It's December! Road Diaries + A Little Catch Up
It’s 1:30 in the morning (or at least it was when I started writing this), and I’m riding in the back seat of the van with Nick, two hours from home. He’s been asleep for the last two hours, and I’ve been writing articles, because that’s about the only thing I’ve done - other than rehearse, work out, and eat - for the last month or so. I just finished my last article, and when I started to close my laptop, I realized that November was gone and we were an hour and a half into December.
We’re driving back from a short run to South Georgia, where we played two gigs, one in Brunswick and the other in a little tiny town right next to the slightly less tiny town I grew up in. Nick and his band actually played these shows with me and Beau, which doesn’t happen very often, but is very high on the list of my favorite things in the world. Our day of show schedule looked a little different this time than it normally does; rather than waking up in a hotel room and scrounging up something for breakfast, we had a huge family/band meal at my grandparents’ house, with my great-grandfather, then spent most of the early afternoon in her backyard, picking oranges while the dogs ran around.
On Monday, we start three long days of rehearsals for a tour to New York with our band, and my brain is already racing while thinking about packing, food planning, and pre-flight anxiety, but Nick and I gave ourselves the day (Saturday) off, so I’m not thinking about it too much.
But even when I’m not working, I’m working, except when I was watching the football game. I’m listening to music and thinking about themes for the next zine and trying to decide if it’s worth braving the cold and rain to go to the store and buy another pack of vegan cheese to go with the chili my sweet mumma made and sent back with us. I think it’s gonna be a cheese-less night, though; I’m too warm and comfy.
It’s been eleven days since I posted on here, and normally I’d be beating myself up for it, but I’m not, because these have been the busiest two weeks I’ve had in a long time, and I’m proud of myself for getting through them without my nineteenth nervous breakdown (high-five to anyone who gets the Stones reference, by the way). I put a lot on my plate this month and I knew it about two days in, but rather than letting the stress take over, I told myself to grit my teeth, laugh it off, and get through it.
Does that mean I got through it without feeling like I was on the verge of a panic attack every other day? No way. I just kept telling myself, “You don’t have time for a panic attack right now, so get it together and get it done.” I guess tough love does work on me sometimes!
All in all, though, I feel good. I feel strong. I’ve seen a zine go through final edits and to print, rehearsed for one short tour while planning and prepping for New York, written more in this month than I ever have before, exercised (almost) every single day, and managed to avoid eating out or diving headfirst into a pint of dark chocolate salted caramel coconut milk ice cream. I got to spend Thanksgiving with all the people I love most, and while I don’t even know where I’m going to be on Christmas day, I know it’ll be with my sweet family, so I’m happy. I’ve got more energy than I’ve had in years, and I’m actually looking forward to the New Year.
Not because I think anything will slow down - in fact, I kept telling Nick, “If we can get through the next week and a half, we can take a breath,” to which he responded with a hug and said in the most loving and humorous way, “Why? You think it’s gonna slow down? It never slows down!” - but because I haven’t felt this much ownership over this much of my life before. I’ve been busy, tired, and stressed, yes, but I’m proud, focused, driven, and happy. Not because of anything in particular, but because of the steps I’m taking.
I was trying to think of a moral to this story, but when I logged onto Instagram this morning, Morgan Harper Nicholas had already said it: “Take heart. Breathe deep. Keep a mindful, steady pace. You may not have reached those further mountains, but you are well on your way.” Keep on keeping on; I’m right there with you.