Saturday, December 20, 2014

Advent.

I've always thought of Advent as some sort of merry, ascending on-ramp toward Christmas.

This year Advent feels like a descent into darkness.

It's a snowy deep winter night full of unknowing and quiet waiting.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Drifting toward darkness.

Around here it's clear that the darkness is gaining on the light, a little more each day. I just googled to find out when the winter solistice is (December 21), so that I will know exactly how long I have to hang in there before the light starts making a comeback.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Plié.

Tonight I had my third ballet class. This fall I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and sign up for an adult beginner ballet class. I had been vaguely considering the idea of taking ballet for a couple of years, but it seemed rather scary. Besides, it was too late. Who starts ballet as an adult anyway?

Last January, I almost signed up, but instead I registered for a semester-long live-model drawing studio. That seemed more manageable at the time, when I was in the depths of winter. Through it I was able to reconnect to visual art again and find healing in it. But the idea of taking ballet stuck with me, and I decided that this fall I would do it. I created a worst-case scenario idea in my head, and then once I had envisioned the absolute worst that could happen, I realized that it was nothing compared to what I've survived in the past. I had nothing to lose, so I bought my leotard, ballet shoes, tights and other ballet stuff and signed myself up. The receptionist asked if I would prefer to register after taking the trial class, and I said no. I didn't want to be able to back out.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

5 Years.

Five years ago today I moved to Québec.

What my life is like now is nothing like what I thought it would be on that day I crossed the border and moved to Canada. I came here to be with the person I loved, and once I left my country, he became my home. It wasn't a conscious decision; it just happened in my heart when I displaced myself for him and we got married.

When that exploded and the ground beneath me finally stopped shaking, I realized that I would need to gently dust myself off and redefine "home" for myself. I had to figure out a path forward.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Because sometimes you have to throw your own parties.

I threw myself a birthday party. I knew the first part of this month might not be easy for me, so I planned ways to intentionally take care of myself. I wanted to feel surrounded by loved ones and welcome in a new year, and a birthday is a perfectly normal reason to have a party. (Unfortunately a I-survived-the-depths-of-hell party is a little less socially acceptable.) And since I didn't have someone to throw me a party, I decided to throw one for myself. This probably broke some etiquette rules, especially because I made it a potluck party, but I don't even care. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sage.

A year ago yesterday, my life was suddenly blown apart with one incredibly brief sentence. Tomorrow is a year from the day my now-ex-husband walked out of our home to be with his girlfriend.

If you had asked me then to imagine what my life would look like now, I would have been completely incapable of it. At that point, I could not begin to imagine my life without my ex. My mind couldn't even process what had just happened, let alone my heart. In the beginning, each morning I woke up from a few hours of sleep to re-remember what had happened, after having forgotten while sleeping. Eventually I began to wake up remembering. It took time to accept that things weren't ever going to go back to how they were before, and I don't think I will ever fully understand what happened because it was all so dissonant to absolutely everything I had believed.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Résilience.

This morning I watched this video about a goat that made me cry. The concern and commitment of the caregivers was moving, but it was seeing the little goat's determination that left me with tears running off my face and dropping onto my sternum. The goat kept going, despite adversity, with an attitude that I interpret as thankfulness. And not happiness, but joy. I was taught from an early age that joy is different than happiness because it is independent of external circumstances.

The other day I saw that a library in my town had added the word "résilience," written in huge silver capital letters, all across one side of the building. It's much larger than a billboard, and I took it as a message of encouragement from the universe to keep going. It is a reminder that that we can bounce back from adversity, that the human spirit is strong.