Hell and High Water

I suppose I owe you all an apology, or at least an explanation. You see, I’ve been in the thick of transition. I finally made it to Atlanta after dream chasing for over a year, and I’m working in the exact field I’d believed I’d been led to that entire time. I’m working at the city’s oldest HIV/AIDS non-profit.

So to recap, if you’ve been following. Dwain the Uber driver with a history in the field (and at my exact workplace) encouraged me to apply to more jobs at the agency I now work at (even though it would be the 5th or so time I’d done so). I prayed for answers by my birthday, and the exact day after my celebration I received an email to schedule an interview for the job I have now. I’d find out I’d have the opportunity to help start a program much like the one Dwain had been a part of during his time, and even recently I ran into Dwain at an event put on by the powerful organization he is a part of now. In fact mostly everyone from my previous visits here have found ways to resurface themselves into my now life here.

The same couple that prayed over me to get to Atlanta at a church service I had attended last visit got to pray over me again the night before my first day on the job. They remembered my request and were encouraged to see one of their prayers answered, convinced this job would be just as much of a blessing to me as I’d be to it.

I’ve seen divine appointments, but these are so often and so intentional. From freebies to blessings and invitations from others, even just the connections I’ve made and events I’ve been a part of.

When I was still in North Carolina it’d give me such hope to see a Georgia license plate or to check a Georgia I.D. if I was waitressing, and now I’m surrounded by them. In fact I have my own Georgia license and will soon register my car here. By the way, traffic’s as bad as they say.

Moving is hard, goodbyes are harder. Sometimes realizing I was finally breathing in Georgia air was enough to make me tear up. I never thought I’d lose the wonder of it all until I did.

My pen pal K recently moved here too, and now we get to be friends in real life sorting through how the life we so badly wanted still looks so much like the life we always had. And that’s when you really notice the good in before. The good in all you had to complain about.

It’s hard for me to admit that I didn’t really know that. We tell ourselves this lie a lot: “If I was just this, or if I just had that then I would be blank.” And I knew there would still be trials in my triumph, but I honestly believed the high of being here would be enough to drown them out, and it’s just not.

Even dream jobs don’t get to be perfect. Sometimes it’s my job to completely blindside someone by telling them they are HIV-positive, and it doesn’t matter how well I can empathetically craft that. It’s not enough.

Shiny new lives are not enough to keep you from collapsing to your hardwood living room floor because you literally can’t bear to stand as the tears take all of your strength. They’re not enough to get you out of bed on a Friday night when you’re craving human interaction, but find none in sight so you turn to internet apps. Shiny new lives are not enough to keep you from going back to bad vices when you feel anxious or depressed. You will still feel anxious and depressed. Shiny new lives are not enough to make you stop questioning everything you ever felt like you believed in, and they are definitely not enough to keep you from feeling the flame of the hells you find people are living in.

Hell and high water are here, and a few months ago I told them to come; but I guess I never really knew what I’d do upon their arrival, or that they’d be so opposite of inspiring.


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