i've been reflecting a lot since coming back from nova scotia (since leaving red clay, really), and have been antsy in a restless sort of way that is creative and productive and flighty all at the same time. i'm not sure that any of that makes sense, but one thing that is very clear in my mind is how much gratitude i have for my life right now. when i think of the past year that i've had, i can't help but bless my heart and thank my lucky stars.
this time last year, i was barely making ends meet, finishing my master's degree, moving again, in a shitty situation, and having so much anxiety that it started manifesting in a tight chest and inability to get a full breath and painful lumps under my arms. i had some really shitty things happen, and was scared of being stuck in a situation i wasn't sure how to get out of, and was just generally really unhealthy while trying to convince myself that things were fine. over the winter, i finally broke and then spent months pressing the reset button, hunting for the person i had left behind before moving to the uk and losing myself there. i remembered that person, and knew there were parts still left inside me near the surface of my skin, but there were other parts that i was scared were lost, or buried too deep to bring back out to fresh air.
humans are resilient creatures though, and i'm happy to report that i'm not an exception to that rule. old and new friends reminded me about things that i cared about, and i started to spend time with people again in happy silences and deep belly laughs. my eye crinkles deepened, and i remembered the little things that i used to do to make myself happy, and i started to do them again. and opportunities popped up, and i followed them, and they worked themselves into these magical situations that nourished my soul.
|my white rabbit program profile photo. photo credit to the marvellous brian riley.|
and so here i am, one year later. i've been out of school for the first time in my life for a year now. i've spent the summer working at one of my favourite places in the world, with lovely friends and hilarious kids. i've completed my first art residency as a professional artist, or at least not as a student anymore (in the institutional sense of the word), and fallen in love countless times, and spent time recently with some of the most important people in my life, and added a few new people to that list. i'm moving out again and in with my best friend of ten years, and starting a full-time job with benefits that will still leave me so much time to do my own work because i'm used to working on a bajillion things at once and 40 hours each week really isn't that much time, and those hours outside the 40 are even more luscious when i'm not stressing out about making rent each month. and i have so many projects on the go in the most wonderful way, and my body is craving so much nutrition, and my face hurts from smiling most of the time. and there are beautiful creatures in my life. so, so, so many of them. basically, i'm happy. and it's really wonderful. and that doesn't mean i don't have days of melancholy, or bouts of anxiety so intense i feel like my skin will crawl off my bones, or moments where i get incredibly angry about shit that has happened in the past and that i haven't let go of yet. those things all still happen. but i think that they're supposed to. it's a balance. and the balance happens to be tipping more heavily in the eye-crinkles-and-heart-bursting direction these days. and that is fucking beautiful. so thanks, universe, and thank you, beauties in my life. i'm really enjoying my ride through the cosmos these days. and you're a huge part of the reason why.