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.

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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.