I have started this new life. It is a new life, in a new world and I am not yet sure if it is where I belong. Everything feels different, smells different, tastes different. The world is somehow stranger, despite the fact that once long ago I called this place my home. But somehow in all my imaging I thought that going home was going to be just like going home. What they say is true, you really can’t go home.
I left home when I was a teenager for the prestigious institution of college. Two suitcases, my favorite books, a few pictures, and of course, something to write with. I knew no matter where I ended up, writing was going to be a part of it. It is, far and away, my only true therapy; and it doesn’t matter if that therapy is a world I create or a world I find myself in.
I came to this new town, in the hopes of giving my children more. I wasn’t exactly sure how to define more, but there is so much that I want to give my children; so much more than what I was given. I am not sure if this experiment of mine is going to work. I am not sure if I can given them greater through change, I am not confident that it is within me to give. I am learning that their resilience is as much part of their innocence and grace as the color of their hair. There are moments when I think they, in their unsettled and chaotic new world are doing better than me.
Beyond all the change, the one thing I think I miss the most is my place. Living with my mother, and being a mother, I am not sure how to define myself. Without a corner to call my own, a place to escape, I am finding myself on the edge of a deep pool I won’t be able to swim away from. I am finding myself lost these days, and even more trying to find a way to save myself.
The books that I read are not giving me their usual escape, and I find myself reaching to hide in a small bed in what was once my childhood room. But that room has changed as much as I have, and the same comfort is no longer there. I need to find a new comfort, a new set of safety harnesses in which to succeed. And it is beyond me right now.
I knew that moving was going to be stressful; not only for me but for my whole family. What I didn’t know is what would happen when the comfort I had built much like a campfire in the night, was stripped away. And I know that I have to build a new world, but I can’t find the space to do so.
I am required to be so many things here, so many things I don’t want to be. And I understand perfectly that those things are completely in my mind. They are not demands this world is putting on me, they are demands that I am putting on myself.
In order to build a new world, where I can find peace and therefore healing, I need some very definite things: silence, calm, even stillness in chaos. But those things can’t be found in this little home that I once escaped to. Those things can’t be found in the old ways, the ways of yesterday and the ways of decades ago.
I am floating as lost as that iconic red balloon. I am as lost as the sad eyes of every innocent who has found the truth. And I am as sad and heartbroken as every life that is lost to death. I can’t find my feet and I can’t find my place; and what is left over for me is scary and darker than I have felt in many years.
The truth is I know that I am going to have to find my new path. I have the courage, and because I know of the consequences I even have the strength. I am struggling with the faith to do it, but that I will find as well. What I don’t know is if I will succeed. What I am trying to determine is how taking that first step will ultimately give me that precious silence that is so desperate to my continued existence.
I am afraid in all this change, what I will really do to find the silence. I am worried about the depth and breadth of my actions in my need to find a way to hide all that I am feeling. I know what I have done in the past, and the same urge that has destroyed me in the past is riding me hard. And pushing through, and pretending and hoping that those closest to me will assume I am just struggling, is vital.
But it isn’t just that. Change is difficult. Moving to a new world is excruciatingly hard. Losing not your home, not your routine, but your place of safety is simply dangerous. And for me, not feeling safe will destroy not only my mind but my very life faster than any mark of a knife.