I took a break from writing. And I’m not sure why, other than I felt like I lost my voice. I’ve felt that I didn’t have much to say, or that what I had to say didn’t matter. That’s not a feeling I’m accustomed to. I have always been opinionated, maybe a bit too much so, and have never had trouble speaking up. But recently I’ve had trouble writing. Nothing I write sounds like me. It hasn’t felt honest.
A lot has changed since my last blog post. I left Bucknell, and started at UMass, a whole summer has come and gone– a summer that consisted of a best friend coming to visit, a Regional event, and many s’mores. A first title, a blue ribbon, an A on exam have all happened in recent months. I’ve been at my new school for just about two months, and I’m finally settling in. Settling in to training with someone new, making more time for myself and for my dog, and for allowing myself to work through everything I’m feeling.
Fall has always been my favorite season, and not only because of my birthday (by the way, I’m not a teenager anymore and I’m kinda freaked out about it), but fall has always been a fresh start. New pencils, new teachers, and even new schools. My mom always joked that college was the best time of your life because you could be anyone you wanted to be. You could reinvent yourself into the person you always wanted to be. And that always made sense to me. Except now I’m realizing that’s not really true. Who we are is who we are. And yes we grow, and change throughout our lives, but who we are at our core isn’t very variable. We are who we are.
I made a goal this year of staying connected with the people who matter most to me. I have a tendency to assume that the other person will reach out, and so I don’t have to. But that’s not how friendships work, and I’m working on being better at it. This means keeping in contact with my friends who live across the country, or those who are in Europe. I’m taking the time to see some of my favorite people more, and making sure to keep conversations going with them. Because your people matter, and I seem to be learning that more and more all the time.
My brain is always running at 100 miles an hour. Its just how I’ve always been. There isn’t much down time in my head. Decompression is a skill I have had to grow better at, whether it takes the form of a hike, or a nap, I’ve gotten better at quieting down my head. Today, as I was walking through the woods with Wave after a good jump training session I noticed something: my thoughts weren’t racing. I wasn’t obsessing over what had happened in our training session, or thinking of all the homework I had to do when I got back, or anything else. I was just there, in those woods. I was just being.
Thats not something I’m used to. And I could point to a couple changes in my life recently that could point to why that happened, but it was a welcome change. I was able to just embrace what was happening in my life at that moment without worrying about the past, or the future. And so while I don’t think we can change who we are, I’m learning that a lot of growth happens when we’re not expecting it to. Sometimes you’ll notice a big change when you’re walking through the woods and you’ll be ready for it.