Friday, January 27, 2012

What 'settled' actually means.

I think that finally most of the dust has settled upon my move to Decorah. I must point out that this doesn't mean that I'm not still very excited by the prospect of snow or that I don't learn new things everyday and get excited about them (because I mean, we are talking about me here, me who happens to get very excited by most everything, small things included).

However, this does mean that uncomfortable feelings are more easily surfaced, and the reality of what my life is compared to before is no longer hidden from view by all the excitement. This is not to say that I don't love my life in Decorah, because I do very much so. I really like the new friends I'm making - just Tuesday I had a handful over to play Settlers and eat coq au vin (I had a bit of wine left over from my beef and barley stew, and thought that this would be the best application of it. It was freaking delicious, so it was.) I like the community I live in, I really like my job, I like that I can walk everywhere, I like my house and I feel good about these things.

It's just that, no matter how much you like living alone, it can feel rather lonely. And this could be for many reasons, reasons that make sense and simply indicate the growing pains in life. Like, I haven't ever lived alone before, so no one's there to ask how your day was in the evenings and offer simple interactions that connect you to people. I am thousands of miles away from friends I used to see almost daily, could walk across the street to drink tea with, have weekly girls nights with chic flicks and a bottle of wine, or hang out every Friday on the back porch with to contemplate life. And I'm also working through a lot of emotional, personal, and spiritual things that have come up and challenged me and my way of life in the past year or so that also happen to pull me into myself and away from people.

I purchased this for myself today as a reminder when things get tough to keep going.

Yes, in the days of Facebook and phones everyone is theoretically a phone call away, but people are busy - and sometimes it's out of sight, out of mind. And this isn't inherently a problem - because I do connect on the phone with these friends back in California, and I'm not actually spending a lot of time home alone anyway because I have friends here who like to do things and there are plenty of community things to do. But, it still can feel rather lonely. I haven't completely adjusted yet.

I'm doing several things to keep me busy - one of which is politics. Last night was the Winneshiek County Committee that I'm now serving on. It was interesting, and gave the opportunity to get involved in politics in a way that matters. I'm going to be serving on the Youth Initiative Committee (as one of the youngest individuals there, and the youngest woman, it was pretty easy for everyone to push me and my fellow SSE committee member onto that committee - but I'm actually okay with that) and on the Get Out the Vote committee. I'm also going to volunteer for Obama. I've realized, through many things, that I've lived my life quiety - afraid to speak my mind or really show what I believe and why. But here, one is encouraged to speak up, to share, and to discuss - in a civil way - what you think and why. And that's fun, and I'm thinking that doing such could be good for my confidence and personal growth.

I leave you with a picture of a print I purchased from a co-worker and new friend. She's a part of that print making group I mentioned last time, and they had a showing last night. Their work is really great - so I got a few prints. This one, in particular, has a good story behind it - and I may end up bartering for it by teaching her how to needle felt (including giving her a needle, wool, and having her over for dinner to do such). I find myself coming to know all of these really smart people who happen to be quite talented and creative outside of work, which inspires me to be creative because everyone here is so damn supportive of it.

Titled 'Lovey Dovey"
Speaking of which, I may have cracked my sciencey-hard-as-rock-creativity-isn't-allowed cover. No promises made yet, but I may share a poem I wrote a while ago at a poetry slam next month. How about them apples?


  1. "This one, in particular, has a good story behind it..."

    Aw, c'mon Christy, don't leave us hanging like that. What's the story behind it?

    Glad to hear you feel like you're settling in.

  2. It's not my story to tell, really - though I still can.

    The woman who created it did after her boyfriend told her a story. When he was a kid, he was just learning how to shot a gun, and so he shot a dove in his backyard. After coming back inside, he remembered learning that doves mate for life, and the dove's mate was by the now-dead dove's side at the time of death. So he went back out and shot it too, because this felt better, and forever lives with the guilt.