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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Times They Are a Changin’

I almost never blog anymore, but I always blog in airports, and that’s where I am right now.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 64th birthday.  It’s been two years since she passed.  She’ll never meet my boyfriend.  She’ll never see me finish my masters or have a real job.  She’ll never visit me in Alabama or Arizona or anywhere else I might end up living.   And my life keeps going on.  I keep moving forward.  Everyday I’m distanced from what she knew me to be.  And I’m hoping that I’m who she would have wanted me to be.

We’re flying to California because my dad is getting married on Saturday.  He’s moving to Southern California.  My brother moved back to our childhood home to keep the house.  Everything’s different, and I’m not even around to notice it.

People keep asking me how I feel about these changes.  My biggest concern is that my dad is happy, so obviously I’m fine with it.  And honestly, being across the country, I don’t even notice the changes.  My life is still the same.  I go the same job.  I have the same friends.  The only difference is that I’m in school, so I have class and homework.

So yeah.  I’m happy.  Or relatively.  Blending my family is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ll try to have more thoughts next time.

Grad School, Mother’s Day, and Road Trips

I’ve been on a hiatus for longer than I ever have been.  I haven’t written.  I haven’t posted.  I feel like I haven’t existed much at all.

I got into grad school.  I’m supposed to start in the fall.  But I have to register.  And in order to register I have to figure out my financial aid stuff.  I feel like I’ve gone back in time.  I should know how to do all of this, but I don’t even remember how I did it the first time around.  I’m pretty sure my mom did it all for me.  But I don’t have her to help me this time around.  And I know I can do it.  That doesn’t make me any less afraid.

Last month was Mother’s Day.  It was my second Mother’s Day without a mother.  I wanted to not focus on it being a holiday at all.  So Bobby and I went to visit someone who I had been wanting to visit for quite some time.  We went up to Nashville and had lunch and exploring with JJ Peterson, who was the Dean of Students for three years of my college career.  JJ is one of the funniest, freest people that I have ever known.  He’s deep and real and inspiring.  We had hot chicken.  Bobby got to see a different side of my life.

A week and a half ago Bobby and I returned from a nine day road trip.  We went to Mule Days in my home town in California.  We visited my dad and my home and I wish we never had to leave.  I miss living out west.  I miss the dry air.
We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona, and we’re pretty sure we found where we want to end up some day.  I dove into a big blue hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  We found the infamous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
I’ve always loved road trips.  But I love them even more with Bobby.  I love having a forever person like him.
We don’t have it all figured out.  But I’m thankful that we get to figure it out together.

When I was home a lot of people asked if I’m still writing.  I felt like I’d let everyone down when I said no.  And I don’t even have an answer for why I stopped.  Have I forgotten who I am?  Have I forgotten everything?  Or have I just disappeared a little bit.  I can’t make myself be more inspired.  But I can learned to be disciplined again.  I can learn who I am again.

I’m not making any promises though.  I’ll try to ramble less.  Or maybe I’ll just try.

Too Damn Comfortable

People used to ask me what I wanted to do with my life after I finished college.  And for a long time that answer was the same, even though it seemed impossible.  Because what I dreamed of doing, what I dream of doing, is something that could never be more than a dream.  I was always told I wouldn’t be able to make money, because apparently your dreams have to fit into a career.  And those that did believe with me, that did dream with me, none of them knew how to help me, because they had their own dreams to follow.
Ever since I fell in love with poetry and started doing spoken word, I’ve wanted to travel and do that.  My entire life I’ve imagined myself speaking and telling stories and somehow encouraging people who felt as lost as me to keep going.  But trying to explain this has gotten too hard and unconventional, so I’ve allowed myself to settle.

When I packed up my car and moved across the country with no job, few friends, and no place to live, I really thought I was taking a step toward making my dreams come true.  I thought that I would be writing more.  I thought that I would be performing more, possibly.  I thought there would be people that believe in me and knew how to help me.  Because I’ve never known how to make my dreams come true on my own.

Instead, I sort of allowed myself to almost give up.  I settled into a good enough for right now job.  I let my minimalist ways slip a little bit and probably have more than I need.  I have a dog and a boyfriend and furniture and I’m locked into a lease.  I can’t fit all my possessions in my car, and I can’t just pack up and go anywhere, even if I wanted to.  I decided to go back to school next fall and get my masters in counseling, because maybe I’ll be able to change lives using poetry through counseling.  Because this makes sense.  Because this is comfortable.

I bought a camera about a year ago.  I bought it so that I could start filming spoken word videos for youtube, because that seemed like a logical first step.  I had someone that was willing to help me with shoots, but they aren’t as willing as I thought.  So I can do them on my own, but I guess I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of the judgement of the quality, because I know my editing won’t be as good.  And I know that the sound quality won’t be perfect because I don’t own a separate mic, and I know of at least one important person who will judge me for that.  I’m afraid of embarrassing myself.  I don’t really like to draw attention, I’d rather have it be given.  Thus, I haven’t really tried to chase my dreams.  I haven’t tried to book any gigs.  I haven’t shown anyone anything .  And I’ve almost quit altogether.

Last Wednesday I went and saw a spoken word artist that I used to listen to in college.  He tours and does spoken word for a living, and he happened to be coming to Florence.  He doesn’t make a lot and he doesn’t have a lot, but he’s doing what he was made to do.  He’s doing what I wish I could do.  And I told him that.  And he told me to go for it.  He told me do it anyway.  Because I actually have the resources to record an ep.  I actually can do some videos.  I actually could start doing gigs.  And I’m wondering if I’m just too damn comfortable.

Europe

I just took a trip through Northern Europe with my dad.  We flew into Copenhagen, rented a car, then drove up through Sweden to Norway, where we spent a couple days outside Oslo.  We walked through the city of Oslo, went to a viking ship museum, then drove down to Kristiansand and went to the zoo.  It was amazing.  We saw capybaras.
We then took several ferries to get down to Germany through Denmark.  We spent a night in Hamburg.  I don’t recommend it.  We drove over to Switzerland where we spent several days in Interlaken with people from all over Europe who are a part of my home church, the Lighthouse.  It was the trip of a lifetime.

Two years ago, I took another trip of a lifetime.  I went to Ireland, where I spent ten days touring and writing to be part of a coffee table book.  That book didn’t end up being what it could have been, but that’s besides the point.  It was there that I really started dreaming about driving through Norway with my dad.  His entire heritage is Norwegian, and it was really cool to see where we came from.  Next time we’ll spend more time just in Norway, and maybe travel up to see the fjords.

But this trip was one that I think we both really needed.  While we were overseas we hit the year mark of my mother’s passing.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year.  We got to see beautiful landscapes that she would have loved.  We rode a gondola up a mountain and hiked across, looking down on houses and lakes and trees.  We drank coffee and ate chocolate.

This was a trip that I’ll always be thankful for.

European Dreams

This post will be short.  I’m about to leave Florence, AL to drive to Atlanta, where I will get on a plane with my dad and fly to Europe.  I have dreamed of this trip for so long, and now it’s here.  For two weeks I will be exploring Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.  I will get to see where I came from.  And maybe I’ll get some insight on where I’m going.  I wish I had time to write more, but I’m already running late!  I’ll try to post while I’m there, but it probably won’t happen.  Sorry that this isn’t that thoughtful, I just found it necessary.

Northern Europe, I’ll see you soon.