I haven’t gone three months without writing in years, and I’ve felt a simultaneous guilt and contentment over it. Guilt because I put this necessity on myself to write, and contentment because I was happy not writing for a while. I find that when things are good I feel less of a desire to write. It’s only when life is in shambles and I’m teetering over the edge that I like to get my thoughts down on paper. This is a bit ironic, because the past few months have been chaotic and taking a bit of a toll on my mental health. I’ll explain.
After dating for 4 1/2 months, my guy and I decided to put an offer on a house. Crazy, right? Except it felt right, and we feel right together, so we took a chance and went for it. It was accepted, we moved into our new house at the end of April, and have spent the last month unpacking our lives into this new adventure. I moved to Belmont, which was never my original intention, but this house is just incredible. I was sure I would stay in the heart of Charlotte where all the action is, but I have to say, I’m enjoying “small-town” life. It’s quiet, it’s friendly and not superficial, and I have space. Space for my stuff, for my yoga, for my cats, and for myself.
If someone had told me back in August that this would be my life right now, I would have dismissed them immediately. In August I was crying daily, not knowing what was ahead of me, and feeling despair at having to start all over again, alone. Toward the fall I started getting on some apps (yes, those apps). I wasn’t looking for a relationship, I was just lonely and wanted to get out and meet people. Despite my introversion, I’m the type of person who likes to be around people. This was all very casual for a while until I met Cory. Man, did we hit it off on our very first date. We kept hanging out, and soon it wasn’t so casual anymore. I felt nervous, guilty, excited and unsure, but instead of finding a reason to quit, I went with it. And it’s the best decision I could have made, because guess what? I’M HAPPY.
The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of hate and guilt-trips I got though, especially from people who I thought were friends. It hurt badly. In a way I get it, to those who never bothered to get the full story it just looks like I forgot about Shane and moved on quickly. But after talking to one of my best friends, who knew Shane well, I understood that this was their way of processing their own feelings over his death. I’m an easy target for judgment, but my being happy isn’t the real reason they’re upset. I just happened to process his death differently (I always like to reference the case of Patton Oswalt in these instances). From that point on I started toughening up and truly making a point to stop caring what other people think. I’ve cut people out of my life who bring me down and replaced them with those who boost me up, support and inspire me.
As the anniversary of his death looms on the horizon, I have been thinking of Shane more and more. Not that I need to even say it, but I didn’t just forget about him and move on. It would be impossible for me to forget him, and I don’t want to. In fact, I think of him daily in some capacity. Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes he’s in my dream, sometimes it’s something funny he used to say. I think of him and laugh, cry, smile, wonder…I still talk to him. He will always be part of me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, because he gave me the ability to find myself and live again. He knew he needed to go, and he knew I needed to live. I don’t blame him for that.
One thing I’ve noticed over the last few months is how much I am craving an easy life. I ended up going back on one of my meds, just because I feel better on it. I hesitated for a while, but they have given me the energy and motivation I need to function. I have cut back on how much yoga I’m teaching, and I haven’t done much with my health coach certification, but I’m okay with it. I enjoy teaching my one class at work and my one public class on Friday nights, but honestly, I’ve become a bit jaded with the Charlotte yoga culture. I’ve seen more Instagram photos of people doing yoga on train tracks than I care to admit. I’ve actually considered quitting social media altogether because I just hate it these days. But of course I don’t, cause I’m a sucker.
The more I talk to said friend from before, the more I have felt a shift in myself. It shows itself as not caring about anything, but it’s more of a life-is-short-and-this-is-all-an-illusion feeling. We all seem to care way too much about politics, drama, who’s doing what, our #firstworldproblems, etc. It doesn’t actually matter, because we’ll all die eventually. I’m not wasting my energy on that stuff anymore, in fact, I find myself laughing at this world lately. What we should be caring about is our relationships, what we enjoy doing, and connecting with others. If we can manage to step back and view this life from a third party perspective, we’d see that we only have right now. I’m going to focus on traveling, going back to being a student of yoga, nurturing my relationships, learning my new ukulele, playing with my cats, laughing, and relaxing. In other words, living.