the rabbit hole: where it all began

my vibes
See, it depends on your definition of winning;
I ain’t started from the bottom, I started from the beginning.
— Oddisee, “Tangible Dream,” Tangible Dream, 2013

Laying on the table, it was my turn.

Months after her, I finally worked up the nerve. Even with a few shots of Parton I was freaking out. I was jumping from a small crown tatted on my hip, to words across my ribs.

"Love the Life You Live"

That shit hurt like a bitch.

Inked for life with my "wife", my first soul sista for life. Together we read "Live the life you love, Love the life you live." We were so original, said no one ever. But I loved it, it was so us...and it still is. 

But this permanently affixed affirmation also had a deeper purpose. I never wanted to forget the beginning of the beginning. Of falling in love with my life. Of being seen. Of following joy. Of endeavoring to learn and live my truth.

I was documenting the time I saved myself from the nightmare, I didn't even know I was creating.

I was rebelling.

This was Summer 2010.

brainwash [odd seasons]

Much like my lotus flower tat, and all other great genesis stories, my shift (so cliche) was triggered by a relationship. The most beautiful thing to come from the murky waters of a love lost in lies, was a new purpose for life.

In short, my ex hated my life goals. 

And if we are being really real, they weren't even mine. 

One night, processing my thoughts out loud, I was so hype. Graduation was finally in sight, and I was on track. [On track to recreate the life my parents had given me.] It was so perfect. I would to go to work every day, come home, eat, sleep and repeat. It was stable. It was safe. It felt good, and had been good for me, my whole life. My "life goals" were essentially a combination of the comfortable life I knew with a sprinkle of my parents well meaning desires on top.

I paused, and I looked over to him for approval...but was met with a face that said "that shit is wack."

I don't remember all that was said, but I remember "autopilot".

I defended myself. I defended my life. I defended what "I" thought I wanted.

He calmly rejected it, and pointed out that "I" was nowhere in it. 

I didn't understand then what I was describing. But when he ran it back it sounded awful. Autopilot. I desired to live a life where all my days blended together, where everything was predictable and safe. Autopilot. I was creating a life story, that had no life in it at all.

Autopilot. I was creating a life story, that had no life in it at all.

I sat there half upset, but also half intrigued. I never once thought about what "I" wanted. I didn't even know what that meant. I only knew the life I had lived, and really why fix something that isn't broken? My parent's life worked for me. I liked it. The path was clearly laid out, and it was safe. 

But the words he said lingered, and then everything changed

I was given permission to live life on my own terms. It was kind of exciting, except I had no idea what it meant.

All I knew was what I had planned all along. 

To repeat the only life I had ever known.