three hundred sixty five.
Art constantly finds new measurement for life. In spoons, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in food, in visits to the emergency room… Life happens all around.
It’s been a year.
As bizarre as it sounds, it is something I am most proud of. Growing up to hear the statistic of the majority of Americans never living beyond 30 miles of where they were born, a challenge was born. Technically I prevailed against this thanks to my father uprooting his entire family to move to Texas when I was eleven. Surprisingly, I had no say in whether we moved or not so consider that null. Yet when I was 23, on Nov. 12th, the exact same day the family moved to Texas, I arrived to my new home, New Mexico. The choice was mine; uprooting all I know and possess… to become a nomad. I couldn’t help but think it was a big adventure!
The tumbleweeds blew across the roads as I trolled into town. I half expected to hear a rattlesnake or hawk cry as my eyes surveyed the land of brown. The view was different from the skyscrapers I had loved and known.
A few days later, in my black pencil skirt, curled hair, and black pumps, I arrived at 7am for my new job. With the lack of humidity I grew to love in Houston, my hair was straight by the end of the day. Autumn was ending and the chill was welcome to my warm bones those first weeks. It wasn’t long before I abandoned all hope of seeming “normal” to my new colleagues and just started with the accents, laughter, and jubilant hyperactivity.
Next came Christmas in Santa Fe which solidified the area as my favorite place in New Mexico. The snow (SNOW!) free-falling with reckless abandonment was nature’s glitter to my eyes. The fact I hadn’t remembered any feeling in my hands or feet for well over a week was secondary to the beauty just bursting from every crevice.
In Spring, the snows melted for the winds. These are no ordinary winds… they have… gusto. I learned the hard way how Marilyn Monroe really was a lady in that dress. Spring dresses were postponed until Summer arrived which started pure chaos when I signed up for my first triathlon. I went heavy into training mode and didn’t stop to breathe.
Summer was magical here in the desert with the hot sun and zero humidity, all buzzing along with the Spanish guitars. The nights were long and the air smelled sweet. By this time, I was beginning to notice a change in myself. Letting go of little Emily of yore, I embraced this new, empowered woman who could voice far too many opinions and started to embrace the unknown.
That’s the thing about living by yourself, separated by a multitude of miles from family and friends, you learn to know yourself. Free time allowed me to lay on the floor with my dog, listening to vinyl with a glass of wine, and ponder philosophy. It also allowed me to not do the dishes or laundry for weeks at a time because those are the two chores I loathe beyond all measure. This “free time” allowed the world to slow down for a moment as, in tandem, I held my breath for the beauty that surrounded me.
Next thing I knew, it was Autumn again. I had taken on another new sport, this time rock climbing and without fail, it became my newest addiction. My hands are a testament to how hard the problems and sessions have been. On more days than not, I cannot even make a fist my hands are so raw.
Do I still miss Houston? Absolutely! But the thrill is where life can take you. Knowing what this past year has held alone… oh buddy! Never know what will happen next! Maybe I’ll continue my nomadic ways or maybe I’ll lay down roots. Whatever the case may be, there’s an adventure in store!
Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkien