I feel like I’m missing something

I still haven’t felt it. That overwhelming sense of fear or uncertainty. I haven’t felt that pit in my stomach that accompanies the trip down a road unknown.

As I was packing my bags and deciding what was most valuable for me to take on my journey across country, any emotion was replaced by a to-do list of things to see, people to hug, and stuff not to forget.

Every hug, every tear shed by a person I hold close to my heart was met with a quick ‘but this isn’t goodbye.’ Or ‘I’ll see you soon.’ I never felt like I was losing someone-simply just adding mileage in between sightings.

I thought I was in denial. Scared to come to terms with the idea that I was leaving everything I have ever known and called home goodbye. I figured it would hit me on the final drive away from my moms house or at least after posting a goodbye photo of my beautiful city. But it didn’t. Ok- maybe it would come in the car ride across the country when I could see nothing but grass and clouds, never knowing what the next mile was gonna bring. It didn’t. For sure when I woke up in a new house on my very first morning, a new city, a new life, I would cry.

But I didn’t. And at first I didn’t understand why. I should be nervous and scared about a life changing move, a new relationship, a new everything. I should be scared of not knowing anyone in this city and not being 15 minutes from my mom at any given time. But I didn’t.

I felt and feel excited and almost at home amongst the uncertainties. I know I have a man next to me that loves and supports me. I know I have the ability and determination to succeed anywhere and I know that life is meant to explore and love and meet as many new people as possible. Life isn’t about comfort or succeeding within a boundary but for pushing those boundaries and doing whatever it is that feels right and makes your heart beat a little bit faster. It’s about being happy with who and where you are.

I realized, while unpacking my everyday clothes into a foreign closet that I’m succeeding at that life I just described. And maybe the reason I am so comfortable and content and not overwhelmed by this transition is because I know it’s the right thing to be doing. I feel proud of myself and so ready for this next chapter. And that shouldn’t be a foreign feeling- for any of us. Cheers to all your next adventures and the emotions felt while experiencing them.

If you live in Denver, this one is for you

Dear Coloradoans and more specifically Denverites,

This letter is to all of you Colorado residents (natives or transplants) with whom I’ve interacted with within the last couple of months. I have defended you nearly my entire life as kind, welcoming, and beautiful people. I mean we live in one of THE most beautiful states of this nation, why would we need to be anything but happy and kind? I have built some of the strongest friendships and met people with unbelievable stories in the last 24 years. Some of you have taught me what sacrifice looks like and what it means to truly love someone. I am in debt to the love, support, and experiences I have received from some of you. My dreams, goals, successes, and failures have always been met with applause, collaboration, and at the very least constructive criticism. I relished in my happiness and wanted to share it with all of you without hesitation. I have loved my time here and questioned the love I felt rarely.

Until recently. Recently, I have become so disappointed and embarrassed of the people I have surrounded myself with as well as people I hardly know due to the life-changing news I have shared with all of you. I am moving to Alabama to begin a new relationship, have a fresh start, leave some of the ugly experiences and heartbreak I have felt here behind, and quite frankly, to just do something different rather than settling for the life I have known thus far. There is nothing wrong with my life here, but I have always searched for experiences and thriving outside of my comfort zone. And I’m FINALLY doing that. I thought, due to the track record of sharing news, that this would be met with excitement and a slight amount of sadness toward my absence- but mostly joy toward me pursuing something different and meaningful.

Instead, it has been met with sarcastic comments, doubts, remarks about living in the Southern part of our country (most of which have been made from people with zero experience living in the south), ignorance, and degrading, borderline and blatant racist jokes. For awhile, I was taking these comments with a grain of salt if you will, because I knew that I had support and real friendships here. Change is difficult and we all respond to it differently. But the comments have yet to stop or even slow down. And quite honestly, it breaks my heart. I have relied on the people in this state to be a community of support and guidance my entire life and you have yet to let me down. Until I tell you that I’m leaving and demanding more than what I have here. Then, you are rude, disrespectful, and the most unsupportive I have ever experienced.

At a time in my life where huge changes are happening as I am leaving friendships, family, irreplaceable views, experiences, coffee shops, sunsets, dry heat, and every familiar thing I have ever been able to call home behind, the support I have always relied upon has vanished and been replaced with comments that rather than building me up are starting to break me down. I have always had high expectations for the people in my life but most of you have let me down and not gracefully. I am nervous, scared, worried, and even sad about leaving this state and what could possibly happen when I’m thousands of miles from home. But I am also certain that this move, along with many obstacles, will be amazing and humbling. I never thought I would have to ask for support in making this next step of my journey one of the best but as I spend my last month in Denver, I will only be accepting true friendship in the form of positive affirmations, support, and advice. I want to defend the beautiful state and its residents that have been my home for 24 years as I travel and change my life but you, Colorado residents: best friends and acquaintances, need to step your game up because as of now, the terms of which I am leaving on are not as prideful as I hoped they would be. I know we can do better.

Our lives are infinite

I have been in my feels for over a week now and unable to put my frustrations, fears, triumphs, and emotions into words (unusual for me *winky face*). However, I found an amazing piece of writing that has opened my eyes to a pathway toward forgiveness and strength I didn’t know before. I hope you all feel as humbled when you read this as I was. Credits to Caitlin Moran. 

“At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: ‘The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.’ In all the aeons we have lost nothing- not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

Each baby then, is a unique collision- a cocktail, a remix- of all that has come before; made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes- we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honor of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.”

 

Particles, Breaths, and a Sea of Water

Some days, I feel more two-dimensional than alive. Like the characters in the books I read have more air in their lungs than me. I forget that my mood is completely dependent on how the waves are crashing amongst the grains of sand over 1,000 miles away and how that crashing is completely dependent on the moon in the sky. I forget I am a work of art, covered in freckles of all shapes and sizes, bruises, paper cuts, and black ink, each with its own character and story.

Some days I feel like a painting, pressed against a wooden frame and hung up for some to glance, some to ignore, and only a rare few to stop, look, learn, and really appreciate. I forget that there is magic flowing through my veins, that no other individual on this planet has experienced the emotions that make my heart beat in the same ways that I have. I forget that there are literal sparks happening amongst the synapses of the memories of my brain.

Some days, I feel like a victim of circumstance- a bystander to all the tragedy, hate, ugly that exists in this world. And other days, I remember that I am only particles of dust, breaths of oxygen, and a sea of water held together by fragile, pale skin. Three-dimensional and awake.

Being Human is Overwhelming.

Human emotion is inevitable. There are highs and lows, setbacks and leaps forward- you simply cannot avoid it. You can only suppress them, push them under the rug, or claim a steady trajectory for so long before you are literally blown off track and implode.

We as humans are designed to make mistakes. We eat shitty food, we skip the gym for a day or 365 of them, we hurt one another, and we beg for forgiveness- a cycle that will never cease.

Some days we put too much on our plates (figuratively and literally), other days we push to get out of bed.

We preach and search for a balance whether it is within our faith, our writing, our relationships, what we read, our drinking, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera: we strive for equilibrium (and often fail).

The bottom line: being a human can be EXHAUSTING. OVERWHELMING. SCARY.

But we do it. Each and every second of each and every day. We power through and (most of us) use our human powers to accomplish something important and meaningful.

Waking up every day to decide whether you are going to live as just another rat in a rat race who will end up 6 feet under or as a powerful, influential, beautiful, living soul is a choice we all have to make.

And while it is a curse, it is also a blessing to be alive, on this Earth, experiencing the love, the passion, the adrenaline, the sights, sounds, smells, and hair-raising  sensations of being human.

One of my favorites of these opportunities to feel the blood running through your veins and to embrace every emotion that exists is to find a place of massive proportions, made entirely of organic substances: rocks, water, grass, flowers, dirt, wind, wildlife. And stand in the middle of it. Let every aspect of this place take over. Let the wind blast against your bare skin, let your body grow uncomfortable, close your eyes and beg for a bird to sing his song. Take just one second or three and focus on the air moving throughout your lungs. Put your face to the sky and feel the rays give you an extra freckle on your beautiful, fragile skin. Let your emotions take hold: cry, smile, laugh. Let your body feel the movement of the Earth and respond in its most natural way. Allow yourself to be vulnerable amongst the Earth’s most beautiful and unforced phenomenons that we take for granted all too often.

We are so focused on making a difference and leaving a footprint that we forget we are simply renting space on this beautiful floating ball of water in a starry galaxy filled with creatures and sensations we will never know. We are not here for long and sometimes it is necessary to feel the reciprocal relationship between what we can offer the world and what the world can offer us.

Escape from your concrete jungle for a day. Find a rock to climb, a hand to hold, a breeze to feel on your skin. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Embrace human emotions. Empathize that being alive is overwhelming and sometimes can push you to the limits- but on those days, find something that helps you remember, we are a FRACTION of the miracles roaming this planet and at the end of the day, although the impact we leave is important, we must be grateful for the impact the world and its beauty has on us. Be aware, be alive, and be cognizant of the fact we are blessed to feel overwhelmed amongst all the beauty that is at our fingertips.

R&R&R

It is the last week of March and already this year has been filled with hospital visits, colds, viruses, sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts, etc. There have been numerous stressors emotionally, physically, mentally- within and between relationships, financially, and professionally.

There has not been an aspect of my life in which I have not felt some kind of frustration, grief, or discomfort throughout these first twelve weeks of 2018.

I also have not stopped pushing myself to accomplish as many things as possible this year. Constantly searching for work, applying to graduate programs, being productive in some way or another every single day.

I have felt disheartened by letting go of a dream and not following up with something productive or even meaningful- attempting to fill every void with anything that makes me feel the slightest bit proud.

And then a friend told me to embrace the rest. We push constantly for the grind and success, assuming any break will come off as lazy and reap no benefit.

But what we all are forgetting is that, rest and recovery are fundamental. No flower blooms all year long, sprinters only run for short distances, the climax is the shortest part of a story. Everything else is struggle, overcoming obstacles, build up, calm down, setbacks and small victories.

Rest. Recovery. Reflection.

Our society minimizes the importance of each and then questions why we are all so drained, exhausted, unstable. We wonder why our young school children are responding to bullying in lethal ways or why the majority of adults in this country are medicated with uppers and mixing them with downers.

We need to, collectively, appreciate the power of rest, relaxation, and reflection. Life doesn’t need to be constant grinding, constant success. There are ups and downs and we should ride em both out.

 

I hope you are all able to pour yourself a glass of wine and watch a movie tonight. Or take a bath, roll up a blunt and freestyle, cuddle with someone you love. Whatever it is, please take a second for yourself. Give yourself a break. Our bodies are not meant to be on the move every second of every day- it took 12 weeks of being constantly sick and uncomfortable for me to recognize that the universe, a man in the sky, whatever you believe in is trying to tell me that this is not my time to bloom, but my time to rest. And that there is nothing wrong with that.