You Never Know Who You’ll Meet.

So I talked to the potential new roommates today, Andy & Robyn—a really nice couple I met through that have a gorgeous place right off Whites Creek in Nashville. They’re actually the ones that initiated contact with me, rather than how it usually works on these kinds of sites and it’s the person looking for a place that will typically contact the person(s) with a place/room available. They both seem really nice and easy-going and from the sounds of it, Robyn has a bit of an interest in art as well. I talked to her briefly and learned that she even taught a class at Watkins, my school—AND that she has family up here in Central New York (literally minutes from me)…so it’s definitely a small, small world. It was only one phone call, but I think the arrangement could work. I mean, the location is amazing—no more driving an hour back and forth between Murfreesboro and Nashville. And it’s right by Briley, so no Interstates—which of course means no constantly getting stuck in rush hour traffic when you need to go/get out of downtown Nashville. And for those of you that are all too familiar with rush hour traffic in Nashville—you know just how valuable that is/can be.

My family of course think I’m crazy to move in with a couple of complete strangers…again. True, this isn’t my first foray into living with strangers…the other time being with the 2 guys I moved in with out in Joelton that I found through Craigslist. Granted, that decision might have been a bit hasty on my part and it could, in all honestly, have ended NOT so well for me—“Um, Hellooo Craigslist Killer anyone?!”, as my sister would say—but it didn’t. The guys were nice and normal enough. And besides, this time it’s a couple—which is a hell of a lot safer—statistically, speaking—than if I were to find another place to live with just guys.

My family—they’re so damn paranoid. That—and they watch too much damn Law & Order, I think. Not everyone is some sadistic serial killer or rapist out to get me. And yes, these people are strangers and I know essentially nothing about them and yet I’m going to be living in an enclosed space alongside them, but so what? My mother’s always saying that she doesn’t know where I got it from, my daredevil behavior—and my ability to just throw caution to the wind and jump head first into something with little or no disregard for the risks. That she’ll never understand how I could leave everyone and travel so far away and actually be comfortable while I surround myself with strangers. My grams says I have gypsy blood. She’s probably right. I like meeting new people. It’s just my nature. And that was part of the reason why I moved to Nashville—to start over and meet new people—to make a new life for myself. If I wanted to sit holed up inside an apartment or room all day and having no contact with anyone beyond my four walls, I would have stayed in New York instead of moving to Nashville. I moved because I didn’t want that. I still don’t. I’ve tried telling my family they don’t have to worry, but they won’t listen. They think I’m being reckless. Unsafe. But whether they like it or not, sometimes you just have to have faith in people. I don’t want to live my life looking over my shoulder or thinking the worst of people. That’s no way to live. I want to live, believing that people are inherently good. I don’t trust in much or too many people these days, but the one thing I do trust—and need/want to trust—is myself – and my instincts. And my instincts are telling me these people are good people. That they aren’t serial killers who are going to cut me up into pieces and bury me all over their back yard. And that they aren’t of those weird couples with some decked out and super creepy sex dungeon in their basement or god knows what the hell else (Hey, I’ve seen Law & Order: SVU!). I think I’ll be safe. LOL

Hopefully I can get the car fixed quickly, so I’ll be down there by the end of the week. I might not have much to bring with me thanks to the fuckers that illegally threw away all my belongings that were in my apartment, but I’m still leaving. I’m not staying here in New York any longer than I need to be. It’s bad enough I’ve been stuck here this additional time while this car crap gets figured out. It’s time to go home. Past time…  xoMESSIE


Only Tennessee.

Low-lyin’ clouds

Birds singin’ all night long

I see the hills in my dreams

And hear the bells, hear the bells in my bones

Never thought I would give in

Now you’re underneath my skin


Only Tennessee

Only Tennessee can save me now

Lazy, long roads

Trees bending in the wind

I’m coming home


Wild flowers in the fields

In the fields of my mind

I feel the sunshine

It’s coming through


Never thought I would give in

Now you’re underneath my skin

Only Tennessee

Only Tennessee can save me now

(Song Credit: “Only Tennessee” — Written By: Claire Guerreso & Daniel Tashian)

I’m heading home to Nashville after this weekend. FINALLY. Even if I didn’t want to go and I wanted to stay her in NY — which I definitely DO NOT!! — I couldn’t. The lease for my apartment–the one I literally only lived in for 3 weeks, by the way–is up at the end of the month, so I have to pack all my things and move into my new place.

This is the part that sucks. The leaving. As glad and as excited I am to be going home and seeing my friends and everyone in Nashville again, I feel sad about leaving my family, the kids especially. When I first got here, back in July, the Twinnies–they didn’t even recognize me. It actually took them awhile to warm up to me at first. And now they’re all over me. Ty especially. He’s such a little lover. He’s always climbing into my lap and giving me hugs. My grams watches them during the day so we’ve made a routine, Ty and I, of taking an afternoon nap. He’ll climb on the bed, take my phone and open up the PBS kids app (all on his own!). He’ll watch the shows for a little while until I tell him it’s time to take a nap. Then he’ll hand me the phone, turn over so that he’s facing me, and then literally curl right up against me and fall asleep. He’s a big-time cuddler and it’s the cutest thing. I’m going to miss the little guy. So much. And Jakey–that kid is something else. He’s got a temper, that one. And he’s a little monkey, too. He’s always climbing on and jumping off from things…he’s totally fearless.

I hate to leave the girls, too–especially with everything that’s gone/going on with Emma and Avie and the whole custody/family court thing. Who knows what the hell their mother has up her sleeve and/or will try to do the next time she gets pissed and feels like being a bitch and taking the girls out of pure spite. Then there’s Angelina–she’s out of control. Her attitude is atrocious and she doesn’t seem to think that she has to listen to anyone. My mother instead of disciplining her like she should, just lets the bad behavior continue–as she’s allowed it to for years. As her first granddaughter, she spoiled the hell out of Angelina. She still spoils her. She let her get away with murder all these years and only now is she cracking down on the behavior…now that Angelina’s 12. Hell, she’s going to be a teenager. If they think she’s bad now, I can just imagine how she’ll be in a couple of years. They’re in for a hell of a time with her, I’m sure of it. And they’ve only got themselves to blame.

So anyhow, yeah. It’s time for me to go. And while I may be leaving, it’s not goodbye. So…I’ll see you on the flip-side New York. ‘Til then…


Sandcastles … A Poem.

Sandcastles… A POEM.


Holding hands

Running, jumping

“Tag!” — “You’re IT!”

Building castles in the sand,

While time was slipping right on through her hands.

And that girl she used to be–the optimist, the dreamer, the believer–

No, she never stood a chance.

Her, with those wide-open, curious hazel eyes.

She’s gone.

Her innocence, too ; swept away with childhood’s high tide.

Never to be seen again.

Never to be found.

Nothing to break up the silence.

Nothing to fill the sound.

Just this empty ness remains.

A void; a hole; this never-ending abyss deep down inside her soul.

She’s terrified of what her future holds.

But she hasn’t given up, just yet ; she hasn’t given in.

True, she has no desire left to fight,

And her will to live is shaky, at best.

Still, there’s a difference.

It’s slight—but there is.

She’s numb to the world,

She feels not a thing.

Such a sad, yet beautiful in it’s own right way to live.

Wouldn’t you agree?

No feelings to hurt, no one to offend.

No hearts to break or to have broken in return.

No mistakes or regrets;

No life lessons to be learned.

No scars to wear, however having been earned.

Like the ones on her body.

On her arms–the faint, fading marks;

or on her wrist, that jagged white, battle scar.

It haunts and it tempts her; its one and the same.

It beckons her back, it beckons her near.

It feeds on her FEAR.

So she tries to forget.

To go all the way back.

To that barefoot little girl

Running in the sand, laughing

Longing to be that innocent again.

Oh, there’s nothing that she wouldn’t give.

Yeah, she’d give anything.


For five minutes.

Just to be HER again.




Feelin’ A Little Bit Artsy…

Did a little (early) spring cleaning/organizing earlier and found a few finished projects from my 2-D class, or as my good friend Alan and I like to call it, “the class from Hell”. With the exception of Alan and our other chat buddies, these projects/activities were the only ones that were actually somewhat fun–and not boring as hell. Anywho–thought I’d share… 🙂



 My Stippling Project – Gibson Guitar

(*As neat as it looks when it’s done, I’m sooo not doing that again. Way too much ink!*)




My Ancestry Tree Project

(*Instead of relatives, we had to choose people who have inspired us one way or another in our lives; the theme was supposed to be symbolic of our childhood/life. I chose a Wizard Of Oz them because it was one of my favorite films as a kid. Came out pretty cool, I think. 🙂 *)









My Nature Flag Book

(*This was actually my final project for the class–Got the only A–yes!!–and my favorite of them all. I got to incorporate my photography into it and my love for nature–and I got to play with paint! My absolute favorite of the bunch and it came out amazing!*)



Sweet Sixteen, To You & Me.

While I’m sure most everyone else my age was out celebrating last night, I brought in the New Year with my nieces. That’s right. So, while everyone else was toasting away or watching the ball drop on TV or whatever it was they chose to do to celebrate the festival occasion, I was stuck playing mediator between a 12-year-old and a 5-year-old – as the 5-year-old insisted on talking to “SIRI” on the 12-year-old’s new iPhone that she just got for Christmas…whereas the 12-year-old felt the 20 minutes she’d already let said 5-year-old talk to “Siri” was long enough and therefore she should be able to have her phone back so she could resume playing her “super intense” (**her words, not mine**) “Clash of the Clans” game in peace. Umm, yeah. So, that’s how I rang in the New Year. Not exactly the most exciting NYE, I know…but definitely an interesting one. It’s never a dull moment with kids—especially this bunch—I will say that. While I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed playing mediator between a 12 and a 5-year-old at midnight in a fight over a phone…I can/will say that I preferred that to going out somewhere and celebrating. Crazy, right? I know how strange it must sound—like I’m some old recluse or something—but the truth of it is–that scene just isn’t me anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time.

There was a time when going out and celebrating occasions like New Year’s or Thanksgiving Eve with my friends was a given. When no one voiced a plan or invite…it was just expected. An unspoken arrangement of sorts. There were rarely any plans. Aside from choosing and agreeing on a place to pre-game, nothing was set in stone. We’d meet up, get nice and tipsy, and see where the night would lead us from there. The spontaneity was the best part of it, I think. I mean, really. Plans are predictable. Plans are stiff. Plans are boring. Who wants that?! Oh…to be 18 again. Or even 21. Just to be young again—hell to feel that young again. These days, those days seem like a lifetime ago. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went out with friends and had some pure, unadulterated, alcohol-infused fun. It’s been that long. But—sadly, yes there is a but in there—I can’t say as though I really miss it all that much. The camaraderie and company of friends, sure…sometimes. But the whole drinking to excess, making horrible/stupid decisions that I’ll likely regret come morning or at some eventual later point (because let’s face it, there’s always regrets), and waking up with a hangover that’ll make me rue the day I ever learned the word tequila or turned 21…yeah all that—not so much. Not to mention, with all the different meds I’m on for these wonderful (NOT!) PCS headaches of mine, I couldn’t go out for those drinks even if I had wanted to—unless I wanted to ring in the New Year’s in the Emergency Room…or worse. I don’t know. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up. Your priorities shift.

Or so I’ve heard… 😉

It’s funny because I think I’ve probably done more growing up in this year alone than I ever have…and yet I still don’t quite feel like an adult. Adult…the term alone just makes me shudder. It’s scary as hell…and confusing as fuck—pardon my language. It’s true. I mean, at what point do you really become an adult? I mean a real, full-fledged, card-carrying (if there were one just for it) adult?? Society would say it’s when you hit 18. Or 21. There’s a little leeway in there a bit. But that’s just an age. A technical formality, were it be. Age is just a number, after all. So what really defines the transition? Is it experience? Do you have to rack up so many moments before you can call yourself a bonafide “ADULT”—and if so, what kind? Are there certain kinds of required moments? Do you have to fall in love first—or have caused or to know heartbreak? Do you have to be challenged and fall and hit rock bottom first? Do you have to find career and/or personal success and/or know failure first? I was thumbing through this list on Buzzfeed the other day–about how you know when you’re an adult, or something along those lines–and it had this little line about “…when you start saying “Congratulations” to hearing about someone being pregnant instead of “oh, shit”…”–so, is that the transition point? Do you suddenly become an adult just because you’ve settled down and started a family? Does having a child suddenly make you an adult? I’m 28, so it seems like everyone around me these days is either getting married or pregnant or having their 2nd or even 3rd kid. And part of me wonders how much of that is because they’re truly actually ready for the responsibility…or if its because its what society expects at this point and time, you know?

I think about my grams and how when she was my age–at 28–she was already a wife and mother to 7 children. Seven! That just blows my mind. By those standards, I’m practically ancient. An old maid, so to speak. I can’t even imagine it. There’s a lot I’m unsure about, but of one thing I am certain–I’m not ready for all of that. Marriage. It’s a huge commitment, tying yourself to one person for the rest of your life…hypothetically. I’ve always been a little marriage-shy…maybe because I think about it too much and I’m too rational and logic tells me that there’s a chance–a good chance–that either him or I might wake up tomorrow or a month or year from now and decide we want different things in life. I don’t know. And the thought of throwing kids into that mix–these innocent little lives whose happiness and well-being that we’d be responsible for…well, that’s just a little overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I do. And I can handle the responsibility–hell, I basically raised my sister’s twins their first year…but right now…I don’t know. I feel like I still have a lot more growing up to do first. That is, maybe growing up isn’t the right term for it. I just feel like I have/need something more that I need first. The carpools and recitals and soccer games will all come later, in due time…if it’s meant to be. Carpe diem, right? If it happens, it happens.

I don’t have the answers. I just know that 2015 brought so much growth—both personal and professional—and perspective into my life. When I packed up my life and relocated down to Tennessee all the way back at the start of the year, I honestly didn’t have a clue where I’d end up a year from then. Where I’d be today, right here. I really didn’t. I put everything—and I mean everything—on the line. I left everything and everyone I’d ever known—without a doubt, THE scariest thing I’ve ever done—and took a chance on something—someone with not the greatest track record … myself. I left New York to find myself–to figure out who I was and whether or not I could stand on my own two feet without my family there to catch me when I fell. There were no guarantees. And it was terrifying and hard—you have no idea how much so—but it was also so very gratifying and rewarding. I’ve realized a strength in this past year that I never knew I had—would never have even guessed that I had—and I’m so grateful that I did. Some don’t understand…some may call me crazy for uprooting my whole life just like that—and it was a little crazy—but there’s no denying the success I’ve found. Or the peace. For 27 years, I feel like I was living my life in slow-motion. Like it was all just a dress rehearsal for now. For right now. Now I’m finally pressing play and living in normal pace…and it feels amazing. It feels exhilarating. I don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next…and I love that about it.

I’m not a big believer in making New Years resolutions…but if I were to make one this year, it would be to continue that journey I began a year ago when I left out in that Jeep and crossed those state lines. The accident may have hindered things a bit…but it hasn’t stopped me. I’ve still got a bucket list of things to do, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to at least try to do them. We only have this one life and I’m going to live mine…the only way I know how: With open arms and at breakneck speed …

So here’s to an eventful, successful, beautiful Sweet Sixteen world!

Happy New Year Y’all!!


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