I haven’t been in the greatest place lately. In Colorado, forest fires are common. I grew up spending time in these areas after the fires stopped. I’ve seen the smoke in the air, walked over burned trunks. But forever my favorite is what happens later.
Four months ago, I had a plan. I had a girlfriend who wanted desperately out of every situation she was in, so I was going to fix it all. We were going to move or stay or find different jobs or go back to school or get another dog, ANYTHING to distract ourselves from the impending doom that was to be the end of us. I was exactly stoked about any of our plans for the long run. They were all “get the hell out of dodge as fast as we can” plans. They were plans that further stuck me in a relationship I knew I didn’t want to be in.
This was the drought, and then the wildfire.
Three months ago, I was alone. Well, single – not alone. All plans I thought I had, now in dust at my feet. But believe me, I danced on that dust. The one things I knew I wanted, I got and it was good.
For two and a half months, I’ve lived by myself in my little house up on the hill. Just me and my dog and beautiful sunsets and no one around to bother us but the neighbors peacocks (seriously). It’s what I thought I needed, and probably did at the time, but anyone who really knows me, knows I am already Queen of Isolation. I need no help with being alone whatsoever. I get fuzzy with the line between “Me Time” and “Stay Away From Everyone”. It’s always a choice, but one that’s hard to make when it’s so easy for me to go home and not talk to anyone.
This is when everything is a little eerie; you’re walking through what you know was once a lively area, but the trees are just these branchless trunks, black, soaring up towards the sky, or completely fallen and burnt.
I spent most of the summer ignoring my problems. Developed a new routine, a new normal, but never saw more than maybe a few days in the future. I’ve scared to commit to anything at all, because I’ve done that before and it keeps blowing up in my face. So I’ll be over here, fine, just fine, but so many maybe answers.
Then I was forced to make a plan and the blessing (or curse) of too many options has been bestowed upon me. It’s confusing and terrifying and exciting, but mostly terrifying. But the best part is that none of my options include “Stay Away From Everyone”, which will be SO good for me.
And I’m learning. Adulthood is kicking me where it hurts and I’m having tough conversations and still struggling to make decisions, but I’m learning and growing and doing hard things. I’m separating “Me Time” and learning (slowly) to recognize when I need other people. Yesterday, I said out loud a plan I’ve had tickling my brain for a long time. It made it so real and so much scarier and so much more attainable.
And this is the part I love. Life starts coming back. It starts with grasses, and then some wildflowers, and then eventually, the trees. First the aspens (my favorite), their leaves catching in the breeze and always reminding me of rain, and then the pines, steady, strong and resilient.
Stay tuned, I believe good things are coming.