Being an Adult Means Always Changing Plans

A little over three months ago my boyfriend and I packed everything up and moved across the country to my hometown in rural California. Our plan was to stay here for the summer, get jobs, save money, and move to Flagstaff. But with this economy things like that are easier said than done. So we’re still here. Indefinitely.

But I love being home. I’m not complaining. My life has always been up in the air, and I’ve never really known where I was going next until I was on my way. So I’m reapplying for school to finish my masters and seeing what sticks.
I have a good job that I like a lot. Bobby has a good job that he likes enough.

I’m incapable of having a five year plan, because every year my five year plan changes completely. We thought we’d live out our days in Arizona. Before that I thought we’d be in Alabama for a long time. Before I started applying for masters programs the first time around, we didn’t know where we’d end up because Bobby was applying for jobs all over the country. Before I moved to Alabama I thought I’d be in Mammoth for much longer. Before I moved to Mammoth I had plans to live in Portland. I once thought I’d live in England someday for a while.

I’m just not good at making plans. And I used to hate it. Because when I say I’m going to do something and then I don’t do it, I feel like a fraud. But life means always changing plans. At least for me it does.

So if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing, it’s okay to keep going. If you feel like your plans have all failed, they haven’t. They’ve just changed. Because there’s no way for us to actually see the future and see what option is best. Just know that life can still be good, no matter what your plans are.

7 Years

I was just reminded that I have had this blog for seven years.   Seven years of rants.  Seven years of poetry.  Seven years of channeling my depression online.  And I used to be good at it.  I remember when I was in college, sometimes I would get so creative I would post twice a week.  There were times when I’d try not to post every day.  Now I can barely post once a month.

And I’ve been thinking.  On and off for a while, I’ve been thinking.  What if I just closed it down?  Is seven years long enough?  For a long time this blog was my identity.  I put my heart and soul into.  Which is why my lack of creativity depresses me so much, I think.  But maybe it’s time to rip the bandaid off?  Is anyone even paying attention anymore?  Because I for sure have nothing to say anymore.

Last April I moved into a townhouse.  I thought moving here might give me the creative head space I need, but instead I feel like I might have even less creative space.  I’ve forgotten how to act on my ideas, because I still have those.  I have hundreds of photos on a memory card in a camera that I bought because I thought I was going to get back into photography.  Instead, they sit there unedited, when I used to love editing and sharing photos.

I spend a lot of time wondering who I even am anymore.  I start school next month, and I’m excited for it, but what happened to being a writer?  What happened to being a poet?  What happened to having big dreams?  Did I get lost somewhere along the way?  I want to try.  So badly, I want to try.  But giving it all up seems to much easier.

My decisions are pending.  But this could be coming close to a goodbye.

2018

I used to be good at this.  At writing.  At collecting my thoughts and putting them somewhere.  And I feel like I don’t even have thoughts anymore.  I keep trying to be the person I used to be, but maybe it’s time to realize that I’m not.

I never became the person that I thought I would be.  But maybe I like the person that I am even better.  Even though I’m secluded.  Even though I never go to church because I haven’t found one that I belong at.  Even though I sometimes drink too much.  Even though I don’t write enough and I almost never touch my guitar.  I like cuddling my dog.  I like eating dinner with my boyfriend.  I like adventures, and most of my bad decisions aren’t bad at all.

I know that I’m probably always going to wish I had done life differently.  So maybe 2018 is going to be a year of acceptance.  Accepting that I am who I am because of the choices I made.  I am who I am because of who I love and who loves me.  I am who I am because I was created this way.

I’m going to try to take more time for myself this year.  I’m going to try to work on things when they’re still stirring.  I’m going to try going back to school and getting my masters in something that I actually care about, and maybe giving myself a new focus.

I’ll try not to disappear as much or for as long.

But I’m going to stop trying so hard.  I want to be more than content.  I want to be more than happy.

So here’s to 2018 I guess.

I hope my neighbors aren’t as loud this year.

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.

In Conclusion

You may be unaware of this, but I have been unintentionally angry with God for quite some time now.  I’m not sure when it started.  It’s kind of like he’s that friend that you want to be mad at, and then he does something wonderful and you’re like, oh right, you’re actually great, I’m just being a beezy.  So I was mad for a lot of college, but after I graduated and moved to Mammoth and got to spend almost a year just listening to his voice, I fell back in love with him.  I remembered what it’s like to have a good relationship with a loving God.
After I came back from Ireland, which might possibly be the highlight of my entire life, I wanted to move right away.  I tend to try to rush God.  And really, it might not have been God at all that kept me from moving in October.  I stayed for the winter.  And really, it was a fantastic winter.  But I pulled away.  I pulled into myself.  I became someone else temporarily.

Being in Florence, I’m learning to find myself again.  I’m learning to listen again.  But all of this is just digression to the story I want to tell today.

Last Monday I flew back to Nashville from Reno via LAX.  I knew that when I landed in Nashville I would have to get an uber or a taxi to get back to my car, because my flight was delayed so much that the shuttle would no longer be running.  I also knew that I had barely any money left to do this.

On my second flight I sat next to this girl who kept catching my eye.  If you follow me at all, you know that I do my best not to talk to strangers unless they first address me, and even then I get awkward.  I’m not good with small talk.  So this girl caught my eye.  Our plane took forever to get clearance to take off, so we kept taxiing around the runway and I realized that she was editing photos on her phone using the same app that I use.  I always edit photos on planes too, because it gives me something to do.  This is not that strange of a thing to have in common though.
Then (I’m such a creeper) she started going through her music on her phone and picking songs to listen to on spotify.  We have the same taste in music.  Again, not that strange of thing to have in common, except that I listen to a lot of folky indie music.  She started working on editing a short film on her computer, mostly just the title sequence, and I was trying so hard not to watch her as she did this, but I couldn’t stop noticing this girl.
Finally, they came around and asked what we wanted to drink, and I almost always order coke on planes.  It kept running through my mind that this girl and I were cut from the same cord, and then she ordered a coke.  And we both got a second bag of pretzels.

As the flight went on I tried to fall asleep, but God kept speaking to me about this girl.  I felt that if I didn’t write her a note that I would regret it.  So I grabbed my notebook and wrote to her, telling her that God was speaking to me, possibly, and that she didn’t have to believe me and I told her how I never do this and that I would understand if she thought I was crazy.  I told her how I had been angry at God, but I needed to write to her anyway.  I told her what God was saying to me.  I said if she ever needed help from a stranger that she could email me, and I gave her my email.  Then I folded it up and put it on her tray, while she had her head in her hands during the turbulence.  I went back to my music, stared out the window, and tried to fall asleep.

About ten minutes later, maybe twenty minutes before the flight landed, she tapped me on the leg.  She said that the note was exactly what she needed to read, and that I had no idea.  She asked me my name and told me her’s was Molly.  We talked about her school, how she’s in her last semester.  We talked about how she grew up in the south, but she wanted to break free from it, and talked about how I was trying to embrace it.  We didn’t really talk about God.
Molly asked me how I was getting back to my car and I told her that I honestly didn’t know.  She said her mom was picking her up and then they offered to give me a ride.  These strangers drove me the 8 minute ride to my car all because God made me a creeper on the plane.

God is all about connection.  Connection to him.  Connection to the people around us.  I think I’ve been so angry because I’ve forgotten that.  I was so stuck in my own reality, in my own social anxiety, that this connection terrified me.  Really, he just wants us to be able to enjoy the life he gave us, and he gives us the tools to do this.  We just like to do it on our own so often.

In conclusion, once again God has taken care of me.  And once again, I will do my best not to forget it.  He’s great.  You’re great.  I’m great.  We’re all great.  Also, I’m tired and losing my train of thought.

In Love

I have never been in love
I have been in love a thousand times

I fell in love
With Wesley in preschool
Told my dad all about our future life together

I fell in love with that boy in my elementary class
Fell in love what that boy at camp
I couldn’t stop looking to the future

I fell in love with the first guy to crush me
The first one to use me
The first one to put me last

I fell in love with my best friend
Again and again and again
Though he fell for me first
He’ll say it wasn’t love at all

I fell in love with the prince of eBay
And slowly fell out
As I quickly fell for another
And as he dropped me too
I felt my cracks widen
As my contents spilled out
And I fell in love with dying

I fell in love with my failure
Then fell so in love with my music
That I fell in love with spinning words too

I felt myself fall for the bad boy musician
Every bad boy musician
But specifically the one who kept coming back
I let myself fall for him three times too many
He kept coming back for more
Before I finally learned to lock that closed door

I fell in love with the car guy
Every car guy
Who would find some way to rescue me
When they were the ones needing saving

I fell hard for the guy from my work
The first one who I’d let see my soul
The kindest, the sweetest, the one I wanted to give everything to
The first one that was really my fault

I fell in love with the filmmaker in training
And I fell for the guy on the bus
Because they really listened when I spoke
As if my words meant anything at all

I fell in love with the alcoholic drug salesman
Before I ever knew what he was
I let him have me and know me
Learning that I never wanted to be in love

I fell in love with fiction
With thoughts sent from broken minds
Because I forgot to believe in myself

But I fell in love with living
With beauty and vibrance and life
I fell in love with dreaming my reality
And adventures worth more than any love

I refuse to fall in love
I fall in love every time

I have never been in love
I have been in love a thousand times

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.

How to get the inside out

Today, I realized that I have been confronted with something that’s been there for years, but it’s something that I don’t really know how to overcome.  There are things inside of me that I want to say, but I literally don’t know how to express them outside of myself.  I could say, and have said, that it’s because it makes me feel awkward, but I know that it is more than that.  I don’t know if I’m afraid, or if I can’t be vulnerable, but how can I even move past this if I can’t say it outloud.

I crave deep conversations where I can really say what is on my heart, because I have some heavy things on my heart.  But when these opportunities arise, I literally can say nothing.  I can talk half-heartedly about the current events in my life, but when someone asks me how I’m really doing, I can’t give an honest answer.  And it’s not even because things aren’t good, because things are so good.  I’m in a good place.  I have a good job.  I’m learning so many new things.  I have great roommates and a great living situation.
But I’m also so tired.  Some days I work from 9am to 11pm, between my two jobs and school.  I get almost no time to myself, and when I get the opportunity to be alone, I spend time with those I miss seeing because I’m always working.  So I’m drained and exhausted and it messes with my head.
But I’m okay.

See, I want to be able to express what weighs on my heart.  But I don’t even really know what it is that is on my heart.  I feel like it needs to be pried out of me, but who would even do that?  Who even has the time?  Do I even have the time?

Maybe I just need a day off.  Or several days off.

Inside My Head (Proceed with Caution)

I probably shouldn’t be writing any of this.  And you probably shouldn’t be reading it.  So proceed with caution.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings, and an inability to grasp them or make sense of anything.  My writer’s block has been turning me inside out and hitting me against the pavement, but I still haven’t found the words I need.  But then I went on a long drive today and I began to collect them all.

My grandmother, my last living grandparent, and the only one I kinda sorta knew, died yesterday morning.  I was on break at work when I got the news.  It came as a shock, but then I just didn’t know what to do with the information.  Am I supposed to cry?  Because I don’t really cry unless it’s forced, or when the dam finally breaks I don’t really know what’s happening anymore.
I’ve said before that family is not a big deal to me.  I’ve never been exceptionally close with any of my family, immediate or otherwise, and I don’t really know any of them at all, other than little stories here and there.  I sound evil and stone hearted, but family is not as important to me as it is to other people.  I don’t want a family of my own; in fact, I’d probably be fine being alone.
So when I got the news, the first thing to touch my heart was guilt.  In August, I was getting ready to begin my last year of college.  My parents were driving to Wisconsin to attend my grandmother’s 90th birthday party.  90!  Frick.  I thought a lot about what I should do, I prayed about it, and then I got asked to go to a bonfire on the beach the Friday before the party, because my friend Kenney was proposing to his now fiancee Andrea.  So I took that as a sign that I should stay here, rather than go to Wisconsin and miss my first week of school, and I knew I would also be saving my family money by not having to fly back early.  I hope this makes sense.  We had decided that after I graduated I would go out and see her.  To be honest,  as much as I did think that would happen, I don’t really have a deep desire to go out of my comfort zone and stay with relatives that feel almost like strangers.
In other words, I skipped her birthday party, and now I’ll never see her again.

But that’s not what this blog is about.
As most people, I hope, know, I am manic depressive.  Yep, I’m crazy.  And I’ve been on a pretty strong streak of happy for a while.  Somewhere in the last few weeks the manic side of me snuck back in.  I can feel my cracks opening again, because I am still broken.  I’ve been dealing with this extra stress, while also trying to figure out some things about my future.
So I went on a drive today, up a mountain road that I’ve never touched before.  A guy that I’ve been sort of dating told me about this road, and I knew that I needed to see something new for a little while.
On my way up the mountain a poem came on in my car, yes I listen to spoken word, I don’t only write it, and I thought about how passionate the writer is about using biblical references in his poetry, because that really is his ministry.  I fell in love with poetry, and with writing in general, but I realized that I only write for me.  I sometimes say that writing is my ministry, because it is the only thing I know, but am I even ministering at all?  I write what is in my heart and what is on my mind, but unless God hits me hard that day, I usually write about why I’m broken and how confused I am about whether or not I really want to find real love.  So I thought maybe I should find that hunger for God again.  I know I used to have it, or otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to freakin’ Bible college.
Close to the top of the mountain I pulled over.  I pulled out my camera and took some shots.  I grabbed my notebook and sat on the dirt with my feet hanging over the side and wrote.  And then I prayed.  And then I wrote.  And I realized my heart is torn.  I would have stayed there longer, but I started to get uncomfortable when a sheriff’s car drove by.
On the way down the mountain I began to ponder and question everything.  I go to school for ministry and get religion shoved down my throat, but does it even resonate with me anymore?  Because my future, although it may impact lives, has become about my dream of being a writer.  I don’t find my thoughts so profound and Jesus-y that people might turn to Christ because of them.  I don’t even know how to actually witness to a person besides simply living my life with them and letting them see who God is to me.  But who is God to me?  Why am I still following Him?  As horrible as it may sound, it may be because of fear.  Fear of losing eternal life.
I know, without a doubt, that God created the world and that His Son Jesus died on the cross, forgiving all of our sins.  I know that I would not be alive today if it weren’t for what God has done in my life.  People have told me that they’re glad I’m alive, that I didn’t die, but I’m not sure that I am.  Do I even want this life?
Because I wonder why God would allow me to live a manic life, when I don’t see a reason.  I wonder why people think I have it all together, why I might be seen as a good influence, when I contemplate death so often.  Should I continue on, graduate, and live a life that makes it seem like I hate everyone who does not believe in Jesus?  How am I a Christian when Christians annoy me more than most people?  I can’t hear God’s voice anymore, even though I used to hear Him all the time.

Should I even be writing this?  Should you even be reading this?

Maybe forget everything.

How Honest Am I Allowed To Be?

I’m experiencing this thing called wondering how honest I’m allowed to be with people.  I mean, am I even allowed to talk about what goes on in my dark mind on my blog anymore?  Am I allowed to tweet that I’m feeling a little down?  Can I announce that sometimes I go a little manic?

I think anxiety is getting to me.  But forget that I’m saying this at all, because I don’t want to talk about it.  I don’t want you to say anything.  And even worse, I don’t want you to tiptoe around me.  But I need to get it off my chest.  I feel like I haven’t breathed in a week.  I’m not sure if I have a migraine, or if I just am afraid I’m getting one, so I think I have one.  I’m feeling a little alone, a little abandoned, a little betrayed, and my ability to trust any plans at all seems to have never come back.

I really want to be alone, but I don’t want anyone to worry.  At the same time, it’d be nice if I could get a good hug so maybe I could have a good cry.  Maybe I should take a several hour shower.

I think the biggest reason I’m afraid to say anything, is because the last time I felt anything everyone freaked out and tried to carry my burden and almost pushed me over the edge.  I don’t want to be anywhere near the edge.  This is my cross to bear.  This is my burden to carry.  And you can’t lift it anyway.