Friday, July 2, 2010

what's the word

In the book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth says to her Italian friends that she doesn’t know if she could ever really live in Rome because she doesn’t feel like it’s her place. Her Italian friend said maybe they have different words. He continues to explain his theory that every city has a word, a word that encapsulates the entire meaning of the city and it’s existence. Every person also has a word. If your word the and the city’s word don’t go together, you don’t belong there. This sent my mind into a state of spinning and whirling that I had to stop and put the book down. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, go figure, about where I’m supposed to be. I absolutely love Natchez. Beginning in 9th grade, I counted down the days I would be able to escape. But things change and people change. Jax has grounded me, making me want to stay near my family so they can see him change from day to day. He has made me appreciate simplicity as opposed to my previous appreciation of cities that never sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a deep love connection to New York City and other metropolises I haven’t had the opportunity to see yet (but I will). But for now, in this moment, I am happy where I am. In a slow, simple town with my family nearby. Because at this point in my life, that is all that matters to me.

But anyways, I began thinking about different places and what their words might be so I can try and figure out where my next move should be. And that was fun. Until I realized I have no clue what my word is. Therefore I can’t figure out what town I belong to because I don’t know what I belong to. I can think of words I would like to be. But there’s no point in being delusional or in denial when it comes to figuring out your word.

There are a few I think could work.

Unsatisfied- I’m always unsatisfied, wanting more. There are so many things and places I want to see. So many cultures I want to discover and experience. And until I get to do those things, I am unsatisfied. I wouldn’t say I’m stuck. Well maybe I am a little. But I’m not miserably stuck. I’m happy being stuck for a little bit because I love seeing my parents interact with my son. I love walking down the simple streets of downtown and seeing the same people every day. But I don’t want this forever.

Restless- Oh how I am restless. Physically and mentally. Like I’ve said before, I’m always doing something, going somewhere. I am on the road 40 percent of my life, roughly, but only because I love it. I do. I love it. And if I’m not physically moving and going, my mind is doing it for me. Always thinking, always coming up with new ideas and then driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to make that idea come to life until a couple days or a couple hours later when I get a new idea and the process repeats itself. It’s almost manic, but that’s just how I work. I’ve read some biographies about artists, poets, writers, musicians, and even renaissance men and strangely found myself less ‘odd’ and able to relate. Not saying I’m a renaissance man or woman or whatever, but some people are just… weird. Misfits I guess. And I’m a weirdo.

Searching- This pretty much explains itself. I am searching, always. For new strangers to befriend, for new experiences to later become memories, for knowledge about anything and everything, for answers about anything and everything. I was searching subconsciously for answers as to whether real love exists and whether or not marriages really can work and if I could ever actually see myself with someone to grow old with. But thanks to that really cool God who I can almost hear saying ‘I told you so’ with a sarcastic smile on His face, I have figured out those answers. But still, I have plenty of other things I am searching for.

I thought I would like for my word to be ‘content’. But then I thought about it, and I don’t want to be content. Because then I wouldn’t have the urge for more. And I like having the urge for more. I feel I can always see more, learn more. But I should listen more in order for a lot of things to fall into place. I’m a great listener when it comes to other people. But I’m horrible when it comes to hearing things about myself. I don’t want to hear it. Leave me alone. Insert (flaw) on my forehead here. I’m working on it.

But for now, my mind races yet again trying to figure out my damn word. I hope I like it.

eat, pray, sigh, but then love

If you follow my writings, you are familiar with a ‘character’ who is not so much a character, but someone who is very real and very present in my life. But I refer to her here as Dr. Bailey (in association with my lame obsession of Grey’s Anatomy). For some reason, this person can get to me and get in my head more than anyone else in my life. When she speaks, I listen. When she points out something I should work on, I reflect. When she smiles, my heart smiles. This woman is my real life guardian angel and I am thankful every single day that I have someone like that because I’d most likely be a hot mess without her getting my ass back in line.

So Dr. Bailey gave me a book to read a few days ago. It is called ‘Eat Pray Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. A best seller and soon-to-be movie with the fantastic Julia Roberts. I actually checked this book out from the Hattiesburg Public Library a while back. My love for libraries equalizes that of coffee shops. There is something about them, a gathering place of some sort full of people seeking to learn. I like those types of people. Anyways, Jax arrived a couple days later. Needless to say, I didn’t read the book. I was too busy trying to figure out how to put a diaper on a baby.

I started reading the book a couple of days ago, and it is so intense. It’s not a story so much as it is an invitation to learn some of the deepest lessons you will ever come across and then the challenge or dare to reflect upon yourself and do something about everything that needs something done.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first third of the book because it describes her decision to drop everything and go live in Italy. She just roams the city, meets interesting people, eats a lot, and learns the Italian language. And I’m thinking, ‘all right, this is my type of chick. I need to buy a plane ticket right now’.

Then comes the next part. The part about devotion and discipline. She goes to India to live in an Ashram. It is a rigorous process that challenges the mind, body, and soul. Days start at 3am and there are hours and hours a day spent meditating. Ummm… excuse my yawning here. Sitting there in complete stillness and silence for HOURS? Crank up the radio please.

So this is the part I’m stuck on and I don’t care much for. Take me back to Rome, Ms. Gilbert. What happened to the pizza and the museums and the bus stations? Get me out of this chapter. So I’m reading through, just kind of waiting for the next country she goes to so I can get some excitement. But then I come upon some parts of the book Dr. Bailey has taken the time to underline with a black pen. Everytime I get a book from her, I focus on the underlined parts because if it’s that important for her to do, it’s got to be something good. Something that affected her so much she had to grab the pen. These are the parts I focus on like a stray dog staring at a ribeye.

The first thing underlined is “you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water”. Dammit, Dr. Bailey. This is something she has said to me over and over, in different words. She always gets on to me telling me to slow down. I am always moving, always doing something. And if I am sitting still, my mind is doing all the running. I love going to the bluff to sit and think. You would think that would be considering sitting still. But I go there to think. And when I think, it’s like a marathon of thoughts about the past, the future, Jax, my photography, all racing across my brain as if the winning prize were a million and one dollars. I never just… sit in stillness.

I take that back. There are times I do. But it’s always when I’m listening to live music. I will close my eyes, so I can listen with all of myself. If my eyes are open I am thinking not only about the music, but also about the way the musician’s fingers move across the guitar or the way the lighting makes the sweat on their face glisten. But when I close my eyes, all I can do is hear. And the music fills up my whole being. That’s the only time I sit still.

I’m getting off subject. There are several more things underlined in this section of the book. The book is set into 3 sections. Her time in Rome, her time in India at the Ashram, and her time in Indonesia. Italy was the fun part. India is the grueling but necessary part of her journey full of self-reflection followed by the process of reacting to the reflection And I’m so tired of India. But I start to think about it in the bigger picture. And not to be narcissistic, but I feel like she underlined the things she underlined not just for her, but for me. I noticed she didn’t underline anything in the Italy section. She didn’t even pick up her pen until India. Why? Because she knows me oh too well. She knows I don’t need any lessons when it comes to spontaneous traveling and appreciating culture through meeting complete strangers. That is embedded in me, which can at times be a flaw. No, she broke out that black ink when it came to India because these are the things she’s been trying to get through my thick and stubborn skull.

This book is intense. And I don’t like what it is doing to me. Because I am stubborn and would prefer that Elizabeth Gilbert ended the book after the first section so I can just continue enjoying who I am without the devotion and discipline crap, I mean lessons. But I am going to keep reading. I don’t know what the third section is about, I’m really hoping it won’t be like the second one because I’m tired of the word meditate. But I have a feeling I won’t see the words pizza or random roadtrip for the rest of the book.

I’m frustrated with Dr. Bailey for giving me this book in the first place, because she knew it would knock me on my restless ass. I’m frustrated with Elizabeth Gilbert for challenging me through every typed word. But I can’t help but smile with deep appreciation at the same time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Now I Get It

I grew up believing in Romeo and Juliet love. I dreamed about it, couldn't wait to experience it. Experiences came, and the reality of what it was overlapped the feelings I dreamt of. After that goes on for so long, those feelings are so faded it almost feels like you are remembering something in third person.

I felt those feelings finally about 5 years ago. Long story short, after a little over a year, Romeo dropped Juliet like a bad habit. And she knew she'd never be the same. She vowed to never let herself feel that hurt again, because at the time she didn't think she'd make it out alive.

So yeah, no thanks to that. I'm good.

I got in more relationships after that, but nothing ever worked out for long. But I didn't care very much. I didn't realize it at the time, but I didn't care that much because I never let myself get to that point emotionally where I would care if someone went away. I was fine either way. I was numb. For five years, I've been jaded (not bitter, just jaded). Everything changed a week ago.

There's a boy. I've felt drawn to him for quite a while. But never explored those feelings. We were both involved in other situations that prevented us from exploring those feelings. But last week, the journey began and the exploration has led to feelings I didn't know could exist.

I went home to see my Mom and sat her down and told her after my breakup five years ago, I never thought I could feel those feelings again. But I feel them now and I can't stop smiling. My eyes filled with tears and I told her how wonderful it is to feel this alive. We cried together, hugged, and I told her all about this guy I was head over heels in love with. She listened with tears in her eyes and a smile painted on her face that mirrored mine. It was one of my favorite moments ever and I realized how much I love my mother and can't imagine life without her.

Last week I began something with someone. And I'd marry him tomorrow. HOW CRAZY IS THAT? If you know me well, you know how crazy I sound. But I can't stop freakin smiling, I can't feel anything but happy.

Now I get it. Now I know what love is supposed to feel like. Even though this is happening so fast, it is the most real thing I've ever experienced. I am so thankful God allowed me to cross paths with this person. He waited until just the right time, and He gave me someone He knew would be perfect for me. I hope I remember this daily, that it is because of Him that I'm getting to experience this. I hope He becomes a fixture in the center of our relationship.

I'm scared to death. I feel like I've just jumped off a cliff and I'm praying to God that my wings work. I could list a hundred things I'm scared of and a hundred more feelings I don't want to ever have to feel again. But I can list a million reasons to go for it.

So here's to the big jump. Look up and you might see me soaring with a smile that won't go away.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


i've been thinking about small-town life lately. because, well, i live in one. it sucks because it's such a great town... most of the time. i mean, great restaurants, old historic houses, a beautiful bluff overlooking the mississippi. but with a small town comes small town gossip. and if you aren't careful, it can eat you alive.

no matter what you do, people are going to talk about you. that's just how it is. reasons can vary from jealousy to just pure boredom or the need for a conversation topic to keep things interesting. the majority of the time, the gossip is false. but that doesn't matter in the conversation. i mean, we all know, the juicier the better, right? if a girl goes out to eat with a guy, it's so much better to talk about how they are dating now as opposed to oh they must be good friends. yeah, the latter will never be said. it's not as fun to discuss.

the trick is to stay grounded. don't limit what you want to do (as long as it is appropriate, if you do something that give them something to really talk about- for example: dancing on a table in a restaurant - then yeah, they have something worthy of discussion). be yourself while also respecting yourself. now don't think that puts you in the clear. your life will still be among conversation, but as long as you stay true to yourself and know who you are as a person, that talk can only go so far. basically, don't let them bring you down.

i'm not sure why people tend to want to bring other people down. i mean, hell, why can't we all just freakin get along? because girls will be girls and boys will be boys and cliques will be cliques and that's just how it is... so get used to it!!! the quicker you realize this, the better off you will be. you can either choose to let it affect you (and they win) or you can choose to go on with your life with the confidence you should have and love yourself the way you are supposed to (you win). so you choose.

i've chosen. of course it is humanly impossible to not let little things bother you at first. but that is where it needs to end. that is where you need to let it go. don't think negative about the person using your name like one of those balls in a pinball machine. that's a waste of time and you are also lowering yourself to that level. just move on. that's it. it's simple. easier said than done. but still... simple.

if you live in a small town, i hope this helps a little bit. it is something i've had to learn. and learning always kind of sucks because there is a little pain before the realization. but i'll take the pain and appreciate the lesson learned.

don't let cattiness or gossip ruin where you live. don't blame the town. don't blame circumstances. don't blame anything. because that involves pondering on it and we've already said- that's a waste of time my friends. chances are the town you live in is actually a neat place. small towns usually are. find out what makes your town interesting. find a spot to call 'your spot'. go there often to think or read or write. find out about the history of where you live. it's more fun imagining the people that walked the streets a hundred years ago that you walk down every day. this may sound nerdy, but it's my inner dork making it's appearance in my blog like it usually does.

to sum it all up, nobody can make you feel inferior but you. so stop listening to what people say about you and listen to what yourself has to say to you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Follow Through

Life has been pretty good, can't complain. Got a new place to live, it's on Franklin Street, which if you aren't familiar with Natchez is Antique Row. I love antique stores and am very happy about being in the midst of them. I love downtown living, I'm half a block from the coffee shop (aka my office basically) and the bluff is a couple hundred yards away. I am still hanging pictures and such but it will be such a great feeling when it truly feels like home. Which hopefully will be soon.

I got a job. And quit a job. I worked at Monmouth Plantation for a couple of months and absolutely loved it. Working at such a beautiful and historic place was amazing. I spent most of my lunch breaks fishing at the pond or reading in a hammock. But I wasn't getting enough time for my photography and graphic design work and also wasn't getting to be around jax as much as I prefer. I love the people I worked with so it is bittersweet.

I have ideas. I'd like to start a PR/marketing firm. There are so many great things in Natchez but nobody knows about them. I want to be that middle man that spreads the word so these places can get the business they deserve. The Mighty Martini Bistro and The Manor are two places I'd like to see do well. Apparently The Manor has a blues band in the basement on the weekends and I think that would be so much fun. But like I said, nobody really knows about it.

I also would love to start a library. Not a big huge library. A low-key library with a limited number of books, mostly classics and best-sellers. But the whole point of this place is so people have a place to study or read. I want to have several desks and work areas for students that need to meet to work on projects. I want it to be open late as well because that's when a lot of people study. And of course there will be coffee served there! I just think it would be great for students, especially those at co-lin and alcorn, have a chill place to study for school. There is a place on Union St that would be perfect. And it has a huge brick wall outside which would be cool to show old movies on with a projector. And everyone can bring chairs or blankets and watch it from the old Mainstream Fitness parking lot. I've always liked when movies are shown outdoors with a projector, makes me think of the good ol days when there were drive-in movies. The old Feltus Bro Hardware Store would be perfect too. It has it's own courtyard and a really huge brick wall so the outdoor movie thing would work perfectly there.

So basically I see all of these things that Natchez has, there's so much potential. I desperately want the arts and the downtown scene to become newsworthy, our Main St and connected streets could be just as famous as Beale St in Memphis. We have the history and the culture. We need to encourage the arts more, especially in the schools. There is so much I want to do. I get scared that I won't follow through with anything. So many great ideas down the drain.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Roadside Revelations

it's been a while. i haven't really felt like writing lately. i haven't thought anything that's been on my mind was important enough to write down. but then i realized maybe it could be to someone. i also wanted to keep a lot of the things private because they are far too personal feelings to share. so i've stayed away from here in order to censor myself because when my fingers land on the keyboard i tend to be too honest and open. funny i can't be that way when speaking to someone. the honest part i can but not so much the open part.

i've been thinking about love lately. i don't usually write about the mushy stuff. but it's been on my mind a lot lately. mostly from observing people's behavior around me and then watching tv shows and movies that make real life look less desirable. the guys in the movies are listening to every word that comes out of the girl's mouth because they are just so fascinated by her. the guys i've observed in real life might as well not have been born with ears.

i'm not dating by any means, i am just talking about guys in general. i've been feeling a little lonely lately and wishing i had love in my life, but then i look at the bigger picture. i might feel lonely for a couple minutes or a couple hours, but that's ok because i'm not ready for love yet. i'm happy with just me and jax. he is my one and only focus, and that's not going to change any time soon. i don't want it to.

the lonely thing, well that's just normal human nature because we all want to be loved. it doesn't mean that i'm looking for anything or want anything right now. if love came right now, it just wouldn't work out because it's not the right time in my life. i am so glad that i realize this because it allows me to be patient knowing one day it will happen. in the meantime, i am just fine cuddling with jax and telling him about my day.

so that's enough of that. i've taken a couple of trips lately. nothing big, just short road trips. i've stopped on the side of the road to take a picture that i used to just keep driving past when i had lost pieces of myself. i've roamed around for hours in antique stores coming up with my own stories behind each piece of jewelry or salt and pepper shakers. i've talked to strangers and listened about their lives. i've gone hiking in the woods by myself just to look around and take in the beauty God created for us to enjoy. i've been doing things i used to do, things i enjoy, things that make me who i am. things i had stopped doing when i wasn't sure who i was anymore.

i've been thinking about my photography a lot lately. i wondered why i haven't really pushed my business. i have just sort of been laying low and if someone likes my pictures and wants me to take some for them i'll do it. i've come to the conclusion i'm scared to death of failing at it. so i don't want to try because i would either fail or succeed, and it means too much to me to fail at it. so i've really thought about it and the only way i could fail is not being educated on all the things i need to know about photography. i've just relied on my 'eye' and been lazy about learning about lenses and technique and all of that. i told myself i'd rather just take pictures that i like and i don't have to learn all of that. frankly because i looked at all of that stuff once and it was so confusing i gave up after one paragraph. not because of a lack of intelligence, just because of laziness. that sucks to say, but it's the truth.

so i've been doing a lot of research lately and have really been studying hard. i want to know the in's and out's, every possible detail and every technique. i want to know how a lens is made and the science behind it. i want to know everything. i'm very happy about this and feel after i've done enough studying, i will be ready to put myself out there and really go for it. i'm still really nervous about failing, but i've never been one to analyze risks. so why start now?

"There comes a time when every life goes off course. In this desperate moment you must choose your direction. Will you fight to stay on the path while others tell you who you are? Or will you label yourself? Will you be honored by your choice? Or will you embrace your new path? Each morning you choose to move forward or to simply give up"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Thought of Tomorrow Ruins Today

I was listening to Colin Hay yesterday and he has a song called 'Waiting For My Real Life to Begin'. And there are several quotes that talk about waiting for life to happen but those moments spent waiting are actually our life passing by. What a waste of time. But we always do it. How crazy would life be if the thought of tomorrow didn't exist? If we truly lived one day like it was our last? I think it's a good idea to live like today is our last day but it's not realistic. I mean, if today was my last day I would go skydiving, tell certain people how I really feel about them, drive across the country (or as far as I could get before the day ends) and maybe rob a bank. And some days I just like to stay in my pajamas and only get off the couch to pee. It's not how I would spend my last day but it's still a great day. Sometimes we have a day or a moment when we feel like we are truly living. I feel like that right now.

I'm in Atlanta for Thanksgiving. The thing I love about Georgia is the nature. There are hills and trees and true signs of it being fall. I took a blanket, a book, my camera, and my iPhone (for music) I'm laying in the middle of the woods. It's beautiful and I'm surrounded by yellow and red leaves and right now there are two squirrels playing their own version of tag about 25 ft away. I'm actually really scared of squirrels. My high school boyfriend told me to watch out for the squirrels because a girl got attacked by one in the Grove. He told me this when I told him I was going to Ole Miss in the fall. Thanks buddy. So ever since then if I see a squirrel I make a combat plan in my head in case one decides to attack me. So I'm a little nervous right now but I feel like I can handle my own against these two, I'm feeling a sense of courage here.

I'm very happy at this moment. I feel like I'm living. I have these moments a lot but I decided to record this moment so I can look back on it when I'm not having a good moment. Or maybe to inspire you to have one of your own. There are always excuses not to have one. Tomorrow being the main one. But mine today were the fact that it's a little chilly and I don't have a jacket. The ground is kind of wet. And I love being in the woods but I hate spiders. I am still a little chilly. And I brought 2 blankets to sit on so I don't get wet. But for a moment like this, being a little chilly and dealing with a couple spiders is so worth it. Don't live today like it's your last. Just go do something TODAY that you will do 'tomorrow'. Peace.