Making cents and sense… Making change.

Took these stairs today. Didn’t know where they led, logic just told me somewhere.


At home, I’d never think twice about using a $5 bill to pay for a candy bar, drive-thru snack or water bottle. But time and time again here, I get the dirtiest looks for not having low enough change. 1.80 for a slice of pizza – because the 2 bill exists over here, I’m frequently a jerk for handing over a 5, never mind the “you don’t have .80?” I was jealous of Andrea’s weird ability to have small change everywhere we went, especially in Serbia where $13 was 1000 dinar, ATMs dispensed 1000 bills, and breakfast only cost 60.

Moving on.

I’m getting the notion that to “find yourself,” you should get yourself lost first.

Barf, that was cliché.

I tried to get lost today, leaving my map in my purse just in case of emergency. I wandered the streets of Old Town (really old) and New Town (still old) Plovdiv. For every street I went up, another went down to match it, back and forth through neighborhoods and parks. I wandered onto a campus as children were getting out of school. Realized how much I loved the old cobblestone streets, winding off of any grid. Cozy. Homey. Real. How often do you cuddle up to something linear?

And I’m thinking about these streets and how they wind, and taking pictures, and I pass by a restaurant. I haven’t heard music in hours, but the radio blasts here.

And wouldn’t you know it’s Sheryl Crow.

Everyday is a winding road…

Well, I like signs. Ask Andrea, I read every regular sign I pass. But fate signs? Coincidence?

And I wander and wonder, as I will everyday for the next three months, thinking about what brings me to Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Europe. Hoping there is in fact a purpose, as I’m 5,000-8,000 miles away from everything that feels like home, depending on what state I’m telling people on any given day. I try to give what I’m doing a title – I’ve settled on “learning.” What I’m making – “memories.” I struggle to call it, this, art. I tell it like I see it, I feel I don’t often create.

In my writing and thinking, I keep returning to the same themes: frames, cubicles, borders. Four walls and hourly phone calls. My lack of deadlines and obligation. Breaking out of a daily mold and routine, though I’m running from absolutely nothing.

And I wander down a little side street, a downward alley slope to match an uphill I’d just completed, and like a monument to prove what I’m doing is okay, I find this guy. Turns out I’m not the only one going down this path.


Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign…

I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.


3 thoughts on “Making cents and sense… Making change.

  1. I miss you!!! And, while cliche, I still like your comment: I’m getting the notion that to “find yourself,” you should get yourself lost first.

  2. Haha I love the Sheryl Crowe reference. I also like “Didn’t know where they led, logic just told me somewhere.” Very obvious logic, Janae haha

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