Learning and Leaning

I got an email from a friend this week. A friend! Would it be okay if we paused and added some more exclamation points? This friend knows how to style everything ever, and she also knows just what to say.

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I love your writing. And I love how brave you are to be lonely and alone. It IS brave, mind you. Super brave. This time in your life right now…some people say that your early twenties are so much fun and so awesome, and to that I say bullshit. For me, at least, it was much like yours seems like. Alternate bouts of homesick and alone and unsure and what now. I remember sitting in parking lots and not wanting to drive anywhere. Of feeling connected to people only to have them disappear. To not knowing if I could truly truly love someone (the way someone had once loved me). 

I was so worried about everything. Where I was going. How fast I was (not) getting there. I dated. I cried. I lived alone. I got a dog by accident. I was broke. In love, out of love. Engaged, not engaged. Got into many sticky situations. Cried some more. Moved to New York. Said I was leaving a year in. Didn’t leave. Learned and learned and learned and learned. And little by little, everything has shifted. Slowly.

Advice: Friends. Lean on them. Hang out with me. Lean. More advice: Be curious about your life and your feelings. You got this. And now print this out and put it on your wall: I AM VERY YOUNG AND I AM LEARNING HOW TO LIVE. xo 

That is just what’s happening here. I’m learning about diets that don’t work, jobs that don’t suit, and luckily, friends that do. I’m learning about the very natural impulse to want to stretch out your hand and have it end up safe and sound in somebody else’s. I’m learning what to do with memories that make my heart squeeze.

I’m learning what I need to feel happy. Enter mid-morning pumpkin scones. With honey AND butter.

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I’m learning why we should all have an apple a day. And why no justifications are necessary. None at all.

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I’m learning all the secrets to a not-sad soufflé.

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I’m learning what a fickle thing afternoon light is at this time of year.

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And I’m learning about how short life is, really. I’m learning, and yes, I’m leaning. This grieving thing comes in waves. It’s surprising the hell out of me. Every now and then, it positively knocks me off my feet. I wonder how long it’ll be until I don’t come up choking for air.

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