A New Season

I feel it in my body, in my mind, and in my being. I’m tired of scrolling on social media, of trying to beat an algorithm with my writing, of spending days picking out paint colors, of constricting myself with a tornado of to-do lists, and of dreaming about plans that continuously change as the world changes.

That is 2021 for me so far. I’m exhausted to the core of my being: from what, I cannot say just a single thing. From October 2020 to January 2021, I have spent long hours, seven days a week, working to restore and renovate our 100-year-old home in New Jersey. Over the last few months, I have found great joy in learning new skills and in working with my hands: sanding, priming, caulking, patching, flipping furniture, and repairing. I have also found great joy in seeing a room transform from disrepair to a welcoming new entryway, a neutral hallway, and a whimsical oasis.

I didn’t want to be involved in this process; in fact, I wanted to move far away like I always do. I even received a job offer in October to start fresh. Not a single soul asked me to stay, however, I chose to remain in place because I wanted our house to improve, I wanted to be able to extend hospitality to our guests, and I wanted to simplify our home so we could focus on the people and activities we love.

Working on this home has done the opposite. I no longer do what I love: writing on this platform, reading, reaching out to friends, doing yoga, running, cooking, and traveling. I am caught up in the very thing that I say doesn’t have control over me: stuff.

While each of these things have a place in my life, I understand deeply that life is more than antiques, it’s more than paint colors, and it’s more than a box in the suburbs. I am incredibly grateful for my family, for the gift of this life, and to be able to have a roof over my head, but life is that and so much more. I know that very intimately having lived abroad with two suitcases and a backpack for the majority of the last four years.

The life I am living now is forced. I long to live simply, to pray deeply, to carry a backpack with just the items I need, to meet new people, to see old friends, to sit around a bonfire and drink late into the night, to tell stories, and to gather around the dinner table with my family and a home-cooked meal. I long to sit in a café with my journal and a good cappuccino with a full day ahead.

While I long to do those things, I long to do something bigger, something that creeps into my mind and keeps me in this place until I’m so exhausted I can’t work anymore. I long to travel and to return to a home that is repaired and hospitable for my friends who live far away. I long to return to a home that is free from clutter so I can be unburdened by the weight of stuff. I long to find peace in each place my two feet step.

Maybe I just want too much too fast. Maybe I just want to get in my car and take a road trip. Maybe I want to fall in love and make mistakes. Maybe I want to chase moments that make me feel alive.

There is one thing that is certain in my life: I will publish my book, Blue Skies. It is the one constant that has remained over the last ten months. 130 pages of short stories from Ukraine sit on my desk as I’m writing this, ready for a second edit. Writing those stories was worth every minute and more.

I have no sustainability or travel advice today. I’m not writing this article to fit Google’s SEO rules or to rank. I’m writing this because I love writing. That’s why I started this platform: to use my words to tell stories and connect with others. That’s what I’ll keep doing whether it ranks or not. I’ll be here and I’ll be publishing my book right alongside it.

Social media is off the table for me until I don’t know when. If you would like to stay in contact you can meet me on this blog or send me a real letter. Real connection goes beyond this screen, beyond a phone, and beyond a text message. It happens in words, in actions, and in love.

Sending love to you wherever you are.



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