Minnesota is melting, and so am I. Maybe. On both counts.
Now, There are shimmery patches of ice on my walks around the cities that hide tricky, gushy puddles underneath. I step gingerly on the ice, concentrating on preserving my footing, and instead lift a foot dripping with water that was once ice that was once snow. It’s dirty. Probably filthy, and I imagine the streets are cloaked in gray, brown and murky streams of water and mud. I don’t have a particularly favorable view of my city’s aesthetics, currently.
Nor, apparently, does Kiva, who will stamp her way wagging through a snowbank, slide gleefully over ice, but who stops dead at the beginning of a puddle. She seems to be rooted in sheer stubbornness and will, because she is nearly impossible to move forward. More often than not, I end up sloshing through the puddle and dragging her on the leash behind me, after which she snuffles indignantly and shakes herself in the most vigorous, disgruntled manner. Apparently, my little Lab is afraid of swimming.
I’m also trying to melt my over-wintered insides. I’ve had a few months of depression and lethargy, probably due to the season. I didn’t want to eat, couldn’t sleep, felt like crying all the time. When I found myself churning ice cream and baking bread in the last two weeks, I realized that, hopefully, those feelings of hopelessness are evading. I’m starting to think about grad school (again), which I’m hopeful I can see through this time, instead of shutting it down with the fear of added debt, academic challenge, and possible unfulfillment.
A friend took me rock climbing for the first time a few weeks ago (is it still called rock climbing if it’s inside and the rocks are manmade?). I got the same exhilaration I get from pole, of being off the ground, of feeling the muscles in my body, and of reaching for something challenging but totally within my grasp. I loved it and felt rejuvenated by it.
I’m taking a writing class for the first time ever. It’s funny to think about how I’ve always written, how I’ve said over and over again that I need to write to be ok, but I never thought of it as a viable option for a career or part of a career. I’m starting to think that way now, especially since during both my current and previous job, I’ve found myself thinking again and again, “I don’t have enough time to write everything any more. I wish I could just write.” I’ve been scared of the impracticality of it, and of how embarrassed I feel just saying, “I want to write” aloud when people ask me if I’ve figured out what the heck I want to do with my life already. Most of that embarrassment comes from their reactions, or my fear of their reactions. I started reading a book called Art & Fear, recommended by the teacher of my writing class. It’s helping. Just knowing I’m not alone, that other creative people (though I hesitate to call myself that) are also afraid, is a huge relief. It makes me feel brave.
So, melting. We’re all doing it, hopefully, and making room for new experiences and a new spring. I wish you all a happy, fun, and fruitful one, whatever sort of fruit suits you best.