Thursday, January 30, 2014

As January Ends

Bright and white like a winter-time postcard
Across the way, a chimney is puffing out a stream of smoke
People are snuggled, hiding from the cold
Some are daring the ice, daring to move on with their lives
We become a cliché of coffee and hot cocoa
We find those books we never read and read them
We put on our warmest socks and gaze out the windows
"When will it melt away?" we ask
It seems as if not for some time
It's no longer fluff; ice and crunch
Enjoy it while you can, be thankful for your chimneys
This won't come again so soon

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowy South

Four inches of snow covered as far as I could see. It was so bright and white that I could barely see when I woke up this morning. Chances are, this is the first and last snow of the season for Georgia. Even more so, the last snow for my life in Georgia. Soon, I'll only be able to call myself a Georgian in memory. Soon, everyone around me will be a culture shock, the places will be new and the food will be different (well, sometimes).

Southerners are always grossly misrepresented as full of fattening foods, grammatically handicapped and with a childlike repulsive "charm" akin to Honey Boo-Boo. But I have lived in Georgia my entire life, and we have just as much wit and intellect as anywhere else; it just depends on the person's priorities. Which is true for anywhere. I'm waiting for the day when a reality show about Southerners who aren't extreme representations of one side or the other comes out; but I'll probably never see such a thing in my lifetime.

Unless you grew up in a more rural area, most of my generation carries with them a very subtle Southern accent. One that isn't grossly overdone like Redneck culture, but something more quaint and understandable. (Though some thick accents can be charming if the person themselves are charming.) We do love our Southern food, but we aren't all fat slobs who would rather eat ten servings of grits and sweet tea than expand our palates. We have our own fashion styles, and they don't all consist of camouflage. In fact, most of my generation seems to dress as if they grew up in L.A. But we're still Georgians, just a different breed than what you might think.

There is folk and country music rampant, there are accents and rural areas galore, but that's what makes it home. You can drive 10 or 20 minutes from a busy town or city and find horses running through a field. And homophobia isn't a disease you can't cure here. Georgia is just as conservative as it is liberal, and with it you can find friends of like-mind wherever you are. There are an overabundance of Jesus bilboards, but even the Christians are annoyed by them--trust me, it's a regular joke.

You can find beaches, mountains, flatlands and hills whenever you want them; here, people will open doors for you without being asked and (usually) mind their manners; people will see you drop your groceries and will stop to help you pick them up; people will smile when they pass a stranger--maybe even say "hi." This is the South, after all, and Southern hospitality isn't completely dead. And I'm going to miss it, so very much. There's good and bad that come with every place, but I'm proud to say I'm a Georgian. I can't say I haven't been blessed.

It's odd what snow makes you think about.

(And here's a really lame awesome picture of me from last night; yes, that's a Superman onesie:)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Everything is sparkling with diamond light"

In a place where snow hardly falls, it's a precious gift when it comes. I have always appreciated the snow, but sometimes, even in the south, I am alone. I hate people who sit there and gripe about others being happy to see snow. "In [insert northern place here] it snows even worse than this all the time, who cares!" some of my friends have said. Who cares if it has? Chances are the people acting like that have never seen it. We're in the south, where it almost never snows. Why do we have to be deprived of happiness because you're being a Scrooge?

"It's not going to stick," my father said. He's always so dismissive of the snow. He never believes it will stick until it does. I always wish it will even if there is every sign it won't. But that's who I am, I guess--a hopeful fool. But as hopeful and foolish as I may be, I'm the one enjoying this pleasant gift and happy to see it here while others scramble to grocery stores while the roads are still safe to buy all of the bread and milk as if it's a blizzard. "It's just snow," he said, and, for once, I agree.

The snow keeps piling on, and it's so beautiful. When I move, I'll probably see this more often, but I know I'll be just as happy to see the snow as I always have been. Snow is just beautiful to me. The view from my window is bright and white and the snow just keeps falling. I can't stop staring. I'm bound to be stuck like this all day. And to think I almost began to miss the spring. How could I possibly feel such a way when this is the first time this season I get to truly experience all that winter has to offer.

Today, I'm thankful for the chance to get to play in the snow. I'm thankful for the chance to spend time watching my dogs excitedly race through the yard and stare around just as amazed. I'm thankful for a warm house and hot cocoa to come back inside to when it's just a bit too cold to stay out any longer. Today, I'm just thankful. For everything. I should do this more often.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Decisions

"It's gonna' snow Tuesday," everyone said. Everyone so sure of it. Everyone so determined. I stepped outside and took in the winter air. It didn't feel like winter, though. Georgia often has a bitter chill that is followed by some warmer breezes later in the week. We know winter, but we don't know winter the way some of those Yankees do, I reckon.

Monday afternoon and I've contemplated stepping outside and sipping tea, but I don't know what else I would do. Would I read in that time, do something artistic, play with the many technological gizmos and gadgets I have acquired over the years? I am definitely one for mental stimulation. But even on winter days like today where everyone swears it will be snowing three inches tomorrow, yet the air feels as if it's only 60-degrees, the breeze reminds me of the days I feel most alive. So I must fill the day with something thrilling.

Inside the house are mugs in the cupboard and an assortment of teas; two dogs who don't mind sitting outside all day with me if I so choose; and nothing in particular to do. I remember that my time here is slipping, and that I have to spend it enjoying the present. With that said: green tea, black tea, Irish tea, cinnamon tea or raspberry tea? They all seem delightful in their own ways. Perhaps green tea with honey will soothe me best. The day is still young--a book might be nice. An escape to another world, a book about an asylum sounds chilling enough.

But what about the rest of the week? I guess I have to listen to my own motto and worry about the present--and choose not to worry at all. I have to enjoy the winter while it feels like spring and accept and appreciate the snow should we see any tomorrow. I have an entire week ahead of me. After all, it's only a Monday afternoon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 Is About the Experiences

With 2013 being a year of experiences, dares and courage, I want to make 2014 worth it. So far, I already have big plans lined up to ensure such a thing. For instance, Feb. 21, Trey and I will finally be married, and then I'll be moving out to the West Coast with him. I have lived in Georgia my entire life, and while I don't have as thick of an accent as most people because I grew up in the Atlanta area, I still am a Georgia peach. Folk, bluegrass and some mainstream country (SOME) are the bulk of what I love music-wise, and I don't think that I would feel the same way or as strongly about that music if I grew up out of the south (although acoustic music that often gets mistaken for folk by these hipster-y kids might have been on my list, who knows?). I cannot wait to finally be reunited with Trey and be with him all the time. When I met him in college, going home for breaks without him was tough enough (well, the big breaks, anyway), but he's been on the other side of the country from me since last February. Which is why I'm so happy that I got to actually see Washington and spend a week with him. And I'm even more happy that he'll be coming down, we'll get married, and then I'll be going out with him permanently. Had it been earlier in our relationship, I think it would have been much harder. But after three years, we are more secure and we were much busier with work ourselves, so there were distractions, occasionally. The closer it gets to the day, the more excited I get.

The next big experience is a package deal: the honeymoon. We're going to Orlando for five days and we're spending three days at Universal Studios and getting to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Because we're nerds like that. Getting to go back to Universal for only my second time will be an amazing time and I'll get to do it with Trey; going to HP World is going to be even better. I've waited to go for the first time with him--and I just heard it's expanding to include Gringott's which is so cool! Granted, we won't see that happen when we go, but the idea is just too awesome. Whenever we do come back to the East Coast for a visit or otherwise, getting to ride that ride will be awesome! At the end of the trip, we'll be driving to Tampa to see Demi Lovato on her Neon Lights Tour! I'm so excited for this, and Trey is a sweetheart because he has agreed to go despite the fact that it's going to be a pop-y and girly time. I have some hope he might sort of enjoy himself, even if he doesn't care for the music--he's really, really picky sometimes. I don't really get his taste in music at all.

Then we'll be moving to Washington. This is another experience I cannot wait for because I cannot wait to go somewhere new and meet new people and experience life somewhere else. As scared as I was at first, I'm actually excited now. I always said I would like to see other places. And Washington is pretty much all mountains, so that is something I cannot wait to come back to.

Last year, I spent a lot of it learning about anxiety disorder and how it's affected me (because I didn't know anything about it before) and enjoying life and the people in it as much as possible. Whether my big experience for the day was just spending time with friends or going to a really rewarding journalism conference, I experienced so much and did so much from beginning to end of last year. This year, I want to build on that. I want 2014 to be about meeting great people, visiting fun places, keeping a positive attitude, making sure I stay healthy and living in the moment. I'm not even the least bit nervous about the future. I'm secure in what I have learned at school and my abilities, and I wouldn't have felt that way now without the year I just had. It's so overwhelmingly wonderful to know that I can take on any challenge. Granted, it helps having a mild medication to help level out my anxiety, but I haven't felt this great and confident in years. I cannot wait to take on 2014. Until February 21, however, I will be enjoying the long break I've had from everything before life gets crazy. You can't blame me for that, right?

Thursday, January 9, 2014


  1. Write more.
  2. Draw more.
  3. Exercise more.
  4. Get married.
  5. Move to the West Coast.
  6. Get a job.
  7. Write more letters.
  8. Complain less, pray more.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hello, Seattle

I had been waiting for you the moment I stepped on the plane. When I stepped off, there you were. Like a dream; the way you held me, and then way I felt like I was a million miles away from any problems. It was perfect.

Seattle was the city of dreams for me. We spent some time either in the apartment as you worked from home, and I adjusted to the time difference. But when we went out, the mountains captivated me--I've always held a special place in my heart for them. Seattle was different than Atlanta. There were city lights, there were attractions, but we were always near or on a mountain. I remember looking out the window as we drove into Seattle one night, and I was blown away. To my right was a mountain glittered in city lights. I had never seen anything like it. They were like stars close enough to reach.

I suddenly knew this place could be right for me. The mountains, the cold chill in the air, the love. This is what I needed. I can't wait to be with you again.