I made an amulet as a gift for a friend yesterday, and I won’t get into how I go about doing such things, but I don’t do them much anymore and it really drained me. It also puts me in a weird, nostalgic, other-worldly mood that I have to slowly dig myself out of. It’s different having a kid, you can’t source your energy into something like that and then just lie around refueling. Although that’s basically what I did anyway.
Even without having done something like that, it’s autumn and my grandparents are gone and I’m about to start a whole new life. It’s like the trees are changing and leaves are dying and it’s such a physical manifestation of everything going on with me. I try not to think too hard or long about the past because honestly, it just makes my head feel like it’s spinning around and around. Trying to remember who I was 10 years ago, reconcile my childhood, try to guess at who I will be 15 years from now… nothing meshes, nothing feels completed. Everything about my young adulthood is loose ends, and my childhood links are disappearing before my eyes. I’m optimistic about being an older adult, however, because it will be different than what it would be if I stayed in this life. Different how, I don’t know, but staying here is increasingly like hanging out with my own ghosts all the time. I will get lonelier, I will get crazier.
I went on so many adventures in my younger years, including the adventure of foster care and pregnancy and adoption. I had adventures overseas, both physically and emotionally. I was someone who set off into the unknown and knew awesome amazing things would happen to me. And they did. I was also someone who got beaten down over and over by the whims of my own heart. I treasure some of those memories, I abhor some of them, too. Some of those stories I carry with me forever, the love and heartache and sweetness and loss of true love. Others I wish I could discard on the roadside, the betrayal, the anxiety, the naivete, the bad decisions.
Regrets? I think I would do some smaller things differently, yes. I’d get out of bad relationships sooner. I’d give more time and attention to the people who really matter. I’d spend less of my emotional energy on anxiety and depression. But I wouldn’t take those bad decisions away totally… after all, that would mean that I would have to learn the lessons I learned in some other way, and the evil you know feels like a safer choice than the evil you don’t! The things I don’t regret are often the craziest… spontaneous, joyful, free pouring out of my own spirit: temporary but ever-lasting whoops straight from my heart.
I hope in the next decade I can learn to not only hear my intuition, but to trust it. The way I did when I was in foster care training and had a girlfriend telling me if I did foster care, she’d break up with me. (As she was still cheating on me.) Something in me just said NO, I’m doing this. Stay or go, my path is here. And I did it. And in the end we aren’t together, and we were never going to be, but look what I have? The best thing I’ve ever had in my life, my daughter. Because I listened to that inner voice, and I trusted it. I’m doing the same with this travel nursing thing even though I have not the foggiest idea what our life will look like a year from now and that’s scary as hell. Just do it, the inner voice says, and I am.