To Myself

I can’t remember the last time I really got to relax.  I can’t remember the last time I got be alone and think and work and write.  Which is why I feel almost nonexistent.  I’m always working.  I’m always with someone.   There’s always something else that has to be done.  Why don’t we cherish things when we have them?

My heart is not broken, but at the same time, it is.  I miss home the most in the summer, when it’s so hot here that I can hardly breathe.  All you have to do is exist and you’re sweating.  And the rain does nothing to cool the land.  I miss my dad and my brother and my best friend.  I miss home cooked meals and long drives and being allowed to spend the day in bed.  I miss my mom.  You never quite learn to appreciate things until they’re gone.

This life is not what I thought it would be.  But then again, life never is.  It’s full of surprises, good and bad.  I used to call myself a writer, but I don’t think I can say that anymore.  I’m not even trying anymore.  Any talent that I may have once have has disappeared in the busyness of work, and relationship, and life.

I don’t know what I want.  And I don’t know why I complain so much.  As humans, I guess that we are never quite content.  I miss the days when I would sit in silence and meditation, but I live as though there’s no time for that anymore.  I can’t make the days grow any longer.

As I write this, I know I still need to go buy groceries.  I still need to clean my apartment.  I still need to do so many things that won’t get done if I’m not the one to do them.  Because I am an adult.  Adulthood snuck up on me.  It probably sneaks up on all of us.  Even though we spend our childhood chasing adulthood.  How foolish are we to want this freedom that isn’t really freedom at all.

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You’re Not From Around Here

I don’t like making blanket statements.  So I don’t want to say all white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, southern, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Because I’m not sure if it’s across the board true.  But whether it is true or it isn’t, it annoys me.

I’m not sure if it’s my personality.  Or the fact that I’m from California.  Or a combination of both.  But I don’t like talking to strangers very much, especially when I have no reason to.  So whenever I’m approached, I’m not very good at reacting.  I’m not even sure what the appropriate reaction is sometimes.  My thoughts immediately go to: “why is this person talking to me?”  And I don’t even really care what they’re saying.

The other day I was picking up from a restaurant for a delivery (I starting working a second job doing food deliveries for a new company because my boyfriend works for them and it’s fun).  I picked up from the same restaurant three times in a row, and the same man was sitting at the bar all three times.  The first time he asked me about delivering, and asked if he could order a grilled chicken salad… from the restaurant he was sitting in…  And I know he was messing with me, but I’m a joke killer, because it’s more fun for me to act as if I’m taking something literally.  I told him I didn’t take orders and that he’d have to go to the website.  Every time I went in to pick up he continued to pester me.  I told him it would be pointless for me to deliver to him because he is already in the restaurant, to which he said that I didn’t have a good sense of humor.  I told him I had a great sense of humor, but that I was from California and I tried to leave it at that.  Then he said he could tell I wasn’t from around here.  I really just didn’t think he was funny.

And I’m sure that there are men just like him where I’m from, but maybe I haven’t encountered enough of them.  Or maybe they know to quit when the receiver obviously doesn’t like their banter.  I wish I could wear a sign around my neck that says, “Don’t talk to me” whenever I’m not in the mood.

This seems to happen more and more though.  They seem to assume that because you exist in their vicinity, that you are fair game.  I’m not fair game.  I don’t understand the point of making jokes about my job or anything else about me just because you don’t know how to start a real conversation.  Especially if you’re not even there alone.  In this latest instance, his wife (I’m assuming) was sitting right next to him.

Just because a female exists, doesn’t mean you have a right to her.  Her thoughts belong to her, her conversation belongs to her, unless she wants to share it.  And that goes both ways.  It’s the same for men, it just doesn’t seem worth mentioning.

I wish I was more terrifying.

Honestly, what am I supposed to do?  Fake a laugh?  Hahahahahaha.  Shut up.

Unintelligence

I have a good job.  I really like my job.  I just got promoted at my job.  And it’s okay that I’m not doing the type of job that I thought I’d grow up to do.  Welcome to our economy.

The job market is fairly small.  And sometimes it seems that people have forgotten that.  A lot of people go to college, but most people don’t get jobs in their field after they graduate, and that’s not for lack of trying.

A month or so ago, I was having a conversation with someone I work with who also has a degree.  People come through all the time and act like we’re dumb because we work at Starbucks, even though Starbucks will actually give tuition reimbursement to their partners who are trying to get their bachelors if they go to ASU.  Starbucks cares about education, so why would someone assume that only stupid or uneducated people would work a job like that?  No, you don’t need a degree, but I never wanted to get a job in my field anyway.
But I digress.  I was talking with my coworker about working at Starbucks and about how college isn’t for everyone and having your degree doesn’t really make you any better than anyone else, because in this economy, it’s usually pretty hard to get a job in your field unless you’re either top tier or you have a lot of connections where there are openings.  It’s luck and who you know, not necessarily intelligence or capability.
An hour after our conversation a very loud man walked and announced that he had a question.  But he then went on to say that his question required intelligence, and that was pretty hard to find in Starbucks.  Both my coworker and I looked at him with obvious offense on our faces.  He began to laugh and told us to take a joke, then my supervisor came up front and he got to ask her his question.
During their conversation though, he told her she should go back to school, because she dropped out when she realized it wasn’t for her.  He was trying to force his worldview on her.  And she was annoyed.  We were all annoyed.

It’s fine to value education.  I’m currently planning on possibly going back and getting my masters degree next fall.  And that’s not because I think my current job is beneath me.  It’s not because I’m dying to do something else.  Even if I do get my masters and find a job in that field, I might still work a few days at Starbucks, because I enjoy it, and I like the benefits.

A degree does not necessarily mean a career.  And a lack of a degree does not equate stupidity.

It’s okay that I have a degree and am a barista.  Welcome to the real world.

White Carnations

I need to write.  I’ve been meaning to write.  I’ve been meaning to set time aside.  I’ve been meaning to.  I’ve been meaning to.  But there are so many things that have almost lost the words.  Or maybe just one thing.  Because I’ve felt a little numb.  Or maybe I’ve felt as though something was missing and it’s not a space I can fill.  And I haven’t even been trying to fill it.

I’ve missed my mother lately.  I always thought that we never learned to love each other right.  I thought we were too different to understand each other, but I have realized that we were almost too much alike.  She raised me to be strong and independent.  She raised me to value intelligence and adventure.  She raised me to never say no to the possibilities.  She raised me to value my own opinion, but to learn the opinions of others.  I am who I am because of who she raised me to be.

I find that I talk about her more now than I ever did before.  She was always a fixture in my life, even when I moved thousands of miles away from her.  She wasn’t everything that I thought a mother was supposed to be, but she was a thousand times better than her mother could have ever hoped to have been.  She was everything she knew how to be.

And maybe I’m just angry.  Maybe I’m angry that I never got to show her my new home.  I’m angry that I can’t ask her questions about living on my own that a daughter should get to ask her mom.  I’m angry that I’ll never get to introduce her to Bobby and ask her how she likes him.  I’m angry that I can’t travel with her anymore, even though she’s who put the love of travel in me.  I’m angry that life goes on, even when it doesn’t.

And I think I’m allowed to be angry.  And I’m allowed to not talk about it, because there’s nothing for anyone to say.

On Sunday, while I worked, Bobby spent mother’s day with his family.  He told me that his dad had gotten me a white carnation, because that’s a southern tradition.  You get someone a white carnation if they don’t have a mother on mother’s day.  It was my first mother’s day without her.  It was my first carnation.

Why hate Mary?

I walked out of my apartment the other day and the air smelled like weed.  I first thought it was my Dukes of Hazard neighbors, but there’s a possibility it was just post rain smell.  For some reason they smell similar to me in the South.  But this, mixed with a few other conversations as of late, got me thinking.

Smoking pot is completely illegal in Alabama.  It’s not just a slap on the wrist like it used to be in California.  And you can’t use it medically or get a medical card.  Like I said, it’s completely illegal.
The Bible says to follow the laws of the land and pray for those in leadership, so from a Christian stand point, if you want to obey the Bible, you shouldn’t smoke pot if you live in Alabama.

But what about the states where it has been legalized such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California?
See, the Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about smoking anything, or really anything about drugs at all.  Yes, in Titus it talks about being sober minded, but that also applies to drinking, and a lot of Christians drink.
I personally believe that anything can become sinful if it excessive.  I like to say, “anything in excess.”  So if you’re in a state where it is legalized, go for it, or don’t, just don’t let it take over your life.

So why do so many Christians freak out about it, even in those legal states?  Is this something they didn’t think they were going to be confronted with?  Seriously, I’m asking.  Well, maybe don’t answer me though.
Someone close to me was rumored to have been smoking pot.  Which, whether that was true or wasn’t true isn’t the issue (it wasn’t true and most likely will never be true).  But someone was telling people to stay away from this person close to me because they smoked pot.  And that just doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason.  That’s like telling people to stay away from me because I drink wine.  Sure, if you have an issue drinking and expect me to offer you wine, maybe let me know, and if you really think it’s an issue, stay away from me.
If someone had a problem with marijuana or was trying to stay away from it, I could see why they might let this person close to me know why they might want to spend less time together.  But the thing is, the rumor wasn’t true.  So the person close to me called me laughing, because they thought the whole thing was funny, or at least pretended to.  But I’m not okay with gossip or slander.  Especially from Christians.  Especially from Christians who are supposed to be in high standing and have influence.
Why do we feel the need to talk about people?  Even when we don’t know the facts?  Ugh, it’s just so frustrating, and I’m across the country and can’t protect my people.

But really, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.  Because in California marijuana is legalized.  It’s fully legal now, but has been medically legal for quite some time.  So Christians freaking out about it doesn’t make sense to me.  I’m not saying whether you yourself should smoke it not, this isn’t about that.  It’s about the thoughts and the fears behind it.

I’m not saying that Christians should or shouldn’t advocate for Mary Jane.  That’s not what I’m doing.  It’s not even legal where I currently reside.  But stop being afraid.  Stop spreading rumors and shunning people because you heard they might have smoked pot.  It should not matter.

Why don’t we love each other anymore?  This is why it’s so hard for me to trust.

Mornings and Afternoons and Evenings

I want a house on the outskirts of a little town, maybe near the ocean.  I want vintage furnishings in pastel colors like mint and lavender and grey.  I want natural light and fresh breezes.  I want wood floors and rugs and space to do yoga.  I want to walk into town on Saturdays and stroll and read and sip coffee.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want to live not too far from the city.  Whether I work there or in town, either is exciting.  I want to be close enough to the places I like and the foods I love and find a new way to adventure as often as I can think of it.  I want love.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want a porch with a swing and a yard with a lawn.  I want a garden with shade and a table for writing.  I want a hammock beneath the trees for napping and a chair for basking.  I want a dog to run in my yard and to play fetch from my porch.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want travel.  I want trips to the zoo and museums and road trips to canyons I have yet to conquer.  I want music and color and poetry to fill my very being.  I want happiness.  I want to be overwhelmed with joy.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

Me Too

You know when you’re certain something isn’t going to happen, because every time it could have happened; every time you thought it might happen; every time your heart made peace with it happening it didn’t happen?
But then at the time when you least expect it, when you’re thousands of miles away with not much money and only a frustrating phone call to go on, it happens?
Me too.

You know when you spend months planning, in innocence, half-heartedly fighting something; giving up and moving on, then accidentally giving in?
Every time you turn away and say no more something within you rebels and you know you’ll give in again, most nights?
Me too.

You know when you make conscious decisions to change your being for the better, making an effort to leave it all behind you?
But then something is destroyed and you discover that you brought it all with you anyway?
Me too.

You know when the crowd is constantly standing in ovation, while your heart, though elated, is still sunk in grief, and no one understands because you hide it well, so you find yourself sitting in a sea of standing bodies?
Me too.

But, you know when all you know has been uprooted, when you find yourself wallowing, when you feel more numb than you’ve ever been?
But you are loved anyway?  You are accepted anyway?  You are forgiven anyway?
Me too.