It's a Sufjan Stevens sort of day with the first real brisk cold of the season outside and a kind of end-of-year melancholy inside. And so, as I often do in these darker end-of-the-year days, I find myself reminiscing and reflecting.
A year ago I was in a rough place. I was in the midst of the toughest year personally in quite some time. And professionally I was lifeless, listless, stuck. I spent the year in my head, my focus on a small canvas, my ears hearing only headphones cranked up high, my feet planted in a dog park, my hands folded around a coffee cup. It was a year for making tough decisions, for settling accounts, for being my own best friend, and eventually, thankfully, for second chances.
I got through those days thanks in part to some things I find myself missing now. The challenge of the French homework and sarcastic witt of a ten-year-old boy I tutored. The quiet of long walks with my sweet old dog. The rush of late nights spent with a cup of coffee and a paintbrush. The meandering conversations with like-minded people brought together by the smallest of this city's greenspaces, a park bench, my dog's love of a good stick to chew, and evenings wisely spent outside. The four-legged friends I made (even if my dog didn't so much). The pause taken to look at life through a camera lens so consistently.
I'm not sure why stepping into this year coincided so abruptly with an end to that one. But there it was. Abrupt in the hardest sort of way. And here I am, disjointed, disconnected. To have some of the joy from that year, while having happily left behind the pain, would maybe bridge that gap that I'm feeling now, year over year.