July 2: Where I resurface

It has been a while since I wrote my last post. I have juggled relief that I no longer felt the need to write with wishing I had something to say. After my last post, I was certain that I had unpacked the bulk of  my thoughts that I had buried for years, decades even. Instead of writing for therapy and expression, I found happiness and adventure in exploring a possible artistic side. And by artistic side, I mean do-it-yourself projects.

My enthusiasm for creativity was encouraged by an article that I had skimmed; the article promised that even for the less artistic, artistic expression was a useful therapy. I understood this to mean that even if I was horrible, it would still be good for me – and I found this to be true. I also learned that my creative spirit was very much alive and wanting of attention.

A few months after moving into my new apartment, I purchased an antique french dresser. For weeks, I debated painting the dresser. It was a gorgeous statement piece. I was afraid that my novice hands coupled with untested creativity would destroy its beauty permanently. I researched various paints and I eventually settled for chalk paint. Painting was therapeutic; I don’t know if it was because my hands enjoyed the unfamiliarity of a new tool or if it was the waltz of the paint stroke, but it was a process I enjoyed thoroughly. The outcome exceeded my expectations. I made a point to share the rebirth of my dresser with anyone willing to wait, as I scrolled excitedly through my camera roll.

In the absence of writing, I have read a lot. At the beginning of the year, I committed to reading one book per month. This went well for a month. But instead of wailing in my failure, I allowed myself to explore other options and I binged on online articles. I liked the variety, and the fact that I did not have to commit to an author. In many ways, this freedom mimicked my new dating life. I had tumbled out of a long term, long distance relationship, with a new found appreciation for commitment, interestingly enough. I went on a several dates. This experience is what gave birth to my last post, A Letter to my Imaginary Daughter: Love What you Wear.

I have a history of prematurely committing to people. I don’t believe this was out of desperation but rather a firm belief that God would put people into my life for a reason. The lesson for me wasn’t in scrubbing myself of this belief, rather, it was in understanding that just as He would give, He would take away. It was up to me to identify the lesson and move on. Humorously, where that relationship is concerned, I am not confident of the lesson or maybe I am still expecting it to be something more complicated. At the very least, I learned that I, too often, commit too quickly and many times, to the wrong person.

So  with dating, I kept a very opened mind. I went in with curiosity about people’s motivations and fluctuations. I also refined my preferences for a partner. I relied more on what the person was showing me with their words and actions, and less on my mental creations. I gave more points to someone for whom I did not have to self-revolutionize-even if it was to my benefit. Someone who kept me laughing earned many brownie points. I assigned a lot of weight to emotional intelligence.

To end, I have picked up a new book. I think it is the book that brought me back here. The authors writes with an elegance I have never come across. He is both passionate and technical. He writes as doctor and patient with lung cancer.

When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi