Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Settled Life

I feel like I just finished running an exhausting year-long race. Maybe even a life-long race. Before the dust began to settle, I was worried what I'd do with myself, what I'd do with "all that free time." David always says I don't know how to relax—so what would I do with nothing to do?

The leaves are beginning to change, slowly but I see it, and the dust, too, is settling around me—us—in our new life together. I've heard some say that getting married doesn't change much (especially if you were already living together), but I'd have to disagree. There is something different between us, something I can't quite put my finger on. I know the honeymoon period lasts a while, but I feel a new-found sense of respect, trust and responsibility. I've also never been happier, never felt more calm. Maybe this new, settled me is the best version of myself.

I learned early on in life to roll with the punches, to stay on my toes—whichever cliched expression you prefer—but I'm beginning to wonder if all of that is fading away as this new period of my life begins. For once, the constant moving, rolling, jumping, twisting to get out of the way, has ceased, and in its place a comfortable stasis has developed, one where I'm free. More than ever I feel like I have the power to figure out what I want to do with my life, not my career, but how I'd like to fill up my days. I think: dancing, baking, cooking, reading, writing, playing, traveling. I've already started planning trips up and down the coast.

I never considered the thought that once I was settled, feet firmly planted on the ground, I could finally begin to really move about and see what life has to offer me. I always considered any movement positive movement, a step in the right direction. But I think I was wrong. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with standing still, or taking a step back to really see what is in front of you, to take it all in. The stillness over these last few weeks has shown me more beauty than I've experience in a while. All I've seen for a long time is the whoosh of the trees as I go zipping by.

I think I like this new, settled life—whether it means I am flying above thick, wet clouds or slouching into our soft, comfortable couch. It's a happier life, a lighter load to carry and, so far, a better me.

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