Do You Know Me [John Mayer]

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

[A.A. Milne]

I’m really a quote-aholic. For some reason I find it calming to find reason in the words of others. Because, though I love my words a lot, sometimes other people seem to just get it right. Sometimes a few short words of others take the place of what could be a rambling and incoherent mess of my own.

So, this Winnie-The-Pooh quote really does it for me at the start of this new decade. I’m here, standing at the edge of my life and I have no words to explain what it feels like to be here. In an odd way, I feel like my life is really just beginning. I know I should have had this feeling before I moved to Budapest, but I think there were so many things going on at that time, both with the move(s) and some unresolved things I felt like I was leaving behind me, that I couldn’t just sit back and feel what was happening to me.

And now, I am feeling it. I really, really am.

It’s been a few weeks since my last real post. And I guess I owe you all some sort of update that doesn’t include my favorite Christmas movies or commercials (though, it was fun to go back and look at all those things again). Coming back to the States threw me for a loop, and not because of any reverse culture shock or anything, but a loop of love from my family and friends. There are so many people to see, and not out of feelings of obligation, but people I really want to see and who really want to see me. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been forced to take a step back and realize how truly blessed I am to be so loved by so many. If it’s true that you can measure someone’s wealth and worth by those who love them, I must be wealthier than Microsoft.

I got back into New Hampshire from Budapest (via Zurich) on the 15th. Well, it was almost the 16th by the time I found myself tucked in and exhausted in my bed. The flights were fine. In my usual manner, I made fast friends with the woman sitting next to me. She was this 81 year old woman from Krakow, Poland, and she has to be one of the sweetest little things I have ever met. I helped her get to and from the lavatory since she had a hard time walking, and chatted with her and shared a bottle of airplane wine with her. She gave me her address and phone number and made me swear that when I finally get to Poland (which, being Polish myself, she said I absolutely had to go no matter what else I did in my life) I will call her up, visit, and she will cook for me all the glorious Polish food I could dream of. You can bet I’m going to take her up on it, I love meeting new and interesting people like her.

And then, the 17th I took off for my beloved North Carolina. I made it to Baltimore that night and stayed with some friends of my friends from the Carolina Fencing Family. They were very gracious to have me over in the middle of Hanukkah and especially because of traffic I got there so much later than I planned! But I had a wonderful time talking to them and seeing their beautiful children. And to avoid bad weather and traffic I had to leave early the next morning. But I was so glad to get to NC - it has truly become my second home over the past six years. I expected to feel out of place, like life had gone on without me. And it has, but I didn’t feel it in a bad way. It didn’t hurt. And I think that’s because all the people who made NC home for me are still a major part of my life and my adoptive family. I visited my old work, had lunch with my old co-workers, hung out with my old roommate, went to a party at Carrie’s (and spent a while re-apologizing for missing their wedding!), finished my Augustine paper, met up with my favorite old professor - Brett, went to aerials, took a much missed ballroom lesson, and just pretended I still lived in the happiest place on earth. The drive home again saw me in Baltimore, but with other friends who I haven’t seen in far too long. Jes and David and Jes’s mom and I shared a bottle of prosecco and chatted. Then Jes and I chatted until far too early in the morning, I napped for a few hours, and then sleepy-eyed got on the road by six (potential for bad weather and a long drive made that decision for me).

After a mad rush to buy Christmas presents, Friday came and brought Christmas with it in a brightly colored boxes and happiness sort of way. It was an odd year for presents, as the parents did not want to buy me things that would either take up too much space to go back with me, or would remain at home untouched until I’m gone from Budapest (and my things are gone from their house) for good. So I ended up with a lot of CD’s (burned to iTunes), DVD’s (Blu-Rays that dad can keep for now that come with digital copies, burned to iTunes), and books (I’m a sucker and cannot live without them). I also got a new sweater, Uggs (which make me feel like a sellout, as most sorority girls at UNC wear them in the dead of summer with mini skirts, I swore I would never own them. But since I now again live in a place that has a real winter and a need for warm footwear, I caved), and giftcards for massages and haircuts. I’m happy with them, as they’re things I need and will use. Plus, just being home is the best present in the world.

I also have fenced in two tournaments since I’ve been home. Let me tell you, the happy feeling that started with fencing in Budapest has picked up steam back at home. I have not been this happy fencing in years. I know college fencing leads to burn out, but I am so happy that my love for the sport is coming back to life. I got to hang out with old friends and fencing family and just fence for the fun of it again. I’ve reconnected with people I assumed were out of my life for good, and am so glad that they’re not! I won a little women’s epee tournament (6 people), came in 6th in a mixed epee at the same place (of 24 people, I think), and came in the top 16 as the highest female finisher at the Hangover Open for epee (of 42, and the spot came with a bottle of Champagne - the first one I have been of age to actually take home with me!). I’ve been told by countless people that I look happier right now than they’ve seen me in ages. It has to be true, because I am feeling more like myself and happier than I have felt in ages. It’s an amazing feeling and I hope it never goes away.

There’s so much more, but I’ve already written a short novel here. More later, promise!




  1. You have been BUSY!!!!! Happy New Year! It sounds like you're off to a very happy start. :)

  2. Thanks for visiting! We've been living overseas for the past six years so I'll definitely be reading is an adventure that's for sure...enjoy every minute of yours in Budapest. We'd do it again in a minute.

    Living abroad is life changing...adjusting to life back in the US is taking some time but we're getting there...
    Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Courtney.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Your life sounds very interesting.
    I can't wait to read more about your life in Budapest.
    Hugs from Oklahoma!


Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm only happy when I have comments. Really. You are contributing to my future happiness right now! XOXO