My Thoughts On a Crisis

The world is going through sudden pandemonium. And apparently none of us saw it coming. Even though we’ve been warned. Even though we’ve been writing books about it and making movies about it and scaring each other with it for years now. Because we never expected it to really happen.

Everything is changing, but I almost feel as if nothing has changed at all. My routines are still the same. I’m still alone all weekend because I don’t have any friends and my husband works weekends. I still do yoga most days. I still take my dog on walks and deal with her anxiety when there’s too much going on outside. I still go to work. I still buy things only in the amounts I need.

But life has still been thrown off kilter. I take public transit to work because it’s cheaper than filling my car up with gas every week. On Friday, I was one of the only people on most of my buses. I’ve been told the freeways feel empty. Everything is being closed or cancelled. And my company’s sales dropped by 50% in two days. Which means they can’t afford to pay all of their employees unless we drop down to four days a week. On Monday we’ll find out if more days need to be cut. Which means I’ll lose money when I’m barely making it as it is. Which means the review and raise my offer letter promised I’d get a month ago most likely aren’t ever going to happen. Which means I’m once again questioning every decision I’ve made in my recent years.

I sometimes wish I’d never moved to Alabama. I was making good money before that move. I was stable. But I was wild. I was going out and drinking and trying things that I once said I’d never try. I was staying out late and getting up early and working two jobs. But I was having fun. I was also in my early 20s. I’m not in my early 20s anymore.
I often wish I’d never quit my job at Starbucks. I had good benefits. I always knew I’d get hours. I had friends at work that I enjoyed talking to and listening to and hanging out with outside of work. I had stability. If this pandemic had hit then, that large corporation would make sure I was taken care of as a valuable employee. But I was depressed. I didn’t feel heard by the other supervisors or by my manager. I tried for months to quit that job. I didn’t have weekends or evenings off. My back always hurt.
I sometimes wish we hadn’t moved home to California. My boyfriend turned fiance turned husband wouldn’t have been screwed over by someone I was friends with in high school. And he wouldn’t have spent six months feeling depressed and isolated because that’s what small, shitty towns do to you if you’re not ready for them. Half my stuff wouldn’t still be in his dad’s basement or in random places in my childhood home. I would still feel like I could make it on my own. But I’d still be dealing with Alabama weather, Alabama wages, Alabama politics and everything that goes with that. I would still be told by old, slow, southern women that I talk too fast and be hated when I apologize and tell them I’m from California. I would still be homesick.
I wish I hadn’t quit my graduate program. I loved that program. I loved the people that came with it. I would be almost done by now if we hadn’t left. I would have a sense of purpose. I would know that I’d be actually stable in the future. Because I chose a program here and went through the process of writing essays and getting more letters of recommendation and getting accepted so I could finish only to be riddled with so much anxiety and stress and depression that I decided it was better to wait longer. Or maybe not go back at all, because I want to be in another program that is actually good where the professors actually care and where I actually know what is going on. I want to be part of program that I’m excited about it. But I’m not excited about much these days.
I quite frequently wish we hadn’t moved to San Diego. We didn’t have the money saved for this move. I feel so sunk in the hole that I’ll probably never get out. I don’t know anyone and I have no friends. Covered CA keeps fucking up my health insurance and has now cancelled it without telling me. I don’t make enough to keep myself afloat. I am struggling worse than I have since my mom died. I 100% don’t know how I’m going to get through this. But I know that I will. And I know that my partner is happy. I know that I did this for him. I know that I have someone to spend my life with and see everyday, and not everyone has that. I know that we’ll take care of each other. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. We’re going to be okay, eventually.

So our world is sick. Actual insane (most likely white ladies) are buying up every roll of toilet paper, bottle of hand sanitizer, and non perishable food item on the shelves in literally every store. These people actually plan to never go outside again. Sucks for them. But you know what? The world is still turning. Most of us will survive this. We’ll someday get to say “remember when?” And hopefully this will open our nation’s eyes to how much we need healthcare reform.
After days and days of rain, the sun came out today. I got to feel it on my skin and was reminded that very soon it will be warm enough for me to spend hours laying on the beach. Because I only live a mile from the ocean.

Go outside, even if it’s only for a minute. Take a breath of fresh air. And then go read a book, do some yoga, watch a movie, binge some netflix, pet your dog, and kiss your partner. Take this chaotic time and turn it into a time to remember what peace is like. Remember what stillness is like. Remember what it’s like to not feel the need to keep up with everything going on. Take this as a time to hit reset for a little while.
Remember what the sun feels like.

You Come in Close

You come in close
I can feel your breath on my neck
Breathing your life into me

You come in close
Loosening these chains that bind me
Watching my shackles fall to the ground

You come in close
Lifting me to my feet so I can stand with you
Preparing me to run

And we’ll run
You take me on a wild ride
Over mountains, through valleys, crossing streams, conquering deserts

You come in close
You take me on endless adventures
And let me rest when I grow weary

You come in close
You carry me out of the holes I dig for myself
Teaching me not to fight anymore

You come in close
You piece together my aching heart
You make me whole again

You come in close
Wrap your arms around me in restoration
Your warmth is unmatchable

You come in close
And it’s like magic without the tricks
And it finally all makes sense

You come in close
You love me as your own
Because that’s exactly what I am

You come in close
And I can feel you

When a Stranger Speaks Your Name

I’ll rest in this a while
Although I’m not sure what this is
A stranger passing spoke my name
Without ever saying a word

I find myself unable to move
Carrying a weight of a land that I never knew was home
My heartbeat is this rhythm
The beat of the rain on the roof over my head

There is a love here that took me away
A longing that aches for a return that is on its way
Could you ever know it?
Wake up and hear this song

These words slap you across the face
Yet gently tuck you into bed
Somewhere safe to lay your head
As you belong here

A welcoming with open arms
An unexpected arrival
A pasture to lay down in
Sectioned off fields of fairness

Floating through every step
As if a ghost lives inside of me
Maybe it’s time to start listening
When strangers call my name

Whispers of warmth tracing across the cracks in this cobblestone heart
Hearing angels pulling at the seams
Take off your coat and feel the mist
Be ready to experience a homecoming

You don’t have to know where you are
In order to know that this foreign land is your home
Your entire life you have been on holiday
Let the prodigal return

Ireland waited for you
Embraced you in her loving arms
Not ready to let you go
Hear her in the whispers of strangers

Storm

Sun gives way to rain
Day gives way to night
Lost somewhere in between

Touching the ground for remnants of warmth
Touching souls for glimpses of memories long since forgotten
Roads less travelled are still roads

New paths try to be easier
Yet the old ones are tried and true
Nothing was broken to make this

True strength is found in moments of weakness
Not strong enough to fight anymore
But you have kept from breaking

This soil knows what fear looks like
Rejoicing at God’s constant provision
While eyes only see another storm

Stay inside if you’re still afraid
I’ll be on my way now
There are stories still to be told
And I’m ready to listen