38

There are five days left in my 38th year, and I am not sure that the best part has happened yet. It hasn’t been bad by any means, but the old sports phrase “it’s a rebuilding year” is completely accurate.

I’ve found friends and lost them.

I’ve gained pounds and lost them.

I’ve gained perspectives and lost them.

This directly correlates to weight. If something is particularly troubling to me, I stop eating. Once I am comfortable again, food is spectacular. It is the thing that I’ve been dealing with the most this year, because when I lose weight, I look like a lost and frightened child. People tell me that they would kill to be as small as I am, having no idea that I have body issues (just like everyone else) and it hurts to hear positive reinforcement for absolutely starving myself when I am troubled by my own mind. If I were doing it on purpose, I could find a way to stop. But I am so focused on mind issues that body issues fall by the wayside. I don’t lose weight because I’m trying. I lose weight because I’ve stopped.

The thing I’ve gained and not lost is a true sense of home. I am a Virgo, tied to setting in an enormous way, and DC feeds my soul… the part of me that is awed by politics, the military, the press, and the law. I never thought I’d get the chance to move back, and though it didn’t happen this year, the true settling in has occurred. The roots that were once superficial are deep into the ground. I am rising above survival into thriving.

Some days.

On others, I am inconsolably lonely at all I have lost. Yes, still. I miss Dana and Argo both specifically and not… meaning that I miss them personally and their roles, which to me are both jointly and severally. I miss sending Argo a quick note to say goodnight and then either falling into my bed or Dana’s… and on the nights when I fell into my bed, knowing that Dana was down the hall and there would just be this explosion of joy in the morning at seeing her again. A few hours of absence only created a deep need to see her, so excited I’d jump on her and kiss her even when she was asleep (I cannot tell you how amused I was at her sometimes fake, sometimes real grumpiness at this). Now I fall asleep to memories of all of it… comforting and unsettling all at once. It is sometimes unbearable to know that you loved someone more than yourself and yet, didn’t show it where they could see it.

I am learning, and this year is proof positive.

I spent hours today reading my own writing, trying to figure out what the theme of my year was since I didn’t have one of SarahAnne’s stars to tell me. I’ve told this story before, but it freaked Dana and me out that no one knew we’d gone to the OB/GYN to talk about pregnancy and my star that year was “Expect.”

Every year at Epiphany, stars are (or were, haven’t been there in years) given out with one word to encompass everything. Expect could mean anything, but that year was a doozy.

This year has been a haze of time, malleable in my mind because it is only through timestamps on my blog that I can remember what happened when. I can remember the tiniest details of an experience, but order is not one of them. The closest I can get is what the sun looked like that day, or what was in the air.

This year, the word in the air has been “Look.” Being curious cost me nothing and everything. I lost an enormous amount of grief by being able to sit in a setting where everything felt present, alive, full of possibility… only to come home and realize I’d solved nothing at all.

I am grateful for all the things that will ultimately pull me forward later that dragged me back today… all the things I have

gained

and

lost.

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