i used to write

Lately, I feel like I’ve been starting a lot of my blog entries the same way: it’s been a rough week/day/etc.

And I say it because it’s always true.  A few years from now, I’ll undoubtedly refer to the last few months as that time I almost died (Part 4), met myself coming, got really scared, settled, and then fought like Hell for a new reality.  The sad truth is–the days lately have been exquisitely difficult.  I find myself holding my rage in as things catapult themselves at me–only to explode later when something or other sets me off–when that final straw has finally been broken.  I find that I literally live for 5 pm every day, and weekends are the only things between me and utter insanity.  It’s the feeling of being an alien in some world where kindness and decency just doesn’t exist.  And I’m pissed because I didn’t fight so hard to live just to die doing 8 to 5.

(I’m working on it.  And there is more hope than I can possibly say here–and that’s all I’ll say for now).

I’m finding that things that used to be alright are not alright anymore.  Not because they’ve changed.  Because I have.  It reminds me of that time my friend killed himself, and how–suddenly–the entire world fit wrong.

I suppose I’m figuring out where I fit now, and I’m surprised by the places that slip on like gloves.  I’m surprised by the doors that are opening–redefining what’s possible for me.

This week, like many of my weeks, was a rollercoaster.  I hung on tight, but time threw me up in the air and had its way with me.

I found people and places and memories and emotions I thought I’d eradicated from memory.  And I called bygones to the hurt and the disappointment and the everything else.  And I cared.  And I reached out–knowing it was probably in vain.  And confirmations came secondhand.  And I worried and then let go.  A new era for this girl and that life that wasn’t quite hers.

Old demons and fears have kept me on the hamster wheel, and to my utter joy?  The Universe came up with its own master plan, and suddenly, I was knee deep in that hope that created me on the day my father died.  Suddenly–any jaded part of my heart grew rainbows and forgave the darkness.  Suddenly, I remembered who I’ve always been and vowed to pay it forward.

And today, in my rage over being told how to feel about my Mama’s death–I acknowledged that I had a right to feel.  And I felt–probably a bit too much.

And then I went to a concert, got mad, and didn’t dance.


2009 was not a particularly good year for me.  In fact, when I think back on it, it ranks pretty much up there in the Worst Year Hall of Fame.  Like 2004, people who knew me before then, probably don’t recognize me much now.  It was a face the music, hit rock bottom year–full of heartbreak, disillusionment, hope, love, and putting myself back together again.  Only nothing about that year was quite what it appeared to be.

That was the year I met Joe Pug.  Well, kinda.

I didn’t know his music, really.  I just wanted to see a show–get out of the apartment…be young.  And not have someone pour beer down my back.  I found the show, listened on YouTube, and went alone.  I remember being sort of blown away by his theatricality–how this guy, all by himself, kinda gave birth to song in front of us.  And I remember he wore one of those crazy Elvis nudie suits from Rockmount.  And pulled it off.  His guts and heart won me over–and I immediately had a crush.  So much so that I bought all his albums, reviewed the show on my then-blog, and researched his life–because there was something that grabbed me.

I found out he’d been a playwright, and his stage presence underscored that history.  And I remember just being inspired to write and even attempt songwriting.  I never did, but I wanted to.  Other things took over my attention instead.

But he’s still one of my favorite artists, and every time he comes to Denver, I want to see him live.  This was actually the first time I made good on that desire since that other day four years ago.

I was in a pretty bad mood when I got to the venue, and I wasn’t all that enthralled with the opening band.  I wanted to love them, but I was so tired and dark rooms with quiet songs of English balladry just blurred together into one big snore.  I was struggling hardcore–despite my coffee fix–and literally felt myself getting angry again.

I keep feeling angry.  Every day.  It’s not good.  And I remembered that first night I saw Joe play, and how–despite the uncertainty of that year–I splurged on a ticket and had a great time.  Despite chasing those demons.  Now, I’m so blessed–it’s mind-boggling–but something inside me is struggling to make its way.

The minute Joe came on stage, I felt relieved–mostly because his energy and passion woke me up.  He was thinner this time–with longer, curlier hair–instead of the preppy cut of years past.  No more nudie suit.  A salmon button down and jeans.  The venue couldn’t quite hold him.  And he charmed me with his jokes all over again.  And again, I was reminded that being a writer is part of everything–and that I could still see it in him and feel inspired.

I left tonight–again wanting to write songs.  Wanting to write period.  And remembering that I used to do that.  Beyond blogging and academics.  These things–words–meant something to me.  I had things to say.  Not just complaints or summaries of bad days or vague attempts at things I can’t really explain or talk about now for fear of scrunched toes or slipped secrets.

And I remembered again tonight–like I did on Wednesday–that I am free.  Finally free again.  And alive.  And there is nothing stopping me from anything except me.

I’m not going to say I’m gonna do XYZ because I always do that.  And sometimes, I do.  Sometimes, I don’t.  Maybe what matters is that feeling that prompts the thought.

I remember the girl I was in 2009.  That scared, unrealistically–foolishly–hopeful girl who had no idea what was coming…but somehow accepted it and loved it anyway.

I am tired of being angry.  I am tired of being quiet.  I am tired of just getting by.  In five years, these few months will be mere blips in this life story.  But I think they’ll be important ones where I come to know my heart a little better.  My next reality is about to be born.


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