Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dancing and Staying Alive

I wanted to tell you that I'm okay. 


I think it's worth saying. More importantly, I think it's worth believing this time. I know that I've used this space as an avenue through which I could channel my negative energy so as not to hold it inside of me, so I just figure that most of you probably siphon through my words, guarding your spirits from the heaviness but offering quiet support nonetheless. And I'm grateful for that.

Recently, I noted that I thought I had royally fucked up. I thought that I had come down to Florida and spun myself a web instead of freeing myself from the one that already existed. I thought that my masochism was taking over and that even though my intentions were fine, I wouldn't allow myself to receive the help that I need. I pretty much figured that I'd die pretty soon.

I wish I could tell you what changed. Last time the darkness was this tangible, I knew exactly what had happened to change it back into lightness. And the lightness was almost ridiculous, because I hadn't known that I could simply invite it back and it would come, until I did. And that was a miracle. I knew it. I slept for 14 hours and regenerated into something new, brushing ashes off of my brand new Phoenix feathers and continuing to live. 

But this time, I don't really get it. I knew from the get-go that this one was far less spiritual and far more chemical, situational, whatever-al. Maybe I just needed to get out of South Carolina. Maybe I just needed to chase the wind for a while. Maybe I just needed to work my ass off for a while, pulling the same hours as I pulled while getting my degrees but filling my time with something far less meaty and difficult. Maybe I needed to remember that I like challenges and intellectual stimulus, but that I can be okay with relatively simple tasks for now. Because it's not everything. Because everything will be okay, and if it's not okay, it's not everything.

So I'll just tell you a couple of the things that have changed. Like I said before, I booked a flight to Iceland as an incentive to stay alive; update: it's working. And now, that trip has become an entire November full of thanks and community because I'll have the opportunity to spend some time with a subset of my favorite people in the world, sprinkled around Belgium, Germany, and Ireland, and potentially find some more favorite people. I don't know. It doesn't matter...I'm adventuring and I'm following my wandering heart and isn't that enough? It is, for me.

On that note, I've pretty much given up listening to any of y'all who want me to stick around, stay in one place, calm down, or be safe in general. Safety, as it is colloquially recognized, is the opposite of safety for me. You know this. I go where I feel safe, and sometimes, that's sleeping outside in my car in the middle of the prairie. I'll wander, when I want to wander. I'll stay, when I want to stay. But I'll always come back.

Recently, I learned a little bit more about vitamins and the things that can happen when there is a deficiency for whatever reason. Unsurprisingly enough, the symptoms of deficiency sounded awfully familiar to me, so I stocked up and I've flooded myself and I've felt so much better. Maybe it was just me, not taking care of me in the most basic sense.

I know that's what it is.

Something else that I've noticed lately, as a pleasant surprise, is my natural reaction to myself in the mirror. While sometimes it's a nit-picky self-destruction, lately it's been me looking straight into my own eyes and thinking to myself what a pretty girl I am. What deep, watchful, and lovely eyes I've been given. I'm a spacious, voluptuous, wild-haired gale. And it is well.

So, more than likely, I'm headed out West pretty soon. Then Nordic, then Eastern, then Northwestern Europe. Then Midwest. And maybe, if things settle in the direction of my heart's current arrow, back out West eventually. 

I'm only 24. It's just life. It doesn't need direction or stability or anything like that; it just needs to continue until it doesn't. And I just need the things that I have now; I just need this. Almost every aspect of my being has been ripped wide open, raw and exposed, in the best possible way because I've found community instead of alienation. I've found support instead of loneliness. I've found togetherness and honesty, and that's all I want. I miss the people that I don't have right now, but out of the same vein, I only want the people that I have now. This time was meant for us. It was designed for our specific investments into each other's lives, and we won't be the same for it. I won't be the same.

I'm never content, but I'm happy. I'm not the same. I love the fact that I am here right now. I love it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Life is a Bucket of Dirt

On my morning off, I am frying up some plantains and daydreaming like a normal person. 

It is my absolute favorite thing in my world, passing by the Tampa International Airport on my commute. Not because I am one addicted to travel, but because the interstate runs perpendicular to the landing strips and, if the timing is right, my car passes directly underneath a landing plane. It always makes me feel like we're living in the future, regardless of the relatively dated technology passing above me, but mostly because I have a tremendous gift for extracting wonder out of mundane situations.

I never, ever want that gift to go away. I hope to never grow out of it, and more than that, I hope it doesn't end up being medicated out of me.

And since I'm on an upswing and being a little over-analytical, I wanted to reflect and admit and announce a couple of things. Except, that sounded really dramatic. Nothing super huge. Just standard me.

Recently I had an interesting pregnancy dream, due to what I assumed was my incessant baby fever. But something interesting happened during this dream. Something that I think stems from something far more relevant to my immediate existence.

During the dream, when I found out I was pregnant, I was given a bucket of dirt.

Yep. A bucket of dirt.

But inside the bucket of dirt, there was an assortment of buried things. There were roughly rounded stones, and little spiny bouncy balls. I was told that I had to reach into the bucket of dirt, without looking, and pull out one of the items. If I picked out a bouncy ball, it meant that I could keep the baby. But if I picked up a stone, I couldn't.

In the dream, I knew I wanted to keep the baby. Now, I'm assuming that I wasn't meant to be able to distinguish between the two options while my hand was in the dirt, and it was meant to be a completely random decision. But I didn't want it to be. With my fingers in the bucket, I felt around for the spines on the bouncy ball, because I had a life to save. I pulled it out, and held it in my hands with bits of dirt falling from the spines. I'd won.

Waking up, as most of you have already read, I was a tad disappointed to find that I wasn't expecting. It took a few hours of waking up to realize what I think all of that meant.

What if the life I saved was my own?

In the dream, I had made a choice. A conscious decision to keep somebody alive. In my waking life, it's a decision that I have to make every day. There have been some very, very bad days; days during which I have had no interest in seeing another one. And I'm not particularly sure why. It comes with the season, I guess.

But something clicked and instigated this upswing, and I realized that I need to make a calculated decision to keep myself around, by whatever means necessary.

So obviously, I booked a flight to Iceland.

I'm not kidding.

Being surrounded by people who practice militant self care, I see lots of beautiful things being done for the people around me. And this is my version. My insane, impulsive version. I'm 24 years old, and at this point, 24 is being spent to prepare for marvelous things in 25. I'll spend a few weeks gallivanting around Europe and visiting the people to whom I've been promising visits, but I'll kick it off in Iceland. 

Because I can, because I found a deal, and because I've always wanted to. Because my heart dances to the same tune as the Northern Lights do. Because I want to sleep in a room full of strangers until they become friends on a glacier hike. Because.

But mostly, because it's my incentive to stay alive until November.

And with that, I'll leave you with the words of the great philosopher Ani DiFranco:

"Self-preservation is a full-time occupation; I'm determined to survive on these shores."