I’m not who I was when I started traveling fifteen years ago. I’m not who I was when I lived in a van three years ago. I’m not who I was before the pandemic started. It’s a process, it’s a change, and it’s a chance.
You’re beautiful. He’ll tell you that.
But always remember – you’re worth it, too.
I am the border of two realities, nostalgic for a childhood from a quickly bygone era.
For me, writing a public blog like this allows me not to live as a disassociated documentarian as you’re often warned about, but an active participant in the world around me.
December is often a time for reflection – it’s the end of the year.
For me it’s always been doubly so – with my birthday at the end of the month it’s the end of my personal year as well.
This year is even more – I graduated in December a year ago. Hashtag baccalaureate, k?
Since before I can remember, the my hometown church has ended its Christmas Eve service with Mannheim Steamroller’s rendition of Silent Night while everyone stands in a circle around the darkened sanctuary with candles flickering. As I stood there tonight, I pondered the shifting of generations. Girls I went to high school with now stand with fidgeting munchkins, stepping into the role of wife and mother. Meanwhile the children we babysat are now the high school leaders, singing boldly, volunteering often, and carrying the community on their shoulders.
It’s been a ridiculous year.
Traveling the world, traveling the United States. Getting promoted, my work shutting down. Independent to dependent to independent. Painting and crocheting. Writing and reading and being on three different phone plans. Everybody moving. Also, Reddit. It’s a thing.
I move to Denver, CO in a week. A new year, a new state, a new bout of trying to figure out this life after college. I’m on the cusp of something big, the edge of growing up as I leave my college town.
For once, I don’t have much to say. My ponderings have all been written in journals, or discussed with friends. I’m at peace.
’twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
Today, I felt angry.
Today, I felt curious.
Today, I basked in the sun.
Today, I laughed.
Today, I missed someone.
Today, I got excited.
Today, I felt afraid.
Today, I felt emotions.
Not all of them were good. Not all of them were bad. The point is that I felt something.
Fall semester was rough as I learned that depression takes many forms. For me, rather than actively being sad or lonely or upset, I was… nothing. I felt nothing. I cared about nothing, no one. If I made plans, I hoped people would cancel. I discovered delivery, spending more money on Papa John’s than I think I’ve spent on fast food in my life. I became glued to my couch, apathetic. I shut down the supper club I had once cultivated with joy. I withdrew from friends. I thesised without passion. Wake, work, school, Netflix, sleep, repeat.
I became nothing.
The lack of emotions, lack of style, lack of interest, lack of anything… That was who I fell into.
It took flying half way around the world for my soul to finally revive, and as I stared at the stunning blue lakes of New Zealand, I felt the last wisps of depression slip away in the breeze.
To feel emotions today, even as cruel as they can be, is a beautiful thing. I feel alive, even if I am unhappy. I feel growth, even as I look at my immaturity and know that in two years I will look back and cringe at this moment in my life. (Literally, I think that I will recall this day and roll my eyes – it’s been one of THOSE.) But I’m learning. I know that as slow and painful as this is, I AM learning. I AM growing. It’s frustrating now, trying to sort out adulthood and learn how to take on this new position in life. But you know what? I can feel it. I’m alive. And that is a beautiful thing.