Time is a funny little thing, isn't it? It's this intangible tool of measurement created by humans, and it rules our lives from the time we are born. For me, it often feels as though events that occurred a decade ago happened just the day before, while sometimes a single day can stretch on forever.
A year ago yesterday, I rolled back into Minnesota after a week and a half on the road, a journey that would take me past the ocean, over the mountains, through the desert, over more mountains, and across endless miles of plains and farmland. I was solo for most of that trip, and it was both an exhilarating and painfully nostalgic experience for me. I was newly single, unprepared and sad to move away from a state I loved, and yet at the same time wanting to be back home with a fierceness that surprised me. All of my possessions were haphazardly stuffed into plastic bags and shoved into my tiny yellow hatchback (everything fit, which shows you how many things I owned at that point); I couldn't see out the back window. I didn't have Bluetooth, and the only CD in my car was Taylor Swift's 1989, so I rigged up a wonky system where I plugged my wireless speaker into my car, linked it to my computer, and listened to Spotify playlists as I drove through the mountains. At one point, somewhere in the middle of Northern California, I remember listening to Brené Brown telling me to be vulnerable and that my shame doesn't define me, and full on breaking down, sobbing so hard that I had to pull over so I wouldn't veer off the side of the road and over a cliff.
These snapshot memories have been flooding my consciousness this week. I can't believe a year could have gone by so quickly, and yet I also feel as though my life in California was eons ago. Of course, I knew that would be the case, which is why I started crying as I drove down Hollywood Boulevard for the last time, and didn't stop until I was well north of the city on the 101 (there was a lot of crying on that road trip). I knew that phase of my life was becoming my past, and that a new phase was up ahead. And now I'm in that new phase, and I know that it, too, will eventually be in the past, and on and on. I didn't look at life like that when I was twenty, but now it's almost impossible to avoid.
I've been restless lately, thinking about the shape I want my life to take, and my seeming inability to shut off the damn television and do something about it. Like seriously - do you ever sit on the couch, binge-watching The Good Wife, and feel so incredibly uncomfortable, like you can almost see the hours of your life wasting away while you get so invested in fictional members of a love triangle that you cry real tears when something bad happens to them, and then at night you dream that you are a part of that love triangle, and you wake up in the morning unable to tell the difference? And you don't really want to be doing that, but you can't stop yourself from letting Netflix transition itself from one episode to the next? Addiction at its finest. Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about.
Anyway, my point is this: I am successfully piecing my life together, slowly but surely, but I have an impatience with myself that would probably make most people cringe. I want to spend every second of my life doing something that matters, living with intention and meaning, and I'm not there yet, and if I sit and think about that fact for too long, I start to drive myself a little crazy. There is so much beauty to interact with in this world, so much we are able to do with our own two hands, and I just want to be a part of it all, actively living an existence with purpose. But that means going through a lot of change, shifting my priorities, and finding a sense of discipline, which is a skill I've always struggled to master. I have a bucket list a mile long, and I ain't gettin' any younger.
These are the things on my mind right now, as I hit this one year mark. It's a small milestone anniversary in the scope of my entire life, but I feel it with the same intensity that colors in the lines of all my experiences with every shade of the rainbow. I am full of an anxious, messy hope, and I just wanna get shit done.
Happy almost April, friends.