It really bothers me when people say, "I know exactly what you're going through."

No you don't.

I recently saw someone say this on facebook, (oh, our online generation.....a whole different topic...) to a friend of mine who changed their status from married to divorce. I can't even imagine what that feels like, to get a divorce, to go through that heartache. And, as silly as it sounds, having to post it on facebook. Just another reminder that you are going through something painful, and you have to share it with the world. 

Anyway, when I saw that phrase, "I know exactly what you are going through," pop up, something defensive stirred within me. Sure, they may have gone through a divorce, too. Their circumstances may have even been the same. But that in now way means they know how that person feels. They do not share the same emotions, the same though process, the same spirit. 

I know when people use this phrase, they are probably offering it as some form of comfort, an outstretched had saying, "you aren't alone." But it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I'm just over-reacting, but to me it feels like that phrase leads back to their story, to focus back on themselves. It's easy to do. We humans are so self-centered. 

When Josh came home that day, I unloaded my ramblings on him, trying to figure out why it bugged me so much. I never could figure it out. But Josh saw my point, agreed, and we went on with our day.

The next week, my folks came into town. Oh, I love when they are here. It just seems right, being near them. I get to see them about three weeks out of the year. And those weeks always fly by. 

A few days into their stay, my folks and I sat down and began discussing some heavy stuff. You know, about their future, about them getting old eventually, and what will have to happen. I hate thinking about that. I love my parents so dearly, and I honestly well up with tears just thinking about losing them. We finished up the conversation, and I had to go to work. I kept myself distracted, but as soon as I got home, Josh gave me a hug and I started to cry. He took me upstairs and held me silently, confused. The poor guy. He married such an emotional girl. Eventually, I could talk through the tears. "I'm completely overwhelmed right now, with this feeling of loosing them. I miss them, like they're dead, but they're downstairs in my living room. I can't shake this feeling. I don't want to loose them. Ever." 

He said to me that he's felt the same thing, this overbearing emotion of loss, of mourning someone who is still here. He then told me about a time when he was very young. Woken up in the night from a nightmare of his dad dying. For a while he couldn't sort what was real or dream. In part of his psyche for those few moments, his dad really was dead. And that is a dreadful feeling to try to swim out of. Sometimes all of our imagination is captive to horrific scenarios. Josh knew. He'd been there. "I know what you're feeling, sweetie."

And then we both started to laugh, given the conversation we had the previous week. 

"But this is different," I said. "This, whatever I am experiencing, is completely emotion. Not a situation. And you've felt the same emotion before."

Maybe I'm a hypocrite, maybe I was just feeling defensive for my friend. But in my mind, these are truly different. Emotion vs. Experiences. 



It's strange how it can hit you like a ton of bricks.
It's even stranger not exactly to know where to call home.

I've lived in Hood River for over a year, but I still think of Alaska as home. How long does it take for that to change? This is clearly where my life is now, but maybe not my whole heart.

I think Homer will always have a piece of it, like a first love.

It can be triggered by a friend talking about it on facebook. Or it can be a picture. A dream. Or a certain part of town. Josh and I were out on a drive, and I was gazing out the window, my mind not on anything, really. Suddenly, I realized I thought I was in Homer. The hills we were passing looked just like the ones out east end. I teared up. It's been so long since I've been back.

But sometimes the memory of something needs to stay just that.

I'm not saying I'll never go back to Homer. But it's very dangerous to expect the same experiences out of a place you know so well when you revisit it. That happened at school. I went back for a second year, excited to re-live my first year at Ecola. Even if you are in the same place with the same people, you will not have the same experiences. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? It's odd, but I think this has always been a hard concept for me to accept.

I'm changing over all of my identity this week. I procrastinated it for over a year, but I legally got my name changed over, and tomorrow, my car registration, license....stuff like that. I know its silly, but it will be sad to look at my car and not see the Alaska plates anymore. Bittersweet.

But, no matter where I am, I miss someone. It's days like this that make me long for Home. For sweet rest. For no more goodbyes.


plans change.

As many of you know, Josh and I had been planning on becoming business partners with my boss, and be part owners of the shop in White Salmon. Well, we decided against it, for several reasons. The main reason being finances. It would have been a pay cut, and it would have put us into debt for who knows how long. It was a hard decision, because in the long run, it would be beneficial. It just wasn't the right time. I'm sure I'll be kicking myself in 10 years.

I'm also changing shops, going back to the Hood River location. I'm really excited about this, because it's closer to home. So it saves me money, [bridge toll, which just went up January 1st, and gas.] and I will see Josh more...because its on the way to his work. Heehee. I've missed the Hood River shop, too. Going back to where I started.

I had a really hard time deciding to do this. I put so much energy into the White Salmon shop. I became the mom, it felt like. We had a pretty young staff, so I helped train alot of them, and I also knew where everything was. Ha. "Laurel, where's the lids?" Anyways. At first, I felt like I was giving up, going the easy route. And I hate quitting anything. But I think this is the right choice. I was needed there for a time, and that time is up. I'm getting pretty burned out being in charge, which kind of surprised me. I'm great with being organized, but it's the people side of thing that wears me out.

I've been working at 10-Speed for a year now. Crazy to think of all that's happened in that year. January is going to be nuts. There's tons of changes happening with the business. My boss is opening up another location in Hood River. Its going to be amazing. His dream has been to own a building, with more space and a full kitchen. He's finally getting that! It's going to be wonderful. Lots of seating, which the Heights location lacks, and space for more roasting. His clientele has grown so much this year, so he needs that. I'll be working a few shifts in this location as well, but for baking. He's planning on having this store open sometime this month.

Also happening in January is a new manager for the White Salmon store to replace me. Her name is Amber, and she is finishing up culinary school, and a degree in business management. Much more qualified for the job than I am. She is energetic, and originally from the area, so she already knows a large amount of the customers. She is a great fit.

I've been sick so much lately, and I'm curious to see if it is related with the stress of being manager. I'm excited for the changes ahead! Here's to 2012, and the changes ahead.