Photo by Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota (Minneapolis Skyline) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I last wrote here five weeks ago, the day before beginning the drive back across the northwestern states to Minnesota. As I’ve adapted to a new routine in my old-new home, I haven’t made space for writing. That is something I’m working to correct.
I’ve spent the last month rediscovering my hometown and seeking my next source of employment. During this period, I’ve been noticing the concepts of “place” and “time” in everything I’ve done—the relationship between the two, how they manifest themselves physically and emotionally (and spiritually), the tensions created between their realities and the expectations I place upon them. I am fascinated how often “place” and “time” become personified, taking on characteristics as though they are friends of mine on my life journey.
I intend to explore these concepts in more detail in future writings; to flesh out these relationships, tensions, and characteristics. I’m not sure where this exploration will lead, but one thing I already know—and I am incredibly grateful for—is that in noticing “place” and “time,” I am more certain than I could have hoped that I am in the right place for this time in my life. I am truly meant to be here now.
What does it mean when we say to one another, “Be sure to live your life”?
Do we sometimes make “living our life” into something too exotic, too epic, too Hollywood to realize that we really just exist one breath at a time?
But more than that, does thinking about “living our life” as a continual quest for more experiences, more happiness, more everything mean we forget that each breath we take is a gift?
Perhaps “living our life” really means nothing more than waking up each morning, taking a breath, then taking another breath and greeting each moment as it comes.
Last October I packed up everything I owned and moved from St. Paul to Seattle, the farthest I had ever moved from my hometown of Minneapolis. For as long as I could remember, I had wanted to live near an ocean’s coast and Seattle had been my destination of choice for the last several years.
One week from now, I will be on the road, returning to the Twin Cities after just four months in Seattle. Obviously, this outcome is not what I had anticipated last fall when I first arrived in my new city, eager to call it home and become a Seattleite. At that time, I talked about how this move would be a new beginning, an opportunity to reinvent myself.
To support that reinvention, I planned to take some time off from work. An intentional period of rest and reflection. A sabbatical. I am thankful that I was able to do just that. I reconnected with parts of myself long forgotten and semi-buried, parts integral to who I am as a person, but that hadn’t been recognized or nourished for quite some time. Instead of reinventing myself from scratch, I found myself reinventing by rediscovery.
The irony is that I am now returning to my hometown a reinvented person, different than who I was when I left. I don’t know whether or not others will be able to sense the difference. And I don’t know if that is important. What is important is that I made this move; I took the risk; I spent time in self-reflection. Also important, just as when I first decided to move to Seattle, I am now taking the next right step for me, and that step is taking me home. A home ready for rediscovery.
Once upon a time, I had a blog on this site. That was back in the early days, before Tumblr and Twitter and when Google Reader ruled the RSS land. It never became anything terribly great. Mostly because I didn’t give it any more attention than an afterthought.
I’ve wanted to reboot my blog at different times since then, but could never settle on that narrow topic that successful bloggers cite as the necessary starting point for all blogs. Since that narrow focus eluded me, I interpreted it as permission to not even try.
No longer. I still don’t have a succinct elevator pitch in which I can tell you exactly what this blog is about. But one thing I’ve learned is that I need to just start to see where I’m heading.
And that is what this first post is: the next necessary step. Along the way, I’m sure I will take wrong turns and detours, but I believe I will also find my voice and maybe even the purpose behind this blog. I’m not sure where this will all lead, but you are more than welcome to join me on the journey and see where we end up together.