Rockin’ it Southern Style


I always prided myself on being a northern girl.  All that is changing and it feels weird. I have written before in this blog about how North Carolina is changing me and changing my life. After only a few months here I really feel like I am home. Sitting in my apartment, drinking a Bud Light longneck, listening to Wagon Wheel (over and over as I tend to do) and watching the sun set behind the Great Smoky Mountains I feel comfortable in my skin for the first time in 54 years. 

There is a chill in the air and I don’t mean the temperature.  A smoothness to life down here that I cannot understand or comprehend. All I know is that I want it.  As I sat alone a few nights ago worrying about the next work day and pulling my fingernails off at the quick, I realized if I don’t let go of my old baggage nothing would change.  All the things I wanted to leave behind would show up here. Same problems, different location.

If I can part with almost all my physical stuff, why can’t I unload my emotional baggage too.  That’s when I realized some of my sadness of late was just because I was hanging on to things I no longer needed or wanted.  If I am going to make a really fresh start then I have to say goodbye to my old friends, fret and anxiety. We’ve been together a long time but there is no place for them here in the mountains. 

I had to take stock in my new life. I get to ride a train for work.  Yes, the work is demanding and stressful but only because I have made it that way.  I’m going to try to embrace my new life and start enjoying the work like I did when I first started.  When I started this job you could not wipe the smile from my face, then in a short time I started to feel the grind of it all. This has happened to every job I have ever held.  The joy runs out like the water from a leaky faucet.  I now realize that I brought that attitude with me. It followed me on the epic journey and it followed me to the mountains. I packed it right next to my toothbrush. Today I got rid of that bad attitude.  Hopefully, gone for good.

The other day at work I was walking on the rail to the car I was working on, mountains all around me, sun shining so bright it was hard to see, greetings from coworkers, and blue skies above.  I walked past the immensely large diesel train engine. I was dwarfed by the size of the old girl and it started to put everything into perspective.  I made my issues much larger than they actually were. Realizing that I’m just one piece of a much bigger puzzle made it easy for me to see the grind I felt was blown out of proportion. Then I noticed that the Diesel engine was dwarfed by the mountains.  And the mountains were dwarfed by the sky and so on. Today’s anxieties have no place in my life, they are dwarfed next to my joy.   Worrying never solved one problem anyway. 

For today I want to embrace this beautiful southern vibe.  I mentioned before that the mountains are healing me physically, now it’s time to let them heal me emotionally. I want to start chilling southern style.  Gone are the negative emotions from my previous life, here today is peace and joy blessed from God and extended to me from my new beautiful home.

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