The Sanctuary.

The thing about moving to the very place that use to be your sanctuary, is that it becomes painfully common.
We all have the place where we run to, the place where we hide. What if it has now become your everyday life, and there is nothing extraordinary about it anymore.

Twice I have done this.
Moved to the place where I use to constantly run to.
Asheville was my sanctuary from Franklin.
And Tampa was my sanctuary from North Carolina.
Both places had dwindled into my mediocre timeline.

Becoming my everyday – instead of my hideaway.

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Waiting is Toxic.

Do you realize that you spend most of your life waiting. What could we possibly be waiting so long for.
Waiting for things to get better, get easier, get warmer, get colder?
Waiting for happiness, for love, for a sign, for a push?
I had an epiphany when I was 21 years old. I realized that I had spent the winter writing about how things would get better, yet excepting the fact that the way things were, was the way things would always be.
After far too long, I decided to finally put myself first. I decided to start living life to the very fullest I could possibly live it.
In two weeks time I had quit my job, packed up everything I owned, and moved 800 miles away in a little black Ford Focus.
I have a history of apologizing for not only my emotions and my every action – yet I cant seem to bring myself to apologize for taking off. I left every family, friend, and lover, to start new in a place I barely knew – But I had to get away.

20130819-121046.jpg Everyone needs to understand that not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly.
Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to us because their way of living forces us to compromise who we are, what we love, and our all around happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go.

Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a happier life for yourself.

Those people may resent you, but one day they will understand. It takes nothing but time.

Where I Belong.

It’s funny how after so many years of feeling out of place and unhappy where I was, to be living somewhere where I am continuously overwhelmed with happiness, is such a refreshing feeling.
I truly feel that I belong here.
I truly feel that this is where I was meant to be.
After spending a week in North Carolina a few day ago, I realized how much I couldn’t help but dwell over everything while I was there.
I was constantly upset and distraught. I couldn’t get my mind off my exes and my old friends and everything that caused heartache and struggle in my life.
I only cried once, and if only my father could have understood that it wasn’t him that was causing the tears, but the pain that I had built up in my heart in a matter of 6 days.
It was actually painful to be there.
My heart constantly ached.

It’s good to know I made the right choice. Life here is so beautiful.

She was Land Locked.

Today marks my first month calling Tampa, home.
One month. It is definitely a good sign that I’ve made it this long.
I figured that if I was going to fail, I would have done it by now.
But here I am, living and thriving!
And dear heaven do I love it here.
I love the over sized lizards that greet you every time you walk out the door. The snakes and bugs that disappear as fast as they appear.
Taking cold showers every single day without question.
Sweating if not all day, at least once everyday.
The feel of air conditioner hitting your face the moment you enter any building or home.
These are the things I love. The things I’ve dreamed of having since I was a child.
Today I read that God likes to outdo himself. His dream for your life is so much bigger than your own.
He is going to take you places that you never thought possible, open up doors that you never imagined to be unlocked.
He’s going to bring talent out of you that you didn’t even know you had.
This is when I get excited about my future!

My destiny is not determined by the economy, how I was raised, or my education.
My destiny is determined by Almighty God. Look at where he has brought me!

Home is where the bullshit is.

For a substantial number of years, I have been living out of my car, or a suitcase, or on a couch, or in someones spare bedroom. For the majority of my adult life, I have chose to live in these conditions. I have never minded it, no matter how sad it sounds.

I’ve just always been running away.tumblr_mnerwn17OQ1qk1jiqo1_500
Driving away.
Putting more distance between me and my emotional tie I had with a man.
Constantly on the running from a relationship I ended.
Why am I like this? Why do I love to run away? I can honestly say I don’t even understand my own reasoning.

I moved out of my parents house when I was 17 years old, and since then I haven’t managed to spent more than 11 months in one place. Even the last home I lived in, where I was suppose to let myself settle and make a life in, I had to force myself to hang things up and try and get comfortable, because I knew I wouldn’t be there long.

Home is where the heart is. Home is wherever I’m with you. This is a house, not a home.

Do you know how many times I’ve fed those lines? How many times I’ve NOT felt at home. It’s unbelievable that at 21 years old, I am still living out of a suitcase and boxes…

… and I’m not on tour.

Disguised as Rain.

In the two weeks of my preparing to leave North Carolina, the heavens had opened up and wept with me.
Perpetual tears rolled down my cheeks, that were always hidden by the rain that covered Asheville.
Cruel rain.
Unstoppable rain.
Rain that fell without remorse.
Rain had become the symbol of our breakup.

Today in Tampa, while we ran our errands and bought our groceries, the sky’s turned black, and the winds blew palm trees with full force.
We all stated the obvious.
Rain was soon to come. As soon as we pull in the driveway, plump drops of rain descend. I rush to the mailbox, bags in hand.
When women normally run for shelter, we smiled and laughed.
“The smell!” my bestfriend yelled over the beautiful sound of rain surrounding us, “Can you smell that, Annie? The smell of the rain!”
I was caught up in the moment.
That is the smell before the rain? That’s the so called petrichor, the scent of rain on dry earth?
We stood out there for a moment, “That smell,” I blurted out, “We don’t have that smell in North Carolina. That smell don’t even exist there.”
“Really? That’s funny.” She laughed as she proceeded to unlock the front door, and the air conditioned room hit our faces.
I spend the majority of the time going from window to window, watching the most beautiful rain take place.
The rain was literally easy on the eyes. It was calm and collected. It didnt feel like a punishment or a reminder of my heartache, but the perfect opportunity to play beautiful music and have long talks with my close friends.

Things are slowly changing.
Everything life is throwing at me is beautiful, sincere and breathtaking.

The Naked and New.

This morning I opened my eyes to a completely different world.
My life routine has been officially compromised and nothing will ever be the same again.
This faithful morning at 7:00am I awoke in Odessa, FL. About 20 minutes away from Tampa, my new home.
Last night I made the grueling 12 hour drive with all of my earthly possessions, toward the unknown and unsure.
I stepped 12 hours out of my comfort zone and into a world of possibilities.
My morning shower was slightly longer than usual, I washed and scrubbed and cleaning off every speck of what might have been left there from my past life. The life I was living in North Carolina. The unhappiness foamed up on my body in forms of soap bubbles, every pore was being washed clean of every unhappy night spent in a place that I never truly felt at home in.

Here I am. Facing this new world head on. I have zero worries, what could I possibly worry about with my Lord on my side. God has grabbed me tightly around the heart in a matter of a week (soon I will be able to tell that amazing story).
My new focus is on my new life that I have begun to build and form.
I am molding who I want to be for the remainder of my days.

This is it. Here I am.
Diving head first into the most beautiful pool of unknown.
What could possibly be more exciting?

Office quotes.

The last week that I spent at the office, I began writing down all the sweet and funny things people had told me concerning me moving.
Just for the soul purpose that when I look back Ill remember the good, and not just the bad.

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“We’re going to do Gluten free shots before you leave. I’m going to ferment something in my house for you.”
“The sad part is that when you leave, I’m going to have to start doing my job and actually fix the computers, instead of you doing it.” -The IT guy
“Chris said he knew you would fit in Tampa just fine when he saw you dance the other night””It’s going to get boring again, Annie”
“But.. Whose going to fix the computers? And our iPhones?”
“I already dread how quiet it’s going to be after you leave.”
“The Tourist players are gonna miss you when they come back for their follow up appointments.”
“We’re gonna miss that bubbly personality.”
“You’re just so happy very day, you’re the happiest person I know! Isn’t she the happiest person you know?”
“We’ll, you’re too good of a person. In the sense that you do good for everyone else and not yourself.”
“You’re like our daughter. We are so proud of you.”

And the one that really choked me up.

“Annie, you don’t come across a heart like yours everyday. I have never met someone your age so selfless. You walk around here laughing, and humming and singing, and you never let the world beat the life out of you. You’re a strong one, Annie. One of the few.”

What’s an Emotion.

My hands settle on the keyboard. What words can I conjure to explain my emotions. What could I possibly write down right now that will help me understand months/years down the road, how I feeling at this exact moment in my life… What words fit?

Anxiety? Fear? Hurt? Depressed? Anger? Resentment?

They come close, but they aren’t the right words. How can I explain how my insides are on fire, constant knots and nausea. My heart is constantly pounding at full speed at all times. Tears roll down from my eyes at the most inconvenient times, in the most inconvenient places.

What is wrong?
Why am I crying?
Why do I scream lyrics at the top of my lungs only to fight more tears painfully making their way up my throat and rolling down my cheeks.
How can I be so happy to be moving towards the life I have been dreaming of, while at the same time feeling so empty.

Anxiety has hit again. My anxieties have anxieties.
What if something goes wrong.
What if I lose more.
What if I never see the money that I had loaned my ex boyfriend.
What if my car breaks down.
What if I hate living in Florida. Then what. Where do I go. Back to Franklin, back to Asheville, back to the life I have resented and hated for the past 20 years of my life.

Why am I so afraid.
Why is this so hard.
Why did I have to give him everything. … Absolutely everything.
Everything I could give.
All of my love, all of my heart, all of my effort and time and money and bliss.

How could he watch me walk away without even a goodbye.
I’m so broken.
I’ve become so cold.
I dread the next man who braves that slow painful stroll to my heart. The things that man will have to endure to simply be close to me, will I be that closed off from now on?
Is my heart officially frozen in time, waiting for the perfect one. I thought I had found that perfect one. Can I go through the search again.

My heart is on fire.
And not even slightly in a good way. Rage. Anger. Frustration.
Get me out of this state.
Get me so far away I cant even turn back if I begged to.

Simple Words.

I work with one man at the doctors office, other than he doctors themselves.
Today as I was sitting alone in the X-ray room, sipping coffee and watching nerdy YouTube videos, he comes in, sits down, looks over and says, “you know, I’m probably going to cry when you leave.”
I laughed and slapped my knee.
“I’m serious though. You don’t come across girls like you very often Annie. Everyday you come in here, in a good mood, with all your health problems and relationship issues that you’ve been dealing with. You’re always the most positive one here.”
I just laughed.
“I’m serious Annie. I think about how the men at the fire department would kill to have a woman like you.”
I laughed again.
“Did he not cry, or fight for you? I mean did he really just let you go..?”
I sighed, and nodded my head.
I told him my sob story. I smiled as I explained how I lost almost everything in the storm on Saturday, because my ex boyfriend insisted I had everything out by then.
He stared at me, mouth wide, eyes sad.
“You deserve so much Annie. You deserve to have the world given to you. Not taken away.”

I’m so blessed to have the people in my life that I do. They get me through the toughest of times.