April, 01, 2014

Dear Dad-o

Dear Dad-o,

I want you to know how much you mean to me. How much you mean to others. How amazing of a man you are.

I think you should hear that.

I am so often in awe of you. I have never met a person more dedicated, more motivated, more focused than you.

Growing up, you hurt me, hurt me a lot. I know you didn’t mean to. But you did. As an adolescent, we didn’t have much of a relationship because I was equal parts scared of you and angry at you.

But, thank God, we moved on from that. Time heals all wounds, right? Persistence helps, too. I’m thankful you kept reaching out to me.

Despite it all, I always knew you were me and my sister’s advocate. I wouldn’t be where am now in my life were it not for my mom and you. I wouldn’t have gotten the education I did were it not for you both. I can’t thank y’all enough for that.

dadpaige2

Yes, you can be endlessly frustrating. Yes, you’ve made mistakes.

Nobody’s perfect.

But. I have never learned more from a person than I have from you.

You are smart as hell. You have an innate intelligence. I know you often joke about your school transcripts and how you were a “terrible” student, but damn, what does that really mean in the end? Most of all, you work harder than anyone I know. Those 15 emails I woke to every morning when I was your employee speaks to that.

You taught me that in the real world, tenacity and enthusiasm counts for everything. Adversity be damned, you just have to keep moving. Disappointments (sometimes deep, deep ones) happen. You must pivot. Look forward. Regroup and move on. As you say, the sun always comes out tomorrow.

And because of that, things are never done with you. It’s always “What more can we do?” and “What’s next?” and “How can we leverage this?” You never stop.

One of the reasons I moved to Charleston and wanted to work for Queen Street America was to have the opportunity to watch you build this company. I will never regret that choice.

photo (3)

I’ll always remember you waltzing down the hall, so animated, so excited, popping your head into my office. You’d tell me about your recent calls with prospects, people you’d met with, where you’d had dinner, and what dish you loved. You’d bounce ideas off of me, which I so respected.

I hope I gave you sound advice.

I felt so privileged that you welcomed my viewpoint.

You are an amazing boss, not just because of your talents as an entrepreneur. You are also so kind hearted. Considerate. The consummate mentor.

You’re such an awesome friend and supporter.

You offer the best, most constructive counsel. Be it personal or professional, I can always count on you to level it to me straight.

dadpaige1

Tied to that – and the most important of all – I can be my most authentic self around you. I can say horribly bad words and be endlessly inappropriate and you laugh and just…understand. You appreciate me for me. For who I am. I love being around you because you never judge me. We always have the best time.

I was proud to call you my boss, but I’m the most proud to call you my Dad.

You’ve said to me: “You are your father’s daughter.” That’s high praise. I can only hope to be the person you are now.

I love you, Daddy. Forever and always.

 

xo,

Paiger

 

 

November, 01, 2013

On Limbo

lim·bo noun \ˈlim-(ˌ)bō\ an intermediate or transitional place or state; a state of uncertainty

 

Limbo is where cowards live. It’s where gluttons live. It’s where masochists live.

Limbo is so uncomfortable.

But it’s also so safe.

Because not knowing is everything. Not knowing means so much possibility.

Don’t ask.

Don’t do it.

Because I’m not ready for the answer.

I live for limbo. I live in limbo.

My whole adult life has been a perpetual state of limbo; working towards the next thing, the next unknown.

I’ve never allowed myself to stop.

I’m terrified of stopping.

I can live pleasantly in this state of “what-if.” I can picture everything…anything…it all…from this vantage point.

If nothing is certain, everything has the possibility of being certain.

I have this sick feeling that if I finally settle on something, on an answer, that it will disappoint me.

So instead, I live on the edge. I’ll live and breathe this possibility that I’ve built in my mind.

This unknown.

This torture.

This torture that is so full of opportunity.

People have told me they think I’m brave because I’ve up and left so often. But that’s so far from the truth.

For me, the brave thing is staying. Accepting. Allowing the status quo I’ve created to be completely perfect

…for better or worse.

 

 

June, 13, 2013

Cigar Box Memories

Growing up, my Dad smoked a lot of cigars. (Well, let’s be honest. He still does.) The image of my father smoking cigars is one of the memories most tied to him in my head.

Along with a cigar habit comes cigar boxes. Lots of empty cigar boxes.

To my seven-year-old self, these boxes were like magic.

Thin, delicate wood. Irregular shapes; never just simply a square box. Curved and bent and swollen in the most interesting ways. Colorful stickers with swirling designs adorning them. Topped with the metallic, majestic, embossed logo of the cigar brand. Intricate gold clasps. And the scent.

Oh, the smell of those boxes.

There’s nothing like it. They’re intoxicating. The lingering smell of fresh wood mixed with that deep, rich, earthly aroma of cigars. Even when I was seven, I could appreciate the smell. I’d open those boxes and close my eyes and breathe in that heady scent.

I found them enchanting.

And so, I collected my most prized possessions in these empty cigar boxes. Notes, receipts, pictures… Anything I thought worthy of keeping, I stashed away in them.

But the thing with cigar boxes is that the more you open them, the more you enjoy what is best about them – the unparalleled scent – the quicker that scent dissipates.  So I learned only to open those boxes when most necessary; when I most needed what was inside them.

By stashing them in those cigar boxes, my prized possessions became even more magical. I didn’t want to risk the loss of the cigar box allure. I kept them hidden in the corner of my closet, and would talk myself out of opening them 90% of the time. I’d only lift those wooden lids when I felt it was completely necessary. I refused to compromise my precious items and the scent that was so wrapped up in them.

Twenty years later, it’s no longer things that matter the most to me; it’s memories. I don’t keep cigar boxes full of my most prized possessions…I keep them in my head. Those memories so important, so dear, you fear you’ll wear them out if you think of them too much

You don’t want to open that cigar box of thoughts; you don’t want to let that exotic, ethereal scent escape. You fear that the sheen of those memories will dull if you produce them too often.

Dashing up to the department store with my Nama, a storm raging around us, the wind so fierce our umbrella upturns. But instead of anger or annoyance, we glance at each other and burst into laugher at the absurdity of the situation.

Creeping down the stairs early on a Christmas morning, trying to catch a glimpse of the bounty Santa left beneath the tree.

Sitting at the counter of the old-fashioned soda shop, where we’d go every Saturday and order grilled cheeses, with extra pickles, and slurp down thick milkshakes.

Standing on that stage, tall and proud and so self-assured, hundreds of people listening to what I have to say.

Perched on what feels like the crest of the world, countries away from people I know, in awe of the beauty of the crumbling castle surrounding me, but mostly in awe of my independence and confidence in being there, completely alone.

Run-shuffling away from a party in the dead of winter in Maine, huddled together, so cold our teeth won’t even chatter. Laughing at how pathetic, freezing, and miserable we are. Saying aloud, visualizing, in unison: “We’re on a beach…we’re not in Maine in February…WE’RE ON A BEACH!”

Meandering down the aisles of the grocery store on a perfectly humdrum day, pulling items from the shelves, when he grabs me, looks me straight in the eyes, and says: “I’m so glad you’re here.”

My feet on the dash, Mom in the driver’s seat. On an hours long road trip. Sitting idly in the most comfortable and lovely silence, punctuated by conversation and laughter.

That stolen first kiss in an empty hallway – surprising in what it stirs in me – while friends sit at the bar in the next room, drinking.

Hunkered down at the bar in the dark, dank dive of a place, laughing the hardest I know; surrounded by people who know me to the bone.

Smushed like sardines, smiling, dance dance dancing and yelling along to the live music thump thump thumping so loud we can feel it our chests.

Sipping martinis, then wine at a bar. Ordering salads and steak and plenty of sides; more than enough for two people. Talking business, shooting the breeze. Reveling in the fact that I now consider my Dad a good friend.

Alone on an empty beach, twirling in the surf, listening to music much too loud (and probably bad for my ears).

Those memories are now my cigar box possessions.

Maybe committing some of them to paper, to words, will emblazon them forever and ever in my mind … Hopefully now they won’t lose their sheen, their intoxicating scent quite so easily?

I sure hope so.

 

May, 30, 2013

If I Left You a Voicemail, This Would Be It

Inspired by a poem of the same name I read here.

 

 

If I haven’t been drinking,

it’ll be easy, breezy,

(secretly calculated)

 

lalalalala…

 

“Hey! How’s it going?

Long time, huh?

 

What’s new?”

 

I’ll fill you in

on the shiny highlights

(but only the shiniest)

of me, of my life

 

I’ll pad the message with

Enthusiasm

Positivity

Excitement

Fun

 

So as to prove my

Independence

Spirit

Maturity

Self-sufficiency

 

I’ll end on a high, happy note:

 

“Welp!

Hope all is well with you!

Do let me know how you are!

It sure has been

a while!”

 

But if I’ve been drinking,

well

then

 

all bets are off.

 

I’ll probably yell…

 

“You’re dumb.

Do you realize how stupid you are?!

What are you thinking?”

 

Undoubtedly, I’ll use foul language

(I am fluent in foul language)

 

I’ll pad the message with

Anger

Vitriol

Distance

Sarcasm

 

So as to prove that

I’m fine

I’m fabulous

I don’t care

Everything is super!

 

I’ll end with more anger,

more foul language:

 

Fuck you.”

 

But.

 

At the very last,

 

After all the

Vitriol

Anger

Distance

Sarcasm…

 

Undoubtedly

the final word will be:

 

“I miss you.”

 

Because that’s the most real;

because that’s the truth.

 

 

March, 18, 2013

Charleston art gallery

 

“Follow the tugs in your heart. I think that everyone gets these gentle urges and should listen to them. Even if they sound absolutely insane, they may be worth going for.”

-Victoria Moran

March, 15, 2013

Hello My Old Heart

nothing lasts forever
some things aren’t meant to be
but you’ll never find the answer
until you set your old heart free

 

 

March, 14, 2013

This I Know…

Chips  Queso Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling up on chips and salsa and queso and then not having room for your actual dinner is totally acceptable every once in a while.

I’ll never be the girl with manicured nails.

…but my toenails will always have polish.

Sitting on an empty beach in the dark alone is absolutely perfect. Especially when you’re drinking red wine from a mug.

Change requires action. You can talk and think about something all you want, but you’ll remain static if you don’t do.

There is nothing like a runny egg on pasta. Or pizza. Or toast. Or steak.

Spending money on experiences is so much more rewarding than spending it on things.

I need to stop after one martini and transition to a different drink. Things never end well after multiple martinis.

Google is completely nutty for discontinuing Reader.

Vacuuming is so satisfying and by far my favorite chore.

Fresh flowers on my desk automatically make me a cheerier person.

Fresh Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March, 07, 2013

Idle Thoughts

I can measure my life in the thoughts that have absently consumed my mind.

In 6th and 7th grade, it was all about finding friends and fitting in. Moving to two new states during middle school will do that to you. In high school, it was all about doing well, excelling so I could get into the best college.

In college, again, it was about applying myself and finding the most kickass job once I graduated. Then, when I got that “dream job” and realized it was severely lacking what I hoped it’d be, my thoughts were all about my next move. When you graduate from college and are no longer tethered to such a structured environment, all of the options you have are overwhelming. At least they were for me.

In those years directly after college, I had a panoply of thoughts, trying to figure out what I wanted to be: A nutritionist? A writer? A chef? A nurse? A psychologist? A lawyer? In my mind, there was no limit to what I could do or where I could go.

So, for the longest time, my idle thoughts were self-focused and idealistic and driven. My mind was a ticker tape of aspirations and goals and ideals. What will be my next move? How will I get there? When will I go? Where will it be?

Then, gradually, something shifted. My confident, ambitious thoughts were taken over by thoughts of others. Thinking about this person, that person, why won’t they be/see/do xyz. Missing this person. Wishing I could be with this person. It’s fucking tiring. I’ve been annoyed by my thoughts for far too long.

I miss my scheming and plotting. I miss being overwhelmed by all the options I have in front of me, not being able to choose what I want for myself. I miss coming up with crazy life plans and then trying to figure out how to achieve them.

I’m so sick of this shit. Frankly, it’s embarrassing that I give so much real estate in my mind to persons who don’t rightfully deserve it. I miss me consuming my thoughts. I know I won’t have that luxury forever, so I figure I damn well should take advantage of it while I still can. Why am I wasting my valuable brain space thinking about someone else? I can’t change someone else. No matter how much I scheme and plot and wish it were so.

You know who I can change? Me.

So, godammit, Paige. Let your mind think about you again.

Please.

 

February, 27, 2013

run when the rhythm’s right

I’m just crazy about this song. It’s been on repeat for weeks.

February, 26, 2013

This I Know…

Brewvival 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red wine stains laminate kitchens counters.

A Valentine’s Day that involves good friends, heart-shaped pizza, trashy reality shows, and pink champagne is all I need.

Sriracha is good. Sriracha plus Frank’s is better.

Galoshes are the best ever protection against rain and mud.

Drinking lots of beer helps you forget how rainy and muddy it is.

You should eat some food when drinking at a beer festival for 5 hours straight.

Going to bed at 8pm every now and then is glorious and completely restorative.

Emoji can be great fun…in moderation.

Electric toothbrushes are magical and how did I live for so long without one?

I will never have a good time at Hall’s Chophouse.

Mrs Meyers Geranium products smell heavenly and make doing the dishes by hand much less painful.

Living 2 blocks from the beach makes not having a dishwasher perfectly ok.

Bangs are bomb.

paige with bangs