It’s been an aimless winter. Some days full of meaning, others passing without so much as a moment worth remembering. I’ve learned to cherish every storm cause each one could be your last. Who knows when you’ll get to walk on trails cut through tangled branches with the snow as wet and thick and heavy as this again?
The holidays snuck up on me. I’ve been trying to figure out where all the time has gone and how best to use what’s left. The only decorating I’ve done for the season is a real pine wreath (generously given to me by Steph) hung on the office door. A small act that doesn’t seem like much compared to the glorious ceiling-scraping trees in the houses of my friends and neighbours, but certainly more than I’ve done in the recent years. It’s an easy concession to make against my growing distaste for the commercialized Christmas culture when my room is filled with the scent of sap, scattered pine needles, and other reminders of life.
The ever-faithful steed.
My existence is defined by what I have left to do, and the list grows ever shorter. I live week-by-week, through cycles of productivity and play, trying to meet each need in turn. It’s always a delicate balance to be managing when so much in life is out of your control.
As for the short term, I’m off to Shirley’s for Christmas and my annual dose of family. It’ll be a complete break from my regular life of single-serving meals and never being around more than one person at a time. I imagine we’ll spend most of the days eating finger foods and watching reality TV among the rambunctious fluster of her kids. I always look forward to seeing how they’re carrying their grown-up voices and how their styles have changed.
This is the time of year I’m most scared of being left without plans, but recently I haven’t had enough time alone. It’s left me feeling numb and tired and that’s exactly what I need right now.
Friends still make the best distractions. It’s easy to hide from anything when you’re sharing a blanket and some early episodes of Trailer Park Boys.
Thank you winter for making my cats super cuddly and slow-falling snow and the chance to wear new cardigan-dress shirt combos. You are totally worth the hassle of having to warm up my car (for now). It’s because of you that I learn how trust is found in the gentle cooing of girls who fall asleep on your shoulder.
Mornings are spent upstairs in the breakfast nook, now that I have work I can get done on my MacBook Pro. To be bathed in the cool sunlight reflecting off the snow was a change of pace I never knew I needed.
Jesse’s birthday brunch at the Lieutenant’s Pump.
I’ve been living without any sort of schedule. It’s nice to be able to make my own hours cause I’m far more productive at night, but it also makes my life free of the structure that keeps me paced and balanced. The only reason I have to keep any sort of regular sleeping pattern is so I can be awake when my friends are.
Still, I tend to stay up past the point of exhaustion so I don’t get stuck in an endless cycle of thought when trying to fall asleep. Otherwise, the cider always helps.
Soon, hunger will overtake the fear of punishment.
It’s one of those weeks where I’m feeling antsy cause I don’t know when I’m seeing Lisa next and I haven’t heard from her in a while. I don’t pursue the issue cause she has her own life, and I have so much to do that it works out anyway, but that doesn’t make me miss her any less. Our time is special cause there are so many things I share only with her, our exclusive little club for Breaking Bad, cat walks, and super hotties.
It feels like I only talk about my friends lately. Probably cause that’s what my life is filled with now. They’re the good that’s come out of the bad, the ones who picked up the ball when others let it drop. They validate me and notice what I wear and listen to me cause they believe what I’m saying matters. And at the very least, they’re a chance for me to care about someone else.
I’m ready for the winter. To be reborn with the first snowfall that covers the grass, awash in muffled serenity.
Time is measured in weeks, not by the cycle of day and night, and this makes everything pass at a blistering pace. The good weeks involve bacon breakfasts and people bringing me food and new projects and Magic nights. The bad ones involve battles with my old arch nemesis, acne, and his side-kick, scarring-on-my-fucking-nose.
I’ve been dealing with this overwhelming sense that anything can change. So much has left me feeling like there’s no certainty anymore. Maybe that’s why I’ve stopped dreaming. I have no idea what to expect from the future, and I don’t know if that scares me or gives me hope.
To stop myself from thinking about it too much, I distract with all the right things and few of the wrong ones. It’s a fragile form of stability. Some days, the strings, they don’t do enough.
I awoke after five minutes — or five seconds — to a changed world. For a moment, I was free of feeling…love, hate, jealousy. And it all felt like happiness.
—Maurice Bendrix, The End of the Affair
A fog hangs low in the streets, illuminated by the indirect rays of an unrisen sun, leaving everything was awash in grey instead of white.
The seasons are changing. Winter is officially over. It never recovers from a day like this, when the inevitability of spring can be felt on your skin, as tangible as any snowflake or raindrop. This is when I can look forward to sleeping with the windows open again, a ritual made only sweeter by it’s ephemerality.
And with that moist smell heavy in the air, I forget all else.
I wasn’t ready for the snow. I pictured myself at home with nothing better to do than sleep in as it was falling, but instead I’m too busy to enjoy it. Now there’s nothing left of the snow that has fallen, cause fate seems to be conspiring with the weather to make this Christmas anything but white.
Unfortunately, this is when I need to be buried under snow. I’m convinced the winter will wash everything away, and I’ll emerge clean again.
I don’t know what to do with myself lately. Ever since Will was born, catch-up time with ____ has been a call he gives me every now and then between methods of public transportation as he makes his way home from work. I just want to talk to someone and have their undivided attention, cause it’s the old habits I miss the most, the late nights when you’d rather stay in someone’s company than sleep. But the only people who understand are also the people with their own lives, and too often I’m left to my own devices.
As a result, I’ve been feeling vulnerable. I hold myself back from reaching out to the wrong arms, the ones who touch my face and drag their nails across my skin, the ones with familiar smells and comforting weaknesses, the ones who appreciate the things I want to be appreciated for, but none of whom can give me what I need.
I’m sure I’d feel as lonely as ever if I wasn’t so over-stimulated and ready to be by myself for a while. This probably won’t happen until some point during the holidays, and even then, I had plans on catching up on personal projects and chores I can only bring myself to do once a year. Maybe this is adults mean when talk about how time passes more quickly when you’re older.
I’m in between places now, unsure of where I am or where I’m headed. But at the very least, I know what I’ve been through and what’s behind me.