sixth sense? i don’t know…

cosentino-mediterranean

the mediterranean in mojacar, spain

do you believe in people having a sixth sense?

i don’t think i ever really thought about it till i was much older.

i’ve talked about whatever it is just a tiny bit here, but it’s so much more than that.

was talking to someone about it yesterday and it got me thinking about how weird and unsettling it can be. i never understood it before, i guess i still don’t? i just know i get the feels sometimes.

let me explain.

for as long as i can remember, i instinctively get this intense, crazy feeling, a physical feeling, throughout my whole body unlike anything else when i meet someone new and know they’ll be important in my life.

the kind of important where i’ll know them for life and they’re there for a bigger reason that i don’t necessarily know at the time. the journey with that person is not always easy, but it’s always taught me an incredible amount about myself and life in general. i’m not talking about the romantic sense of knowing them, either. just life-long, important people in my life.

the crazy thing is, is that i’ve yet to be wrong.

even though it’s happened many times before, it still surprises me.

every. damn. time.

the feeling is so intense that it almost knocks the breath out of me.

it’s even weirder when someone else, a 3rd party, affirms it.

all this to say… it happened again. while i was in spain.

it threw me for a loop as it always does. and i sit here and wonder, what does it all mean and what will be…?

the answer is i just don’t know. i have to let whatever course happen naturally, which sometimes is hard. i mean, realllll hard.

i don’t have any expectations of friendship or anything from this person. like i said, it’s not a romantical kind of thing.

i’m still feeling the feels lingering because it’s hard to shake the feeling i get from the initial contact. which means there’s just weirdness. (how many times can i put ‘feel’ in one sentence?).

sigh…

oh, another thing that starts happening are these weird synchronistic things. like people with the same name start messaging me and friending me. just an example.

[also happens right before someone close to me dies. fun, right? now, who wants to hang out?]

spain: broken down, part 2

[in case you missed them, you can also read my initial post and part 1.]

thinking back over each day reminds me how lucky i am to have gone on this trip. lucky to spend time with people who equally, if not more, love what they do and love design. such great people and such a great company…

and now back to it…

day 4

brekkie in the lounge. hungover. embarrassed. vulnerable.

left for cosentino to explore the dekton factory. truly revolutionary. more later…

big group lunch with the canada group. few references from the night before. good times.

loaded the van/bus up with our group and a group from canada that was there and we headed to the seaside town of mojacar about 1+ hours away.

felt overwhelmed on the ride. starred out the window watching the spanish countryside pass me by while listening to music on my phone. i was exhausted and slightly delirious but so happy to be there. but also, so strange just how alone you can feel when you’re surrounded by a group of people. great people, even.

we stopped to get out and see the mediterranean. remember i mentioned it here and it being on my life list here? well, it was nothing short of magical sticking my feet in and just soaking it up as much as possible. the sun on my face and arms and sand between my toes was awe-inspiring. we hung out there for awhile taking it all in.

loaded back up and headed up the winding hills to the town of white dwellings and businesses. when the bus couldn’t go any further, we got out and walked up the hill to the top. the views = captivating. we took group photos then ventured down to a cafe.

i wondered off some but came back to tables full of sangria and eats.

so i drank again. numbed out. (ps. the sangria there is mighty fine)

we walked down to meet the bus and headed down the hill to dinner on the water.

another fun, loud night of over-sharing and i liked it. not the over-sharing on my part but everyone else’s.

there was beer, wine, and limoncello. i think there was a lot of food too. mostly a liquid dinner though.

the party bus continued back to macael 1+ hours away. got back close to 2am. another long, but fulfilling day.

more drunk texts. not awesome again. someone, please keep my phone for me.

day 5
up early again after not much sleep. more hangover and head hanging down.

check out of the hotel and loaded up on a bus. took another 2 hour drive to granada.  we walked the canadian group to their hotel and then headed to a cathedral as a group. another magical moment.

somehow most of the group left without me (miscommunication) and i was invited (?) to third wheel it with L & J. not sure (definitely sure) it wasn’t what they had in mind.

we explored and went in shops and then headed to the granada cathedral. the main one. overwhelming to say the least. it’s impossible not to feel things in there, no matter your take on religion. spent some time in there before heading back out.

walked around and found an outdoor cafe to eat/drink lunch. hallie walked by and joined us. more eats and drinks (sangria).

the boys left and hallie and walked around until we met up with the group.

it was then time to go to the alhambra palace for our tour. the tour was 2.5 hours with lots of walking but sooooo worth it. so much history and so much to look at. tried to soak as much of it in as possible realizing that things were winding down.

got a charlie horse in my leg walking back. awesome, right? especially when you’re in a hurry.

we rushed back to the bus to head to the airport for our 10:30pm flight back to barcelona. we were pretty exhausted by this point after many long days, lack of sleep, and walking around in the hot sun. we had one last meal together in the airport and then waited for our delayed flight.

i got stuck in a middle seat on a hot plane with a creep next to me. i was done at this point. started to freak out and wanted to get off the plane. it was all i could do to hold it together and meditate. then listened to spiritualized. it was the longest 1.25 hour flight ever.

day 6
arrived in barcelona at around 12:45am, got luggage and then went to find shuttle to hotel. we were all pretty delirious at this point. or maybe it was just me?

made it to the hotel for the slowest check-in process ever. i was tired but not sleepy so i didn’t care.

we split off and headed to our rooms at who knows what time. i couldn’t cool off so i showered and tried to sleep. was awake till about 4:30am.

up at 6:15am i think. it was next to impossible to get up. i just wanted to sleep and forget everything.

managed to make it downstairs to find L. talked to him for a few and once again tried to explain myself. don’t know why i kept feeling compelled to do so, but things felt weird and i kept feeling the need. it’s just a weird time for me. confusing. emotional. and had been feeling lost.

the remaining 7 of us went to the airport and said our quick goodbyes.

must admit, i was sad to see everyone go in opposite directions.

it was time, but still, we had shared an experience that no one else did and it was ending.

luckily i ran into rona near our gates and we sat and talked before another goodbye.

then it was time to board the next flight home….

only to be surprised when one of my hall passes (you know about those, right? look it up if you don’t) that i had just talked about the day before, boarded last onto my flight and sat right across the aisle from me.

he’s one of those enigmatic people that you’re drawn to. not dropping his name because i believe in privacy and shit. but those at the table might remember the spanish actor i was talking about. hot damn.

made for an interesting plane ride.

\\\

part of me is so sad it’s over. part of me didn’t want it to end, not wanting to come back to reality. nothing lasts forever, i know. and we all have lives in various parts of the country.

but still…

spain: broken down, part 1

if only you knew how true the title of this post was for me…

(rundown of the trip so i don’t forget anything. parts are sort of cryptic but that’s how it needs to be.)

i already talked a bit the other day about the trip. you can read that here.

i’ll add photos at some point but in the meantime, you can check out what i’ve posted to my instagram account and to design milk’s.

day 1
arrived in barcelona at around 7:45am (local time), tired as hell. headed to the hotel but my room wasn’t ready yet. roamed around but just wanted to shower and rest. finally checked in then went to explore some. the grocery store was a madhouse but i always like seeing how it’s done in other countries.

hotel view

hotel view

met the group for the first time at 8pm for dinner. walked to a local restaurant and ate some of the best damn food i’ve ever eaten. it was a tapas place called ciudad comtal. go if you’re ever there. do it. you won’t regret it, especially if you go with someone who’s awesome at ordering.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-1

i left earlier than the rest of the group. needed to roam some. then rest.

day 2
i just couldn’t get up. between jet lag and other stuff, i just couldn’t. i slept and would wake up and write in my journal and then go back to sleep. then repeat.

gaudi house

gaudi house

finally found the strength to get up and get ready. ate a few bites of food at a local cafe then taxied to gaudi’s casa batlló and then on to sagrada familia. good lord. it’s jaw dropping and pretty fucking magnificent. you could stare and walk around it all day and never begin to notice all the details.

sagrada familia

sagrada familia

then headed to gaudi’s park guell. one word – wow.

park guell

park guell

park guell

park guell

i started feeling really rundown so i headed back to the hotel and laid down. sadly, i missed the group dinner that night. it was a shitty night. a really, really shitty night.

park-guell7

day 3
checked out of the hotel at 6am (kill me) and headed to the airport with the group. 8am flight to alicante, spain. got in a van and drove the 2+ hours to macael, spain. once there, we visited a quarry owned by cosentino. amazing.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-8-quarry

went to our hotel, la tejera, and checked in. group lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. so. much. delicious. food.  after the 2-hour meal, we headed to cosentino to learn about the company.

i get pitched a lot of product, brands, designs, you name it. let’s face it – it’s hard to blow me away. much of it comes from how a company is run and the people who work there, and of course, the product itself. getting invited inside a company is one of the coolest things ever. first, it’s a privilege to be there. second, what an experience to get to learn the ins and outs of what makes a company tick and how they got to where they are.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-9

cosentino is one of those companies that reminded me again why i love design and why i love my job.

we explored their showroom and one of their factories. we busted it out in orange vests, headphones, masks, and hard hats. hot damn, we looked good.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-10

then back to the hotel. walked the street a little to shoot some of the local scenery.

and then it begins...

our US group decided to meet up at the cafe/bar of the hotel for dinner instead of the fancy restaurant.

and then, i dropped my sobriety at the door. let’s just say i haven’t had a drink in awhile but the switch flipped and i started with beer.

then wine.

then more beer. and i didn’t care.

the dinner was laid back and full of laughs. something i needed badly. the walls were dropped and my normally vaulted mouth opened up.

everyone kinda opened up. ’twas a fun time.

if only i’d left my cellie in my room. it’s amazing how someone’s words can change the course of a moment, or even a lifetime.

felt pretty broken but the kindness of these (recent) strangers, now maybe friends was helpful. thanks lorenzo, jim, and matt. i’ll never forget it.

i have no idea when we left but we shut the place down. couldn’t sleep despite my exhaustion. drunk texts ensued. awesome.

to be continued…

spain, i’ll always love you

some days, well, most days even, i’m grateful for my job, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.

never imagined i’d end up where i am but i guess sometimes that’s just how it’s supposed to be. if you’d told me 3 years ago that i’d find a job that would take me around the world, i’d have laughed in your fucking face.

but you know what? i did and it does and each time i go away, i’m forever changed.

why am i talking about it now?

barcelona-2014-view

because i’m currently in spain, never imagining i’d fall so hard for a country i’d never been to. i mean, i figured it would be nice and a cool learning experience, but never, ever could i have imagined just how life-changing it could be.

along for the experience were 5 other people, plus 2 hosts, with which i had zero expectations of what would come of it.

never expected to like each one of them so much and damn what a ride it was.

landed in barcelona not feeling my best. for various reasons, i probably shouldn’t have traveled but i like to keep my commitments.

or perhaps the universe was just making sure i went? who knows.

brief summary: after almost 2 days in barcelona of free time, our group flew to alicante. once there, we loaded in a van and headed on a 2.5 hour drive to macael, a tiny town with about 0.5 grocery stores and nothing else but some companies, like cosentino, that keep the area going and a wonderful community. we spent time with the company, a company so doing it right, that we wanted to just soak it all in. i still do even though the trip is winding down. and i want to continue. they’re that good.

The group ventured out of town some, first to a seaside town called mojacar, which sits right on the mediterranean. yep, that mediterranean. i mean, i stuck my feet in the mediterranean, people. in case you don’t recall, that’s been on my life list.

checked it off.

we also spent a day in granada, walking around streets and alleys filled with shops and cafes and cathedrals.

oh, the cathedrals.

i know you think you’re reading it wrong but you’re not. these were cathedrals that were so magical that it could make your heart feel like it could actually be healed and be whole again. lately, i was having doubts that that could ever happen again.

the dinners and lunches. we’re not talking about grabbing a bite and hitting the road.

nope. the spanish people do it right. meals usually last 2 – 3 hours which at first i thought would make me want to stab my eyeballs out with a dull rusty knife, but honestly, i get it. such a lesson for this american.

the time we spent eating and drinking is time i’ll probably never forget. for various, um, reasons that shall remain within the ears of the people there. all i can say is that it’s been a long time since i’ve laughed so much.

i definitely felt something shift in me. many things, maybe. seems only appropriate after how much has changed over the last few months and everything that has gone on.

despite the roller coaster of my emotions during this time (sorry group), it was something i’ll never forget and will forever be grateful.

and most definitely, the people. the people are people i’ll never forget because the trip wouldn’t have been the same without all of them there.

so, to team comf: i can’t thank you enough for the good times, especially when i needed them most. to lorenzo, jim, liz, rona, hallie, matthew, and michael, i’m bowing down, bitches **. you’re solid people that i’m grateful to have met and gone on this journey with. you inspired me and i have the utmost respect for each and every one of you. love you all. cheers forever (i’m looking each one of you directly in the eyes).

the days and nights were long.

but long in a way i’d do again anytime. i mean, maybe after a recovery period first.

more soon, with photos and all. it’s like 4am and i’m back in barcelona with about 10 hours of sleep total over a week. what the fuck do you expect?

** oh what’s that? just a queen bey reference in a semi-serious post. perhaps it’s because i’m listening to a bit of holy grail from jay-z.

don’t you forget about me…

hey you… yes, you. i’m still here. hi.

my time, however, seems to vanish at a rapid rate of speed. where does all the time go? no clue…

but another year has come and gone and i recently celebrated (i.e. cried) my latest birthday (i.e. old age). i think i’m still in denial about it. denial that i’m not where i thought i’d be at this point and denial that so much time has passed.

i wish i could snap and make it all happen.

my dreams.

they’re still there, but they sometimes get buried in reality.

almost exactly a year ago i shared my struggle with figuring out where to go next. it’s a question i’ve asked myself everyday of my adult life, i think. i’ve always felt this need to move, to try something different and explore new areas. my nomadic heart tends to feel stifled when i stay somewhere too long.

then there’s the other part of me.

the part that thinks maybe it’s time to grow up. time to plant some roots somewhere. time to unpack all of those boxes in storage instead of continuing to pack away memories of the years gone by in hopes that they’ll always be there.

i was getting to the point where my indecision was making me shut down and not want to make any decisions at all.

i got sick of it.

then one day, a space came on my radar and i felt it was kinda meant to be.

at least for now…

the place happens to be in downtown raleigh.

a city i said i’d never live in again. the city i grew up in and the city i let my mind hate.

i’ve watched it grow and become a much better place than it was when i was younger, but it’s still the place that i came from. and part of me felt like if i went back there that i was a failure.

hopefully one day i’ll be able to let go of that feeling.

but… maybe this space i found is where i need to be, even if it is in raleigh, the city that haunts me.

Blount-Apt-Photo

so, i’m going to give it a go for awhile. plant some roots and see if they take hold.

the good news is that i’ll still be able to travel which will keep the free-spirited side of me happy.

complete strangers kissing for the first time

this video, by tatia pilieva, has been all over the interwebz since yesterday and it documents strangers kissing for the very first time. it makes me feel all kinds of uncomfortable and awkward but i love it.

easily distracted? yeah, me too. here’s help.

my love for miranda july knows no bounds. we feature NOWNESS videos on design milk regularly and this miranda one has been floating around the interwebs again recently.

h/t to erin loechner for the reminder.

in the kingdom

the latest from mazzy star \\\ ‘in the kingdom’

caroline divide

this post has been percolating for quite some time as my mind is like a vast sea of confusion…

about what, you say?

life. and the next step.

most of my friends have long since settled down into one place. but me, i spent my 20s and part of my 30s moving back and forth across the country and traveling.

with a good portion of my worldly possessions being in storage for the good part of a decade, i’ve been feeling this tug to reclaim them, unpack them, touch them… mostly it’s because i want a place to put them.

the only way i can describe how i’ve been feeling is this:

i feel like i’m standing above some ground fissure, like when there’s an earthquake and the surface starts to split, and i’ve got one foot on each side of the crack. and the fissure keeps getting wider and wider, making my legs separate further and further. that unease, panic of needing to make a choice to pick one side or the other before it’s too late and i fall into some dark unknown of complacency i don’t want to be in. kinda like my very own continental divide.

here, like this:


photo via

what’s the big deal/decision, you ask?

where to move/live next.

i feel more pressure this time because i’m so tired of feeling unsettled and like i don’t have a home. i mean, i have and have had places to live, but it’s been a long time since anything has felt like home. the next time i move, i want to make it last, at least for an extended period of time.

the beauty, and sometimes hindrance, of my job is that i can work anywhere as long as there is internet and a relatively major airport nearby. i love that aspect but man it’s making me feel a bit stuck. more like overwhelmed with the options. because there are so many.

i’m a super independent person but moving with someone or to a place where you know people always makes the transition a bit easier, but this time, that might not be in the cards…

so here are the places that have splashed through my mind at some point over the last few years:

1. new york – this one’s pretty obvious. i have friends and family here and it would be incredibly convenient for my work and work events. expensive though.

2. jersey – i have friends and family here too. close to nyc, with a bit of a break on the finances.

3. los angeles (again) – i’ve lived there and have friends there.

4. portland (again) – i have friends there and i’ve lived there before. loved it, much more so towards the end when i was meeting more people. it rains a lot though. but it’s cheap.

5. seattle – i’ve been there and liked it a lot and for some reason, years ago, i thought about it being a fun option. i know a couple of people there.

6. somewhere in the midwest? – haven’t spent much time there so i don’t know.

7. asheville, nc – lots of friends there. family close by (is that a pro or con?!). it’s beautiful and cheap.

8. and lastly, somewhere in europe – i’ve had this on my life list and in my dreams since i was a kid and in recent years i’ve thought about berlin, especially after visiting there last year.

see why i’m confused? too many options, all pretty good ones also. i’m sick of moving so i want to pick somewhere and make it happen for longer than a couple of years. commitment freaks me out more than you know but maybe it’s time to get over that?

any thoughts/advice/helpful hints/persuasions/love/gentle nudges you all would like to provide? all advice welcome, unless it’s the asshole-y kind.

song for zula

there’s nothing like a song that can bring you to your knees… when the lyrics and melody weave in and out of your body and oftentimes, your heart, producing a musical goldmine that you just can’t seem to forget.

it can be a song that evokes happiness, melancholy, anger, you name it, but if it makes me feel feelings, than i’m probably going to love it.

lately i’ve been listening to a lot of phosphorescent, especially their latest record muchacho. get it. you won’t regret it. one of my favorite songs on it is ‘song for zula’.

here’s a live version recorded at WFUV:

here’s the official video:

and now the lyrics… the oh so beautiful lyrics, all about love and heartbreak…

Some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a fading thing
Just as fickle as a feather in a stream
See, honey, I saw love. You see, it came to me
It put its face up to my face so I could see
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me
Into something I am not recognizing

See, the cage, it called. I said, “Come on in”
I will not open myself up this way again
Nor lay my face to the soil, nor my teeth to the sand
I will not lay like this for days now upon end
You will not see me fall, nor see me struggle to stand
To be acknowledged by some touch from his gnarled hands
You see, the cage, it called. I said, “Come on in”
I will not open myself up this way again

You see, the moon is bright in that treetop night
I see the shadows that we cast in the cold, clean light
My feet are gold. My heart is white
And we race out on the desert plains all night
See, honey, I am not some broken thing
I do not lay here in the dark waiting for thee
No my heart is gold. My feet are light
And I am racing out on the desert plains all night

So some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a caging thing
Just a killer come to call from some awful dream
O and all you folks, you come to see
You just stand there in the glass looking at me
But my heart is wild. And my bones are steam
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free