A Day in the Life

So, today is a perfect example of why I need my own reality show. I promise it’d be entertaining. My mom is super quotable, and you’d probably wanna make GIFs of her commentary. I find myself in the middle of ridiculous situations all the time that will make you feel better about your own life. A few weeks ago when I was in Athens, Kaylynn asked me if I thought it was bad that crazy things always happen when we’re together? But both of us are used to nonsense occurring on a regular basis in our separate lives, so it only makes sense for it to happen ten-fold when we’re together. Why not experience it together?

This morning I had a Skype interview. First of all, there was a mix up with the time zone. (When I say mix up, there wasn’t one specified, so I was imagining mine so I was on there an hour early.) Once that got sorted out, and the actual Skype conversation happened (where the interviewer was rocking an AWESOME fishtail braid, and honestly I wish I could’ve asked for some tips!) the insane cat decided it’d be a great time to jump on the table. He waltzed in front of the screen, so I put him on the floor and apologized. She thought it was hilarious. (In case you’re wondering about my strategy – I had already considered this possibility but the cat is OLD (by old I mean like 15,) and I think he’s losing his mind. He does all this weird stuff lately. So if you shut him out (like if I put him outside) he starts making these absolutely AWFUL noise, like a shrill cry and it’s creepy and horrible so there was no way I was risking setting that off.) Once I put him on the floor he proceeded to start biting my hand, and attacking my leg like his own personal scratching post. 

Not even kidding. What are the odds of that? I texted Kaylynn afterwards, and she was like “I am not at all surprised any of this happened.” Of course you’re not! (I’m sure you’re not, either.) Anyway, all things considered that could’ve gone a lot worse. At least it’s finished. 

Today was my first day off since last Friday, and I woke up at like 4:45am unable to go back to sleep. I laid awake awhile, and read more of Fire with FireThen I looked at the movie app on my phone, only to find out that we got The Spectacular Now early in Tallahassee! So, I took myself on a date and went and saw the noon showing. Not gonna lie, I cried a little. But according to all the awesome YA authors I follow on Twitter, I wasn’t the only one emotionally effected. I saw it coming anyway, do you not remember how much reading the book wrecked me? How I said it felt like watching pieces of my life on screen? But it’s so beautiful. And it was shot in Athens, Georgia and the scenery is just stunning. I love when films are authentic, and true to the book and this was both. 

I did some laundry, I finished reading my book, and I took a nap. I went to some stores (and somehow didn’t buy anything?!) And this evening, I scheduled an appointment for Safelite to come by work tomorrow to fix this pesky crack in my windshield. It’s been a good day, I’d say. It started with a run. I’ve been listening to a lot of Rilo Kiley. Texting several of my friends, and just chilling out. It’s nice to have some space in my mind to think if I want to, but not have ninety million thoughts taking over my brain either. 

I know it’s been a while, but I’ll work on keeping more up to date. I’m sorry for my long time hiatus, and still not sharing trip photos yet. In due time. Promise. 


Summer’s Ending

Well, August has definitely arrived. Just like that, I can feel summer slipping away. Says the girl who decided to begin her summer in the middle of spring. Now I just want someone to bring June back to me. Even May and then live forward from there, again. Life felt so full of possibility, everything on the horizon had a blurry haze of potential. August just feels like a gigantic dark storm cloud. Maybe it’s not the seasons, maybe it’s not the calendar, maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe it’s just raining in my mind. I wish I could start a revolution, begin the movement…a union of people who finally decide that life’s too short to only be your true self beneath the guise of summer. The army of people who decide to give themselves over to being that person all year ’round because frankly, otherwise, this life is exhausting. I can’t keep up with the charades, with the half truths, and with all the little stories that only have beginnings.

I need some stories in my life to have some middles. They don’t need to have endings, not yet, but some progression towards a middle ground and the delay of dead ends would be wonderful.

This morning I woke up at 5am. No snooze, no rolling over and closing my eyes again. The alarm started buzzing, I sat up, I turned it off, I put my feet on the floor, and I was moving. I went for a run, since my injury it’s what I’d consider a “long” run, though me from six months ago would beg to differ. It doesn’t matter. The distance doesn’t matter. All that matters is, when you’re running in a residential neighborhood at 5am in that weird in between time before public school and colleges have resumed classes – the neighborhood streets are absolutely empty. It’s Friday, so it’s not trash pick up day out here either. There’s not the hum of the garbage truck, or the mosquito spraying trucks, or even that weird construction team that corals around a retention pond in one of my culdesacs. They don’t work in the dark. But my heart does, my feet do, my legs do. It was just me and the darkness, and the occasional streetlamp, and when the trees weren’t obstructing it – the glow of the sliver of the moon that was shining. I needed that. Except for the part when a opossum made eye contact, (I think I startled him,) as he popped out from a pile of branches at the end of someone’s dark shadowy driveway. That little run-in made my insides coil, but other than that – I needed to be tired. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I wear myself out, the thoughts won’t quiet down. But when I’m running, and there’s a rhythm, and there’s pure solitude, then no one can add to that static, it’s just me.

It’s Friday. Making it to Friday feels like an accomplishment this week. I was emotionally spent by Monday afternoon, so each day after has been a struggle to rebuild some energy and clear my mind. Sometimes I wonder if a person can feel too many emotions, have too many thoughts floating around because I’m pretty sure I’ve reached capacity. Everything feels full. Then, just when you think the cup is full to the brim, someone adds a little extra – a few more drops. It’s almost amusing except that it’s not.

The confessions that get delivered, I don’t know how to process. I’m taking them in, but they’re not going anywhere. It’s like…mail getting delivered that you haven’t opened yet. I know that they exist, but I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t want to unzip the baggage, when I could just stow it away in the closet with the rest of the luggage. And anyway, the words have come late. They’re not meant for us, as we are now. They’re meant for two kids standing in the dew of the morning grass, in a  corner of a yard under a stop sign.  I have Clementine’s speech on repeat in my mind because people are always trying to mold you to fit the concept they have in their own heads, of whoever they think you are. Love and lust, they’re all blinding. This can be positive or negative, it can allow people to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or it can let them ignore the obvious truth in front of them. Obviously, that’s the negative side. And I’m tired of being turned into some concept, a chapter in the book, but it’s that version where the writer changed their mind. They thought it’d be longer, but when it came down to it, they only needed a few pages to explain. I don’t know why it’s like I wear a neon sign that attracts trouble. It’s like there’s a flashing arrow above my head that follows me around and tells people to direct their misguided quarter-life crisis experiments at me. I wouldn’t even mention it, if it weren’t such a recurring issue. I seem to find myself involved in the tangled web, that seemed like a clear path to begin with. And this is how the roads lead to a pile-up at the junction with all the cars smashed up. Scrambled up like the eggs I made for breakfast this morning. You’re lucky to escape it all without a scratch.

But, there’s always a but. You can walk away. And that’s why I’m glad it’s Friday. The weekend is only eight hours away, and I can walk into the arms of open stretches of highway, away from my construction zone of a job, empty confessions, and into sunshine and into temporary freedom.

Different Kind of Throwback.

When I was in The Strand a few weeks ago, I was browsing the rare book collection on the third floor. It’s like being in a mini-museum of treasured books. Well, I’d say the whole building is a treasure chest of books, but the third floor? It’s ornate. There are dark wooden beautiful bookshelves from floor to ceiling lining all of the walls. Throughout the room there are gems enclosed in glass cases. It’s a place where people still appreciate  yellowed pages, and the scent that reaches your nose when you crack the spine of dusty old covers. Wandering this room, gazing carefully at the neat lines of books on shelves, and circling the tables with so many fascinating titles, my eye caught an obviously aged, well-loved, copy of Aldous Huxley’s Antic Hay. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Huxley (other than that scene in Garden State where they say Huxtable like on The Cosby Show was the author,) is Brave New World. I’ve never read Antic Hay. I’ve never actually read any other Huxley title than Brave New World, but oh if this copy didn’t feel so fragile beneath my fingers that I worried about its transport back to Florida, I’d have purchased it just for the scavenger hunt hidden between the pages! The date was written on the top right corner of the inside cover page, 9/3/28. As I slowly, carefully, turned the pages to my surprise an old folded piece of notebook paper with creased edges, drifted out onto the table in front of me. I opened it, no idea what to expect – a letter? a grocery list? notes on the reading? It wasn’t actually any of these. There were drawings – of a face, a head, four almost identical drawings, little sketches is a probably more accurate description. Then in tiny cursive, scrawled in a column beneath the heading “Psychology” were all these notes I couldn’t quite make out. Oh! These are the exact kinds of things I love to happen upon, little ancient artifacts, linking to some past life. I have never been good with history. Actually, my schooling skills aren’t really that great in all honesty when they branch out from the realm of reading and writing, photos, light, sound – throw in statistics, a list of dates? Don’t even thinking about numerical equations or chemicals. It all swirls into one giant grey tangled web of information in my mind. But this, a forgotten piece of scrap paper tucked between the pages of an old rare book? That’s my kind of history. I can’t help but wonder who wrote that list, who drew those sketches? Was that human face, the face of a woman on a train across from them? A lover at the kitchen table? Does that person even exist or did they conjure up the image in their imagination? Did the scribe make that list after reading the pages of Antic Hay, or were they a student, haphazardly jotting down information before leaving the classroom? How many rooms did that book have a home in before it found its place at The Strand? How long will it sit propped open on the table before a bibliophile stakes claim and takes it to their own home? Will that new owner be as fascinated by that list as I was? Part of me felt selfish for even thinking about making the purchase. A driving factor in deciding to leave it behind was the hope that another browser would stumble upon it, and be just as intrigued. These -my own personal adventures, half in my head, half in reality – they are what I wish to fill my days.

Don’t Do That

Stop. Just stop it. The moment you start letting someone else’s opinion of you creep in, that’s the very moment the castle will begin tumbling down. I say this from my own experience. Because there I was perfectly happy, floating along in my own little world, (not a bubble – I was plenty aware of my surroundings,) but in a perfectly happy place. And I can pinpoint the shift in tide, I can tell you when the bubble burst and the edges grew sharper. And I’m telling you, just don’t do it because it’s not worth it. Someone who makes you second guess yourself, someone who makes you wonder if you’re flawed in someway that had never even occurred to you before is not someone you should keep around in your life.

I Woke Up From a Dream

I woke up from a dream. And every dream of you feels like a memory, that future me is looking back on. We’re not in real time, or rather our minds are not. We look as we do now, older than we did in our youth, our laughter is deeper, a depth that comes with age as the sound of carefree giggles grow an edge. But I always know it’s you before I see your face in my dreams because I can feel it in the crook of your arms as it lay across my shoulders, or around my waist. I can smell you on your gray t-shirt, the cotton soft against my skin. Dream me could have my eyes closed, and I would still know it’s you. And you always come at times when, when I don’t know if I’d need you or not if it were a choice. But if you were standing in front of me, and had the capability of reaching me, like fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen year old us? Then I wouldn’t walk away. I’d stand there. I’d look into your eyes. And I wouldn’t walk away. I don’t know what words could pass between us now. But so many times, we didn’t need them. We spoke in silence. We spoke in the rise and fall of breaths, in a lazy afternoon. We spoke in the stillness that settles over the room, and we both just listened to one another’s thoughts in the quiet. Dream you laughs raucously like the years haven’t taken toll on who we are, or how we see the world. Your cheek has stubble that faintly scratches my chin as you tilt your had back in waves of laughter. I kiss your cheek and the prickly hair tickles my lips. We ride down an open road, in a convertible that would never suit either of us in real life, but in a dream, we know only that sleek yellow car that lets the sunshine splash our faces, and we’re the only ones on that stretch of asphalt. I don’t know where we were going, and it didn’t really matter. We never did know, anyway. Even if we tried to decide. Those decisions weren’t ours for the making. I awake with the faint distant knowledge of your haphazard curls beneath my fingers, and your whispered breath on my neck from swapping secrets. Sometimes, I like to think our younger selves sent these dreams to our older selves, to remember what it was like to be loved so innocently in a time before we were tainted by what was to come. The wise sliver of my being knows it better to relish in a false memory those first few moments upon waking, than to go digging in the past to retrieve you to occupy a space in present life.

A Simple Saturday Morning

So some days the weight of frustration is like an elephant sitting on my chest, and it’s been holding me down for so many hours that even when I finally move out from under the crushing impact, it’s still hard to catch my breath. It takes a little longer to let the bird out of the cage, to feel my wings spread and the breeze wash over me again. But when it does, I feel a wave of gratitude. It’s easy to neglect the simplicity of carefree breaths sometimes, when your brain doesn’t feel like it short circuited and you’re left with all the frayed wires to make sense of the mess. On this simple Saturday, I’m thankful for exactly that.

Really what’s better than a group of people sitting around a table in the evening, with good food, good drinks, and plenty of laughter? And my days have been full of that lately. Whether it’s in my kitchen, or my parents’ kitchen, or a restaurant. There are few things I love more than laughter, (and music.)

This morning I went for a little run. It’s overcast, the sky is full of gray clouds, but the air isn’t too heavy yet. (For a Saturday morning post sun-rise in July in North Florida.) It’s nice to have those moments again, where my own time is carved out from the world, this little piece of solitude. It used to be about time, and distance but not lately. Lately it’s just about enjoying the whole activity, getting to do this thing that’s my instant ticket to clarity – no matter how short lived.

Maybe today will see some beach time. Maybe it’ll see some crafting. Who knows? But I hope your Saturdays are sweet, and simple and your hearts are full of carefree easiness of summer.