Early yesterday morning, I got myself out of bed, out the front door and onto a rainy forest trail. The rain drizzled through the trees, while the wrens and thrushes filled the canopy with endless chirps and trills.
As I huffed and puffed upwards on the switchbacks, thoughts from last week returned to the forefront of my mind. The woman in Nova Scotia, along with the words written in the previous blog post, were, once more, monopolizing my brain waves. Even with the piece written, and emotions penned, agitation remained. I was not ready to let this matter rest. Surely there was something more I could do.
Perhaps it could be submitted to a newspaper, as a personal essay, or letter to the editor. The day before, I googled Nova Scotia newspapers. After briefly browsing through The Chronicle Herald's website, the matter was laid to rest for the evening. Did I really want to put this out into a public forum, for all to see my name attached to the word 'survivor'? Was I ready to do that?
For all the blog posts written over the past five years, and for all the posts on Facebook, I merely alluded to what I survived. Never did I explicitly say what I survived. Even in my memoir manuscript, I hesitated to use specific, clear-cut terms. Why I hesitated to employ the correct terminology is a separate matter for me to investigate. There are, obviously, deep-rooted emotions still to be acknowledged, examined and reconciled. If stumbling blocks existed about my own past, did it make sense to share my thoughts publicly?
Within the comfort of the forest, I realized that rather than send my piece to the other side of the country, I should start closer to home. Baby steps, instead of giant leaps. Perhaps contacting my local newspaper made more sense. That in itself brought forth new questions, and new considerations. Friends in my home town know, essentially, how the past 25 years of my life unfolded, and why my life went off on its own path 5 years ago. The finer details of what exactly happened never really needed to be explained. Everyone knew something was amiss. No one, then, should be surprised to see my name attached to the submission that clearly states there is a common experience between myself and the Nova Scotia woman. (Do you see how I still hesitate to use concise language?!)
I came home from the forest walk and wrote an email to the lady editor of the Squamish Chief, my hometown's local newspaper. Having submitted many photographs to her (as other locals do), I felt there was a sense of familiarity and name recognition for this more unusual request. Once again, the connection with another woman proved invaluable. After several back and forth emails, she forwarded the piece to the legal department for review. I likely was not to hear anything back until Monday.
This is where the 'unexpected' entered my day.
Whether or not it really mattered, I suddenly had the urge to wrap up, once and for all, the online presence of my past. With possibly putting my name out there (for anyone to Google), connections had to be broken with my former life. For years I found myself unable to delete a certain website and Facebook page; I was simply incapable of erasing either from the digital world. Goodness only knows whether it was a sense of nostalgia, or a reminder of all that was created and built. Maybe it was a combination of both. Either way, I simply wasn't ready to let it go, completely. That was, until yesterday afternoon. First, I copied and pasted the text and photos from the website onto a Word document (now filed in a folder on my computer). Then, in less than a minute, two delete commands were clicked. Both the website and Facebook page are no more. That digital part of my past is, once and for all, wrapped up.
Who knew, heading out into the rain yesterday, that I'd reconcile yet another aspect of my past? That the time had come to tend to matters that I had not thought needed tending to. Isn't life curious? It lets you know when you are ready to deal with something, so that you can then move on. Deleting those items was not as hard as I thought it would be; it was, in fact, surprisingly easy.
Isn't it amazing what happens when you start your day off with a walk in the forest?
Happy Sunday, everyone.