A year ago today & how I got here

This time last year, I’d just gotten out of the pines of New Jersey with best friend Lorien after spending over a week learning a magic that is almost lost, and finding myself in the tracks of animals and the coals of a fire that isn’t touched by modern technology. I was so pumped, so ready to take on this thing called life and get through the weeks ahead with the trial. I knew it would be impossibly hard and awful, but I had something to work on, something to hold on to and share, so I was ready for the darkness — or so I thought. This time last year I had a very nice and comfortable house with my then-boyfriend and some roomies in Knoxville. I had an awesome job, contract horse training, which paid all my bills even though I only worked 4-6 hours a week. It left me the freedom to work on that bartending job I wanted, go to therapy, see my brothers and take the kids out to see movies, work on myself and try to “deal.” I even got to travel that summer and take an amazing class, drive Lorien to the Adirondack Mountains and take a few road trips.  But when I got home from this adventure, it was to a family in great pain with the doomsday of the trial looming, a boyfriend who didn’t want me and was done (even though the worst day of my life was only a week away) and no place I could make myself stay for more than an hour. I packed my stuff and said farewell to the dick of a boyfriend and tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do now. In this unbearable chaos my aunt threw me my lifeline of going to Chicago till the court date. I walked and walked all over downtown, watched people, talked on the phone, sat with the pain I was in, reconnected with an old friend, and even had some fun in the Windy City. I went home to the pain and darkness and promptly lost my mind in grief and confusion over what happened. Another aunt thankfully whisked me away to Bethel, Alaska where I prowled the Tundra and had many sleepless nights, cut off from everyone in the world (no cell service) for a few weeks. I mushed dogs, had a job offer and made some new friends while visiting the Bush.

I flew into Anchorage to see a friend and get a “feel” for what the city was like, and to see if I maybes wanted to try making a life there. My next stop was Seattle with another aunt before heading back to Tennessee to get my beloved River dog, a few more clothes and say a proper goodbye to the kids before I set out to find life. But a job appeared and I got “don’t you dare” and “I believe this a VERY bad idea right now” from my family back in Tennessee. After some intense conversations I decided it was safer to just miss my plane and stay in Anchorage rather than risk not being able to get a flight back and have no job waiting. So I stayed with a little duffel bag of clothes, my computer and one pair of shoes. Homeless, carless and penniless I somehow found places to stay and worked the bus system and the rides I could get from people I’d met to get to work every day, on time or early, but sometimes I just had to walk… I walked and worked my ass off through the winter. I moved around, got kicked out and put out by people. I’d no sooner get access to a car then it would get a flat tire or something random, leaving me to wait on the nice people who would ferry my ass around and walk. I briefly visited the Farm for Christmas, which may or may not have been a good trip but I did get to see my wonderful brothers and sister and say a real goodbye along with stealing my dog back (they had fattened her up) and a few more clothes.

My own car arrived (best gift Dad could ever give me) once Dad had made peace that for better or worse I wasn’t coming back early on in the New Year. The rest I’ve written to some degree on this very blog, but it was today, this time last year, that I came out of the woods with the determination to live and not “get by.” I had made that commitment and a few others to myself – and, unbeknownst to them, my people – that I would live my life in a way that was filled with integrity. That no matter what happened in the following weeks of the trial (and little did I know about losing the entire life I’d made in Knoxville) and darkness that I would make it through. With the chaos in which I was enveloped, I do believe that those promises I made in the woods, only a week before the hit from the boyfriend and friends I thought I had, are what enabled me to continue through. I had so much passion that I can only hope now I somehow didn’t lose after a year of trying but never being quite good enough, smart enough, rich enough or stable enough to have anything besides the clothes on my back, hand outs and my dog whom I fed before myself.

Now, on the day before I lost everything in the city in which I had built my new life, I stand in yet another city  – one as far away as I could get from Knoxville without moving out of the country – with yet another new life. I’ve a job, a car, my dog, a house I rightfully live in with roomies I actually like; I pay my own bills, try to take care of my health and River’s. I think I even have a few real friends in this very city. Somehow, I’ve more today after losing EVERYTHING a year ago. I can only hope I’ve made some impact on others that I meet, and that my brothers and sister don’t hate me for leaving. I miss the horses so much – most days I tell myself I’ve no horses so as to not feel their absence. I left my best friend and most of the family. I walked out on my work and said goodbye to a dream job of training horses.

Tonight I sit here wondering where I’ll be next year, and if I will like it; if my decisions this year will land me in the same spot of just starting over with nothing, as they did last year. I don’t think I could survive another crumbled attempt at life and being left with nothing but dust. Kind of puts some edge to my decisions now. I now know to not build life around anyone (i.e boyfriend, roommates, friends) and not depend on their love or help in any way to get me through the daily things. That is my job, and only mine. I take risks that I normally wouldn’t consider, and don’t let myself get used to anything just in case. I feel that because of this I’ve learnt much, so much. But for everyone who is nodding their heads in ‘I knew it would work out’ and ‘everything happens for a reason’ I wouldn’t wish this path on anyone and if “things had a reason” it sure as hell wasn’t this.

Another song by Within Temptation is the theme to this piece of writing.

“Faster” http://youtu.be/jDJpf2mQ0w4

 I can’t sleep ‘cause it’s burning deep inside
Like gasoline on fire running wild
No more fear ‘cause I’m getting closer now
So unreal but I like it anyhow

[Pre-chorus:]
I go faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and faster.

[Chorus:]
And I can’t live in a fairytale of lies
And I can’t hide from the feeling ‘cause it’s right
And I go faster and faster and faster and faster for life
I can’t live in a fairytale of lies

I can feel that you mesmerize my heart
I feel so free, I’m alive, I’m breaking out
I won’t give in, ‘cause I’m proud of all my scars
And I can see I’ve been wasting too much time

[Pre-chorus and chorus]

I go faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and faster.

And I can’t live in a fairytale of lies
And I can’t hide from the feeling ‘cause it’s right
And I go faster and faster and faster and faster for life
I can’t live in a fairytale of lies

I can feel that you mesmerize my heart
I feel so free, I’m alive, I’m breaking out
I won’t give in, ‘cause I’m proud of all my scars
And I can see I’ve been wasting too much time

A fairytale of lies

[Instrumental break]

 And I can’t live in a fairytale of lies
And I can’t hide from the feeling ‘cause it’s right
And I go faster and faster and faster and faster for life
I can’t live in a fairytale of lies
A fairytale of lies.

I most certainly cannot live in a fairytale of lies, and I just keep after life itself. I’ve found that whether in a crowded city or the vast tundra, I can’t hide from my feelings; and that my scars won’t ever go away, so I might as well be proud that I could live to claim them. Most days I have no idea what I’m feeling, but then I stop and realize that while I might not know what I always feel, at least I can. At least I’ve a life, and at least (I think) I live with some integrity. And that is living.

~J

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A year ago today & how I got here

  1. Broken bones or torn tissues grow back stronger than their original structure. While healing they need protection and a healthy healing environment. After they mature they are never the same again but stronger than before and a new injury rarely tears through the old scars (maybe somewhere else but not that tough scar tissue). Over time, you will never be the same again due to this journey, but perhaps stronger than you ever were.

    BTW, next time you stop by the clinic, ask Elodie if they need help working at her horse stable. She is one of those crazy horse people, working three jobs to keep a roof over her and her horse’s head in the cold Alaskan winters. Not a lot of horses up here but they are there if you look!

  2. I love that song, and I feel you on missing the horses. You have definitely lived through more than most people can handle and gone through some of the worst things imaginable. You are so much stronger than a lot of people because you had to do things for survival – for not only your mental and emotional survival but your physical survival as well. I feel you on other stuff in my own way, because it’s very difficult when family does not understand why you make the decisions you do, and it’s extremely difficult when you feel intense emotional pain and are living on the edge, more or less. Music and doing my own thing has helped in really rough times. And it seems that we have the same taste in music :). Since I don’t have the horses much or at all anymore, I’ve discovered kayaking and hiking as great ways to unwind. Through my fiance I have discovered the fine art of target shooting and learned how much it really does let you just let go and aim your emotions at the targets.

    I will also say that it is very shitty that your boyfriend last year left you before the worst day of your life. I had some boyfriends that left me because of what I went through and it only made me feel a lot worse. It is good to be on your own for a while and do your own thing – it was when I wasn’t looking that it happened for me (I know it’s cheesy but it is real and it does happen :p) I am always here if you need anything. And I mean that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s