Ask any writer and he or she will tell you--the times you most need to write are the times you find it the hardest to do so. Such is the case with me right now.
I have had a lot on my mind as of late. Guess the holidays will do that to you...See, what has been deemed "the most wonderful time of the year" has, as I have gotten older, also become the most complicated.
Take, for example, Thanksgiving.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, and, up and until last year, that meant my day was pretty much set: the family and I would load up the car and head to grandma's for a day of forced consumption of foods I deemed "questionable" and the inevitable fight that ensues when you force a group of volatile people into the same dining room. (Oh yes. I've got stories. Some involving death threats. Some, lesbians. And still others with violence and sweet potatoes (they DO NOT taste like candy, MOM!))
It was broken.
But it was home. It was family. My family.
Lately, I have been missing my family.
It's not that they're not around...most of them I can pick up the phone and call for an awkward chat at any time. So I guess if I had to best explain, I would say I am missing the UNIT, as opposed to the individuals.
Though always broken, the unit changed irreparably three years ago, with the loss of my sister, Madison. Since that time, her absence has been a shadow at my back, a whisper in my hair, an uneasy knot in my stomach.
Last year, my grandma--my rock and my sole tie to my past in so many ways--joined her. Two essential cogs in the ERIN UNIT down...
The other cogs are in working order--in fact, in many ways they have rallied to pick up the slack for the missing pieces. My brother Josh has started his own family, as has my brother Ryan, who will be married next month. Justin and Cason are pursuing their undergraduate degrees, and the parents on both sides seem to have found a rhythm in which to settle.
Which pretty much leaves me.
What am I doing? Other than currently avoiding any semblance of adult responsibility by writing a blog that only I read?
Well, there's grad school. And I am teaching. And I am preparing to move. I'm in a show. By all accounts, I'm the busiest of busy bees.
I'm also...lost. And lonely.
I have a circle of friends, a dog who loves me, food in the cupboard (ever notice that no one says 'cupboard' anymore?), and my health. I even found a new church.
All blessings. And I am thankful...I just...
And more rapidly than I am completely comfortable with. Soon there will be brightly colored paper strewn about the floor and too much food. The last remnants of a year now past.
Seems like yesterday I was toasting the onset of 2010, and now--365 whirwind days later--I am staring down 2011. And that frightens me. (He's a beast, that 2011. Pointy teeth and whatnot.)
It's not that I am dreading the big 3-0, (March 16, people. It's comin' up fast) it's more that I no longer have any idea what to expect from each day. Optimists would say that's what's so exciting about it--the promise of a New Year. New experiences. New people. New places. New lessons. To pessimists, well, it's just another year.
Me? I seem to fall somewhere in the middle.
You see, I want the positive, wonderful things...I just fear that maybe they are not coming. (This is one of the benefits of having a blog no one reads. You can exorcise all your personal nonsense without the burden of worrying that anyone will know about it. SCORE ONE FOR ME!)
The past few years have been, well, a painful purge of the life I built in my early to late 20s--my home, my career, my romantic and familial relationships--all trampled by the army of e'er onward marching time. And I have been forced to watch.
Do I know it has been good for me? That I have grown? That I am stronger (if more jaded) now than ever I have been before?
But I am still struggling with the issue of acceptance.
Lets just say I have a difficult time 'letting go.' (My name is Erin Greer, and I am an emotional hoarder. You can find me by the doughnut table...)
It's not that the things in my life were necessarily all that good; it's just that, whatever they were--good or bad--they were mine.
As such, and much like a gangrenous arm, I have difficulty letting them go, even if it is in my best interest for the long haul.
Gotta hate it.
Or maybe I don't.
Maybe this year will be the year of promise.
Maybe this year will see me 'land on good soil' and produce 'a hundred times that which was planted.'
But before I go freakin' crazy with the optimism (Wait...she calls that 'freakin' crazy with optimism'...whoa...what is she? Emo or something? Maybe we should get her a scarf...a colorful scarf. I saw one at The Gap that was rainbow striped. You can't be pessimistic in a rainbow-striped scarf. It's unnatural.) I guess I should say this: the New Year only holds new promise if I have the guts to make necessary changes.
There. I've said it. It's out there.
I need the equivalent of a karmic spring cleaning. The dust under this rug is likely to choke me. But Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to have the ovarian fortitude to 'woman up' and seize this life I've been given.
Which I guess means I should get out of jammies and into the shower. It IS noon for Pete's sake.
Freshened up, I'll likely force myself through some grad school work, fret about my impending move, wonder why I haven't any motivation or life direction, and take my dog for a walk.
Should you need me, I'll be the one by the doughnut table wearing the rainbow-striped scarf.