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.

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.

Runner’s High

Driving home
Like driving drunk
Feeling like I might throw up
Light headed
Wondering if I should even be driving at all
But I’ve got to make it

And I’m not under any influence
If anything, above it
My feet struck pavement
Nothing struck me

I breathed deeply
Moving freely
Now on my way home
Feeling a little queasy
Needing a shower
Feeling my name called
Falling out of this runner’s high

Nashboard Dashville

Last Wednesday I had one of the best days I’ve ever had.  My favorite person and I drove up to Nashville because we had tickets to see one of my all time favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional.
Before the concert, we spent most of the day at the zoo, then had dinner at the pub connected to the venue.  Zoo was great, got to pet a kangaroo.  Food was great, ate really good sandwiches.
Then we went to the show.

The openers were both really good.  They were both local Nashville bands.  Dashboard was phenomenal.  They played most of my favorite songs and some new ones, which I never expected to happen.  I think I really just thought that Dashboard was over.  That’s definitely not true.

One of my favorite parts of the show though, happened to be the conversations I overheard.  Most of the people in the audience seemed to be talking about the music on an educated level, like it mattered.  They talked about the stage presence and sound quality and the musicians.  And later, we did too.

I like experiencing music.  I like it more than just listening to it.  I’m going to make an effort to make shows like these more of a priority in the future.  Be enveloped in it.

Mornings and Afternoons and Evenings

I want a house on the outskirts of a little town, maybe near the ocean.  I want vintage furnishings in pastel colors like mint and lavender and grey.  I want natural light and fresh breezes.  I want wood floors and rugs and space to do yoga.  I want to walk into town on Saturdays and stroll and read and sip coffee.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want to live not too far from the city.  Whether I work there or in town, either is exciting.  I want to be close enough to the places I like and the foods I love and find a new way to adventure as often as I can think of it.  I want love.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want a porch with a swing and a yard with a lawn.  I want a garden with shade and a table for writing.  I want a hammock beneath the trees for napping and a chair for basking.  I want a dog to run in my yard and to play fetch from my porch.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want travel.  I want trips to the zoo and museums and road trips to canyons I have yet to conquer.  I want music and color and poetry to fill my very being.  I want happiness.  I want to be overwhelmed with joy.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

Distracted.

When I was in college, and even after I finished college, I was always on my computer.  So if I wasn’t on Facebook, or Tumblr, or doing homework, I was usually writing.  I didn’t have to make time to blog, because I was already on my computer.  Now, it’s true that I am writing a little bit less, but the reason that I’m actually blogging less is that I literally have to remind myself to bring my computer with me, or I have to set aside special time when I’m at home.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something that I should be doing.  It’s just funny that this is my problem.  I don’t even watch that much Netflix anymore, at least not by myself.

It’s possible that I have been distracted, as of late.  It’s possible that something in my life is worth spending time on that isn’t my blog and my dreams and a future career.  It’s a different part of my future.  But it has distracted me from this part of my life.  I’m trying to learn how to balance it.

A little off topic, but something that I have been watching is Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon Prime.  It’s about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.  It’s about how they met and fell in love.  It’s about his writing.  I’m only a few episodes in, but I just watched the wedding episode.  On the train on the way to her wedding, Zelda’s sister tells her what to expect on her wedding night.  She tells her to keep the lights off.  And she tells her to let her husband do what he is going to do, and to lay back and think about the magnolias in the garden.  I know that things were different then, but it really annoyed me.  It annoys me that there was a time where women were expected not to enjoy what happens in the bedroom.  It annoys me that people still think that way.  Relationships should never be about pleasing your husband.

I have a lot of thoughts.  And I would love to take the time to collect them.  I’m going to try to do that this month.  I’m going to try to set a goal to set aside time to myself to write and be and enjoy.  Because I’m worth it.  My dreams are worth it.  So I’ll try not to get too distracted.

Me Too

You know when you’re certain something isn’t going to happen, because every time it could have happened; every time you thought it might happen; every time your heart made peace with it happening it didn’t happen?
But then at the time when you least expect it, when you’re thousands of miles away with not much money and only a frustrating phone call to go on, it happens?
Me too.

You know when you spend months planning, in innocence, half-heartedly fighting something; giving up and moving on, then accidentally giving in?
Every time you turn away and say no more something within you rebels and you know you’ll give in again, most nights?
Me too.

You know when you make conscious decisions to change your being for the better, making an effort to leave it all behind you?
But then something is destroyed and you discover that you brought it all with you anyway?
Me too.

You know when the crowd is constantly standing in ovation, while your heart, though elated, is still sunk in grief, and no one understands because you hide it well, so you find yourself sitting in a sea of standing bodies?
Me too.

But, you know when all you know has been uprooted, when you find yourself wallowing, when you feel more numb than you’ve ever been?
But you are loved anyway?  You are accepted anyway?  You are forgiven anyway?
Me too.