Christina Zastrow

The Long Way Home

Facebook Memories

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I love social media. I tweet, Facebook, and pin all the time because these things help me connect with my world. Recently though, my Facebook memories have begun to really make me think. Everything I social mediaed (can you use that like a verb yet?) was excitement about what I was anticipating doing in 2016.

I was Facebooking about house-hunting with my now ex-boyfriend, tweeting about writing my second book, and pinning sustainable furniture material to prepare to write the application essay for art school. I was so excited to be planning to move into a new phase in life with my boyfriend by my side.

And then it all came crashing down.

I figured it out. I found a new direction, at least for the short term. And now I’m looking at those environmentally friendly architecture pins knowing that art school isn’t something I’m going to do after all. That doesn’t mean I won’t pursue more higher ed, just that, if I do, I’m not tied to doing it in Chicago, and there’s no one to judge if I decide to pursue my original passion (history) instead. I’m reading those tweets knowing that I set aside that book until I could write it with my own ideas fresh in my mind. And I’m looking at those Facebook memories about moving into Chicago and tentatively considering marriage and remembering all the reasons I wasn’t actually happy.

But all those reminders of where I was a year ago have given me a new drive.

When I get the reminders about where I was this year, what I was doing, what I am doing, right now, I start to wonder. What do I want to be doing next year at this time? I’m far enough along in my contract now that I legitimately have no idea what I will be doing. My contract ends in August so December 2017 I’m four months past my year in Beijing. What do I want to be doing? What, when I sit down and I see reminders of where I was, will make me think that I have been on exactly the path that I want to be on?

A year ago I thought I was on a path that would lead to me becoming an architect, keep me step-mothering my wonderful daughter, and loving my boyfriend, and opening more doors in the future.

That wasn’t the path I was on after all.

So, what path am I on right now? Where am headed and where will I be in a year?  What path will make me feel…content with the choices that I’ve made? What path will feel like the path that I want rather than like a conciliation prize because the path I wanted is no longer available to me? For that matter, what path is the path that I want rather than the path that I think I should be on?

I’m not making any actual progress on these decisions. The questions come easily enough, but the answers? Those are a lot harder for me to find…

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Author: Christina Zastrow

Somewhere along my way through life, I managed to lose sight of myself. Then when my first long term relationship fell apart I found myself homeless, unemployed, and without family or support system. I decided it was time to find my way home, back to myself. This is my journey.

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