These vagabond shoes are leaving today…for an extended weekend at my house in the ‘burbs. I like Discovery. I really like it. Sometimes, I more than really like it. Discovery has given me a chance to reflect, to heal, to feel and to be alone with all of this, without interruptions. It has been my refuge when my world fell apart. I needed and still need Discovery. Lately, though, I am looking at Discovery a little differently.
Let me paint a picture for you of this past week. See the white canvas with spots of color on it? Yep, that would be the painting of my life this week. I didn’t do much of anything at Discovery. Oh, there were splashes with my son here, seeing a friend there, even talking to a neighbor, but otherwise, my time has been a blank canvas. I have stayed in my apartment, vegging, sleeping, trying to write and doing a whole lot of nothing, by myself. I even welcomed in the New Year with the spectacular fireworks I watched on my balcony, alone. I now have cabin fever and am bored with myself. I am now ready to get moving.
I have cut myself off when I rented Discovery. I know that. I needed everything to do that. I felt I needed to because of all the healing it had to offer – beautiful view, solitude, reflection and time to heal. I embraced all of it…until I grew restless. Until loneliness poured on me like an unwanted bucket of pain. Restlessness is good. Loneliness is good. They’re both signs of healing. At least that’s how I thought of it last night in reflection, something I do often, alone. But in my restlessness and loneliness I realized, I have nowhere to go, no people to see here at Discovery and that was painful. Oh, I know I have options, lots of them in a city with opportunities and activities at every turn. Yet, I know restlessness and loneliness do not go away because of activity or people. They stay, even in a crowd, even in a museum, even in a crowded museum.
My big sister warned me to avoid the habit of doing nothing which can create a lack of oomph to do something. She is so wise. And, yes, I did create some of my own loneliness. Most of it was a product of grief, not knowing anyone at Discovery and grief – it’s worth mentioning twice. Sure, let’s throw depression and anxiety in, but those are grief’s byproducts. I could go out and seek out friendships. Although, putting myself out there and starting over is just too overwhelming for me right now. It all seems too exhausting for a person who pushes her way through most of her days.
The reasons don’t matter, really. All I know is I have grown bored with my solo act. Don’t get me wrong, I like me, maybe even more so lately since I have survived these past six months on my own. I like being alone. I always have. However, when Peter died, my choices of when and how I spend my solitude were ripped away, and I never liked what was forced upon me – a life without a partner, without Peter. Obligatory isolation is probably the cusp of my loneliness and restlessness. I have given into my introverted side for a while now, and I hear the extrovert in me screaming, “enough…pay attention to me!”.
Something turned in me over the Holidays. The memories of Peter, and all we shared, and all we created, were welcomed in. Sure, they were painful, but I allowed them to flow. I reveled in the pleasantry of them all. I even laughed at so many of them. With this acceptance came a deep surrender to my home, my town, the people who I am lucky, okay blessed, to call friends in that town. All of what I fought from my past as reminders of what once-was with Peter, I am now ready to receive back into my life. Maybe time did this, but I feel Discovery was a huge part as I mended here. And while I know my home is too large for just me – that’s a given – the town isn’t. I will be spending more time in this town – a place where I built a foundation and still a structure I am willing, no, I want to, stand on – as I ready my home for sale. I am not sure for how long I will stand there – I don’t even know where I will end up planting myself – but I am not afraid of going back anymore.
And Discovery? Well, Discovery will still have its place, remaining my refuge of solitude to write, to reflect, to go to when things are too much and to continue to heal. I still need so much more of that. I will explore the possibilities of the city at Discovery as my love for the city has not changed. Perhaps I will eventually plant in the city. I don’t know. All I know is Discovery will be my place when I’ve done enough, and perhaps where my vagabond shoes are taking me, for now, si where I will get to the point of ‘enough’.