More and more I am beginning to feel like my life is real again. I've been in a series of waiting...waiting to drive, waiting to drink, waiting to graduate, waiting to find a career, waiting to find a true love of my life. I moved to Asheville becuase I had no other plan and I was drawn to its spirit and beauty and life, I moved here to wait some more. But what if this is it? Some nights I'll be driving home and my memory overlaps my reality and I think these roads around me are the ones I grew up on. But really it's just that they are becoming etched on my heart as my home. I feel like everyone else is waiting too, waiting for me to realize I'm being foolish living here and living this lifestyle with these people. But just because I haven't chosen a life from the path I was on doesn't mean this isn't the life for me. I finally picked a career that suits me in passion, intelligence, and meaning, why can't that life play out here? Either way I'm committed to at least three more years here. Maybe that's why I'm suddenly feeling the happy weight of permanence. I've seen the world, maybe not enough of this country, but enough of everywhere else. Doesn't mean I don't still want to visit more or see other states but I know enough to know these mountains and these souls make me happy. Happy. What a word. Happy. I think a lot of people lose sight of it. Happiness. I think a lot of people just go on living and working and marrying and baby making without really understanding why. Why else do we keep our lungs pumping, our eyes shining, our feet walking? Purpose, conviction, motivation, satisfaction, what do all these things mean to us? To me, I know. I know already. My life is pointed towards happiness. Maybe I'm deluded because I grew up priveleged. I know that I am more fortunate that most, but I also know half of that fortune is in the love of my friends and family and love is always priceless. I am not materialistic and I will live in tiny apartments without new clothes or new shoes or fancy foods or new toys and gadgets. I'll live my own mix of a buddhist hippie life, and I'll let my heart run rampant with beauty and love and above all happiness. My days flow heavy now, the light joy of thinking I was crashing in love gone, but still I know happiness underlies my every breath and is waiting just around the corner to return to me. My heart was wounded, my romantisicm dealt a harsh blow, but my heart is stronger than his pain. My romantic dreaming will resume, and though dimmer now soon it will rage brighter than ever. This hope is why I know it's not dead completely, my ability to still think my true love is coming is why I know this dreamer can't be defeated. I guess then I am still waiting. And I'll wait forever, if I have to, but my rose won't ever be crushed in the gutter. Not this rose.