5 a.m.

There’s something about silence at 5 a.m. that sounds like nothing else – at 2 or 3 or even 4 silence is deafening. It’s a reminder of many things; anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness – sometimes an odd mixture of all three.

But 5 a.m. feels different. In the most elementary way, it’s a reminder that I made it through another night. That a new day is soon dawning and I’m still breathing. The silence reminds me to say thank you for that, and remember not to take it for granted.

The quiet reminds me that I’m here alone, but less in a lonely way and more in a blessed way. That I’m lucky enough to be capable of spending parts and pieces of my life alone. I’m not anywhere in life I don’t want to be nor spending it with anyone I don’t want to spend it with.

Occasionally I hear a train in the distance and it reminds me of the past. I think of how many people in how many years have felt the same things; how they’ve been reminded of fears, hopes, dreams, joy, happiness and mortality all in this same moment in their mornings years previously. I wonder how their lives turned out. I hope they kept their faith. I pray they felt hopeful and joyful for the rest of their days, and continued to dream as big as the sky and had days that felt so perfect they thought they lived in the clouds.

And I guess that’s what I like about 5 a.m. It’s full of promise. A promise of things to come. Of my own hopes and dreams and even fears realized. It makes me happy to be alive, and so grateful to be living another day.

Nashville

The train just rolled by.

Its horn another portion of the song of the evening – with the crickets and frogs that are filling the night air.

They all join the last few fireflies I saw earlier tonight.

Each one adding to the comfort I’m currently feeling.

I signed a lease today. On the cutest house I’ll have lived in. With a roommate – which I haven’t had in more than a year.

I don’t have a job yet; not a real one. Just leads and crossed fingers and a lot of hope.

And so much excitement.

It just feels right.

Keep going.

I learned a variety of thing today.

I learned people will let you down quite a bit. Most of the world is focused on themselves and what will make them the happiest. But only thinking about yourself sucks and it’s unfulfilling, so don’t do that. Give something, give everything if you want. Don’t close yourself off, though. Because then the hard times win, and should happiness win whenever possible? Give until it hurts, and then find a few more reasons.

I learned it never feels better to see an ex-boyfriend. Time may heal old wounds, but that hurt boils to the top every time. And that’s life and it sucks, but it sure makes those good moments look much better. And there’s always at least a few good moments to focus on.

I learned it’s hard to appreciate yourself for who you are; but it’s also
Imperative in the times no one else appreciates you. It’s important to keep an open heart and a kind soul. Life will knock you down as many times as it can, but there’s always the ability to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. Always keep going.

Just always keep going.

Fairy tales.

Often as we grow older we’re taught to let go of our childhoods. Imaginations are great, but staying grounded is better. It’s important to stay realistic.

I suppose I got the memo, but chose not to listen.

Here’s the thing: imaginations rule the world. Innovators don’t exist because they decided they needed an 8-5 with a 401k and a good vacation package.

So – in the most realistic way possible – I ask why I would start being realistic.

I like dreams of all kinds. Day dreams, night dreams, red light dreams, driving dreams. I’m familiar with each and every one. And they keep me going.

The most perfect point in every summer day is seeing a firefly flicker and remembering how it felt to be eight and catch one in a jar. That feeling of joy and magic that surrounded each Tinkerbell and lightning bug. Because it truly felt like magic – trying to figure out why they lit up the way they did. I was certain they knew something we must not – I mean, they figured out how to light up; why wouldn’t they know the secrets to the universe?

But that fades as we grow up. The magic goes away. But does it really have to?

The answer is no.

It doesn’t. It shouldn’t.

Dreams should stick with us; everyone needs something to fill them with as much joy as an eight-year-old with a mason jar and a firefly.

Because we all need to believe in magic.

Everything.

Love. Night skies. Fireflies. Miracles. Big, hearty laughs. A glass of bourbon. Friends who get me. God. Faith. Hope. Grace. Joy. (A lack of) patience. Living in the moment. Butterflies. Family. A song lyric that’ll rip you wide open. The smell of books. The pops of records. Following my heart. Making a stranger smile. Anything my Granny ever painted. Babies. Running wild. Open skies. Sunrises (more than sunsets). Sunsets. Talking all night. Photos. My grandparents’ tiny, hand-built white house. Not being sure. Being sure. That feeling when I finally get it. That feeling when it all makes sense again. Shooting stars. Rainbows. Holding hands. Telling all my secrets without judgment. The look in the eyes of someone who appreciates it. Karma. Loving without a second thought. Hearing another person’s heart beat. Naïveté. Daydreams. Plans. Dolly. Life.

Sometimes you just need a list of things you love.

I’ve got somethin’ inside of me, it just won’t settle down.

Is wearing your heart on your sleeve really a bad thing, or does it eventually pay off?

I am notoriously terrible at investing myself in situations far too much far too early. It’s not a new thing. It’s been going on as long as I can remember – I still recall an argument I was in with my best friend when we were 7 or 8. I cried.

“My dad says not to wear your heart on your sleeve like that because you’re going to get your feelings hurt too much,” she said.

I’m pretty sure I just cried harder. I often wonder if a certain type of guy is attracted to this type of girl. They’re usually not very emotional. They usually break my heart, and I’m left wondering if they ever even cared at all, while crying on a bar bathroom floor or something. Not really, I usually cry in my bed under 15 layers of covers for about the same amount of days.

That said, I can’t help but think it’s the only approach that makes sense. I really love love, for all that it is, and I can’t help but put it all out there. Because I want the kind of all-consuming love. I want someone to love the good, the bad and all the in between. So hiding any part of that doesn’t seem to make sense.

I like butterflies. I like feeling giddy. I don’t think anyone should miss out on those things in the interest of not seeming too something or another. Do what feels right. See what happens. If it doesn’t work, I guarantee they weren’t a good fit anyway.