The Mind Is A Scary Thing

The thoughts in my head spin around like a tennis shoe in a dryer. Thumping and pounding and giving me a headache. There are days when I pretend like the burning will end but it doesn’t. The soles of my thoughts are bare from running, the rubber melting off leaving an unpleasant smell. The fear never ends. The anxiety never ends. These thoughts never end. The only thing that goes away is the fake smile I painfully pull across my face. I feel exhausted and angry. When I close my eyes I see black in a way that I shouldn’t, like the darkness is permanent and it’s eerily comforting.

They say that everything will be okay and that life will get better if we just stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive. Life is what you make it. All bad things have to end, tomorrow is another day, miracles happen! But all of that just horribly translates to, “I have nothing to say to you that’s gonna make life any better”.  So why not just say that?

It’s not going to get better.

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What It Means to have Everything

Every single Christmas for as long as I can remember, my papaw has refused to tell anyone what he wants. We beg for months, we try to sneak answers and when all else fails, we threaten him with no presents at all. His response to the ultimatum is always, “I don’t care. I have everything I could ever want and I don’t need anything else.”

As a child and teenager, I never understood how anyone could have everything they could possibly want. I would look around the room at what he considered his world and I wasn’t impressed like he seemed to be. This “everything” he had was something I couldn’t understand. As an adult, or whatever I am right now, I appreciate the simplicity of his life.

He has a shed of tools from his old garage, a truck in the driveway, a skillet to fry bologna in and a rusty tractor he used to haul me around on. He doesn’t have everything but now I see what he sees.

This “everything” he always had was us, it was me, it was family. It’s the food on the table, the dogs barking, the nails being hammered into a roof by a three year old (that’s me). It’s a gravel driveway, shirts from the Goodwill, my car safely parked at home. His happiness isn’t derived by “things” but instead by moments, memories and stories attached to the air hoses and lug nuts that clutter the yard.

I’m so thankful that I grew up kind of poor. I’m thankful I grew up with a tiny little family that shared so much love. I’m thankful that I have great people to look up to who have shown me the value of life. I’m thankful that I was taught to stop and smell the roses and to not worry about receiving them. I’m thankful for my papaw’s selflessness, the wrinkle between his eyebrows before he starts to cuss and yell, his knowledge, his wisdom, and most of all his love.

He’s everything.

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Trying to be Better.

We all have demons and we all have a past. We have burdens, struggles and gruesome thoughts we would never want to share. We are human and we are sinners and there is no way around that fact. But we don’t have to be jerks because of it.

Everyone has their bad days and sometimes those bad days turn into bad months and I get it. I don’t see how some people can get out of bed in the mornings because life is so tough. I’ve been there. I’ve been a hormonal teenager and distraught, heartbroken adult. I’ve been the smaller person and I’ve been a jerk but that doesn’t mean I haven’t also tried to be the bigger person as well. I might tweet about helping more than I actually help but trust me, I am trying to be better. Each day I wake up with goals. I don’t set goals to achieve materialistic things or to make a lot of money. I set goals to help others and to make a difference in the world somehow. I might not make colossal differences but I want to and it’s a shame that I get knocked down because of it. I’m sick of everyone taking stabs at the people who are trying to contribute positively to this world and I’m sick of those stabs being on social media.

The truth is, I’m never going to be the person that cares about money or possessions or how much more I can have. I don’t want things, I want people to be happy and not struggle. I want people to have warm coats and for animals to be loved. I want there to be more good in the world and less cruelty. I might want a lot more than I can help but I won’t stop trying. I won’t stop tweeting. I won’t stop writing.

I don’t care if you point out every reason why I shouldn’t do something if it makes me happy. I’m happy because instead of putting people down, I’m trying to lift them up. If people spent more time trying to make a difference and less time worrying about everyone else, maybe we could change the world. Maybe we could heal the broken, feed the hungry and clothe the poor. We aren’t God but we are his children and it’s time we start acting like it.

My question is, if you woke up in the morning and you were the only person left on the planet, would you be happy with the person you’re left with? Think about it.

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Be Grateful

I am writing right now just to write. I have nothing important to say or anything great going on but I will mention that life is hard. I’m saying that life is hard in a subjective way because the statement “life is hard” is truly up to whoever is experiencing it. I have had an eye opening week full of people who are really going through hard times. So.. from now on I am really going to try hard not to complain about life and the things going on in it. Because although life is hard, so many people are struggling much more than I am. I don’t care if everything in my life falls apart and I’m left with nothing, I still have experienced a much better life than most. Ya’ll, please stop complaining and love what you have. Work hard and live to the fullest. Trust me, there are so many people who would love to live the life you live.

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Winter is What I Want

I’m ready for snow to fall. I’m ready for sheets of white dust to cover everything in my path. I want to scrape ice off my windshield and feel the warmth of hot chocolate roll down my throat. I want to fall backwards into the snow and make angels like a child. I want the frost to kill everything beautiful summer created so that my reality looks the way it makes me feel. I want grey skies and flannel. I want to celebrate Jesus but I don’t want Christmas. I want the holidays to come and go because I know I’ll be spending them without someone I love. I just want the birds to stop chirping and the grass to stop growing. I want the sun to hide with me and for the clouds to cry out cold, white tears. I want the leaves to fall and for everything to be bare, hollow and lifeless. Because I don’t feel happy and I don’t feel progressive and I don’t feel like sunshine. I feel like a bad wreck on a patch of ice in the dead of winter and I’m tired of acting like I’m gonna walk out of it okay.

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Life is never going to go the way we plan for it to go. But there are always things that will stay consistent. The sun will rise and the sun will set and with no say so from us, life will go on. The idea of that is sometimes overwhelming but lately I find it comforting.

Sometimes I shower myself with self-pity and I cry my makeup off while listening to Coldplay songs (insert judgement here). It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when things are bad but again, that’s life.

It’s ridiculous to think that we can plan our lives without detours. With new roads come traffic cones and although 45 mph sucks, it’s a part of something bigger. It’s important, at least for me, to remember that not everything is going to work out perfectly. Not everyone is going to be kind to me. People I love are going to die and leave me. But no matter how much I try to plan things or change things, I understand that my life is not solely
controlled by me.

Do I try to pave my own path? Of course. But curves and speed bumps are additives to keep me focused and cautious. Without gravel, we wouldn’t appreciate pavement. But even gravel sounds good under your tires.

So when things get tough, remember that there is good in everything. Remember that you have to go through the rough times to appreciate the good times. Remember that God’s plan is way cooler than anything we had in mind. And even when you’re forced to take a detour off the interstate into a farm town with one red light, just slow down and accept it’s part of a plan that’s bigger than yours.

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Into the Wild

I try not to question things but inevitably I do.  Like why am I here? What is my purpose? Will I die alone? What’s the point? Why should I shower?  And although by the end of this I’ll probably sound suicidal, I’m not. I just have to find answers to my questions.

I’m sure that you all ask yourself those same questions from time to time. To be honest, being alive is just as scary as facing death. I mean, we live our entire lives doing what everyone says we have to do. We go to school, get a job, have a family and then we die. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy life along the way then great but what about people like me who can’t help but question it all? Is the anxiety of everyday life even worth that measly vacation you work all year for?  It sounds wonderful on paper but at the end of the day, you’re slaving and saving for a job that allows you a week at the beach that God created for us. Why isn’t that free? Why is experiencing the world a vacation instead of it being our backyard like intended? Why is everything about money and bills and heartbreak? Why do we work so hard to die? 

I just don’t really know my purpose yet I guess and that terrifies me. I feel like I’m going through the motions to please others but if I’m going to die anyway, why should I even care? I just don’t get the point of being alive if I’m not even living. It makes no sense to work so hard, to deal with bullshit and heartbreak, to be lonely and hard-pressed and then just die. Like.. you just die. And then you’re worm food and a flower bed. That is if you have someone to plant something on top of you. But what if you don’t have someone to water your soil with miracle grow and their tears? What if you work so hard that you die alone?

Christopher McCandless had the right idea even though he ate that poisonous junk and killed himself. At least he didn’t do what everyone expected of him. At least he went out and tried to find the answers to his questions. I wish we could all cut up any evidence that we “belong” to this world and go against the norm. I want to go experience what God created for me, not mankind. Otherwise I’m going to end up at a mediocre job working nine to five and occasionally buying the person’s food behind me at the drive-thru to make myself feel like I’m making a difference in the world. The way I see it is, if I’m not trying to answer my questions and figure out why I’m here, I’m already dead.

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