I’m a little lost these days. This is a difficult thing for me to admit, especially here where it would be all too easy to omit the details about how I’m faltering lately, to chalk up my absence entirely to cheery days spent canning. I’d be lying if I turned around and told you that there wasn’t immense happiness and satisfaction in the days I spent filling all those jars, but I’d also be lying if I didn’t now explain that canning has been a means of escape for me during the past month as well, a way to focus my teeming mind on something small and pleasant.
I didn’t mean it lightly when I said that it had been a vacation.
So what have I been escaping? The answer is, in short, my life. A dramatic declaration, maybe, but true nonetheless. You see, I’m not really sure how I got here. If I’d have asked myself a year ago to picture being in the place that I am right now, it would have been difficult; two years ago, nearly impossible. I’ve been looking back lately at the decisions I made that landed me here, and at every step of the way I chose what felt right. Even in retrospect, I know that in those moments they were the right choices. I just couldn’t have possibly foreseen the things that happened in the past few months and how profoundly they’d change my life.
And while many things now feel incredibly right, everything feels wrong.
That is maybe the most difficult thing to reconcile. How can so much of my life be so wonderful and blessed and beautiful and yet…? And yet I’m in a constant state of turmoil.
I feel disembodied, like I’m going through the motions of my existence. I don’t feel things as deeply as I once did. And when I encounter those moments in which I know something profound should be filling my heart but I am unmoved, I feel more lost than ever. It’s like I can’t regain my footing, no matter what I do. My life is piling up around me faster than I can organize it.
And you know what the most difficult part of this is? It’s watching as it all passes me by. It’s sitting by helplessly as moments of intense inspiration are swallowed up in the florescent-lit emptiness of cubicle walls. It’s coming home to dark hours of exhaustion, wishing for the mental fortitude to eek out a few worthwhile words. It’s knowing that September is now gone and that I can barely remember that it was ever August.
I have so many things that I want to share with you—books that I read under the summer sun, recipes that that call for ingredients that are now no longer in season. There are cakes and scones and a very promising pie crust that are a few small trials away from perfection. If only there were more time.
Obviously, something’s gotta give. There is rearranging and accommodating that can be done, but it’s come to the point where those things will only get me by. And to be quite frank, I’m tired of getting by. I want to breathe, to see through the blur of everyday immediacy, to be present again, to stop and exist.
I know, from a realistic perspective, that I’ll be accountable to someone somewhere at some point, but it’s not about that. I believe that it’s important to be able to be in your life and to leave certain extraneous things where they belong. Part of my problem is that nothing stays put anymore; there’s an obscene amount of meaningless noise and obnoxious flailing in my background lately. The important things need their time as well.
And I do understand that there is the converse issue of what can happen when you make your living doing something that you truly love. But I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I (hopefully) come to it.
I feel like it would make me seem impressively together amidst all this chaos if I could leave you now with a recipe, with something warm and delightful to show you the hope that I have for what this all will be. Wouldn’t that be perfect? Alas, it seems we’ll have to save perfection for a later date. Right now, I’m still trudging on through.