When we have a blank canvas in front of us, the tendency is to fill it up with colors, lines, textures… anything to make the space feel beautiful, meaningful, or well, just to put something there. For the first time in a long time, my future is suddenly a wide open space. It’s as if for the last thirteen years I’ve been hurtling through outer space as part of a binary star system, in which two stars orbit a common center of mass. Whatever the future held, there would still be that one constant; each a shining light and companion to the other.
I’ve always joked that the tidiness or untidiness of my home is a direct reflection of my current state of mind. If my room is an explosion of clothing, if the dishes are left undone, and if the bed isn’t made, you can bet my schedule is crammed and I’m stressed to the gills. And the visual messiness of it all just makes everything ten times worse to come home to. On the flip side if things are neat and tidy to the point that I’m arranging a fresh bouquet of flowers “just so” and lint rolling that one part of the couch that the cats love to curl up on, wow, I’m probably really on top of everything and feeling pretty good about life. It’s not about being a neat freak, but it’s more about feeling put together enough that to even have the mental space, time, and capacity to tend to the unnecessary, but very pleasant and satisfying details pertaining to the space I occupy.
Presently half of my home is quite literally empty. At first I felt this urgency to refurnish it immediately, filling up the empty space with objects to feel somewhat whole again and make it feel like my very own. I curated numerous Pinterest boards with inspiration in a rainbow of pastels, and scoured Danish design shops for that perfect lamp in a particular shade of cornflower blue. How I would fill my home began to occupy my every thought until it all became too overwhelming. I have no idea what I want.
When I think of what I want to do in life, there are a million ideas I can come up with. I never felt held back in my marriage, though every choice was naturally made with consideration to another person. To suddenly feel untethered, and with the once-set future suddenly unknown, the possibilities are endless––maybe even exciting––and totally unsettling and overwhelming.
The thing is, I don’t have to change anything right this moment, which is a position I’m thankful to be in. Maybe the empty living/dining area with the wooden floor is a giant dance room for now. Perhaps I don’t uproot the current trajectory of my life because I’m already spinning way out of orbit, desperately seeking my center again (there’s probably a good dance analogy in there somewhere involving lots of pirouettes).
The canvas is blank, the rooms are empty, the future is unknown, and there is a hole in my heart. Rather than rush to fill those spaces again, perhaps it is okay to sit with them for now.
Thanks for reading. If this resonated with you in some way, please consider buying me a coffee. If you look forward to these letters every week the way I look forward to writing them, consider supporting Mercury on the Run on a monthly basis with the “membership” option. The default is $5 per month, or about the cost of one shmancy coffee. I truly appreciate the support, and it makes writing this newsletter meaningful for me in more ways than one.
The photo at the header was taken by Janzow Photography at the Kettle Moraine 100. Despite my run that day ending short with a disappointing DNF, I’m glad they captured this photo of me smiling in a very beautiful place. The wheels in my head are certainly turning, with thoughts of returning to the trails in Wisconsin one day.
Later this week I’ll be spending some much anticipated time on another certain trail. To be clear, it will only be a portion of this certain trail to get to know it a little better. I’ll give you a couple hints as to where – it spans the entire length of one state, it’s green, it’s long, and Cherry Garcia ice cream may be involved. More on that to come. ‘Til next week! ~Mercury