Two wheels.

There’s moments in our lives that change everything that will come after that moment. And that’s all it is, a moment. But yet the ripple effect that it leaves on our lives changes everything. One second everything is one way, and the next second it’s completely different and altered the world that is your universe leaving you feeling uneasy, and not all to sure of how to move forward or where to go next.

When I was six I was hit by a car. I’ve been saying that sentence to a select few for over seventeen years, and it’s seldom that I really go into the details of exactly what that means. When I was six, I was riding my bike and eating a popsicle and not wearing my helmet. I don’t really know what happened. My guess is I lost control of my bike and ended up in the street. And a car hit me. When I was a kid, the neighbors would tell me how they say me go up in the air. Others tell me it was the scariest day of their lives. I never know what to say. Should I comfort them and apologize or let them feel pity for me? When I was hit by a car, I was a left handed kid. However. The car hit the right side of my brain shaking things up a bit, and thus, paralyzing the left side of my body. There was something in there about a seizure, I’m not exactly sure how long all that lasted.  I broke both the bones in my lower left leg, cracked my skull, and had a collapsed lung. I see six year old kids now, and can’t even imagine what I must have looked like. The doctors told my mother at one point, that they weren’t all too sure if I’d ever wake up. I did though. But all in all I was left with a traumatic brain injury. And when I relearned everything, I did it with my right side.

I had to relearn everything. How to talk. How to eat. Who people were. The alphabet. I even remember when I was finally able to walk by myself again, taking unsteady steps at first. But in all the things I had to relearn, I never exactly got around to relearning how to ride a bike. And I’m sure you can imagine why. Even now, I can still count on two hands the number of times I’ve ridden a bike since all of that happened.

We’re raised knowing certain things. Knowing things that form who we are, and what we do. I grew up knowing I can’t ride a bike. And I never really let it bother me, I mean it’s just a bike. No big deal. But everything else I’ve never been able to do has been centered around the event that left me not able to ride a bike. I’m not coordinated. Not so good with sports. I suck at math. My memory seems to suck the older I get. The list goes on. But still I’ve spent my whole life letting my bike wreck define who I am. As I’m getting older I’m starting to realize that there’s a lot of people who are not coordinated, have crappy memory, are really bad at math, and not athletic, that have never even had a head injury.

And once upon a time a family member challenged me to do a half marathon. Honest to god. In the back of my head, never really thought it would happen. I mean I’m not athletic. Athletic people do half marathons. Yet fast forward a few months, and I’d done a half marathon. It got me thinking. What else can I do that I thought I’d never be able to? And thus I started looking at bicycling. Now I wasn’t looking at it with my direct vision, but kind of out of the corner of my eye. Acknowledging that it was there.

I had a friend loan me a bike not too long ago. I got the tires changed, and tuned it up a bit. I didn’t want to invest too much into something that might be a total flop. But finally it was ready to go, and I hopped on. I was nervous to see what would happen. I put the feet on the pedals and began to move them, and what do you know. I didn’t fall. I mean I was a little wobbly at first. But I didn’t fall. The world didn’t end. And even though my mother tells me I’m being overly dramatic, I felt a huge release. Everything insecurity I’d ever had about not being able to ride a bike was gone. I could ride a bike.

I honestly don’t think anyone will ever be able to understand how freeing it was. It wasn’t even a matter of being on the bike. I mean I have a car. And I don’t mind walking places. But it was me proving that I really could do anything I wanted. I just had to get out of my own way. And for the first time I honestly feel like something that happened such a very long time ago, no longer has such a tight grip on the life that I’m living now.

Something about the heart

In my new city, I stare at things I see. Drunk people. Big buildings. A flutter in my heart that lets me know that this place is exactly where I’m supposed to be. There’s a quiet excitement that sits in the belly of me, and everyday it feels as though there’s a butterfly flapping it’s new wings with anticipation of what’s coming next. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not missing the current moment, because that would be silly. But even with all things new and shiny, there’s still cause for pause in my tiny apartment. A pause that leaves me breathless and devastated, even if it’s for less than a millisecond, it still happens. Maybe devastated isn’t the right word. Eh. Even typing it, it seems a little melodramatic. Maybe shocked is a better word.

Last May, I met a boy. It all starts with a boy doesn’t it? It was one of those things that should have just been a weekend thing, but being the girl that I am, and him being the boy that he was, neither of us would accept it just as that. I mean why would we? Fate is fate. This boy I met on my first visit to New Orleans this year. And he left me dragging my feet to get back to Texas. And I remember spending days being mad at him because he made me not want to be in Texas. He made me hate Texas, when really both Austin and Texas had done absolutly nothing wrong. All they had done was to be everything I had ever wanted. But yet, it was the boy in Louisiana who made me realize that why both Austin and Texas were everything I could have have dreamed of, they were not the right fit. I told myself that me wanting to move to Louisiana had nothing to do with a boy. But let’s be honest, he was the driving force. And I didn’t want to move because of him, I just wanted to move to be closer to him. However, life happens, and nothing ever happens the exact way we want it to. And I moved to New Orleans for no one but simply myself. For simple selfish reasons at that. Which honest to blog, I feel that’s just how it should be.

So even though I moved here for myself, and even though I have friends here, friends I have known for years and I love dearly. It’s strange. There’s a boy in the very city of which I stand, who once felt the same way about me, as I did about him (butterflies in the belly), and it also strikes me as odd that in one moment it can all go from good to bad. I once tried to explain it to a friend.

Me: Everything was perfect… until it wasn’t

Friend: That tends to be how it happens

I’m not sad, and I don’t wish to change anything that has already happened. It just seems so funny to me how quickly the heart can go from light and flighty to sad and… well just sad. Lucky for me the sadness has passed. But from time to time, it strikes me as funny. This boy who made it seem like he had so many plans for me, is no longer even in my peripheral vision… but instead just something that flutters through my brain wave from time to time. And even when the sadness has passed, I want my milliseconds back.

Don’t blink, or you might miss it.

This past spring and early summer has led me to places I’d never thought I’d end up. Mostly I’m referring to a mental state. I’ve been stretched beyond my means only to realize just how easily I fall back into shape, still a little stretched out but able to function all the same. And all of it has led me to right now. Big things are days away and I am ever so very much excited.

May grabbed my heart and jerked me around by it, seeing how far I could go before I would come close to breaking. And I’ve got to tell you, I can go pretty fucking far. 8 hours by car from home to be exact. I went to visit friends twice in May, both times in the same city. The second time however sent me running back to Austin with the feeling of having been punched violently in the stomach. When in all honesty, I’m willing to bet that getting actually punched would have hurt less than the feeling I had when I drove back to Austin the second time in May.

Just the same though, it was those two trips away from Austin that made me realize something about my little city in which I live. Something I think I’ve known for awhile, but wasn’t really willing to look at and acknowledge, at least not look it in the eye. You know how you’re on a date with the perfect man, he’s everything you’ve ever wanted, and he is charming, cultured, gorgeous, smart, etc but yet you are kicking yourself because you just don’t feel that spark. There’s a lack of butterflies in the stomach. And while it’s easy to shrug and say “I don’t need butterflies” eventually boredom sets in and you realize that butterflies in the belly really are the bees knees. Well both trips from Austin made me realize that Austin was lacking the butterflies in the belly that I had been missing.

With that said… I made one last trip from Austin, looking to confirm what I had feared to be true. But just the same I wasn’t all that afraid of not living in Austin. I was excited about what would come next. I’m excited about my new apartment. I’m excited about the new people I’ve already met in this city that has already shaken, rattled, and rolled me. It’s all falling into place, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I’m living it, but instead just watching it all happen. Sitting back, smiling, and enjoying it all.

But for now. In this moment. I am in Missouri. Sitting on my childhood bed, typing these words. Waiting for laundry so I can pack my suitcase to go back to my home in Austin one last time. Tomorrow night I’ll get back to Austin to pack. And by pack, I mean pack really fast. Because boys and girls, come Wednesday, I will live in New Olreans, La.

Funny the way things happen.

Too early to make sense…

I went to bed early last night. In my weeks of being jobless, my sleep pattern has been less than desirable. Go to bed when I’m tired, getting up… whenever. Which usually comes down to going to bed around three or four in the morning, and getting up any time between 10:45, and 12:00. There’s nothing worse than not only feeling like a slacker, but waking up at noon to prove you right. Not the case last night though. See I’m working as a secretary today at some place. It was done through a temp agency. And honestly I’m thankful. I need the cash. But back to my point. I went to bed early, so I could get up early. The early that I was greeted with this morning, was not what I had in mind though. 4:30. Now forgive me if I believe that is a time to go to bed, but no time to be getting up. Just the same though, I lay in bed, and try not to force myself into sleep.

I catch up on everything I missed over night. Nothing too exciting on facebook, tumblr is essentially just as I left it. Finally the clock reaches 6 am, an hour before my alarm is set to go off. Finally I make it out of bed. I turn on the lights, open my computer, and alas, here we are.

The mornings are a funny thing for a person who is ever so naturally a night person. In the night there’s noise, and the day that had fallen before it. There’s the worry that is life, the constant movement, and jumbled up thoughts that live within my head. The social norms that I’ve confined myself to live by that are  also what I’ve trained my thoughts by. And each night, I bid my life farewell for my needed eight hours of a break. Then each morning I wake up, knowing many other people have already beaten me to it. To the morning.

Today though. When I was laying in bed. Everything seemed so calm and quiet. My day hasn’t been ruined by the world yet. My thoughts of mediocrity haven’t plagued my existence. I mean how can it, if the universe is expecting me to still be sleeping for hours more. Thoughts flow into my head in a poetic stream that only seems to come from the quiet calmness that is the early morning. My mouth– that seems to let out words almost as fast as they can, in fear of nothing getting everything out—is silent. My lips say nothing while my head is saying everything. My lips say nothing in fear of what will actually come out. In fear, that whatever it is that finally comes out, won’t be words that are my own. But instead words of something that has been fed to me.

It’s a funny thing. Being quiet. Especially this early, when words and noise is not required. I let the screaming of my tea kettle fill my need to tell the world that breakfast is almost ready. I let the slamming of keys on a key board pour out the words that are currently in my head. The longer I physically say nothing, the more anxious I become to see what my first word will be today. Will it be something profound and meaningful “I know what I want to do with my life…” or something simple and meaningless such as “I’m on my way to work” I wonder if other people think about the first sound that comes out of their mouth… or maybe it’s just me.

This feeling is almost enough to make me want to get up every morning with the hope that each day I can feel this hopeful about life. Each day knowing that regardless of what I do, that it’s going to be okay. Let’s be honest though. Not every day is like this. Hell. Most days aren’t like this. Most days, getting up is just something I do, only to be followed by doing not much else. But today is different. Today my head feels hopeful, my soul feels busy, and I feel like maybe, just maybe something is starting to turn around.

Oh. And I’m still waiting to see what my first word is going to be today. I’ll let you know.

EDIT: “I’m so excited for you” it was the first thing I said today. I was chatting with a friend and I whispered the words out loud as I typed them. Didn’t even realize it till it was already out.

Something to remember…

It seems as though every generation has it’s teen sitcom. Whether it’s Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Saved by the Bell, Friends, or something else, everyone has a show that they grew up with. You measure the status and importance of your relationships with the opposite sex, gauged on what you’ve seen on TV. There’s these larger than life men, that always come sweeping in with grand gestures and romantic one liners that make your heart hurt just a little bit. It hurts because we know most men really aren’t like that. That the cheesy one liners never really happen in real life, and we remind ourselves that it’s not real. Until it is.

When I complain about how horrible men are sometimes, I only remember the bad. I only remember how many time I’ve been let down, hurt, or disappointed by someone else’s actions that really have nothing to do with me. It’s not very often that the fleeting great moments I’ve had come to the top of my mind. But when they do, all I can do is smile.

I was 19, and I’d just moved to Wilmington, NC. I’d already made my way through one boyfriend who turned out only to be a two weeker. And I was possibly moving on to my second. This guy was sweet. And gentle. And kind. And for the first time, I didn’t feel pressure to really do anything I didn’t want to do, which was nice. It was probably a Sunday– I say that because I remember I had school the next day—and we were both bored, with nothing to do. We hadn’t kissed yet, and were still in the friends stage of things, which really isn’t always a bad place to be. Everything is fun in the friends stage, no drama, no hurt feelings, just fun flirting. But back to the story. It was a Sunday and I was bored, and we both decided we wanted to do something fun. I had told him how someday I want to go to Myrtle Beach, just to see it. Everyone made such hype about it, yet it was only 45 minutes away from where I currently was. So he suggested that we just go. Hop in the car, drive down, check it out, and come home. Even though it was only a short drive away, it was still across a state line. And I’d never driven myself across a state line before, and weirdly enough it was that that made me nervous. Not any other part of it. Just the driving across the state line.

Just the same I agreed to go, if he drove. He said he didn’t mind. And we were off. I don’t remember what we talked about when we were in the car. I remember we go to Myrtle Beach though and trying to find some place to hangout, if even just for a bit. Somehow I got into a Senor Frogs, and I didn’t want to even try to drink at all because I didn’t want to chance getting kicked out of a bar in a state I didn’t even live in. But I stood with him at the bar and saw they had Mecheladas on the menu. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about that particular drink, since I lived in Mexico. It’s a beer with lime juice, and chili powder, amazing perfection. So I went to sit down so he could order, and he came back with two Mecheladas. One for him, one for me. I was so excited to be drinking it. I thanked him profusely. And I was even more excited when I actually drank it. I can’t remember exactly what he said. But it was something along the lines of “anything that can make you smile like that is worth it”. Now mind you, I was only 19, and didn’t truly know how to appreciate a line like that. But I swear that’s how it happened.

On the way home, I told him about how much I hated thunder and lightning storms. They just kinda freaked me out, I don’t know why that came up. We were probably just rambling off random facts about ourselves.  We covered every subject. There was not a single pause in the conversation the whole way home. We didn’t get home till about 2 am, and I had class at nine. I told him goodnight, when he dropped me off outside my apartment, and thanked him for just a fun night.

I went into my little apartment, changed out of my clothes, slipped into bed, and shut off the lights. What a perfect night. I fell asleep in no time. Only to be woken up three hours later by the clap of thunder and flashes of lightening. I sat up in bed, waiting for the next sound. Another clap. The storm was close. With my hatred of storms, I crawled out of bed and went into my living room, to flip on the TV to see what the weather man had to say about this storm. Growing up as a kid, if the weather was bad enough, there was always people on the TV talking about it. Yet there was nothing. This was the south though, things could be different. I went back to my bedroom, sitting on my bed. Thinking to myself that I’m an adult, I really shouldn’t be this freaked out by something that can’t actually hurt me. I glanced over at my clock, it was 5:15, at the time I didn’t have friends, or even know people who were up at that hour. It was just me, afraid, in bed, during the middle of a storm.

That was when I heard my phone buzz. Someone was calling. I looked down, it was the guy. I picked up the phone. He laughed and said he knew I’d be awake because of the storm, and he called to make sure I was ok. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How is anyone really this sweet? We talked for the next 45 minutes until the storm passed and I was ready to go back to sleep. Then for the second time that night he wished me good night.

I woke up three hours later to get ready for class. I was tired, crabby, and mildly regretting my last minute late night trip so late at night. The boy texted me a good morning, and asked me what I like to drink. I wasn’t sure what he meant. I mean such two statements are usually said at opposite ends of the day. Morning: Good morning. Night: What are you drinking? He told me he was stopping by a coffee place and asked me what I wanted. I was touched again. I told him my drink order, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late, as I was already on the verge of being late for class. He showed up five minutes before I needed to leave and said “if you’re going to stay up that late, and still make it to class, you deserve this” and handed me my vice of caffeine in a cup.

Once upon a time, in one night, I had three very sweet, pseudo cheesy moments, with one guy. And when my bitter cynicism gets the best of me (more often than not), I think back on those moments and am thankful that there’s hopefully still some good, even in all the bad.

A little Christmas past and present.

Every year for Christmas, my mothers friend has a big Christmas party of Christmas eve. There’s food, and drink, oh yes, lots of drink. And then everyone goes to church only to congregate back at the party. Every year since I was 18 or so I have gone to this party, and had the food, and the drink just as everyone did. And I would go to Church with a buzz that left me feeling good enough to sit through the same Christmas sermon that I had heard since I was a kid. Well. Last year, things may or may not have gotten a bit out of control. Maybe. Ever have one of those moments after a few drinks where you can’t stop laughing. Or at the very least, giggle? Well last year that is exactly what happened to me. I got a case of the giggles. In the middle of Church. Sitting directly in front of my mother’s boss. And my step dad was so angry, being the mildly not all that dedicated Catholic that I’ve come to read him as. Apparently Christmas Eve service is the big pubah of church services. Not Easter, not baptism Sunday, but Christmas Eve service.

This year things will be different. Am I still going to drink? More than likely. Am I still going to get the giggles? Without a doubt. What’s so different this time you might be wondering. Well, let me tell you. I’m staying in Austin. I’m spending my Christmas eve with my big brother and the people down here whom I have come to know as my family. New traditions are being made, and a new kind of fun is to be had.

I hope for everyone that they are able to spend Christmas as they want. And that everyone may be so lucky as to have people to be around them whom they love, and are loved by.

Good (or bad?) grief

What’s with so many sad movies lately? Seriously. In November I got a free pass to go see a movie. I went to see 50/50, because the previews made it look like a good movie. Sitting through it though, I couldn’t help but break into tears. For those of you who don’t know, 50/50 is a movie about a young man battling cancer, and 50/50 are his odds of beating it. During good movies, people think about things, think about the movie they’re watching, and how it relates to their current life. While watching 50/50, all I could think about was my grandfather. A year before watching the movie, we didn’t even know he had cancer, and a year later, well, a year later, and he had been six feet down for almost 7 months.

Not long after 50/50, I went to see Restless. It was an independent flick about two young people who become friends. It says nothing in the description about the young girl having cancer. So what do I think about during the movie? The fact that it took a mere six months for cancer to take away yet another part of my family. Thus come the tears, and the ultimate shitty feeling of leaving the theatre feeling an immense sadness.

And then that brings me to last night. I went to go see The Descendants. I hadn’t been all that turned on to it, and couldn’t even really tell what it was about. I had heard good reviews though and it seemed like the kind of movie that could maybe get an Oscar nod come February. So I thought I’d check it out. It was a free movie pass and I had nothing to kill but time. SPOILER: In the movie George Clooney spends the whole movie trying to prepare for his wife’s passing. They take her off life support and wait for her to die.

This was another movie where I left the theater not only wanting to not be alone, but it sort of made me want to take something and sleep for a very long time. The movies above left me with an impending sense of sadness that I really can’t shake. I mean by the time I get home and finally go to sleep, I feel fine the next morning. But the night, oh the night of, it’s something different. And I can’t help but wonder if this is my bass akwards way of grieving my grandfathers loss.

Grieving for me has always been a tricky little mistress. When I was fifteen and my grandmother died, I was just sad. I was sad for a long time, until one day I wasn’t. In a perfect world, that is exactly how grief should work. It should come with a simple beginning, middle and end. Yet it doesn’t. As I get older and am forced to face overly sad situations– that I only wished to avoid—it’s never an in your face type thing. It never announces itself and comes in, and then politely leaves after due time. It comes in and becomes the big elephant in the middle of the room also known as life. It’s never how I feel it should be. When my grandfather passed I was taken back by how deep my sadness didn’t run. Sure it sucked, and made things gloomy, but going on with life was easier than I had thought it would be. I loved my grandfather and didn’t need months of depression to know that. But just the same, I was bothered by the lack of massive sadness that I felt. But then grief decides to show up. It’s in the moments when life is happening in the little moments. It becomes one of those things that sneaks up behind you in the Wal-Mart parking lot while you’re sitting in your car. One minute you’re going to go buy milk, the next minute you’re hyperventilating and sobbing your eyes out in the driver’s seat of your car.

Life continues to go on, and everything is fine, until you hear or see something that reminds you of a gap that’s been left in your life, and as fine as you were before, now you’re not. Luckily, however grief works, my moments of sadness are easily out measured by all the other moments. Whatever reason I have to be sad about anything (truly, there’s not much), they are over shadowed by all the good things going on.