Things I Hate Pt. 1

I may hate certain things. I find the sound of metal on any surface grating. Vegetables are gross. The smell and taste of mint gives me a headache. Coconut is one of the worst textures in the world. And yet there is one thing that I hate more than anything. And it is raisins in food.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against raisins. I mean, they’re gross, but I don’t hate the taste. I mean, every time I used to give them for a snack, I always thought they would be better than they were. They smell kind of good. And craisins aren’t bad either. But put raisins in food and I will hate you.
I mean, when you bite into a cookie, or something sweet, and you see those dark specks in the food that look almost melted, and you know it’s going to taste so good and chocolatey and it turns out to be a raisin? It’s the worst betrayal ever. It’s torture, cruel punishment, a complete just… ugh. You can’t put raisins in food and not think it isn’t chocolate or something else except shriveled grossness. It’s wrong. Raisins don’t belong in desert. Or in anything. At all. They can be on their own. If you really want them. Or maybe in trail mix cause you can pick them out. But don’t offer me a cookie and not say what’s in it and it looks like a normal cookie but it turns out to be a seriously gross raisin cookie. So yeah. I needed to get that off my chest. Raisins are gross guys. That’s all.

Dreams of Life

When I was a kid, I had grand dreams. Everyone did, I think. Some wanted to be firemen, or princesses, or even Sonic. Hell, I’ve listened to little kids tell me they want to be animals or fictional characters. It’s the greatness of imagination, and the greatness of a society that tells you that you can be anything that you want to be, if you just set your mind to it.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to go back to the little private school I went to and be a teacher there. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of some of my favorite adults and teach others. And besides the lofty idea of being a writer, I wanted nothing else.

It’s not the grandest dream, nor was it the most difficult dream. But somewhere between middle school ending and life beginning, I lost that dream. Now, granted, I have done a few teaching jobs. I worked for after-school care for elementary kids (not much teaching, but I was called a teacher and that’s what matters). And for a couple years, I was a preschool teacher, and worked with pretty much all the young ages. But I had the glorious opportunity to have my own class of the older one’s.

I’m not saying these jobs drew me away from my dreams of teaching. If anything, being a preschool teacher reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher. And yet, in trying to figure out myself and my life, I don’t think I want to be a teacher anymore.

Some kids grow up to live their dreams. They become actors, or politicians, or writers, or construction workers, or any other type of career they wanted. I haven’t found that yet. I thought maybe I did. I thought maybe, in the grand scheme of things, I might have found my dream job.

But something I’ve realized as time’s worn on is that, well, dreams can change. I’ve sat and I’ve poured so much thought into the future that all I can think about is what is going to happen, what might happen, why am I not trying to hold onto my future, what will happen to me. But then I’ve stopped. Yes, I’m sitting here, wasting time, sleeping the days away and passing the nights. Yes, to some it may not look like I’m taking charge of my own life. But that’s just it. I have stopped trying to take charge, just a little.

Instead, I’m figuring out steps. Steps that will get me to a potential dream. And though it doesn’t look like I’m succeeding, maybe I am. I’m finding my way to a place that may make me the happiest person I can be, in the future. I’m finding my way to a place that, hopefully, won’t make me miserable. Does it make sense right now? No, and it’s terrifying. And it’s really difficult to explain, sometimes even to myself. And I just have to let it be difficult. I just have to let it be terrifying. Because I’m letting the control of my destiny go.

People say that when a door closes, a window opens. And that’s what I’m letting happen. I’m waiting for my window to open. Right now there’s a crack in the shutters, and all I want is for it to open wide enough for me to pass. But it’s a waiting game, all while there’s a hammer and a glass window in another room that I can force open. But if I break it myself, do I lose the window I’m waiting on? Should I risk that?

I don’t know if I can risk it. But I think I have to try. Because my dream has changed, I think. Or maybe it’s evolved. And behind the shuttered window is an avenue to my dream, one that’s a huge step in the right direction. If I turn away, I might still be able to work towards my dream, but I think it’d be harder, and I might lose myself again.

When you’re a kid, you dream of changing the world. Of a perfect life, with no struggle, with the power to fix anything. It’s an imperfect dream, but that’s not realized until later. I once dreamed of being a teacher. And now, I’m not so sure.

Creative Expressions

I found a prompt yesterday, and it read “You die. As you go up to paradise, you notice it seems to be in ruins. Then you find the corpse of God.” I found in on Pintrest, so I’m not sure who to credit it to, but the concept intrigued me. A lot. So I thought I’d post what came out of this prompt, in the hopes of some constructive criticism, or even your own answers to the prompt. I’d love to read them. Anyways. Here it is.


I thought death would be peaceful. Life had been a chore, a daily fight to live. It’s not as if I wanted to die. I just didn’t want to live any longer, not in that hell. Days upon days of pain, of drugs, of not knowing how things will be mere hours from now, it all creates a cycle of torture in which the only relief is death or life.

I could feel my body giving out. Breath started to get harder to find, minutes blended into hours, until I couldn’t be sure when I was. And they were all there, waiting, watching, mourning already, even though they tried their damndest to make sure I didn’t see. But I did. When you’re stuck in a bed, you can’t help but see.

They let my friends see me one last time. I’m glad they did, but I almost wish they didn’t. We were at the age of invincibility. To see me dying, well, it shattered the illusion of safety and promise they held around their lives. It broke them. I watched it break them.

One of the nurses helped me write my letters. She picked me out beautiful stationary, bought it with her own money, cream paper with a simple metallic navy border on the front. Every lucid moment was spent writing my goodbyes, to my parents, to my friends, to the nurses and teachers I had remembered. The hardest was the one to my brother. He’s only seven. He shouldn’t have to lose me yet.

So, yes, I thought death would be peaceful. That I would just drift away into nothingness. That there would be no pain. But there’s always pain. There’s the pain in blinking, knowing that this might be the last time your eyes open, that the last thing you saw would be your final vision. There’s pain in tears, in the too-tight grasp of a hand in yours. Pain in the way he fought to keep his eyes open, even though it was way past his bedtime, even though it was way past my time.

And then your eyes close one last time. Breathing starts to falter, hitch, fade into a final exhale. You would think that, once the eyes close, that’s it. But I hung on, blind yet feeling, struggling for each pitiful breath, hearing their sobs ripping out their lungs. I wanted to cry out, tell them I was still here, but even a single breath was difficult. And yet I lingered on.

A part of me hoped someone would beckon me into the beyond. That I would see my grandmother, holding out her hand, or my uncle that I barely knew. Maybe an angel, or a figure in white. Death himself, robe and all. A part of me hoped there was nothing, just blackness, a darkness that ate away consciousness, pain.

A final breath caught in my throat and faded, and I did as well. It is almost like floating, the experience, rising from your body as if on a wind. I hovered, watching my mother collapse onto me, my father face the wall, my brother stirring and crying out.

And then the world rushed past me, as if I was sucked through a tube, flashes of my life flickering past. My cat nuzzling my palm, my grandmother cutting off the edge of the cookie dough tube for me to eat, holding my brother for the first time, all pleasant images to whisk me away. And I felt myself crying, trying to reach out to the images, trying to look up and look away. The memories rushed by quicker, time convoluted and images scattered, no rhyme or reason to their organization, until they faded into a pleasant white that grew blinding, until ground was beneath me.

And here I am, standing before the gates of heaven. Though I’m not sure if I want to go in. They’re open, you see, and there’s no one around. They’re resting on a broken hinge. And the welcome desk is covered in blood. I didn’t know angels could bleed.

Travel’s End (Or, How I Ended Up Back Home)

One night in North Carolina. That’s all I spent there, searching and searching for something to do, something that would call my heart to explore, and yet wasn’t too far away from where I was. And that went spectacularly not well. I think a small part of me wanted to be home, in a place I knew, with people I loved.

I drove for a little while in North Carolina before making the decision to attempt South Carolina again. I wanted to see Charleston. I’m not sure why; my decision to see Savannah wasn’t a great call, and that’s because I’m not a history buff or interested in the aspects of these towns. And I drove through Charleston. It was beautiful, but again, I didn’t want to stop.

So I drove through Myrtle Beach. During its off season. When everything is pretty closed. And I drove away.

By seven or so, I was by the Florida border. I was going to stop for the night, I really was. But I didn’t. I knew how far of a drive it was from Jacksonville to home, I knew it wasn’t worth stopping. So I drove straight home. My final day of traveling was pure driving.

I saw some snow at the South Carolina border rest stop, and threw a tiny snowball. And I took a couple pictures, and I spent some time walking around. And I realized I loved nature as much as I hate it. I mean, I truly hate it. Spiders, bugs, lizards, frogs… all of it grosses me out, and keeps me from nature. But the beauty, the trees, the way the light casts, the stillness… that’s what makes me want more.

And I realized I loved being on my own, nothing but a car and a dream. Yes, it got lonely, and sometimes all I wanted to do was call someone and have some human interaction. But I would gladly trade it all in to keep traveling with no worries.

I don’t think I’m ever going to be a world-class traveler. I don’t think I’ll ever truly leave Florida. But I’m not going to stop traveling. I’m not going to stop dreaming. And I’m not going to stop writing about the world as I know it.

Day Unknown

It has been a little while since I have updated, and I wish I had more substantial reasons why. I traveled; it was so nice, on my own, the car and the music and the land the only company I had. And yet I came home, where I sit now, wondering at what steps come next.

I don’t want to give up traveling. I think I know that for a fact, because I loved it. I have never been an adventurous wanderer, but now I itch to explore. Nor do I want to go back to where I was. I have grown from there, and to go back would be to step back in my own life. And I can’t afford to do that. If I want to find myself and my place in this world, I cannot go backwards, no matter if I miss it or not. And I do miss it, in a sense. I miss my coworkers, the kids, everything. But not the stress and not the other aspects.

So I sit here, back at home, trying to find a course of action. Which is why I stepped away for a little while. I had high hopes for this blog, for my adventures, and the idea of not meeting those hopes scared me. But if I allow myself to step away from writing and something that makes me happy, which this does, then what did I learn? So I’m back, and the world wide web is stuck with me, because I’m going to keep posting content here.

Tomorrow, I’ll write more about the ends of my travels, and how I ended up home. And then, I don’t know what I’ll post. Maybe some stories, true and fiction. Maybe some crappy poetry no one wants to read. Or else I’ll continue to ramble on as I attempt to make something of myself in this world. Numbering days is over. From now on, I write without a destination.

1/8/18 – Day Six

I wanted to go to Savannah, but I ended up in Lumberton, North Carolina.

I did make it to Savannah. I drove through it, even. But I didn’t stop. The city didn’t call me; nothing there made me want to stay, not the buildings, the history, the ghost tours I could’ve taken. The Interstate called me. And so I followed it.

It took less than half an hour to reach South Carolina. It took around two hours to drive through it. And it took maybe twenty more minutes to find a hotel and food.

I honestly thought I would stay in Georgia. I loved Macon, and there were more things I could have checked out. But I needed to make it this far, to see if I could. Granted, I don’t particularly like it here so far. I think I glorified the idea of North Carolina so much that, arriving inside its borders, I was let down by my own ideals. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like North Carolina; it’s beautiful, and I’d love to explore it more. But I don’t want to stay here like I did in Georgia. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to family there, only half a day away. I’m not sure. Maybe I’m glorifying Georgia.

I did, however, get to see the Whistle Stop Cafe. I might have been expecting more, but arriving before noon on a Monday doesn’t give an option for many people to be present. I will say, their fried green tomatoes were the best I’ve had, and I don’t even like tomatoes. But it was a piece of history right in front of me, and it felt nice to see it. I did love the movie and the story.

I don’t know where my plans go from here. Home is tugging at my heart, a need for the old way of life is nudging at my mind, but I don’t want to leave without checking the area out a bit. Who knows. Maybe I’ll fall in love with a state all over again.

1/7/18 – Day Five

I’m still in Georgia, but away from Atlanta. I do like it here, and I like the feeling of winter. Winter is a season that Florida forgot, but here and now, it feels fresh and new, bitter and stinging and cold. And I love it.

I got lost in Atlanta today. Not terribly lost; phones and GPS have a knack for finding directions.  All because I turned left instead of right. And yet, I’m glad I got lost. I wasn’t afraid, I kept my head, and I walked more than I have in a while. My legs itched, my hands were cold, my face turned a splendid red, but I made my way through a city that looked forgotten as everyone focused on a game. And I stayed safe; I only walked along busy streets, never took a side street, and yet I hesitate telling this story. Some close to me might not like to hear that I got lost. But I did, and I didn’t, and I made it through the day. I even found my car much quicker than it took to leave it.

My goal was the World of Coca-Cola. And I spent a couple blissful hours there. And it was beautiful. I also might have gotten an addiction to Surge, years too late, but it’s a better Mountain Dew and I am in love with it. There might be a can in my bag right now. This place, it was beautiful and wonderful and filled with so much art and memorabilia, and I wanted it all.

I left Atlanta then, drove away from the city with it in my wake. Partially because I’m not a fan of the city, but mainly because of the big game tomorrow. I’m not sure what game, or who’s playing, but I knew it was football and I needed to put a good amount of distance between me and football fans. Growing up with parents who are in love with the game gives me enough warning to know what I’d expect from a game like this.

Tonight I’m in Macon, and I love it here. The small-town vibe as I sit outside of the city, the front desk guy who told me about a retro arcade in downtown Macon that I have to visit at some point, to the knowledge that I can keep driving towards Savannah and other places, and enjoy the world around me. I feel happy here. If I could sleep in a hotel for the rest of my life and explore places, I think I could do that. If I had to settle down here instead, I think I could do that too. But I think I have a couple places to visit first. Then maybe, just maybe, I could find “home”.