Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Own North Star

I used to think love was like this:

Solid, firm, and unmovable. Constantly changing and adapting, yes, with seasons that alter how it looks. But always there to provide a compass for me to steer my life by.

As it turns out, I have to be my own compass, my own North Star. It doesn't come naturally to me. I feel like I'm floating in the wide ocean of life with no direction. I don't know if there is an island oasis on the horizon or if I'm about to capsize. For a girl with anxiety issues, this is completely debilitating.

I spent the day yesterday helping my husband gather up his belongings to go to his new apartment. The crystal vases that were a gift from a former employer, the ice cream maker I suggested my dad give him for his birthday one year, the knife set I gave him, and the books. I was okay with everything until I got to the books. Goodbye, Princess Bride. Goodbye, signed copy of Way of Kings. I'm sorry I never got around to reading you. I'll miss you.

I'll be doing the same thing today and watching my house and life suddenly get a lot emptier. My optimistic side says: less cluttered. Less physical clutter, less emotional clutter. But my anxiety-ridden, lost self is listening to a playlist on the iPod titled "Sad/Angry," occasionally kneeling on the kitchen floor in tears, and trying to muster the courage to face one more day.

As I looked at my front garden this morning, I saw my hibiscus bush in full bloom. I almost walked right past, but then I checked myself. It only blooms for a few precious weeks every year. And when it blooms, it isn't shy about its beauty. It opens up blossoms bigger than my head and celebrates itself without regret.

Each blossom lasts only one day. I couldn't help wondering if love is more like a hibiscus flower than the mountains looming over my valley. Big, bold, breathlessly satisfying, but ultimately so very temporary. If so, do I look to the past and remember the shriveled remains of past happiness?

No, I look to the future, knowing that my hibiscus bush is far from done with its celebration of life. Those small, closed up green leaves hold untold mysteries for the future. One day, very soon, they will open. I will discover joys I never expected. I will lift my head again and rejoice. And maybe those joys will be temporary, too. But there is always next season. There will be renewal. There will be new hope.

Let the winter come, because it will always be followed by Spring.


  1. That must have been really difficult. I am sad for you in the uncertainty of change but excited for the newness that lies ahead. Big hugs.

  2. Okay, I just read all of your entries back to April 2011 and I have to say that I HONESTLY think you are a fabulous writer Juliana! And, I think you have great ideas and insights also.
    Amen that winter will always be followed by spring; and someday you will be grateful for this winter and the things you will learn...I promise.

  3. Hello!

    Interesting blog. Welcome to

    :) Take care!