About a year ago this month, I got a tattoo of an ampersand on my left forearm. If you are to ask me in a genuinely curious manner why I got it (and actually call it an ampersand and not “the and sign”), I would tell you because it’s my permanent little string-around-a-finger reminder to write each day. Sadly in the last year, I would have to say that I have probably written less than I have any other year. Maybe subconsciously I knew I would need this reminder because my life was going to become everything it has never been before. Maybe it was life being as ironic as Alanis Morissette sang about all those years ago.*
*I was saying “all those years ago” as an exaggeration because I didn’t think it was that long ago. It was released in 1995 which was 20 years ago. The references that make me feel old are only going to go downhill from here, I know.
Why did I need a reminder? Why wasn’t I actually using the reminder? Well, sometimes life gives you lemons, and other times it throws bricks at you and doesn’t yell “DUCK!” Graduation came sooner than I thought it would, as it usually does. A new job makes you feel like sitting down for one second could put you behind. The world is moving a mile a minute, and it seems like you can’t remember what day it is. Then something might happen that brings it all to a halt, and it knocks you on the ground, leaving you wishing you had been watching where you were walking.
That pause happened when a close family member passed this last month. I have dealt with loss before, but it is different when you saw this person every week. It hit my family hard, and we all seemed to just stop. It was needed; it was necessary for healing. It is a hard thing to get out of though.
I’ve always had my fair share of situations where I have had to step back and really just stop. Once you get a little older, you realize these kinds of situations are going to happen all throughout your life. You realize the importance of letting the pause run its course. You also realize the importance of starting again.
I haven’t written in almost three months. I hadn’t checked up on my friends or tried to see how they were. I haven’t rebranded or worked on expanding my blog like I have wanted. I haven’t been exploring in the new city I work in. But I have done a lot of healing.
I think I am just going to tell people I got “the and sign” tattooed because I like punctuation. It seems a lot easier than explaining this all again, especially when I obviously have a lot of stuff to do.