Today, I woke up at 4 a.m. with a fever, that Heat Miser yet Snow Miser feeling of crawling out of your own skin where you trip over everything in the dark just to make it to the bottle of Motrin. I knew right away what was happening: this is my autoimmune body saying, Please, I am so tired. Please, just let me rest.
Believe it or not, this is rest for me. These words heal my soul like a boost of Vitamin C.
One week ago, I woke up in a new time zone. Well, technically, it’s an old time zone for me. I wrote a whole post about saying goodbye to Central and going back home to Eastern Standard Time, but this week has been too packed to even hit publish. And if I hit publish now, you’ll see that I wrote it when I should have been wiping down baseboards and scrubbing soap scum with a toothbrush to get ready for my final apartment inspection for check-out.
I wrote a story that will be published today that states a fact: I have lived with 27 people in the last 10 years. So I have a feeling that this need for rest goes deeper than just these last 7 days.
I remember sitting in classes my senior year of college and fantasizing about the real world. I couldn’t wait for pay stubs and airplane tickets and happy hours and high heels. I couldn’t wait for adventures. Looking back, I realize I had no sense of the cost of anything in life, especially adventures.
Adventures feel exhilarating, until they feel exhausting. Don’t hear me wrong, I am so thankful for this last adventure to a new time zone to wrestle with beauty and questions that I didn’t even know I should ask. I did the thing, the thing that usually doesn’t make it off the pages of people’s dream journals. Then, the time came to say goodbye. I sucked in gasps of air while I held my side stitch like I had just run an actual marathon, as I said goodbye in the middle of the street to a friend who assured me between sobs that we are “lifers.” The last couple years have been the most beautifully unexpected adventure that brought me friends and opportunities I will never forget. It opened my eyes in ways I never could have even fathomed while daydreaming in undergrad.
Now, it’s time to be home. It’s time to dig deep and plant roots. Roots that will anchor and take hold and grow as I grow through every new season.
This is the new adventure, back to streets and schools and mailboxes that know my name. I have a feeling that this new adventure will feel the same 1 part exhilarating and 2 parts exhausting.
Because here, at home, I have to learn to garden. Eventually. Today, though, I’ll rest. I’ll stay under these covers and catch my breath as my body groans. I’ll study my cat who teaches the very best silent lessons about staying put between all the hissing and purring, about dreams that make you twitch. And the art of taking lots and lots of cat naps.