Sunsets, saying goodbye and starting anew.

It has been a while since I last posted on my blog. I have drafted about 20 posts in the last year but the longer I waited the more “significant” I felt the post had to be.  But, I’ve decided to just go for it. Today is the day!

Those who know me well, know that I have a particular fondness for sunsets–they are not only beautiful in an objective sense, but in a subjective, symbolic one as well. Sunsets, as the name implies, means the sun is leaving us for the day.  No matter how much I may want more hours, more moments, more productivity, the sun will set just the same.  The end of the day has come and the night begins- a time to rest and recuperate so we can do it all anew tomorrow.

Sunsets remind me of the beauty that can be found in the endings of things. I said some painful goodbyes in the last year and let go of pieces of myself; but with those goodbyes, I have learned more about who I am and what I cherish.

I was evacuated from Nicaragua over a year ago now and I think back on those days and it is still hard for me to conceptualize what happened. I tell people of my experience and it feels foreign coming out of my mouth. The story has never felt like mine, even when I was living it.  But, 402 days of reflection have brought me to the point where I can start allowing myself to claim pieces of the story, recognize them as my own and process the emotions and effects they have had on me.

Losing my grandpa, getting evacuated from Nicaragua, losing friendships–none of that has been ideal. But life isn’t about living in pure bliss, it is also about understanding how to cope with loss. Call me optimistic, but in the face of too many goodbyes last year, I have chosen to focus on what possibilities now lie ahead and the lessons I have gleaned from experiences past.

This doesn’t mean I want to leave it all behind and never look back. Rather, I want to take pieces with me and, insofar as I am able, stay connected.  I want to take all the love and kindness my grandpa put into the world and try to manifest that in my life.  I want to stay in solidarity with Nicaragua–spreading awareness about the unrest that persists until Nicaragua is free of the Ortega-Murillo regime and becomes a true democracy with freedom of expression and liberty for all.  And of my friendships, I want to learn from my past relationships and foster my friendships now that are loving and life-giving.

In starting a new chapter, it doesn’t mean the old chapters never happened or that they don’t have implications on the arc of my life moving forward; for me, starting a new chapter is about taking the knowledge from the past, and choosing to live in the present and plan for a brighter future.