"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busy, tired.... and thoroughly happy

My life has been a whirlwind of activity lately, and I have to say… I’m loving it.

When I moved to this sleepy little town last year, I was convinced that there was NO ONE close to my age to hang out with. Ever. Anywhere. But I obviously wasn’t looking in the right places. Scratch that – I obviously wasn’t looking AT ALL. In any places.

Over the last two months I’ve met so many great people. I’ve gone from sitting at home by myself every single day after work, to almost never having a moment alone. I’m weeks behind on my TiVo – and I honestly couldn’t care less. Who needs to watch TV when there are other things to do? For example:

Last Wednesday night I went out with a few friends, stayed up way too late and had a fantastic time. Sometime in the wee morning hours, a long-time buddy from back home called and said he was going to come spend a few days on my couch. By the time I got off work Thursday and bought some groceries, Chris was well on his way to Andalusia. He, my roommate and I spent the remainder of the night with a group of people – playing cards, talking and just cutting up. Chris and roomie were both off all day Friday, so they were bums while I worked – then, as soon as I got off, we all piled in the car and bolted towards Montgomery for the Zac Brown Band concert with my buddy’s kids. After the concert, we dropped the kids off, then proceeded to enjoy the night. My head didn’t hit the pillow until nearly 5 a.m.

Of course, the older I get, the less I can sleep – so I was up at 8:15, ready to go. Got a shower, woke up the other bums at my house and we got the grill ready for a long day of football. Throughout the day, we bounced between my house and two others – constantly surrounded by people thoroughly enjoying themselves. Sunday was much of the same.

So far, this week’s been pretty low-key – just some down time with a couple of people each night. But tomorrow we’re leaving straight from work to head back to Montgomery for the Pat Green concert – which I’m pretty excited about. It’ll make for a long day Friday at work, I’m sure. But it’ll be worth it.

In the coming weeks, we have trips planned to Troy, Birmingham and Mobile. Not to mention my meetings in Destin next month and a trip to north Georgia for an apple festival with my family at some point in time.

I wonder sometimes how I made it so long without things to do here – how I let myself be so isolated and alone. At the time, I’m sure my reasoning made sense. At least to me. I didn’t want to rock the boat – I didn’t want to cause drama in my relationship. But now that the relationship thing is no longer an issue, I’m starting to loosen up and enjoy myself. And thank God for that.

So if you’re wondering why there have only been three blog posts ALL month… I guess I’m just too busy having fun to stop and write about it most days. Maybe one day I’ll get back on track – or maybe this blog thing has run its course for me… I haven’t really decided yet.

Either way, it has definitely helped me through some tough times over the past year – and for that I’m grateful. I had no idea how therapeutic it could be to spill my heart to a bunch of total strangers. You guys are awesome – and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around this place sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A ghost from the past

My freshman year in Troy, I met Chuck. His warm personality and impeccable taste in music drew me in immediately. He had a contagious smile and a sense of humor that was out of this world. We were friends from the very start.

As the school year drew to a close, we both found ourselves free from past relationships and we tried our luck at dating. We spent all of our free time together – cooking, laughing, partying and just enjoying ourselves. But the chemistry was never there. Don’t get me wrong – we adored each other. But we lacked the spark that is essential for a lasting relationship. By the end of summer, we decided we were better off as friends, so we ended things with no hard feelings. He met my next boyfriend and I became close friends with his girlfriend. We still talked several times a week and remained very close.

As time went on, I began seeing a different side of Chuck. As happy as he seemed on the outside, he had his demons. He started dabbling in different drugs – always calling me for counsel when he started feeling guilty about it. He drank a lot, and often made bad decisions as a result.

In July of 2005, I got a frantic phone call from his then girlfriend. Chuck got behind the wheel after way too many drinks. He had a horrible wreck that took months of recovery. He had to have reconstructive surgery on part of his face. He needed braces to correct the damage his steering wheel had done to his mouth. It was bad.

I just knew that the wreck would serve as a wake up call – that he’d settle down some and surrender his keys when he wanted to drink. I was wrong.

On February 12, 2006, I got another phone call. This time it was from Kevin (my then boyfriend and most recent ex.). He worked for the Sheriff’s department and had been called to work a wreck at two that morning. When he got there and ran the tag, he immediately called me. It was Chuck. Kevin didn’t know his status, but told me he’d call me back as soon as he did. Instead of a call, I got a knock at my door. I opened it slowly, vainly hoping for good news – but instead, Kevin looked at me with sad eyes and shook his head. I fell to pieces.

I walked through the next few weeks in a daze. I went through so many different emotions. First, I was angry. I couldn’t help it. I was so mad that he’d do something so selfish and stupid – especially after his close call less than a year before. Then there was the overwhelming sadness of losing such a close friend. It seemed so unreal – so that’s when the denial started. I refused to acknowledge it for awhile – which of course just made it that much harder when I finally had to face the fact that I’d never see him again.

But then life resumed. It had to, you know? You get busy with your life and don’t have time to dwell on being sad. Over the past three and a half years, I’ve thought about him a lot. I stop by his grave and talk to him every time I pass by the cemetery, which isn’t that often anymore. I still think about him, but not like I did back then.

That’s why last night’s dream hit me like a ton of bricks. Out of nowhere, he was there – so real and just as vivid as life. I woke up so confused. Here’s what I remember:

I was lost – I know that much. I was wandering around the woods and came upon a group of girls sitting around a fire. There with them was Chuck. I can’t explain it, but I knew he was a ghost and that I was the only one who could see him. No one seemed to see me either, though. Chuck looked up at me and smiled. “I’m lost. I need you,” I said. He just nodded, stood up and walked over to me. He never spoke – but he put his arms around me. It felt so real. I could smell him – feel his embrace. He pulled away and looked at me, and although he still didn’t say anything, I knew what he meant. His look said, “Let’s go.”

He led me by the hand through the woods. At some point, we were swimming. I kept getting pulled under, struggling to keep going. He got behind me and pushed me through the water. The next thing I remember, he was standing on the shore, pulling me out. I was sobbing and he just looked at me with knowing eyes and gave me a sad smile. I leaned into him, put my head on his chest and just as he put his arms around me – I woke up.

What is that about? It was so random, yet it seemed so significant. I’ve been in a funk all day – I just can’t shake that strange feeling I woke up with this morning.

I don’t always put a lot of stock into dream interpretation, but if any of you would like to take a shot, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm still alive, I promise!

Wow – so it’s been awhile, huh? I don’t have much time, but thought I’d stop by for a quick update.
  • I’ve been staying busy as best as possible. While I don’t have any terribly exciting stories to share, I have made a wonderful friend over the past couple of months that I’m sure I’ll write about soon. I’ve become more convinced than ever that some people come into your life at precisely the right moment in time. This is definitely once of those instances.
  • My focus and attention problems are getting worse. I’m having a terrible time concentrating on tasks and staying on top of projects lately. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings I’ve ever experienced — knowing exactly what needs to be done but being completely incapable of focusing long enough to accomplish it all. I make to-do lists like you would not believe, then feel extreme anxiety when I fail to cross items off. I’ve been thinking pretty seriously about talking to my doctor about it. I don’t know if my problem warrants medication, but I’m to the point where I feel like it’s worth looking into. My job requires concentration and I can’t afford to keep dragging my feet around here. People can only be so understanding. Speaking of doctors, I missed two days of work last week (like I needed to be any more behind) because I was out sick with bronchitis. Fun stuff.
  • I’ve been feeling particularly cold-hearted lately and I hate it. Kevin and I have been broken up for two months now, and I’ve pretty much cut all contact with him. I hear that’s what you’re supposed to do when you break up, but a part of me is having a hard time. I feel like we were friends for so long, so it’s a shame we can’t still talk. But the majority of me feels like it’s entirely too hard to try to be friends right now. It’s not that I don’t care how he’s doing – it’s just that I need time to heal and move on. And aside from the occasional text, he’s respected that. I sincerely wish him nothing but the best in life. I’m just not ready to be best friends.
  • On a positive note, it’s FINALLY football season. For me, there’s nothing quite like a Saturday filled with the excitement of college football. Can I get a ROLL TIDE?!
  • And more good news: Maverick is doing fantastic. His neck is healing up quite nicely and I honestly could not ask for a better dog. He is sweet, gentle-natured and loyal beyond belief. He and Toby have become the best of friends and I’m so glad he’s become such a perfect part of our household.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. I plan on catching up on all of your blogs this weekend. I honestly have not even signed into blogger in over a week – so I’m a bit behind…

Happy Friday!!