The last month and a half has been a whirlwind, sharknado, and hurricane.
Okay, well maybe not a sharknado although it has hurt plenty.
My family moved back to PA where we’re originally from. I had known about the move for months and even though I kept trying to prepare myself for them actually leaving, it didn’t fully hit me until two giant Budget moving trucks were parked outside our homes one sunny, Sunday afternoon.
The two-ish weeks leading up to their departure was especially frustrating. I was house searching with potential roommates when that fell through. I began frantically searching for a cheap studio apartment with no such luck. So there I was, sitting on the edge of the moving truck hours before they were to leave, realizing the magnitude of what was actually happening. That’s when I started to second guess every decision that I made up until that point.
I began to question, given the housing situation, whether or not I was supposed to stay in Vegas. I ran into so many walls that I tried to force down only to have them grow higher and higher. Should I have gone home? Was that really the best thing for me? Can I do this on my own? What do I do now? Those were the last thoughts that I wanted to have that day.
But when I paused the panic mode and sat still for a moment a few important realizations came to light. I’m a strong, firm believer in the universe and it’s seemingly ill-timed detours for life’s grand schemes and desires. When you run into roadblocks and pot holes and you keep trying to maneuver around them but just end up crashing and wrecking your tires, there is a reason for that. We’re always quick to panic mode because nothing is happening the way that we think it should and things shouldn’t be so difficult, but they are. And then all hell breaks loose and you just throw your hands up in the air (even though you do care, you care very much) and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. But what we always fail to see in those moments is that we are exactly where we’re meant to be.
Those walls and hurdles that are in front of you aren’t preventing you from doing the things that you want to do or obtaining whatever goal you’ve set out to do. They’re there to guide you around all the nonsense that you can’t foresee, all of the monsters that are lurking behind the corners you’re not supposed to round. When you stop and take things into a different perspective, you’ll start to see the signs that you’ve been asking for, the ones you were so intent on ignoring. Those are your roadblocks. How’d the crash feel?
The day after they left my mother told me that my twin was in the ER in some hospital in Arizona. So naturally I said I’d be there in four whatever hours it took to get there. And I was. I had never been to Flagstaff, Arizona. It was not at all what I was expecting. It was beautiful and calming and even though I wasn’t happy that he was in the hospital, I was happy for the retreat because I knew the moment that I saw those pines trees, I had come for a reason.
Flagstaff gave me several things: An extra day off from work (thank the lawd), men’s size M sweatpants because the Walmart there apparently didn’t believe in stocking boy’s pajamas, and the book The Monster Calls. Hospitals aren’t exactly pleasant anyhow but when you don’t pack enough because you weren’t expecting to be there that long, it grows tiresome real quick. I found a little nook outside beside the hospital that delighted me with a pretty little sunset peaking through the pines that first night. It was just the kind of magic I needed. It sparked the inspiration I had long since lost.
I went to Walmart the next day for a few things and wanted a book. I had seen previews for A Monster Calls and knew that I wanted to read the book first before I saw the film. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from it. How it left me, I was not ready for.
I’ve put a lot of feelings, emotions, and thoughts on the back burner these last few weeks. I haven’t had the desire or the energy to visit them and straighten them out. But with every page I turned of that book, everything that I was running from started to bubble and boil and by the end of it all, it hit me like a hurricane. Take what you will from literature, but I find stories to be exactly what we need sometimes.
What is your truth?
Simple, yet terrifying.
That’s what the monster was called for. To help Connor stop running from his nightmare and to speak his truth.
I realized the same is true for myself. Although I’m not quite ready to face it completely because I, like Connor, can’t bring myself to do it, I know that the moment will come when I will have no choice but to.
The point to all of this is that there will be moments in your life that feel so heavy that all you want to do is disburse the weight. You’ll put a little to the side, some under the pillow, and you’ll probably put some in the oven. You’ll find consolation in sad music, empty bottles and young reader fiction. But you’ll get unexpected phone calls that send you on unexpected journeys and you’ll find pieces of yourself along the way. You’ll hear a new song, see a new place, read a new book, and things will start to come together again.
Whatever path you’re on, whatever signs you’re seeking, don’t be afraid to stand still when things go wrong. Don’t be terrified to acknowledge your nightmares so that one day you can speak your truth.