7 months later...

it’s time. specifically, it feels like time to start sharing my writing again.

never in my life have i undergone such a drastic 180 that the past seven months have provided. i went from an incredible amount of free time to an incredibly limited amount of free time. i have said that anytime we have things “figured out” (as much as that is ever possible) the page turns and suddenly we find ourselves in a whole new chapter. as soon as we get used to our story being set in the jungle, we awake one morning and find ourselves in the middle of the ocean. the only constant is change.

everything has changed for me in the past year. one year ago today, i was in israel with my husband and family. my ex and i have since divorced. i left my job working on a behavioral health time at a pediatric clinic and began tutoring part-time (which i’ve done for years but never as a sole source of income). i moved in with my best friend from college and was able to spent several months living with her toddler and partner (an experience i am infinitely grateful for). i got into long distance running and had the privilege of spending several hours a day soaking in mountain medicine.

i took a job four months ago teaching high school math at a boarding school north of durango. i live, teach, eat, breathe, and sleep on campus. my cabin is maybe 100 yards from the lodge, where i teach classes (algebra 1 and geometry). it still surprises me in moments that i am a math teacher?? my days are long, there’s very little work/home life separation, and all that i believe about balance has been challenged in ways that feel out of my control.

i learned this past year that the doing is not the being. for me, the being is everything. we live in a society that emphasizes doing above all. not feeling well? go for a run. talk to someone. turn on the tv. go to a yoga class.

we rarely hear - not feeling well? do nothing. just be.

for me, that’s what i crave more than anything these days. 2018 taught me what i value: doing nothing. i deeply cherish the moments in between all that we do. for me, the meaning of life isn’t the doing. actually, i believe there is no greater meaning than the truth which is that we live and then we die. that being said, i live life with intention and trust and hope. but that old saying - we see the world not as it is, but as we are - sums it up for me. our desire to seek truth and purpose says nothing about the order of the universe - which i truly believe is completely random - and everything about how we show up as sentient beings.

but what do we do when there are barriers between that which we know, that which we want to embody, and that which we have access to? i struggle with that quite a bit these days. i know that what my body deeply craves is stillness, and nothingness, but with the little free time i do have, i feel the desire to do! to be outside, to see people, to write, to do yoga… but when does that become counterproductive? if saturday rolls around and i’m cramming as many activities as possible into my "time off” am i simply feeding the same beast?

it’s hard to say. the line in the sand of what we TRULY need moves every day. it’s challenging to tap into what we need sometimes because that requires energy and effort. it’s easier for our minds to tell us what we think we need than to tune into our bodies’ actual state of being.

but, the body keeps the score. the body holds the magic. all my work these days is about moving from my mind into my body. our minds are powerfully capable of overriding the truths that are stored in our bodies. we can think we’re anxious, think we’re happy, think we’re mad… but that’s different than what we FEEL. when i feel anxious, i ask myself what and where that feeling lives in my BODY. my breath is my anchor to the moment and my body is my anchor to my truth.

so much more to say; so much more to come. for now, grateful to be back at it.

happy holidays xxxxxx

Hannah Smith