Thursday, December 22, 2005

to the last drop

my bedroom looks like santa's workshop. there is wrapping paper on the floor, a big pile of boxes sitting, waiting to be wrapped, christmas cards and envelopes sitting on the desk, and a list of

happy tired

names scribbled on the back of an envelope. i wore my feet out last night searching for a few last presents and i am a wreck. i don't even want to talk about how much has to be done around the house. between trying to be santa, making some moves personally, and always keeping my hand on the pulse of what's going on with the creative folks surrounding me, i am tired. but it's "happy tired," you know?

last year at this time, being santa wasn't so... for lack of a better word, complicated. but i wasn't as happy, either. last year at this time, i was working for a telecommunications company by day, then rushing through rush hour traffic and virginia countryside to make it to my part-time department store hustle. i had a dream. i was saving money to get out of virginia. months earlier, i realized that the frequent trips i was making to see friends and family up north were beacons of light that gave me a reason besides bills to go to work and earn paychecks. i figured that i needed to move - near philly, near the best friends i grew up with, somewhere where stores were open past 9:30 at night, where i could get a decent italian hoagie - where people wouldn't look at me funny for using the words "hoagie" or "sneakers." a place where i knew there were more young people like myself, and where i had a better chance of getting my spoken word fix on more than once a week. so all day i would get through my monotonous work, knowing i only had more work to look forward to that evening. then, i would stand/walk/pace on my feet for the next four hours, retailing my behind off, dealing with the backbiting politics of sales associates, adventures in bad management, and sometimes frustrating customers.

but i was stacking that cash. making moves. looking for an apartment. using up my precious daytime minutes and sneaking to unused conference rooms or using my car as an office to talk to prospective landlords, who, i might add, are some of the most difficult people to deal with, and several employment agencies. i had no life. i was trying to get one. i wrapped my presents last year over the course of several nights after my part-time job. i was done before mid-december, and was quite proud of my promptness. it was my last christmas in that apartment, because i sacrificed and persevered.

i'm here now, employed and sheltered - truly blessed. i have a life. i've gotten closer with my old friends and my family in this area - i've even rediscovered some people - and i've made a gang


and appreciation

of new friends. so i'm busy busy busy. and distracted. and all over the place. but i love it. so even though here it is, the last minute before i leave to visit my parents in VA, and i still have unwrapped presents and a few straggling what-is-their-address-anyway christmas cards to send, i don't mind. cause the reasons why i'm lagging give me joy. i am so full of things to be thankful for. so blessed because this year, more than ever, i feel like a spoke in a wheel - like part of an ever turning cipher of love and life. this year has been an especially enriching journey for me, with its triumphs and even with its challenges, which are making me grow as a person, even as i type these words. though i have plenty left to strive for and experience, i know that God has been merciful and kind to me. so i will not complain about having to wrap up those presents and rush them out to their respective households tonight if i want to make it on time to get on the list of one of my favorite open mics. i'll just get it done and find a way, so i can both enjoy the feeling of giving and so i can enjoy my love of language and creativity all in one night. 'cause last year, that kind of fullness just wasn't possible, and as long as i have the energy, i'm going to appreciate every drop of it.

i hope i can remember to pick up some tape on the way home...