Ups and Downs

Disclaimer for my Dad: Don’t worry, your topic suggestion is coming soon. I need more data. Gotta smell more sights, see more sounds, and hear more smells.

Yesterday was a difficult day which continued sinking it’s teeth into my arm this morning. It was like the emotional roller coaster of PMS, coupled with a menopausal outbreak of a rampant teenage hormone catastrophe…complete with a pimple on picture day. Try that on for size, guys.

Allow me to explain, I woke up at 3:00 am. A perfect time in which to stare into the blankness of the night sky and fathom one’s existence and the meaning of life. I had time to read, write, do the Irish Jig for a couple of hours, work on my hair braiding techniques, and sing to all of the pet rocks I brought in my 12th suitcase. However, it’s not such a good hour if one wishes to be productive during the day and accomplish tasks with with you need three or four hands to pull off successfully. I got through the morning with all the grace of a bleary-eyed clown –as my shoes were too big, and I had way too small of a vehicle–  I had the great plan to trot trot to the city and do the shopping and take a bus back up. It was my “day off” so I was looking forward to exploring, being outside, and filling my lungs with the cool mountain air. My plan was foiled when Julie’s sing song voice resonated through the mountains singing, “Emily, we’re going to lunch at the top of Le Grand Montets! And…you…get to walk to the top, since you enjoy walking!” I do indeed love to walk, been doing it since I was just a scrap of a thing. I am not sure if this was really some evil scheme to get me to LOATHE walking and my own two feet forever, but it did function to put me into the shock and panic of not being in control, and coming face to face with my arch nemesis: unpredictability. On our way to the resort, which was my starting place, the place where Julie would begin her ascent into heaven, and where Tom’s chariot awaited to bring him to the top, I realized I had forgot my baby. My camera. I’ve never left it this long before. The one and only thing that lets me know everything is alright in the world, if I can just do a handstand long enough to capture this shot…

I began walking up the Jon Ric, the path I was supposed to take to the top, when I realized, after having snow blown in my face and dodging 36 of the 38 skiiers coming down, that I was on a downhill ski path. Going up. For those of you who have ever ridden in an elevator, this is NOTHING like that. It’s actually impossible. And then if there was a word next to impossible, this would be that too. For one, you’re not allowed to walk up the path, and furthermore, it’s more dangerous than swimming with sharks while your brain is bleeding. Here is some down-to-earth advice which hopefully you won’t find disproved on a Chinese fortune cookie: It never fares well to be on the wrong trail, going in the wrong direction.

Getting the hint rather quickly, I took a side trail and began climbing down again. I must say I was quite emotionally out of control in this moment. As in, it’s a good thing I didn’t have any eye make up. I felt stupid, exhausted, and like I had just failed a math quiz. I’m sure you can relate. Trying to think of a solution, and simultaneously get over the audacity of the snow-blowing machines, I weighed my options. I could walk to Chamonix despite the specific instructions and have my own day, doing my own thing. I could take the cable car to the top on my own and meet them up there like a good little girl, or I could head to the house and write another song for my rocks. In an all out effort to regroup, I decided to first go get my camera. Once I fed the camera and it stopped crying (you know how babies are), we walked back to the ski resort and began the EXPENSIVE ride in the cable cars up to the top. I think the best part of this moment was my lack of skis. I was the only one in that 60 passenger car without them. I just kept randomly saying “I seem to have forgotten something!” so people would see I was clearly just not thinking when leaving the house that morning. Again, me, myself and I rode in the pity parade to the top of Les Grand Montets.

At the top, after my emotions and blood stopped racing, I sunbathed for a few hours with Tom on the rooftop patio at the ski slope, while waiting for Julie to Olympic ski her way into our laps. They had lunch, I saw a cute baby, and then Tom and I rode back down the mountain in the car. There was some guy singing Bob Marley really off-key and appeared to be mixing French, English, and Spanish in his version of it. I love me some good elevator music especially when it’s reassuring me that “Every little thing is gonna be alright.”

Next, we had to drive the city where I pictured us as a happy little family in the grocery store, racing through the aisles and sailing around in cars, (see Belle in her library in Beauty and the Beast). But instead, they dropped me off Hans Solo style (key word being “solo”) and I ended up clomping around the city, still dressed for a hike, yet trying to daintily pick out spinach…at least for once it wasn’t in my teeth. Someone came up to me and offered me the award for “Most Fashionable Chalet Girl” but my mistranslation thought they were trying to see if I wanted a lifetime supply of Pringles, so I turned down the offer. It wasn’t until we got home and I was getting ready to go out to dinner and looking up French Grammy’s and awards I found out that I had just dismissed an opportunity for personal fame.

I got ready quite quickly to meet my new friends, who took me out in the city where I saw people dancing on tables by 6pm, enjoying a fantastic band and their live music during “apres ski” (basically a bunch of people from around the world getting drunk after a day of skiing). Then I had four bites of tofu for dinner. I kid you not, the tofu dinner I ordered was four CUBES of tofu. Was that cloud nine I just had for dinner? See how the day had me all over the place!? Sometimes I wish I was an emotionless vacuum, or my brother Peter, so that I wouldn’t have to feel like I was going from scaling Mount Everest, to a train wreck somewhere below sea level.

Ending on a positive note,  I met all sorts of great people while I was out and about last night, and finished the day crashing down into a deep slumber….thanks to my Valerian root, which had me in in deep water trouble when I failed to wake up on time yet AGAIN this morning.

My track record for waking up on time is not looking so good. Hopefully as my sleeping patterns begin to even out, or until they hire new help that doesn’t sleep until noon everyday, so will my raging swings from melancholy to elation. The feelings of being trapped inside a dungeon to being free as a blackbird will abate, and I will find that place in between being tossed around like a dandelion seed in the wind and being a rock in the middle of the forest that hears trees falling everyday and wonders what people are talking about (them making no sound and all). Balance. Stability. Tis’ my greatest hope and dream.

Speaking of ups and downs, today I had a cross country skiing lesson. I imagined it being a cross between boogie boarding and doing a backbend, and aren’t all sports the same? This would be a piece of kale cake. Actually to be honest, I had it set in my head that I would dislike every second of it, and be at the shop returning my rentals tomorrow. (I think this must have been a down swing). Turns out, the air is warm, the sun is shining, the mountains are 360 degrees surrounding me, the instructor was encouraging, and I found out that it’s just the ticket for getting back into shape! I ended up for skiing for 3 hours and loving EVERY second of it! Zero falling down and plenty of feeling high as a kite!

It reminded me how if you are just creative with the way you live your life, get a little sporty in the way you pursue your dreams, there IS the perfect spot to rest your head. A place where it becomes possible to smile, laugh, breath and thrive through a challenge, even when everyone is staring at you like you have three heads, or are wearing three pairs of jeans one on top of the other.

Look mom, no hands!! Maybe I can ACTUALLY achieve something in life and not fail. My existential point is getting me all choked up.

Onward and upward,

Always tons of these for you all: xoxoxoxoxoxo

— Emily —



4 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. Your next venture should be downhill skiing. Sounds like you are adapting quickly to your new surroundings. Love, Grandma and Grandpa

    • As soon as I get time off I will take skiing lessons! I work everyday from 8-2 and then have to cook to have dinner ready by 7, doesn’t leave much time for skiing, especially not learning how!!! Can’t wait though!!!!! I love you both!

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