As I open up The Graduates Guide for the first time in three months, I see the last poem I wrote. I try to conjure the same feelings I had then, hoping it will help me write something half decent. Something worthy of my reader's attention. Something that justify's you returning to these black pages with white text… wondering simply, "Is it a hoax? Is she back, or is she just leaving traces of thoughts… not full ideas like she once did." I would love to say I'm back, but the truth is… I'm not sure.
I love writing, however I struggle to maintain life and dreams, passion and practicality. I want to give everything I have to this love that I have, mold it, watch it grow. However, I find that in the recent months, I've spen more time living life than talking about it.
So many things have happened. So many things have changed.
My mentality, my perception, even my understanding is different. Honestly, I haven't shared my thoughts, because I can't keep up with them. I'm in a really interesting place in my life. A place that some of you are at as well, or at least will be, if you haven't been already. It's a place where we start becoming more aware of life in the bigger picture… Where we seek justice, and at times revenge. It's a place where we discover who we've been, and determine who we will be.
So let's dissect the state of Tennessee. I have a wonderful girl to call mine, I love my home and my roommate. My job, while sometimes difficult, is very rewarding. I'm able to work on my own passion projects on the side. I am in decent shape, and… well… I'm happy. Blissfully so, at times.
However, part of me is not. Other times, I become incredibly sad. It could be a song, memory, or dream that sets it off, or it doesn't have to be triggered by anything at all. I just feel… I remember this person that once lived in my skin, but has morphed beyond recognition. I struggle with which parts of my past to cling to, and which to let go. I am trying to make my present healthier than my past. I want my future to encompass more than I can imagine. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to be all that I can be… but at times I have a hard time accepting who I've been.
From age five on, I grew up in a trailer in Olivehill, TN. I lived with my mother, step father, and his two kids. I was always scrawny and a little awkward, and was extremely sensitive and creative. I would sit up in a tree or the hay loft for hours at a time reading books about dragons and business professionals. I imagined tall buildings and ocean waves. I was a dreamer… I couldn't wait… to grow up, to get out. I didn't know what was out there, but it didn't matter. It was better than where I had been.
Part of me still isn't sure which factors directly played into what got me here. Maybe it was my elementary art teacher. She always let me use extra colors, even if the other kids had limits. I can still see her face in my mind.Every line. Every shadow…
Or maybe it was the librarian, who allowed me to check out more books than the suggested amount. I always thought that my library card was a key to a new world. With one scan, I could be anyone else in the world. Art. Words. Ideas. That's what I had. That's what mattered to me.
When I graduated high school, I still wasn't certain where I was going, or what I would do when I get there. What I knew was still, that I had to get out. I did it all a little haphazardly. I can't help but be absolutely certain that fate is real, because I don't believe I would be here otherwise. After all, how would a small town, low class, farm girl from Olivehill, TN, know that she was actively becoming a part of a legacy? When I first looked at Stephens College, I had no idea that it was the second oldest women's college in the nation, or how many other people before me had become their best selves between those walls. I based my decision solely on the fact that they offered me scholarships for two sports, it was really far away from my home, and they called more frequently than any other college. In fact, I don't remember there even being any other real competition, besides the military. All I knew was that I wanted to be someone… someone different. And I thought that I could do that there.
I spent four years there. Started out as a creative writing major, and somehow stumbled into film and television. My life has literally been one fateful/faithful blind-folded decision after another. Sometimes I think I was literally drunk, spinning in circles, and pointing my finger over a map, hoping to land in any direction.
I'm not sure why I thought that it would change when I got older. That things would make any more sense, or that decisions would become easier. They haven't. In fact, they've become harder… So has life… But I have so much more control over my own fate now. I worry less about what others think. I believe that I have no limitations, because to be frank… I've overcame everything that could have ever stopped me. I'm here.
Even though I am only twenty-four, and have an assistants job, I believe that I am successful. I am making it in the City of Angels. The place that many call heaven, but I call home. No matter what happens from this point forward, I have a story to tell. A beautiful one. A story of struggle and triumph. One of pain and bliss.
In fact, my friend Rae was the one who reminded me of this. As wrapped up as I've been in life, love, and destiny… she continuously pushed… I mean gently coaxed… me to carry on. To continue.
I have been lucky enough to have a number of incredible people in my life much like her. They are what remind me that this life is worth giving your all to.
It's not always about what we can accomplish, but more about what we can experience. We could push through every single day, walk away with trophies and certificates, change laws and history… but the story we leave behind will never be fulfilling if we don't feel it. If it doesn't affect or change us.
Every move I made changed me. Every person I met taught me something, whether it was good or bad. Some things showed me who I wanted to be, but most taught me who I hoped I would never become. Today, I suppose the state that I'm in is a good one. I'm learning to adjust more quickly, and let things go that don't matter in the long run. I am steadily working on my patience, but even more than that… my tolerance. I struggle (aggressively at times) with letting things go… Realizing that I can't change everything or everyone. After all, I am but one person. Instead, I just strive to set the best example I can, and leave a legacy behind that could make my mother proud.
You too have a story… Much like Rae (My Silent Half) mentioned recently. You have a story to tell. You have one to write… one to create. You are worthy of your own experiences. Enjoy them. Share them with others… Feel everything that life has to offer. There is more here than just work, money, and routine. Spontaneity, passion, and romance. Those are the things life is made of. They're the things to fill your story with. Even if it is with a dream and not a a person…. Don't waste these moments. Don't forget to enjoy this day and be happy. Give yourself everything you've ever deserved. You're worth it.