Sights and Scenes and a Haiku

So far, the lovely State of Alaska has given me so many memories and I will have extremely beautiful visions in my head for years to come. Thankfully, both flights were smooth, with minimal turbulence and I found myself sleeping both ways; from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ then from Phoenix, AZ to Anchorage, AK. I am happy that this was the case.

I landed on time each time with only one snafu. During the Phoenix connection, several of us were not alerted to the fact that there was a gate change so we found ourselves booking it from one end of the airport to another in order to make the flight within three minutes.

Let me tell you, that was a scary experience and gave me anxiety that shot THROUGH THE ROOF, however, I was amazed at how quick-on-my-feet I was in assisting one of my flight-mates in encouraging her to run or walk fast and that we’d surely make it because she was so much more frantic than I was. We made it, of course, and smiles stuck to our faces within minutes of the connection.

So far, I’ve experienced Girdwood and its beautiful mountains, hidden waterfalls, and wide open spaces and Portage for the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. And now, for the photos:

Hidden Beauty
Hidden Beauty #2
Hidden Beauty #3
Waterfall
Mountains Beyond the Ocean
Baby Elk
Bison
Moose
Mountains, Hidden Glacier, and Swirly Sky
Caribou
Black Bear Cub #1
Black Bear Cub #2
Black Bear Cub #3

A Beautiful Life

Halfway ’round the world
I’ve found beauty that connects
And lifts my spirits

Alaska Bound

Hydrant|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

This evening, I will be traveling to Alaska for a full workweek. It has been incredibly long since I took an actual week off of work for vacation. I am going to Alaska, more specifically, Anchorage. My reason for this is to celebrate my friend’s upcoming birthday and to experience beautiful sights and landmarks. I have never been to Alaska, having a close friend who lives there will inspire many more trips in the future. I will soon be able to mark this off my bucket list.

But first, I am looking forward to this time away and my internet usage will be limited as I intend to totally immerse myself in my surroundings. I need this. My mind, heart, and soul needs this. I know for a fact that this will be a great experience, not just for me, but for my writing, my mental fortitude.

Jernee will be with my Mom. I picked her up yesterday and she and Jernee will have a week together to enjoy each other’s company and get reacquainted. My friend has a complete itinerary and everything I envision to do in Alaska, within my means, will be done.

To say that I am excited is an understatement, however, I am nervous too. I hate flying. It makes me severely anxious. I intend to take one Aleve capsule (to curb any headaches or backaches) before boarding and will read and sleep for most of the flight or, try to.

It is my prayer that each of you will enjoy your week ahead and that life will be more than kind to you.

Peace and blessings.

Excelsior

Photo Credit: Banter Snaps|Unsplash

Musical Selection: Rahsaan Patterson|Sent From Heaven

I am supposed to forget you. That is how this thing was meant to be. But, I feel . . . see . . . hear you every-damn-where and the moment I reach to turn you off, the volume only gets louder. I keep telling myself that I dodged a bullet. Hell, I ain’t ready to die anyway and you would’ve killed me.

I keep telling myself that I dodged a bullet.

But, here I am, digging into the past, trying to pull you out. Shouldn’t I be done with this shit by now? Shouldn’t I? I canceled my therapy appointment yesterday because you followed me all over my home and I really didn’t want you taking over her office too. Afterward, when night crept through my blinds, I told myself, “You cannot run away from the past, Tre. When it sneaks up on you, run into it head-on.”

Shouldn’t I be done with this shit by now? Shouldn’t I?

I’m thankful and grateful to have you here in my life. Stay forever, make me yours and we’ll love through eternity.

The deer run through the wood-chipped areas of my apartment complex, kicking up perfectly shaped triangles — their hooves marking the grass. I watch them gallop in sync and wonder if they have any baggage and if they do, how heavy is it? How often do they carry the extra weight? They look so light and free and that’s how I want to feel, light and free.

But, I won’t be. I know this . . . I also know that my therapist will have extra homework for me and perhaps, I will benefit from her wisdom — her techniques. I should have kept my appointment, but now I am here avoiding every imprint of you, shedding worthless tears.

They look so light and free and that’s how I want to feel, light and free.

I will never be free until I shake you out of me. In my heart, in my soul, you have made your home. There is no eviction notice big enough for me to issue to you. No variation of the color pink that would be bright enough. You have planted yourself in the depths of my being. Surely, someone knows how you can be uprooted without pieces of me leaving too.

I thought you were perfect. I was wrong. My previous manifestations of you are proof that I was foolish. I was blind. I am not without fault.

I’m thankful and grateful to have you here in my life. Stay forever, make me yours and we’ll love through eternity.

I am not without fault. And that’s what hurts the most.

Welcome to living, baby. You ain’t alive unless you’re feeling something.”


Originally published via Medium.

The Journey Back To Mental Wellness

Will Rogers’ paraphrased quote, located in my therapist’s office. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part IV: Releasing Tension

“So, do you think you’ll take the job with your old supervisor?”

“I am still weighing my options with that. I’d have opportunities afforded me there that I do not at my current job, plus — no weekend work and more holiday time off. Did I mention that the practice is closer to where we live?”

“So many pros. Cons?”

“Well, if I took the position, I’d be leaving a team of great people and I love where I currently work. I’d put them in the position of trying to replace yet another person. I just wish things had not taken place the way that they have, but I have no control over that and I am trying to find a way to deal with each blow as they come.

“You said it best. You have no control over these things. I have a feeling you will choose what you believe to be the best option for both you and your current place of employment. Remember, self-care is important and if transferring will possibly aid you in maintaining self-care, do not deny yourself that.”

Jarred seashells. My therapist has collected these over the years during her visits to various beaches. Just seeing them made me want to start collecting shells too. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

won’t deny myself what I know is best, but I will not live in the world of a “possibility” or “probability,” either. The job offer comes as an “if.” The facility is new and building a name for itself while marketing its existence and gaining a few new patients each day. I could be a big part of this as I do love telling people about where I work. Our organization has proven to be one of the top organizations in North Carolina. I also believe that I could advance a bit more with this new facility and it would be such an honor to watch it grow and shift and take on new phases in operations as they come. I also know that there is a big chance that other people may be hired even if my old supervisor is currently the Clinic Administrator. She has power, but the higher-ups of our organization have more.

I am waiting, but not waiting at the same time. “Whatever will be, will be.” I tell my therapist this and she commends me on my ability to go along with what is taken place without emotionally breaking down.

“You are moving closer to your center, Tre.”

I hope she’s right. I tell her how I feel myself holding in so much tension and it is all piling up in my neck and shoulders and she stands up and shows me a method her chiropractor introduced to her since she tends to hold tension in the same area. She signals me to rise from the couch and follow her in motion. I do so. We center our heads, hold our arms out horizontally, spread our fingers, and then push our arms down, centering our elbows, and touching our hips with our hands. I could feel the relief in my neck area as the method ends. I tell her that this method will be a useful thing to do right before bed. She agrees.

There were brief moments where I teared up — just thinking of possibly leaving yet not knowing what lies ahead, frightens me. I want to be able to make a difference wherever I work and I get the opportunity to do this daily at my current job, however, roles have shifted and some people are clueless to their roles and that can be a harmful thing. I fear another toxic work environment, but I also believe that I can prevent it from becoming one.

That is too much pressure for one person, Tre.”

She’s right. She is definitely right.


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Part I

Part II

Part III

The Journey Back to Mental Wellness

Cairn, Bakersville, NC — In front of Crooked Little Flower’s studio|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part III: Listening To My Surroundings

On my birthday, April 17, 2019, I had the opportunity to meet, spend time with, and enjoy the company of Crooked Little Flower in her neck of the woods. About two hours and thirty minutes away from me, but only about an hour from where I mini-vacationed, meeting Connie is sure to be one of the best things that has happened to me this year. Here is a woman I have known and loved for over three years on this platform and we have been close in proximity and had not met, but to scratch that one thing off of the to-do-list has filled my happy box with its much-needed ammunition. I basked in the beauty of nature near the place that she calls home and took in as much as I could of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the mountains.

Studios at High Cove, Bakersville, NC|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

I toured the studio where she creates her art and also shares it with the community. This place, not only is it the homestead of amazing artwork, it is a tranquil space where upon entering it, all that broke me down previously, faded from view. I could hear the voices of artists whispering to me, asking me to tread lightly and look at a space where thoughts, ideas, and heartwork come to life. I felt the presence of artistry and all that makes up a creative and what we have to do in order to maintain the abilities to continue to create. Not only was Connie welcoming to me, but she also opened up her door to my Little Monster too, Jernee, and she gave her sniff of approval of the studio and of Crooked Little Flower too.

Jernee, posing for a “studio shot.”|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Watching this little one romp about the space, learning her new surroundings, and trying to lay claim to every nook and cranny moved me to no end. Jernee does not know a stranger. Any place that we may visit, tour, or plan a brief stay seems as if it is mentally logged into her doggy brain and becomes one with her forever. She remembers every place we have been and it shows when we return as she gets excited, plops her tongue out, and races around those spaces and places with undeniable joy. I am taking cues from her as I watch her listen to these places. I am still in the learning process — it is taking time, but it is proving to be beneficial.

I could hear my therapist saying to me, “have fun, create new memories, and take what you need and leave the rest.” I did exactly that. I could feel the pressure in my chest breaking down a bit and suddenly, smiling felt natural again.

“Wide Open Spaces,” Bakersville, NC. How can you see this and not be moved?|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

While listening and attempting to take in what I needed and leave what I did not, I could not stray away from the questions that have been plaguing me:

Why be overly sensitive?
What are you lacking?
What can you gain?

How can you be in a place so beautiful and still sense the ugliness of you?

And by ugliness, I mean — in my soul, in my heart. “We all have our demons” and how we deal with, struggle with, or overcome them is our personal testimony. There are a lot of things that I know I need to change and I also know that changing these things will take time. Taking the time that I needed away from my normal hustle and bustle was exactly what “the doctor ordered,” but in this case — what my therapist highly recommended. There will be shedding and as I continue to shed, I know there will also be more pain and tears and feelings of inadequacy and a bit of loneliness mixed in too and how I handle these emotions and various feelings as they come will dictate what I have learned.

For the next few weeks, I am making myself understand that although I am human and mistakes will be made, dwelling in the dark places does not have to be my end all, be all. I have more memories now to pull from and smile at on my down days. I have to thank nature, Connie, living to see another year, Jernee, and a few other remedies for that.

And, my therapist too.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.


Part I

Part II