Life

Corey Turns 31 Road Trip

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I turned 31 this week. There’s a lot to be said about that but then again, nothing at all. When I first moved to Nashville I had dreams of driving all over and going to so many different states but two and half years later I have only been into the southernmost part of Kentucky and as far south as Atlanta. I decided to do something about that this year and so I booked a night at an AirBnB in Louisville, TN and planned some stops along the way.

The trip was quick, one day out, one day back but I did manage to see a lot. A pink elephant, Hidden Hollow amusement park (unfortunately it was closed), Minister’s Treehouse (I did not trespass to get closer, maybe one day), and Cotton Eyed Joe’s all took up my first day. On the way back I went through Pigeon Forge (the love pancakes and old time photos), Gatlinburg (was a street away from the fire damage I guess) and into Knoxville (still getting hit by the drought pretty hard) then back home.

I hope to get a few more of these in over the year. Maybe Louisville, KY and Charlotte, NC. Gotta do what I came here to do.

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On any given day

Friday, September 16, 2016

Where I’m at right now. I’m lost and found and right where I started but also, somehow so far ahead. I’m 30 and feeling no different than my 20’s but starting to recognize the distinction. I’m spending weekend nights dancing with many my sister’s age and wondering how much of my week to week it should really take up. I’m constantly being pulled to pictures of hiking and gorgeous views off of the highways. I listen to songs about small towns with few roads. I look at pictures of rooms that are set on expanses of land and I feel a pull.

I remember Montana and want so badly to go back. To the second story room with little decoration and abundant calm. To the porch across the hayfield where I sat with a puppy sleeping on my lap. I want to go back to the steady sway of the day, of sitting in the sun with dogs at my feet, to driving back up the dirt road, to laying in the bed with the sounds of Montana putting me to sleep.

I’m tired of planning, I’m tired of overthinking, I’m tired of disappointment in myself and anything else. I’m spending time in the morning writing, sometimes trying to examine my wishes and next steps, other times asking for direction. Please lead me, I don’t want to keep leading myself. Where am I going to shine brightest? Where can I feel that peace again.

At the risk of sounding just awful, I am homesick for a place I’m not sure I’ve ever been.

I’m not here to write how to’s. To wax poetic on things I know to be true. I am not here to create listicles or fancy images for click bait.
I’ve been looking for blogs that have heart, that tell the stories of the day to day. The small adventures, the actual vacations and not the “I gave up everything to travel the world and I’m making millions at it.” I’m tired of the perfectly styled. I go toward the blogs that have fewer followers hoping to still find the accidental grittiness, the lack of filters.
I appreciate what people have been able to accomplish, I appreciate that wild hearts have been given space to create a life that they want to, but that’s not what I came to the internet to see. I came here, to online journals and blogs so long ago to read other people’s takes on ordinary days. To read about their dreams and their messy messy minds. I come here for that and yet I am tired to put it out there myself. So here’s the real. Here’s what is true in my head somedays and feels like a lie others.

I’m homesick often for places that don’t actually exist, I’m also challenging myself to create space to feel home right where I am at. I’m wanting the peace that I found in the Montana days but also wondering if that’s the prize after working on some other things.

I’m working on keeping my eyes looking straight ahead and less in the rearview mirror.

Lately

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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Proud of myself for: waiting to listen to the new Jason Aldean songs until the whole album was out. I had listened to the two that were played on the radio and one my sister recommended but after that I stopped. He kept releasing new ones and I didn’t want to know half of the album before I got to hear the rest so for the first time ever I was patient and waited. Such a small thing but I found myself enjoying the wait. I wasn’t mindlessly listening the minute I got the chance, I was intentional.

I’ve been doing a lot more of this kind of thing lately. I’ve been working on enjoying where I am at, not believing in the “I have to have/do/listen/read this thing Right.Now.” I’ve been using the library for books and if I can’t find it there then I don’t read it. I zip through books way too fast to justify the spending. Not to mention, there are soooo many books out there that I could read. This one book that I want right this minute isn’t actually going to change my life. Or rather, it isn’t the only thing that’s going to make my life better right now. I don’t NEED it in order to keep moving forward. I get easily swept up in the “I need this to make my life better” and I’ve been questioning that a lot in the past year. I justified so much spending over the years because I told myself this one thing (many times over) was going to be the thing that turned my life around. Turns out, nope! So I’ve backed off.

Learning to:
+ question myself with curiosity and support instead of shame
+ speak my truth, sometimes it’s messy and embarrassing as hell, sometimes it’s eloquent and helpful
+ believe in my worth (not going to lie, typing that feels really uncomfortable still… but I guess that’s why I’m learning)
+ allow myself to miss things while also working to really appreciate the benefits of the new situation

Thinking about: Clothes I want to add to my closet that I want to reach for, that are comfortable but also good to go to my casual workplace in, clothes that can be thrown in the washer at the very least, ideal if I can toss them in the dryer after. I told myself for years that clothes weren’t that important to me or shouldn’t be that important to me. Turns out, HEY, I was lying to myself. I like clothes, finding ones I like that fit me right is quite a task, that’s the part I don’t like. I also didn’t leave myself any room in my budget to buy clothes so any time I did felt like I was overspending and breaking the bank and shame was attached, no wonder I thought I didn’t care much about clothes. While this might seem like an unimportant thing to think about, it kept coming up so it was time to face it. Turns out I also have told myself I’m not creative so I didn’t give myself space or money or time for creativity. I’ve told myself I’m not athletic, I’ve told myself a great many things that are simply untrue about myself and therefore didn’t make room for them and have suffered a bit because of it. Sometimes clothes are just clothes, sometimes they are a symbol of things you do and do not allow yourself to have or want.

Watching: Parks and Rec! Oh my gosh how have I never watched this ever before? It is the best. THE BEST.

Looking forward to: New season of New Girl, the start of the show This Is Us (Mandy Moore? Jess from Gilmore Girls?!), speaking of… Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix!, maybe restarting Desperate Housewives. I didn’t think of myself as a TV person but dang… I sure have some shows I love.

Reading: A lot of faith based books lately. I struggle with faith and religion and the like but I keep finding myself drawn to it in different ways. Sometimes I find myself really enjoying the books and sometimes I find myself reacting to them strongly. I’m digging in more and I’m glad I am reading them.
Also:
How To Be a Person In the World – Ask Polly columns all together in a wonderful book!
Present Over Perfect – The best. Want to read over and over again
Loving My Actual Life – Fun, easy read. Read it right after Present over Perfect so I might have been a little burned out on it, but it has some good points in it, things I want to try.
Wild and Free – This one is bringing up a lot of resistance but I am continuing on because there are parts that are equally reassuring/helpful.
Since You’ve Been Gone – great/fun YA novel about a girl completing a list of dares/tasks her friend leaves her.

Almost ready for: Fall. There is a hint of crispness to the mornings that I love feeling. Sometimes the nights are cooler too. As much as I am not looking forward to winter, I would love a long Fall. A slow transition between the hot, hot summer and bundling up and dodging ice.

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Catching up

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I think about this space often, when I read other blogs, when I read good books, when I go through the bajillion different conflicting thoughts in my head. When I think I’ve got it and then again when that idea slips through the crack in my fingers like water. I think about this space when I feel like I have something to say and when I feel like what I have to say doesn’t matter. I think about it positively when I read other blogs that help me but then I wonder what I could possibly say that would help someone else. I add to lists of links on unfinished posts but I don’t press publish.
I’ve been coming back to it slowly. I’ve been writing in a journal just about every day lately. I’ve been reading books about faith with a religious base and sometimes it’s a struggle and sometimes it’s exactly what I need.
I’m asking myself questions about validation and where I am trying so hard to get it from. I am looking at my age and often judging. But I’m also having better conversations with myself. Sometimes it’s like it has been all these years and I think that I’m embarrassing or dumb or five other names packaged with cuss words to get the point driven home, to try and motivate. You’re probably not shocked to hear that those conversations never work, that they bring me down farther. There are times though, when I ask better questions, when I look at my tendencies without judging and try to figure out how I can set myself up better for success the next time. Every once in a while I take the power away from the other person that I am trying to get validation from and give it back to myself. I remind myself that their validation doesn’t pay my bills, it doesn’t kiss me goodnight, it doesn’t support me like I want to be supported. Right now, I’m the only one that can do that. Right now I have to believe that I deserve to support myself and validate myself.
The validation contemplation has been going on for a week or so now and as I read more about seemingly unconnected things a word popped into my head. Worthy. When I was younger the word was enough. Enough of this madness of tearing myself down, and/or I am enough. I hope that word works for other people, but to me, while it sometimes helped, it often felt like it was still a plea, like I was still looking for some outside source to agree that it was enough, that I could stop kicking myself while I was down. Worthy has a different feel. Maybe it’s the faith connotation, maybe it’s where I’m at in my life now vs then. I don’t really know. But it feels a whole hell of a lot more empowering and guiding than enough did.
I’m struggling with being single, I’ve been struggling with being single for, well, my whole dating life minus that 9 months with Dan. I thought once I got out of that relationship that it would only be a matter of processing the loss and then I would be on my way to another one and not the long gaps that I had experienced before. I thought maybe I’ve broken that horrid curse or something, I’d figured something out. It’s been three years since I met Dan, two since we broke up and guess who’s still incredibly single! This chick right here. I’ve talked to other people, there have been sparks and then they crash and burn and I wonder why they don’t stay. This is where that validation contemplation came in. I’ve been rolling through so many different thoughts lately on the subject that maybe I’ll get into another time, but eventually I came to the word worthy. And while it started from the validation needs and relationships I found that both are really part of a bigger picture. My search for validation in all kinds of relationships creates this hole where worthy could be. I am going to keep exploring this. I’m not sure this work will ever be done.
Which is another thing I have struggled with for a long, long time. I keep searching for epiphanies, words, quotes, sayings, theories that I can feed to my brain and then snap my fingers and everything will start falling into place. I will just decide and all the years of other conditioning will fall away because this one quote is just so strong. Not going to happen. It works for a bit, they always work for a bit, but then a challenge comes up and the quote or saying or epiphany becomes flimsy and I stop sticking up for myself and start tearing back in. Validation, worth. Here we are again.
It’s come to the point where I don’t even want to say I’m searching for happiness, I don’t actually think that’s my goal anymore. It’s elusive and it doesn’t even feel like it’s the point, it’s become another buzz word. Instead I’m looking towards finding ways to support myself, to be better to myself. I fail at it a lot. But now that it’s something I’m thinking about I also have moments of success. I’m hoping the moments of success build on themselves, that I find a way to work with my current cracked foundation. That I find a way to work with what is natural and what is there instead of trying to fight against it. Like trying to lay cement over strong tree roots and wondering why it cracks. Maybe a tree isn’t a good metaphor because then the possible solution would be to uproot the tree but that’s not what I want. Another solution, move the foundation spot a couple of feet/yards in a direction that isn’t going to be moved by strong roots? I promise I’m going somewhere with this. These strong roots that keep breaking the foundation I am trying to lay are me, they are the true me, they are the values that I deeply believe and want to live by. The foundation I’ve been trying to lay over them is made up of opposing values, it’s not working with the roots that are healthy and wonderful in their own right as long as you don’t have to have a house right on top of them. Maybe it feels like my foundation keeps cracking because I’m laying it in the wrong place. I’ll keep exploring that metaphor I’m sure.
Ultimately I don’t want to come here and tell anybody how to do things. I feel like I get some answers and then get smacked back down again so frequently that I have no room to give advice. I don’t have a list of things for anyone to do, I don’t have a list of things for myself to do. I feel like my methodologies are often spastic and riddled with ADD. But I do want to show up. I know how much other people showing up and writing helps me, and I know that writing can be therapy, so I am going to work on showing up more. And I’m leaving the rules behind. I’m not always going to have a pretty picture, I don’t want to take the time to search for one. If that means less people read it, so be it. This is, quite possibly, just for me anyway.

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We’re Sitting Here Until You Finish

Monday, May 16, 2016

I’m not normally one to force creativity but I know I have been missing this space and not knowing what to contribute so I avoid it. I started to write this morning and then deleted it all because it said nothing. I use to write thousands of words about nothing for friends and followers to read but I haven’t been so open to that. I’ve had years of side comments that slowed the words, that put them in cages until I couldn’t show up here anymore.

I’m here, I have no answers of what to do next. I don’t know what I want to share, I don’t know what I want to write, I know that there are a million thoughts going on at all times and that in the moment they seem pretty damn important but then later they seem overly emotional or dramatic or trite or sad. Can you tell what side comments have been lazily tossed my way?

I use to speak up often, I use to have so much to say. I still find myself talking but I worry about it now. I wonder if people are tired of listening, if I’ve crossed bounds, if people will see that there’s not just the ball of sunshine here in this mind. Haha, that’s silly, anybody that’s been around me for more than 5 minutes knows that.

I’ve been exploring the things I haven’t wanted to admit about myself in the past. The things I’ve tried to make nonexistent. The ones I’ve pretended were blips and then got mad at myself for because I couldn’t be trusted. I wonder what would happen if I could accept them all. If I could stop trying to balance atop this shaky pedestal I put myself on so I wouldn’t do anything wrong.  What if I just let it fall?

I’m thinking about shitty rough drafts, I’m thinking about sitting with discomfort and imperfection. I’m thinking about really being in potentially awkward situations and seeing them through.

I’m thinking, I’m writing in personal spaces, I miss sharing. I don’t know what moving forward looks like.

 

 

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