i've been so busy since the new semester started a few weeks ago. unbelievably busy. it seems that suddenly my life has come full circle and i spend the vast majority of my time working and studying, waiting for a free moment that i can give to art-making. i reel in my desire to stay out late drinking in bars and embrace my time-honored affection for long nights of reading and drawing at home alone on my bedroom floor. my old, gentle habits return. my quiet self, my thoughtful self emerges. it's the right time of year for such a return.
a few days ago i celebrated my first anniversary of being single. an entire year has elapsed. 12 solid months. it's so strange; it seems like it's been so much longer than that. i've done so much living since the day i walked out the door, taking only my white leather jacket and book bag with me last february. that moment seems like a dream. the life that followed on its heels feels real.
i've been reading back through last year's diary. it is a surreal experience. i look at my own handwriting and am boggled by the words on the page. i stare at the sentences, at the expression of such degraded loneliness and my small squeaks of hope, and wonder how it was ever possible that that life was really mine. we humans often find ourselves in situations we didn't intend. the years get away from us so quickly. our naivety blinds us. our fear of pain delays decision after decision. we ache for something better than what we have but we feel guilty for wanting it. we assume that wanting something other than what we've got means we're bad, wrong, or selfish. i wasn't leading a bad life, i was simply stuck in a life that wasn't right for me. i'm thankful to have this level of understanding at my disposal. it feels good to be able to understand the lives and motivations of others as a result of having had such an experience. i am more compassionate today that i was a year ago. i am stronger and more able to give respect, tolerance, and understanding to other people. i have a greater capacity for love than i have ever had before.
still, i'm in no rush to couple-up. i was in a relationship for 7 years. i'm enjoying all this ME TIME. it's nice to be able to plan trips and not have to worry if another person approves or not. it's nice to be able to spend money on whatever the fuck i feel like spending money on without having to worry about what judgement may befall me as a result. it's nice not to have to cook dinner every night. it's nice to cook whatever i want for dinner and not have any discussion about it whatsoever. it's nice to simply be myself. it really is. i like who i am. i like not having to amend my self or argue for my own interests and desires. i like not being confronted with the "necessity" of concession and compromise. and i'm hopeful that there are other types of relationships possible in this life aside from what i just described. i'm hopeful that in the future i'll stumble in to a situation that feels good, feels respectful of who i truly am, and encourages me to be my best. in the meantime, i'm doing a pretty good job of encouraging myself.
it feels great to return to a deep degree of dedication when it comes to language acquisition and study. i have two german classes this semester and am currently saving money for a trip to germany in summer. i come home to my books and my art after work rather than heading off to a bar. don't get me wrong, i love bars, it's just time to be a bit more measured when it comes to how much time (and money) i spend in them. i've got dreams to chase and tons of lessons to learn. this little waiter needs a clear head, an open heart, and money for plane tickets. and it's amazing to see myself come back around to ideas and interests i had this time last year but that i necessarily had to put on hold while i tended to the very real concern of my own survival and building a life for myself. it's fantastic to read how excited i was to attend the Francesca Woodman retrospective at SFMOMA last year and relive the profound affinity i felt toward her work. it's wonderful to read about my budding enthusiasm for photography and streetart and then to realize that now, a year later, i'm participating in both art-forms in a serious manner. so many things seem to be coming back around to degree zero and i feel refreshed and recharged by that lucky occurrence.
all this to say, it's nice to be back. life sure gets good every now and then and there's a hell of a lot to look forward to.