A New Normal by McKenzie Carver

Bella picks buttercups on our family’s Coppedge Farm on Sturdivant Road.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


When translated into English from Italian and Spanish, the word bella means beautiful, Bella is also the name of my 12 year old sister. Ever since all of this has started, Bella has remained at home the whole time. She has yet to leave the house for any reason, and all the while she remains content with her situation. I on the other hand, have been itching to get out of the house by any and every means, in fact, content would be the last adjective I would use to describe my current situation. My mind keeps on imagining when I can be reunited with my boyfriend and dear hometown friends and embrace one another with open arms. I’ve been imagining my future travels and when I can journey to the beloved beach again. Many days I wish I could fall into a deep slumber and not awaken until I am able to join the social world again. I’ve been under the constant feeling that I am missing out on so much life, and although everyone is on the same boat, I can’t help but feel as if it is only me who is having an emotional crisis.  Welcome to the struggles of being an enneagram 7. It has only been recently when I took the time to notice how simply content my little sister has been throughout this all. Bella has yet to complain about going somewhere else besides home or being with other people besides our family. She has reminded me that I have so much to be grateful for exactly where I am. Little does she know that her older sister has actually been looking up to her. There is something so beautiful about the simplicity of children, they have yet to experience the world and all of its chaos. So here’s to Bella, my 12 year old sister, who has taught me the art of being content. Here’s to life, given the situation of our current world it is still bella, and here’s to hoping that once this all is behind us, life will be even more bella.

My heavenly view while on an afternoon run.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Here recently I’ve had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I’ve been staying up late into the early morning hours for no particular reason and waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat from some awful dream. My mind seems to be running nonstop 24/7, I have to make a conscious effort in order to make myself be able to go to sleep or just be able to lie still for a moment. Last night, I couldn’t sleep, I was constantly going in and out of sleep. I thought to myself, “Can’t I please just go to sleep? I only have a few short hours until I am supposed to be awake and I know I will be exhausted if I don’t sleep now.” Of course my running mind wouldn’t use that as an excuse, so then I prayed. Two verses were immediately placed in my mind, I don’t have these verses memorized or anything of the sort, so I went to look them up. Psalm 139: 11-12, and Philippians 4:6-7. These verses reminded me of who controls this dark time in our world. Psalm mentions that “the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you”. Philippians reminds us to not be anxious about anything, but rather to pray to God, and he will give us a peace that surpasses any human understanding. It seems everywhere we look in the world pain, death, suffering, worry, stress, anxiety, all seem to be thrown in our faces. However we need not to worry, there is a mighty God who has everything under control. Sometimes it seems as if the world is spinning downhill fast into disaster, but there is a mighty Heavenly Father who lets nothing escape him. This is all a part of a grand plan. When I turn to God I find peace. Which is exactly what I saw when I took these photos on an afternoon run last week. The aura of these photos seem to be heavenly. There is nothing but green grass, crisp blue skies, and a single light source which illuminates the whole canvas of the sky. Moving forward, my prayer for this world is one of hope, one of love, one of healing, but most importantly, one of peace.

McKenzie Carver and Tylar Sparks watch the sunset at Sunset Rock, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Anxiety and his Shoulder

These days have begun to feel a lot longer than they should. I’m not much of one for anxiety but it seems when I am thrown out of my groove of everyday life and how things should go I become very anxious. Needless to say, these past weeks my anxiety has been at an all time high. I’ve been crying a lot more, and sometimes when the rabbit in my mind gets to hopping, it wanders down a trail it should have never gone down. The wolves wait for it and gobble him alive if he doesn’t escape within time. 

 This past weekend I got to visit my boyfriend in Chattanooga. Friday evening the two of us ventured to sunset rock to watch the sunset. We had to park about a half of a mile down the road because the site is closed to the public due to the virus. We snuck past the roadblock and hopped the cobblestone wall where we joined many other carefree couples and travelers seeking distraction. We sat down, side by side. I leaned my head on his shoulder and he held my hand as we watched the sun grasp for its last glimpse of this side of the world. In that moment, head on shoulder and hand in hand, I felt at peace. It was within this moment for the first time in weeks that all the chaos of the current world was a distant memory. 

  Apologizes for my love letter, but I can’t think of something more fitting than a love letter for our current situation. Love conquers all, love demands human interaction and that is the very exact thing that is prohibited within this time. I believe that the end of humanity will be our loss of humanity, and it seems as though the death train has been placed on its proper tracks……. There goes my rabbit again. 

When I’m with him, I am invincible. I forget the problems of my past, the chaos of the current world, and anxiety about the future is simply nonexistent because I have assurance that my future is with him. 

Go find your shoulder to rest your head on.

My name is Mckenzie Lynn Carver, I am documenting from my home in rural Brownsville, Tennessee. Here are some of my sure thoughts during such a unsure time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

There were only two plots of land that separated my house from my grandparents house. Both of which were planted and harvested by my grandfather the past fall. The house that I grew up in was built on a plot of land that was formerly a cotton field farmed by my grandfather as well. 

My grandparents live in a quaint little house just beyond the cotton and soybean fields.  The house is nestled between tall pine trees and their pasture which their horses roamed freely in. When we realized that the virus was extremely contagious, my parents advised me that it would probably be best if I did not go to visit my grandparents due to my recent traveling on spring break. Also, according to the statistics, they are the most vulnerable for contracting the virus. I so desperately longed to sit on my Nana’s futon and listen to her many stories about my mom and aunts growing up, and to be enquired by her about my boyfriend, Tylar.  

I gazed out my bedroom window at my grandparents house. I never thought it would come to this. 

I never thought something would separate me from those precious souls, other than the cotton and soybean field.

Meet the Storyteller

McKenzie Carver

McKenzie Carver is an insightful writer who has been fortunate enough to have many life experiences that cover much of the emotional spectrum. Carver is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and pursuing a degree in Communication and Spanish. McKenzie is passionate about traveling and the people she meets along her travels. For inquiries or more information, contact her at dxy429@mocs.utc.edu.

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