Choices?

We’re always making choices
Every moment is a choice
We choose to stay
We choose to leave
We choose to get angry
And we choose to let things go

So you can choose now to let this go
Even if you don’t know what it is
Slamming doors, passive aggression
Waking your perceived enemies from slumber
Trying to win a battle that no one else is fighting

You can choose to get out
Or act as if you’re being thrown out
As if you’re not wanted here
Although the only thing that isn’t wanted is your anger

Feeling lost in this
Your life’s a wreck because your heart is
Or maybe vice versa

Your choices are yours alone
The time is coming
Which will you choose?

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A year.

A year ago today I arrived in the city of Florence, AL, the city that I now call my home.  I got here with no job, no place to live, and no idea what I was doing.  And I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

I thought moving here would bring me better writing opportunities.  And I have gotten offers, but none that have followed through.  Sometimes it seems that I’ve been so caught up dreaming, that I’ve forgotten how to write anyway.

Since moving here, I’ve gotten my first apartment on my own.  I got my own car insurance.  I have a dog and a real relationship.  Every decision I make is mine alone.  I’m finally fully discovering adulthood.

Florence has shown me that community is like the tide.  It comes and it goes.  When you really need it, community is there for you.  But community disappears when you stop asking for it.

Florence is a place I have fallen in love with.  It’s unexpected, but so am I.  It’s the place where I fell in love.  And, for now, it’s my place.

I’m one year in.  I’ve made it.

Goodbye 2016

I think most people would say good riddance to 2016.  It hasn’t been the worst year, but it’s been quite a year.

I started out the year working far too much and being home not enough and tired quite often.  I was spending time with someone who didn’t value me. I didn’t make priorities of the things that I should have.

In March, I made the biggest decision of my life so far and decided to pack up and move across the country, with no job, very little savings, and no place to live.  But I’ve fallen in love with my home here in Alabama.  I have great friends and my heart is finding somewhere to belong.

2016 will always be the year my mother died.  It’s not fair, how much this year has claimed.  The door is about to close here, and there’s nothing we can do to make 2017 the same.

I want to do great things in 2017.  I want to be healthy again.  I want to be even happier.  I want to adventure and try new things.  I want to learn to save and plan, while still having time to explore.

I want to fall in love with 2017.  Maybe fall in love in 2017.  We’ll see, I guess.

I wish that I had more to say.  There are a lot of words in my mind, but they tend to get stopped before they reach fruition.  So maybe writer’s block is weeds.

Here’s to 2017.

Both Worlds

There are things that I love in life.  Things that I’m figuring out.  Things I feel called to.  And I’m learning that there are things that I need.

I love art.  I love stories, both hearing them and telling them.  This is why I love people, even though I make such a point of saying that I don’t.  I love writing and being able to share that side of me.  Being encouraged in that is one of my favorite things.  Being pushed to do that is what I really need though.  Which is why I love community.  I need a community that has at least one person who will do these things with me, because my anxiety won’t let me do them on my own.  That’s something I had when I was in school, but I have no desire to be back in LA, with the traffic and how long it takes to get anywhere.

I love mountains.  I love nature and open spaces.  I love adventures and hiking and skiing and kayaking and swimming in lakes.  I love that these places aren’t crowded.  I love that I could take off my clothes and jump into freezing cold water and not have to worry that anyone would see me.  I could do this back home.  But I didn’t love the isolation.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe there.  Two different kinds of people were telling me who to be, and the people I found myself listening to weren’t the best people for me.  I needed to do something on my own.  And there wasn’t art, not in the way I crave it.  The artists there were lazy.  If someone had talent, no one would know it, and not enough people cared enough to pursue it.  You had to have the type of personality to make your own name known.  That’s not who I am.  I hide.
And Mammoth was so far from everything.  Two hours to get to the nearest city, and working too much to make going anywhere possible.  No one pushed me to be the best me, but that’s not anyone’s fault.  It’s a town of individuals.  Those individuals didn’t build the kind of community I needed.

I love good music.  I love musicians.  I love history and wildlife and culture.  That’s something that Florence has, although I haven’t grasped it yet.  There’s events all the time.  I just found out the university here has live lions as their mascot, though they weren’t out when I went to see them because it was too late in the day.  This town has culture and nature and art.  It has people who I could love, if I would stick around enough to be in their community.
But I’m an individual.  And I work in hospitality.  So I don’t have weekends or a regular schedule.  I used to go out after work and drink, but be only five minutes from home.  I was spoiled.  If I didn’t want to be by myself, I didn’t have to schedule time.

I was called here.  Or I thought I was.  But I wonder if I just wanted to escape what I thought was an unhealthy environment.  I wanted to do something on my own.  I was miserable.  I need to remember that.  I needed to know that I can make it on my own.  Yet, I keep asking myself why I decided to do life alone.  I went running the other day and realized that absolutely no one knew where I was.  I suddenly was very aware that if I disappeared, no one would notice for quite some time.  And no one would know where to look for me.  But who the hell am I going to tell my daily whereabouts to?  Isn’t that a weird thing to do?

I’m not giving up.  I’m just having a lot of doubts in myself.  I keep wondering what I have done.

I want so badly to find a place where I belong.  I want mountains and lakes and kayaking.  I want culture and community.  I want poetry and art and options.  I want the city.  I want the snow.  I want to be my best self and I want to be somewhere that I can thrive.  But I don’t want to do it alone anymore.

 

The Last Day of 2015

2015 is almost over.  In some places, it already is over.  And it has been a year, hasn’t it?

I have seen friends get married, and friends have babies.  I’ve had friends find love and lose it.  I’ve found it and lost it myself.  There has been heartbreak and new adventures.  And so much more.

2015 my life changed for the better.  And then for the worst.  I visited multiple countries, saw God do some crazy things, and wrote more than I have ever before.  I fell in something like love.  I let other people fall for me.  I made big decisions.

I traveled California and Oregon twice.  I got what is very easily becoming my dream car.  I moved into my own place for the first time ever.  I learned how to be on my own, and I remembered what it’s like to be truly alone.

So here’s to 2016.  I could contemplate more on the past, but I want brightness.  2016 is for moving on.  It is for green horizons.  It’s for my biggest adventure yet.  Crossing borders, finally.

Stuck

Have you ever found yourself in a situation and wondered, how did I get here?  And by that time, there’s no way out.
If so, I can relate.

I went down to LA to clear my head, knowing that there’s a problem that I need to solve, something in my life that needs to end, to change.  I know the right answer.  My head knows, but my heart does not agree.  So I feel trapped.  I don’t know how I got to where I am, but I don’t see myself getting out.  So I’m stuck.

But maybe that’s okay for now.  Because my heart has found something.  It’s the wrong something.  It’s a distraction.  But it’s something.

And I’m exhausted, and I’m in bed, so that’s all I have to say.  I’ll stay my vague self for a little while longer now.

Ireland: The Final Chapter

I have said goodbye. 

Yesterday I went to a famine ship, heard stories, and listened to God.

I walked the Dublin streets with my sweet friends. I got encouraged over lunch. We shared poetry at dinner. We had an emotional goodbye, that stretched into today.

This morning I got on an airplane. I’m currently in Canada on layover. And I am wrecked, trying so hard not to cry in this stupid airport diner. Crying alone in public is a new low.

I hate making friends when I travel. Because they become family. And I know I’ll never be able to handle the hollowness I get when it is time to part ways. I break. I’ve done it all before, and every time is worse.

I have a choice to make. And it’s a big one. But I need to make all of the small choices first. I have to choose to keep going. To breathe. To be calm. Because I am not alone. And this was not goodbye. And if I can just fight through the crazy, I will be fine.

Now, who wants to pay for my dinner?