For a little while yesterday it felt like light was running through my veins and flowing from my fingertips, my heart about to scatter into pieces from trying to hold in too much happiness. There was a whistling tea kettle, and blue sky and sunlight peeking through eucalyptus branches, and a mistyness hung over the ocean. And all of it made me want to run—hard and fast and long, hair whipping in the wind—and dive into the ocean, taste salt, and let the waves carry me.

The days which are empty are so full; I lose time like an absent-minded child, moving slowly from wonder to wonder. I think on this past week, and I have done nothing really, except perhaps practice the art of waiting well. It’s the small things that fill my hours, the unexpected, rediscovered things: lunch dates and coffee dates and dinner dates, long walks to the ocean, the smells and faces of roadside lavender and Mexican sage bush and jacaranda trees…and other things, nothings, forgettable but beautiful and surprising.

And I have been taking little mind-journeys into my past, stepping back into that old, hazy time. It feels like myth to me, like I’m looking into someone else’s life through someone else’s eyes. I find myself detached, questioning whether I was really there in these shaded memories that appear and fade again in my head.

Like those days when we laughed daily, loud and long, and never cried except from laughing too hard. That is not who I am anymore. Now I cry more and laugh less but I am happy, my joy is more honest, goes deeper than it did then. A sense of rightness has arrived in my life; I feel free, unpretentious, natural, just…here, in a time when living is good and breathing is easy.

I am wary, however, and humbled by the fact that even a few weeks ago, fear and anxiety were my closest companions, whispering lies of self-doubt into my ear. How grateful I am for these friends of mine who know me so well, see me more truly than I see myself, and point me towards the way of hope. They have helped me live not in the anxious emptiness but in the openness of this time, teaching me to not grasp at anything that seems secure, but to open my heart and my hands to receive what gifts and surprises come my way.

All that to say: there is still within me that restless girl who wants to live like a dreamer, exploring, chasing hope, doing wild, outlandish things…but at the same time something else is rising up in me: gratefulness that this reality I am living now is so much better than my dreams.

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