A nomadic sort of life makes me not so much a “stuff” person. I don’t have an over-abundance of belongings. I’ve never been a “stuff” person. The life that I’ve had is cause for material things and even memories in things like photographs to be lost. I am okay with this because life has never been what I own to me, it’s always been about who has stayed with me on this journey.
However, I want to tell the story of my pink blanket.
It was Christmas 2006; my first Christmas with my heart family. My Kristin was in NYC doing a revival of The Apple Tree and that Christmas, my Fancy Nancy had gotten me a winter outfit and accessories along with a pink blanket and the poster from Kristin’s production of The Apple Tree. After opening all of the gifts, she surprised me and told me she had gotten me front row tickets to see The Apple Tree in February. I had never seen Kristin in a show before, let alone sat in the front row, I was beside myself with love and gratitude. How I’d been blessed with people who just like to see me happy, is still a concept I adjust to.
In the month and a half between that Christmas and the trip, I broke in that pink blanket and grew quite fond of it. When I was a baby, my grandma crocheted me a blanket and over the span of my life, someone in my biological family stole it and I never saw it again. So to now have a blanket that came from someone else who truly loved me, it meant the world to me. The blanket traveled with me to NYC. The trip itself was like something out of a storybook, because NYC feels so much like home, being there never feels like real life. When I came back to LA from this trip, every time I used that blanket, it felt like I was wrapping myself in the magic and the memories created at the time.
Nine years later, my Fancy Nancy isn’t with us any longer. In that time and consistent instability that is my life, I’ve also lost all the things she got me for that trip, including the pink blanket. The things are fine, because like I said, I have the memories, but something about losing that blanket gets to me whenever I think about it. Maybe it’s a protection thing, I’ll never know. And that NYC trip is probably the only one I can tell you every last detail of if you asked me, that’s all that matters.
Christmas 2014; my first Christmas on my own. One day in December, My Person who now lives in NYC full time, called me on FaceTime to tell me she was going to fly me to NYC in February so we could see The Last Five Years movie together. I started bawling my eyes out right there on FaceTime. When your best friend moves across the country, getting on a plane for something as simple as going to see a movie together is extremely important when you miss them as much as I miss Janie. We are also going to see some Broadway shows and I get to see my east coast heart family who I haven’t seen in six years. It also happened that Kristin’s newest Broadway endeavor, On The 20th Century, begins previews the night I land back in that city with the people I love, so we’ll be seeing her at some point while I’m in town as well. All of this was so overwhelming for me, I couldn’t stop crying. With the way my year had been going, just knowing that the person who gets me, who I love so much I can’t ever explain it in words, wanted to do this to be with me, to let me be somewhere that felt like home, to see me so happy, was a lot for me to handle. The gratitude I feel is off the charts.
From the second I was given this news, I’ve been in a constant state of preparation. I haven’t been to NYC in the cold in eight years. My body is completely different than it was all those years ago. I want everything to go smoothly so I get the most out of my time. I don’t want my body to struggle in that pending kind of cold. The goal is to keep as warm as I possibly can. So a couple of weeks ago when My Person emailed me and said: “Bring a blanket for your chair, to sit on and cover up with when we go out.” I knew exactly how to remedy this. The pink blanket would get replaced.
A few months ago, one of my angel girls sent me a few gift cards as a housewarming present so I could get some things I needed. One of them was for Pottery Barn, and I took someone’s suggestion to use that one sporadically whenever I discovered I needed something while trying to live this new life. Little by little, I’ve been using this card, but yes, I did use it to get a blanket for this trip since I don’t have extra blankets yet. And yes, as you can see in the photo above, it had to be pink because it wouldn’t have felt right traveling to NYC in the winter with anything other than a pink blanket. It’s just an added bonus that it came from one of my favorite humans on the face of the planet. I’ll break it in now, as I did the one before, and it’ll be like she’s with me. We’ll go on an adventure together, my blanket and me, and I’ll come back to reality with the reminder of memories yet to be created every time it is wrapped around me once again. The best part is, the new pink blanket has a home and is in no danger of ever being left behind. I realize this whole story makes me seem to be a little bit like Linus van Pelt with such fierce attachment to a blanket. I know it’ll sound crazy to most who read this and that’s okay. At least I have a Sally Brown in my life who loves the Linus in me, so that’s comforting.
Sometimes the simplest things have the deepest meaning in the world. I am grateful for the past, for the now and for what’s to come. Blessed to have the ability to let the smallest things fill my heart. Something gives me the feeling this adventure is going to be one for the record books. Soon, away I’ll fly.
(…Also pictured: The headphones I got for the plane for my super sensitive ears. They feel like clouds and the sound that escapes them feels like it crawls its way into my brain, This must be what music is like in Heaven.)