Hi! How are you? I’m sorry I have been out of touch for so long. I was supposed to be hiking this week but between a cold, lots of rain and family in town from the east coast, I am still in the Bay Area. Which may be good. I guess I want to apologize for not calling you sooner (and for emailing now). One of the reasons is I’m out of minutes on my phone through February 25th (not counting weekends and nights; and I was out of phone range last weekend) and also because I’ve just been struggling and having a really really hard time reaching out to people. Even the most important ones. There’s a lot of stuff going on…. And some of it is just me needing to deal with who I am and some of my shortcomings and foibles and battles. Acceptance of myself is so hard for me sometimes. I mean, the good things are great, but the things that I don’t like, the things I am ashamed of, these things I really struggle with a lot. Instead of accepting them, I often continue to fight and fight and fight. And that does no good at all.
It was interesting, I met up with an old friend who graduated when I was a sophomore in college who I have seen for a total of 3 hours in the last 4 years or something ridiculous like that. Anyway, she asked me if I’ve been having fun over the last two and a half years since graduation and whether or not I’ve been happy. And it was sort of a wake up question, as several things over the past few weeks have sort of felt like wake up questions. I mean, I’m not always sure that “fun” is the most appropriate word, or that “fun” is even the kind of life I am striving to live. But happy and fulfilled, certainly. And there have been many many many parts of the last two plus years that HAVE been very fulfilling, many times when I have been deeply happy and also lots of times of fun. But the question also made me realize how far I have moved from the positive perspective on life that I so often have. I seem fixated on the challenges, the unhappiness, the unfulfilment. And I feel like I want that to change too. I want to be in a place where I can recognize the challenges but that they do not define any point in my life but fit in it in the context of a wider perspective of happiness and fulfillment, of profound blessedness and privilege. And I feel that I have been losing sight of these things. And that while this issue may be exacerbated by external factors, a lot of it is going on internally. So facing my own demons. Wry smile. And this is why I have been failing to be present for other very very important people, like you.
To put things in perspective (for myself as well as for you), life continues to be beautiful also. My cousins are visiting from New Hampshire with their parents. I last saw them in June 2006 when they were 2 and 4. They are now 5 and 7 – CRAZY! Smile. My aunt Amy and uncle Frank who also live in the Bay Area took us all south to Monterey and Point Lobos. What an incredibly beautiful part of the country and of the world! It kind of boggles my mind! We saw sea otters lying on their back in the water, flipping their tails like paddles to propel themselves along, seals and sea lions reposing on rocky outcrops in the sunshine, a single whale spouting in the distance, sea stars, anenomes, hermit crabs, sand dollars, snails, barnacles, seagulls, vultures, egrets, deer, pelicans – such a richness of life. What a wondrous world in which we live! It was a perfect day, too. The first really sunny day after a week plus of heavy rain. The sun warmed the still-damp earth and the flowers opened their bright faces to smile at the sky stretching endless from distant horizon to distant horizon. The ocean was blue blue blue, the blue of royalty, deep and pure. Ah. Smile.
I would be calling right now, but it’s VERY late your time. I am thinking of you and have been.