Saying Goodbye

Bobby and I turned in our keys yesterday. We are finally moved out of our first little house that we shared. We no longer have to deal with crazy neighbors that hiss at our dog or throw possible poisoned bread in the backyard. But we also can no longer walk to the movie theater or to the mall to get energy drinks.

I’m not working anymore, but Bobby’s last day is Friday. Next week we say goodbye (and good riddance) to living in the South. We say goodbye to overly religious racists making up too much of the population around us. We say goodbye to people who use our Creator as an excuse for their prejudiced actions. We say goodbye to unwalkable city planning and drivers who want cyclist commuters to die simply because they’re on a bike. We say goodbye to not earning a livable wage. We say goodbye to so many things.
But we also say goodbye to good music. We say goodbye to the history of modern recording. We say goodbye to seeing zoo lions without going to a zoo whenever we want. We say goodbye to good friends. We say goodbye to cheap rent. We say goodbye to so many things.

I am so excited to say hello again. I’m excited to go home and be home and feel home. I’m excited to breath fresh air and for the shade to be cooler than the sun. I’m excited to be out of the humidity.
I’m excited to adventure again. And I’m more than excited to start somewhere new with my favorite human.

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Out in Publix

Since moving to the south, I’ve had to change the way I shop for groceries.  I miss Vons a lot, but I’ve been here long enough, so I guess that I’ve adjusted for the most part.  I go to Walmart way more than I did when I lived in California.  A place where I’ve learned to get the most of my groceries here is Publix.

The thing about Publix is, it’s pretty southern.  They take care of their employees, and almost everyone I’ve seen working there is in a good mood.  They go out of their way to talk to you, which is pretty much my nightmare.  I prefer to shop uninterrupted, unless I actually have a question.  And I know that it’s a customer service thing, bothering the customers.  I work in customer service, I get it.  But it’s a lot harder for me to address someone I don’t know.  I hate when strangers talk to me without a purpose.  I’m not good at conversation.  It spikes my anxiety.

But the biggest thing that Publix insists on that I hate is helping me to my car.  I grew up having the grocery store checker asking if I needed help out.  I don’t like strangers seeing my car, and I’m fairly independent, so I’ve never needed help out.  But at Publix, you don’t really get a choice.  One time I had only one bag in my hand and they guy tried to take it from me.  It almost gives me stalker vibes.  I know it’s their job, it just feels very intrusive to me.  It happens less when I take my boyfriend shopping with me, but if we have a cart, someone definitely is going to help us out to our car.  I’m sure there are lots of people who really appreciate this Publix standard, but I hate it.  And if it wasn’t the best grocery store in the area I would just go somewhere else.

This is just one instance where I need to learn to say “no.”  Still working on my effort to avoid small talk at all costs.

To Myself

I can’t remember the last time I really got to relax.  I can’t remember the last time I got be alone and think and work and write.  Which is why I feel almost nonexistent.  I’m always working.  I’m always with someone.   There’s always something else that has to be done.  Why don’t we cherish things when we have them?

My heart is not broken, but at the same time, it is.  I miss home the most in the summer, when it’s so hot here that I can hardly breathe.  All you have to do is exist and you’re sweating.  And the rain does nothing to cool the land.  I miss my dad and my brother and my best friend.  I miss home cooked meals and long drives and being allowed to spend the day in bed.  I miss my mom.  You never quite learn to appreciate things until they’re gone.

This life is not what I thought it would be.  But then again, life never is.  It’s full of surprises, good and bad.  I used to call myself a writer, but I don’t think I can say that anymore.  I’m not even trying anymore.  Any talent that I may have once have has disappeared in the busyness of work, and relationship, and life.

I don’t know what I want.  And I don’t know why I complain so much.  As humans, I guess that we are never quite content.  I miss the days when I would sit in silence and meditation, but I live as though there’s no time for that anymore.  I can’t make the days grow any longer.

As I write this, I know I still need to go buy groceries.  I still need to clean my apartment.  I still need to do so many things that won’t get done if I’m not the one to do them.  Because I am an adult.  Adulthood snuck up on me.  It probably sneaks up on all of us.  Even though we spend our childhood chasing adulthood.  How foolish are we to want this freedom that isn’t really freedom at all.

A year.

A year ago today I arrived in the city of Florence, AL, the city that I now call my home.  I got here with no job, no place to live, and no idea what I was doing.  And I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

I thought moving here would bring me better writing opportunities.  And I have gotten offers, but none that have followed through.  Sometimes it seems that I’ve been so caught up dreaming, that I’ve forgotten how to write anyway.

Since moving here, I’ve gotten my first apartment on my own.  I got my own car insurance.  I have a dog and a real relationship.  Every decision I make is mine alone.  I’m finally fully discovering adulthood.

Florence has shown me that community is like the tide.  It comes and it goes.  When you really need it, community is there for you.  But community disappears when you stop asking for it.

Florence is a place I have fallen in love with.  It’s unexpected, but so am I.  It’s the place where I fell in love.  And, for now, it’s my place.

I’m one year in.  I’ve made it.

Right Now

I am currently sitting on my balcony, that I just swept off, for the first time since moving into this apartment seven months ago.  It is November 1st and it is 82 degrees outside.  Back home it’s 35 and they’re getting ready for the soon coming opening of the mountain for this winter season.  I have to get ready for work in fifteen minutes so that I’ll be there on time.

This forest behind my apartment is not silent.  Not the way Mammoth was.  Almost every second something is stirring.  It’s autumn, so leaves are constantly falling.  And I’m certain every step I hear is from a deer or a squirrel making their way around.  It’s like magic though.

My life has changed drastically in the past year.  I’ve probably changed too.  I’m fairly certain I’m not the person I was last November.  Maybe I’m better.  Maybe I’m worse.  Maybe I don’t like who I am.  But maybe I’m trying to.

My heart is as restless as it always is, but I think I have found a home.  I think I’m learning what life is supposed to be like.  I think I’m finding who I am.  And I think I’m okay with any mistakes I might make in the meantime.

Trust

Trust.  It’s something I’ve talked about a lot.  I’ve talked about moving across the country and trusting God that it’s the right decision.  I’ve talked about how scary trust is sometimes.  I’ve probably talked about trusting people.  But I was recently confronted with a realization.

A close friend tried to promise something and I said I wouldn’t hold them to that.  They asked if I trusted them.  I told them that I was fairly certain I didn’t know what trust is.

And maybe that’s true.  That I don’t know what trust is.

Trust is defined as the “belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength” of someone or something.  It means to “have faith or confidence.”

Such a simple definition for such a huge concept.

Trusting God is hard, but it’s also the best decision, because he already knows the outcome.  Trusting a bridge when you cross it makes sense, because you’ve crossed it before, it has been crossed a thousand times.  We trust what we know.  We trust what makes sense.  We trust what we’ve experienced before.

But trusting people?  I’m pretty sure I forgot how to do that a long time ago.  Because people are forever changing.  If I look at my own life, a year and a half ago, I had no idea that I’d be living so far from where I grew up.  I didn’t know that I’d be starting my life over.  I didn’t realize that I would suddenly become an unknown.  So anyone who trusted that I would stay in Mammoth, or in California, or at least on the western side of the country ended up having their trust broken.
People have their own agendas.  So being close to someone, trusting someone, is one of the easiest ways to be let down in the long run.  As soon as my heart calls me somewhere else, I’ll probably leave, so if anyone comes too close, I’ll let them down.  And every time I am somewhere new, or around new people, I’m an exciting person, because I don’t really fit into any regular mold.  I am constantly surprising.  However, after a while, that gets old too.

I recently told someone that it’s better to be hated than to be passively ignored and forgotten.  Not a lot of people hate me.  But a lot have gotten over me.  That’s one of the things that I can really trust.

Sure, go ahead and prove me wrong.  I mean, it’s fine.  I’m fine.  I’m pretty much just over all the false promises.  And I fully understand that no one does this on purpose.  You can’t know the future when you say something in the present.
I promise to never promise something again.  Trust me.

I Don’t Know What Should Be Said

No one tells you what it’s like to lose your mother at 24 when you’re across the country and are sure she isn’t dying.  No one tells you how to act.  No one tells you what you’re supposed to say.  And maybe they don’t know.

How long until you’re supposed to be okay again?  Because life goes on.  My life goes on.  I have to go to work.  I have to see people.  I have to write.  And really, I am okay.  As okay as I can be.  But I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  I’m not a talker, I’m a writer; yet no one seems to understand that.

Stop asking me how I am, because I won’t have an answer.  I don’t know.  I won’t know.  Any answer will seem like a lie.

All I can say is: don’t take life for granted.  Because now, if I ever fall in love and get married, my mother won’t be there to argue with me over details.  She won’t be there to tell me how great he is, or how I could do better.
I’ll never be able to bring a guy home to her.  And she’ll never get to visit my home here, in the south.
She’ll never get to read my first piece of published work, that I just got delivered to me.  She won’t get to point out all the typos, because there’s a lot, but it’s not my book, so that’s okay.  She won’t get to read anything else I publish either.  My mother will never know me as a professional.

And there a lot of things I could say.  There a lot more things that I meant to say.  A lot more things I meant to write.  Because I’ve been meaning to post this for at least a week now.  And it’s not for lack of strength.  It’s not for any reason other than all of the thoughts that I feel might be caving in on me.  There are too many.  I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know what should be said.