Saturday, June 13, 2015

The day I woke up in Birmingham OR Sweet Home Alabama

Maybe y'all noticed that I've taken a break from blogging for a couple of months.  I needed the break.  Too much was on my plate and I started dropping the things that seemed less important until I could get caught up.  

I recently attended my first book signing in Birmingham, Alabama.  I had been planning this trip for many months and it kept changing and morphing into a whole new beast.  It made me nervous.  Until it got to a point during the planning where I had to make some hard calls.  I had to call it quits on a few things.  I canceled a total of three photo shoots that I had been looking forward to.  I ended up taking Cap and Bear with me.  I didn't go to any of the author meet-ups, I didn't make it to the after-party.  I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it until after.

I loved meeting all of the readers.  Truly.  And I've always thought of myself as not being very good at "peopling."  I really, really liked meeting all the new people.  Pretty much every person I came into contact with, I fell in love with just a little bit.  

We spent the day after the event walking through Birmingham.  And something happened.  Something peaceful.

If you know the history of Birmingham than maybe you can feel the weight of that.  

My recent personal life has been... difficult, to give it a word.  I was feeling tense and anxious and completely lost when I got on our first plane in Omaha.  But there is something about being high above the world that puts things into perspective.  It was as if my heart reset.  It cleared it's cache of negativity and I was able to fill it with new things.

I really like this life I have.  If that makes me arrogant or insane, I don't care.  I'm content with my present.  There's a peacefulness in acknowledging the space that your mind and heart are occupying.  I spent an entire day surrounded by art and history and science.  I had gone from feeling like my brain was a water-logged sponge, to feeling like my soul had finally set anchor.

And that feeling lasted.

Our flight out of Birmingham kept moving due to the weather in Chicago.  When we finally got to Chicago, the weather had made a fine mess there as well.  It was nearly midnight when they told us we finally had a plane but no pilot.  My friend Kellcie asked if we were in a secret remake of Airplane.  Still not sure about that one.  Our terminal was loaded with grumpy, tired travelers.  And I watched my four-year-old dance with his father and make those tired people smile.

So, yeah, I love my little family and the life we get to share together.  And I'm glad I brought them with me even though that wasn't the original plan.  I think having them there with me healed that scorched portion of my heart that had been fading quickly.  And now I feel whole.

My life is still moving.  I'm still running towards the future.  But some things that I had planned on, have changed.  At first, that was a scary and sad thought.  But you can't force something that wasn't meant to be.  I'm continuing this journey.  I want to see how it finishes.  I plan on doing my best, because it's all I have.