We Have an Announcement

Back home currently has the most snow in the United States. A lot of feet of snow have fallen. Flagstaff, Arizona has a ton of snow right now also. In fact, a friend of mine that lives in Tucson posted a snowy video today too! Needless to say, I miss the snow. Alabama has no snow, but that’s no surprise.
And snow isn’t even the most important thing to me, especially in a place that I want to live.

I moved to Alabama sort of on a whim. I thought I was being called here. I thought my life was going to change and I would be put on a path that would launch me into a career I could only dream about. It’s funny how I’m usually wrong about these things. Because what I thought I was stepping into was not at all what I actually stepped into.

I had not lived here six months when my mother passed. I was reeling from her loss and found comfort in alcohol and watching stupid Netflix shows with someone who was starting to become a very good friend. It wasn’t much later that he was more than a friend and I fell in love with Bobby.
Moving to Alabama changed my life. Losing my mother changed my life. But loving Bobby has changed my life for the better.

Last year, Bobby and I took a road trip across the country because I was homesick. Along the way we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona to buy some film and get coffee at Dutch Bros. because I discovered they have one there. We had been in the city half an hour when we both decided we wanted to live there. We planned to make the move after I finished my graduate program, and I would just go through the licensing process in Arizona. I had some anxiety about the difficulty of finding someone to supervise me so I could get my license, when I would have no contacts in Arizona, but I figured it would work itself out.
But I’ve been homesick for a long time. Alabama has made me more and more miserable. I thought if I quit my job and made a change that I would be happier, but in December I only felt more depressed. I felt like I couldn’t make it. I just wanted to go home.
So I called my dad. And I called my brother. And they said that Bobby and I could move back to my childhood home for the summer to save money. So we’re leaving Alabama in May and will be in California for three months. I’m ready to go home.
Bobby and I decided that we didn’t want to wait until I finished school, especially when the licensing process in a different state might be challenging. So I’m going to finish my degree in Arizona. We’ll be moving there in August, and I am so excited.

Since I’ve been missing the snow and sick of all the rain here, I figured now would be a good time to announce that we’re leaving. Finally.

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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.

 

Life in the Snow

So I live in Mammoth, and it’s been snowing a lot.  I got a second job working for the mountain so that I could have a free pass, which means I wake up early everyday and I work doubles almost everyday and I’m tired.  Thus I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I would like to be.  But I thought maybe I’d give a little life update.

It’s snowed a lot almost every week since like November.  My car doesn’t like it that much, but my snowboard does.  I’m not a great snowboarder or a great skier, but I have fun. I’m trying to make the most of this season, since it may be my last.

On March 15th I am moving across the country to Florence, Alabama.  It’s time to do something crazy, and I need to be in a community that betters me and my writing. Mammoth seems to lead to mistakes.  Not for everyone, obviously, but lately for me.  Nothing detrimental, I’m just tired all the time.

But it is nice living near my best friend, even though I never see her because we’re much too busy for each other and have developed different interests.  I still love her.  If I ever get married, she’ll be the one making the goofy speech about living in a dorm room with me.

Ask me questions, because I don’t have much to say.  I want to make my life an adventure, and I believe it really has been one.  So what’s next?

11pm

You are fickle
Inconsistent
Asking only for what I can’t give you
Forgetful
Always breaking promises
While it’s always my fault

You make me feel bad
About my schedule
Because what I do doesn’t matter to you
Unless you’re there with me
Spending the night
Not even seeing what is right in front of us

I am worried that I’m not the only one
That I will spread myself too thing
Only to find there was never enough of you to go around
Losing out to someone better
Feeling forever inferior
Although I am superior
To who you think I am

I am not the girl
Who you can call at 11pm
On random nights
Expecting me to come over
Because you’re a little drunk
When you’ve never seen me in the daylight

I am not the girl
That you can use
Again and again
Saying you want something more
Your words never matching your actions

And I wonder
Because I gave in once
Have I given in forever?

I want more
I want what you promised
I want sushi and drinks and snow when I wake up
I want  your arms to be my arms
Your heart to be my heart
I want to trust you with everything
But I can’t
And I have nothing for you anyway

Yet I still want you
While I beg for nothing at all
You’ll never find me on my knees
I’ll never come crawling back
Until you ask

Because maybe I want to be used for a little while
Maybe it’s nice to be wanted
As long as I know I don’t need you
I’ll answer your 11pm calls
Your 1am come overs
Your 9am goodbyes
Doing my best to leave you wanting

Blame it on the Weather

A lot of us like to get angry at the weather.  The town I live in relies on heavy snow in the winter and beautiful weather in the summer because it’s a mountain resort town.  However, over the last four years, California has been in a drought that has kept the snow from falling.  But summer has still been beautiful.  This year, we got more snow in May than in November, January, and March combined.  But we don’t need the snow in May.  Since then, it’s been raining and hailing and opening and closing the passes and making the weather not as ideal for tourists.
Now, I’m not complaining.  I love the rain.  I was supposed to move to Portland.  My dream is to live in England.  I have no problem with the rain.  I’m a little bummed that the weather here has not been what we rely on, but maybe we should stop relying on the weather.

I can’t remember who said it to me, so I can’t quote them, but someone said that the arts are prophetic.  And you don’t have to believe in God to be used by him.  So we should pay attention to what is happening in films and the media and whatever.
This is something that I haven’t thought a lot about, because I don’t get to watch a lot of movies, but I just watched San Andreas last Saturday, and God was speaking to me throughout the whole thing.  I realized that a lot movies have had to do with big changes in weather.  California has been devastated in a lot of films.  But I’m not going to say that California is going to get hit by a big earthquake or whatever.  A popular theme in movies and books has had to do with post apocalyptic worlds, or dystopian societies.  Another thing that I’m not saying is going to happen.  But maybe change is coming.  Maybe the world is going to shift.  Maybe this “bad weather” is going to become the norm.  And maybe we should accept it.  Or maybe not.

I honestly don’t know what is going to happen.  I think it is entirely possible that weather shifts are a normal part of nature.  Wasn’t there an ice age?  Wasn’t there a giant flood?  Wasn’t the world once a tropical paradise?  Where did the dinosaurs live?
I really don’t know that much about the history of weather.  It’s something that’s starting to intrigue me, but I don’t yet have enough time to research it.  All I’m saying is that we should stop complaining.  If we try to fight nature, we’ll fail.  Nature always wins.  But God wins more.

So let the snow fall.  Let the rain come down.  Let it be winter in January and springtime in June.  Or not.  Let the summer last until November.  Let winter take 4 months too long to get here.  I think the creator of nature probably knows what he’s doing.  I like to think he laughs at our petty complaints sometimes, because we can’t see what’s coming.

But remember, I can always be wrong.

Snowy Sleeplessness

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep.  And it would be so easy to blame in on the snow, because the white blanket outside makes it seem like there’s light out forever.  Maybe I need darkness.  But really, when I shut it all out, there is darkness.  So why am I still awake?

My life is pretty great right now.  Even with all the bad in it, I am content.  Because there is so much good in it as well, so much to be thankful for.
Yet I still feel that prickle in the back of my mind.  And maybe it will always be there.  It’s not something I’m going to act on, because I am so much stronger than this, but it’s still there, as if it’s waiting for me.
My heart aches for it, even with all the harm it could cause.  So let’s talk.
Sometimes I wish I could slice myself open and disappear.  Maybe because that would be so much easier.  I wouldn’t have to worry about making it then, because I would have already made it.  I would have already arrived.
I thought my life would be so much more than this.  I thought I would have my book written, or some spoken word recorded, or maybe I would be living in England pursuing my Masters.  I hoped so much for simplicity and success.  But in all honesty, maybe I’m not ready for that.
I’m here because, after all my striving, I am finally learning vulnerability.  I try so hard to push everyone away when they get too close.  I can’t ever let anyone know what’s going on inside.  I am so out of touch with my feelings, that whenever I feel anything at all, I bolt so that I don’t get hurt.  I hate getting hurt.

I feel like I have been lied to.  I feel like I am being constantly misunderstood.  I feel like I’m being taught all these things that I have already learned and developed my opinions on.  And then I am being talked down to like I know nothing at all.
Intruders come into my life and touch all my things.  And I’m paying them to be there.  And being lied to about the price.
I am being asked to simplify my faith, and then given examples that make it more complicated with extra details.
I am given lessons in theology like it’s not something I went over my freshman year of college.
I’m saying I’m better than any of this or smarter than any of this, I just want to be heard.  I just want to be understood.  I just want to be asked what I really think, and then not told that I am wrong, because I’m not wrong.  How can any of us even be right if none of the answers we can know for certain?
How did I end up here?

There is someone I could so easily go back to.  Someone who doesn’t need to talk or ask questions or know me.  Someone who just wants me to be there.  But they are so bad for me.  And there could be someone new.  But I’d never let that happen, because having real feelings could cause real hurt, and I’ve never been good enough for a Christian guy before.
Because even with all my knowledge, with my studies and my writing and my music, there’s just something wrong.  I spend too much time putting someone else’s supposed projections onto my identity, that I never stop to ask or believe what anyone else thinks.  Because every time I get my hopes up, they get let down before they can be crushed.

This isn’t who I am though.  This isn’t where my identity lives, I just let it rest here for a while.  I want so much to be someone different, someone better, the best possible version of myself.  But instead I’m stuck here, being forced into some box and expected to play the part of someone I’m not.  I was never even given a script.

So come find me here, because I’m waiting.