I Wanna Wear Cowboy Boots


I've been listening to country music again. I used to listen to country music ALL the time when I lived in Asheville, NC; back in the early 90's. This is pre-military days. I would go to this country bar, I met Billy Ray Cyrus before he sang 'Achy Breaky Heart'. I was submerged into the country living, tall tales, and everything redneck. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my life. But what part of that country girl persona was me? Briefly, for the 5 years I lived in NC, I was the cowboy-boot-wearing girl. The college scene was ok, but I really felt at home traveling the vast expanse of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or that one time a couple of friends and I jumped in the car and just drive for a little over an hour. We ended up in the small town of Crossnore, NC. This is a town that had a population of 143 in the 2020, there is no telling how small the population was circa 1992. There was no one around, and the main road was not well paved. We saw an old Coke-Cola machine with the small bottles for sale. I felt like I was thrown back into the 1950's. I could hear the clink-clank of the dime falling into the machine before I had even started rummaging around for a dime. This was back in the day when we all carried change in the front pocket of our jeans. and cash in the back pocket of our worn jeans. I could spend an entire blog entry on my Crossnore story. It was a wonderful day and I still have the bottle of Coke I bought that day. That girl adventuring in the country was who I thought I was. 

    Somewhere around a year after that memory, I joined the military. I pretended I was the country girl in boot camp. It suited me well. The country girl, wide open adventures were soon forgotten in the shenanigans I got into when stationed in Philadelphia, PA and we all went out for the latest and greatest dance scene. Fast forward a couple years, and when I was stationed in Alameda, CA I became a west coast girl playing vollyball, riding a bike. I was whomever fit into my latest environment. And I became whomever I thought people wanted me to be each and every opportunity I had to reinvent myself. 

    I recently realized I don't who I am. My faith says my identity is in Him. Yes, I know this through faith. But what is my favorite color? What is my favorite food? Anyone who knows me, will tell you "my faorite food is SEE FOOD!! I SEE FOOD and I eat it!!!" And to be honest, I struggled with what my favorite color was for a few years. And now I'm here in Buffalo, living somewhere for the longest time in my entire life' since the summer of 2012, and haven't left. Simmer down, It's the pizza and wings. he-he-he, perhaps. Most importanly, I have been clawing my way through a mental illness mud bog since I have retired from the Coast Guard. At times I felt that I was in quicksand, simply trying to keep my nose above the sand for each breath. There are times that the darkness and pressure from the quicksand tease, to consume and smother me. And there are moments, hours, or days that I feel comfortable in the thought of giving in to the quicksand. I don't have to fight anymore, I can just be. 

    I am comfortable becoming the person that I am, not that of my environment. If only those words were true in more than theory. That is such a bold statement. We all still conform to something. What happens though, when we conform and this goes against our beliefs, morals, and values? 

I'm gonna wear cowboy boots and listen to country music. It's easier.