Reflection

On Transitions

The last time I touched this post was April 30th, but I never posted it. And I didn’t finish it. I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve sat down a number of times and thrown away so many beginnings of posts that I’ve hated in the past couple of months. And I can’t seem to find my way back to this space, so I’m going to let myself be vulnerable, at least for now, and place this unfinished thing here as a way of beginning again. It’s not an explanation, but a start.

I haven’t been writing at all. Not just in this space, but in general. And each time I go through periods without putting my words anywhere, it gets easier and easier to do so, an ease which is completely terrifying. So today I welcomed the discomfort, the not feeling quite like myself because I was missing something that (I think) I know with certainty is an essential part of who I am at my very best, which is a writer who writes because she can’t not write. And I’ll take that crappy sentence, double-negatives included, because I think those of you who write or create or make or do anything because not doing so is so far from who you are that it’s not even an option will understand. Today feels that way, far from myself. And tonight, I want to write, with acceptance of the disjointedness. I began parts of this weeks ago, and they fell away into a folder of drafts that rarely see the light of internet day. But I’m dusting them off, and piecing them together with the present in hopes of finding someone familiar in old drafts.

***

“I’m a little sad about it,” I said, honestly, the way a kid responds to an easy question with the sharing of emotions in a completely unexpected way, which of course was not the reaction my professor expected when he asked me during class if I was excited about graduating and heading off to graduate school.

“Sad? Tell me why it’s sad,” he said, opening the moment for me to be a little more vulnerable than I would like.

“I don’t know.” I paused, thinking about what I wanted to say about it all.
“I’m sad and excited. Equal parts sad and excited. Transitions are kind of sad,” I repeated the same useless words, not wanting to elaborate.

And through my hesitant smile I imagine he understood what I meant. That transitions are terrifying, and that I am equal parts excited and sad, but that I can’t pretend to be excited about the endings and goodbyes. I cried on my bike ride to work this morning, and I cried in my last lit class tonight, and I feel like I’ve spent the entire month crying, because I hate endings, and I avoid goodbyes at all costs, even small, seemingly insignificant ones because they all point to more significant ends and impossible goodbyes.

And sometimes I selfishly wish that crying was as socially acceptable as laughing, and that people did so freely without any issues so I wouldn’t feel as embarrassed on days like today. And I wish we didn’t label emotions “bad” or “undesirable” because then the physical expression of those emotions wouldn’t be bad or undesirable or something to hide at all, but something for others to understand, to want to understand, like an inside joke or an old family tradition. Because comforting someone, to me, is less about putting your arm around him or offering advice, as it is about attempting to understand, to take emotions seriously, to never minimize or dismiss or turn the focus to oneself.

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