Lately it seems I've been delving a lot into the past. In a good way.
I've been getting back in touch with people from various stages of my life. Family, friends from Nashville, childhood friends, online friends, friends of our kids' (that's always fun). Interestingly enough, there seems to be some similarity between what I'm learning from the interaction with my own childhood friends and our kids' friends.
Getting over the move from Nashville and building new lives for ourselves here in Fayetteville has been a difficult process for me. Even though I've lived in 5 states and moved around a lot for 11 years, we lived in Nashville for 24. It was the longest I lived in any one place. 5 of our 6 kids were born there; they all consider themselves Tennesseans. I was involved with their schools; I wrote for a community newspaper as well as freelancing for magazines; I invested a lot of time working with the dance studio we attended; and I was active in the church. I even had a small reputation because of some of my affiliations. Just enough of one to make me feel good. Moving to Fayetteville, frankly, took all that away.
Now, I'm not pitying myself, or even complaining. That's just what happened. And it was up to me to build something for myself here. However, it has been tricky. Kids had to be established first. And then I had to find work, steady, part time work to fit our needs. That meant re-learning how to job hunt, and then learning the new job. Meantime, hubby had to work out a new post for himself, and the kids were moving onward in school to college. Now there is less than a year til our youngest starts heads off, too.
During the four years here I started this blog and numerous other writing projects. And there have been health and family issues to deal with . Obviously I've not been lacking for things to keep busy with. Yet -- and here I have to put in that some things may have been due to unknown health issues affecting me -- I've had trouble lntegrating my new life with my old. And it was bringing me down.
While I am the same person, I'm not living the same life I did for so long. And, honestly, for the most part, I loved my life in Nashville. Not that there weren't problems; there always were. But I knew how to cope with them, and when problems were absent, things were great. Here if Fayetteville, life is just -- different. Let me be clear that the people here are wonderful. My issues do not have to do with them. No, it's more like I'm not completely sure what my life is supposed to be here or how it relates to my lives elsewhere -- in Nashville, in Syracuse, in Vermont or Maryland (including D.C.) or in Castleton.
If there is a thread that runs through the fabric of a person's life from start to finish, tracing their initials and plotting their journey onto the surface for all to see, I had lost that thread. I could not relate how I am now with how or what or who I was before. There seemed to be nothing to tie it all together.
Somehow, recent contact with old classmates, and hearing from friends of our children that we knew in Nashville, as well as talking with my far away relatives, has somehow combined to re-integrate me with myself. I am feeling, and acting, a whole lot more like 'me'.
I don't have all the answers -- kind of hope I never do, because then I will become obnoxious and boring and will stop seeking to conquer new horizons -- but I'm beginning to feel like one person with a continuous story again. Whatever fraying was taking place has been repaired by being reminded of who and where I once was. I can see my journey again, and so I know that there is more road ahead, with scenery, and things to do, and more to write.
If there is a moral to this, I think it is to keep trying to sort things out, stay in touch with your various past lives, and with yourself. Like looking for a single thread in a piece of cloth, if you don't give up, you'll find it.