Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Front Porch

In my world, life begins to shift gears in early August. And by shift I mean the world starts to spin on an entirely different axis and it feels like this has caused my brain to fall out of my skull. (People tell me I'm dramatic, I have no idea why.)

But, that is how it feels. Both my personal and professional life ramp up to high rates of speed and despite the fact that this happens every single year without fail, I find myself scrambling to pick up the pieces. It's like being caught in a tornado, wishing I had the foresight to batten down the hatches as my house is pulled apart, board by board. I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it just has a way of putting all of my personal ugliness on display.

I'm sure you know what I mean by ugliness: those icky parts of myself that I manage to smooth over most of the year that I simply cannot hide when life gets crazy again. I'm reminded that I have poor coping skills as my anxiety bubbles to the surface of my pores and causes me to let those little cracks show. I like to think I'm good at hiding things, but the fact that I try to hide them in the first place reminds me that I'm not. It's a terrible idea, hiding your shortcomings, because they emerge in funny ways without asking for your permission first.

I tend to get moody and contemplative, in a way that draws my heart and body to the front porch. It's my happy place; the one actual place where I can sit and rock back and forth until my feet feel like they are planted on the Earth once again. I have other places, sure, but I can't go there to visit. Like, the place I live in when I'm running. It's not really a place, but it always allows me to clear my head. And that always makes me happy.

But the porch? The porch makes me feel like I can get away, even if it's just for a brief moment in time. It's not about talking or thinking, either. It's just about being. And it makes for a peaceful reprieve to an otherwise peace-less existence this time of year.

That's the funny thing about a routine: it allows you to get comfortable with things exactly as they are. Even when you know things are about to change, as they always do, it still manages to catch you by surprise. I don't deal well with changes, even the ones I can see coming from a few miles away. I find myself going on more runs and spending more time on the porch, stretching and reaching for that place where I feel sane.

It's all temporary, I know. That doesn't make it any easier, it just makes me realize it won't last forever. Or, that I always have a peaceful place to exist when life leaves me feeling dizzy and disoriented.

It's all we can hope for, I think: a place that allows us to feel peace, even if it's only for a few moments in time.

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