(I edited this piece from June 2012)
Not that I’m pretentious enough to think millions were sobbing over my absence. But to the few hundred thousand of you who religiously read every shitty piece of writing I post, I extend my sincerest apologies. I suck. It’s true.
Alright, so on the reals…
I guess I haven’t really given much of anything at all since March, and 4 AM is the perfect time to remedy that.
I left Tuscaloosa…which I’m sure you all already realized. But the why’s and how’s and what now’s are what’s left. I guess it was for a multitude of reasons—-severely, SEVERELY miserable with my living situation, frustrated with working shitty bar jobs after having tasted what a GOOD bar job was, even more frustrated with my “big girl” job that paid little and wasn’t “me,” and depressed in general over memories and bad feelings I just couldn’t seem to escape. I don’t think (okay, no, I know,)I ever got over whole April 27, 2011, and that in itself just isn’t normal. I believe it’s in part due to the fact that I’m sensitive and empathetic to an often unhealthy point, and also because that one day facilitated so many events and decisions and relationships over the next year of my life that I couldn’t ever seem to have just a “normal” day. I could go on for hours and hours about how it effected just about every aspect of my life from there on out, but that’s exhausting to both the reader and the writer. What I will say is that my depression and anxiety got so out of control that the nightmares and the constant blackout drinking were only the tip of the iceberg, and sometimes I wonder how I made it out of that phase alive. Nevertheless, I did, and I’m thankful on a daily basis.
I decided what I needed was a change, and I made one of the worst decisions possible when I took a day job that was wonderful, but wasn’t my style. But hell, I felt like it was what I was “supposed” to do. Grow up. Get a desk job. Do something that looks so fantastic on paper that you’ll fool yourself into believing it’s what you want.
I was still having to bartend to make ends meet, so my work weeks were never under 65 hours, and eventually I needed a god. damn. break. I went to Hangout Festival, and I’m fairly certain that weekend saved my life. Depression causes this horrible grey bubble to form around you, and it feels as though no matter how sunny or bright the outside world and the people it holds may be, you’re stuck behind a layer of sadness, and you just can’t seem to get a grip on anything outside of the grey. I don’t know if it was the water or the music or the meeting of so many stellar people, but somehow, I just…woke up. It sounds stupid and cliche, I know, but it’s true.
I knew on Sunday, the last day of the festival, that I was done with Tuscaloosa. That I SHOULD have been done a long, long time ago. I felt as though I owed it to the town to stay and continue to be a part of it’s strength and progress, but what happened instead was a darkening of my views on a place that, at one point, had facilitated nothing but personal growth and sheer happiness. So many parts of my life were becoming tainted at such a rapid rate, and for what seemed like an eternity, I felt I couldn’t escape. But that Thursday, I left work with nothing but the word “HOME” on my mind, and that’s where I went.
It has most definitely not been the homecoming I planned, but I know my parents (namely my dad) will never understand, nor care to understand, how and why I left a place I was content to call “home” for so many years basically out of nowhere. He thinks I “bailed” and “couldn’t handle it;” he’s told my mom I’m 23, that I need to grow up and “get my shit together,” and blah blah blah same old same old “Morgan is such a failure.” It’s almost stopped hurting, which is surely a side effect of listening to it for the last 12+ years. The fact of the matter is that I didn’t come home to find some stupid ass “adult” job or satisfy anyone else’s opinion; I have had quite enough of that for the moment. I came home to find myself, and what I’m starting to realize is that fulfilling society’s expectations has caused me nothing but heartache, and it’s time to buck up and try and different route. I have ALWAYS worked and I take care of my own life. Of COURSE there were bumps in the road and hell no, it hasn’t been “easy.” But I never ended up on drugs, or unexpectedly pregnant, or in jail, or really anything all that bad. I’ve just always felt lost to a point that would be comical if it weren’t so sad.
I’m beginning to realize vital things about myself and about life in general, and I so hope this little soul-searching journey I’ve been on continues forward. I realize now that I do have an outstanding affect on other people, and that I can use that in whatever way I see fit. I’m realizing that I’m lucky enough to be smart, personable, and determined…and those traits are the perfect combination for both success and flexibility. And I’m finally seeing the light with the whole “pick one field and stick with it” BULLSHIT that has caused me more inner turmoil than I even want to think about. I refuse. I have never done well with coloring inside the lines, and my age should have no bearing on whether or not that changes. I lead a phenomenal life that is so full of potential, love, empathy, laughter—-all the components necessary to make me feel full rather than empty. All this time I’ve been searching for the “one” thing that will make me feel complete when in reality, both my interests AND my heart are far too big to settle with just one thing. And that is a-oh-fucking-kay.
I know there will always be those who don’t understand; there are those who will label me a “mess” or a “waste of talent.” There will be those who pity the lack of solidarity in my life, and there will be those who will never love me as they love others because they view me as a “disappointment.” But I’m the happiest I’ve been in well over a year and the only thing that’s really changed (besides my zip code) is my view on myself. If you can’t get on board with that, you’re probably too wrapped up in your own deeply buried unhappiness that you can’t see past your own line of thoughts. But instead of defending my position or begging you to understand, I’ll simply wish you the best in your own soul-searching excursions. The world is a whole lot brighter once you finally find the bravery (or in my case, desperation) to look into the often scary depths of yourself and find whatever it is that makes your existence worthwhile.
I always like to share things like this in hopes that someone else out there feels just as “lost” or uncertain as I did/still sometimes do. I never want to be too heavy or sad, but sometimes life is both of these things, and that’s a fact we’d do better to accept rather than avoid.
No judgment allowed on the writing…it shouldn’t even be legal to be awake for this many hours on end.