chasing normal…

On Saturday evening we had friends over for dinner. We ate my husband’s special Chorizo Tacos (this man is incredible, I’m telling you!) and played some really fun games. There was laughter intermittent with deep discussion. It was all so normal, triggering moments of memory from the Great Before, while also feeling not normal at all.

That last part is tricky.

As our friends readied to leave, just after midnight, one of them hugged me and said “Let’s not wait a year to do this!”

A year.

The last time we’d seen these two beautiful souls, who live minutes from us, we were at the wrap of 2019. In context, that feels like insanity. Last year lasted so many eternities that the thought of having not seen these friends since BEFORE that is unfathomable. It is almost like we saw them, some weeks passed, we hit pause and then they came over for tacos.

How do we measure life within that pause?

In hugs?

I have hugged my husband a billion times. I hugged my dear friend Maggie several times, back in October. I have hugged my sweet friend Amanda everytime I’ve seen her, which feels regularly, but in all actuality may only equal 8 or 9 times within that year. And then, then Saturday I hugged Ashley and Jessica.

It would seem the span of pause is measured more in isolated conversations, mentions of the virus, bizarre weather patterns, deep self-realizations, and face masks.

We are heading out of town next week where face masks and hugs will be a plenty. I love to go and am so stir crazy, yet the thought of being somewhere else is giving me anxiety. Is it safe to go?

Let’s be honest, it is fair to also ask if it’s safe to stay…

My husband is vaccinated and I’m awaiting my turn. While I wait, I long for sun on my face, adventure and a life lived. Within this paused space of isolation, it is clear to see the toll life has taken on my body and my health. Autoimmune illness has had its way with me, leaving me crumpled in the corner, used. Something has to change, and that chase is what I’m here for. Whatever lies at the end of this new quest for anything other than this, will likely not look like anything that came before- and that’s ok. Changes happen, we evolve.

I am different now, just as life is different.

Even so, I’m ready to step outside and look for normal. My laces are tied and the sun is shining, wanna come?