I love a good personal check-in. Like, me to me: How are you feeling in your body? How are your creative goals going? How are your relationships growing? Are you prioritizing the people and activities that matter to you? I ask myself how I'm feeling constantly, but I don't usually have a solid response until I write everything down.
We're perpetually taking in all of the information we need to stretch beyond our limitations, but we can't do anything with said information until we sit with it; let it hum in the cells of our marrow, and organize it in a way that lights up our synapses. For me, words and words alone make sense. The process of writing about my experiences teaches me how I feel.
And this past month featured a great many magical/terrible experiences. The most important lady in my life had a major surgery, and though she's recovering beautifully and I knew in my gut she would be fine, I was temporarily a wreck. That same week, I attended (and sang at) a funeral for a 98 year old woman I adored. I continue to be stunned by the sheer amount of loss the whole world has been suffering lately -- I, alone, have lost five badass old women since last June and have been wondering, along with everyone else whether they abandoned ship because they know we're doomed... or whether they were just old. I grappled with crushing loss and the threat of crushing loss while displaced, sleeping on a living room air mattress, and casually trying not to lose my shit, also.
But then... there was tremendous love and support, too. My dude ferried me around and drank lunchtime margaritas with me and made sure we finished our German homework. I collaborated with people I love -- there was a big-time photo shoot, a live podcast event ( I don't know what I'm doing re: podcast editing; it's scary, and that's why you haven't heard my podcast yet), all the buzz surrounding the Women's March, the makings of an exquisite corpse-style zine, and talks of a self-care series plus a top-secret project that could potentially be my calling/life plan. I began working with new freelance clients. I was given a raise at my job-job. I had a tarot and astrology reading and I'm excited to continue following what glimmers for me ad infinitum -- that strategy has not led me down a shiny path to Anguish and Despair as I once feared but, rather, proven that fearlessly following my curiosity is the only way. I packed up my old bedroom (my mom is moving) and had a whole day of teary reflection. Additionally -- I found a middle school essay arguing (pretty articulately) on behalf of the pro-life stance. Amidst all of my journal entries and drawings and letters from boys I've loved, that stuck out to me as proof of growth. At 12 years old, I couldn't see beyond my own background. At 24 years old, I couldn't see beyond my daily dramas. And at 29, things are starting to make sense. I'm able to balance caring for myself, caring for other people, and caring about the state of the world.
Right now, I'm running on five hours of sleep. I'm on a train out of state watching the sepia-toned woods fly by and pondering whether or not I can eat my packed lunch at 10:30am. It's snowing a little -- v. romantic -- and I feel like a real writer. Oftentimes I don't feel like any kind of writer, so I'm going to sit with that, too.
All this to say: it is a tempestuous time. It is a tender time. Things are as wild as they are frail. So don't forget to notice your surroundings: feel your feet on the ground. Take a breath. Take another breath. Think about where you came from and ask yourself if you're comfortable with where you're going. Explore that discomfort: scary-good feels different than scary-bad. Just be there for yourself. It's important.
Admittedly, this post was more for me than you (hug emoji).