So here I am, at the passing of another month of the year. I've spent the past 3 days outside in nature, both of my choosing and for work, I've seen some music and comedy and movies, I've accomplished some goals of seeing friends, taking advantage of free summer events, created a brand new website for my fledgling business, gone to the farmer's market every weekend, and gained confidence, excitement and joy in my work. I hit a milestone 5 year wedding anniversary with Todd, finally feeling like a team instead of cohabitants. I've learned my own strength and resilience and determination. I've wept. I've laughed. But most of all, I've lived.
July simultaneously feels like the most restful and the most accomplished month I've had in some time. I started with only one goal: not to cross the state line. I'm not sure if there has ever been a month where I've stayed entirely within Maryland. It's a bit like meditating - at first you feel trapped in your own head, but with practice you start to see and feel things you hadn't allowed in the past. In the past 6 months alone I've hit 8 states, 5 of them more than once. So I really needed to rest. Undergoing surgery in late June was a good way to kick that off with my biggest accomplishment being some movies on Amazon and Redbox.
I had my first photography showcase in mid-July; from acceptance to show was 2 weeks and all of a sudden I had this kick in the ass to do the work I'd just been talking about for over a year. Selecting the best photos, printing, figuring out a display, getting a professional email, setting up a website, promoting the shit out of the show and finally and epicly long show day - essentially setting up a business. In 2 weeks. I promptly spent a full day sick in bed afterwards since I didn't realize just how much adrenaline had taken over for self care and shit like sleeping.
Besides the fears of showing my work and facing the real possibility of rejection, the month also held the death of a woman who was a mentor, inspiration and distant friend. I can't articulate how crushing the news was. It ripped open places in my soul I didn't know existed and it felt like the universe itself was cracked. I tried not to erase that emotion, sitting with it when necessary, and using the rawness of it to drive my own will to live life fully, create with everything God gave me, be present in my relationships and stop waiting. Waiting on the right time, waiting on a change, waiting for more money, waiting for fear to subside or say how I feel.