chose to be open

What an unexpected yet intentional year of openness, grief, exploring what it feels like to be settled, and finding a place that feels like home (for now). I can’t help but think of my grandma as 2023 creeps closer. It’s a year she’ll never touch. A year without memories of her. A year without notes in my journal about conversations I had with her. It’ll be the first year of her absence. I fear I’ll fear that loss with each time I write down the date.

I set out last year to continue nomading. I lived in Oregon for a few months and planned to spend a few more in Seattle before moving on to Vancouver or perhaps Colorado. My grandma died in March and everything both stopped and flew by me. I can hardly remember making the decision to get an apartment in Seattle but, with my world so narrow in sorrow, it’s as if I could only look a couple of miles from me for where to go next.

The fancy I bike I snagged, her final gift, became a source of comfort. I signed up to volunteer at a retirement community, determined not to lose my connection to generations who came before me. My grief for her forced a decision – to close or open up. I chose to be open. I pushed myself to make friends, to say “yes”, and to rest. Seemingly out of nowhere, it’s like my life clicked into place. I had a crew to play soccer with, a place to volunteer, various friends to connect with, a dog to dog sit, a dear friend to marg with, an apartment to enjoy, hikes to return to over and over, parks to watch sunsets, some go to places to eat, side projects to lose track of time with, long lost family to get to know, and an incredibly wonderful person to go on dates with and learn deeply. I went into Seattle expecting to enjoy it and move on. I now am about to sign a lease to stay for a year longer. Each moment so unexpected at each step yet such an opportunity to be intentional in choosing to live a life I’m proud of.

I end the year in a state of openness, of feeling cleared out by grief, of having momentums in areas of my life long since stagnant. I’m excited to properly hang up the three giant photos I printed at my apartment. I’m wondering how I’ll possibly connect with all the various folks in Seattle I’m meeting. I’m deciding on trips to plan and people to invest in. Intermixed in it all are new devastating insights, multiple deep friendship heartbreaks, and the loss of my favorite buddy (grandma). The pain runs deep but my openness runs deeper and I’m following it, step by step, into a life I never could have imagined. I wonder what will happen next and only hope for more.

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3 responses to “chose to be open”

      • Anne sorry about the “younavitae”. I didn’t see it until you replied. It is meant to say …2023 – you navigate on your terms. One of two things happened. Auto correct (which is the bane of my life) or its when “jack” my gentle giant love pup jump on to my lap. He’s 70lbs of sweetness and paws. 🤔🫣🤭🐶

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