now, now

20 January, 2013

Today, I went back to the park of my last post. When last I wrote, I was in the midst of a long holiday break from work and I was feeling rather tortured in my solitude. I didn't go visit friends or family. My holiday celebrations happened earlier in the month, and I chose to stay home over other invitations.

I guess I had this sense, after all my life changes at the end of 2012 (new job, new car, new city, new apartment, and the end of a relationship), that I should take some time and account for it all ... and process it. I had intentions of long walks and picture-taking and book-reading and all kinds of self-bettering. Instead, I spent the majority of my break in my underwear watching Dr. Who and Star Trek on BBCA. And I cried. A lot.

I am finding this was not just a session of holiday blues. When my downtime is not filled with distraction, I fade away from the life I desire and into a fearful sadness that I cannot seem to shake. I have made jokes to a couple of friends about my mental state lately. I laughingly tell them about the negative voice inside of my head. It insults me at every turn, reminding me that I'm nothing but a fake and a failure. I say this with a smile, but I know it doesn't conceal or transform the truth, the way I wish my confessions would. I don't find it easy to talk about this, but it's all that fills my mind right now, so what else is there to say?

I hope that in simply hinting at my experience I will begin to understand it better and maybe even find a slice of beauty in it. And that's what this blog is about for me. Finding beauty. This brings me back to the park. I managed to get myself out of the house today. This is quite the feat when I'm not working, running errands or meeting with friends. The weather was beautiful, so I decided to go to this park because it felt safe and secluded enough. Everywhere else felt overwhelming.

With earbuds in, I listened to NPR on my phone while having lunch at a picnic table. I actually felt joy when the sun shimmered through the leaves of the magnolia tree nearby. I laughed at the little kids chasing each other in the grass. I felt like part of the world as I was listening to the TED Radio Hour, and then RadioLab. While watching the clouds float by, pushed by a wind that created delicate patterns across the surface of the river, I could almost feel that invisible thread that ties me to this life in that beautiful and mysterious way, just as the clouds and the water are tied to the wind.

I'm still feeling much the same overall, but my trip to the park gave me beauty in the midst of my sadness. It may be a small step, but it is one that I am thankful for all the same.


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