Signal Hill 2020 by Sam Lehman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://seekeachlight.com/2020/01/18/snowmageddon2020/.
There’s snow outside my door that’s high enough to block any comings or goings, but that’s a problem for tomorrow. Huh, it turns out that willingly procrastinating is easier than I thought it was going to be, except what I’ve really been procrastinating on is this blog. I started blogging in May 2014, with big dreams and high hopes. I was bright-eyed and bushy-haired then, but now, well, I’ve let this lapse because I didn’t have the same need of it that I once did. Much like my PhD, my blog is a mostly selfish endeavour; it has always been for me, the fact that other people read it and sometimes enjoy it is a welcome bonus.
We don’t spend a lot of time anymore talking about what it means to put ourselves and our lives first. It’s easier and seemingly safer to hide behind fulfilling the needs of others. Please note that selfless is far from a crime and I think everyone could benefit from injecting a bit more selflessness into their lives. On the flip side though, I will maintain that through our pursuit of concepts like self-care, living in the moment, and being the best us we can be, we begin to lose sight of our lives and what they mean individually without all of the noise.
Who are you without your job? Without your relationships? Without your commitments and your schedules?
Who are you?
I sit with this question a lot. It echoes in the back of my mind at least once a day, more often when there’s snow at my door that I haven’t removed and there are emails I haven’t looked at from at least two days ago. I phrase the question like this “Who are you?” rather than posing the query “Who am I?” The word ‘you’ distances me from my question; it removes some attachment and allows for external reflection (at least, I think it does). The truth is, I usually don’t have an answer. Especially now. My life is so different from what it once was and I have changed in ways that would make the Sam of even two years ago do a double take. One notable exception, my appearance has remained, for the most part, consistent, except for my various wig-donning cosplays over the years. So, I don’t have an answer to my question, which doesn’t scare me as much as it used to, because I don’t think I’m supposed to be able to answer this particular question yet.
Why have I chosen now to come back to my blog?
That’s a slightly easier question to answer. On my way back here after Christmas, on my way back from the airport, back to my apartment, back to my life in Newfoundland, I started thinking about growing up and how it happened to me without me really tuning into it. Suddenly, in the back of a taxi I realised I have two homes, one with my parents, wherever they happen to be, and the one that I take with me, wherever I happen to be at the time. I’m less scared to build a life now, to set down roots, even if it’s only for a few years. Being in a liminal state has always both appealed to me and terrified me, but I’m getting better about embracing the liminality of being a human and existing in this world.
I’m growing up.
I’m getting stronger, smarter, and I regret less now. I’m more open than I think I’ve ever been, and I’ve got a group of smart people who love me and have my back. Regretting less doesn’t mean I’m doing less, it means that I’m allowing myself the space to breathe, to not feel guilty when I have feelings that I need to express, to step back from things I can no longer commit to, and to be okay with change (or at least weather it in a healthier and less stress-inducing manner than before). So, I haven’t touched this blog since September 2018, and I’m okay with that, because my life was full in a different way over the past 16 months and now, I think I’m ready to be back. I’m not committing to a schedule or even a specific type of content, but I am back.
And as I listen to skidoos zip around outside on the streets, I find myself smiling, because 2020 so far has been an experience of ridiculous proportions and I think we’re only getting started.