In eighteen years, I’ve moved fourteen times. Some of the moves have been short, cross-town ventures, but many have been big moves from one part of the country to the other. There is always a sense of not-knowing that lingers in the air at the close of every old apartment door, every old cubical desk draw…until the new doors and draws in my new city begin to open. I call this feeling of not-knowing “The Void” and it’s a space that’s become very familiar to me over the years.
We’re all living in The Void right now. That last, awkward week of the year when the holidays are over, but the new year hasn’t yet begun. For me, this time brings with it a cocktail of emotions: Melancholy from the family holidays that have just passed. Regret for all the things I’d set out to achieve during the year, but never completed. Anticipation for the new year and new aspirations. And a little tinge of feeling lost and wondering if what comes next will be better than what was.
This used to be a time for me when I’d rush back from my parent’s house in Texas to whatever city I was living in so I could sit in a skeleton-crew office and pretend like there was real work to do. Trust me, unless you’re saving lives, there’s not a lot of pressing work that needs to be done the week after Christmas. This year, I don’t have a compelling reason to go back to the city in a hurry. Like most millennials, I’ve tried to arrange my life so that the majority of my work can be done from any place with Wi-Fi. Even so, I feel a small level of discomfort by still being here at my parents. Isn’t there something I should be rushing back to do? Someone I need to see? Some place I have to be? No. No, there isn’t.
Like I’ve done at the conclusion of so many chapters in my life – and before that next page turns, I’m going to surrender and settle into the uncomfortableness of The Void. I’m going to let the ways in which I put pressure on myself to do something, achieve something, be busy with something reveal themselves to me….and I’m going to let them go. This year, I’m going to relish the gift of extra time with my ever-aging parents. I’m going to take this week to tell stories of yesteryear with my brothers. I’m going to watch more sunsets – something I never appreciated growing up here. Mostly, I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing and I’m going to feel great out it. I think the week after Christmas should be a national holiday where we all step into The Void, turn inward, and reconnect with ourselves and others.
Wishing you and yours a restful week and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
Musical pairing to enhance your reading pleasure: