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on the evolution of my spirit…

November 3, 2011

i can still remember the night of july 29, 2003.  mostly what i remember is the sultry, muggy summer air flooding through my car windows around 8:00 at night.  i remember the drive across town from my apartment on the north side of bloomington to the house where my friends all resided on university street.  it was the longest drive across the city i had ever taken.  i remember thinking about how i needed to remember every second of that drive.  my last night in bloomington before i moved across the country should be shrouded in deep memories and cigarette smoke smiles.  i remember thinking: “this is it.  tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.”  i remember even the streetlights being poignant.  i remember the warm breeze feeling sweeter than any other summer night that had come before.  i remember feeling like my spirit was free.  i remember feeling like i was finally on my own– to live my life the way i longed to live; my decisions and chances and risks and rewards and all of the undeniably good things in the world were about to happen to me.  i was at the precipice.  my life was about to be what all those good novels are written about– the venture west; the new life i would carve out for myself there; eternal happiness.

i still remember the way it felt the first time i really knew i had friends in oregon.  i remember being surrounded by women i Loved and really feeling like they understood who i was.  i felt as though we had come to the ocean to commune with one another and to relish in nature and for the rest of my life, wiggling and digging my toes into wet sand will make me think of these ladies.  i felt like those women were my soul mates– all of us just bouncing ideas off of one another; our hands clasped around one another’s beings like the clam that holds the pearl (supported, but not squeezed too tightly).  i felt like all my tender parts were placed honestly out in front of other human beings and those women didn’t judge me.  instead, they nurtured the person i was and made me want to live even more deliberately.  they made me dream.  those women lit my fire.  those women are oregon.

i couldn’t tell you the exact day, but i definitely recall how it felt to call my mother in the spring of 2007 from a pay phone outside of a convenient store and explain that the u-haul was packed and i was moving back to indiana.  it is a memory that still makes a lump in my throat too big to swallow.  the amount of defeat i still feel from that day and the culmination of months that led to that day is undeniable.  i contribute so much overwhelming sadnesss and grief to the decision to return to the midwest.  i felt like my hands were tied.  i felt like i was without any other options.  i felt isolated and troubled and unable to speak about all the things that were ailing me.  i remember thinking: “this is the end of my life.  i am giving in.  i am failing at something else.”  i remember the deepest of regrets and depths of incredible despair.  i remember thinking to myself that if i stood still long enough i would surely be able to hear my spirit breaking.

i can remember a few years after that all muddled and jaded and fuzzied up by time and daily life, when i finally felt like i was breathing deep again.  i felt like somewhere in bloomington, indiana, my spirit was slowly, but surely being pieced back together.  all those same sentimental roads i drove down (for what i thought would be the last time) in 2003 were becoming my every day again and i was relearning bloomington and remembering what it was like to be myself.  i remember drinking cold beer on our porch in ellettsville on warm autumn evenings and i smile thinking about the songs of the crickets.  i think about falling in Love with my partner on that porch.  i remember moving out of that house– moving away from that porch.  i remember everything happening so quickly and passionately and wonderfully in the past year and a half and i feel as though i went to sleep one night and woke the next morning with my spirit in tact.  with everything in its right place.  blessed with so much in such a short period of time…

i know that if i hadn’t been selfish in 2003 and picked up my shit and hit the road, i would’ve never had my heart broken, and found my home in another land.  which, in turn, means i wouldn’t have packed my shit back up again and returned, defeated, to my home in the midwest.  i wouldn’t have rekindled friendships or fought to keep the ones that exist 3000 miles west.  i wouldn’t have nurtured my soul.  i wouldn’t have met jason.  or come to know harper.  i think we all just kind of float along in life– never really knowing what will come next, but hoping for the best, most beautiful outcome.  i am so lucky the evolution of my spirit brought me here.  and here is amazing.  here is fulfillment unlike any i’ve ever known…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. evie permalink
    November 4, 2011 4:06 pm

    Oh Lydia, You write so well. Such a touching story and so glad I am a part of those women….You are so right about the nurturing. They are the best at lifting spirits and helping one find oneself. I love you and so glad you are my friend. Oregon misses you and we can’t wait to meet baby Harper!

  2. Jessica permalink
    November 4, 2011 4:43 pm

    Lydia…
    you spoke directly to my heart with this post. i had an almost identical experience and thank every single new day for the paths i have chosen, though sometimes painful and sad- never regretful. thank you SO much for sharing.
    we should get together for coffee/tea sometime.
    ~Jessica

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