Tuesday, 17 December 2013

New year's Eve

Disclaimer: Probable incoherent introspection with a side of gushing

While I have almost always been blessed with the most incredible of friends in my life, it's a relatively new thing to me to have community within a group of friends - a larger contingent of people who all know each other and interact on a deeper, emotionally open level within that group and sub-groups thereof. Of course, connectivity is something I thrive on (NOW KISS!) so this pleases me no end, and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by love in this way.

Aboriginal symbol representing
community or home - a necklace
from my sister-in-law
I cannot work out whether it is the stage in my life that I'm now in that has been the main contributor to this change in relationship dynamic (becoming more able to love this way and actively seeking it out), or a cultural difference in how people interact in NC, or simply the amazing individuals that serendipitously happened to have been around at the point at which I moved to the Queen City. It is this community in part - a very significant part - that has made me want to stay in Charlotte and not return to the UK despite other, important and previously-considered-permanent, aspects of life here not remaining the same. These wonderful humans have made this place a home; they have enriched my life here with their time, care, humour, generosity, kindness, and passion for our shared lives; and as well as that (more than, as it's not all about how they relate to me!) they are simply brilliant in and of themselves - each one a joy to experience and a privilege to know.

So, I can't partial out whether my internal changes resulted in being able to be in this kind of friendship family, or whether being around people who love wholeheartedly was a virtuous circle of encouragement that kind of needed each of us for it to have happened in the first place, thus causing the aforementioned changes and making us who we are now. I don't suppose it really matters, but suffice it to say that they have enabled me to hold on to the core concept of who I am while also allowing me - patiently, and without judgment - to explore what I might become in this new land of Eve. Gosh, that sounds like the title of a terrible novel, doesn't it? 'The New Land of Eve'.

...I'm okay with it.

Mรกs fuerte
What I'm trying to get at is that it's taken me some weeks of processing pain in a way that I can understand, really feel, and try to move forward from, but my friends have protected me in myriad ways while I've been working out where my heart is. And while I can't say I'm fully okay or will be (what does that even mean?), I haven't felt pressure to be any way at all, plus they have showed me that deep and enduring love by choice is very much possible even while I'm in the middle of struggling with the exact opposite. Loving profoundly (outside of family) is not just an emotion or a gut response; it is both a decision and a verb, and certainly not an impossibility. Having that faith maintained has been essential and I am so grateful to them for it.

One of my beloved sister-friends put it best, saying that my cognitive processing would be fast and I would work out that I would pull through and know it on a deep level, but that my emotional processing would be slow, messy, and frustrate me because it wasn't as organized and efficient as my rational side. She knows me too well! That is precisely what has happened, and that dichotomy has actually been the source of most of my distress in trying to recover. There are two issues with this bipolarity, the first of which is the basic fight I have in me not to be miserable. I am not a sad person by nature, or at least have not been since the latter half of my twenties, and "wasting time" being low and literally aching with pain seems such a waste of the brief sneeze of time we get on this planet. But sometimes you really do have to let yourself feel it in order to move through it. The other issue is that having a few good days and happy things happen is wonderful, but the sudden and ostensibly inexplicable crashes are then even more exhausting, and all-encompassing on particularly bad days. They are getting fewer, gradually, but nevertheless remind me that taking care is necessary (of myself and others), and that I currently cannot predict myself as well as I used to. Which is also okay.

This post is dedicated to all of those people who believed in my strength and helped me start to find it again - you know who you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your unwavering support has been the making of my resilience. 2014 is fast approaching, and this new year's Eve (Geddit?! Sorry.) isn't someone I don't like, even if I'm not sure of all of her yet. I'm still capable of loving and appreciating love, whether directly or vicariously. I'm still surrounded by beautiful souls - not abandoned or forgotten, but in fact shown an inordinate amount of care every single day. I'm still exuberant and joyful and appreciative. I'm still willing to take risks, even if I'm significantly more scared about some things than I used to be. I'm also (consequently?) more excited about not knowing what the future holds. I'm venturing out of comfort zones. I'm writing more. I'm considering lives that aren't mine right now and wondering about how they might fit if I tried them on. I'm still a Rogerson, and I get to recharge over the holiday with my remarkable family who bring such complete warmth and light (5 sleeps and counting!). And then I get to step forward into the next 365 days' expat adventures as a woman who is sometimes brave, sometimes scared, and sometimes both, but always hopeful, and always willing, and always open. For that I am unspeakably thankful.

4 comments:

  1. Glad you have lots of friends and support, Eve, it must have been very challenging for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Paul. It's been a tough time for sure, but I am confident it won't always be that way.

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