You Yell In Your Head A Lot

That day at work, the one that is so mind numbingly boring where you can’t even remember what you talk about. You sit and stare, you cross and un-cross your legs to keep your ankles from going numb. That day where you know you’re not going to want to go home right away so you make plans with an old friend, you find a new bar and you plant your ass on a stool for a few beers and talk.

You talk and the shit that comes out of your mouth sometimes makes you realize that, in this moment, your voice is unrecognizable. You’re half way through your first 8% beer and you realize the bar now looks blurry, only because you’re looking through saltwater and your friend pats your right shoulder.

Looking down, your left knee is supported by the bar while your right ankle crosses over it, you look over and your bearded friend, a friend from years ago, that is only ten years younger that your father, and his legs are crossed the same way.

For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been like a strong, proud, black woman. He says, lifting his hand off your shoulder, complimenting you. He begins to share his stories about his relationship, because you decide to get another beer and change the subject to him. You want to stop looking through saltwater and getting the focus off you will help that.

The bar fills up as you realize the coffee stout you ordered is actually good. After years of loving coffee and loving beer and hating the two combined, this brewery does it–it goes down easy, lights you up with a buzz and mellows you out with a different buzz. The conversation continues onto beers, breweries, brewers and bars.

He compartmentalizes your life by drawing circles and squares on the bar top with his fingers, connecting them with imaginary lines and arrows, showing how they all really are connected–see, if things are good here, they have the potential to be better HERE, he taps hard on the upper right circle,

Meanwhile, you use your thumbnail to pick the coaster and to avoid eye contact, you’ve been refused coaster use in bars you regulared at in the past but the tender doesn’t notice you tonight. You blink back, close your eyes a moment and return to making scraps that he’ll later have to clean up and throw away–you’ve worked at bars and know how annoying it is to clean up other peoples messes.

The four compartments are all different, yet work together, if you create balance, you equal a happy, healthy life. Who can juggle balance? Where does this come from? WHERE, HOW?! You yell in your head, you yell in your head a lot.

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There’s Gotta Be More

I had an entire post written. Then I deleted it because, well, it was pathetic and self depreciating and no on wants to hear that.

I found myself journal-ing about not really having the desire to seek out new things. Not having the desire to have ‘life altering conversations’. I do have them, few and far between, usually via text to a friend in Oregon or Pennsylvania or Colorado. Conversations about fear, desires, dreams: I used to have over a coffee, or a beer, or after too many beers. These are good, earth shattering conversations. Ones that are meant to change the world, change my life, or change the life of someone else.

Now most of conversations consist of topics like: beer, farm to table food, the proper form to do a lateral pull down. Running. How bad the winter sucks in Chicago. How bad the CTA sucks in Chicago. How we can’t wait for summer. Day drinking on patios.  All legit conversations to have, but pretty easy and unremarkable. Though Chicago does have some really great patios to drink on…

But wait. Wait wait wait. What I can’t figure out is if have changed or gotten lazy. Or if I don’t have the people around me to have these convos with. OR everyone around me actually has their shit so together that they don’t crave conversations about life, energy, love, nature… I do believe that I’ve changed, changed in the sense that I recognized my need to stop running away from what ever it is I run from. But that recognition shouldn’t hinder me from exploration connections. Is this what getting old is like?

[Side note, I’m in Chicago another year guys… this’ll be a record for me]

But I do think we need to go back to conversations about more than just patio drinking and money. I dream of traveling. I dream of being successful and stable. I dream of doing more than just going through the motions.

I guess that’s what life feels like at the moment. Just going through the motions.

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Connections

As I loaded onto a plane the size that Ron White would describe as a pack of chewing gum, we left Oregon, our nose set for east.  I said goodbye to the mountains and was looking forward to greeting Lake Michigan and it’s cool breeze that it always has to offer. Touching down in Grand Rapids I was excited to go ‘home’, every asked me if that’s where I was going, home. This is a foreign term for me, was Michigan home? Was South West Michigan home?

My dad, since I was a kid, has always called me his Child of the Planet, I was eager to travel, always hungry to see and do and learn more. So I never learned to be at home anywhere. Where are you from? Is a question that gets blank stares from both my brother and me. This isn’t a bad thing, I wouldn’t change my nomadic childhood for anything. Not only my childhood, I’ve continued that lifestyle into my adulthood.

My trip’s purpose was to be a bridesmaid for my friend in her wedding, it just happened to be a month before I’m leaving for SE Asia, perfect timing to catch up with everyone back in Michigan. I left Oregon excited to see Michigan, I was in Michigan for a week and didn’t dream of Oregon once, didn’t think about the mountains, the trees or the crazy hippies that dance around the courtyard at the Co-op. I was completely in Michigan.

Discovering my lack of connection to Oregon was disturbing. I always figured I would love the west coast and never want to leave. Realizing that I don’t think I could move back to Michigan was also disturbing. I’m realizing as I grow up that I don’t know where I belong, I’m like that kid that eats lunch in the bathroom—no where else to go. I guess Thailand is my bathroom? (okay, bad analogy…but you get it, right?)

I’ve never felt at home, so I just keep moving in search for that connection with some place. I’ve got the wanderlust, we know that, but is it such a bad thing? I’m moving on from Oregon, maybe I’ll return, maybe I’ll leave it behind forever.

I’ve moved on Michigan for the time being, I love the lake, I love the people, but the land is flat and love high elevation. For now I guess I’m just super excited about this adventure afoot. Oh yeah, I also bought my plane ticket yesterday, so this is REALLY happening!!!!!

 

Let's get real, this is why I actually came to Michigan

Let’s get real, this is why I actually came to Michigan