Let me start you off with two Mystery Snapshots before I completely derail you with my inner musings…

This week’s snapshots are brought to us by my fellow traveler and friend, Missy! You may have noticed her name, as she is pretty much a Mystery Snapshot all-star, but now is her chance to be on the other side of the game…

Can you figure out where in the world this is? Start with the country. If you can get any more specific than that, power to you! Both photographs come from the same place, and there is a very small clue in the first shot that reveals the answer. Look carefully. Or, you can just use your knowledge of architecture and local flora to think this one through…

Missy 1

Missy 2

Now for my musings on the morning of an odd day at the end of a rough month…

Today was supposed to be my last day of official employment. It was supposed to be the very last day I walked into my office, sat at my desk, turned on my computer, went through my emails, and did my assigned duties after over three years at my job. But then it started snowing.

As life (my life) would have it, the three year build-up ends without a climax. There goes my farewell lunch, my goodbye party, my moment…  Ironic,  yes, but it’s ok. I might not be able to put a pretty little bow on this experience, but I know it’s all wrapped up and complete, goodbye party or not (and yes, it will be rescheduled).

In fact, this day actually captures how the past month has felt. A couple things in my life are lacking closure right now, and closure is very important to me. I need to know something is finished so that I can put it away in a specific Container Store drawer, preferably with a label that says something like “ex-job” or “ex-boyfriend” or “embarrassing moment.” That way I know exactly where I can find an experience during moments of nostalgia, weakness, or inspiration, and I can reflect on what the experience meant to me, and how I learned from it. If nothing else, completion allows for new beginnings; simply knowing something is done makes it easier to start something new. Right?

It’s kind of like reading a book. Sure, sometimes I overlap, but it never feels right. I need to read the last page, , think about it, let it soak in, and only THEN can I even contemplate the next one.  (You can’t just read the first page of a new book IMMEDIATELY after you’ve read the last page of another — there’s gotta be some space and time in between!)

OK, I’ve obviously stopped talking about my job and started talking about.. uh… OTHER things… Time to thrust this entry back to TRAVEL!

What I love about trips is that there is usually a start date and an end date: an adventure can fit between the bookends of two flights. No matter what happens in between, you know that the experience will fit nicely into one Facebook photo album, or a long email to your friends and family, and it will forever be that trip to Ecuador or that trip to New Orleans when something HAPPENED. (There are two past tenses in Spanish — the preterite and the imperfect, the first one describes things in the past that happened with a definite ending, “I lived in Spain for four months,” while the other describes something indefinite, aptly called the “imperfect,” that doesn’t have a defined ending, ie: “I used to live in Spain.) So what do you do when that second bookend is removed? Experiences bleed together, and it’s harder to wrap our heads around what each one means. It is, just like the Spanish tense, imperfect.

Today I am not at my last day of work. I have a Snow Day and, for now, I’m home. I do not get to celebrate the end of over three years at my little desk with my little to-do list like I thought I would, but I know it’s over. And with or without closure, perfect or imperfect, it feels right. As always, life doesn’t stick to my plans. Life is not perfect. But maybe that’s what’s so great about it? What trip ever went exactly how you expected? What trip wasn’t better when it veered off-course?

I’ll tell you this much: none of the stories worth writing about ever went according to plan. None of them were perfect.

So bring it on, snow.



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7 responses to “Imperfect

  1. Elena

    Brazil, Brazil! Bahia?

  2. Susana

    Bahía, Brazil.

  3. missy

    ooh ooh, can i guess? 🙂

  4. Susana

    By the way, regarding the subject of the “Imperfect” posting, I love imperfection, because without it there is no daydreaming, no exploring, no need to take a better picture, and no reason to try to figure out the mystery snapshot. (That’s killing me!)

  5. missy

    ok, so i’m banned from guessing (obviously), though i have two comments:

    1) re: imperfection…there is an Italian movie from 1948 called “The Bicycle Thief” ( that has a bicycle with a dent in it. The point is that the dent doesn’t make the bike flawed; rather, it adds character to the bike and, in fact, help creates identity.

    2) re: the post….while I’m not confirming or denying the guesses thus far on the above post (that’s Tavel’s job), let me point out that Bahia is a region and not a specific place.

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