It’s the unexpected things that hold attachment that catch me off guard. The season shifted to fall, October walked through the door, slow, and golden. She shrugged off her jacket and sat on the couch with a cup of hot coffee. I hadn’t expected her like that. I hadn’t expected her to linger in this way.

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Before, October seemed to come in, fast, frantic, full of activity. Parties to attend, parties to prepare, Halloween, holding on to my favorite time of year with both hands as it quickly ran away. Last year felt no different, in the running away, it only ran away in a different kind of way.

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I hadn’t expected the bullet journal to come back around and provoke such emotion. I’ve sat with it for months, trying to rethink it, reimagine it, use it again, failing to do so each time I pick it back up. I loved the red color, the pins from Tina stuck in the rubberband holder, the stickers, the memories. The memories…

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Going to the art store with Little Bits and picking it out – bold red.

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Tattoos.

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Church.

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Creating the pages in October when words wouldn’t flow.

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Planning the goals in January that haven’t happened.

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Sitting in Bread Co. filling out the emotions chart.

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Sitting in Bread Co….

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Last October I sat in Starbucks every morning at 5 something. I told everyone I was going to write but the words had stopped. I’d go work on the BuJo. I’d go journal. I’d go to just be away.

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I intentionally went to Bread Co. for all the meetings, all the talks, all the painful nights of divulging my marriage. I knew to keep Starbucks sacred. Bread Co. is for hard conversations. Bread Co. is for breaking up time with kids. Crying with people from church. Filling out another sad line of emotion on the bullet journal.

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Unexpected.

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The weight of this silly little red journal I’ve carried with me for a year. When she invited me to shelve it and begin anew you would think I would have jumped at the chance. Instead, I had a very startling, sharp, reaction. A holding on. She invited me to investigate that further because there was something there. I knew she was right.

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Most of the world doesn’t know what normal looks like yet. We’ve all been in a state of disarray and confusion for months on end now. For me, it feels complicated. My world imploded last November. I still held out hope things would regain their senses in December. A wake-up would happen so to speak. By January I knew that was never going to be real. By March it shifted and changed again, him with an apartment, taking the boys out of their home on designated times. Then WHAM-BAM! COVID struck and the world went into lockdown. I hadn’t created a new normal yet, not completely, I had only begun.

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It’s hard to make plans for a life you don’t know in a book designed for a life you don’t live.

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I kept trying to reimagine the bullet journal, I couldn’t ever seem to do it, the longer the new normal went on, the more complicated it all became.

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It feels silly. It seems trite. It’s unexpected.

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Now is the time, if there ever was a time, to reimagine my life, to try new things, to go out on a limb. Somehow a pandemic feels like a safety net, like an unexpected field of purple flowers in late summer, scattered and beautiful.

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I bought a new journal. I was given a new journal. I am giving myself permission to tuck the red journal, full of memories, away in the studio, and begin again. Permission to start a new story, a new plan, a new life, full of potential. I’m giving myself permission to embrace the titles I’ve longed to adorn myself with and never felt worthy. I’m giving myself permission to start the things I’ve always dreamed of, and damnit, I’m going to do them well. Because if not now then when?

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Unexpected.