mSo much has happened since my last blog post. People keep asking me what I'm doing or where I am, and I figure writing about it makes the most sense.
On March 30th I said by final goodbye to #Rooterlyfe. I left a job that had harbored me for five years and I was no longer a Director of Marketing. I left my office and seat at a desk, and I haven't looked back...yet. I don't know that I will look back, but I also don't know what the future holds. When I closed that door so many more opened. One of my friends said, "you retired at 28; how does that feel?" Well, retirement, if that is what we are calling this, thus far feels like a lot more work, but it is so much more rewarding.
I chose to take my first real vacation upon quitting my job, and I adventured out to my happy place in the Pacific North West. I brought in my 28th birthday on the beach where my soul came to life two years ago. While my trip to Seattle was a vacation it was still quite exhausting. I revisited a lot of places, people and feelings that brought up past emotions of hurt, pain and heartache, but the beautiful thing about those moments...I was able to see just how far I have come and just how much I have healed. I used to live in sadness and sorrow, but those are not the emotions that regularly visit me these days.
After Seattle I had less than 24 hours at home before getting on another plane and heading to New York City. I didn't even sleep in my own bed while at home because I wanted to see as many of my people as possible and soak up every ounce of home that I possibly could.
New York City...my current adventure. I am in New York to work the Tribeca Film Festival and will depart after the festival is over on April 30th. I have been in New York since April 15th. I landed, purchased a metro card and headed to The Chelsea International Hostel which would be my home for the duration of my stay in New York...or so I thought. About three days into my stay I was informed that I would need to make other housing arrangements within two days due to the fact that I do not have international status. Now, why they accepted my in the first place is neither here nor there at this point, but it was extremely frustrating to say the least.
Thankfully, family is created quickly here at Tribeca and I was offered a spare room and comfortable bed in Brooklyn for the duration of my stay. This location is further from where I am working, but it is teaching me how to maneuver New York Public transportation like a champ. If you follow my Instagram stories you have been able to see some of my adventures and mishaps, but if not I will share them with you now...
Upon my arrival I took a bus, a train and walked 2 miles through the rain to the wrong location and ended up sitting in for a local folk music concert because taking an Uber to the correct place.
Tribeca Training was great, and I connected with so many people that will now be life long friends. After my first day of training I sat in a part for 3 hours with a friend who started as a complete stranger.
Training was filled with new knowledge, laughs, and plenty of red carpet pictures.
I have adventured around the city and found some beautiful sights, delicious food and hilarious human interaction.
I argued with a Buddhist in Central Park about the literal and figurative cost of peace.
My soul was touched by an incredible violin player in the Subway station.
John Legend walked past me, and Salt and Peppa acknowledged me.
I became a regular at the coffee shop around the corner-it's called Cocoa Grinder-and they have some of the best omelets that I have ever encountered.
I continuously admire New York fashion and have taken too many pictures of dogs as they walk by my work station.
I finished the book I brought, so now I have resorted to a lot of writing on my train rides, but the inspiration continues to find me.
I've eaten more Chinese take out than I care to admit.
I had a panic attack underground due to the trains not functioning the way that I knew, and not knowing how I would get home. That experience followed in two men trying to steal my backpack off my back. I have never been more thankful for strong thighs. I kicked them, ran and got an Uber.
I finally had New York Pizza, and I could honestly eat a whole pie if I was hungry enough.
The sun has been shining most days, and I adventured to the Brooklyn Bridge Park where I realized I have seen two separate skylines (on opposite ends of the U.S.) within a month. Seattle still wins for me.
My finances are on the low low, until I get paid from this contract, but I have honestly never felt richer.
I continue to learn more and more about myself with each passing day, and I truly agree with what "they" say...If you can make it in New York City; you can make it anywhere.
Keep chasing those dreams baby.
From my heart to yours,
2017 has been a year...
....a year that I brought in with siblings that CHOOSE to love me even when I'm not always likable. I think that should have given me an indicator of how this year would go...beautifully.
2017 has been a a year filled with....
...girls nights, tinder tornadoes, hungover mornings, cross country flights for friends, Snapchat Streaks, wine nights, North Central Basketball, 27th Birthday Celebrations, facing fears, traveling alone, nephew love, Golf Outing shots, puppy love, new life, Broadripple nights, pantless car rides, cliff dives, monster trucks, surprise kick backs at The Queendom, underwater photo shoots, back porch head shavings, hair dye fails, moonshine shake ups, front porch tanning, baby bash festivities that turn into Uber rides, blonde hair, donut days in the park, trampoline nights, Fountain Square music, flower crown obsessions, days with Prince, Teddy Season, new friends, art galleries, Polaroid pictures, Chicago road trips, weddings, Starbucks drive thru connections, bonfires, family arguments, family love, marathons, movie nights, birthday celebrations, Harley Davidson love, ER visits, hand tattoos, family dinners, ink therapy, Queen Shit evolution, Butter Life lovin, bathroom floods, art therapy, headwraps, Rooterlyfe, overalls, smoke sessions, black coffee, instagram connections, Do Not Disturb appreciation, lost love, reality checks...
2017 has been a year FILLED with love in so many forms, and if you took the time to read through all of those moments listed above you were apart of that love. I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to love you. I cannot thank you enough for loving me. There just aren't enough words.
2016 was the year I learned to love myself and 2017 is the year where I learned to love others.
I don't know what lessons 2018 holds for me, but I know that it will be beautiful and inspiring to capture along the way. I look forward to going through another year with those that choose to love me.
I am not a rental. I am a purchase with a no return policy.
I am not cash. I am a money order with a guarantee.
I am not fragile. I am tender to touch.
I am not a light drizzle. I am a hurricane.
I am not cold. I am warmer than most.
I am not a 24 hour corner store. I am a members only Costco.
I am not a quick trip. I am an adventure.
I am not flat land. I am mountains and rolling hills.
I am not the calm before the storm. I am the storm.
I am not loud. I am a quiet that roars.
I am not patient. I am a heart doctor.
I am not a life preserver. I am the deepest ocean.
I am not stationary. I make moves.
I am not peasantry. I am royalty.
I am not fuel. My tank runs dry.
I am not just a shimmer. I am gold everlasting.
I am not rest for the weary. I am the weary looking for rest.
I am not the question. I am the answer.
I am not the rule. I am the exception.
I am not the rebuke. I am the accolade.
I am not the boat. I am the wave.
I am not fresh out of the box. I am broken in and comfortable.
I am not a bluetooth speaker. I am a crackling record player.
I am not a sleeper. I am dreamer.
I am not a repetitive chorus. I am a sick beat freestyle.
I am not a special occasion dining room. I am a comfortable couch living room.
I am not an antibiotic. I am a daily dosage.
I am not an unassigned contact. I am a favorite first call.
I am not for everyone. I am for someone.
The story of my life didn’t start the day that I was born. The story of my life started with the people who bore the people who bore me. The story of my life is a bit one sided because I only have knowledge of my mother’s bloodline. The Griggs bloodline is something to be respected, honored and cherished. I come from a people who love so deeply and truly that you feel underserving at times. I come from a family filled with blessings and support. I come from a family of imperfections and forgiveness. I come from a people who give unconditional love. I come from the true meaning of family.
I recently got to take a road trip with the man who played the role of dad in my life. Bob Griggs, My Paw, will possibly be the best man I’ll know for all of my days on this earth. He stepped into my life by choice. You see my mom went off and got herself pregnant by a man who, for whatever reason, wasn’t ready to be a father. All stories have sides, so I cannot speak for him, but from recent experiences in my life it seems I was a mistake in his eyes.
I know that I am not a mistake, so don’t you worry.
My Paw always made his presence known in my life. If there was ever a Father’s Day event then he was there. He never missed one of my sporting events. He was at every choir or vocal performance. He listened to every song I ever practiced (over and over again). Any question I asked, he would give an answer. Any story I had to tell, he would listen. He has always been consistently proud of me. He has always seen my potential and he has always shown me that I am far from a mistake. He has shown me that my life and every life has purpose. He has shown me that life is a blessing.
On this trip so much of the truths that he taught me growing up were brought to life. I allowed myself to just sit and take in the experience. I allowed myself to gain perspective. By learning more about where I come from I was able to learn so much more about myself. Griggs’ are known for being tough, hardworking, wise and loving. In the words of my third cousin, Geraldean;
‘Griggs’ don't take no bull.”
I realized that while I am still an original and unique, so much of me comes from my incredible heritage. At times I feel that I give people too many chances due to my loving heart, and most the time that is correct. I have learned that there is still love and kindness in letting go. When you continue to love someone through the bullshit you're enabling them and telling them that it is okay to treat you, and others, less than you/they deserve. As I age I am learning who I am. I am a Griggs through and through and I am proud of it. I can still be loving, hardworking and kind while not taking any bull. For those that I’ve let go, I still love you from afar and I showed us both a kindness by walking away.
This trip was incredible and may go down as one of the best adventures in my life. I got to learn so much about an incredible man whom I am blessed enough to call Paw. I found so much joy and laughed so much as we made memories and experiences that can never be taken away from me.
I haven't been writing recently, and it feels like I've been in a love affair with my words. I keep trying to get to them and get pulled in another directions. I put my words on pause, but my mind keeps running. I've been adding to the notes on my iphone when I can and throwing the thoughts to my computer when there's time.
Am I even breathing? Obviously I am because I am still able to be a contributing member in the world. Of course there is literally breath in my lungs, but writing is part of who I am. Writing is a way of breathing for me, so no...I haven't been breathing. I have been holding my breath and pushing through all of the changes and emotions that are thrown my way. I have been saying "yes" too many times to too many people. Why am I reverting back to old ways? Why am I moving a million miles an hour?
I was reminded by someone growing close to my heart that I need to slow down. That I am deserving of a slow down. It has been written before that I don't have a yellow light. I am so bad at yellow. I am so bad at slow. I am so so good at stop and go. I tried to be intentional about slowing down and look where I am? Frustrated....breathless....exhausted....anxious.
I haven't been able to truly feel at home since I made my move back to Indiana. I moved in with my best friend and moving out hurt straight to the heart. I am so thankful for the memories made on Lucky Dan Drive. Someone was always around and laughter could always be heard. Memories of late night snacking, kitchen counter hangs, cry sessions, binge watching One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy, petty arguments, fitness talks, life advice...everything happened within those walls. We all learned from one another, we all grew in different ways and, long story short, it was time for new adventures to begin.
It is no secret that I have nomadic tendencies, so I feel like the people I love were nervous when I announced that I would be moving...but I didn't know where. I had a struggle because I felt that it was time for me to live alone, but that is not something that I really wanted to do. I felt a lot of fear and anxiety about living alone. The Queendom was a God send. I lived there alone for a few weeks and now my, for all intensive purposes, cousin has moved in to share this beautiful space. Essentially, it was a compromise for myself.
The Queendom is already one of my favorite places to be. I have been sleeping more, which, if you know me, is a huge accomplishment. I have slowly began making my space my own, but the feeling of home has been haunting me. Home is not within walls, home is the space that I create for myself wherever I am. I have been missing this home feeling because I have been missing my God. I used to be a very prayerful person, and I strayed from that for quite some time. I know that there is something much larger than me in this universe. I know that I have purpose or I wouldn't be here. I know that as I begin to spend time in prayer; my days go smoother, my heart hurts less and my anxiety lessens.
I have been thinking a lot about Ruth. A "Ruth" is a woman who has experienced great loss and pain, yet has remained loyal and faithful no matter what. She has found her strength in God. I consider myself to be a Ruth, but I have not been finding my strength in God. I have been finding my strength within myself and it is causing me to feel weak and breathless. I have been making a conscious effort to be a more prayerful person. I am trusting in a plan much greater than my own, and blessings are, in deed, falling in my lap. Amongst these blessings are challenges. The latest challenge is learning how to open up again to the idea of a relationship.
When you've been scarred you often remember best what facilitated in creating those scars. What if you allowed yourself to just let it all go? What if you allowed yourself to be free from those fears? What if you just allowed yourself to rest in the incredible blessings falling all around you? What if you finally allowed yourself to feel happiness without questioning the feeling? I have felt that I am a crossroads for some time now and I have just been pacing back and forth unable to choose which direction to go. I have built a pretty unbreakable fortress around myself and at times it blocks people out, but I am thankful for patience and someone willing to tear this fortress down brick by brick. There is a long way to go, but here's to new adventures, allowing myself to embrace true joy, refocusing, and opening up my private party to other souls deserving of the love I have to pour out.
stay grateful and always wear your crown,
Indiana native with a PNW heart filled with a love for photography, travel, coffee, wine, writing and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.