The warmth of the last several days has mellowed to the mid-sixties today. After being in t-shirts, skirts, and sandals, having to put on jeans, socks, and a sweater makes me long for summer even more! I am typing this post with a mug of tea nearby that I cannot wait to have in my hands again for the warmth. Allan and his brother turned the heat very low a few weeks ago and it’s not much warmer than it is outside indoors.
Reflecting back on the last few days has made me realize how much I needed this break. Prior to vacation, I was a mad-woman with a mile-long to-do list running from one thing to another. I’ve returned to normal, meaning relaxed, calm and measured. I hope I can maintain this for the weeks to come, but that to-do list on the back burner makes me think otherwise.
I hope that this is as hard as it gets and that it eases up over the next year or two. November fifth to the present has been the most emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting period of my life. Those of you who have been reading along with me know what I’m talking about, mostly. I’ve kept a lot off the blog to keep you, my dear readers, from thinking you stumbled onto a LiveJournal page suddenly. 🙂
One of my many stress-busters this break was picking up an old favorite of mine to read: The Fellowship of the Ring. I was thinking about when I first read this book and it made me feel old: I read it first my freshman year of high school, nearly twelve years ago! My best friend was an avid reader, too, and we swapped books all the time. It was she who put The Hobbit in my hands, and then The Lord of the Rings. I owe many of my current favorites, both genres and books, to her. She has been married since 2003 and has a young son, about three years old if I remember correctly. It’s amazing how things change.
I thought I would be married with a house, a child, and a few pets running around my feet by this time when I began reading the books. And here I am: single, but engaged to be married this summer; child-less, thankfully for now; and just starting a career that will keep me busy, and stressed, the rest of my life. Emmy has what I always thought I would have, and I have what I always thought she would have.
And here I sit in the fading afternoon light in front of my laptop wondering where I’ll be this summer. Will I be returning to Monmouth? Will I be in Maine? Will I be in the country? I have no answers and a lot of options. This time of life is stressful and scary. And yet, it’s also the time that I can do the most with the fewest worries.
I can pick up and teach abroad if I choose. I can pick up and move across the country if I choose. I can do anything I wish if I choose. The world is completely open to me. And that’s partly why I’m so scared. I’m so worried that I’ll make a wrong turn and end up stuck in Podunk with nothing stimulating in my life. I’m so worried that if I return to Monmouth that will be the end of my dreams and the beginning of my Podunkery. But then, if I remain at Monmouth for another year, it’ll be easier to make a big move towards my dreams as I’ll have another year of teaching experience under my belt.
Ultimately all I want out of life is a small, efficient little house in a town that supports my eco-friendly endeavors. I want to garden, to have a small flock of chickens, to have some fiber-bearing animals, and to be as self-sufficient as possible. I want to be able to mark off the seasons in my journal sitting and reflecting in the same spot for once. I am so home-sick for that which lies in wait for me, for the home I will someday have. I want it now, which is the hard part; I need to be patient.