the vacation until my cycle kicks back in? I can’t really do or plan anything until then anyway. I like that. I’m still on vacation from this.

Coming back, I feel stronger. An unexpected result of this that I am in close touch with my anger. I don’t typically have a temper but lately I am on a hair trigger. Don’t cross a line with me right now, because I’m not putting up with bullshit. I should have done this a long time ago. Toxic people: out. Reactive, ill-considered e-mail, send. Insensitive post: unfriend. Surround me with love and support and otherwise I do not have time for you right now.

I had a shock this week when I met up with a friend who left my company a few months ago. Halfway through lunch, she says, “SO, I hear you’re pregnant!” I was stunned. I’ve been so careful about not sharing this with work friends, only the tiniest handful. I said, “Oh really, who told you that?” And she chirped, “Everyone!”

Well, first of all, I’m not. (Of course, she was mortified.) And second of all, it’s not public knowledge. I feel betrayed by whoever leaked this super-private news that I shared in confidence. I don’t really blame this friend, or the others who heard through the apparent grapevine. They thought it was public. But the floor absolutely dropped out from underneath me.

It dawns on me now (yes, now, 4 months after starting a public blog) that people talk. It’s human nature–this is juicy news to share. People love to be the one who knows first. Rationalization: I’m sure it’s safe to tell, I mean, after all, she writes it all down on a public blog!

It also dawns on me that I have no idea who reads this blog. I know who subscribes to it, but there are anywhere between 30 and 100 views per day beyond that. Are you out there, my boss’s boss? Hello, ex-boyfriends! Greetings to all my enemies, frienemies, stalkers, and identity thieves. You’re all invited. This is a public blog. We’re in this together. Please, please, please don’t F this up.

It’s risky putting all this out there, but you know what? This is my choice. This is how I live. This is so me. I’m loving writing. I keep a cozy loveseat for some of my favorite people in here. I love this!

I won’t subscribe to conspiracy theories… No one is taking this to my boss (right???). This post is about karma. I will be trusting and faithful that this will blog will do more good than harm, and that my readers will hold this information with exquisite respect and care. Lord knows, it’s done me a world of good to share with you, dear readers. The beauty rises to the top, the garbage falls away. What goes around comes around. I forge ahead with love and the best intentions.

And if you don’t like it, you can fuck off!!!!

dating, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

Obrigada

This will be a quick post as I am in the Rio airport and boarding imminently! I entered so much personal info to get on the free airport network that I’m pretty sure my identity will be stolen any minute now… But not really (and no, I didn’t enter my SS#! Duh!)

I have a tall Itapaiva beer and the romantic Portuguese is starting to co-mingle with twangy Texan as we prepare to board our flight to Houston. I am exhilarated after our wild drive back to Rio and total success at every turn–nearly-missed exits where I blazed across 4 lanes of traffic, trying and failing to find any indication of highway numbers, and standstill rush hour traffic where teenage boys walk up and down selling snacks. Big Jesus oversaw us as we narrowly missed a bus trying to overtake our lane. We missed the airport, did a “retorno” and eventually pulled into the airport, had a complete miscommunication with the parking attendant and forged ahead anyway–ended up parking right near Thrifty (pronounced Treefchay), by coincidence. Car checked out and we were ready to fly home! Wheee!

Makes me want to keep traveling but, alas, it’s time to go home.

Incidentally, I fell in love today. I had some time to myself, sitting on a dock looking out at quaint old fishing boats and islands and calm waves, when this guy came over to chat with me. My flight is boarding so I will be short on the details. Sebastian. From Uruguay. We had this amazing 20 minute conversation before I had to go. I gave him my card in case he ever makes it up to California 🙂 Meanwhile he reminds me to keep my standards high, to reserve my precious time for guys who make me feel like THAT.

Brazil has been SO good for me. The beer is bringing out the all caps. If this were a travel blog, I would tell you all the details of delicious lovely wonderful Brazil. Instead, for this blog, I will just say GO.

Headed home. Obrigada, Brasil! ❤
And: one photo from our place in Buzios.

20120906-202752.jpg

pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

Rio-valuation

I am blogging from a hammock, freshly bathed and slightly burned, watching the sun set. It’s my last night in Brazil.

Mostly, this trip was a welcome distraction. I let myself get carried away with caipirinhas, smoky eyes, and the perfect shoes. Capturing every picturesque moment on my fancy camera. Going with the flow with my Real World Rio roommates.

Losing my camera was a slap in the face: wake up! You’re only here a short time. Relax, meditate, Rio-valuate. Consider your life from the perspective of the southern hemisphere.

Buzios is a mellow beach town on the off-season, a good place to reflect.

Today, we stayed at our hilltop house with 360 water views on this glorious peninsula. We had the pool, warm sun, soft breezes, four iPads, and time. We all finally sunk into our respective quiet modes. I finished reading The Book Thief, a beautiful book that made me burst into tears at the end.

The tears have sprung into my eyes at odd moments where some tiny thing reminds me that no, that didn’t all happen to someone else. It happened to me. It seems far away but it shows up in my dreams. It shows up in Michelle Obama’s convention speech about struggling to reach your goals. And a Winston Churchill quote about never giving up on something you think about every day.

I can’t imagine giving up but it’s also true that I’m not quite ready for all the peeing on sticks. I have the sense that my body will time itself with my readiness, and, if not, I can always delay. I return mentally rested and physically needing to get back on the healthy train after all this eating out, full-on coffee, and several drinks a day. I haven’t even managed to take my prenatal vitamins.

I return ready to get back to work on Monday (crazy, I know). I return ready to date (but not the paramedic who seemed like a good prospect until he turned out to be really not), and I want to start really planning ahead: apartment, finances, career.

No, I don’t have to make New Year’s Resolutions in September. But I do believe I am due for a solo retreat. There’s been lots of chatting on this trip and I crave more silence. I am grateful to this crew, though, since I never would have made it here without them.

Tomorrow we’ll check out of this amazing house, do some last shopping and hit the road back to Rio. I am the only manual transmission driver. I love the wild driving, trying to discern clues from Portuguese signs, and breezing through, of all places, Brazil. A metaphor for life!

anxiety, pregnancy loss, running, single mom by choice, SMC

letting go

After 5 days in Rio, my camera took flight. Those were 5 days of beautiful photos including Ipanema, Santa Theresa, the wedding, and Sugar Loaf today. It was a small but fancy camera given to me by my ex a year ago with the idea that we’d travel the world together. Looks like the camera was more destined for long-term world travel than I was…

Somewhere between sitting on the table at lunch and the cab ride back to the apartment, it disappeared. I realized it when we got to the apartment; it was no longer over my shoulder. I tore the place apart. We cabbed back to the restaurant. “machina? Clic? Clic?” nao, nao… Nothing. It either slipped or was swiped on my way to or in the cab. I thought about sitting on the corner where we were dropped off, waiting for the big-hearted driver to return with a wide smile. (Can you think of a more unlikely scenario??)

After we exhausted all options, we headed down to the beach where the bride and groom had been playing beach volleyball all day. They we’re packing up. I told them what happened, joked to the groom and his dad, I was hoping you’d be able to give me the phone number for missing cameras in Rio! They looked melancholy.

Fortunately, I did get a few minutes to say good bye to my friend, the bride, G–the only person here who knows about the baby project. They leave on their honeymoon tomorrow. We hugged and she said in my ear,”I can’t wait to hear your good news, I’m so happy for you!” and the bigger loss and hope and love and what’ s really important all returned and the tears came. I got to tell her how happy I am for her too and how much it meant to me to be here.

It’s hard to let go of all that we don’t control. It’s hard to accept “what is” sometimes, even when there are good things staring you in the face. Just hours ago, if I had tucked my little camera into my purse, I would still have it. If I had just downloaded all the photos last night instead of just one, I’d still have the photos. But here I am in Rio, without a camera, not pregnant, heading to Buzios tomorrow, the “St. Tropez of Brazil.” (don’t cry for me!)

It helps to remember that it’s just a dumb object. An object that wanted to live in Brazil. An object that is teaching me about letting go. It also helps, a lot, that my new friend A was standing next to me taking almost all the same photos.

So much hope lies ahead. And, for now, a reminder to be in the moment.

And a run will help.