After getting almost no sleep last night, taking a nap this afternoon was a welcome treat. I woke up to the lights flickering from a storm moving through the area. It didn’t last long, but while it was here it was impressive – wind, rain, thunder and lightening. I love storms, the wildness. They make me contemplative, which I wouldn’t think I’d need, since I seem to overthink everything, but the storms tend to send my thoughts in new directions, so it feels like a good thing, a new type of contemplation.

I’ve been struggling to find balance. I’ve probably been struggling with this for a long time, but lately it is more immediate kinds of balance. Cutting myself off from people versus being too dependent on them, on externals, when it comes to my own ‘inner peace’, or even just my ‘inner stability’. I’m tired of the recurring depression, of feeling like it is out of my control. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I feel hope that I might gain control of it, though. It hasn’t been easy, and I have probably just started, but…hope. It is better than opening a present, it is more like watching those first new shoots of green poke from the ground.

I was in NJ this weekend, hanging out in person with people I’d been avoiding hanging out with online. It was good for me. I didn’t have a ton of fun while I was there, but I had a few really great conversations, and overall it was awesome to spend time among vegans. It is relaxing in a way that is hard to explain. You don’t have to ask about the food, the soap you can use without feeling a twinge of guilt that you didn’t bring your own cruelty-free stuff with you, all the while wondering if bringing handsoap with you doesn’t send you over the edge into the realm of fanatics. No matter how different you are from other vegans, there is that safety in being among people who understand how important it is, at the core, to be vegan. No explanations needed. It is freeing.

So the weekend was both less and more than I expected, and probably exactly what I needed. It was good to reconnect. It was good to take a different look at some assumptions I’d been making all along. Luckily I’ve been getting used to taking the hard look at myself and accepting things I don’t like. I can change my future reactions and interactions as long as I learn from my past.

I’m still getting used to being back on the east coast. For some reason it is much more lush than I expect, even though I’ve been here since August. Maybe it is spring, maybe I had gotten used to the spare winter version of nature. I’ve been noticing on my own patio, and more so in my friends’ backyard in NJ, just how loud the birds are. They weren’t that loud in Denver, I swear. I know this is partially because I didn’t have so many trees around me in Denver. Again, the lushness of the East. It seems exotic to me, somehow, as funny as it sounds to describe NJ as exotic. Welcome to the jungle…

flowering plant