October!

As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am a freak about holidays.

For instance, the first cold night of October (NEVER before), I make my special chili and either cornbread or garlic bread.  I buy a new bottle of wine I’ve never tried.  I open all the windows.  I bring in the autumn decorations, both literally and figuratively, and spend the evening watching a Halloween show, cooking, and decorating.  It’s arguably my favorite night of the year.

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I’ve never understood how people can lose sight of the magic still left in this world.  How they can become so blind to the beauty, whether it be fire colored autumn leaves, sweet spring breezes, or the sun reflecting off the swimming pool water in the summer.  Life is beautiful.

What a view.

What a view.

I’m almost five months into working for myself, and though the road has been arduous and at times treacherous, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

(I actually get depressed when I think of ever going into an office again.  I’ll take that as a sign)

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I love spending my days at my own desk, writing blogs or planning social media attacks or addressing envelopes.  I love taking breaks to pet Walden or make some tea coffee (who am I kidding, if it’s not whiskey, it’s coffee).  I love having the freedom to come and go as I please, which means my newly-retired grandmother has fashioned a list of things we can go do together.  She’s paying for my gas while I drive her to doctor’s appointments, I’m taking her to new restaurants so she can experience new things.  So far, it’s working well.

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Halloween is coming quickly, and since giving Comcast another try at providing me television I’ve been watching the shit out of some Halloween episodes on the Food Network.  I’m going to the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade on Saturday, which is always crazy awesome.  I should get a pumpkin at some point, too, which means I’ll go for a medium sized orange fellow and leave with 2 large pumpkins, 3 small ones, and an array of various gourds, baby pumpkins, and other autumnal items.  I can’t resist.

omg Halloween magazines!

omg Halloween magazines!

And, finally, with autumn comes change, a new chance to begin.  I’m all about that.  I’ve improved my Facebook page (which everyone should visit and Like, btw).  I’m planning out my blogs in advance in case I get lazy (let’s be real, I totally will get lazy and forget to post).  I’m making plans with mom and nanna to go apple picking and scenic railroad riding.

Let’s make this the best autumn yet.

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I think this is older than I am...I got lots of my Halloween decorations from Nanna's house.

I think this is older than I am…I got lots of my Halloween decorations from Nanna’s house.

Ring Like Crazy, Ring Like Hell

What is it about song lyrics that dig down deep into your heart and stay there, intermittently tugging on the strings?

Pandora, along with a quiet workplace, is a recipe ripe for new musical discoveries.  However, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to stop work and write down a song name so I could go look it up later and add it to my library of ever-expanding goodness.

I used to want, more than anything, to be one of those rock n’ roll chicks, with a band behind her, crashing drums, dirty electric guitars, numerous amps, etc etc.  I thought that was the epitome, the ultimate, the place to be.

I became incredibly annoyed with myself when I couldn’t produce songs like that.  I couldn’t write a rock song to save my life.

Things now, however, have changed.

Someone once told me it’s easy to be in a rock band.  You’re essentially hiding behind the reverb, the effects, the volume of the instruments.  It sounds badass, and is super fun to play/listen to, but it’s not real.

I see the value in their words now.  I believe them.

There’s something raw and emotional about a microphone, a piano, and a voice.  You’re naked, exposed, having to carry the melody, the lyrics, the entire song, yourself.  People can hear those lyrics, and they better be good.  They better mean something.

Take Gregory Alan Isakov’s Stable Song:

remember when our songs where just like prayers,
like gospel hymns that you called in the air.
come down come down sweet reverence,
unto my simple house and ring…
and ring.

ring like silver, ring like gold
ring out those ghosts on the ohio
ring like clear day wedding bells
were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell.

now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.

that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know

and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing

ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal

(I was just going to post a few lines, but how do you pick a few lines from this brilliance?)

It’s simple.  It’s heartfelt.  It’s perfect.  Easily one of my top 10 favorite songs, and I never say that.  You can trace his journey through the lyrics, and no matter what your experiences, you can relate.  You can feel it.  It’s as close to a perfect song as you can get.

Words are words, but it takes some real talent to arrange them into something that makes people feel.  Readers, what songs have touched you?

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Brownies and Locally Made Wine

So here I sit, the 4th Friday night of my new life.  It’s been quiet…there was a productive visit to the gym, some laundry, and dinner and wine.  A good night.

I sit here thinking of the weekend, random thoughts swirling about in my head.  Seeing mom tomorrow.  Helping a friend tomorrow night.  Brunch Sunday.  I don’t have to go to sleep early tonight if I don’t want.  I can sleep late(ish) in the morning.  I should follow up with some writing leads I’ve gotten this week.

It hits me.  I am satisfied.  I’m not dreading Sunday nights anymore.  My life is linear, and it’s stretching on and on, unforeseeable, infinite.  Possibility.  Who knows what will happen in a year, six months, a week, tomorrow.  I track how much I’ve changed in the past year, and I almost can’t place myself.  But that’s ok.  It’s good.

The apartment is quiet and the twinkle lights are plugged in, gently lending their glow to my kitchen.  I’m showered and sleepy; the wine has taken affect.

Happy Friday, friends.  Here’s to making your future exactly what you want it to be.

This is It

I can finally announce what’s been happening behind the scenes for awhile now.

Ahem.

As of Monday, May 26, I will be accepting a job as an assistant editor at a local publishing house.  I will also be launching full-tilt into my freelance writing.

I honestly could not be more excited.

Just imagine…I graduated from college 5 years ago today.  I’ve spent all that time looking, searching, clawing my way around the job market that is Atlanta, only coming up empty handed, time and again.  But here…it’s 2014.  It’s finally happening.  The life I’ve always wanted is standing before me, and it’s mine for the taking.  I don’t know if it’s a result of hard work or luck; perhaps a smidgeon of both.  All I know is that I’m ready.  I’m at peace.  This is where I’m meant to be, and I’m going to embrace it with both arms.

Let’s go, people.  This is it.