It is Defining Me

Can you define it? Put it in a little display box up on a shelf? Feel the numbness it leaves pricking at your fingertips? Hear it in the hoarse of your voice when someone catches you daydreaming about it? Listen to the way every other thing sounds like you are under water when you are contemplating it. Does it plague you with sleepless nights or in my case, mornings? How many times a day is too much? Watch the leaves dancing and dream they are speaking to you. Hear the whispers of strangers as they pass by you on a foreign street. Even your cup of coffee has turned against you. The very deliciousness you seek in it’s warmth invades your heart. There is no hiding from it. The sweet diligence that is that forever hum in your ear. There is no escape. Be sure to hold your head above that water. Be sure to catch these feelings in your chest, like the last breath in your lungs before death. Yes, I can define it. Or better yet, it is defining me.
The earliest memory I have about it was when I was in middle school. I have never been good at math, so I took to reading and occasionally writing. I got honorable mention for an essay I wrote about Martin Luther King Jr. I didn’t win. I didn’t even get second place. Yet, somehow, I felt things brewing inside of me. These things came in waves. I remember in middle school, my friend, who rarely passed out compliments, told me I was a good writer. I remember thinking, “why did she say that?” She had no reason to tell me that. I’m sure she never read a single thing I wrote. She believed in me though. Besides my parents, she may have been the first.
High school was different. I had a serious boyfriend who didn’t enjoy reading or writing. I worked hard to keep my grades up and somehow the stories in English class always interested me the most. This was also a very emotional time for me, as my parents divorced and of course things changed. If I would have written during that time, I’m sure it would have been dark and angry. Then, when I started college, I thought I had to be a nurse. If you become a nurse, you are guaranteed a job and a paycheck. I did my first year of prerequisites while I was on the waiting list for the program. I remember about two weeks before classes started in the fall, I had this disgusting, sinking feeling. I went to the registrar’s office and took my name off the list for the nursing program. I didn’t want to be a nurse. I hated blood. Next, I transferred to a small private college and pretty soon, my major was journalism. I did radio shows, I worked at the newspaper and I interned at the television station in my hometown. After graduation, I had that prick of excitement about moving somewhere new. I just knew that there was some tiny little cubical, at some tiny little newspaper, with my name on it in Texas or North Dakota or even Alaska. I wanted adventure. I wanted to live and most of all, I wanted to write. I must have sent out 7,251 résumés. I got zero job offers. Fast forward a few years and here I am.
I want to write. I love to write. I. Must. Write. I need to be that face and byline that lines the inside of your recycling bin. I’m not old. People change their careers when they are 60. I don’t see any reason why I can’t find mine before I’m 30. Until then, don’t take offense if you have to repeat something you have said to me. I’m not tuning you out, not on purpose.

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Please Just Leave the Love Off the Table

Have you ever driven around the square in a small Texas town at 10 o’clock at night? It’s so quiet and desolate. I stopped and rolled the window down. There was no sound except the clean hum of the overnight lights. I sat there for a minute and wondered what a difference six hours can make. During the daylight, this place is hopping with cars and people. I would be lucky to find a parking space. I looked back at my son sleeping in his car seat. Will he sit in this same place in 17 years and think these same thoughts? Will he look around this small town and think of all the things the world has out there to offer him? Will he dream of getting out of here and making a life for himself in a far away place? Just then, he makes a small squeak in his sleep and turns his head away from the shine of the street light. I smile a little and point the car toward the house.
Three years ago when I moved here, I gave up soda, or as it’s known where I come from, pop. Last year, when I found out we were pregnant, I gave up alcohol and caffeine. At the beginning of this last week, I gave up bread. If you would have asked me three years ago if I could have given up any of those things, I would have said no. I have thought about this a good deal lately. I believe you can train your body to go without anything, within reason. Love is not one of those things. You can’t sit down for a meal and tell the waiter, “please just leave the love off the table, I don’t want to be tempted.”
I tried painting some sample colors on my walls this week. I catch myself looking at the small spots I have painted every time I pass by the walls. Who am I? Am I the person who has a “barn-red” dining room? Do you look at me in the grocery store and think, “I bet that woman has a turquoise wall in her house”? For some reason, these thoughts make me uncomfortable. I’m not in love with either color I have painted on my walls. I sent the pictures to a few people. My mother said the red was bright for me. I think that implies that I wouldn’t normally chose such a color. My husband liked the red, but he said the turquoise was “very blue.” I think that means he wasn’t feeling it. I haven’t gone back and bought the rest of the paint yet. I have been walking around all week, telling myself that I am not sold on either color. What if I buy 12 more sample colors and paint a small piece on the same walls? Will I ever feel like I am the person who has (insert color name) walls?
What does the color of my walls even matter? Yes, I am the one who has to look at them every day, but can’t I just train my brain to become accustomed to the new colors like I trained my brain that soda is bad?

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I Don’t Do Lonely Well

Baby since you been gone
I leave the TV on
Gotta hear somebody’s voice
I just need some kind of noise

I lay some pillows down
To wrap my arms around
I pretend I’m holding you
I know it’s sad but it’s what I do
To keep me from going crazy

Those are some lyrics from Jason Aldean’s song, “I Don’t Do Lonely Well”. I was driving in the car today and I heard this song. I had one of those moments where I just felt like the song spoke to me. I do leave the TV on and I do hug the pillows a lot. I get really emotional when I think about how last year at this time, I was sharing the bed with my husband. It seems like that was a lifetime ago. I know this isn’t what we had planned when we said “I do”. I just keep praying that God has a plan for us and our marriage. I know that he will reveal it in his own time. I just need to be patient.
We have been pretty busy this week. I really enjoy busy weeks. I would like to say a special thank you to all my friends and family who are the best kind of distraction from my somewhat lonely frame of mind. This past week, Cooper and I were blessed enough to be a part of a wonderful celebration for a 40th birthday. We had lunch, went to a Bible study, hosted a meeting, shared meals with family and friends and had play dates. These are the wonderful things that make up our days.
This week, I also printed and filled out an application for a job. As soon as I finished signing my name, I wished I had never started it. I looked over at my son sleeping. He was so peaceful. He even smiled and laughed a little during his slumber. Just watching him, I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to work. My heart flutters every time he smiles at me. I think it’s because I see his daddy. He looks at me with so much love and so much trust, I can’t imagine giving up that precious time with my son to go to a job that I don’t love every day.
On a lighter note, I bought some paint samples to try out in my dining room and foyer. If all goes well, I will post some pictures next week.

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Inspired and Ashamed

It is now four o’clock in the morning. I found this new app for my phone that allows me to post blogs from my bed! I really should get with the times and invest in a new laptop. I am just hesitant about spending the money.
The past few days, I have been around several people who have inspired me to keep writing. On Friday night, Cooper and I went to a friend’s house to watch the Aggies beat up on Oklahoma. I think there were more children under the age of five years at the party then there were adults. Amidst all the screaming men, screaming children and brief breaks to eat, I got to talk to a sweet friend for a few minutes. This sweet friend is getting married this year and she has a very busy work life and lives in a different city. Much to my dismay, we don’t get to hang out very often. Through our conversation, I learned that she too enjoys blogging. I decided right then that all my excuses for not having time to do it were not going to fly anymore. Here is this lovely girl, who works full-time and is planning a (large) wedding and she makes the time to blog. My son screaming from the living room floor no longer seemed like a good reason not to do it.
Then, yesterday, I went shopping in one of my favorite little stores. This store is such a gem! While I was shopping around, I saw a picture of an old, rustic building stuck to a lamp shade. I realized after looking closer, that it was the same shop that I was standing inside of at that very moment. I am very interested in this because we have an old house sitting on our property that I would love to make into a writing studio. It’s my dream, if you will. The shop owner and I had a great conversation about how she has a blog and she wants to write a book one day. I knew I liked this woman!
Turn the clock to the present and here I am in bed. I just woke up for a night feeding with Cooper and I decided to read the shop owner’s blog. I am now inspired and a little ashamed. I am inspired that these two very busy people have time to write their own blogs and ashamed that I have only written three entries in the last four months. I have decided that my new goal is to write one entry a week. Even if that means that I do it in the small hours of the morning, before the first snap of the day even begins. Thank you both for the inspiration.

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