Going Home

As the end of the year approaches and the holidays finally roll around, many people are going home to visit their loved ones. If they don’t already live near their family, people will be traveling all over the country. Last year, when I began this project, I wrote a lot about home around the holidays. I wrote some pretty dreary posts, ultimately saying that I didn’t plan on going home for the next four years.

There was a lot of emotional angst with the mentality of I wanted either all of it or none of it. I wanted to go home and stay home or wait until I could stay. It was a rough time. I did end up going home for a couple weeks in March but, for the most part, I stayed out of Minnesota.

As that time of the year comes back, I guess I wanted to bring it up again. I’ve been in Charleston for the last 240 days, or 8 months. I really haven’t left the city since I’ve arrived and some of that angst is coming back.

I won’t finish my contract until May 2017, which is quite a ways away. It’s a long time to stay in South Carolina. However, I still feel the same way as before. I can’t imagine going home just to come back down here. Leave is valuable and takes a long time to replace.

Eighteen years of my life were spent in Minnesota, I want to use my leave going to visit somewhere new. Maybe go to Portland or Boston. In the last year and a half, I’ve been home for 14 days. Yet, I can’t bring myself to use my leave just to go back to someplace I’ve already been. I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone but I thought it was worth bringing up.

Has anyone else experienced this? I left home a year ago and it seems like everyone here is pushing me to visit. Especially this time of the year. Yet, I don’t know where to go or why exactly I don’t want to go home. It’s just I don’t. Do you have any advice?

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Picture of my Home

I sit on the bed in the half-lotus position successfully after months of stretching. To my left are two notebooks of ideas and projects I’ve began over the last year. They’re hardly filled but the pages that are used are detailed and cover everything from interviews to music albums I enjoy. There’s a plate on my right with the remains of pizza from the best hangout spot in downtown Charleston.

This is the last week that I will spend in this room, I want to take it all in. In front of me, a map of the world is plastered to the wall. It’s littered with arrows to places I’ve been and places I want to travel to. Behind me are maps of Scandinavia, the United States, and Europe. They remind me that the world is tangible and only an arm’s reach away.

Whiteboards cover my closet door and any remaining wall space. They’re small but contain different information for the day. One holds blog topics that require more time to write, such as concepts I’ve been thinking about for months. Another holds inspirational quotes that I try to live by in daily life. One above my sink reminds me which vitamins and supplements to take, what time to take them, and how much.

In the background The Thermals play “I’m Gonna Change Your Life” and sound fills my room. The bookcase to my right is full and an excess of books covers my entertainment center, where a TV would be located if I owned one. The titles of these books all revolved around “the road”, whether it be leaving the road, “On the Road“, “Off the Road“, “The Open Road“. Most of them are travel biographies and memoirs, which carry me to faraway places when I’m unable to travel to them myself.

A miniature Buddha guards my lamp and sits meditating with a calm expression. The figure matches another small statue of Buddha on my desk sitting in the lotus position. Together I think that they remind me to sit down and breathe. A candle melts and an orange perfume mixes with the scent of stale pizza. My room isn’t perfect but neither am I.

There are a few pieces of art that are scattered around; a cover of “Quiescent Mag“, some artwork by Kavan The Kid, a watercolor by Sarah Nieman, and a few paintings by Carolyn Snyder. They keep me in touch with the artist inside. Their work serves as a reminder to create and share with the world. Art is a form of communication, and I relate to what they have created.

The small refrigerator issued to my dorm room is covered with postcards. Many of them are from Minnesota, where I’m from, but there are a few from other countries and around the United States. Among them are pictures of friends that I haven’t seen in years and one of my dad when he was deployed. Above the ‘fridge a prized toaster sits. After months of them being banned, my appreciation for toast has risen exponentially. Next to it is TAZO wild sweet orange tea and a container of whey protein. A few more containers fill the area with contents from multivitamins to wheat grass.

This is the place I have spent the last six months growing. It a home of mine, not my sole home, but one that I will remember fondly. There were, of course, days where the air conditioning died and the hot water stopped running, but I’ve fallen in love with it, even in its imperfections. The tile flooring is cold to walk on at night and slippery after a shower. And it seems like every horizontal surface gathers dust quicker than I can clean. My blankets are torn but this is what I call home. This is where I live.

Even in its worst, it’s a place where I find shelter. After long days of working, I joyously collapse on my bed. When Charleston is in a downpour, it’s a place to shed wet clothing and dry out. Days when I want quiet and peace, I find it sitting on my bed, where I’m sitting now.

I wish I could preserve this moment but I know that times are changing. Where I stand will be different tomorrow, next week, and next year. I can feel the change happening but I don’t resist it. I’ve called many places home and I’ve found myself all over the country. This room, in all of its glory, is just a room. It’s a moment in time, a fragment of my life, that I will look back on. I sit on this bed now and take all that in so one day I will have something to look back on. If you don’t breathe your life in, what will you remember in five or ten years?

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Content with where I’m at

For the first time in a long time I feel content.

This week has been a rollar coaster of emotion and it concluded well this weekend hanging out with friends. Yesterday I got out and visited Folly Beach to shoot some photos for the first time in a year. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve done any pictures. It’s just hard for me to believe that something that was such a part of my life just disapeared for a year. Taking photos yesterday filled some void within me.

The friend I was hanging out with yesterday brings a joyous energy I wish I could give more of to the world. Being in her prescence is uplifting and I’m appreciative of our friendship. We laughed, we cried, we vlogged, and tried new food. It was a bit of a drive but it was something I needed after such a long week.

Today I went downtown with another really good friend to show him some of the places I’ve grown to love. Even though it was Easter, most of downtown was completely opened. We wandered, we tried food and got stuffed on desserts. Earthbound supplied me with a miniature Buddha and a box with the symbol “om” engraved on the top. My friend got some large canvas prints for his walls and we had a good time.

Looking at my 365, I’ve been in Chaleston for 40 days already and I feel like I’ve moved in. I’m no longer moving around the country and I’m able to somewhat settle down. I’m in a new town, with new people, moving along with my life. It’s only a couple more months until my 20th birthday but I feel like an adult now. I feel at home, I feel centered with my life.

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Moving to Charleston Tomorrow!

Well, I’ve run tonight’s post a little into the wall. I have to get to bed quickly so I can get up early for my flight out to Charleston. Early flights are the worst! So yesterday’s post concluded most of my thoughts about visiting home and leaving so tonight I’ll be brief.

I’m glad I decided to come home for a week before I moved off to Charleston. It has given me the opportunity to see the life that I lead and shown me how I want to orient myself in the future. It’s given me something to compare my experiences with and a way to keep some of my friends before becoming too distant from them. Although my visit was short, I feel like I’ve gained a lot of insight into my life.

Cheers to traveling to new places!

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Here’s a video I ran across on my Facebook NewFeed that is in need of some attention!

Re: “The Problem With Facebook”

After scrolling past this video numerous times on Facebook, I finally decided to watch it. If you haven’t watched it yet, watch it then read the rest of this post.

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Basically this video confirms what’s been growing in my mind for the last six months; Facebook is reforming its way it allows people to communicate in a negative way. My purpose for using Facebook is to connect with other artists. By neglecting to show my posts by the lesser known/lesser “liked” artists, I’m missing out on all of their work.

For someone who really enjoys smaller, lesser-known artists, this is incredibly disappointing. As an artist this is outraging because it limits how many people see my expressions. If an artist I’ve “liked” on Facebook posts their work, and I’ve taken time out of my life to go “like” their page, I sure as hell want to see it. After all, isn’t that what liking is supposed to be for?

As I look into the future for how I’m going to be on social media, I see myself less and less on Facebook. Their pattern for generating Newfeeds is infuriating. Google+ seems to be better, and YouTube is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

Today I created my first video. The sound is incredibly low because I didn’t know I was being so quiet and it’s too late to record and upload another. I suppose you can’t get it all right the first time. Anyways, here’s the video if you’re interested in turning up your volume!


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Change

Days like today make me wonder if I’ve even changed at all in the past year. Tonight I went to the movies and saw The Monuments Men with my brother and his fiance. We went over to their new apartment and hung out for a few hours like we used to last May. Some things change, like the crowd around you, but sometimes the habits and the things that you do are so ingrained within you that you maintain them.

When I come back next time, will I be the same person? Will everyone else be the same? Minnesota won’t change but its people will. The music on the radio seems to be a mix between electronic and folk these days. More people are moving away from the emo/scene and dark looks. Where will everything be in three years? The rest of my life?

Do I want to come back to Minnesota in 3 years or will I just want to travel? Will I be able to afford traveling? These are all questions that run through my head constantly. I think I need to read Eckhard Tolle’s “The Power of Now” again before I get to caught up in everything.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday night!

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Reflections of High Schoolers

One of my best friends growing up went out to eat with me this morning. It seems like there is an endless amount of things to talk about. So many people from our high school are already having babies and getting married. I feel ages away from any of that. How can someone get married at 19 or 20 years old? How about having a baby? It’s crazy!

It’s also interesting to see what decisions my classmates made; things like if they went to college or where they work now. Some of them moved to other states and countries. Others stayed here and work at McDonald’s.

Looking at myself, I feel really successful. Coming home has opened my eyes to the experiences I’m having. I just lived in Mississippi for a couple months, Texas for around 7. I’ve spend the last 4 years traveling around Europe and the US.

My life has been so rich in experience – I’ve been incredibly fortunate. Where will I be in 5 years? I have no idea! I know I’ll be moving to Charleston for a couple years but who knows what I’ll end up doing! Where I’ll travel to, the experiences I’ll have! It’s all so exciting!

The conversation I had with my old friend re-inspired me to live my life more fully. I want to go out and make my life full. I want to go out to the crazy festivals and go out to meet new people. I’ll have to remember this when I move to Charleston. There is so much to do!

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