Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm back, Jack

Oh man. After a long, unplanned blogging sabbatical, I'm back. Boy I missed you. There is something safe about this community for me. Writing here — processing my life with you — feels comfortable, like a cuppa tea, and warm fuzzy socks.

And the last several weeks have been anything but comfortable. Namely because I've been dangling upside down by the ankle in a snare. Metaphorically, of course. Unless you count the time I recently fell off my bed, my legs tangled in a blanket.

In reality, I have been navigating lots of unexpected, disorienting changes that have made me want to assume the fetal position and suck my thumb. Alas, it is impossible to assume the fetal position when you're dangling upside down by your ankle. Fortunately, however, it is possible to suck your thumb when you're dangling upside down by your ankle. The glass is always half full, folks.

I guess it all started the last week of July. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then you know I've experienced marvelous, thrilling healing the last seven months. I've been able to participate in life more fully, and have, for the first time in years, felt hopeful that I can have a normal future, full of marriage, family, and vocational opportunity.

But this healing hasn't been without hiccups along the way. I've had a few relapses that have sent me hurtling back into bed, virtually incapacitated. The first relapse was in April and lasted for a month, with the exception of a few days when I felt functional. The second, and most recent, was the last week of July. It lasted eight days. Both relapses occurred at the full moon.

I guess now is as good a time as any to explain that I'm part werewolf.

Now you understand why I have always been 'Team Jacob.'

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out why these relapses occur, and during the full moon of all times, so I can prevent future relapses.

I've hoped and prayed that this year would be a stabilizing time of discovery and relapse-eliminating rest. I've known that my landlord would want my studio available for her family in the next few years, so I've been praying that I'd have one more year in my place before moving.

But, a few days before my first day of school in August, I got an email from my landlord telling me she needed my space for family.

I felt blindsided. I'd assumed I'd have a year of rest and recuperation in my safe, peaceful apartment, and here I was needing to move at one of the most tiring times of the semester for me, during the hardest time of the year to find housing in my town.

Enter: the ankle snare.

So, I started looking for a new place, wondering how I'd pull this move off so close to my most recent, energy-draining relapse, and fearing the stress of moving would catapult me back into sickness.

I eventually found an apartment. I didn't know if I'd like living in it, but it was the best thing I could find considering the circumstances, so I signed the lease, and began packing and moving my things little by little. And then I found a gas leak in the apartment. And then my landlord refused to address the gas leak. And then I dealt with it myself. And then I found another gas leak. And then I discovered my place can't get internet for a number of complicated, silly reasons. And then I discovered the neighbor's pipes were leaking in the soil near my basement bathroom window (can we say m-o-l-d?).

But two weeks after signing my lease, my place was livable; so, thanks to the help of my parents who were in town, I moved.

Got the keys, now it's moving time
I would like to take a moment to thank my parents for packing, loading, and unpacking all of my belongings in a few short days.

Dad, your muscles and expert truck-driving skills were an invaluable asset to our moving team.

Mom, your kitchen-painting and innovative organizing skills kept me sane and hopeful. Also, you have moved me four times in the last 3 1/2 years, for which I expect your crown in heaven will have four extra huge, extra sparkly rubies.

Mama helped me paint my cute little kitchen

I should also mention that during this time my dating life started looking a lot different than I'd decided it would look. This is a pattern in my life. As soon as I determine that my dating life will look a certain way, it goes and looks the exact.opposite. This can also have the upside-down-dangling-by-the-ankle effect.

So, here I am, six weeks after discovering I had to move, tired but victorious, and settled into my new place. I haven't pushed my body this hard since before I got sick three years ago. But after all this pushing, I'm still standing. And working. And exercising. It feels nothing short of miraculous to have a body that can carry me like this. Heck, I even made it through the full moon. Owooooooooooooo! (*Celebratory howl*).

And now that I feel like I'm standing on my own two feet again, there's so much I want to tell you.

I want to tell you about the bigs things. Like how I love my place nestled high in the hills, probably even more than I loved my last place. I didn't think that was possible. If you visit, then you'll see why. It's restful, and beautiful, and chock-full of charm. Which reminds me, I'd love to have you over for tea.

Enjoying a cup of peppermint tea on my deck

I want to tell you how I spend mornings on my new deck, listening to the wind rush through the trees around my apartment; and how I spend evenings watching the sun set over Los Angeles in the valley below.

I want to tell you I've realized that, after spending years sick and grief-stricken in my old place, this move to a new place signifies a new season of health and opportunity for me.

My first fall feast in my new place
And I want to tell you about the little things. Like the fact that I ate chocolate custard with coconut cream and raspberries for breakfast this morning.

Dessert for breakfast
And the fact that last night my neighbors walked past my window, he in his tux and she in her wedding dress, freshly married and ready to spend their first night as man and wife.

And the fact that a friend came over last night and brought a baked chicken breast with her, wrapped in a paper towel. "I made some chicken and wanted to bring you some so you don't have to cook dinner tomorrow," she explained.

And the fact that today I am wearing a white, shrunken, hole-y tank top that I trained in in college, that smells like memories.

And the fact that Silas Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" is my new best friend. Hey, we spend so much time together that I've even begun to adopt his Si-isms, Jack.

And the fact that I'm going dancing tonight, after a several-week break from excursions with my girlfriends; and the fact that I have seven vases of fresh flowers in my new place.

My new life is really good, and goodness is best when you share it. And man, I'm glad to be back, sharing it with you.

© by scj