November, 2009

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Nashville

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Some of my best moments have been in this town.  But also, some of my hardest.

Isn’t that the way it goes?  The joy and pain are always intermingled.  It’s impossible to separate them – the laughter and the tears – because life cannot be compartmentalized like a preschooler’s cubby wall.  There is always something difficult to deal with – and there is always something to be thankful for.

It occurred to me the other night – Nashville did not fix me.  I didn’t realize that I had the expectation that it would – not until my mom got cancer and all of a sudden I am leaving this town as big a tangled mess as I have ever been.  Nashville did not heal those wounded places deep inside me, didn’t fulfill those dreams and unidentified desires that I’ve always had, didn’t make me cooler or smarter or prettier or more at peace.

I cried to my dad a couple of nights ago, telling him that as I prepare to leave, I feel an unexpected sense of disappointment.  It surprised me.  I didn’t know I felt disappointed – but I do.  I definitely do.  Nashville didn’t fix me; in fact, in some ways, it ripped those wounds open even wider.

I’ll be honest: I am a wreck these days – a bona fide disaster.  If you don’t think so, that’s because you don’t know me – or because I’m a seriously good faker.

But the people that do know?  They make up the biggest part of why I will always and forever be grateful for my time spent in Nashville.  They have not fixed me – but they have put an arm around me.  The “fingerprints of God,” my dad called them.

We are all weak.  But it’s better to know that we are.

When the sun goes down

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Last night I had a dream that Kenny Chesney and a completely bald Keith Urban wanted to hang out with me.  Actually, to be specific, Kenny asked if he could drive my car, and I was like, “CAN YOU EVER” – which is weird because I generally distrust men in necklaces.

So Kenny, Keith, and I loaded into the old Honda, and I insisted on sitting in between them, which was very awkward because that put me in between the bucket seats and on top of the emergency break.  But we were cruising along, and at one point, I said, “Guys, you know that we’re going to have to take a picture – because no one is ever going to believe me.”  They both laughed reluctantly, like, “Yeah, sure,” but I could tell that they didn’t really want anyone to know that they had spent any time with me.  They were just using me for my car.

On second thought

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Today’s blog was deleted due to the unnecessary amount of drama it was going to cause.  I’ve got enough going on – I don’t know why I was inviting more emotional turmoil.

If you missed it, you’re just fine.  I think it kicked a lot of ass, but it probably wasn’t the most tactful of posts.  Sorry ’bout it.

What’s next

Friday, November 20th, 2009

I struggle with the question, “What am I doing with my life?”  I always have.  And with each passing day, week, year, I am no closer to finding the answer – I am learning to just take one day at a time.

However, even though I might not know what I am doing with my LIFE, I think that I will always know when it’s time to do what’s NEXT.  And once again, I’ve reached that pivotal point.  The doors have flung wide open in an undeniable way, and I am choosing to walk through them.

I am Denver-bound.

It turns out that my mom’s cancer is more serious than originally thought – and I need and want to be there throughout her treatment (another surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation).  The worst feeling in the world was getting that dreaded phone call, and being 1200 miles away.  I cannot rest in that reality.  My mom is my “person,” and I need to be close.

I am in the incredibly fortunate position to work for a company that does not see their employees as a commodity, but as humans with real lives – leading the “powers that be” to be gracious and supportive in the midst of crises.  Emma has a small Colorado office, and is willing to let me work from Denver on an open-ended basis.  I am heading west around Christmastime.

I am not calling it “moving.”  I am leaving my stuff in storage here in Nashville, and “temporarily relocating for the indefinite future.”  I don’t know what will happen, or where this will lead – it’s impossible to know what the coming months will bring.  But I just know that it feels too early – too sudden – to close the door on my Nashlife.  That may or may not wind up being relevant.  But it’s how I feel right now.

I am hoping to rent a room in Denver, or house-hop for a bit – giving me a place to sleep during the week, and leaving me free to spend my weekends in Colorado Springs with my parents.  So if you happen to live in Denver and know of any options, please let me know – because I don’t want to live under a bridge.

Obviously, there are still details to work out.  But I do know that this is “what’s next.”  Until then, you will find me crying most days, snuggling with Julie and Mel most nights, praying for my mom, and hoping that God knows what he’s doing.

It’s a wonder I have any friends at all

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

I’ve got some big stuff going on – some changes afoot, some news to report.  All in good time, little ducklings.

So instead, today, I bring you A Fake Interview With Myself.

Fake… and yet… so real…

Hi Annie.

Oh hey, you!

So nice to see you – you’re looking pretty awesome these days.

Stop it!

Okay.

I mean, you don’t have to.

Let’s move on.  How many miles did you run on the treadmill last night?

Just over 4.  I was watching “The Biggest Loser.”  That show is a triumph of the human spirit.  And could you believe Rebecca?  What a hottie!

Totally.  Is your EP still for sale?

Yes it is.

Are you silently judging your friends who haven’t asked for a copy yet?

You bet your bottom dollar.

What if the aforementioned friends live in Seattle and never see you?

Well, they should know that I’m going to be in town over New Years!  And I can’t wait to snuggle with them – and then force my music on them.

Wow – New Years is coming up quick.  Can you believe the holidays are upon us?

Yahtzee.  NO.  I’ll be driving to Kansas City a week from today to be with my family.

Remember what happened last year on Thanksgiving?

How could I forget!  Trick or turkey, y’all.

After watching that video again, is there anything you would like to share with the class?

No.

Annie.

There’s nothing.

Yes there is.

Fine.

I now sometimes drink boxed wine.

My work here is done.

Josh and Meg have a new duo name

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

troubledannie

Awwww, yeah!  How’s about that – Troubled Annie, for the wind!

Listen to some of their new stuff here.  “Be Mine” is so catchy, it’s practically SARS.

Let’s talk about:

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The comments that you left in response to Thursday’s blog
I was blown away by a couple of things: 1) the TRUTH that was so evident in so much of what you were saying, and 2) the HONESTY about something that isn’t easily summed up in a cliché phrase.  I love that so many of you felt free to share a glimpse into your own stories and experiences with that curious thing called Love.

For the record, I am in agreement with many of you: I don’t believe in “The One”; rather, I think that I will wind up with “A One.”  If I believed in “The One,” I would have married JC Chasez when I was 15.

And on a personal note, I loved it when Casey said, “You ‘know’ when your introvertedness doesn’t mind sharing your space with that person.”  I’m pretty sure that in my case, that will be the flashing marquee sign telling me to go to Vegas RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Lord of the Rings
Last week, my roommate Julie told me that she had never read nor seen “Lord of the Rings.”  I think that I shrieked, “WHAT??!?” and then fell down dead.  But after the disbelief came action, and we watched “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” this weekend.

Have you ever had the chance to watch something epic – something that has changed your own life, something that has become an essential piece of how you view the world – affect someone else for the first time?  It was so, so fun – and I think that Julie is hooked, even though she kept calling Strider “Striker.”

Micah’s 6th birthday

Yesterday, my nephew Micah turned 6.  I saw him last week, and when I asked him about his upcoming birthday, he said, “I can’t wait to turn 6!  When you are 6, you can do SUCH FUN THINGS – like a cartwheel and lose a tooth!”

And my cynical, disillusioned heart melted into a puddle.

Please tell me.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

You know how some married people, when asked, “How did you know he/she was the right one?” answer, “I just knew”?

What does that MEAN?  What are they (you?) referring to?  And should single people be holding for it – whatever it is?

Or is it just a completely bogus statement, fabricated to placate the general relationship-befuddlement that seems to expand and swell the further we get from college?

I’m curious.

Back

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

I arrived home last night to 2 dead flies on my bedroom carpet, and one crawling on the wall above my closet. I killed it with my bible study book. Then, I discovered 4 more humongous, buzzy black flies in my bathroom. I shut them in there in hopes that when I woke up in the morning, they would have died of natural causes.

This morning, I opened the door to find them multiplied. There were 7 flies in the bathroom.

I mean, really? Seven flies? What is the deal?

And thus began the most boring blog of all time.

I can’t help it, though. After so much driving, so little sleep, so many miles, and such a numb derrière, I don’t even know the date. My brain is oatmeal. In fact, Dani sent me some homemade oatmeal in the mail (thanks, Dani!), and when I got home last night and opened the box, I mistook it for granola and POURED IT IN MY MOUTH.

A mouth full of dry oats is shockingly difficult to swallow.

Now, I would just like to pause and give all glory, laud, and honor to my 1990 Honda Accord, which delivered me safely to Colorado and back without a hitch. There have always been naysayers, pessimists, skeptics when it comes to belief in the Honda’s reliability, but I have never doubted it; it is the Engergizer Bunny.  It passed 200,000 miles in central Kansas, right by those gigantic energy windmills that look like something out of Transformers. Jeremy told me about a YouTube video of one exploding, so I looked it up, and now I’m terrified to drive that way again.

Now that I’m back, there is a lot to catch up on. If you’ve ordered an EP in the past couple of days, they’re going out today – I’m so sorry for the delay! If you haven’t ordered an EP, you should.

No, I probably won’t stop talking about it for awhile.  Like Bobby Brown, it’s my prerogative.

What’s been going on

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Last week, while the EP listening party was happening here on the blog, and I was steadily posting a new track each day, there was a lot happening in my life.  Like, A LOT a lot.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer – soft tissue sarcoma.  The doctors removed a mass from her hip socket; when they cut her open, it “bulged out like a zit”… or something.

I hope you’re enjoying your breakfast, by the way.

I don’t really know how to write about the phone call that I got on Tuesday night – my mom telling me that she had cancer.  I know that there were instant, uncontrollable tears on my part.  I know that I was suddenly confronted with the overwhelming fear of losing a parent – something that I have never really had to deal with before.  I know that after I hung up the phone with her, I told Greta the news, and then cried some more, because I was completely terrified and couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

But then, I stood up and blew my nose and made a grilled cheese for Julie who was coming home from work.  It was all very surreal.

On Wednesday afternoon, I found myself in a daze, throwing clothes in a bag, getting in my car and driving out of Nashville.  Have I mentioned that I do not do well with spontaneous decisions or chaotic situations?  About 30 miles out of town, I realized that I didn’t even pack a coat; my stress and anxiety levels were through the Honda roof.  But after driving 18 hours and 1200 miles, I was with my parents and all three of my siblings in Colorado Springs.

We arrived to the amazing news that her scans were clear, that the cancer had not spread.  There are no words to describe the relief – that even though the situation is serious, and cancer is evil embodied, the news was good.  I saw Mom’s 8-inch incision, and her Buzz Lightyear contraption around her hip.  We spent the weekend together as a family, stepping over the 4 dogs and eating a ton of food and talking about everything from life to death to the latest episode of “The Office.”

It was so good to be there.

Today, I point the wheel back toward Tennessee, and after an eternity of driving, will be in my own bed tonight.  I don’t really know what happens next – my parents will meet with the orthopedic oncologist this week to figure out the next steps.  There is still so much that is unknown.

But I know that I love my mom more than I could ever say.  And I know that this changes things.

co