thank you, venting, and how it all turns out ok

oh, goodness. your comments on the last post were – devastatingly wonderful. thank you. thank you. i was right about you guys being pretty rad, huh? {and to those of you who didn’t comment (yes, i know you’re out there) – let’s remember what happens to middle schoolers who don’t follow through on a triple-dog-dare…umm…there’s still time!!}

the truth is, i needed your words of encouragement. to be real, the last month has been a hazy, blah, weird bubble of life for me. i feel drained of the myself part of myself. although there have been some beautiful, bright moments, truthfully i’ve felt like a technicolor character in a grainy black and white film, one who has slowly blended into the grayscale. yes, it’s been a bit of an ache. but – but, but, but – this is a mortal experience! and i genuinely, honestly love it when life is hard because i feel so human. and i’ll embrace and conquer and press forward.

venting, however is part of the process. oh, dear. i guess the last post was meant to make me feel good about myself, and this one is meant to make you feel bad for me. i have become such an egotistical blogger! i promise – back to the zest and passion and spunk you lauded right after this little rant.

it’s about my bad luck with transportation, and there’s a twist at the end so don’t worry.

last year, i got rear-ended out of nowhere on the bay bridge (on the way home from the temple, of all things) and my car got totaled. three days after i’d paid $450 to get it registered in california.

a very generous friend surprised me one day at work and lent me her nice road bike indefinitely, to help me get around without a car. i feel in love with my bike. seriously. you know those people who are annoyingly obsessed with their ugly little yapping dogs, and they carry them around in burburry puppy-carriers? i had the same sort of feelings toward my bike (although i never did accessorize it – one of my truest regrets). i loved cruising around the city on my bike. i loved it.

well. my bike got stolen one night, locked up outside of the house where i babysat. i was crushed.

and it was back to the bus and the train, which actually i really, really enjoyed a lot (i have a thing for public transportation), but it’s not time to be positive quite yet. venting still in progress.

when i moved to palo alto, it was time to buy a car. so, i made a deal with the family i worked for, and drove my very own subaru outback, stuffed with all my belongings, to palo alto my first night back in the bay. i quickly grew to like that little guy and his manual transmission (and i gloried in the amazing mobility of having a car again).

last saturday was a particularly hard day. i decided to shape up and decide to be happy, bought some peppy mat kearney songs on itunes, hopped in the car to go to a dinner i had been looking forward to for ages (with old friends from the city at my old bishop’s house in half moon bay) and blasted the music and rolled down the windows and felt pretty darn good driving into the mountains to get to the coast.

then. billowing smoke. car didn’t accelerate anymore. and i was on the side of the road in hysterics. couldn’t pull myself together. after a while of blubbering on the phone, the tow truck came. the clutch had burned out and repairs were a pretty penny.


okay. venting done. i’m going to pick up my car tomorrow, all fixed and paid for by the previous owners, and all is well. now onto the positive twist.

as i drove through the night in the tow truck cab, i felt awful. it seemed like this was such a huge deal. it was terrible. then, i got a message from a friend letting me know that our mutual friend’s dad had passed away, and to keep that family in my prayers. amazing how the huge deal turned to dust. it was nothing. moments like those – here come some cliches, but they happen to be true – make you realize how fragile and precious life is, and that everything should be kept in perspective. i sent up a prayer from the slow lane on the 101 for those dear grieving people and to thank god that my biggest issue at that moment was a burned out clutch.

and i felt alive. stingingly, for-good-and-for-bad alive. stranded, hungry, and had to pee so bad after being on the side of a mountain road for a couple hours, but alive and blessed and well and just fine, fine.

i’ve learned from my bad luck with transportation. i’m happy about that.


  1. I love you Charity! This is not an exciting comment-but you helped me appreciate not having car trouble lately-although I SWEAR something really bad is going to happen soon.

    i love you and wish I could have seen you over Christmas or something!

  2. one of my favorite quotes from a history class on the triangle shirtwaist factory fire in nyc is:
    "the lesson of the hour is,
    that while property is good,
    life is better, that while possessions are valuable, life is priceless."--rabbi wise now to answer your former post of why i so enjoy your radiate goodness. to me you are a walking/breathing 13th article of faith! you are a talented writer. i enjoy your photos. i love your parents and their brood. cont..

  3. you are so adventurous! you're beautiful and your smile is mega watted. (is that a word?) here i am, a 42 year old, mother of six, living in the dc area, happily married, and yet your blog draws me in and takes me places that i can't go in this stage of my life. but mostly is makes me see the goodness in you and in a gospel centered life. keep doing what you do best! love, nancy xoxo

  4. At least you have experienced your "3rd!" Bad luck tends to travels in 3s, right?
    Enjoy the Bay Area for me. We lived there for 3 years during graduate school. Once its magic has captured your heart it never leaves.
    Thanks for sharing with all of us, the good, the bad and even the ugly! It is definitely a package deal.

  5. Charity, I am so glad I started to read your blog. It makes me so happy to read about someone around my age who is going through life too, but has a spectacular outlook...makes me want to be better about my own.

    I had the best week ever (at least work wise), and I was so grateful to you because your blog really helped me soak it all in and appreciate it.

    You are right though, all that hard stuff really makes you feel human. Also, that hard stuff really helps put life into perspective a little bit - reminds you of what is so important, wonderful, and devastatingly beautiful about life. Feeling human is so wonderful.

    Ok, last thing - I am a big quote collector and tend to go back and reread the ones that make sense in my life at that moment. This is my favorite and always seems to apply, especially when life takes me to hard/unlikely places. I hope it speaks to you too...

    "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” (Roald Dahl)

    Hope you have a great weekend :)

    (Also, apparently once I comment once..I can't stop. Sorry about that :)

  6. Transportation can be tough. I still miss my bike that got stolen in England. But I have pretty much the same exact Subaru you do.... hopefully it won't die on you anymore, and it will serve you well. I love mine, and with 218,000 miles on it it's still going strong.
    I'm glad with all of the "negatives" or trials you may have that you keep a positive outlook, that's wht life is all about. =) Have fun!

  7. LOOL!! Whoa nice blog! car trouble sucks I dont have a car yet though I look foward to more blogs! lol u truly are "dripping with passion!!"

  8. i love: 1) your new car, but will forever miss your mercedes and all of the many, many memories associated with it. i'm so sad it has passed on. 2) your comments on my blog 3) you, your posts, and yes, let's _please_ be roommates again, soon!