2019- A Year For Words

I used to read a lot. And I used to read quickly. I devoured words and had so much inspiration to spin more. But I’ve been distracted for so long. I go through phases, but I don’t want reading and inspiration to be just a faze. So I’m going to try to make 2019 a year for reading, a year for words.

I made a decision that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I decided to sign up for Book of the Month. This means I’ll at least read one book a month.

I tried last year to do the Amazon First Reads on my Kindle, but I just don’t like reading on my kindle very much. It’s useful for school books and for traveling, but there’s just something about real books with pages I can turn. I can see how close to the end I am getting. And the pages don’t make my eyes as tired.

I’ve also decided that if I don’t like a book, I’m not going to kill myself trying to finish it. That’s what makes reading so exhausting. Not every writing style is as easy for me to read. Everyone likes what they like.

I’m going to do my best to do what I like. Because for a while now I haven’t been doing what I like. I haven’t been doing that many things that make me happy. Alabama has not made me happy. It’s time that I start taking care of myself through and through, starting with reading again.

Out of the Present

I find myself often dreaming about the future.  Keeping it in the front of my mind.  Daydreaming; focusing all my attention.  Because the present isn’t something that I like to live in.  

I find myself often remembering the past.  I tell stories about the good times, how good it used to be.  Because it used to be so damn good.  And I took it so for granted.  

My heart carries all of the bad times.  My heart carries all of the hard times.  My heart dwells in its own pain, even when I try not to.  

Anymore

I’m not creative anymore.
I’m not really anything anymore.
And my whole life used to be creative.  Everything I stood for was so that I could put more words down and life more people up with them.  But was I ever really that uplifting?
I feel like I don’t know how to make good decisions anymore.  I feel lost.  I feel terrified.  I just want to give up and start again, but life doesn’t work that way.  I feel stuck, but I have to get unstuck, or else I won’t survive.
And I’m not sure what else I can do.

I miss home.  I miss the west.  I want to be anywhere but here.  Because there’s a little bit of grace in starting fresh.  And all I want right now is to start fresh.

My heart has been aching for so long now.  Every step I make to lessen the pain only makes it worse.  Why can’t things go back to the way they used to be?  Why can’t I just go home?  All I want is to go home.  I want to be able to tell my mom how frustrated I am with Alabama and the lack of opportunities and community here.  I want to go home and have my dad make me dinner and help me figure out how to fix all of this.  Because for most of my life I had that ability.  And I didn’t realize how lucky I was.  I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted because I was so depressed and stuck in my own head.  But now I’m depressed and I have nowhere to go.  And I can’t go home anymore.

Complacency

I feel bored and overwhelmed at the same time.  I forget sometimes that I moved across the country and established a life here all on my own.  I think I forget this because I’m not satisfied and I miss home.

I had a dream the other night that I was trying to get my old job back in Mammoth.  I dreamed that I moved Bobby out there and we were trying to figure out a way to afford a big enough place for his studio.  But that was just a dream.  I have no plans to move back to Mammoth, and in all reality, I would probably feel almost as complacent there.  The only difference is that I would have a community that I some how took for granted when I lived there.

I’m looking for a new job.  Most people know this, but I guess it’s time to make it public.  I’ve been depressed where I’m at for some time now and I haven’t found a satisfactory way to make myself happier there.  I haven’t gotten any bites anywhere else yet though.  I feel so confused as to where my path is right now, but if I look back to my past, things have always worked out the way their supposed to.  So I have to believe that things will work out again.

I’m trying to get myself used to school again.  It’s hard and not hard at the same time.  I just haven’t retrained myself to set aside time in the right way.  I feel like I used to have far more time on my hands.  Where do all the hours go?
And I have to do this group project with no information, so that’s not stressing me out at all.

I decided to go back to therapy.  I’ve had exactly one session.  But how can I be a licensed therapist if I can’t even take care of myself?

I’m doing my best.  And my best probably looks pretty good to a lot of people.  But it feels like it’s not enough a lot of the time.  But I guess that’s what depression is.

Hello my old friend.

Social Media and Divorce

The thing about social media is that I know both way too much and way too little about people’s lives.  Usually people that I don’t talk to or don’t care much about, but care enough about to not delete them from social media.  And because of Facebook algorithms I don’t see much from the people that I love, although most of my actual friends don’t post, and I’ll randomly see something from someone I forgot about.

Today I noticed that someone had taken their last name off of Facebook.  Someone who I hadn’t even seen a post from in a long time, and someone who I haven’t seen or spoken to in more than two years.  But I was at her wedding.  So I did some Facebook creeping and realized that she had taken all traces of her former relationship off of Facebook.  So I assume she’s divorced.  Which is sad.  Or maybe it’s right.  Because I know nothing about the situation.  I was just being nosy.  And it just makes me think how awkward social media is.  Because I’m not going to message her and say, “Hey, did you get divorced?  What happened?  Are you okay?”  Because that would be weird, and I don’t even know how long ago she got divorced.  Because social media was a thing, you would run into someone in the grocery store or something and maybe get to talking and find out information that way.  But this person lives across the country from me and isn’t close friends with any of my friends.  We just happened to work together several years ago.  So now I have this information and no outlet for it, and I don’t even need to have this information in the first place.

It was so easy to let people out of your life in the old days.  You would lose track of people and only keep up with one the ones who really mattered.  Facebook tries to make everyone matter to everyone.  It’s just so much.  Do we even need it?

 

How long is 10 minutes?

The biggest thing about Alabama in the summer is that it is hot and humid and being outside is hard, especially if you don’t get into a routine early.  I’m not going to make excuses as to how or why, but I, once again, failed to get into a routine.  Thus, running or biking when the sun is out is just not a wise decision.  I want to be active, but I don’t want to die.
One thing that I’ve incorporated into my life over the last couple of years, but definitely even more in the last couple of months, is yoga.  I’ve been trying to do yoga for 20-30 minutes every day that I can, which, luckily, has been most days.  I do Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, in case you’re wondering.

Today I went to the next video on the September playlist and it’s 41 minutes long.  I’ve worked out for longer than that many many times in my life before, but I’ve felt weak lately.  I’ve felt that I can’t do much.  I’ve felt overweight and out of shape and so many other things that probably aren’t true.  But we all tend to perceive ourselves differently than we actually are, don’t we?
So I almost skipped the 40 minute video.  Because ten extra minutes just felt too long.  I felt too weak.  I felt like I might feel too tired afterward.  But then I thought about how I usually feel after I do yoga.  Unlike other workouts, when I do yoga I just feel good.  My mood boosts in a different way.  My body doesn’t feel like I’ve done a hard workout, it just feels… I don’t know… good.  I told myself to do the 40 minute video.  It wasn’t hard.  Those ten extra minutes weren’t even noticed.

So I wonder how long ten minutes even is.  What else could I do for ten minutes that I might not even notice?  Could I do ten extra minutes of cleaning?  My house would look that much better.  Could I spend ten extra minutes outside with my dog?  Maybe when it cools down.  Could I spend ten minutes writing, so maybe my mind might be clearer, like it used to be?  I decided to find out.

What could you do for ten minutes?

Times They Are a Changin’

I almost never blog anymore, but I always blog in airports, and that’s where I am right now.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 64th birthday.  It’s been two years since she passed.  She’ll never meet my boyfriend.  She’ll never see me finish my masters or have a real job.  She’ll never visit me in Alabama or Arizona or anywhere else I might end up living.   And my life keeps going on.  I keep moving forward.  Everyday I’m distanced from what she knew me to be.  And I’m hoping that I’m who she would have wanted me to be.

We’re flying to California because my dad is getting married on Saturday.  He’s moving to Southern California.  My brother moved back to our childhood home to keep the house.  Everything’s different, and I’m not even around to notice it.

People keep asking me how I feel about these changes.  My biggest concern is that my dad is happy, so obviously I’m fine with it.  And honestly, being across the country, I don’t even notice the changes.  My life is still the same.  I go the same job.  I have the same friends.  The only difference is that I’m in school, so I have class and homework.

So yeah.  I’m happy.  Or relatively.  Blending my family is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ll try to have more thoughts next time.

Out in Publix

Since moving to the south, I’ve had to change the way I shop for groceries.  I miss Vons a lot, but I’ve been here long enough, so I guess that I’ve adjusted for the most part.  I go to Walmart way more than I did when I lived in California.  A place where I’ve learned to get the most of my groceries here is Publix.

The thing about Publix is, it’s pretty southern.  They take care of their employees, and almost everyone I’ve seen working there is in a good mood.  They go out of their way to talk to you, which is pretty much my nightmare.  I prefer to shop uninterrupted, unless I actually have a question.  And I know that it’s a customer service thing, bothering the customers.  I work in customer service, I get it.  But it’s a lot harder for me to address someone I don’t know.  I hate when strangers talk to me without a purpose.  I’m not good at conversation.  It spikes my anxiety.

But the biggest thing that Publix insists on that I hate is helping me to my car.  I grew up having the grocery store checker asking if I needed help out.  I don’t like strangers seeing my car, and I’m fairly independent, so I’ve never needed help out.  But at Publix, you don’t really get a choice.  One time I had only one bag in my hand and they guy tried to take it from me.  It almost gives me stalker vibes.  I know it’s their job, it just feels very intrusive to me.  It happens less when I take my boyfriend shopping with me, but if we have a cart, someone definitely is going to help us out to our car.  I’m sure there are lots of people who really appreciate this Publix standard, but I hate it.  And if it wasn’t the best grocery store in the area I would just go somewhere else.

This is just one instance where I need to learn to say “no.”  Still working on my effort to avoid small talk at all costs.

Grad School, Mother’s Day, and Road Trips

I’ve been on a hiatus for longer than I ever have been.  I haven’t written.  I haven’t posted.  I feel like I haven’t existed much at all.

I got into grad school.  I’m supposed to start in the fall.  But I have to register.  And in order to register I have to figure out my financial aid stuff.  I feel like I’ve gone back in time.  I should know how to do all of this, but I don’t even remember how I did it the first time around.  I’m pretty sure my mom did it all for me.  But I don’t have her to help me this time around.  And I know I can do it.  That doesn’t make me any less afraid.

Last month was Mother’s Day.  It was my second Mother’s Day without a mother.  I wanted to not focus on it being a holiday at all.  So Bobby and I went to visit someone who I had been wanting to visit for quite some time.  We went up to Nashville and had lunch and exploring with JJ Peterson, who was the Dean of Students for three years of my college career.  JJ is one of the funniest, freest people that I have ever known.  He’s deep and real and inspiring.  We had hot chicken.  Bobby got to see a different side of my life.

A week and a half ago Bobby and I returned from a nine day road trip.  We went to Mule Days in my home town in California.  We visited my dad and my home and I wish we never had to leave.  I miss living out west.  I miss the dry air.
We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona, and we’re pretty sure we found where we want to end up some day.  I dove into a big blue hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  We found the infamous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
I’ve always loved road trips.  But I love them even more with Bobby.  I love having a forever person like him.
We don’t have it all figured out.  But I’m thankful that we get to figure it out together.

When I was home a lot of people asked if I’m still writing.  I felt like I’d let everyone down when I said no.  And I don’t even have an answer for why I stopped.  Have I forgotten who I am?  Have I forgotten everything?  Or have I just disappeared a little bit.  I can’t make myself be more inspired.  But I can learned to be disciplined again.  I can learn who I am again.

I’m not making any promises though.  I’ll try to ramble less.  Or maybe I’ll just try.

Use Your Words… Or Don’t

I don’t really care what you believe about anything, words have power.

I was just listening to a Lore podcast about Romani curses.  The Romani people would hold trials when something was stolen or some other crime had been committed.  In these trials they would will their community to confess to the crime, and if no one confessed, they would curse the perpetrator to an agonizing death as a group.  Then the trial would be over and things would go back to normal.  But Romani curses aren’t real because of any kind of black magic.  They’re not real in a physical sense at all.  Rather, they’re real because thinking makes it so.  It’s the power of the mind.  A Romani person could curse you by telling you your life will be hard and your death will be painful.  And it would probably come true, not because the Romani were prophetic, but because you’d probably spend the rest of your life worrying about the curse, thus your life would probably be hard.  And your death would probably be painful because you had spent your whole life worrying about your death.  Your mind gave these words power.  Thinking made it so.

I work with someone who doesn’t believe in encouragement, and only believes in belittlement.  No one could ever measure up or be good at their job.  So it’s best to make sure they know that you believe that.  Call them stupid and slow.  Because that’s sure to make them work better and faster.  “Don’t applaud a fish for swimming.”
I had to take a class on leadership for my degree.  We learned about so many leadership styles.  But as an exhorter, I believe the best way to lead is to come alongside and grow with someone.  Lead by being a part, rather than sitting above.  Encourage and help, instead of getting upset because a mistake was made.  Build up, rather than diminish.
I’ve felt very discouraged lately.  Because although those under my leadership believe that I’m doing a good job; although I know that I am doing a good job, my equals still don’t see me as equal.  It makes me want to move on.  It makes me want to give up.  It makes me want to quit.  It can always be better.  And I’ve believed for a long time now that if you don’t like something, change it.

Have you ever heard a lot about someone before you’ve ever met them?  So you go into the relationship with preconceived notions of what everyone has already told you?  I went to college with a girl that I had heard about for most of the summer before.  So I met her believing several negative things about her.  I knew her to be annoying before we ever spoke.  I believed she was something that she isn’t because of the words others had spoken.  But that girl became one of my best friends.  Words have power.  Until they don’t.

We should talk about each other less.  We should build each other up more.  We should be more careful.  We shouldn’t believe that we have to be careful.
I spend so much time afraid that I’ve messed up, that I’ve ruined everything, that I forget how to love myself.  I forget how to love others.  I forget how to be happy.  I don’t want to forget anymore.