So I Moved Across the Country

Again.

Everything has been crazy and stressful and exciting and fun. There are so many things up in the air and we’re just waiting to see what sticks the landing.

I’ve been home a little over a week. I missed home. A lot more than I thought I did. It’s good to be back.

Bobby and I both have found jobs. We’ll be able to pay bills and save. Things are working out for the first time in a long time it seems.

So yeah. I’ll try to be better. Because things are getting better. Welcome home.

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.

Resignation

I could document it
Every instance
Because it’s already documented
Inside my head

Every wrong doing
Every negative word
It comes back to
As I search for the strength to leave

Here’s my notice
Signed and dated
Resigned to constantly searching for something better
Thanks, but no thanks, I guess

There’s a manner of speaking
A level of respect
Not even demanded
But expected as a standard

Time and effort
Energy drained
Barely breathing
Difficult to sustain

I will not accept this guilt
For leaving you behind
You need to take the blame
Can’t say I never tried

Moving on now
Ever, forever, moving
I will not crash and burn here
I never fully landed

Here’s my resignation
Signed and dated
Take my notice
And notice as I leave you

Blogging Everyday in July|I Can’t Remember My Agenda Anyway

I keep telling myself  to write.  Right now, pen words, there are things that need to be written.  You promised didn’t you?  You promised the world, you promised yourself.  You keep calling yourself a writer.  But right now, right now I just want to sit.  I just want to be.  Be still.

I can feel my life catching up with my writing, with all the words I have written before.  And I wonder when it will catch up again.  I have a possibly amazing opportunity waiting for me; I knocked on the door and it is opening, I’m just not sure if they will let me in.  But I keep imagining what it would be like if they let me in.  I imagine it so much that I’m not taking the time to prepare my heart to be crushed.  I don’t have the experience or the degree that they are asking for.  I don’t think I am who they are asking for.  But I want to be more than that.  Because I know I can do all that they ask and more.  I’m just afraid.  I’m always afraid.  I live in fear, I swim in fear, I breathe fear.  But trying shouldn’t be scary.  Trying could change things.  If I don’t try, that’s where the real failure is.  And if I’m not chosen, if they shut the door in my face, that’s really okay.  I’m not losing anything anyway, I just didn’t gain what I wanted.  So I’m trying to train myself to be okay with whatever outcome.  Because I’m always okay.  There is always a bigger plan.  Always a better plan.  Always something happening.  Life churns on around me.

This inner dialogue probably isn’t something anyone wants to read.  Maybe I should have skipped today.  I just can’t quite create what has been asked of me to create.  I have beginning lines of everything, and although the beginning is a hook to draw people in, if there’s no substance behind it, it falls flat.  I often feel that I am falling flat.  And I don’t want to fall flat anymore.  I don’t want to be on my face anymore.  I want to fly.  It’s time to use these wings of mine.

Blogging Everyday in July|Connections, Choices, and Everything in Between

Something I think about a lot, and that I was definitely thinking about yesterday, is how everything is connected, and how if one choice was made differently, than not only would my life be changed, but so would the lives of so many other people.  One of the biggest things that makes me think this is when I get snapchats from one of my friends that I’ve known since I was in high school, who is now very close with my best friend, who I met in college.  She posted one the other day that had friend that I knew in elementary/middle school, and have seen from time to time since then.  And my college bestie was in the snap too.  My mind was suddenly blown at that random connection.

My parents first moved to Bishop in order to go to Church on the Mountain in Crowley Lake, CA.  They attended that church until my brother was small, because it was quite a drive from their house.  They started attending the foursquare church in Bishop, which is the church that I grew up in.  The pastors of that church were an influence in my life from birth.  They both attended Life Pacific College when Pacific was still Bible and the location was still Echo Park, CA.  So I grew up hearing about this school.  And because we attended this church, I attended Old Oak Ranch, a camp I grew up in love with.  Because of loving camp, my first job out of high school was at that camp, which has led me to work at 2 more camps.  That camp also always had reps from Life Pacific, so that was another influence on my college, besides God telling me to go, which happened at a convention that I went to with the youth group from the church I grew up in.  But I only went to the convention because one of my friends who also attended the camp, but was from a different city, was also going to be there and I wanted to see him.

Anyway, I often think about what it would have meant if I had waited to go to college, or if I had chosen a different college, because I often wish I had my degree in English, or literature, or creative writing.  However, although I have always been a writer, I didn’t realize that that was what I wanted to do with my life until I was already in college.  And I may have never figured it out, had I not attended Life Pacific.  Also, it is because of my friend, Aaron, and his Yarning in the Round parties that I realized my love for story, especially other people’s stories.  That was where I realized how much hearing other people’s stories can build community.  If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met Aaron.

Another person who I never would have met, or who would have never met me, is my best friend Michelle, had I never attended Life.  If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met my best friend.
If I had moved to Portland when I graduated from college, I probably never would have moved to Mammoth.  Had I never moved home to Mammoth, Michelle would never have been compelled to visit me, thus, she would have never moved to Mammoth and found her happiness and home there.
Also, if I hadn’t moved to Mammoth or started working at The Station, I never would have done the School of Supernatural Ministry, which would have meant that I never would have seen a blind woman healed in Costa Rica, nor would I have met Ray Hughes, so I never would have gone to Ireland.  If I hadn’t gone to Ireland, I never would have moved to Alabama, and I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.

If I had chosen to move to Alabama right when I got back from Ireland, I never would have made a lot of choices that I made leading up to my move.  But my brother probably wouldn’t have gotten his first house as quickly as he did.  However, if I had stayed longer, my brother wouldn’t be constantly looking for a roommate, and I probably wouldn’t have moved into a 2 bedroom apartment because there probably would have been a one bedroom available somewhere.

If I hadn’t started working for the resort, I wouldn’t have the confidence that I can find a job no matter where I move, because there are hotels everywhere.  But if I hadn’t worked for the resort, I wouldn’t be convinced that I like working in hospitality, which I have learned that in the South, I don’t, because I am not Southern, and Southern Hospitality is a whole different game.  However, if I hadn’t gotten the job at the hotel, I wouldn’t have known about another opportunity for a very fun job, which I interviewed for, and am really hoping that I get.
I also never would have met two of my favorite people in Alabama outside of my Ireland pals, had I taken a job somewhere else.

I could go on and on about connections and choices.  Because they blow my mind a lot.  If even one thing in my life had been different, I fully believe that nearly everything in my life would be different.  And maybe that’s a conversation for another day.  So I’m both miserable and happy.  I am thankful for my choices because of their connections.  And I’m disappointed, because choices sometimes bring hardship.  But life is a journey, and it’s a learning experience.  It’s nice to see how far I’ve come.  And it’s nice to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned.  There’s no point in dwelling on how things could have been different, because really, do I want them to be different, or do I just like to have something to complain about?

Risky Business

Almost two months ago I did something crazy and I packed up my life and moved across the country. At that time I didn’t know what was awaiting me here in Alabama.  A lot of people couldn’t understand why I would move to the south.  They said I was going backwards, usually people move west, not east.  They couldn’t picture me somewhere with no mountains or snow, where the weather is hot and humid, and most people speak with a drawl.  But I did it.  I followed my heart.  I followed a voice that had spoken to me a world away.

I keep telling myself not to wonder what I have done.  I left behind a great job.  I left behind friends and family and a place that my heart has beat for for so long.  I left behind horrifying relationships and mistakes, but mistakes can always be undone without the need to run.  I left behind comfort.  I wasn’t alone there, although I always could be if I wanted to be.  I left behind familiarity.  I left behind a community that I didn’t even know existed.  Most of the time I could pick up my phone and find someone to go out with me or do something.

I keep forgetting that this isn’t summer camp, or college, or high school.  Close friendships aren’t built overnight, or in a week.  So my loneliness kinda comes with the territory.  Of course I don’t have everything that I left behind.  Of course I spend 90% of my time away from work alone.  Yes, I could have stayed behind and wondered about Alabama.  But I would probably be even more miserable there.  This is my home now. And there is a community here, although I haven’t fully tapped into it yet.  I’ve been told that the first three months are the hardest anywhere.  Well, I’m halfway there.

If I could go back, I’m sure I would have made the same choice to move when I did.  I may even have made it sooner.  Sure, my job here doesn’t pay as well, and I have far less to do.  But the cost of living is lower.  And I have so much more space.  Plus, a job is a job.  I keep getting emails from other companies about my resume, so maybe I’ll move on up in the world.

I have never been so alone.  But I won’t let myself feel alone.  This is just an opportunity to watch my life unfold.  In a year, I’ll probably look back at this and laugh.  I’ve been looking back a lot lately.  Maybe it’s time to start looking forward.

Road Trip With Me: SoCo with Lime

If you’ve ever gone out with me, you know that I hate taking shots.  I can’t just throw something down my throat, I have to have it sit in my mouth.  Thus, shots are horrifying.  My last Sunday in Mammoth, the boy and I went to see my friend DJ at a local bar/night life place.  We both had a drink and then the boy asked if I would do a shot with him.  He already knew the answer was no, but he begged me to try soco with lime.  I had no idea what it was.  But it was awesome.
In case you’re wondering,  it’s Southern Comfort with a lime added to it.

Sometimes you just need a little southern comfort.

When I was about fifteen, I made a friend on the internet *gasp.*  It started on a Christian Myspace alternative, then went to Myspace, and then to Facebook.  Over the years we’ve gotten to know each other, watched each other grow in life and in our relationship with God.  I’ve seen his life with his wife and now two little boys.  He’s seen me graduate, first from high school, and then from college.  He’s watched me struggle and flourish.  We’ve prayed for each other.  We’ve heard each other’s stories.  All with never actually meeting.  Well on Monday, we met.  See, he lives about 2 hours south of Florence.  So I drove down and we went on a hike and had dinner with his wife and friends and little ones.  And it was as if it was just normal.  As if it wasn’t the first time.  SoCo with lime.  I’ve always considered Ryan to be one of my good friends, but now I might consider his family my family.  My Alabamily.

Yesterday I went to a job interview for a job I really wanted and was offered the job while I was there.  They’re just waiting for my background check to come back so that I can process in.  And I signed a lease.  The first time I’ve lived truly on my own.  I feel insane.
So I’m sitting in my new apartment, utterly alone.  And it’s so empty, because I moved across the country with no furniture.  I obviously need things, but right now I just need to keep telling myself that I am content.  Because I will be okay.  I know that I am taken care of.  I know that I’ve made the right decision.  Now I just need my heart to settle.

Customer Service

Falling apart is not an option
Hold it all together
As if your life depends on it
Because if you let them down
It really will be all over

Let them scream in your face
Let them blame you for their mistakes
With a line out the door
They’ll still be wanting more
Yet you must make it through

Don’t let them see the tears in your eyes
Or hear the weariness in your voice
The customer is always right
Even when they’re wrong
Don’t ever forget it

Just one more hour
And some overtime
Go home to your family
Sleep alone
Come back tomorrow
You’re okay

A Season of Endings

I think I may have found myself in a season of endings.  And I think I’ve been here a while.  School, friendships, relationships, jobs… should I go on?

It’s been a year since I graduated college.  College ended.  I moved on.  My first two post-college jobs have ended.  And nothing is what I thought it would be.

I have several friends that I’ve had since high school that I thought were really important, and that they wanted to be close to me, and I’ve since realized that that was not the case.  I cared a lot for them, and it’s possible that they did still care for me, but I don’t have the energy to always be the pursuer anymore, and so they ended.  I’ve moved on.
However, moving back to the area I grew up in has left me feeling a little more than lonely.  I’ve heard it’s because this town is one that individuals move to, and they’re all lonely, but they just take that as how life is, so they’ve accepted it. I don’t want to accept it. But I also don’t want to be chasing a bunch of friendships that aren’t going to last, that aren’t going to be meaningful.  And I don’t want to drink all the time.  Living in a resort town, either you go out all the time and get drunk, or you rarely go out at all.  I’m the latter.  And I’ve accepted it.
So I think my time here will be coming to an end soon.

It’s been four years since my last real relationship.  And that relationship was my longest.  And I didn’t leave that relationship with my heart broken, because I was the ender.  I’d always been the ender.  And I wanted to believe that that was still true, but it’s really not.   I spent the rest of my college years having no one wanting to date me at all, with the exception of a guy from my hometown who would pursue me for a month or so, break my heart, and after time went by we would go through it all again.  The last semester of my senior year of college I got set up with a guy who I ended up really liking.  And I thought he really liked me until he stood me up and disappeared from my life a month later.
I try so hard to guard my heart, and every time I let my guard down, it was the wrong decision.  Since I’ve moved to Mammoth, I’ve had my heart broken twice, but I’ve never hurt as bad as this last time.  And I’m thinking it’s because I didn’t see it coming.  He was actually a nice guy.  He made me believe that he would be here, that we were friends, that we were more than that, even though neither of us wanted to accept it.  Then he moved, so suddenly.  And he said he’d stay in touch, but apparently that was too much, and thus, it has ended.  It’s things like these that make me believe I’m not good enough.

When I was still planning on moving to Portland, the person who offered to rent me a room pulled the opportunity away from me before I could even run with it.  That relationship ended.
I’ve had people offer to help me record, or ask me to do some music for them, and then they’ve disappeared.  Relationships ended.
I had friends here that got hurt at me because I told them that I had been hurt in the past by something they had done, but that it wasn’t a big enough offense to make a big deal out of.  And then instead of them apologizing, they decided that I was the offender and that I was horrible and hurtful, and they moved on bad terms.  Relationship ended.

So am I so horrible and hurtful?  It seems that I have been severing ties left and right, whether it was my choice or not.  But I think I’d like this season of endings to end.  I want a season of beginnings.

I want to move somewhere where I belong.  I want to fall in love for real, for who I am, for who I want to be.  I want to be appreciated, and I want to be aware of it.  I want to write and to do what I love.  I want to believe that I can make it on my own.  I don’t want to be broken anymore.  I don’t want to get my heart broken anymore.  But I want to accept that it has been before.  I want to be the person who comes into town and people actually want to see, instead of making up excuses why they’re too busy.  I want to be free.

It’s time to begin again.

Everybody will be Let Down

I am beyond the point of desperation.

I don’t have a way to survive.  I didn’t think I’d ever be in this place, but here I am.  There is no job for me, because I am cursed.  Every lead I have lies to me.  I am literally freaking out.  I passed my breaking point about an hour ago.

I was driving back to my place of residence, and I realized how pathetic I am.  I have fully believed that God is taking care of me and that He has a plan for me.  If that ever was true, I lost it.  I’m not really being taken care of, am I?
I drove down the road and I turned off the music, sobbing and crying out to God.  “Where are You?!  Was I an idiot for trusting You?!”  I don’t know where I am.  I will feel foolish for turning my back, because I’ve spent every moment I could realizing that God has kept me alive.  But if that is the case, then what for?  Is He torturing me?  I thought I was so stable, but apparently I was mistaken.
I can’t hear anything, I can’t feel anything.

Maybe it’s time that I disappeared too.