Do I focus on the positive or the negative? The side embellished in sunshine and pretty colors, or the raw, deep and sometimes tear inducing stuff?
That’s a question that I’m sure all writers and bloggers alike ask themselves at some point or another. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t been posting for most of February, as this month has come at me in a way that I was not expecting, nor was I prepared for.
My birthday was overshadowed by the passing of my sweet Yellow Lab two days early; she’d wandered off and was hit by a car, and there was nothing more that could be done. Despite that she was closest to my brother out of everyone in my family, but the loss was still devastating. Knowing that she was pretty far up in her years, I knew that time was going to come sooner rather than later, but I believed that at the very least I would be able to say goodbye. However, this was not the case, and as it usually goes with any kind of upsetting or heartbreaking news, I found my mind going numb. All I wanted to do was curl up under the covers and cry.
And like most losses do, this caused me to start thinking about my choices and making the most of the time in front of me. That’s why when one of my best friends invited me on a road trip to Nashville, I took her up on it. Granted it took some deliberating, but I ultimately made the decision because I wanted to do something different, and it’s been on my list of cities to visit (along with San Diego and San Antonio). I’m in a place where I want to explore and try new things, and am now slowly building the means to do it. Unfortunately this trip was abruptly cancelled; and while I understand the reasoning behind it, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t disappointed. It taught me that circumstances don’t always result because they’re supposed to; sometimes it’s a result of poor planning or not thinking, and sometimes stuff just happens that no one has any control over.
Life has been going at a pretty steady pace; I’m finally getting into a routine with work, exercise, and relaxation. But yet at times, I still get the sense that something is missing, whether it be excitement or being in community with others for more than one day a week. Though it has been a little over six months since I moved back, it’s still very easy to get lonely out here. In the last week or so, I’ve realized that it’s not business that keeps me going, but the intentional effort to feed my soul. In order to center myself spiritually, I’m making a point to start and end my day with God. Saturdays and Sundays will now be dedicated to creative writing and/or journaling, unless I’m in a place where I don’t have access to my computer or a notebook. And though getting around is a bit of a challenge, I want to get involved in at least one or two meet-up groups or organizations.
But the one thing I miss most right now is the deep conversation, especially now that I’m more confident in who I am as a person, It’s not so much for the lack of friends as it is less opportunities than there used to be. Granted there are plenty of phone calls and text messages, but it isn’t quite the same as sitting face to face and observing their expression and emotion. I miss the no-holds-barred, no sugarcoating type of talks, and that’s a big part of why I often send people unedited versions of my writing; maybe we don’t always get to spend time together or catch up like we did in college, but at least they’ll know what’s on my heart.
When all is said and done, I do feel like I’m out of my element, and not having access to what makes me feel alive all the time is still taking some getting used to.
However, I’m grateful that places like that are only a bus ride or a train ride away, one which I’ll be embarking on in a couple of hours. One extreme positive about post-grad life is that you really have to plan ahead if you want to make things happen, which I’ve always been a planner and have been for practically my whole life. And though various things haven’t worked out like I thought they would, it has been all right in the long run. There’s still a lot happening right in front of me, and there are plenty more adventures yet to come.