I'm on the couch, after a full Sunday of activity, every single thing something I wanted to do, not had to do, and I smell lavender.
I'm reading, and at first I can't figure out where the scent is coming from. My blanket, tossed over my reclining form while I hold a book aloft and read in dim dusky light? My couch? I reach to the coffee table for a sip of wine, and I notice the melted candle in the centre--aha. Lavender located.
I get off the couch (no small feat, I have planned to finish reading this Hamilton book tonight) and I fetch the matches (noting on my grocery-list paper that the match supply is dwindingly low). The spark and hiss and the candle is lit. More lavender, less dusky light. Now the candle is giving the light. Now I'm here, keying these words, because I have no one to talk to right now and sometimes even an introvert like me needs to say things.
Not important things, not earth-shattering things. Just things. Observations.
That this summer is the first one out of the last three (meaning now--12, and 11 and 10) where I am actually starting to feel alive again.
Where I'm not just going through the motions, veiled by so much pain, grief, and heft to feel anything but sorrow, sadness, and binging on tears.
It's weird to feel this way, and I know how weird that sounds.
It's weird to look back and see how much doubt and fear I was piling onto this thing called life.
How grief can deaden the living.
Again--summer has this cleansing effect, I think, for all nations plagued by dark cold winters. It's a lightening--but I didn't get to experience that healing tonic for the last two of this celebrated season and I can't believe all I've been missing.
Walking around. Lately, it's like the whole city had been covered in a tarp and suddenly it's been unveiled, a rabbit released out of a deep dark hole, and I see things. Things I want to do. Places I want to go. The crowds at the festival last night and my calm un-bothered-ness around them bolstered my new feeling of freedom.
I rode the streetcar today, without panic, despite the packed-to-the-gills-full-of-passengers scenario I faced when I entered. There was a detour. I was unmoved. I got to see another unfamiliar neighbourhood here in this city where I have lived, pretty much without interruption, for almost my entire life.
I've discovered new places to eat and drink in my mom's neighbourhood, too. Places to buy vegetables, a Sunday market off the beaten trail, and a consignment shop that sells gorgeous handbags. I've ventured out without music clanging in my ear buds. I don't feel this deep need to disappear from view when I'm out, interacting with the world.
It's like a layer of anxiety has peeled away. And left in it's place: Nothing. A good nothing. A nothing where I can remember things with clarity. Where I can enjoy an aimless morning. Where I can read five books in a week and not even blink. Where I can concentrate. I didn't realize how much I missed those more straight-and-narrow regions of my brain. The neighbourhoods in my head that I have not visited nearly enough in the haze of the past two-odd years.
Just writing this feels free.
I thought, today, of how to 'live the life you want', incorporating all of those want-to-do things, after finishing the need-to-do's. And how they can co-exist with a bit of work, with a bit of reward. And I washed my mind clear of that last therapy session, realizing that I'm working on discovering what I need on my own. This goes for what happens inside my head as well as at work, shaping my attitude toward this unscalable mountain range I've built it up to in my mind. I don't need to scale that mountain when I'm already chipping my way through it.
The slow way, the long way, the hard way.