So much new exists in my life right now. It’s beautiful and scary and thrilling and overwhelming and exciting and exhausting and I’m hopeful and terrified.

The voices in my heart are at war, and I can only hope my current, older self has enough data to successfully battle years of repetitive, restricting, damaging messages.

This particular battle has required that I not submit myself to retraumatization in other arenas: I can only hold up so long under such circumstances.

If you haven’t heard from me, this is probably why. I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not. I’m taking care of myself in the most complete way I have in eight years, and I think you’ll be as glad of it as I am, in the end. I hope so.

And I hope that, in time, I will be able to give of myself again. But, give me August. Let me disappear into my new home and my new school and my new responsibilities and my new car, god, let me drive my new car without a care in the world but finding the next amazing place to park and spend some time enjoying the Maine coast.

Let me nest. Let me marvel in four living beings existing in more than two and a half rooms. Let me leave calls unreturned and emails unanswered and don’t resent me for it. I’ve worked so hard, for a lot of things, for so long. I’m finally in a physical place where I’m not making it work, I’m not being resourceful, I’m not practicing creative problem-solving. And of course there are still challenges, like my cat who thinks that pooping isn’t only for litter boxes and carpets be damned; I will absolutely put centipedes outside but goddamnit now I feel like they’re skittering all over me; learning how to close windows discreetly when work calls are punctuated by my neighbor hollering, “MURRAY! MURRAY COME DOWN YOU. GO PIPPEE. GO PIPPEE!” (for the non-Mainers, That’s French-Canadian for “Murray the dog, come down here and urinate.”) But on the whole, it’s a dream.

I’ve never known this. And I don’t think I deserve it, that I’ve earned it somehow. But I hope to get to a place where I can at least appreciate it without guilt.

From the text message archives:

I really feel now like, my last place wasn’t somewhere ANYone could have kept clean under our circumstances, and I’m less hard on myself. I’m not unpacked yet, but everything is clean, dishes and laundry are happening like clockwork, my work surfaces are tidy.

I really needed a fresh start. This isn’t 100% that, but it’s enough of a reboot that I’m bringing more new, older Kirsten stuff in, than there is left of who I was when I came home.




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