Saturday, July 2, 2016

7 Things I Learned in June.

1. Relax, already, about the outcome. My memoir was named a finalist for a Bi Book Award. The crazy little elf-on-the-shelf-of-my-mind spun its Linda Blair head around, swearing there was no way I would ever win against books put out by big New York publishers.

Bubble Lady at Washington Square Park
So instead of focusing on the award, I whipped out my frequent flier miles, thrilled to have an excuse to spend a few days in NYC. I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, something I'd always wanted to do. I meandered for two days around the West Village and Chelsea, soaking in all those incredible NYC sights and sounds...and bagels.

By the time of the book event, I was so high on my adventure that just being in the company of all those other writers felt like icing on the cake.

And then...I won! Not just one (Best Memoir) but two (Bi Writer of the Year).

That creepy little elf in my mind had almost talked me out of going. You're not going to win, anyway. Why bother?

But when I decided to focus on the journey rather than the outcome--the outcome was even sweeter. And if I hadn't won, I still would have had a memorable time.

2. "Paella season is a thing." We were lucky to enjoy two paella dinners in two weeks.

Chef Todd's creation

Chef Frank's masterpiece

3. ALWAYS double-check texts before hitting send. Auto-correct changed my playful word "wonkiness" to "long penis." Fortunately, my friend thought it was funny.


4. When Life Gives You Traffic, Make Lemonade. Is Bay Area traffic worse than ever, or is this just us adjusting-to-California-after-three-months-in-Baja? When we had to be in San Rafael on a Friday at 6 p.m., we knew that meant being off the roads by 3 p.m. at the latest.

Dave discovered there's a wild animal rehab facility in San Rafael that's open to the public. So instead of sitting in a wall of traffic, we hung out with hawks and owls and pelicans, and chatted with the knowledgeable people who care for them.

5. Let the locals teach you. We've been to San Francisco a zillion times...and taken lots of walks at Land's End and on Ocean Beach...which we did this time with our friend Nicole.

Nicole showed us something new.
Because she lives in the area, she knew of a hidden spot...
secret stairs
 that took us up to Sutro Heights Park, offering this view:

Worth every step--and we never would have known about it if we hadn't listened to a local.

6. Family isn't biology. I've learned that many times in my life--but it really hit home a few weeks ago. We were invited by my godmother to a gathering of her family. I hadn't seen most of these people in thirty years or more--but I felt like I belonged. It was sweet to hear stories about my parents, to talk to people who fondly remembered them.

Two women who loved my parents: Marcia (my godmother, on the left) and Louise.
Marcia and Dean had three sons. And one of them, Greg, said that when they were kids, the three boys had figured out which three Evans girls they were going to marry!
One of my dad's best friends (Dean)...and the guy I was supposed to marry (Travis).
 I was a child last time I saw all these people--but it felt like coming home.

Esperanza and Greg filled the house with music.

7. The story is never over. We are evolving, changing human beings. For the first time in many years, I went to the Pride parade. I wasn't sure how I'd feel there...but it was amazing. (And I wrote about it here.)

At Pride with my friend Laurie, looking at life through the eyes of love.
So, yes, the story continues. No matter what "it" is, this too shall pass.

Welcome, July. I look forward to what you have to teach.