in which this comes to an end

for the past few weeks, ever since my move actually, i’ve been thinking about simplifying.

oh simplifying.

it is one of my new year’s resolutions.

to get to the simple, the root of things, to release clutter and trim the fat.

i’m not sure i’ve been doing a good job of that, but i’ve been still thinking about it.

and…this urge of mine has now made its way to my digital life. i want to simplify it all.

and i am…

my main site, www.charlyevonsimpson.com, will now also be the home of delightful writes and charly writes…rather, on that site is a page called, well, blog. and that blog will now be the one and only blog. THE blog. if i write a poem, it will go there. if i want to lament the price of soulcycle classes, it will be there.

you get it.

i’ll keep this up for the time being, but check out my new “home” from now on.

thanks for reading here and i hope to “see” you over there.

on saying okay aka here’s to second first anniversaries

2008-05-30 20.58.13-2

warning: this post is long and it is sappy like this post from the summer. 

a year ago today i was enjoying the last day of my one-woman show.

it was saturday. i had two performances. they were probably my best yet.

up until that point, it had been a crazy week. it had started with getting off a plane from california, signing a lease for a new apartment after breaking up with my then-boyfriend the week before, starting a new role at my job, and, oh right, starring in a one-woman show that i wrote, acted in, and produced…

it was a crazy week.

and that saturday, i was happy, because it seemed like the craziness was ending. it seemed like i was going to get to bed early, sleep in, go to work, and then find some sense of normal.

at least that is what i thought.

that night, while eating sushi with a friend from college who had seen the show, i happened to check my email. there was an email from paul, my ex-boyfriend turned good friend, who had seen my show the day before and had returned to DC that night.

he was writing because he wanted to come up to see me on sunday. to hang out, he said. let me tell you this: in our two years of friendship, we had never seen each other more than once every few months. twice in one week was just plain strange. something was up. i had no idea what it was, but something was amiss. after some thinking, i settled on the fact that we had, it seemed, gotten closer as of late and perhaps there was something he wanted to chat about as friends.

i enjoyed spending time with him and wanted to be there for him, so i said okay.

24 hours later, both of us would be sitting on my living room floor, the dog passed out beside us. the first hour of our hanging out was the same as usual, but it was clear that he still had something on his mind. i wasn’t able to ask him about it though so i changed the subject and asked him to help me with the wireless router. there, on the floor, after helping me with it, he took a deep breath and looked up at me.

i didn’t know what he was going to say, but could feel my body prepare. and then he started speaking…and what he was saying was nowhere near what i was expecting. he spent the next few minutes sharing thoughts that had plagued him for two years. i think i may have said a few things during this, but, honestly, i can’t remember. eventually, he asked me a question, the question, the whole reason why he traveled from dc to philly on a sunday night: was i up for trying again? 

was i up for dating him again?

for those of you that don’t know, paul and i met in college. our connection really started when he was the sophomore who wanted to be on the theater boards i was a part of and i was the junior who was looking for someone to be in a reading of my play.

so i asked him. and he said yes.

later, i sat in rehearsal and watched as he transformed from a slightly goofy sophomore into an adorable young man as he acted out a scene i had written. i felt a little tug in my belly and before i could edit myself said, “paul, you are going to make me have a crush on you.”

for a moment, the room was silent. i had planted a seed without meaning to. it is probably the most forward i have been in my adult life, which, i realize is not forward at all. maybe, i thought, no one had noticed the slightly confused look on my face after saying it, the look revealing that i may have admitted to something i hadn’t been fully aware of until that exact moment.

but my friend who was directing the reading, noticed.

and so did paul because it was after that moment that this slightly goofy sophomore turned adorable young man began exchanging music with me, bringing tea to our theater meetings because he knew i was recovering from mono, emailing me over thanksgiving break just to say hello, and writing about shell games and changes in his blog, which i, correctly interpreted to be metaphors for me, for us.

this is when i should admit that i did many of the same things listed above.

so when we agreed to meet up for dinner on the monday after thanksgiving break, it wasn’t a surprise that the goofy sophomore dressed in his black trench coat turned to me and said, “i have a crush on you”. and it wasn’t a surprise to him when i said i had one on him too.

falling in love with paul was surprising. it was exciting. it was all that i could hope for…until, of course, two and a half years later, i was on my floor, bawling my eyes out.

which is why when he asked me whether i was up for it again, my mind froze. it had been four and a half years since we broke up. i had spent much of those four and a half years convincing the annoying voice in my head that we were not meant to be. as much as i felt it in my heart. as much as it made sense in my head…we just weren’t.

and there he was, tempting that voice, that urge. and there was that voice, the one that had never really left, whispering i told you so.

before answering his question and succumbing to the voice in my head, i told him he had to be sure. this couldn’t be a phase. i needed to know he was sure before i opened my heart to him again.

he said he was sure.

and then it was my turn to take a deep breath and look up at him.

there he was: that goofy sophomore-turned-man. and i felt that familiar tug in my belly.

“okay,” i said.

today i woke up in-between him and the dog. i left our apartment around 6am because i had a race to run at 7am. paul woke up to wish me good luck and, as soon as i returned from the run, he jumped out of bed so he could get us bagels. this afternoon he came with me to pick up my new phone from apple. an hour later, he was with me when i dropped my new phone on the ground, cracking the screen. paul picked it up for me, held my hand as i sighed/cursed our way home, looked up places to get the screen fixed, made me an appointment at the apple genius bar, and asked if he could make me tea or anything to make me feel better. i am now sitting across the room from him. i have spent much of this evening thinking about how grateful i am for him.

and when he looks over at me, i feel the same little tug in my belly i felt eight years ago…

a year ago today, i responded to an email. i had no idea what i was saying “okay” to when i responded to that email…

…but tomorrow i get to celebrate all that has happened since saying okay to that email, okay to that question, okay to that ex-boyfriend-turned-friend-turned-boyfriend, and okay to whatever happens next. tomorrow i get to celebrate a year with him. again.

here’s to second first anniversaries, and answering questions in the affirmative.


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Why a Writer Writes: 2: History

Charly:

Thinking of this post I wrote three years ago, going through the memories of this day, especially now that I am living in New York City. Thought I’d share it here again.

Originally posted on Charly Writes:

On September 12th, 2001, I sat in the backseat of the car. My mother and grandmother sat up front. In the trunk was everything we could fit and everything I would need for my first few days back at boarding school. We couldn’t fit everything. We weren’t supposed to be driving this car. This car was my dad’s, loaned to us for the day in order to get me up to New Hampshire. We were supposed to be driving my grandparents’ minivan.

But that car was stuck in lower Manhattan.

On September 11th, 2001, my mom, grandmother and I got up early and drove to Brooklyn. I had a dentist’s appointment. I was hoping that today would be the day I got my braces off. I was excited. Later that day, we would drive up to NH, I would see my friends, start my sophomore year of high school and…

View original 861 more words

balancing wagons

throughout my years of blogging, i’ve probably written a number of posts with the “falling off the wagon” theme. i’ve fallen off the yoga wagon, the vegan wagon, the vegetarian wagon, the running wagon, the healthy wagon, the writing wagon, the social wagon, the dating wagon, the loving life wagon, the reading wagon, the 365grateful wagon, the 365 days of writing wagon, the i’ll practice spanish every day wagon, the i’ll take the pup on long walks every day wagon, etc.

there are so many freaking wagons to jump on to…and to fall off of.

as you can imagine, august, being the crazy month it was for me, caused me to fall off many of the above wagons. i arrived in new york city in one piece, but it was a slightly lost and confused one piece.

it seems to me that you are on one or several wagons for a period of time — feeling good. doing great. — and then there is a bump in the road.

that bump could lead to you tumbling off one of the wagons. or it could lead you down another path…which may still cause you to fall off a wagon, but perhaps you fall onto another.

why am i still discussing wagons?

because this weekend was the first weekend in a while when i felt like i had regained my footing on several wagons. for the past few months, i’ve felt a little wagon-less or wagon-f’ed up. i haven’t felt like myself physically, mentally or emotionally. i’ve gained weight, my asthma has been worse, i’ve been quick to get annoyed and feel anxious, i’ve been even more antisocial than normal, my diet has been atrocious….and since the move, i’ve had this overwhelming urge to get my sh*t together. and i’ve been trying.

and this weekend it felt the hard work paying off. i practiced yoga, i went for a run (i’ve been running steadily now for two weeks. woohoo!), i was social–out at theater events two nights in a row, i did laundry, i wrote a bit of my play…

and right now, sitting here, writing this, i am feeling better. i feel like i am finding my groove again. i feel like i am moving at the right speed. i feel like the wagons aren’t tumbling out of control, but, instead, are finding a rhythm.

and that is all i can really ask for. i’m reevaluating what is good for me, what is not, what feels right, what doesn’t…so all i can really ask for is rhythm and balance…since the wagons below may continue to change and rock side-to-side.

settling in september

well, i did it!

i survived august.

i was worried there for a bit of time.

night street

i started a new job. i went on an artist’s retreat. i started a new play. i sat by bonfires and listened to ghost stories. i got rejected from two writing opportunities. i packed up my apartment. i moved to new york. i freaked out about the dog refusing to drink water in our new apartment. i went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. i unpacked. i got rejected from two more writing opportunities. i definitely messed up a muscle when trying to hang curtains. i went back to work. i joined a gym. i went to said gym and started running again. i found a dogwalker. i celebrated when the dog finally started drinking water again. i got rejected from another writing opportunity. i ran along the hudson for the first time. i celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday. i accidentally ate a food with hazelnuts and didn’t die despite being allergic. i went back to philly to get rid of junk and old furniture, and clean my rental apartment. i saw ghostbusters in the movie theater. i started planning for my reading this friday.

west village

i just wasn’t sure everything would get done and happen the way it needed to.

but, in the end, it did.

and now it is september…

i am writing this from an old comfy chair in my new apartment in my new city with the old pup at my feet and the old boyfriend opposite me on the couch. there is so much familiar about this scene and yet so much new.

we live in new york city now. and me, the pup, and the boyfriend all live together.

running along the hudson

we are finding our balance, our footing, our ways of being together.

we are creating a new home. and after a crazy august, i know we are all just happy to be home, to relax, and to settle in.

sunset

see you in september

nyc

my arms are shaking because i just carried 40 boxes and moving supplies up to my 3rd floor apartment.

why, you ask….ah, well, because i will be spending the next 2.5 days packing.

by august 25th, i will be (sorta) settled into my new apartment in nyc. this is a good two or three weeks earlier than expected.

before august 25th, i will be packing, starting a new job in NYC, exploring my writing during a retreat in Pennsylvania, moving to NYC, and trying not to hyperventilate…oh and doing a juice cleanse.

between now and august 25th, i will probably spend 5 or 6 nights in my philly apartment. this is why i need to be 90% packed by this sunday night.

ha.

haha.

hahahaha.

you see…my original plan was to have a quiet, transitional august…but that plan got thrown out the window this week….for all good things…but…the plan before was so…quiet, calm…filled with lunch goodbyes and yoga classes…oops.

this is why i’ve decided to officially take a break from the blog until september. catch me on charly writes or on instagram.

happy august peeps! i’ll be back in september…with a new perspective.

my online displays of affection

a favorite of mine. the boyfriend and i back in 2007.

a favorite of mine. the boyfriend and i back in 2007.

i caught the boyfriend staring at his facebook profile one day.

“what’s going on?” i asked.
he looked back at me and shrugged. “are we that annoying couple?”
“what?”
“are we that annoyingly cute couple on facebook?” he trailed off.

i thought about it. “i mean, maybe. probably…if you consider us cute…”

this conversation was about three weeks ago after our vacation. it seems that a lot of us go on vacations and then post a lot of pictures of our glorious vacation. this is one of the many issues that we associate with facebook nowadays. in photos, status updates, videos, and more we show each other how glorious life is. if you look at the pitcures, you’d think that all we did while we were on vacation was be cute with each other…and our phones. i posted two, i’d like to think, cute photos of us on vacation. we made them our profile pictures. our newsfeeds are filled with photos of us, status updates including us, etc.

i get his worry.

ever since our first conversation about this, which was probably months ago, i’ve been thinking about it. every time i post a picture or a status to facebook or instagram…i think about it. of course, there are reasons to think about it. facebook is the land of ex-lovers, family, that random person you hooked up with… our photos are being shared with friends, but also potential employers, old students, and more. while every photo i’ve posted would, i think, fall into the category of “appropriate” (whatever that means), we are often forced to think about the varying degrees of “appropriate”, the feelings of others, how much we want to share with strangers… and all those thoughts usually form one particular question in our minds: are we sharing too much?

in this particular case, the question gets more specific: are we that annoying couple? better yet, am i that annoying woman/girlfriend who posts all the pictures? is my online display of affection bad?

um, maybe.

but, honestly, i’m not sure i care…

you see, i love my boyfriend. i love him dearly. i loved him for the two years, two months, and twenty days we dated the first time (no no no, i did not keep count when we dated, okay…jeez…i calculated it a few weeks ago…). i loved him when we broke up. i loved him when i hated him. i loved him when i said i couldn’t talk to him. i loved him for the year and a half we didn’t speak. i loved him when we became friends again. i loved him when he asked if we could try this love thing again.

i loved him when he asked if it was too early for him to say “i love you”.

i loved him as i answered something along the lines of “of course not because, duh, i love you. i’ve loved you for seven years.”

and that is sappy. it is so fucking sappy. it is. but it wasn’t always sappy.

there was a time when the amount of love i felt for him was, well, just sad. when i was the girl who couldn’t get over this guy she dated in college and was frustrated by it and angry about it. i would have done anything to not love him. even when the love began to shift and, well, hibernate, even when i fell in love with others, it was still there. this sad, nagging love that would never go away.

“he is just always going to be there, isn’t he?” i asked my mom one day, probably a little less than two years ago. at this point, the boyfriend (well, he was the ex boyfriend then) and i were friends. we were in other relationships with people we loved and respected.
“what do you mean?” she asked.
“the feelings won’t go away, will they? they’ll just change…”

at this point, my mother explained, as she had many times over the four and a half years we weren’t together, that she thought that we, ex-boy and i, would get back together. someday. that is also the point that i had to exercise restraint and not yell at my mother for saying something that OBVIOUSLY was never going to happen (okay, fine, i yelled…). needless to say, she has said “i told you so” a number of times this past (almost) year.

ANYWAY all this love i had wrapped up inside is now out and open…and it wants to be free. it wants to dance. it wants to shout from the rooftops. it wants to be shared. it can’t contain itself.

it is annoying.
it is cute (hopefully).
but most importantly, it is thriving.

believe me, i don’t want to rub my love in others’ faces. i just want to be able to love my boyfriend. happily, sappily, and, sometimes, publicly. in any fashion that is healthy and appropriate.

…because, well, there were a lot of years when i couldn’t and it feels nice to post a picture that shows just how much i care for him and how much fun and happiness we share.

we don’t know what the future holds. i’m happy to be able to share the love, a glimpse of our love. i’m happy to be that annoying couple.

so is my level of online display of affection too high? maybe.

but, to be fair, my online display of affection for my pup, george, is probably a lot higher so…

george