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  • Alisa Stamps

How Does One “Settle”?

I know that it’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post. I could say that it’s because I’ve been busy writing and editing my book (which I have been doing), but that’s not entirely the whole truth. The “mostly” truth is that…I’ve felt uninspired. And out of creativity. And I’ve felt like I haven’t had much to say.

And now I’m on vacation—the first time since December that I’m taking time off from seeing clients, and the first time since this summer of being somewhere other than my home for any length of time. And I thought that while I was sitting here, basked in the lush in beauty of Vermont, that I might once again feel inspired. And I do. Mostly. Like the truth that I mentioned earlier. Mostly I feel inspired. But I also am finding it hard to “settle”. And that got me thinking…

I have always been a creature of habit. Okay, and a creature of structure. I like things the way I like them and I take comfort in that sense of order. I’ve always known that when I travel, it can take me a day or two to “settle down” and relax--I will make some adjustments to my habits and rigidity, and once that happens, I am usually pretty good to go. That didn’t entirely happen on this trip. It took me longer than usual to relax and make adjustments, and I noticed that it wasn’t until my last night of the trip that I was finally able to settle and actually feel a bit sad about leaving. It’s curious to me that for over a year I’ve been “trapped” in my house, as we all have been, wanting nothing more than to be out in the world again, and when that happened, I found myself longing for the familiarity of home…

My home has become my “everything” this past year. My office, my theatre, my restaurant, my gym, my social hangout place, etc. Is it because of all of this that it felt weird to leave it just to go to another place to do all of these similar activities? Did I expect more from this trip, this change of scene? Was it a bummer when it didn’t live up to my perhaps unreasonable expectations? Is my home really my anchor, more than I ever thought it to be? Was this why it was hard to settle?

I am now writing the second half of this blog post from the comfort of my home. What have I discovered, being back in my familiar environment? That it took some time to “settle” back in here, too. That it wasn’t until I had a good night’s sleep, in my own bed with fragments of my “old” routine coming back together that I could finally feel settled.

So maybe it’s this. Maybe in this last year of madness, isolation, adjustment, and loss, maybe it’s the transitions to something new/different that makes it hard for me to settle. Maybe I don’t have it in me the way I once did, to be okay in settings that are less familiar. And maybe all of our energies have been zapped because our basic need for survival, whatever that looked like, took precedence over everything else. Maybe “settling” looks completely different than it once did. And maybe that’s okay.

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