so… life, huh?

Man, does life get in the way of the things we want to do sometimes, or what?

I absolutely love this blog – love writing it, love interacting with my friends who read it… heck, I even love re-reading it. So sue me. Obviously if I had NO ego, I wouldn’t have a blog to start with.

I’ve been busy, but honestly, not busy enough to stop writing. I have just kind of made excuses and half-promises to “write something tomorrow” or “write something when i have an idea.” The thing is, though, I very rarely sit down to blog with an idea in mind. I just sit down, open the new post box, and get to typing.

That’s kind of true about my writing life in general. I feel I don’t have a story to tell, so I never write. Anyone who knows me personally just scoffed at that last sentence. I know better. Everyone has a story to tell. I have always believed that, and I always will. I guess it’s just a matter of finding the voice, of honing the pathway so that story can make its way to the listeners.

Anyway. Here I am! I am still here. I am still thinking myself to death, still freezing my fingers off, still praying vehemently for spring, and still, still, still trying to write something, dangit.


The things that hold me back.

Lately, I have been suffering from a tad of anxiety. Nothing too serious, but when I tell you that I actually had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours because I was having chest pains, you have to promise not to freak out. I have a very nearly perfect EKG, or whatever it is, and apparently my left ventricle is not about to collapse. Or explode. Or otherwise cause death, dismemberment, or destruction.

It’s just a little old-fashioned anxiety.

So, I have been wondering what has me so dang stressed out. This has not been a fun journey for me, tromping through my inner life to get to the bottom of my procrastination and anxiety and just the general “meh”that seems to permeate my life lately.

I do not have a solid belief that my dreams are valid.

That’s it. That is the drumbeat in my ribcage. That is my dirty little secret. I believe that I am not smart enough, not talented enough, not charming enough, and certainly not convincing enough to wheedle my way into the places I would love to be in this life.

But today, I saw something that sparked something in me. A friend of mine on Facebook was posting some pictures she snapped with her phone. They were giant icicles, like prison bars. I clicked through them, simply in awe of the massive-ness of the icicles. They were huge. They looked so thick and so strong. Immediately, I thought that they reminded me of prison bars.

I liked the pictures so much, I clicked through them again. And this time, I looked beyond the “bars.” What a gorgeous night! I love that blue twilight time during the winter months. I’d love to just walk right out into the open and breathe it all in. It’s beautiful.

It’s on the other side of those bars.

That’s a ridiculous thought, isn’t it? It’s ice, not steel bars.

That’s what it’s like for me to think that I can’t get to where I want to be. The obstacles I face are small, (although they feel huge) and they are mostly in my own head (although they seem so real).

They are not truly obstacles. They just look that way. They are mostly fear, perfectionism, and self-doubt.

Moving forward is up to me, and it can take as long as I choose. I could reach out and snap those icicles. I could hold up a hairdryer and melt them.

I could wait until the sun shines and melts them away, if I am willing to wait that long.

She means we’re bouncing into Graceland.

This post is about “Graceland,” by Paul Simon.

I knew many of the songs from this album long before I moved to Nashville. I did, after all, grow up in a home that had records. I am not proud to admit that the first music I ever purchased with my allowance was “Conga” by The Miami Sound Machine. On a record. But anyway. Now that you know I am older than the very core of the earth, let’s get back to Paul Simon.

When I lived in Nashville, there was a certain musician who was rising to fame who attended my church. And I distinctly remember one day, somehow ending up at a table at Joe’s Crab Shack with him sitting immediately to my left. He was cute. Every girl wanted to get noticed by this guy.

I could barely concentrate. I could barely eat. But I heard this:

“Graceland is probably one of the most important albums in my life.”

Or something to that effect. Of course I made a mental note to go buy Graceland and memorize it so that the next time we had a conversation, I would be able to get all mooney-eyed and say, “oh, wow, me too.”

That never happened. Life happened. I got busy, I got distracted, and before I knew it, over three years had flown by and I was packing to move back to New York.

So much has happened since that day at lunch. I kind of forgot to be obsessed with every almost-rock star that I came across. And, somewhere along the way, Graceland, in its entirety, made it into my iTunes library. When I listen to this album (usually all the way through, at least once), I feel home. I remember pain, disappointment, tears, feeling “blown apart” and having nothing to cover me up. But I also remember hugs, being received,  belonging, and taking crazy risks and  being alright.

When I listen to Graceland, I am positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will actually make it.

Well, Mat Kearney, I never got around to it in Nashville, but I’ll tell you now: “oh, wow, me too.”