After the dust comes the snow

So I waxed poetic about coming back to Fairbanks.

It was an easy thing to do and at the time it felt true. Leaving Korea and coming to Alaska felt right and peaceful. And I had so much to look forward to. A marathon to run and a graduate class to take.

The marathon has been run and the class is almost over.

The dust has settled and after the dust comes the snow, and the dark and the gentle reminder that wherever you go, there you are. Change of location is not a change of mindset and though it can and often does bring temporary relief from your inner turmoil, it usually catches up to you pretty quickly. And I think it’s fair to say that mine has caught up.


I thought my grad class would bring me an answer. An answer about whether or not counseling is the right track for me and whether or not Fairbanks the right place to do it. Although I have a newfound confidence in my academic abilities which I can’t deny feels nice, my concerns over the counseling profession stand real and valid.  And I remain confused.

The problem with a constantly uprooted life is this: you have to dig in. No matter how limited your time is you have to genuinely show up and make an effort. It is a trite excuse to say your time is limited and it’s not worth it. It is always worth it. Friendships can long outlast the actual amount of face time you have together. You have to reach out to new people. You have to invite yourself to social activities, you have to try new hobbies and you have to connect. You have to put yourself out there. It is the only way to connect, and if you skip this step because you are tired, or lazy, or intimidated by the idea that you will never get to the place of connection and comfort  it becomes all too easy to blame your unhappiness on place, when in reality you didn’t really make an effort.

So have I made an effort?


Kind of.

I thought dating might be a good way to meet people but it has been fairly dramatic for what I am getting out of it. Which is insecurity, rejection (on my part and theirs’) and the constant reminder of how rare it is to truly connect with another person.

I have some friends here but they always seem busy.

I went to Master’s swimming but only once.

I joined a gym and have been fairly consistent

I decided to substitute teach and on my first day was reassigned to substitute for an 8th-grade math class (my nightmare). I somehow got through the day but not without throwing up . After classes thankfully.

So… I am doing alright.

You know the famous Tolkien quote?

Not all who wander are lost

I don’t like it. I am a gypsy soul who doesn’t like that quote. I don’t like it because I think a lot of people who wander are lost and they cling to that quote to validate themselves otherwise. Maybe that is harsh and maybe I am wrong. I am just tired of feeling lost. I am tired of being lost. And even more tired of being labeled lost by people who don’t know me. I don’t want to be lost. I want so deeply, so desperately to be found, to feel belonging and purpose.

I only have to get through 4 more months. 4 cold and dark months. I need to fight for my happiness and I need to stay committed to the things that bring me joy. Closing the door and playing my music alone in my room is easy and warm and comfortable. But I want to not just get through these months but to be happy and be connected and that means I have to keep pushing myself. Keep getting out there. Stay committed to staying awake.  I only have to make it March.

I can.

I will.

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