Finding your passion in life

What are you passionate about? Have you ever really given it any thought? What is the one think in this great big world that makes your heart race, that gives you peace and happiness, that makes you tick, that completes you, that makes you who you are? What is the one thing in the world that if you were to lose it would be like a part of you died?

Now don’t say that you are passionate about your friends and family. Those are things that we are all passionate about. But everyone has at least one thing that really defines who we are . . . that one thing that we are ceaselessly passionate about. I will use a few of my friends as examples . . .

My male best friend . . . radio d.j. . . . comics and superheroes
My female best friend . . . business manager . . . law enforcement and helping church
Former co-worker . . . radio station engineer . . . making music
Former co-worker . . . organizer of beauty supply shows . . . animal rescue

What we do for our career does not define who we are. Our career is merely what we do to pay the bills. What defines who we really are is what we are passionate about.

Me . . . radio d.j. . . . writing

I saw a post on Facebook recently that said “find your passion and let it consume you.” Take a moment to think about that. When was the last time you fell in love with something so much that you let it consume you?

There are unfortunately too many people walking around the world right now that have no idea what they are passionate about. They are so worried about having the right job, fitting into the right social circles, and always being perfect that they never take a chance at finding what really makes them happy. To find your passion is to find what makes your heart happy.

Rescuing abused and neglected animals and finding them furr-ever homes makes my beauty show organizer friend happy. That is what fulfills her heart. Overcoming the demons of his very ugly childhood via the comic superheroes he loves is what makes my best friend happy. Writing poetry, short stories, even the posts on this blog are what makes me happy.

Many people are lucky enough to discover what they are passionate about. For those people it could even become their purpose in life. My beauty show friend would love to be able to give up her job and devote herself day and night to rescuing animals. But with the free time that she gets from work she has done amazing, life changing things for so many animals. She has found her passion and she has let it consume her.

What are you passionate about? Do you even know? If you could drop everything right now to do the one thing that makes you happy what would it be?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find your passion and let it consume you.

Until next time . . .

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Being taught

It’s glorious and oh-so-amazing to take a moment, look back and see all the little ways God has worked in your life. Whether it is something small or something to turned out to be huge God is always there working on you and working for you.

I have always been under the belief that we should always keep learning. There is always something new to learn about and to help us broaden our view our view of the world . . . how to make beaded jewelry, the history of your hometown, the names of and stories behind the constellations in the sky . . . anything. We should never pass up an opportunity to learn. As long as we wake up to another day we have a fresh opportunity to be taught more about the world that God created for us.

Lately I’ve been thinking about going back to school. The thought has been floating around in my head for several months. I didn’t know if I wanted to take anything specific like a writing class to improve what I already know and love, or if I wanted to try something completely new like archaeology or automotive repair. In my indecisiveness God gave me my answer. I believe he is the one who implanted the desire to go back to school. But where I have found myself recently is not your average school setting. There are no desks, no chalkboard, no lunchtime or recess. But I am definitely back in school, and I couldn’t be happier with the setting that God led me to.

God led me to the greatest school I could ask for. God led me to church.

My eyes and heart have been awakened to the wonderful creation that is God’s world around us. In the past several weeks I have learned more through Sunday morning services, study guides, and even posts right here on WordPress from other followers of Christ than I have in my entire life. I have truly been sent back to school. God knew that I was open to be taught. He knew I was ready to find him. He directed every aspect of my life so that everything led me to him.

Do I still have questions? Absolutely. Will I someday know all there is to know about God’s work in us and in this world, about the work that Jesus did on earth before he was sacrificed for us? I hope not. I pray that God keeps my mind open, my thirst for knowledge about him unquenched.

To wake up to another day in this world is a blessing. To be given another day to continue to learn about my creator and the son he sacrificed so that you and I could have eternity with him is beyond a blessing.

Until next time . . .

Blessings

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way God acts in our own lives. Between the rush to get to work in the morning, the boss who can be a total jerk, long lines at the grocery store, getting housework done and dinner on the table, and helping the kids with their homework it’s very easy to lose sight of the way God blesses our day-to-day lives.

Rushing to get to work and the jerk boss = you have a job when so many others do not.

Long grocery store lines = you have money to put food on your table when too many others don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Housework = you have a home when too many in this world are sleeping on the streets.

Helping the kids with their homework = quality time with your family when so many are alone in this world.

God’s blessings surround every aspect of our lives everyday whether you realize it or not.

Sunday morning in church the Spirit of God was so strong that everybody could feel him. Voices were raised in musical worship as we sang to him. Arms were uplifted. Smiles adorned lifted faces and tears rolled from eyes as God acted in each of our hearts. It was a beautiful moment. God was in the hearts of everyone there. It was truly a moment of praise and worship. At the end of the service five people made their fresh start and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Seeing that happen will never get old to me. I joked with a friend that I am going to have to quit wearing mascara to church because I can’t make it through a service without being moved to tears. The sight of a new believer coming to Christ . . . there are no words for the way the joy fills my heart.

That moment on Sunday morning was a tangible moment of God acting in our lives. We could feel him there. But those moments when you are harried and rushed to get out the door, when you a fighting traffic and your jerk boss, when you impatiently waiting in line at the grocery store, or on hold for a customer service representative . . . take a moment to think of the way God has blessed you and your life.

On Friday nights I go to bed hoping that my son will sleep past 7a.m. on Saturday and thus let me sleep past 7a.m. Every Saturday morning at 7a.m. there he is on my side of the bed asking if he can play with my phone and letting me know that he is going downstairs to watch Spongebob in the living room. Every once in a while he will climb in bed between me and my husband and let us cuddle him (he’s generally not a cuddly kid, he likes his space). I love those moments when he lets me wrap my arms around him, lean my head against his, and enjoy the few moments of cuddly time. I love to kiss his cheeks and smell his hair. I look at him and say, “I like Nathan cuddles.” His response, “I like mommy cuddles.” Then I say, “They make me happy.” He responds with, “They make me happy.” That is our cuddly routine. It never lasts more than a few minutes but in those few minutes I know that I am blessed. God saw fit to give that beautiful little boy to me and my husband. He trusted us to raise Nathan to be not our son but the son of God.

An early morning whisper of “mommy” from Nathan, a giggle from the living room as he watches Spongebob, a random hug, to see him come running down the steps to welcome me home after work, late night milkshakes, him helping me cook dinner . . . it’s the little things . . . God has blessed me.

My family is not a rich family. As a matter of fact, there are some months when we struggle to meet all the bills. But somehow we always make it through. What my family has plenty of though has far more value than money. It’s something that we were losing before I made my fresh start, before I opened my heart and life to Jesus Christ . . . we have love, we have quality time together, we are rebuilding our bond as a family. That is something that a price can never be put on.

I could buy all the Happy Meals in the world for Nathan and send my husband to all the wrestling events that he could ever want to go to, but nothing will mean more than the time we get to spend together.

I used to take the little moments for granted. I am a workaholic. From the moment that I got my first job at seventeen years old I started putting work before family and everything else. I was unhappy in my own home, unhappy with my husband, and with my family. I used work to try escape what was making me unhappy. I didn’t realize thought that what was making me unhappy was me. I was trying to escape from what I thought was making me unhappy, but you can never escape from yourself. That was a lesson that I learned and could not deny when God held a mirror up to my face. I was tearing apart my family. I was throwing away the blessing that God gave me.

No more!

On those days when I think God has it out for me (you know we all have those days sometimes) I remember that God has blessed and those rough days are making me stronger. Those rough days make me appreciate all the wonderful things in my life that much more.

How has God blessed you?

Until next time . . .

Ready for change

I remember when I first got into radio . . . I was in love with it.  My dreams were big and the future seemed wide open.  I was going to take the radio world by storm and be the next Dick Clark or Kasey Kasem.  In the studio I felt at home for the first time ever.  I had found my calling.

Now, 14 years later, my “calling” has come to feel like a chore.  It’s something I have to do instead of something I get to do.  I would be perfectly happy right now to hang up my headphones and let my on-air name die quietly.  It’s not that I am unhappy with the station that I work for.  It’s that radio no longer means to me what it meant 14 years ago.  Some people might call it burnout.  Some would say that I’ve gotten jaded or disillusioned.  I would say that my priorities have changed.

14 years ago I was a sheltered, naive girl who was searching for acceptance within herself and from everyone around her.  I’ve since found acceptance from myself and I think I’m pretty amazing.  I am perky, loud, giggly, loving, devoted, and creative.  I am unique.  I am my own person.  I totally rock!  I am also impatient, short-tempered, foul-mouthed, and insecure.  I am human.

People are always growing and changing.  We’re not meant to stay the same.  If we did stay the same then I would still be in love with New Kids On The Block and be living in my mom or dad’s basement.  I’ve grown and changed since the first time I opened a microphone 14 years ago.  I no longer have stars in my eyes and no longer seek the acceptance of others.  If somebody likes me then I am happy with that.  If somebody hates me then that is their choice and their right.  I can’t change it.

For the most part I am a pretty private person.  There are just some aspects of myself that others do no need to know about.  My boss recently told me that I need to open myself up more to my listeners.  What I want to open up about with them I can not because the company doesn’t want to alienate listeners.  I love and work in the Bible belt.  How can being open about my faith alienate listeners?  Yet talking up a song about drinking or murdering cheating spouses is completely okey dokey.  I can’t say “praise God” on the air, but Carrie Underwood can sing about a wife and mistress murdering their shared man.  I am in the wrong forum apparently.  There is no wrong way to share the word of God.  I just need to find a new, more accepting outlet for those words.

It’s time to leave radio.  It’s time to step back from the 100,000-watt-powered machine of requests and cheap giveaways.  It’s time to walk away from the over-inflated, self-indulgent ego of the female morning show host.  It’s time to say goodbye to the general manager that, no matter what he gives lip-service to, wants the station to come first and foremost in everybody’s life.

Radio was my life, but it means nothing to me anymore.

But where do I go from here?

I used to be terrified of change.  A childhood filled with chaos and constant upheaval left me as an adult searching for stability and control, even if that meant I was left in an unhappy situation.  The only thing that mattered to me was stability, predictability.  God is working in me and in my life.  I no longer fear change.  I am excited about it.  I look forward to where God will lead me.

I am ready to leave radio behind, but everything happens in His time.  He will lead me away from the microphone and into the next chapter in my life when His time is right.

I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me.

Until next time . . .

You Are . . . (poem)

You are peace and love
You are discipline and guidance
You are the sun, moon, and stars
You are forgiveness and another chance
You are the light in the dark tunnel
You are dancing in the rain
You are sound of a baby’s laughter
You are comfort through the pain
You are quiet moments of reflection
You are praises loudly sung
You are a desperate prayer for strength
You are the thankful whisper rolling off the tongue
You are the tears of a broken heart
You are the sunshine peeking through the clouds
You are the warm hug from a friend
You are joy of worship so proud
You are our beacon when we are lost
You are our amazing grace when we are found
You are the wings we need to soar
You are our solid ground
You are father, leader, friend
You are our heart and soul
You are our Lord and Savior
You are what makes your children whole
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.27.14

Path Of Faith (poem)

Five-million directions
Which way to go
A plea to God
To share what only he knows
The path I’ve always taken
Is leading me away
God’s words are in my heart
But what is he trying to say
Trying to close my eyes
To take away what I want to see
Trying to open my heart
To hear what he’ll do with me
My former life is fading away
But I don’t know what lies ahead
Piece-by-piece I’m saying goodbye
To that part of me that’s dead
So scared of the unknown
But faith that God knows what’s best
I’ve taken his hand for guidance
He will take care of the rest
He knows how I can serve him
He’ll put me where I’m supposed to be
Until then I will walk in faith
On the path He lays out for me
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.26.14

Looking for neon and blinky arrows

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about my career.  I can’t shake the feeling that the career I feel in love with so many years ago is not the career that I am meant to retire from.

I fell in love with radio when I was just 9 years old.  I would lay in bed late at night listening to the d.j.’s on all of my local radio stations in awe of them.  At 14 years old I saw the movies Pump Up The Volume and Good Morning, Vietnam for the first times.  When I saw those movies I knew without a doubt that radio was what I wanted to do with my life.

Radio d.j.’s always seemed to me like the coolest people on the planet.  They got to play great music for a living, give away prizes, and let’s not forget the perks like free concert tickets and free c.d.’s from the record labels.  I wanted to be one of them!  I enrolled in broadcasting school when I was 24 years old.  I wanted to enroll much sooner, but I let myself get talked out of it by someone who thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.

The day I walked in for my first day at broadcasting school I knew I had finally found what I was meant to do.  I had found my dream career.  I had classes in announcing where I worked on diction, presentation, and news writing and delivery.  I had classes in radio advertising sales (not my strong suit).  But my favorite classes were in commercial production.  To be able to take a few informational points about a business and write a commercial for them, then to voice it, find the perfect sound effects, and the perfect music . . . I fell in love.  I could easily spend two or three hours on one commercial, not because I was slow but because I wanted it to be absolutely perfect.

My instructors loved me and I excelled in that school in a way that surprised everybody in my life, including me.  I was never one to excel in school, until then.  My placement director had such faith in me that he started very early on at working to find me a job.  I still had about two months left in the 10-month program when he sent me out on a job interview.  I ended up taking that job and technically never finished the program at school.

Thirteen years ago I walked in for my first day at a real actual radio station.  My dream had come true.  I was going to have  a cool radio name, play great music, and give away prizes.  It was all I had ever wanted.  There was never anything else. Never!  I never even made a back-up plan or considered that one day I might want to hang up the headphones and leave the airwaves.

For the past few months I have been considering just that very thing, and now I feel a bit lost.

I have been talking to a friend for the past couple of weeks about what I’ve been thinking.  Today he asked me what I would do if I were no longer in radio.  I have no idea.  I have no other skills.  I could do office work, but I would be miserable.  That same friend then asked me what I would do if I could do anything I wanted.  Immediately a picture popped into my head of notebooks and ink pens laid out in front of me.  I would want to write . . . poetry, short stories, the next great literary masterpiece.

There are a few problems with that idea though . . . One, there would be no income from me while I was writing my masterpiece.  My family can not survive on my husbands income alone.  Two, I love writing.  It is one of my favorite hobbies.  But that is exactly what it is . . . a hobby.  The moment that I decide to make a career of it then it ceases to be a hobby.  It becomes work.  It will no longer be something that I get to do for fun.  It will be something that I have to do to pay the bills.

Writing is my passion though.

Radio used to be, but people grow and change.  Moving to a new radio station would reignite that fire temporarily.  Just as it did when I came to the radio station that I am currently at.  But eventually the need, the desire for change would come out of hiding and settle in again.

I’ve been praying a lot lately about all of this, about what direction God wants me to go, if he wants to leave the airwaves in pursuit of something else.  A few weeks ago an idea fell into my lap like a ton of bricks to put together a magazine-style publication for my church.  I was talking to my husband about it on Saturday night when the idea grew to publish it for free through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service.  Inspirational and uplifting poems and stories from children of God . . . imagine how many non-believers that could reach and possibly (hopefully) lead to Jesus.

Two years ago I wrote a poem about having faith in God no matter what.  I published it on a poetry website a few months later.  I have gotten requests for permission to use that poem on three separate occasions.  One was by a woman who was putting together a collection of inspirational writings for her church.  Another was from a woman who was indie-publishing her story about her fight and victory over cancer.  The other request was from an author who wanted to use an excerpt of my poem in a novel she was writing.  I gave permission to all three requests.  How could I not give permission?

God gave me the words to write that poem even when I had still not opened my heart to him.  He then sent 3 different people to me who wanted to share those words.  That poem was not mine to hold on to.  God put the words in my heart.  I was merely the holder of the ink pen.

Tonight the novel author sent me a message on Facebook that said she is putting together a collection of poems and short stories.  She asked if I wanted to submit anything.  Earlier in the day my friend asked me how I could support myself as a writer until my masterpiece hits the bestseller list if I got out of radio.  Freelance writing gigs, of course.  But I want to write what I want to write, not what someone else wants me to write.  If I submit a piece to the author then I will get to write for me, not for somebody else.  That will be writing that I am truly happy with.

I prayed for guidance in all of this.  Is this God’s way of saying, “Hey, Carrie, here is your opportunity.”  He gave me the love for writing.  He gave me the ability to write poetry and stories that entertain others.  Now I am being given the opportunity to share my writing with more than just friends and loved-ones.  Is God sending me an answer to my prayer for guidance, or am I just seeing what I want to see?

I am terrible at reading subtle signs.  I need neon, flashing lights, blinky arrows, bullhorns, and sirens before I see what is right in front of me.

I will write a piece for the author.  I will submit it to her.  I will continue to pray for guidance.  Everything happens in God’s time and the way God wants it to happen.  I am just here to be his servant.

Until next time . . .

Deliver us from evil . . .

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 11:32-39
(Text courtesy of BibleGateway.com)
 

Today was a rough day.  I heard from the drummer last night.  Part of me knew that I would hear from him.  It was Tuesday and he is nothing if not consistent.

The drummer is my weakness.  If I were an alcoholic he would be my Bud Light.  Having recognized this I sat down with him a week ago and told him that I need some time away from him to get my head and heart straight.  It didn’t go well.  He got angry.  I lost my temper.  A week later (yesterday) I told a friend that I finally felt completely positive that the conversation I had with the drummer was the absolute right way to go.  I finally felt at peace with myself.  The first few days after the fight I was riddled with guilt and shame because I had hurt the drummers feelings.  I never doubted God and his leading me to rid my life of the temptation that I subjected myself to with the drummer.  I am a people-pleaser and to hurt anyone eats me up.  I wasn’t thinking that the one I needed to worry about not pleasing wasn’t the drummer.  I needed to worry about not pleasing God.

Yesterday I finally felt the weight of that guilt was gone.

And then BOOM!!!!

My phone vibrated last night with a text from the drummer.  Satan saw that I had reached a place where I was able to let go of that temptation and he threw it back in my face.  I was weak.  I took the lid off the proverbial bottle of Bud Light.  I responded to the drummer’s text.  He said that we need to get together for dinner soon.  Hey, Satan, do you really need to put the flashing neon on the sign?  I know what you are doing!”  I never said “yes,” but in my weakness I also never said “no.”  I texted him back with my schedule over the next few days in the hopes that he would see that I am too busy and lose interest.  He just texted back one of the most annoying messages that anyone can ever send . . . “K.”

I was completely distracted the rest of the evening.  I told my husband about it as soon as he got home.  Today at work I was still distracted.  It was so bad that it was actually interfering with my airshift.  My show was terrible today.  That was how much I had let this get into my head.  The thought actually crossed my mind a couple of times to throw in the towel, to get together with the drummer like he wanted, to give into temptation.  That was the moment that  I recognized that I was under attack.  I couldn’t see it last night.  As soon as I was done on the air I grabbed my purse and ran to my car.  I drove to a local park and found a picnic table where I could be alone.  I opened my bible and Hebrews 11:32-39 was the first passage I came across.

I read it and then re-read it and then thanked God for giving me just the words I needed to hear.  God always gives us what he knows we need when we need it.  Today he reminded me of that while I was sitting in the park.

Temptation is always around us.  We all have a weakness . . . mine is the drummer.  Yours might be shopping, or cupcakes, or work, or Facebook, or anything.  We all have something that Satan uses to try to distract us from God.  Last night and this morning I faltered.  God took my hand and lead me away.

“Thank you, God, for your unending patience with this sinner.  I am weak, but you give me your strength.  Through you I am made stronger.”

Until next time . . .

Temptation (poem)

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
 
Temptation or fate
Sin or purpose
A heart that is so confused
Faith in God
To not lead me astray
But too mixed up to see how he wants me used
An addict facing the urge
A pull so strong
Unable to walk away from what I don’t need
The taste so sweet
A high so strong
One more time won’t hurt me
Praying for recovery
Strength to sever the ties
But weakness leads the heart forward
A test of my faith
A lesson in letting go
Can I make it through a battle so hard
But what if there is a purpose
What if he is my way to serve
Is he my downfall or can I fix his heart
He is so lost
I am barely found
Bring me closer, God, before he tears me apart
Your fight is already won
Lead me through the battle
Strengthen my heart and guide my way
My sins will lead me down
An urge I can not ignore
Give me the strength to make it through the day
I am weak, God
I am yours
Take this broken girl and rebuild her for you
Your love is in my heart
But temptation is so strong
I need your strength to be who you want me to
One more taste will kill me
One more time will drown me in dark
Deliver me from the evil at my door
Blind my eyes to the need
Close my heart to the sin it craves
Help me fight the temptation so I see it no more
 
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Matthew 6:13
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.19.14

Their End (short story)

They sat in his car, drowning in the silence.  He was waiting for her to pour out the words she needed to tell him.  It was cold in the car, the heater having not yet overcome the frigid January air.  Her body trembled with nervous fear that numbed her to the frosty bite of winter.
 
“We could go back into the store,” he suggested between chattering teeth.  “It’s a lot warmer in there.”  He stared at her, hope barely masking the confusion on his face.
 
Despite the cold her palms were sweaty.  Her heart raced and screamed at her to not say the words that her mind was hell-bent on getting out.  She took a deep breath, the exhale making a cloud in the cold air between them.  She looked into his beautiful hazel eyes, trying to get one last memory of him before his eyes turned hard and hateful against her.  She hesitated.  She knew what her words would do to him, but she was ready to live with the consequences.
 
“I consider the day I met you to be one of the greatest days of my life,” she started weakly.  “There was just something about you that pulled me to you.  I could feel fate pushing me to you in a way that I had never felt before.”
 
“Watching me play my drums got you all hot and excited,” he joked, trying to lighten her mood.  She gave him a half-hearted smile.
 
“We became friends and I thought that was all I would ever be to you.  I also thought I was alright with just being friends.  You make me smile and laugh.  You let me watch you play and be your groupie fangirl.  I love being with you when we go out for lunch.”
 
She suddenly went silent.  She knew she could still put the brakes on the rollercoaster in her head.  She knew she could give him a smile and a hug and everything would be alright.  But she also knew that everything wouldn’t be alright.  He would go back inside to work and she would go home with a heart that still ached for him.  She knew that she had to stop the ache and the only way to do that was to break her own heart, and his.  She knew she had to let him go.
 
“I’m glad we’re friends, also,” he assured her as he searched her eyes for what she was hiding from him.
 
“The thing is,” she whispered, her head hanging low and her hair hiding her face, “I want more than just friends.  I want more than just lunch and a hug.  I want more than to be your groupie fangirl.  I want to be with you, Bobby.”
 
He sighed and leaned back against his door.  She stared at him, searching his face for what she hoped he would say.  Instead she saw the wall come down between them.  His truth hung in the air between them like a oppresive weight.  It stabbed at her heart.  Her tears froze in her eyes in the cold car and all she wanted to do was run away from him.  She wanted to take her words back and bury them in her frozen heart and run away from him until she no longer loved him.
 
“Heather, I will always consider you a friend.  I appreciate all of your support when you come out to watch me play.  I can’t give you what you want though.  I just don’t see you that way.  I’m sorry.  But we’ll always be friends.”
 
He opened his arms to her for a hug.  Her body longed to fall into his warm and comfortable embrace.  She wanted to lay her head on his chest, close her eyes, and listen to the steady, strong beat of his heart.  She silently wondered if it would calm the frantic speed of her own heart.
 
She didn’t move.  She couldn’t move.  There was no turning back from what her heart had started.  She got into his car with a goal of easing her aching heart.  She had only broken it more, but she knew that the only way out was to keep moving forward.
 
Pain and rejection crossed his face as his arms fell to his lap.  She could see that he knew she wasn’t done, and it killed her to know that he knew what was coming.
 
“You’ve never rejected a hug from me before.”
 
“I can’t do this anymore, Bobby,” she said weakly as she cast her eyes to the floor.  Her fingers tangled nervously in her hair.  Her heart pounded in her chest as frightened adrenaline surged through her chest.  She wondered how much a heart could take before it finally just exploded.
 
“You can’t do what anymore?  Please tell me that you can’t stay in this car anymore,” he joked, trying to distract her from herself.  “I’m freezing.  Can we please go inside.  If we are friends at all you will let us go in the store where it is warm.”
 
“I can’t do this anymore, Bobby.”
 
He searched her face, but she kept it hidden behind her hair.  “What are you talking about, Heather?”
 
A tear slid down her cheek as the words slid from her mouth.  “I don’t think I can be your friend anymore.”  She felt her heart shatter in her chest.  She wanted to scream at herself to shut up, to beg him to ignore the words she had just said, to fall into his hug and pretend that nothing was wrong with her.  All of that would have been easier than leaving the truth her mouth had just spoken between them.
 
“Are you having some weird girly moment,” he laughed nervously.  “Do I need to give you chocolate and back away slowly?  You are crazy, but that’s why we’re friends.”  The smile fell from his lips when he saw her tears.  “You aren’t kidding, are you?”
 
She just shook her head slowly.
 
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
 
She nodded her head.  There was no turning back.
 
“What do you mean you can’t do this anymore, Heather?  This is exactly why I never trust people,” he growled.
 
She watch anger tighten his body as he closed himself off to her.  His arms folded across his chest as a shield against her.  She had expected his reaction, but it was still painful to witness.
 
“I didn’t mean to hurt you, Bobby.  That was the last thing I ever wanted to do to you.  I know that you don’t trust people as a rule and that you believe that everyone is going to hurt you.  I never wanted to hurt you.  But what about all the times you have hurt me?”
 
“I have never intentionally hurt you,” he spat at her, his voice filled with ice and venom.
 
“Maybe not intentionally, but I have cried over you more times than you will ever know.”
 
“It’s not my fault you are so sensitive.”
 
“You’re right.  It’s not your fault.  But what is your fault is your callous, selfish, insensitive heart.  You claim to be so lonely, but you push away everyone who tries to climb over your wall.  You do it because you think you are protecting yourself from getting hurt.”
 
“I should have protected myself from you.  Then we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
 
“Yeah, because a life spent alone is so much better than a life spent with someone who cares about you,” she threw at him, sarcasm dripping from every word.
 
“You’re right.  It is.  I wish I’d never met you,” he spit at her hatefully, his eyes holding hers in a vice grip.
 
All of the air was forced from her body as his words hit her like bricks.  She felt like she had been slapped across the face.  All she could do was stare at him with anger and disbelief.
 
“In all the moments that you made me angry or cry I never,” she raged at him, “never wished I hadn’t met you.”
 
“Then why don’t you want to be friends anymore,” he begged her, momentarily allowing his broken heart to show.
 
“Because I love you, Bobby.  I fell in love with you so fast and so hard.”  She tried reaching out a hand to touch him.  She wanted to ease his heart, and her own also.
 
“Don’t fucking touch me,” he yelled at her as he jerked his body away from her touch.
 
“Bobby, please believe that I never wanted to hurt you,” she pleaded.
“Yeah, well, you did hurt me.  I hope you are happy with yourself.  You made me trust you.  You made me believe that you were different from everybody else in my life.  I should have known better.  You can bet that is a mistake I will never make again.”
 
She took a deep breath and fought to keep control over everything that was rushing through her.  She bit back her words of anger.  She swallowed the sad pleas for forgiveness.
 
“I love you, Bobby.  I want nothing more than to see you happy . . . “
 
“What would make me happy is if you got out of my car.”
 
” . . . but trying to make you happy is eating me alive.  I’ve lost myself in your world.  You hold my heart, Bobby, but it means nothing to you.  You said so yourself that you don’t love me.”
 
“Did you want me to lie to you?”
 
“Your truth would have come out eventually, just as mine did.  Actually, I think I’ve always known that you never loved me, that you never could.  I don’t know if you can love anyone, because love involved trust . . . “
 
“. . . and nobody can be trusted,” he finished for her, “including you.”
 
“I’m sorry that you feel that way about me.  I tried to be the person that helped rebuild your trust in people.  Would you rather I had lied to you today?”
 
“I’d rather you get out of my car.  I don’t need you.  I never needed you.  Get out!”  His rage boiled just below the surface of his control.
 
“Bobby, please listen to me,” she begged.
 
“Get out of my fucking car!”
 
“I’ll remind you that you had a choice whether or not to befriend me.”
 
“I never had a choice.  You forced your way into my life.”
 
“The night we met you could have let my leave and never said a word to me, but you did say something.  Do you remember what you said to me?”  Bobby stared at her with fire in his eyes and ice in his heart.  “Do you remember what you said,” she prodded.
 
“I said ‘I thought we were friends,'” he mumbled, casting his gaze out the window, “but that is not the foundation for a friendship.”
 
“No, but it was all the encouragement that I needed.  A while later I sent you that message on Facebook.  You could have ignored me, but you didn’t.  You wanted us to be friends as much as I did.”
 
“Yeah, and look at where it got me.  We were friends and now you don’t want to be anymore.  I should have ignored you.”
 
“Bobby, I know that somewhere inside of you there is a heart, and I know it is hurting right now.  For that I am very sorry.  I have to do this for me though.  I hurt every single day because I love you and I can’t stop it.  I am tired of wishing and hoping for something that will never happen.  You are not the only one who is hurting me, Bobby.  I am hurting myself and I’ve got to stop it.”
 
“And you called me selfish,” he mumbled, his face still turned toward the window and away from her.
 
“I’m sorry that you feel that way,” she said softly, sadly.  “If I don’t do it this way then I would have eventually started to hate you.  I never want to look back and hate you.  You mean too much to me.”
 
“That’s too bad because all I will see when I look back is the cold, heartless, bitch that you turned out to be”
 
“It didn’t have to be like this, Bobby.”
 
“Yes, it did, Heather.  We were always destined to end up here.”
 
She opened her arms to him, hoping for one last hug.  He stared at her coldly.
 
“Get out of my car.  You are no longer welcome in my life.”  The finality in his voice cemented closed the fate that she had set in motion.
 
“Bobby . . . “
 
“Get out,” he demanded.
 
“I’m sorry,” she whispered as she fought back fresh tears.  She looked at him for a minute longer, hoping he would turn his eyes her way one last time, but he didn’t.  He kept his face turned away from her and that would be her last memory of him.
 
She reached for the handle and opened the door.  The cold January night air bit at her tears.  She stepped out of the car and closed the door gently.  He never turned to look at her.
 
“I’m sorry, Bobby,” she whispered into the frozen night wind.  She hoped that one day her words would find their way to his heart.
 
She got into her own car and drove away for the final time from the music store that he worked at.  She hoped that store would bring him as much solace as it had brought him joy since she’d met him.  She turned out of the parking lot into the road.  She glanced into her rearview mirror hoping for one last glimpse of him.  She never noticed the oncoming traffic until it was too late.
 
The truck his her in the driver’s side door.  She was killed on impact.
Bobby went back into the store.  He never turned around at the sound of the car accident, and he never thought of Heather ever again.
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
01.29.14
 

This short story actually ended up being a bit prophetic.  This is essentially how the conversation went with the drummer a week ago minus the car accident and death.  I wrote this back in January and lost it.  I forgot about it until I found it in one of my MANY notebooks a few days ago.  It freaked me out just a bit at how similar this story was to how the actual conversation ended up going a month and a half after I wrote this.