Billboards and truck stops pass by the grievous angel

A little baby euphorbia is growing out of a crack in the sidewalk on my street. This intrepid little plant inspires me every day.

A little baby euphorbia is growing out of a crack in the sidewalk on my street. This intrepid little plant inspires me every day.

It’s been a while, I know. I’ve written a few things between now and my last post (which was in AUGUST! Where does time go?) – and I totally planned to share them with you. I wrote on good days, I wrote on bad days. But when I read these potential posts over again, something kept me from sharing them. Keeping this blog and getting so personal with my writing has been a trip. It’s scary. And I’ve had a challenging few months, which doesn’t make being vulnerable on the internet any easier.

Over the past few months, I’ve written about anxiety and feeling trapped. I’ve written about home and belonging. I’ve written about being hurt and silenced. I’ve written about getting lost in the desert but finding something along to way – about falling (literally) and getting back up again (literally and figuratively). I’m not sure why I didn’t share my reflection on visiting Joshua Tree. It was the most beautiful, hopeful thing I’ve written in a while. It was all about love and cherishing the imperfect, incomplete moments that make up so much of life. Here’s a piece of it:

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Last weekend in Joshua Tree National Park, I scolded myself for spending so much time staring at my feet while the sun set over the desert below me. I looked up. I looked around. I took a deep breath, gazed at the purple-blue sky...caught my foot on a rock and spilled onto the ground like the graceful, inexperienced adventurer I am.

I can’t stop thinking about that hike, and not just because my right leg is now one giant bruise. I can’t stop thinking about how red the rocks looked in the sun before it started to set behind the hills. About how the bushy green tops of California fan palms would appear and disappear behind rocks and hills like a real-life mirage. About how, once we reached the oasis, the sound of water and birds and bugs bloomed where there’d been silence.

And I can’t stop thinking about how falling on my face, ripping my favorite leggings, and crying just a little amidst all this beauty and peace is just the metaphor I need.

I don’t spend enough time looking up and appreciating my present. I’m afraid that if I do, I’ll fall down. I’m so afraid of what comes next that I hardly ever stop to take stock of what I’ve got.

Life is more than the beginning and end of things. It’s more than one misstep that slams you into the ground; it’s more than waiting for gratification or starting something new just to feel like you’re beginning again. It’s the moments in the middle of things that matter most.

***

I’m so happy. I just went on vacation with my best friend to a place I’ve never been before. We had summer in January. We hiked to that oasis. We visited Gram Parsons’ death place. We sat on Elvis’s bed. We drank tequila and ate queso fundido like someone was paying us to do it. And I’m so in love with my best friend, and with our will to wing it and ambition to make it count.

And I felt so at peace with myself. I felt so happy to enjoy my life. I felt like myself for the first time in a really, really long time. And I don’t know if it was just being away from work, or basking in the sunlight - but I feel like I’m finally accepting things for the way that they are. And accepting that things will always change, and that’s ok, because Right Now is pretty incredible when you just stop to think about it.

I’ve felt out-of-place and lost when in fact, home is where you make it. Right Now.

In the middle of the desert, the earth cracks itself open and slams itself shut again. Piles of rock form sharp hills and steep mountains - and out of chaos comes wildflowers, cottonwood, pine, palm trees, and snow. In an instant, everything is lost - and in moments, or months, or years becomes something beautiful.

I resolve to appreciate all those moments in between.
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Ok – Reading this again, I do know why I didn’t post it. I guess sharing feelings of joy and growth and hope can be just as scary, if not scarier than sharing feelings of pain and doubt. The day after I wrote this, I slipped and fell into a real dark place and couldn’t get out. Hope lost. So why share something that’s so fleeting anyway?

Because the moments of hope and light matter most. And I’m back from the darkness. My big project at work is over. I don’t feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. I want to catch up with my friends and family and find out what’s been going on in their life for the past 5 months – rather than ranting to them about my life loudly and without taking a breath… like, all the time.

I want to be the person I know I can be, who I’ve been working to become for so long. It’s been a challenging few months, but I feel more confident now than I have in a while. It feels good.

All of this is to say that I am here, and I want to keep writing. And I hope that I can start writing here again with more intention and not make posts that cause everyone I know to call me to tell me I scare them. My goal is to post here every other week to start… hold me to it, friends!

Love and light even in the darkness,

Z

God save our young blood | My Winter 2018 playlist. Follow me on Spotify as I update my new Spring playlist! The list below was born on my trip back east for the holidays. It's old, new, weird, kinda one-note at times, but it's gotten me through a lot!