Archive for paris

Julie Delpy, are you the patron saint of my move?

Posted in 38 with tags , , on January 26, 2012 by ana

I sold my car on Tuesday. It felt so strange to let go of one of my most important possession in LA. When I told Stevie I was selling my car and that it made me a little sad she said, “those are just the cocoons getting shaken up.”  I had my car for nine years. As I walked over to hand off the keys memories of driving to the desert and up north to Napa and San Francisco came back to me. I remembered how often I got lost when I  first moved here and all the mini adventures taken in my car- drives to the beach, to parties downtown, to beautiful, magical houses where friends were house sitting in Laurel Canyon and above the Silver Lake reservoir.

Yesterday, I got my visa in the mail! So, it’s official. I can move to Paris. It’s amazing how everything is falling into place. Selling my car was the main thing that was stressing me out. Last week I asked my boss, who was sitting at the bar doing the schedule, if she knew anyone looking to buy a car. She looked up at the couple sitting at the other end of the bar and jokingly asked if they wanted to buy a car. It turns out they did and they were actually looking for the same car I had! They asked why I was selling and when I told them I was moving the woman said,”look at Julie Delpy. She’s doing it. She’s doing her own thing. She’s stumbling through it. She’s just did Two Days in New York. Did you know? It’s really good. You can be like her. You are doing your own thing.”  It was funny that she mentioned Julie Delpy because a month ago my friend Katy’s boyfriend said to me that he had been looking at Before Sunset for a project he was working on. When he saw her apartment in the movie he thought of me and imagined me living in an apartment like hers. I loved that he said that because I don’t know him that well but think he’s a real sweetheart.

Five days later  the lady at the bar bought my car. And if that wasn’t a sign that all roads lead to Paris, at the last minute I needed to go to the DMV for some paperwork. It was four in the afternoon and they close at five. I jumped in my car and miraculously made it downtown on the 5 in ten minutes. Ten minutes!




notebooks & watercolors

Posted in 38 with tags , , , , on December 14, 2011 by ana

I found this drawing in an old journal. I think I was living in Brooklyn, and quite possibly had the chicken pox, when I  drew it. I had the chicken pox when I was 27. The older you are, the harder it hits you. I looked like an alien.

I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. I can guess why but all the guesses so far haven’t felt quite on the mark. So, I’m just trying to go with it and stay as focused as I can while enjoying the feeling that exciting stuff is on the horizon. Most of the time I fail but I’m not letting that stop me from trying.

In a little over a week I’m going home for the holidays. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s my favorite time of year to be in Puerto Rico. I’m longing to breath the salty air and feel the sun on my skin. I’m craving the feeling of being in my mom’s apartment and my dad’s house.  I can’t wait to see Anouk and my three other friends who I have known forever, and I’m really looking forward to seeing my family. Going home always recharges my batteries and infuses me with perspective. Nothing like driving past your old High School to give you a sense of all that you have done right in your life and how happy you are for the choices you have made.


I think what I like about the drawing above is that it reminds me of how much I have always loved food and thought about it. I had a boyfriend, at the time I made the drawing, that used to always tell me that I was in my element whenever I would cook. I loved going with him to his sister’s house in Upstate New York and cooking. She had a great kitchen that opened on to a deck, and what seemed like a forest beyond her yard. When I think about it now, I don’t think I ever really heard what he was saying. I don’t think I saw what he was seeing in me or I didn’t take it seriously.

The drawing also makes me think about my friend Elle because she loves food and she loves small drawings. I’ve known Elle for a long time but it wasn’t until she was my boss that our friendship gelled. Elle has always shown me interesting, lovely, loving ways of looking at food. Working for her at epicurious was the first time I realized that there was a world of food out there and people who were excited and passionate about it.

My whole life there have always been little hints of how I feel about food. It has always excited me but it has also always been a relationship fraught with conflict because of my relationship to my body. All this has been shifting in the past year. Sometimes I feel like my old self, conflicted about my body, conflicted about food and how I eat. Other times I feel a new experience emerging that is so much healthier and kind and embracing. This newer perspective on food and body image feels exciting, empowering, and  sexy to me.  This is what I hope is the next part of my journey, more of that exploration, more of that embracing, and more celebration.

I’ve been thinking about the weekend I spent with Willa a few months ago.  I think I wrote about it before. I was in tears almost the entire time I visited her and she was so loving.  We went to the beach one afternoon with her baby. It was cold and misty, and most of the beach was closed off as a haven for seals. I felt so frustrated, so restless, so hungry for answers. I played with her baby and cried, and she said to me,  “you are like one of your collages, filled with all the things that you like and interest you. You don’t have to be one thing. You can be a collection of all the things you’ve done.”

That night we made a pasta that I learned about in the summer, orchiette with cabbage and pancetta. We drank wine and after dinner I snuck off to have a cigarette. Willa came out to keep me company. We just sat there, staring at the trees behind her house. “I think so much of what you are feeling,” she said,  “has to do with the break up, with the disappointment, with the unfulfilled expectations. And you have a right to be angry. I’m angry. Paul is angry. None of us can believe it. That he would just let you go.”  And I told her I felt so stupid for trusting, for believing in him. That I felt so disappointed  with myself. That I wanted a partner. That I wanted a baby. That I needed to loose the weight I had gained from all the drinking and candy I had eaten over the past year and do more yoga, and go for runs. The list went on and on. Willa hugged me and said, “you are perfect just as you are and love will come when the time is right and it won’t care if you have gained or lost weight. It won’t care about your accomplishments or disappointments. It will love you as you are.”

Anouk, Stevie, and Mina have also said this to me. You are perfect just as you are. When Willa said it on her deck that night, I think it was the first time I really heard what they were saying. It’s such a foreign idea to me that I’m still wrapping my head around it and embracing it. Usually before I go home for the holidays I hit the gym in a frenzy. Trying to look better, to change myself somehow. This year it hasn’t mattered. Not because I don’t care. Not because I’m letting myself go but just because I don’t feel my worth is attached to it the way I did before.

Home is often also often a reminder of all the things that I have to supposedly have at this stage in my life- husband, career, family. I want those things but, as much as I can’t often help feeling impatient, I’m also starting to see that it doesn’t matter whether I have those things right now or not. I’m following my heart and that is all that matters.

My friend Valentina called this morning to talk about a puerto rican stew she is making for her holiday party. When I told her about all my visa woes and restlessness she said, ” Ana, no stress. You are going to go when the time is right. What is meant for you is meant for you and will be waiting for you.”

I know she is right. Things are unfolding slowly for a reason. It is not for me to figure out why. I just need to trust it. I battle with that trust. I throw temper tantrums at it. But the things that I want most- to become a better baker, a better writer, a better artist, a better ice cream maker, and to fall in love again- all happen over time, with openness, and little meddling. If I look at the patterns and the rhythms of my life I have the proof that when I let go and relax, at the right moment, secrets are revealed.


The fact that I’m scared shitless is exactly why I have to do it.

Posted in 37 with tags , , , , on August 30, 2011 by ana

Last night I had an anxiety-ridden dream or maybe I woke up in the middle of the night had a mini panic attack and fell promptly back to sleep. Either way at some point in the middle of the night, awake or not, I freaked out. It was really strange. I can’t say anything like that has ever happened to me before. Basically, I started thinking about Paris- how I only know 2.5 people there, how I don’t really speak the language, how it’s going to be winter when I get there. And that turned into- you are insane. You have completely lost it. This is all going to explode in your face and you are going to feel more lost, more alone, more distraught than ever. Are you crazy? What are you thinking?!! I don’t ever talk to myself that way. The decision is pushing buttons and stirring things up.

Some of the fear comes from the voices in my head that say you are too old to be picking up your things and moving, your time to have babies is running out, you are always chasing something, settle down. Those voices are cultural and relate to my family as an entity, how I was raised, and what is expected or hoped for for me. These voices are not so much my parents but my large, opinionated, loving, and conservative puertorican family.

There is also the voice that wishes she lived closer to her family and worries that every decision I’ve made since I left Puerto Rico has physically moved me further away from them. And the voice that wants to settle down, on her own terms, but settle down no less. That voice wonders if I’m walking towards or further away from all I want.

All those voices make the voice that made the decision to take a leap feel small. That voice was strong and clear when I made my decision but all the doubting ones have made it cower. It’s as if the woman I have become, who is confident and centered, passion-filled and inspired, excited and present is having a fist fight with the girl that often feels awkward in her skin, who feels nothing quite works out her way. The part of me that knows that she can do this, that knows she must do it, has gone to take a nap until the confident one has put the awkward one in her place. And it might take a minute because the girl has been around for a long time but the woman has only been around for a bit.

This morning I cried while I was meditating. Lately that seems to happen when I try to meditate. I say try because I struggle every single day when I sit down to do it. Today I asked myself why I was crying. What the deep sadness inside of me was about. And the response I got was the feeling of how intensely the breakup with Leo had rocked me to my core. That feeling brought on more tears but also a feeling of pride and of strength and a deepening of the knowledge that the person I have become was born out of our parting ways.