Typically this time of year feels like walking into a strong, biting, winter wind: an arduous and prolonged slogging through time and tasks until you make it safely to the month of March and the promise of warmer weather. I’m a bit of a slogger in general—or rather, I seem to have become one. My mind seems irrevocably tethered to what has already occurred, be it a moment or years ago, and seems to take the brunt of my attention most of the time.
Sometimes this habitual existence in the what-was can be helpful: when I’m able to wedge myself far enough out of the mire to try and use the past to inform my actions in the present. For the most part, though, it merely distracts and disappoints. I so easily lose track of myself-perhaps due in part to being a people-pleaser-as well as lost in the purpose and practices of adulthood. I’ve been out of university for less than a year, nearly halfway through my twenties, and have no idea what I want to be and who I feel I am anymore. A few paramount truths (such as my identity in Christ) remain the same. Everything else feels a little tarnished. There are so many things I am and long to be that I’m neither certain I could ever manage to become them all, nor how to even begin.
Here’s where the past informs the present: I am actively seeking my life’s purpose. This is a many-layerd process that includes the need for a great deal of healing in many areas. I’m back in counselling, and I’m taking the steps needed to get my health on track (even though most days I still don’t want to, and occasionally feel a premonition that it’s pointless). I am beginning to understand that I’m a liar, most especially to myself, and that I am broken in more ways than a handful of identifiable disorders. I’ve begun to admit the truth to myself (and by extension to the rest of the world) a whole host of things big and small– that I don’t want to go to grad school and never did, that I’m not sure what I believe most days, and that I am not fine relegating my creative pursuits to mere hobbies. I’m allowing my dreams to live as more than just vaporous “what-if’s,” and begin to take form through tentative diagrams and blueprints on the page. I want to start cultivating an existence that not only makes room for creativity, but gives it free reign of the entire house. I’m trying to find ways to stop cowering in fear of all the world could offer and take risks for the sake of what could be.
You know for an optimist I’ve lived nothing but pessimistically most of my life.
I’m trying to explore my relationship with God and claw my way out of this spiritually dry season I’ve been studiously ignoring for months now. I know that most of the healing I need cannot be offered by a kind woman in a chair with a notepad and a litany of questions. The pain and the brokenness I know I’m feeling is so much more than mood and circumstances: it’s an issue of the soul and testament to the many fissures streaking their way across my heart. I’ve mastered to art of placing myself higher up and further back into the shadows in hopes that obscurity and ignorance will cause the fractures to heal themselves. When they do it’s usually in the wrong formation, and it comes out further deformed and more deeply broken a thing than it was before. I’m tired of living like this, and ready to face the breaking necessary to set it straight again.
I know when Spring awakens every year. I can tell you the week, even the day, that she begins to stir, and it’s different every year. It can still be bitterly cold outside, it could have been light and warm for a few days before, but there is a distinct difference between a little extra sun and the movement of Spring. I’m not sure if it’s something I imagine or if it’s a strange sixth sense that tells me flowers are coming (because there’s nothing I truly love as much as flowers), but there is a shift and pull, and I always sense it, and it always brings me indescribable joy. Right now I’m beginning to sense a similar stirring, but in my own life and not somewhere beneath my feet.
And while the joy seems yet to arrive, what has come with this particular stirring is hope.