la belle epoch d’aujourd’hui

I have seen such beautiful things. Since I last wrote, I have driven through the desert and made it out slightly darker and alive. I have also gone to the beach and splashed in summer waves. I’ve ridden a gondola. I have maintained a pescatarian diet. I have been moved by amazing art. I have sipped sangria and shared tapas. I have danced barefoot in the grass at a reggae festival. I have unintentionally interrupted an interview with Erykah Badu. I have watched every single movie that I wanted to watch (so far) in theaters this summer. I have taken a surprisingly accurate personality assessment that blew me away and taught me some more things about myself. I have reconnected with the past in more than one way. I’ve seen Midnight in Paris 3 times in theaters. I have reorganized my iTunes. I’ve made some life decisions.

Life has opened itself to me, and I have allowed myself to open back up to life all over again. I am living honestly. I feel music in my soul when I look out into the world, and merely walking feels like flying. I have a sense of moving forward again. My thoughts swirl with a dizziness that only the artists of the fin de siecle in Paris could capture.

Ira Glass wrote that progress’ constant companion is a nostalgia for how things used to be. This is my unyielding struggle. By default, I live in the past because I’m an old soul. I can’t help wanting to be from or live in a different time because of a belief than life used to be simpler in the past. The truth is that life was just as hard, dull, and slightly unsatisfying as it is today. The only way to get through it is to find meaning in spite of the litany that surrounds us. To live in the present moment instead of wishing to be part of the past all the time.

This week, I made a big decision to move on from what has been ailing me. It looks like I’ll be moving on again to something new. What better time to do it than the fall? I’m nervous but excited at the same time, but I know I will find meaning and new lessons in the journey to come. I feel less afraid of letting go, now that I know where I’m headed.

 

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reconstruction period

This has been a period of reconstruction.

Of my relationships. Re-opening relationships that had been laying dormant before, while at the same time laying other relationships to rest for the time being. I’m learning that there is always room for forgiveness if we make room for it in ourselves and ask for it from others. I’ve also dug myself into introvertedness, which is a blessing and a curse.

Of my body, which I had neglected to care for as much as I could have in the past. I’ve been more careful of what I put in it, making conscious decisions to take care of it. You only get one after all. My older running shoes have worn down, and for the first time in three years, I’ve bought a replacement pair with which to greet the road.

Of my mind, an ongoing onus of finding peace. I’m a classic worry wart and trying to practice thinking in this present moment. I think and write constantly about finding peace, yet it’s much, much harder to do in real life.

Of my creative soul, which has been soaking in more than it has produced lately. I ask myself whether it’s discipline or inspiration that will kickstart my artistic drive. Is it patience with the energy around me or persistence to work through my own inner obstacles that will do the trick? Or maybe both? I am trying to think positively and to not seek a culprit in any external source in my surroundings.

A year ago, I was getting ready to move across the country back to sunny California. I had spent more than a year up until that point exploring a new city and meeting new people. I was recording an album that was an incredibly spiritual experience for me and those involved. My family was at odds with itself. I weighed upwards of 140 pounds. I wrote songs constantly and played music obsessively. I drove a black 2003 Corolla.

Today, I’m settled again in my hometown, where I spent the majority of my influential years. I’m exploring places that I had forgotten about and bumping into people that I never thought I’d see again. I write constantly (but not music). My family is on its way to repair, though there is a long way still ahead of us. I weigh 122 pounds. I drive an orange 2011 Honda Fit.

I wait for signs to tell me where the road will lead me next. I’m so used to having a plan, having a specific, crafted goal to work toward. I’ve been compensating by creating local, accessible goals for myself. After the fact, though, what then? The answers will come to me through time. Before every big thing that has happened to me, there has been an unbearable period of uncertainty. I just need to be patient through this one.