Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catching Up With the Old and the New

Quote of the Day:
Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy.
~Robert Anthony

Current Local Weather:
Hotter than hell on it's hottest days. Humidity is
at 200% and chance of stroking out

is around 100%.

Currently on my iPod:
GG Train
Charles Mingus

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

You may be asking yourself why it's hotter than hell in here or at least up in the local weather forecast. Well, I'm sitting in the Jacksonville, Florida airport waiting on my plane to take me back to a reasonable, cooler, less humidity and more friendly but weathered destination like DENVER or COLORADO SPRINGS! beloved Colorado...I shall never leave you again. I'm sorry for straying this far from home and believe me, because I know you're going to ask when I get was worth it for the business, but it wasn't worth the physical discomfort. Please accept my apologies and take me back into your arms.

Moving on.

I was here (Jacksonville, FL) for a very good reason. It's my next book project and believe me, it was well worth the humidity and the thigh stickage to uber hot leather seats in the rental car. You can also say that I'm stimulating the economy by taking such trips and advancing my career and the amount of reading material in the world...yeah, that's it. I'm working WITH the government to advance our current economic climate.

Jacksonville, Florida, for those who know me, is no stranger in my life. I lived here for several years during college while attending The University of North Florida. U.N.F. (a.k.a. You Never Finish). I'm sure some folks graduate each year from the fine institute of learning it is, but not too many of us in the jazz department did, so it is what it is. I haven't been here since that fateful day in 1998 that I left the grounds and said I never would look back. Then again, I've said that about a lot of things in my life and had to suck on my own words a few years later. So traveling to the land of the Osprey's was bittersweet at best. I was most looking forward to meeting the folks I am working with on this book and catching up with the old folks who know that I'm not always the classy kinda gal I appear to be.

Catching up, in many ways, can be a blessing and a curse. Of course there's always the one man that got away that you WISH you would have had the opportunity to make a future with. There's the girlfriend/wife that now OWNS that man and then there are the friends who are more/less successful than you and you wonder, whether it is more/less, how in the hell they got where they are. There's the gossip, the rumors, the poking fun at yourself or each other, the back and forth that was once so integral to your existence. Catching up also, in one way or another, can force you to take a good look at how far you've digressed or progressed in your own goals in life. Goals, of course, change over time just as we all do both personally and professionally. My goals, and this is hard core fact, have changed drastically over the last few years, and even more so if you look back on my last fifteen years of life.

I used to want to be a professional trumpet player. I LIVED for the horn. I practiced day/night, worked on gigs I thought would forward me to the next level, took lessons from the VERY best folks, and even went to school to try my hand at making a living with it. Sure, it worked for a while but then I found that when you DO all the work you set out to do at a feverish pace from the time you're in middle school on into college, you learn first hand what the words BURN OUT mean.

So I changed my ground to nursing. Sure, say what you want. But this was "easy" for me to change to. I loved people (still do for the most part), I enjoy taking care of others, and I hate to see others in pain. Whammo, for ten years my goal was realized. I worked in a variety of areas in the nursing field but soon felt that I was unfulfilled as a creative soul. I began writing as a way of coping with this. Throughout all this time, I was a writer on the inside but never outwardly expressed it. Ryan soon went off to Basic Training to realize his goal of supporting his family as a musician and I strayed from the nursing world to write for a while. Soon enough, this writing "hobby" became a full-blown Glenn Close like obsession. Most writers will tell you this is true with their careers as well. Starts out safe, happy, and not fully realized. Soon enough, you find yourself wanting the career to leave it's current wife and kids and be YOURS. ONLY YOURS. OR YOU WILL KILL IT AND ALL OF ITS OFFSPRING!

I digress. Not that I would EVER do that...

Of course people thought, at first, that I was crazy when I went into nursing. No, not crazy, desperate. But I survived it and now have TONS of fodder for books I'll never write. Of course everyone I knew had a hard time accepting the fact that I was going to leave a well paying, respected job like nursing so I could pay more attention to the voices in my head. I shouldn't talk like these voices are bad things. After all, they changed my life in so many great ways. I have a career, albeit in its infancy, that is enviable and wonderful and ideal. I have so many great new friends and I have lots of that great new concept called: TIME. I spend lots of time with my kids, my loved ones, and supporting other writers in their quest to get published.

But catching up, back to the original premise of the blog, has helped me realize that I'm in a great place. I'm not so afraid of UNF or it's surroundings because it no longer has the same meaning or symbolism to me. It's not a place where I failed to realize one dream, it's a place that helped me get to where I needed to be to live amidst my new dream. One of those circular journeys in life, I suppose. I was first here as a young (17) college kid hoping that what I picked to follow in my education was what I was meant to do. And although many of my friends are still in that same dream they began years and years ago, I am not. But what I learned through catching up with myself and my friends, is that no matter where you go, where you stray off to, how much weight you gain or lose or where you intend to be in the next fifty years, change is always waiting for you around the corner.

I don't really feel the need to reminisce or worry about what has been or what is to be, from now on, and for the little one inside of me and the little ones and even the big ones I love that live with my cranky and sweaty butt on a daily basis, I'm living in the now.

Yours in Catching Up, Cooling Down, and Carrying On,



Ricky Bush said...

Thanks for the carry-on.

Travis Erwin said...

I wish I had your courage to spread my wings and fly off from the safety of the nest.