Monday, January 30, 2012

On Nights Like This

It's on nights like this that I remember with fondness another time.  A time of sitting in a log cabin in the middle of the pines, windows thrown open, listening to the night while reading Stephen King.  The air is filled with the distant smell of campfires and the tang of evergreens.  The sounds of night-jars and spring peepers.  All these things work to lull me gently to sleep.

Nights like this are about full moons, windows down, unashamed belting of heart healing lyrics.  The rush of the wind, the feel of the car as you change gears, the empty road consumed in darkness beyond the piercing of your high beams.

Simple things.  Energizing things.  Healing things.

Of course, most of the time these things don't happen AT THE END OF JANUARY!

On nights like these, I revel in 60 degree weather.  But then I remind myself that Missouri is fickle and cruel.  She will give you this one night and then take it all back with bitter winds and unmanageable road conditions.

Sure, weather forecasts may predict beautiful weather for the week to come.  And then take snatch it away in the blink of an eye.

Living here you learn to get used to it.

That doesn't mean I love it.  I'd rather have consistency instead of these wonderful teasing days.

I was out among the trees today, with grasses emerging on the forest floor.  Buds peeked from branches and birds called merrily.  Brooks bubbled from the thaw (incidentally 90% of the trails were muddy as a result of the weather), and the air smelled of spring.

BUT IT'S NOT SPRING.  And when I remind myself of that, I think of how much further we have to go.

That's right.  I'm glaring at YOU, February.

But that's okay.  Because right now, this moment, I have a night like this.  And with it, memories.

Long car rides, just because (when gas was MUCH cheaper).  Walks around the block (when the neighborhood was safer).  Letting thoughts waft to you through an open window.  The white curtain waving to get your attention out of the corner of your eye.  Falling asleep to the mild scents and sounds of the season, knowing what the next day would hold.  Knowing what the next MONTH would hold.  Things being certain the way they are when you are younger, still tied to the anchor that is high school, or college.

Nights like this are made for inspiration-taking advantage of the flow of energy.  Every particle feels it.  All I want to do is stay up until past midnight riding this wave.  To forget the responsibility of tomorrow.

But it is still there.  Not going anywhere.  The routine, which is good, but still makes you feel like your creating the beginnings of a rut.  So you try to make a change and end up saying yes to something you may no may not regret.

Inter-State Studio (we're moving part memories and into reality now).  I applied.  I interviewed.  They asked. I said yes.  And now I am committed to 9 weeks of early mornings and taking photo after photo of elementary school kids in their polo shirts and frilly skirts with gelled and sprayed hair.  Don't take my lack of enthusiasm as a sign that I am not excited for this job opportunity.  I am.

I guess I was just hoping that it could be a replacement.  Instead I have allowed my inability to say no to make it my day job.  And while I am excited to have a chance to gain some formal photography experience, I dread those days of 10-12 hours of work when I do both jobs.

Will I regret it?  Only time will tell.  The most disappointment comes from the fact that this was NOT the escape I was looking for.  So I am still in that position.  The one where you are caught on a spinning hamster wheel that provides me with a living, looking for something more progressive.

Isn't that the story of most of our lives?  I don't mean to complain.  This post was meant to be reminiscent and positive.  But I let my mind take me where it will.  And apparently it's feeling a little uncertain (big surprise).

It's okay.  Work is easier (except that once I get used to one thing they throw me into another bowl of uncomfortable and uncertain stew).  I have some semblance of purpose.  I find it in those little things day to day.  I'm building up a different part of myself.  One that is necessary.

This is not forever.  But it is for now.  And for now, I will live my day to day knowing that "for now" will someday be "back when".  


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Musings-Mostly Cloudy.

What can I say?  What is there to write?  

It feels like nothing inside or outside will make this change.  So I am going to offer some metaphors and similes .  Keep up.

It's been almost two months since my (unable to find the proper adjective) return home.  I didn't know what awaited me here when I left behind the meaningful and life-changing experience I had in Maine.  But the future held promise despite the fact that I was going back to all things familiar and comfortable.   

I said hello to the holiday's.  We shared words.  Mostly about how I missed the deep friendship we once shared.  Now everything feels like a show.  Fake.  Forced.  Tragically misrepresented.  So the holiday's and I parted ways feeling much the same as we did going into it all (Well, Thanksgiving and I DID have a row which ended in me wanting to rip out my whole digestive system.).

Then I faced reality.  The reality that a REAL job was not going to pop up it's convenient head with a friendly "hello! I've been waiting for you.  Let's be besties."  So I sought out a temporary employment friendship and the benefits that would accompany that kind of relationship.  After fruitless attempts to convince several employers that I was the best friend they would ever have, I ran into an OLD friend...the first one I had really.  This was one of those unlikely friendships that didn't end well, though it taught me a lot.  We had parted on moderate terms, assuming that we would never speak again.  Yet here we are.  Speaking.  And it is UNCOMFORTABLE.  This has now become one of those awkward pity friendships.  One where I can't stand the friend but I feel bad leaving them and I need the benefits the friendship brings.  (Translation: I am working at the job I had in High School and left because of the inconsistency in management, the terrible scheduling, and the lack of decent hours.  Things haven't changed, but I'm here because I need the money).

The there's the social aspect of everything.  I'm as awkward as a day-old calf.  All the other animals know and are comfortable with each other.  And then there is me.  Stumbling through as the person who ONCE used to know everyone and now knows no-one.  That's just a barrel of awesome, right there.  If I could find the "Sword of Pearls" to break my "Shell of Shyness", things would be a little easier.  (I know that only 1-2 people get that reference.  For the rest of you, I imagine you will NEVER have the chance to be enlightened. I weep for you).

There is too much good food in the world and not enough self-control receptors in my brain.  This causes problems.  As does a certain motivation problem and the fact that there are no mountains to hike.  And I don't have a kayak.  

"I want to see mountains again.  MOUNTAINS, blog-readers.  And then find somewhere quiet where I can own an Al paca."  (name THAT horribly butchered reference).

Yes indeed.  

Do you want to know what happened to all that potential that existed when I first left Maine and came home?  I'll tell you.  But first another question.

Do you remember a time that you look back on and think "I cannot believe I was FRIENDS with those people?"  But then you look at your life and realize you have grown up so much since then and are IMMENSELY glad you changed??  This is kind of like that.  I said goodbye to promise and potential when I re-found those friends I had tried so hard to get away from.  I'm reverting back to old habits that those friends encouraged.  (Remember please that these are metaphorical friends like my current job, as well as the friend known as "too much free time", "procrastination", and "lack of motivation".)  What am I doing with these friends and why do I let them influence me?

Answer: Because I have found my way back to stagnation.  And all my self-pitying mind can think is "welcome to The Rut.  As a returning visitor we would like to offer you our platinum membership."

Here's the part where I try to mentally dig myself out of the hole I'm digging because self-pitying rants are NOT useful.  Or helpful.  Not in the long run. Especially if you keep dwelling on them.

I don't DESERVE to complain or to feel like I am lacking.  

I HAVE aspirations.  I have dreams.  Just because they aren't going to come easy doesn't meant they wont happen.  

I have no idea what I am doing here.  That doesn't mean I am meant to keep walking forward in darkness.

Things may become clear.  And some experiences, no matter HOW uncomfortable, are better teachers than the easy and illuminated road.  

I just need to remember that I cannot have what I had.  Not right now, anyway. I have to move on and try to continue to be a better version of the person I was two months ago.  Not revert back to the person I was 6 years ago.  

I control my life.  My job doesn't.  My family doesn't.  My brains inability to refuse cookies doesn't.

And while today I needed was to feel sorry for myself, I'm not going to let that be tomorrow. I've had my little pity party and it's time to move on.

My life is what it is and I have SO much more than I deserve.  

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