Life in the Slow Lane

I talk fast.  I think fast.  I drive fast.  I make decisions fast.  I move fast.  Everything is fast.  But I think it might be time to slow down.  Welcome to the South.  Where even the state troopers don’t drive the speed limit.  Where people have a drawl, even when they’re hyped up on caffeine.

I never quite learned to rest.  I wrote a while back about staying put.  About how it might be time for me to be present where I’m at.  But I think it’s more than that.  I wonder if I’ll settle here.  Although I may never settle. My heart is learning to beat for the land.  And this land ambles.  It does not run.  It does not race.  It does not scream at you to speed up.  If anything, it whispers to slow down.  It calls you to rest.  It asks you to wait and see what might be around the next bend,  because if you take it too fast, you might miss it, you might hit it, you might kill what could have been an opportunity.  Life in the slow lane means not jumping to conclusions.

I think my heart has been so miserable because it is always racing, and I won’t listen to the beat.  I followed it here, and then I forced it to keep me awake so that I could do far too much again.  I’m not going to do far too much anymore though.  I am going to breathe for a little while.  I’m going to take things in stride.  I’m not going to worry, I’m going to listen to the constant streams of consciousness that might be telling me that everything is okay, that good things do happen.  I think I’ll live here, in the slow lane, for a while.  And for anyone who tells me that it’s time to speed up, they can exit the vehicle.  Because this is my life, and I’m going to claim it.

Blogging Everyday in July|Long Distance Best Friends

I think a best friend is someone your soul is tied to.  Like a soul mate, but better.  Because they’re more than that.  They’re a sister (or a brother), a friend, sometimes a parent, and they’re someone you get to choose.  Or at least we think we choose them.  My best friend and I, I like to think we stumbled upon each other.  We were thrust together by cosmic intervention.
We grew up going to the same camp, but never met.  We attended the same college previews, but never met.  I’m pretty sure we went to at least one of the same music festivals and didn’t meet.  And we were both at the same Nex Gen Convention in Anaheim when we were 15.  We spent so many hours in the same place at the same time, but were steered constantly apart, not aware of what could be waiting right around the corner.
Michelle and I were in the same quad our freshman year of college.  We liked the same music and long road trips and so many other things.  We had all these inside jokes, but were constantly preoccupied.  Junior and senior year crept up on us, and I had spent the last few years begging God for a friend, a best friend, someone who was my person.  It took me much too long to realize that it was Michelle.  Whoever marries her is one lucky person.
After college, we were pulled in separate directions.  I ended up in Mammoth, while Michelle stayed in LA, and then moved home for some time with her family.  We still carried our soul ties though, and our inside jokes live on.  Last summer, almost a year ago, Michelle came to visit me in Mammoth and ended up staying.  She did the school of supernatural ministry that I did, and works at the same camp I worked at.  She even lives in the same house, although it became beautiful after I moved out.  We spent eight or nine months getting to enjoy time in the same place, even though we were too busy to really acknowledge it, then my heart was again pulled elsewhere, and now my home is in the South.  However, our soul ties remain.
I know that if my world is crashing down, I can count on my bestie to listen to me.  I know that she’ll still get my jokes, and we’ll still find things that remind us of each other.  I know that if I go a week or so without texting her, that she still loves me, and that she knows I still love her.  We are content.
Plus, we have matching tattoos, so I think our friendship is kinda locked in.

I’m writing about Michelle today, not because missing her is unbearable, but because I’m not the only person with a long distance best friend.  Another girl who just moved here has a different kind of relationship with her bestie, because she has a different personality.  They need to talk almost everyday.  They talk on the phone and they text and they miss each other terribly.  How they survive?  I have no idea.  Their contentedness looks different than ours does.  But it’s the soul ties that hold us together.
Sometimes your life takes a different path than your soul tied best friend.  Sometimes you need time apart.  But this relationship isn’t like a romantic one.  It’s better, because distance doesn’t matter, it might even make it stronger.   Distance just makes being together that much better.
I don’t know when I’ll be going back to California to visit.  And Michelle has no plans that I know of to come to the land of the humid and the heat anytime soon.  And I think we’re both okay with that.  We are content in our life paths.  We are content with each other and without each other, because we still have each other.  That is all.

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.

The Difference

I have lived in different parts of California my whole life.  I’ve visited a lot of different places over the years as well, but if there’s any place I know, it’s California.  Until a few weeks ago, I had never been to the south, except Florida, but that doesn’t count.  I hadn’t even really been to any other eastern states.  Yet, here I am.  And I certainly didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

Here, people talk in church.  Which happens in some churches in California, but I am used to attention not being put on me, and I like it that way.  However, I also really like hanging out with the people I’ve met in church.  I was expecting a bunch of conservative people, because in California, everyone told me that it would be too conservative here for me.  It certainly is not.
I had Mexican food for dinner.  It’s not California Mexican food.  The beef was ground, not shredded.  There were veggies in the rice.  But it doesn’t make me not love my life.

I don’t know many people here yet.  I haven’t started working yet, so I’m bored a lot.  But I know all of this will change.  I’m lonely, but content.  I know that I am where I’m supposed to be.

People look at me funny when I fill my car up with diesel.  And until I took the Thule box off, I got questions about it far too often.  But here, people aren’t afraid to ask questions.  Maybe some would say “nosy,”  but I like it.  I like how kind people are, how caring they seem.  I like that I have been invited into a community, a family, instantly.  I don’t feel like I don’t belong.

My anxiety makes me feel like everyone is staring at me all the time.  I haven’t yet found “my spot.”  But I have begun to make a home.  I know it’s all in my head, and no one is watching me take my trash out.

Before I moved, I thought southern hospitality meant that when I moved in neighbors would bring me food.  They didn’t.  I’m kind of glad about it though.  I’m glad that people aren’t trying to force their way into my life.

I’m rambling.  But I love it here.  I’m unsure still, but I can feel my heart filling.  And yes, I will definitely need to adjust to the heat and the bugs.  Good Lord.
Hello Alabama.  Sweet home Alabama.  Haha.