It’s been a while, and like anything in life that you leave dormant for a year, or more, you come back to it not only with a fresh outlook, but also a slew of experience and change. The life-altering, introspection-inducing, gut-wrenching, resilience-building, soul-crushing, spirit-lifting kind of changes that come from being in the midst of one’s life, a father, an employee or just someone trying to make his way in the world.
The middle of 2014 has found me living as a single-father, separated and likely soon to be divorced from my wife of nine years. I am happily and gainfully employed, in a strange — in a foreign kind of way — state of affairs. Physically, I’m living in a nice new two bedroom apartment that is well-furnished and filled with personal effects, yet strangely like living in someone else’s home, or a nice extended stay hotel. The kids seem relatively happy here, but it is always a guessing game as to what is really churning and shaping in the mind of a child. Mentally, I’m all over the place, as is to be expected; there are days of feeling content with the universe and my place in it, days when tears constantly well up in my eyes, clouding my vision and sapping — almost literally — my energy, hours filled with clarity and gratitude, and long stretches of time when I feel like I’m in a state of drifting, weightless limbo. And that may account for just a few days, in a cycle and range of emotions that, for the most part, are unique and indescribable.
So why now? For one, expression is part of healing. It is one among a proven set of factors in determining one’s state of happiness (more on that topic in a future post). It also fills some time, provides some relief via distraction from what ails one and leads one down paths to simple conclusions and reasonable insights; and those help one do more than cope. They aid in understanding and rationalizing a state of affairs, invigorating and motivating one to accept the way things are and can even provide surprise and delight about friendships, family and what is really important in life.