August 1, 2022
Trying to reframe my current experience on the planet right now...
My family's definition of normality went out the window years before the pandemic, and intensified right beforehand. Pre-COVID, we had come to a kind of understanding about the nature of the life our family would lead, and it was not at all what we had planned for or expected. At some point, we realized that a "return to normal" was off the table permanently.
It took a considerable amount of grief and transition to make peace with that reality. There are moments in my daily life where I am suddenly confronted with the trappings of a "normal" existence, and sometimes it's hard (back-to-school sales and school supplies are one of those land mines!). However, there are so many joys and special moments on this path that we are *actually* traveling that outweigh those occasional interruptions.
I'm having some deja-vu now. Just like those years before COVID, we have been living in a constant state of not knowing what the future will bring, not being able to make any long term plans because the ground under our feet is shifting constantly. I feel like I'm trying to live a life that was built on the assumption of certain things continuing indefinitely into the future, taken utterly for granted as the foundation of the world as we know it.
I keep having the internal monologue of "it's only a matter of time before x will become possible again", or "after this bump in the road, I can get back to doing y and z", or "dream #7 will still be possible in the not-too-distant future". Right? RIGHT!?!?
COVID and our new pandemic reality (hello Monkeypox). Climate chaos (not change; unfortunately we're past that quaint term). Political upheaval. Let alone the demands of the daily grind, or work, whatever that looks like for you. It's a LOT.
And I really think that there is no longer a "normal" to go back to. Which is good, in the creative sense, because destruction goes hand-in-hand with birthing anything new (mamas and artists, represent!). But it's hard, because it's the Wild West out there with everything up for grabs and the new rules not settled yet.
I'm finding that I'm living my day-to-day life with one foot in the old world, trying to manage personal needs, family life and survival strategies. And I'm still tapping into old dreams, thinking of the all things I hope I'll get to do someday -- after my kiddo gets older, after we get some supports in place, after things open up again, after we figure out a stable income source, and on and on.
But I'm also reassessing things, grounded in the present moment, looking through a different lens at all of my carefully cultivated skills and talents and hopes and dreams. I can feel my priorities shifting again. And I feel grief for the world that I used to know, the dream of a different kind of future, and the self that would inhabit it.
I still feel called to create, as I am able, as time and inspiration allow. I still tend my garden and plant the seeds and hope for a good harvest. This path is made by walking, by singing and loving, by working and talking and crying and resting... Nothing is guaranteed. Which is why we must do it anyway