Yesterday I felt the grief veil lifted from my eyes. I left work and as I was driving, I saw the changing of the trees in all their Fall glory, the clouds flying away and finally releasing the sunset, and the immense white moon aglow even though the sun had not set. I could finally see the beauty that was around me without the pain that inside of me. I felt clear. I felt free.

That lasted for most of the day, until my Mother in law called and I realized it was not only her birthday, but the exact year mark from when we buried Kevin. My intense high of the entire day was smoked over by the wave of grief and I had tears on my pillow before I fell asleep. The waves can still be violent.

But today I woke and felt a glow in myself-a WANT to “put on” my face, to feel pretty, to start the day on a positive foot. Even with the things I forget, what I procrastinated on, the shoulda coulda wouldas, I still feel alive in this day. I don’t remember the last time I felt alive in the day for more than an hour or so. Entire days of seeing things clearly is something wondrous and altogether new.

I don’t know if it’s my new haircut and color (I’m a redhead now), if I finally feel some peace with where I’m at, where I’m headed, what I’m doing, or if the year marker truly flips a switch and despite feeling grief, you finally recapture yourself? I can’t seem to grasp feeling like the one year mark is something phenomenal and GOOD. It doesn’t feel good, but having passed it, it doesn’t feel bad either. My days aren’t perfect, nor will they ever be. And despite some frustrating circumstances dealing with illnesses, and setbacks, I don’t feel chaotic or alone.

Not long before the year I was really feeling this call to be back in Montana. But I truly think it’s a passing phase-I think I just need to visit Montana again. It’s been 3 1/2 years since I left, and of course I miss it. I miss the surrounding beauty, but I don’t miss feeling alone. I had friends, and that was fun, and I still have friends there, but my heart is still here in Lancaster. I’ve established myself in a great sense of Downtown community and I enjoy being so close to my family. I have amazing friends here, and away, and there are plenty of planes, trains and automobiles to take me where my heart is calling when I want. I just need to be frugal in my spending here so that I can still keep the windows of travel opportunity open. Once I close them, I feel clausterphobic and just want to leave it all. I think part of it is my gypsy spirit (9 moves in 5 years, and plenty of road trips may just classify me as the feminine Jack Kerouac) and my need and want to be adventurous and not accountable.

So I miss Montana, I miss the West. I miss road trips, and weekends where I just escaped. I miss free schedules and having only a few bills instead of a lot of them. Who doesn’t? But I love it here. I like my apartment, and it’s soon to be ALL MINE in just a week as my roomie heads to Manitoba to be with Kevin’s best friend. I have places I love here, and places I love there. And that’s ok.

I want to find an even keel where I have at least 2 weekends a month COMPLETELY free of obligations where I can travel if I want, or stay home and veg if I’d like. I want to hanker down and study during the weeknights so that my explorer spirit can be set free. I want to put up my Christmas tree and move in all my stuff in the next two weeks to finally make my apartment my apartment, and I want to enjoy the heck out of the Holidays since I didn’t want to last year. I want cabin weekends in January and February where I can get stuck and go skiing. I want road trips to the State and National Parks I love this summer even if it means having to go to college next fall too.

Some things are just worth it. Most of all, I want this veil to stay up and out of my eyes. I want to remember Kevin for Kevin, not for the grief.

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