I sliced up some magazines, printed out a few photos from my camera roll with a sticker printer I’d just received for my birthday, and stuck it all above my bed. The mere presence of color, and the memories each small picture held, felt like a balm — something consistent and bright and mine to return to. With a couple scraps of paper, I’d planted roots.
We go to bed expecting that we will wake up the next morning — that our loved ones wake up the next morning. Paranoid that this simple ask wouldn’t be granted had me regularly waking up at 3 a.m., wondering if I would again open my phone to a wave of calls, texts, or Facetimes to deliver some unfathomable bad news.
For a while, I couldn’t help but to think pessimistically about life. What if this phone call is my last? What if this joke is my last? What if this outfit is my last? After all, friends, family, and circumstance remain victims of life’s volatility. It felt rather odd to be working toward something; what if the future I’m hoping for isn’t realized? What if the future isn’t realized?
When you lose the trappings of the familiar, you have no reminder of who you have been, or who you are supposed to be. So being in new places, at least at first, is both terrifying and exhilarating: You get to move a little more freely, losing the weight that expectations and environmental cues hold.