Soft diffused light surrounds me, the smell of old wood and "our" scent, the one we've created together over the years, the smell you immediately recognize after coming home from a long vacation. Every night I come into this sanctuary, and it is mine, for now. Drink in one hand, pen in the other, I write. I've always been a writer. It reminds me of the pursuit of things that make me come alive. I've always been good at this, pursuing things I love at the sake of success or acknowledgement, you're looking at a girl that wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of songs and danced her heart out over a 10 year time frame in the confines of her bedroom, while the rest of her high school peers were getting drunk and sleeping around. I've always known myself, I've definitely gotten to know myself better, but I feel incredibly fortunate to have known for so long the core of myself. Hard times come and go and I feel stronger afterwards, not weaker. Life is very weird, we hang in this delicate balance of living and dying each and every day, and I can say with gusto that I have truly LIVED these last six years. NO regrets. My life feels full. Each and every time I get caught up in the idea that once I arrive somewhere else I will be happy, I am reminded of the constant transient nature of life. Happiness is a weird word, we attach it to things, and we wait for it to come. To me, happiness exists in a mind palace, not in a literal place. I've learned this as my own home has been a shanty, a shared existence and always less than ideal. I've had to find happiness somewhere else, somewhere within me instead of expecting the things around me to bring it. I've found it in the mystery of community, the good and the bad, the stationary and the movement. It is the culmination of living true to one's self. It's when we don't allow ourselves the freedom to do what we really want or be who we really are that we lose happiness. I LOVE to write, I LOVE to dance, I LOVE music, I LOVE friends, I LOVE warm fires, I LOVE good nutritious food…each and every day I try and incorporate these things into my life. What are the things that make you come alive? What are you waiting for? Do them. This next year looks like a lot of hard work for Johnny and I. But I don't want to lose that freedom, those moments of self care and self expression. You can work hard, make money, do the things you need to do and also allow your freedom to ring. So don't hold back, you only get one life. Live it up.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David