It All Comes Back Around

This weekend my friends are gathering to celebrate the life of Christopher Yasick. It breaks my heart that I’m not there to do the same, but I’m there in spirit and I know they’ll share a few hugs with each other on my behalf. But almost six months later and I think I’m ready to remember him here.

Chris Yasick was a rare type. He was amazing. Shy at first, but impossibly loyal. He was also one of the kindest human beings I ever met. And thoughtful. He had quirks that made you love him so much. He put his whole self into everything. He was stubborn and hard headed. He hated asking for anything, so much that once after breaking his foot, he walked to work the next day before finally caving in and going to the doctor. He’d get belligerent on gin and loose on rum, but was usually just happy to have a few beers and talk about LOST. He was the guy you always wanted to have around.

He was the type of person who was good at everything but never talked about it. In between an engineering degree, he picked up photography and got really, really good at it. He knew that experiences were more important than possessions and he traveled the world more than once with friends and family. He was well-respected in his industry even after such a short time and was already set to give lectures at conferences the way you imagine a person in business would as a kid. He was never too busy, too cool, too broke, or too anything to be there when you needed him.

After he lost his father in March, he made it a point to visit everyone down in Austin. We celebrated his birthday and embarrassed him over cookie cake. We saw the Alamo. We ate chicken and talked about old we were getting. He was one of my favorite people on the planet and the world was better with him in it.

Since he passed away in October, not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of him at least once. He shows up in little ways and big ways. I feel like he’s looking out for us and I feel like he’s helped us look out more for each other, too. I like to imagine him and his dad hanging out, sailing around the ocean on an ornate pirate ship, taking pictures and talking about LOST. I bet they’ve even found the plane by now.

In college when we’d get together, when it came time to pay a bill, or buy drinks for a party, or meat for a BBQ, if it ever came out that Chris paid a little more, he wouldn’t ever accept a few more bucks to even it out. He’d respond the same way, every time. A shake of his hand and an “it all comes back around.” I’ve caught myself saying this recently over little gestures. Something you’ll never miss but can make someone’s day. Put a little kindness into the world, get a little kindness back. Live like Chris.

I miss you, friend. I miss you every single day. 

Here’s to good friends living large in Texas.

Texas Forever.

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Thursdays.

Thursdays.


How To Do Anything In New York: Eat at a Pizza Parlor

I recently moved to New York and I’m learning pretty quickly that there’s a  particular way people go about things. This is a silly new series about picking things up along the way. DISCLAIMER: This is not the only way to eat at a pizza parlor, but it is definitely a way to eat at a pizza parlor.

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** Today’s post was born from someone sitting in the “do not sit” seat indicated in step three.


A note on goodbyes and saying them.

I found this in my drafts folder and I don’t remember when I wrote it. I have a rough idea, but not completely sure. Anyway, I thought I’d go ahead and post it.

This week, I said three goodbyes to people who have been very incredibly important in my life over the past year. Each one took its toll in a different way, despite knowing that I would still be seeing two of the goodbye recipients regularly. I don’t know what it is about proximity that makes a lack of it so hard to deal with.

The difficulty of the goodbyes has made me realize how much I want to keep everyone I meet that plays a role in my life close. But more importantly, it’s made me realize that isn’t an option.

I ended the week with a well-placed reunion of friends from college. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen some of them, but we all fell right back into place.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, goodbyes are only permanent if you let them be.


Jerry Maguire

If you ever feel like asking me something, feel free to do so in the “ask me anything” section. I don’t plug it often, but I think answering more questions would be fun. I’m pretty okay at advice and stuff. Also, it’s a lazy person’s way of making me write more. So, help me help you.


Unladylike

And tonight on the train, the opposite of last night on the train, when you get so irritated at your fellow commuters that all you can think about is filling the train with spite farts and then the thought of THAT makes it impossible to be mad at the stupid guy in the stupid hat with the stupid facial hair.

So there’s that, too.


WHY WON’T ANYONE STAND UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STAND UP

Tonight on the train there was an older woman standing around one of the vertical poles. She looked so fragile that a breath in the wrong direction might’ve broken her bones and I wondered why she was standing. It was a crowded train and I found myself right next to her. I spent the next twenty blocks trying to figure out how to stand so that if the train jolted, I’d fall backwards instead of in her direction. The pressure started to get to be too much for me and I considered getting off at the next stop and waiting for the next train. I keep casting glances at people in seats wondering how long this woman has been standing and how many people saw her without getting up. As I scanned the row, I realized probably none of them. Asleep. Game. Game. Game. Asleep. Bent completely in half. No one was paying attention. Then I decided I wouldn’t get off. At this point, it was my duty to protect this woman. No one else standing next to her would do it with as much care. She’d be crushed in no time. From this point until the time she got off, which I guessed correctly was at 96th street, she would be my charge. I would look out for her since no one else would. I kept getting angry. And then sad. I got really sad. And then she got off the train and carried on with her life and probably didn’t realize I was tied up in knots over her.

Anyway, this is probably why I’m stressed out so much.



"I enjoy being characters rather than myself. If I had to get up and talk in front of a group of people just as myself, I would be terrified. I get a little anxious, I guess. But if I’m on stage in front of hundreds of people and I am a character doing a monologue, I’m totally fine."- Kristen Wiig 

GPOY
"I enjoy being characters rather than myself. If I had to get up and talk in front of a group of people just as myself, I would be terrified. I get a little anxious, I guess. But if I’m on stage in front of hundreds of people and I am a character doing a monologue, I’m totally fine."- Kristen Wiig

GPOY

(via jsudeikis)


Finding things.

I almost never write on my tumblr. In fact, the last time I wrote wrote on it was New Years Day, 2013. It’s a private post, but it reads:

2012: A Year in Loss and Learning

2012 seemed to be a hard year for a lot of people very close to me. People lost loved ones and close friends. People I don’t know lost other people I don’t know. But pretty consistently, after such a loss, came something beautiful. From short statements to long essays, people who had gone through something painful wrote about the loved ones no longer with them. And it’s a beautiful thing.

In those essays, no one ever talks about the bad stuff. The things you’d rather not remember. The petty stuff that comes up along the way when you have a relationship with someone. No, it’s all the positive things. All the things you’ll miss because someone isn’t around anymore.

And today I feel lucky. Lucky that 2012 was a year that didn’t take anyone from me. I hope 2013 is as generous, but I can’t be selfish. All I can do is live my life and think of those people in it as if I’m remembering. Don’t dwell on the bad things. Remember the things you’ll miss.

Happy new year.

It’s a nice thing to find things right when you need them. Thanks for hiding this here, past self.


Follow Your Feet: A Life Lesson From Improv

In improv, a bad edit can ruin a whole scene. A scene that starts out hilarious, when left to run just a little bit too long will inevitably turns into something else, leaving the improvisers on stage flailing to justify things and their troupemates in the wings kicking themselves for not editing at the last big joke. It’s hard, at that point, to find a way to end it that doesn’t look like giving up. This scenario almost always ends in a mercy kill, leaving everyone, audience included, sort of shrugging.

I wasn’t always comfortable on stage, so when I first started improvising, my instinct was to cut things short, maybe a little prematurely, and sometimes to the detriment of the scene. As an empathetic person, I would get INCREDIBLY uncomfortable if I felt the improvisers on stage starting to struggle. But, I was new, and my classmates were new, and I also felt inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Let them find it. Again, sometimes to the detriment of the scene. 

If I felt a good edit point, I’d start to sweep, but eventually my brain would catch up and say, “it’s too early!” and stop myself. Feedback in those instances was often “follow your feet.” There’s a time to be patient, and there’s a time to edit.

That was long, but a perfect metaphor of how I felt about moving to New York. My time in Austin was great. I couldn’t have asked for a better seven years. A more perfect college experience. A more amazing set of friends. A greater first “real” job. 

But, as all good things must, it was time to bring it to an end. The last of my time in Austin, I was restless. Frustrated more often than not. Antsy. Afraid of getting stuck. Believe me, I know there are far worse things than being locked in a land of queso, barbecue, amazing people and a short, albeit boring, three hour drive home. But, when it came down to it, I needed to get away for a while to remember why I loved it so much in the first place.

I do love you, Austin. I always will. You’ll be the place that I spent some of the best years with the best people in my life forever.

I’ve been in New York almost a month. The drive up here was amazing - I’ve never seen such colors. I had a lot of time to think. But I’d be lying if I said the first week was easy. It wasn’t. The day before I arrived, I got some of the worst news I’ll ever get. But even through incredible sadness and frustration and growing pains, it still felt right. Honking cars, tall buildings and the perfect fall colors. New York isn’t necessarily better, but it’s a different scene. And luckily, the edit came before the last one was ruined. I can only hope for the same in the future when I inevitably follow my feet back.