Last week, as you may know from my mini blog post on Saturday, was rough. Before the weekend was over I drafted this really idiotic blog post in which I avoided the hard stuff and literally at one point said, "It's too much to talk about, so once again I'm going to skirt around the issue." I talked about how change is hard and scary but in the end I make the right choices for me and I need to trust myself more. And that's nice and all, but it's bullshit. I decided a few weeks back that I wasn't going to do that on this blog anymore. And the more I looked at that draft, the more I felt like it was a cop out, and even though writing this realer one is hard, it's more worth it. Because to tell you the truth, I'm uncomfortable and I'm vulnerable and I'm sad and I don't want to explore that sadness. (Who does?!)
But if I don't, what does that say about me? Furthermore, if I don't explore it, will I regret it? Will I have missed something? An opportunity of some sort? A few weeks ago my mentor and I discussed the idea of dwelling a little more, of lingering in the moments as they happen even if they are difficult or vulnerable or awkward. Although that conversation was in reference to my weekly videos, it applies to this as well, so that’s what I’m going to do here.
On Monday a very wise three year old said something that didn't quite hit me until this morning, when I was editing my weekly vlog. He said, "we have to have a house." This was the final statement in a very silly conversation we had, which went a little something like this:
Silas: "What if we smushed the house into jelly?!"
Eli: “Oh no! If we smushed it into jelly?!”
Silas: “Yeah! Then we could play in it!”
Eli: "Well then we wouldn't have a house anymore. Where would you sleep?"
Silas: "...in the JELLY!"
Eli: “I guess that’s true you’d have to…cause that was your house, huh?…You'd get sick of the jelly."
And that, a seven sentence exchange between a 19 year old and a 3 year old, is the best way I have to describe my current situation without getting into all of the gory details. I, for lack of a better term, smushed my house into jelly. And now I'm sleeping in it. And I'm sick of it.
Right now, I’m trying to navigate the vague and blurry differences between house and home. I guess I have a house, but that house is not my home. I was going to say I don't have a home, but that's not true. I have a home with every person who loves me, who looks out for me, even if they aren't necessarily part of my nuclear family. My house has always been a safe space for me. So much so that I have been afraid I'll never leave. But now, I guess that's not so much of an issue. I do want to leave, because every night I returned I felt something I've never felt before upon returning to my own "home": anxiety.
This week I spent my time at a million different places that aren't my house, but could be called home. Coffee shops, Eli's house, Kelsey's house, gardens and parks and restaurants and family camps. So many different places felt like home, but not all of them were easy to get in and out of. An island in the middle of a lake in the Adirondacks, for example, was no picnic. We had to kayak out there, pull our kayaks in, and climb up, dirtying our feet along the way. We had to scale the only rocks available, sharp jagged ones that I cut my knees on. That’s what young adulthood feels like to me right now. Skinned and bruised knees, difficulty at every sharp turn. I don’t know if that’s just something everyone goes through, if everyone needs to feel this pain in order to be motivated to leave home, or if it's just a particular brand of hell reserved especially for me.
I usually like to end these posts on a positive note, with a line that makes everyone else feel okay about my not being okay. But that wouldn’t be very truthful of me today. I’m not feeling all that positive. I’m feeling the sharp jagged edges of a home outgrown digging into my skin. I’m feeling the growing pains, and I’m feeling the grief that goes along with it. But I’m grateful for the not-so-nuclear family I have around me, and the fact that they won’t let me give up.