I never knew what could happen in a day. I never knew what could happen in a few months.

My concept of time has always been flawed, but that’s okay. Some moments need to feel longer than others, because they may be fleeting and worth holding on to.

To have grown so much, so quickly, to realize it’s only my perception that’s changed, not me. I’m the same girl who needs to eat hot food piping hot, and cold food freshly chilled. I’m the same girl who loves being out in nature, experiencing everything, and taking pictures of anything, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when I’m left in the city for too long.

Transcending devastation takes action, patience, and love. Always so concerned about what we hear, but never lifting a hand to interfere. Interfering takes balls. It takes all of the above, plus balls, and creates a force to be reckoned with. It re-ties bonds, awakens locked away memories, and allows for the healing to begin. Remember who you are, who you were, and who you want to be. They all have made you into something amazing. But you have to allow yourself to be amazing. You have to work for it yourself too. You can’t just wish and dream and hope that one day will be better. You have to make life better. You have to want it. You have to leave all your excuses behind and create your future. Those who don’t take action, don’t get to complain. Those who take action realize that we are all architects of the future. I choose to take action. I’m the architecture of my future, and it’s looking pretty damn awesome.

I’m picking up the pieces with help from amazing friends and family. Devastation has picked up her bags and left me, just like he did, and this time I smiled and waved as she disappeared around the corner. I’m figuring out my life and I’ve been more happy than sad. I’ve gotten closer to some friends that I’ve had for a while, and I’ve met some pretty amazing new people. Oh, confounding destiny, you know how I love adventure.

I’m thinking about planning a road trip sometime this summer, back to NY. I will go through the states on the way there so I can see some family along the way, and Canada on the way back, because it’s a couple hours quicker, and I haven’t been to Canada in years! I miss me some East Side Mario’s!
I need to get a Michigan enhanced ID.
I need to get a job.

I never imagined this life for myself. To be honest, I don’t know what I ever imagined for myself. For so long I feel like I’ve been flowing down this path of uncertain certainty. Not really knowing where life is going to take me, but just knowing that my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

I came to Detroit for answers. To change my life for the better, so I could change the world for the better? Yes. Yet, here I am, as lost as I’ll ever be, fighting for the answers that brought me here to begin with.

This is the month that I will have been married for six years. Six whole years. It almost makes me puke to think about. We were so happy, and I’m not sure why it all fell apart. But it did. And I can’t pretend that I didn’t lose a part of myself when he left to go back to NY, but I also can’t pretend like it could have ended any other way.

I never knew love could be so destructive. I was so naive to think that, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all,” because it’s the worst. If you’ve ever come down from cocaine, or been stuck in a bad acid trip, just multiply that feeling by a trillion.

I don’t even know who I am anymore. Part of the definition of myself was that I was married, and that even though we married young, we were happy and as strong as ever, and maybe I was just stubborn. We eloped and told everyone six months later. Perhaps it was true love. But isn’t true love supposed to last? It felt real at the time. Or maybe we just needed each other and now we don’t. I don’t know how to explain it or anything about it. It was wonderful, and now it’s dead.

I feel like I’m letting everyone around me down. I don’t know where the month went. It’s been a blur and a haze, and I’ve made so many promises that I’ve failed to deliver upon, and most of all I’ve failed myself. I’m doing horribly in school. I’ve missed so many deadlines. I don’t know if I can save myself or pull myself out of it. I really want to succeed and I don’t want to see this all thrown in the garbage just because I’m having a rough time this semester. They should know this isn’t like me, but I feel like I’m going to be left behind anyway.

I’m trying to be strong. I’m trying not to be such a baby about life. My grand(parents) are coming to visit me, and I really don’t want them to see me like this. I feel like I don’t know how to be me anymore.

I hope I figure this out soon.

It seems lately that it’s never the right time to sit my ass down and write about what’s going on upstairs. I feel like I have everything to say, but nothing to say. I’m teetering and toiling with the hierarchy of my thoughts. Does it really matter that much? Should I worry more about this? Am I giving up to easily? Did I push too hard? I picked up a book the other day, chuckling at the title: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all Small Stuff.

A simple thing, but I’ve been trying to change my attitude and outlook ever since. It’s been somewhat of a revelation. Coupled with chopping all of my hair off, I’d say I’ve been downright liberated.

Last Monday night I was driving on 75-N, on my way home from school. My windshield wipers stopped working as I was going around 50 mph in what seemed like a torrential downpour. Burdened by sleep deprivation and my intense anxiety toward highway driving from the time a huge metal door came crashing through my windshield, I silently screamed, “What the fuuuuuuck?!” I instantly couldn’t see anything and pulled over as soon as I could, trying to avoid the crazy midnight drivers. There was nothing I could do. I moved the wipers and poked the wipers and yelled at the wipers. Nothing I did would work. I sucked it up and maneuvered my way to the nearest exit, which happened to be 7 Mile.

I found my way to a gas station that was close to the exit, my guard in full force. The small town girl in me shuddered and shook and begged me to go anywhere, anywhere but there. It was the middle of the night and here I was stranded at one of the sketchiest gas stations I’ve ever been to. Looking back, I probably should have never gotten out of my car. There was a man and a woman in the gas station. He could hardly speak english and she was pushing drugs. I asked them if either of them knew how to fix windshield wipers. They did their best to help me out, and it was honestly all I could have hoped for. They were both very sweet, I just wasn’t used to their lifestyle. The people that were in and out of the station were either looking for change, looking for drugs, or looking to start a fight.

My adrenaline was rushing like the end was near. I was offered ecstasy for my troubles, and several strange men hit on me. I saw guns waving in the air, and countless clips from movies where the innocent bystander gets shot, raped, or killed flashed in my head as each moment passed by. I tried calling people, but for some reason they couldn’t hear me when I said anything. I was able to text a couple people, but no one was able to help me. The gas station attendants were still trying to help me, but I couldn’t stand it anymore. I told them that I was able to get ahold of someone and that they’d be there soon. I thanked them for their help and went to get in my car. “Stay here in the front so we can keep an eye on you ’til your friends come,” the lady said. “Ya never know what’s gonna happen you park on the side. Crazy shit gon’ happen and I need to keep an eye on ya.”

Screaming on the inside, I locked myself in the car. I restarted my phone to see if that would help. It didn’t. I put it on speaker phone to see if that would help. It did! I was able to get ahold of my fantastic boss and friend, M, and her superhero bf, T. They came to my rescue. They guided me home through the cold and the wet and the scary.

It ended up being a stripped module of some sort, apparently something that’s common in Pontiacs.

Lessons learned:
There’s never a right time for anything.
Trust is a fickle thing, and I was luckier than most who become stranded in strange places.
Asking someone for help is OK.
It’s also OK to show emotion. Humans are humans. And humans feel.
I’m not in Kansas anymore. I haven’t been for a while.

It’s hard to come to terms with that last one. My surroundings are becoming familiar. I haven’t been in an apartment here for longer than a year, but everything is starting to feel like… home? The 313, the 248… they don’t feel like such foreign numbers anymore. People at the grocery store and bank and post office know me by name. It’s not just CCS that feels familiar anymore. I’ve been to the D Show and 313digital’s Anniversary party three years in a row now. Chills just ran down my spine. Three years. This is my third year in Detroit. 3. Ho. ly. shit.

My mind races with thoughts as I lackadaisically meander through my apartment in search of my neglected notebook and Pilot G-2 05 pen. There’s just something about actually writing something down, rather than typing it, that’s always appealed to me. It feels more poetic, a romantic notion.

The pen is important. I need an inky pen that’s smooth and produces flowing lines like my flowing thoughts. This process is slow enough as it is without having to go back and rewrite what’s already been written. Even though I’m going to type it into my blog for the entire world to see, it makes the process a bit more whimsical.

My motivation has been rediscovered. Fruits of my labor are ripening and I’ll be able to harvest them shortly, which reminds me how far I still have to go, and that in order to achieve what I’m already as mentally prepared as I’ll probably ever be, I still have some motions to go through. I feel like my life is one long mathematical equation that, in order to solve, you have to jump around and solve things in the correct order. You can’t just go straight through it from left to right, because 2 + (7 x 2) does not equal 18. It equals 16. I’ve always been one for not taking an orthodox path. I guess it’s just the way things happened. As a child I experienced the amount of death in my life that shouldn’t happen until I’m very old, I mothered a family of 6 as I entered High School, Was married before I could legally drink (by choice – and we’re still happily married over 5 years later), and now I’m entering my Junior year of college at the age of 24.

I’ve still got a lot to discover, relationships to establish, books to absorb, and a multitude of things to accomplish academically and personally. I guess as much as I think I’m ready, I’ll never be completely ready until the moment I need to be, and even then I’m not sure.

Maybe I’m over-stretching a feeble mind, maybe I’m delusional, maybe everyone is humoring me. Maybe I’ll be a hot commodity. Whatever it is, I feel almost inhibited by my mind – that maybe I’m too much of a dreamer to see reality. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced enough to know of life’s cruelty and devastation. I know others have had it worse than me. I know that some people are heartless and selfish and that it’s the bottom line that conquers all – not love.

Despite my best efforts, I just can’t shake the overwhelming feeling that maybe I’ll never make the impact that I wish to make. That I’ll continually be disregarded as weak, just because I think happiness should be shared. That misery is for those who are cruel for no reason, other than their own lack of empathy.

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to create a better world for my children. I’m afraid that my efforts will have been in vain, and that being a dreamer will be my greatest downfall. Most of all I’m afraid that some people will never be able to experience true happiness, or worse – never know that it exists at all. That they’ll never know that it could be better, that it doesn’t have to be like that.

My heart breaks every time I hear about abuse, poverty, and whatever other tumultuous and horrific happenstances you can think of. What hurts the most is the feeling of absolute helplessness, and knowing that I’ll never be able to change their lives, or give them happiness.

At the event I went to last night, I wanted to donate money to help kids get school supplies and backpacks. It’s hard to sleep at night knowing that parents can hardly afford to clothe their children, let alone buy them pencils. I didn’t want to donate money for the raffle tickets so that I could win a cool prize. I wanted to do it, because I want to believe that every bit helps.

My mind races when I think of all the other things I could be doing besides writing in a notebook, whining about injustice, wasting paper.

Every once in a while I get this overwhelming urge to destroy everything that I’ve worked for. Just give it all up and start over. Not because I dislike what I’m doing, or because life is hard, or anything like that. It’s more or less because I like the emptiness of not knowing what’s next. The absolute clarity of my undefined purpose. The understanding that anything is possible. It’s almost like starting a new Sims game.

I don’t know if it’s the risk that gets me off, or if it’s the sexy clean slate, but I’ve come to a deep understanding that I cannot be satisfied by just going through the motions. I’m getting that feeling again, that I’m setting roots in the ground, and as attractive a notion as that is, I need more. I need to know that I’m not going to be stuck in one spot for the rest of my life. That I’m going to keep moving and shaking and learning and growing.

My mind races with possibilities for the future, and I love that I don’t have any plans as to where I’ll be working when I graduate, let alone next summer. I just hate that I let this summer get out of my grasp. I thought I had an internship somewhere, and I turned down another one for it, but it ended up not working out. I interviewed for another, which I didn’t even seek out – they asked me if I was interested – and I never heard back from them. I wish that I never took the first one for granted, and that I tried harder to get into somewhere. Many of my friends are interning, and now I feel left behind. They all got to go on the cruise, and I’m stuck here on the dock, because I forgot to bring my suitcase.

I’m not letting my summer escape me completely though. I’ve picked myself back up and am pushing through. Handling Presidential duties for Student Government, helping out with some stuff at school, keeping up with 313Digital stuff, entertaining myself with some inspiring summer reading, working on side projects with friends, and going through the (car) trunk load of CA magazines I recently inherited (Some are from the 60s and 80s!). I’m also taking an Asian Art History class at Oakland University with one of the sweetest, most talented Professors I’ve had the chance of learning from. I almost want to go back next summer just to take the 2 credit Guqin course, because he’s made me actually want to go to a liberal arts class without hesitation. Maybe it’s because it’s the only class I’m taking, but I’m pretty sure this guy is a great teacher.

I’ll get over this urge soon. Whether I shave my head, go on a road trip, or deactivate my Facebook (yeah right), I will find something to mix it up to my pleasing. Who knows, maybe I’ll do two of the three. I’ll let you ponder on which two I’m leaning toward. You might be surprised.

Sometimes you think the water’s going to be great, so you jump in head first, but then you realize it’s a lot colder than you expected, so you get a bloody nose. Eventually, you figure, “screw it… I’m just going to get a bloody nose,” so you stop jumping in. You stop getting excited. You stop being spontaneous. But then one day you realize all the fun you’ve been missing, and you know deep in your heart that even if you get hurt, it’s kind of exciting, because the pain reminds you that you’re alive.

Go for it, whatever it is. You only get one life, and you never know when it’s going to end.

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