When a Cycle Ends and the What Nows Begin

when-cycle-ends

This morning and the morning before, I’ve been waking up with anxiety. I’ll shake in my bed for a few hours and I don’t necessarily know what is happening to my mind or body. All I know is that I’m afraid, but I don’t really understand what I’m afraid of.

In a lot of ways, within this past month, my life has changed dramatically. In other ways, it’s exactly the same. I finished the first draft of my novel on April 21. I was finally able to move out of a toxic environment. The weather has gotten much warmer. I no longer have relationships with many people I once considered my closest friends.

But a lot stayed the same. I’m living in the same town. I wake up at 5-6am every day. I do my pilates and yoga (mind and body) workouts. I let my coffee brew as I go to take a shower and when I come out, I meditate for as long as I’m able to that day. I make breakfast, pack my lunch and dinner, and then begin to get ready to go to work. I usually come back from work at around 9:30-10:30pm and then try to read for a bit before I pass out, and then the day begins again.

It feels as though my life is much different, but my days are all beginning to look identical. I like morning routines. I like waking up early to do all the things I want to do before I do the things I have to do (like go to work). But after finishing the first draft of my novel, writing is no longer on the list of things to do, and that was by far my favourite. Even in the groggiest, tragic, or boring and uninspired days, learning how to write this first draft is what has held me together. And now, it’s over.

I wanted to go back in and start typing out the handwritten draft, but it didn’t want to be typed just yet. I felt a dragging of words that needed time to just sit and rest, and so I let them. In the meanwhile, I’ve had some thoughts of the next book that sprouted a while earlier that I’m beginning to make sense of and research.

But there’s this sense of a cycle’s completion that has been giving me a lot of anxiety. A lot of, “what nows” and “Now that this is over, is this what my life is going to look like?” And of course, the “Am I always going to live in this town and have to work this job?” When am I finally going to save enough to travel? Why can’t I afford to have the type of adventure I crave? What if this draft never wants to be edited? What if I never write again?

The day I finished the first draft, my housemates moved out and I had to pack the rest of my own things. I went to a goodbye dinner the next day for all the people at my work who were 4th-year university students graduating and moving on. Waking up to empty rooms and going to work with new faces, all I felt was lost. All I couldn’t make sense of was why I was still here and everyone else got to move on.

I’m now subletting a room in an apartment for the summer with strangers who complain that I wake up too early or that I need to close my bedroom window at night because they can hear the wind rustling. I moved out of a toxic environment into a place that scrutinises the way I go about my days. All I feel is groggy, meaningless, and like whatever this next phase of my life is going to be, doesn’t want me either.

I’ve been talking to my counsellor about it who is also a very spiritual person and made sense of this in a way that I want to share over here because maybe it’ll do something for any of you who feel as though they have completed a cycle or season of their life. She talked about how there was a time in her life where she explored Paganism and how that helped her understand the cycles of each of our journey’s.

Samhain (in the Pagan Wheel of the Year) is the ancient Celtic festival marking the end of harvest season and the onset of winter. It’s this sort of in-between time, a time right after a cycle’s completion, celebrated October 31st to sunset on November 1. It’s supposed to be a day and point of time when “the veil separating the world of mortals and the world of spirits is at its thinnest, enabling the souls of the dead, witches, and faeries of all sorts to mingle with living people. Even though it’s a cycle’s end, it’s not a sad time but rather it’s considered one of the most sacred. It’s more of a liminal time when the veil between life and death grows thin. It’s considered the most powerful and spiritual time of the year.

If we look at the periods of our lives, the endings of cycles, in a celebratory way, I think they can make room for magical things. Instead, I’ve been struck with anxiety and fear, which is okay and pretty normal. But if we shift our western ways of thinking and see any time of completion with eyes of wonder instead of eyes of fear; if we let ourselves rest and mourn this time and celebrate it all at once; if we look at it as a sacred time instead of a scary and sad one, what would happen? I don’t know about you, but I’m curious to find out.

 

 

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Update: Where I’ve Been and What’s in the Works

Hello beautiful humans! I wanted to make a video for you guys just as an update about where I’ve been for the last little while. I didn’t want to abandon my blog and I also felt a little guilty just diving back in without an explanation so I wanted to make this video to let you guys know about this project I’ve been working on. Let me know if you want to see more updates or videos! I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s a tad awkward and weird (kind of like yours truly). I know this isn’t a big blog, but I value those who come to read what I have to say SO SO much and I wanted to get more personal and make this video for you guys.

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Truth: A Principle of the Past

It’s been a little while since I sat down to just sit and chat with you guys. That’s what blogging has always felt like to me: a conversation I feel capable of having. I’m not typically the best at conveying my thoughts through speech so this has always been the best form of conversation I’ve ever had.

Lately, I’ve been consumed by the novel I’m writing. It feels like the healthiest addiction I’ve ever had and for once, I feel obsessed over something that’s curing me instead of destructing what I have left.

2016 ended pretty harshly. It was a loss of some friendships that were really important to me, but got lost along the way as we grew in different directions. What’s been more difficult, or what’s supposed to be more difficult is to be living with the friends you have lost. This is a challenge I’ve met a couple of times before (in different contexts of course), but always handled poorly. My go to is to run. When conflict arises, I vanish. But this time, I spoke my truth and now I am living in it.

I’ve always wondered what the end of suffering looked like and I guess I’m learning that it’s the beginning of truth. That doesn’t mean that truth lives without pain. It doesn’t even mean that truth removes pain. To be frank, it actually creates a bigger mess than there was before, or at least it looks that way because now it’s out in the open instead of just in your head. Now other people get to see it and admit to their own truth as well, or maybe continue trying and denying their way out of what’s standing right in front of them, and always was.

The thing about the truth is that once it is told, it becomes a part of your past. Coming from someone who has lived anywhere but the present, I feel cleaner with a mess in front of me that I can now choose to put behind me. The other option is to dwell on something you’re too afraid to admit and living in the anxiety, which becomes a part of your future.

I’m not sure if any of this will even make a lot of sense to you guys because I’m just rambling on, but I wanted to take some time to reflect on my life, on the past year, and on the past month of December. I wanted to see what contribution I can make through my blog now as opposed to what I was able to do before. What more have a learned that I can bring to the table? And what kept ringing in my head was this book. This book that feels like my own secret journey or escape that I can take in my room. It’s an invisible cape I wear that drops me into a different world, one that I get the opportunity to learn about first hand. It’s the feeling I always get when I read a book and now I’m here, 40,000 words later, still smitten, still writing. Right now, this is my dedication and my focus, but I don’t want to leave this space empty so I realize that I have to work around my schedule and find time to tend to it at least once or twice a week because I miss this far too much if I leave it for too long.

I know this isn’t as long as my normal posts, but I wanted to check in and say that I’m not going anywhere. I’m actually realizing that where I am is exactly where I need to be.

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