More Hometown Pics

I posted last week about the tornado that rearranged my town.  At that time much of the most heavily damaged parts of Tuscaloosa were still blocked from access.

Over the weekend they opened most of it back up, though Alberta is still on lock down.  I rode through 15th Street with some friends and managed to snap a few pictures with my camera phone.

I wanted to share them because I think it gives a more accurate view of the devastation than the pictures I already posted from my ride to work.  My work is located in a rural part of the state and therefore you see lots of tree damage which may seem minimal.

15th Street, which was completely closed down for over a week, is one of generally four main, heavily trafficked roads in Tuscaloosa.  Outside of the Alberta area (that I mentioned above as still being closed down) this was our hardest hit area in town.  Many businesses, homes, and apartment complexes used to be located along this stretch of the city.

The picture below was taken in a neighborhood off of 15th Street.  Obviously you can see a parking lot and then there’s the roof of the business that used to sit there.  Completely obliterated.

The next picture is the neighborhood of Forest Lake.  Across the pond where you now see flat land spotted with trees were several large homes.  The few homes you do see are smaller homes that were located just across the street.

In the next picture is also the Forest Lake neighborhood.  You can see two damaged homes on either side with the remaining portion of a tree still standing.  How powerful does a storm have to be to take a big, strong tree such as this and snap it before ripping it apart and carrying it off?

And finally, please excuse the quality of this picture.  I was obviously riding past this home but I wanted to show a bit of that strength and determination I’ve noticed in Tuscaloosa.  Most of the homes that were left standing had these American flags attached to the front.  I think it’s quite a poignant sight to behold in the midst of all the chaos.

I left my tour of the area heartbroken and speechless.  What can you say?

There was a time in my early 20’s when I couldn’t have gotten out of Tuscaloosa fast enough.  I’d decided this city was boring, backwoods, and I hated everything about it.

Since that time I’ve grown out of that jaded frame of mind and obviously remained here, building a life for myself.  However, I have never been particularly fond of Tuscaloosa.

In the weeks following the tornado I must say that outlook has changed yet again.  To see the way this community has pulled together….it is truly overwhelming.  Immediately after the storm volunteer stations popped up on practically every available corner near the disaster areas and the donations started flooding in, to the point where now the clothing donations in particular are overflowing.

There have certainly been a fair share of reports of looting and other unsavory activities, but overall I get a sense of citizens who, though absolutely overwhelmed and devastated, have done their best to shake it off and give what they can.  Be that time, effort, equipment, needed items, or money.

I have heard a story of a couple who came from another state to help with the clean-up and were so impressed with Tuscaloosa and the people in it, they have decided to put their home on the market and relocate.  ‘I don’t know what this city has, but whatever it is, I want some of it.’

It’s been knocked to its knees, without a doubt.  But this city and the people in it are picking up and moving on.  Strength.  Determination.  Heart.  I couldn’t be prouder of Tuscaloosa.  My hometown.

My Hometown

Yep, that’s my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the video and yes, that’s a category F4 tornado barreling through it.

Just two weeks before we were hit by a smaller one that left a path of downed trees and destroyed homes only on a much smaller scale.  That one I unknowingly drove right under about 30 seconds after it’d damaged a local business rooftop.  (For those that don’t know much about tornadoes, they are not always on the ground making mulch out of your neighborhood pines.  They can sometimes pass without touching down at all, and they also occasionally like to play a little hopscotch where they go down and back up.  Fortunately, I hit it on the upswing.  It damaged the one business, and then it knocked some trees into homes on the other side of me.  I was very fortunate.)

Driving under that tornado – though I didn’t realize at the time that’s what I was doing – I was scared.  The clouds were very dark and dangerous, the rain wasn’t falling hard but the direction of it didn’t make sense…  Looking back, I should’ve known.  I remember praying, ‘Hey, God.  I’m kind of scared right now.  These clouds are really freaking me out.’ Because I’m calm, cool, and collected like that.

Last Wednesday though was a different story altogether.  The meteorologists had been predicting this bad weather for a week.  Early that morning as I’d gotten ready for work I let my dog out and noticed the trees were going crazy in my back yard with all the wind.  It was lightning so frequently it literally almost looked like it was daylight out.  I went back inside and within a few minutes there was a torrential downpour where there hadn’t been a drop earlier.  I don’t know jack about weather, but I remember then thinking this was going to get ugly.

That was our first tornado of the day.  It crossed over much of Tuscaloosa in the air so there wasn’t much damage here, though later it did some damage in other cities.

I go on into work and the majority of the day it clears up and the sun is shining.  There were tornadoes in other areas of the state but they were missing Tuscaloosa.  There was one really bad one that hit Cullman, Alabama and I’d watched the weather feed online for that storm.  It basically flattened the entire city.

Our weather had been predicted to start between 12 – 2 PM so as I’m driving home at 3:30 or 4 that afternoon with just a little overcast sky I’m listening to the meteorologist on my radio talking about three storms in other parts of the state and pretty confident we’d seen the worst of our weather.  Heh.

By the time I got home and ate a little snack (maybe 30 minutes later) the sky had darkened and I had our local meteorologist zen master, James Spann on my television.  A storm was headed our way.

James Spann….when bad weather is predicted around here he’s almost as revered as Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant himself.  And that’s saying something because these Crimson Tide fans take their Bear very seriously.  If you’re ever present during a storm in this area, you will understand why.  I don’t know how he can possibly be so knowledgeable but he knows every small one-traffic light town in this state, every road, every landmark….so when he’s tracking that storm you know exactly where it is because he just told you it’s over on Highway so-and-so next to the First Baptist Church or Chuck’s Package Store or that giant oak with the crooked limb.

Not only that but as he’s describing the storm he will say things like, ‘It looks like it’s on the same path as the tornado from March 26, 1972.  That storm hit right along such-and-such cities.’  Or, ‘This storm is a little bigger than the storm back on February 14, 1988.’  I mean, the man knows his stuff.

We have a running joke about Mr. Spann and his weather tracking.  The state of his undress determines the severity of the storm.  Suit jacket on and buttoned up, don’t even blink an eye.  Jacket unbuttoned, you may get a little something.  If the jacket’s off and suspenders showing, take note.  When the sleeves are rolled up, all Hell’s about to break loose.

Wednesday was a suspenders day, with the sleeves unbuttoned.  But I’m watching the sky get darker and I’m watching James Spann on my TV.  He’s talking about this storm headed to Tuscaloosa and he’s telling us to get to our safe places.  He’s telling us this one is as bad or worse as the one that hit Cullman earlier.  And then my power goes out.

My cell phone starts ringing with a friend calling because she just heard on the radio the storm is headed for me.  So I run through my house grabbing a few pillows.  I start to shut off my hallway because it’s the center of my house with no windows.  I put my dog in there.  Then I’m running around my house to each window (exactly like they tell you not to do) trying to spot the storm.

I finally see it out my back door.  The next 5 minutes were probably the longest of my life.  I flit from one room to another following this storm.  I have two friends calling my cell phone checking on me but the phone keeps cutting out.  I have no TV and no radio so I’m watching this dark cloud now to the left of me and I don’t know where it’s headed.  Then it’s around the front of my house and I’m watching it make its way across the landscape.  What I see is a very dark line of cloud with lighter sky between that and the tree line.  Right in the middle I see the top of the funnel, but I never see the whole thing.  The wind picks up and I hear that roar of wind they talk about.

I’m praying and I’m fighting tears and I’m out of breath because I really just want to curl up and have a good panic attack.  As quickly it began, I realize the storm is past me and I’m standing at my front door peeking out the window feeling like I just dropped a 50 lb. bag off my shoulders.

I am one of the few fortunate ones.  I had no damage whatsoever outside of a few small limbs and a power outage for 5 days or so.  My only inconvenience was to stay at a friend’s house instead of sleeping in my own bed, and some ruined groceries in my refrigerator.

The storm missed me by about 3/4 of a mile.  Where it began though, left flattened buildings and several deaths in a housing complex.  When I say I was fortunate, I am not joking.  It left a path of destruction 80 miles long across my state.  It is said to be the deadliest single day for tornadoes since March 18, 1925.  We had 65 fatalities in Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas alone.

My hometown, my Tuscaloosa, will probably never be the same.  The next day I drove to work and it’s shocking to your senses when you drive a route you take everyday and it looks just the same and for a split second you think, ‘It’s ok’, but then you round a curve and there’s a path of chaos where giant trees that once stood strong and tall are now blocking the road or laying on top of that cute little yellow house you always admired when you passed.  Or maybe that cute little yellow house you admired is gone altogether now.

The power was out at work so I spent the day instead with co-workers.  As they showed up here and there I would listen to each of their accounts of the storm.  Some talked about the destruction they saw as they drove to work, some talked of family members, some of damage to their homes, and some of the home they once had that’s now just a foundation.  We had no casualties from where I worked but everyone had a story.  Everyone was affected.

It’s been a hard week in Tuscaloosa.  A hard week but also a very powerful, hope inspiring one.  The downed trees and crushed homes are still there but beside them you now see the neighbors working together in their lawns on repairs while smiling or laughing with each other.  You listen to the radio station that has given up its music to now be a 24-hour news/update center filled with callers offering what services they can to neighbors in need.  Your Facebook feed is filled with friends posting updates on donation and volunteer needs.  You see corner after corner of donation sites or grills set up to feed the hundreds of volunteers.

You drive that same route to work each morning and you see the destruction that makes your heart sink but you round yet another curve and right on the side of the road beside a tree trunk is a small makeshift pole with an American flag flying proudly in the breeze.  You tear up a little because you realize it’s been a bad week in Tuscaloosa, but we are strong. We are determined. We will persevere.

Here are a few pictures I snapped on my way to work the next morning.  They’re grainy but that’s because I drop every digital camera I’ve ever owned.

Before the storm you couldn’t see sky on either side of the road because of the trees.


It’s hard to see, but this is a prop for the downed utility lines. 
Some of our craftier employees, no doubt.

Again, this was blanketed with trees.  Trees that had leaves….and limbs.

There was once a house in the left corner there.

Across the street from the now empty lot, you see their mattress in a tree.

THEIR Clock is tickin’.

“Have you found you a man yet?”

“No, not yet.”

“You better get in gear!  You don’t have much more time to be playing around with this!  How old are you, 32?  You don’t have much more time to be having kids.  Think about it, if you had a kid today you’d be 50 when they graduate.  You wait much longer you’ll be in a wheelchair!”

These are the most fun conversations a single girl in her 30’s can have.  It’s a shame I can’t spend my Friday nights bundled up in one of these warm and fuzzy chats sipping a Mai Tai surrounded by at least half of my 23 cats.

Best part…the quotes above are an excerpt of a conversation I just had this morning with a guy I work with.  A guy.  I work with.  Not a mother wanting desperately to be made a grandmother, a man who has nothing at all to gain from my fertilization.

He was joking….for the most part, but this should be addressed.  I know society pushes this picture of the perfect life on us that includes a mom, dad, and 2.5 kids with a big house surrounded by a white picket fence.  It’s a pretty picture, and there are some who desire that and will more than likely obtain it at some point in their lives. 

I, however, am not one of those ‘perfect picture’ women.  Do I want a man in my life?  Most of the time, yes.   Do I need to have a golden band around my finger with a high-carat diamond mounted to it in order for me to be happy?  Not really, no.  That’s never been a focus of mine.  I’d like to have a man to share my life with, but as long as he’s there I don’t require a ring to prove it.  If it happens, great.  But I could just as happily be with a man without that formal commitment.

And as for kids….there are times when the idea of having children appeals to me.  If that were something that happened for me then I have no doubt I would love that life and I would be the best mother I could possibly be.  I would enjoy it, and I would give everything I had to it.  But right now, on the other side of that fence where I have no children…I don’t care either way.  Because not having them means I continue my life freely, doing whatever it is I want to do.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I just want to live my life the way it’s meant to be.  Me, Johnny, and the 2.5 kids with the white picket fence isn’t necessarily my vision of the best for me.  I quite like me and Johnny scuba diving in the Atlantic or slurping noodles in Venice…driving scooters down the street in Hawaii.  I wouldn’t mind having marks on my passport instead of marks on report cards.

We are all different.  Not just in personality, but also in the way we view the world, the things we value, and the things we want out of life.  There is enough to worry about without me taking on the burdens of your image of what I should be.

Nothing is wrong with me if I never get married.  I am not a leper if I don’t have children.    The picture you’re looking at?  That’s YOURS, not mine.  Take that clock you’re trying to hang over my head, turn it sideways, and…..you know what to do with it.  This is my life.  Let me live it.

Purpose

Do you ever have that feeling you should be doing something bigger?  That there’s some purpose you have but somehow the answer of what it is never appears?  That’s how I feel today.  It’s such a frustrating feeling because I don’t know how to figure out what I should be trying to do or even where to start. 

Overall I’m a fairly average person.  Average looks, average talents…  I think most people have that sense of being average but there’s at least one area where they really shine.  Where is my niche?  I can sing, but only well enough to get my feelings hurt.  I can write but I can’t seem to find a point anywhere, or a genre that really gets me going.  I can take good pictures but they’re nothing to write home about.  Even my job…I wasn’t driven enough to receive an actual college degree.  My job isn’t a passion, it’s what pays the bills.  There is no passion for me. 

Where can I shine?  I want to shine!!

Of course, whatever I do I want to be different.  I don’t want to sing like Whitney Houston; I don’t want to write like John Grisham; and I don’t want to take photographs like Ansel Adams.  I have this drive to be unique.  Unique and natural…raw.  Just me and innate, unfiltered talent.

Sometimes I wonder if I don’t have a subconscious fear of failing that keeps me from ever trying.  But on the other hand, I have no clue what to try in the first place.  I’m just floating listlessly through life letting the waves take me where they will.

I sometimes feel like if I could find my purpose and get on the track I should be on, everything else in my life would fall into place.  I just need to find that first step and take it.  Find that paddle so I can get to the island instead of drifting out farther. 

It’s frustrating today.  The excitement tingling under my skin with no focus.  And so it goes…

What to Read

I am a reader…always have been.  I go through phases where I read more often than others but I always have a book going.  Often more than one so I can read depending on my mood.

My most recent kick was classics.  I read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Then it tilted a little to banned classics where I read The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence.

For my trip over to London a few months back I picked up a new novel, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  I just finished it this week (like I said, I go through phases) and today I thought my next endeavor might be to find a list of ‘must read’ books and ramble my way through that.

I quickly found that such a list was not quite as easily found as one might think.  The lists range from 5 to 2001 books long and there are as many quality lists as there are people to make them, all strongly biased for the maker obviously.  Then there’s the whole issue of genre….list of children’s books, list for business-minded people, fiction, non-fiction, biographies.  It can quickly become overwhelming.

However, I managed to find a list voted on by librarians from 2006 that I thought might be a good place to start.  Some of these I’ve already read, some I’ve never heard of, and some fall in between.

Below is the list in full:

~  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
~  The Bible
~  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
~  1984 by George Orwell
~  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
~  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
~  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
~  All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
~  His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
~  Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
~  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
~  The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
~  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
~  Tess of the D’urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
~  Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
~  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
~  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
~  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
~  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
~  The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
~  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
~  The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
~  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
~  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
~  The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
~  Life of Pi by Yann Martel
~  Middlemarch by George Eliot
~  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
~  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
~  A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

I’m hoping there’s a mixture of purpose in this list.  Some serious, some thought-provoking, some humor…  I guess I’ll see.

I suppose I might begin at the top.  Since I’ve already read To Kill a Mockingbird and the Bible, that means my journey begins with The Lord of the Rings.  Hey, give it a go yourself if you feel so inclined.

My Favorite Bible Verse

I’m on this kick today that apparently makes me want to read things that are difficult for me to understand.  I’ve been online all morning reading Shakespeare sonnets, which despite my lack of comprehension have given a certain level of serenity to my day.  His words are amazing.

So I’m reading Big Will’s sonnets and the ADD kicks in and I space out thinking about weekly bible studies suggested by a friend recently, then I think about old bible studies I used to have with another group of friends, which then led to this one verse.

I’m not big on reading the bible.  I don’t have a great relationship with God…in fact, I often struggle with that relationship.  I have never been touched by all the more famous bible verses they teach you in Sunday School like John 3:16 where he sent his only begotten son, or Romans 3:23 where all have fallen short of the glory of God but he still loves us.  However, I found one a while back that unexpectedly brought me to tears.  Big, silent, crocodile tears just falling down my cheeks.

Hidden way back in one of the lesser taught books – Revelation – after all the plagues and battles and whatever other damnation there is in there it begins to talk about what is supposed to happen next when all things are made new.  Clean slate..new Heaven, new earth.

Anyway, Revelation 21:4.  I’ll include verse 3 here as well because it may make more sense that way.  All I have with me at the moment is a New King James version, so that’s where this is from.  (This is John talking, by the way.)

3  And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

It may not touch you like it did me, but I’ve shed a lot of tears in my 32 years…and I’ve worked really hard to erase the sorrow and the crying, the pain, the fear.  It’s been a long, lonely road.  So I guess the idea of having someone to finally wipe those away for me.  The idea that I won’t have to do it anymore…no more fighting alone, no more battles to win/lose by myself….there will be a lot of relief when that happens.

This morning I was pretty close to calling Playboy.  I really was.  It was eating away at me.  Finally I asked God to please release me from this love for him (Playboy) if I couldn’t have him.  I immediately felt a sense of relief.  The sadness and the desire abated.  I won’t say it’s completely gone because it’s not, but it’s not consuming me anymore right now.  So maybe God wiped one of those tears away for me a little early.

Frustrated.

I swear, I have been inundated with a swarm of piece of shit men for the past two weeks.  For one, a man I love just broke my heart and left me.  Oh my God how it hurts!  And I find myself wondering, if he really loved me like he said he did, how could he have left me like that and for the reason he left?  Which, that thought hurts even more because if that’s the case it means he wasn’t the man I thought he was.  Dear Jesus I miss him though.  Still.  I find myself wishing he would find his way back somehow.  Like, come back and get back on track, but without the issues from before.  lol  I can really put myself through some stuff sometimes…..

But after he leaves it’s like I have a billboard over my head advertising, ‘Dump Extra Cow Shit Here’.  WTF is going on?!?!?  Two married men….two of them!!!!!!!!!…..in the past two weeks have approached me.  One “happily” married except his wife won’t give it up.  He wants me to be his fuck buddy, aka doormat.  And another comes leaning against my desk at work every morning now making stupid assed comments about seeing my breasts or ‘having some medicine for me’.  Are there any married men who are faithful to their wives these days?  Sheesh.

Then there’s the single guy who contacts me and seems relatively normal, that is until the ‘Do you have any naked pictures’…’Do you live in a house or apartment’…’Do you live alone’ questions start flying at me out of nowhere.  Skeez.  Another single guy at work with ‘medicine for me’ comments… seriously, we need some new pick-up lines.

I did have one single, seemingly normal, attractive man contact me, but after I responded I never heard from him again.  It figures.

You may have assessed that I joined a free dating site recently.  It was really to get my mind off Playboy, but what has it brought me so far?  One of the married men, the creepy skeez, and the single guy who never contacted me again.  Others have contacted me but they were even less pointless than these guys so yeah, I really want to poke my eyeballs out at this point.  Frustrated doesn’t really begin to describe it.

Will I ever find a man worth a darn?  I just want one!!

I have learned that…..

I have learned that the word ‘bathe’ is a much more personal and unsavory word to me than ‘shower’, and I have a slight aversion to using it.

…..that I sometimes act too rashly and if I just take a step back and simmer a little while, my whole outlook can change on occasion.  I’m gonna put that one into action immediately.

…..that the blank, stark white page on the computer is far more intimidating to me than a blank page in a notebook.  Unfortunately, my hand cramps rather quickly.

…..that I shouldn’t talk to people regarding situations where I am prone to be fearful.  (i.e. relationships)  I am embarrassingly easy to be swayed in one direction or another, whether they are trying or not.  And when I sway, I sway hard and then I get a little nuts.  *insert foot in mouth here*

…..it is quite amusing for someone to enter a room, make a rude or cruel statement about someone else expecting humor, but be met with sympathetic faces instead.  Watching them backpedal and try to flip their cruelty into something resembling concern is hilarious.

….. that missing someone is painfully difficult and I don’t want to do it anymore.  Lesson learned.  🙂  I just hope it’s not too late.

….. that I need to carry my camera with me at all times.  Because when I go on a walk and see something interesting I really want to take a picture but there’s no way in Hell I’m gonna go get my camera and cart my ass back up two flights of stairs for it.  Opportunity missed.

….. that being in a situation that plays against your biggest fear is very difficult and my response is to expect the worst at all times while clinging desperately to things.  However, if that thing is taken away, that biggest fear realized (hopefully temporarily), the haze clears and I realize I can still breathe without it.  Maybe it’s ok to let some of that fear go after all and just enjoy what’s there, if it’s still there.  🙂

Fantastically Fantastic!

Inspiray-ay-shun!!!  Woo hoo!  I have an idea to write in my head!  All morning I’ve been having ideas about this story fly through my head.  I’ve been scribbling on sticky notes like a madwoman.  Yay!  I’m more excited than I’ve been about writing in at least a year or two.  I’m so fantastically ebullient!  lmao

Aaahhhh, it’s like coming home!

Sunny, Clear, and Breezy

You ever have those moments where everything seems right in your world – even if it’s not completely – and peace just surrounds you?  I had one of those moments this weekend.  Ironically enough, it was while riding in a car packed full of people with a two-year-old screaming at the top of his lungs in the back seat.  Yes, someone may have thought me delirious from the heat if they’d seen me.  Alas, my sanity was fully intact.

I was reflecting over the past week, and over a conversation I’d had with Playboy the previous night.  I guess I’d say it was an epiphany of sorts, but also it was just a feeling of complete peace and happiness.  Satisfaction.  No, things are certainly not perfect in my life, but I was happy with where they were in that moment.

My birthday was last week and though my mother did not acknowledge the day, I had lots and lots of friends (and other family) wishing me a happy day.  Dinner at my favorite restaurant that night with my best friend.  Then on girls night later in the week I finally felt like a part of the group.  Finally!  I let go and I was the real me only those closest to me see.  There was a fantastic dinner cooked by my best friend, and after opening my gifts, the group played board games until we all had to go home.  It was so much fun and such a delightful birthday.  Probably one of my best.

On Friday night I had a conversation with Playboy that really kind of opened my eyes to some of my behavior.  I realized while talking to him that I ask these dumb questions repeatedly probably every day.  ‘What if’ and ‘what would you do’ and ‘how do you feel’….the problem is, they’re not really questions.  They’re my way of getting him to constantly reassure me that he’s still ‘here’.  No one likes that girl, including me.

Skip ahead to Saturday and I’m on my way to a zoo with a group of friends.  It was my joint birthday wish with another friend whose birthday is close to mine.  As my mind wanders I start to think about the previous week and I am so proud of myself for finally being able to open up.  This is where the happy comes in.

I think about how much fun everyone had at girls night, about how much more comfortable I felt suddenly.  I think about how these girls who really only barely knew me had gotten together on girls night to celebrate my birthday, even bringing gifts.  And how right then we’re all packed into two cars driving two hours out of town to go to a zoo partially for me.

Then I think about Playboy and the situation with him.  This is where the epiphany comes in.

There’s a whole story that I could insert right here but I won’t right now.  However, he’s already ‘here’.  Things are going in the direction I’ve been waiting on and pretty soon I’ll be right where I want to be.  I don’t need to constantly question him for reassurance or proof.  What he’s doing right now, he’s proving it.

And regardless of all that, my questions would never keep him around if he wanted to leave, they’re not what got him here to begin with, and they’re certainly not what’s keeping him here right now.  I realized that I can relax and just let things flourish on their own.  Enjoy it!

The sad truth is, when I was questioning him there was nothing he could say that was right or enough.  Nothing ever reassured me.  It was never enough.  And I speak in past tense even though it was just 3 days ago because hopefully I am done with it.

So with all that epiphany and happy floating around, this is where the peace comes in.  It was a beautiful sunny day – hot and muggy as hell, unfortunately – but I was with real, quality friends on my way to a new zoo (and animals make my heart sing), I’m in love with a guy and soon it shall be, and all was well in my world.  Gotta love times like that.  Sunny, Clear, and Breezy…..