The past couple months have been a lot about questions.
There are first and foremost, the little ones. For example: should I finally do my laundry today? How important is it that I actually leave the house on a Tuesday? Is this moldy block of cheese in the fridge still okay to eat if I scrape off the mold? Should I watch three hours of Sex and the City tonight or attempt being a social creature and going out to a bar?
Then, after careful consideration of the cheese situation, I move onto the bigger questions. When will things feel like they are falling into place? Was college really only seven months ago?
The problem with the questions game is that it is never ending. Unless I am confronting the simple cheese situation that usually has a pretty straightforward answer, I have realized how easy it is to get caught in this tangle of questions because many of them will not be answered for quite a while.
My trips home for Thanksgiving and Christmas have been a sort of grounding amidst all of this. Since going home twice in the past two months I have learned that: a) puppies are literally the greatest happiness-generators on earth and b) more than ever, the familiar is something dangerously wonderful.
Our Christmas morning traditions are all about the familiar. Slow walk down the stairs. Stocking unveiling. Delicious family breakfast. Careful organization of the presents. Champagne at 11am. Dogs chewing wrapping paper. This year was no different. We had homemade bagels and roasted grapefruit and apple coffeecake. Zoe accidentally took Advil PM at 8:30AM and still managed to put together a wonderful spread. My dad whipped up some bacon, the pups fell asleep amidst a sea of chewed cardboard under the kitchen table, my grandfather read his beloved newspaper, and I stuck my camera in the way of everything. We had a lot of family in town this year so the holidays were busy, chaotic, and cookie-filled but I loved it. It felt good to be sleeping in my twin bed across the room from my sister again, doing the usual Saturday breakfast run, and falling back into the familiar. Momentarily, the questions ceased, life felt a little lighter.
I feel incredibly lucky that I have this kind of familiar to turn back to, that I have family that grounds me. I was also grateful because this time, after being home I felt ready and excited to return to another home back in Portland.
In the months to come there will inevitably be more questions. But I am eager to see what kinds of things the new year brings because it seems to have a particular magic this time around.
So here’s to the new.
Here’s to out with the moldy cheese and always in with the champagne. Here’s to answering some questions, reveling in the slow unanswerable nature of others, and wishing for a kind of magic in 2014. Cheers.