and there is no timeframe or predictability on grief.
loss is felt forever, perhaps. and in a way, I certainly hope it is.
if I do not remember and feel a sense of loss, I cease to feel the joy and love that swirled within that time with those people, as well. it is a package deal.
the good news is that the hurt does not always feel the same. it is not always all-encompassing.
not always tear-inducing.
not eternally full of details that take me back to exactly the time and space of how it all fell apart.
the joy and laughter rises higher in the sea of emotions than the pain, as time moves forward.
the triggers for remembering and relishing can be as obvious as ink on skin or as sneaky as a song popping up on a shuffle.
how does one let go of a season and yet seek to recreate the elements of said time as much as humanly possible to enable forward movement and the best version of oneself?
I think we all struggle to some degree with how we "grow up" and yet stay silly and full of life. it is very possible that I am deeper in this challenge than any other human on the planet. (I never exaggerate.)
when "what do you love to do?" as a question leads to a laundry list, looking for the best spot can be a bit daunting.
my wise brother has advised me recently to work mindfully on my focus.
5 year plan.
even typing these words makes me scrunch up face and shake my head. many of you are not surprised by my aversion, as my moves and job changes are evidence of my resistance.
I am not against having these things, per say. I simply want to lie down and take a nap when the picture gets too big or vague. as a detail driven person, 'casting a vision' can be a bit too spacious for my comfort.
I will admit that my adoration for words, semantics, and definition can paralyze my spirit. that hyper-focus on meaning can stop my forward progress.
thankfully, the Lord is gracious. he knows, I think, that when I get stuck, I need my feelings to be frustrated to propel me into action.
when I do not feel well, I do something about it.
when I feel great, I do something about it.
a handful of weeks ago, I was gifted with a quick trip to colorado to see some sweet friends and breathe in some mountain air.
my word, that little mountain town is gloriously surrounded with majesty!
(cue deep breath.)
driving my utah-plated rental car through the windy mountain roads, I was struck by the deep contrast between city life and small town. it has been four years since I lived in this natural, mostly untouched beauty, and here it sat much like I left it. the tiny towns in between denver and bueni are many, some I remembered and some I had forgotten their names. the mix of familiarity and re-discovery is so common in my story of having many places I call "home".
this cocktail of feelings makes me smile
it washes over me.
familiarity and discovery.
I need them both for health.
three hour chats. a hike full of enlightenment and trouble breathing such thin air. tacos and smiling eyes. copious amounts of coffee at a diner talking to new friends who started out as strangers. soaking up vitamin d while wearing fleece jackets and flip-flops. authentic connection.
so so good.
as you would imagine, I returned to boston with my spirit and mind in a state of deep contemplation.
as I process, there are two things that I know I need...
sorting out the action steps to accompany these two isms, is and needs to be a process for this childlike spirit I possess.
sitting here happily in my new ringer v-neck t shirt found yesterday at my goodwill and jeans with knees exposed from holes worn in over a period of over five years, I smile as I am assured that some things will always stay steady, even if it is as simple as my adoration for an old t-shirt and a pair of holey jeans. (stay a kid, people. truly. it makes you smile spontaneously, and we all need more smiling eyes.)
the details of my process I will keep from reporting here for now. I will say that I may have a more of a "life plan" than I have had in years past, in that I feel like I know a bit more about what elements are non-negotiable and feel like my feeling trigger is closer to the surface than ever to hopefully enable me to keep moving...
slow and steady.
may we lean into peace, keep rooted in what we know is truest about ourselves at our best, and be mindful of any sneaky distractions that would pull us off our paths.
"decide what to be and go be it!"
-the avett brothers