My Mother Would Have Loved Marie Kondo

Growing up, my house was never tidy. Sometimes it was clean, but it was never tidy. And it was never kept that way. We had things stacked up in lots of random places, because my mom found it hard to let go. But every once in a while she would get frustrated at her family for also not being tidy. She would ask us to clean our rooms. She would pick up things that we had left lying around and she would say “There’s a place for everything, and everything in its place.”
I think that’s why my home feels chaotic to me sometimes. Most things have their place, but a lot of things don’t have their place, so they just get set somewhere, and then when we need them we really have to search. I don’t want to live that life anymore.

I’ve been watching, like I’m sure a lot of people have been watching, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. It’s been amazing. I’ve been wanting to read her book for so long (let me know if you want to buy it for me) so when I saw this show I got so excited.
One thing that I heard her say in one episode is that it feels good when everything has a place. I instantly thought of my mother when I heard this.

My mother didn’t get to have a lot of innocent joy in her life. And she kept a lot of things. But I don’t think many of those things brought her joy.
I think my mother would have loved Marie Kondo, and I wish I could have seen her take Marie’s techniques into her life. I hope I can take Marie’s techniques into my life.

I’m ready for more innocent joy and less meaninglessness. I’m ready to be tidy. And I want to do it, because she couldn’t.

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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.

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.

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.

For the First Time

I went home last week.  I was there for a week.  I adventured from LA to Mammoth, through Death Valley to Las Vegas, and as I always do when I travel, I didn’t relax at all.  But, this time I brought someone home with me.  My boyfriend and I flew on an airplane, and he went further west than he’s ever gone before.  It was easily one of the biggest adventures I’ve ever been on.

I’ve never taken a boyfriend home before.  I’ve never traveled anywhere with a boyfriend.  And now he’s met almost everyone.  We spent time with at least three of my closest friends, my dad, and my brother.  We went to the top of Mammoth Mountain and took photos.  We ate tri tip.  We drove through Death Valley.  We went from the cold to the heat.

While in Mammoth, we attended the Lighthouse Conference.  Most people know that Lighthouse is the Global Church family that I attended while living there.  There were words given.  There was music played.  There was community and food shared.  It was so good to be home.  It made me miss church.

Not that I haven’t been attending church here in Alabama.  I have.  But I have disengaged.  I hear far too much about the church politics.  I analyze the words without ever hearing them.  I am tired.

I brought a boyfriend home.  Because I’m in love with him.  And I fell in love with life again.  I fell in love with community again.  I fell in love with God again.  I tried something new, and I’m pretty sure I’m okay with it.

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.

Distracted.

When I was in college, and even after I finished college, I was always on my computer.  So if I wasn’t on Facebook, or Tumblr, or doing homework, I was usually writing.  I didn’t have to make time to blog, because I was already on my computer.  Now, it’s true that I am writing a little bit less, but the reason that I’m actually blogging less is that I literally have to remind myself to bring my computer with me, or I have to set aside special time when I’m at home.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something that I should be doing.  It’s just funny that this is my problem.  I don’t even watch that much Netflix anymore, at least not by myself.

It’s possible that I have been distracted, as of late.  It’s possible that something in my life is worth spending time on that isn’t my blog and my dreams and a future career.  It’s a different part of my future.  But it has distracted me from this part of my life.  I’m trying to learn how to balance it.

A little off topic, but something that I have been watching is Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon Prime.  It’s about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.  It’s about how they met and fell in love.  It’s about his writing.  I’m only a few episodes in, but I just watched the wedding episode.  On the train on the way to her wedding, Zelda’s sister tells her what to expect on her wedding night.  She tells her to keep the lights off.  And she tells her to let her husband do what he is going to do, and to lay back and think about the magnolias in the garden.  I know that things were different then, but it really annoyed me.  It annoys me that there was a time where women were expected not to enjoy what happens in the bedroom.  It annoys me that people still think that way.  Relationships should never be about pleasing your husband.

I have a lot of thoughts.  And I would love to take the time to collect them.  I’m going to try to do that this month.  I’m going to try to set a goal to set aside time to myself to write and be and enjoy.  Because I’m worth it.  My dreams are worth it.  So I’ll try not to get too distracted.