what’s going on in massachusetts?

I write that as a question because there are still some days, after two and a half months of living up here, that I ask myself what exactly it is that I’m doing here. I ask myself that question because I constantly need clarification. In many ways my life is in transition: I’m working toward my birth and postpartum doula certification, continuing to grow my bookbinding business, establishing a reputation as an instructor in a new place, and, as always, trying to prioritize the relationships in my life, including my relationship to myself.

Moving is hard. I think that I must have forgotten how long it took me to feel at home when I moved to Chicago and Asheville, or maybe I thought that this move would be easy because of all that I’d learned in the past ten years. And while this one has been easier than past moves, I also realize that with more self-awareness comes more searching for deeper happiness and a more serious commitment to all the things that I apparently require to be happy: a safe and beautiful home, work that feels important and sustaining, a community of amazing, creative, and loving friends, lovely surroundings, and more…

Thankfully, Western Massachusetts is slowly but steadily providing me with these things, but there are still some days when I get in such a rut that I give myself a headache and it’s all I can do to lie on the couch reading a book for the whole afternoon. Truly, though, there are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Last weekend Andy and I celebrated our fifth anniversary with a trip to Maine, and I remembered, like I do every time I leave town, how much traveling renews my creative energy and makes me excited about so many aspects of life. We went to the beach one night after dinner and took photos in the near darkness. My mom said that it looks like we’re on the moon:

We ate doughnuts on the beach the next morning, and Andy decided that we should come back for another visit in January…haha (but I think he was serious).

Being on the beach was amazing, and the drive from MA to ME was so beautiful with all of the leaves changing. The trip also reiterated to me how grateful I am for my traveling companion (on our journey to Maine, and on this transition overall).

It felt nice to get away from home for a few days, and to temporarily let go of all my efforts to get settled and make a perfect life in Northampton. It’s also helpful, though, to ask myself what I’m doing up here, away from most of my friends and community, and to answer the question as earnestly as I can on a daily basis. Over times my headaches should subside, and who knows…It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to think that leaving New England will give me the same bittersweet feeling as leaving Asheville did.

More will be revealed on that front, and thankfully I have lots to do to keep my mind and body occupied. My new favorite slogan is “Carry water, chop wood.” So I’m gonna get busy. XO

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