Stargazing

I’ve always love the night sky. I’m a science lover through and through; nothing intrigues me more than how things work, how life works. However, I also grew thoroughly enjoying the opposite end of the dichotomy: art. While growing up, my family and I would spend our summer nights taking a dip in the pool or sitting around a bonfire, taking in the still warm air that only appeared once the sun went down. Sitting around the warmth of the bonfire, I’d spend a lot of my time looking up at the sky, searching for constellations and just admiring the beauty of these amazing glowing balls orbiting through space. They are spectacular. Taking time to stargaze, we can connect the stars, one by one, finding constellations until the sky is no longer a just a black sky with these bright glowing pin-pricks, it becomes a piece of art. I think that’s part of what had always intrigued me, how the sky brings together my loves of science and art, a stunning piece of art made completely naturally and purely by chance. When we look up at the stars, it’s almost unfathomable that they are huge fire balls floating through the atmosphere. Things look so much different from down here.

A photo of a bonfire pit a night with a fire lit in the centre. The background is all black and the pit is lit up by the fire. There is red burning embers underneath the fire.

Despite my love of art urging me to write on my blog more frequently this year, when I sat down to search for inspiration for this post, I got nothing. It’s like having a word on the tip of your tongue: I’m constantly drawn to the keyboard but, once my fingers touch down, the words stop flowing. Considering I usually talk about things going on in my life, I asked myself “what are you up to?”, a question I’m asked frequently but cant seem to find the answer to. What am I up to? Though I used to find that frequently the days seemed to crawl by, lately I feel as though they’ve been flying by. As each week draws to a close, I sit there in disbelief that it’s over already. How can seven days go by so quickly? I try to remember what I did each day but they all start to blur together.

One suspected culprit causing time to randomly speed up is my fatigue. Living with pretty intense chronic fatigue doesn’t help the fact that the days pass by quickly. My body has a need for a lot of sleep, meaning, to function in my daily life, I end up sleeping an abnormally large amount. By sleeping a lot, I don’t mean I just sleep in till noon here or there, no, most days, I wake up somewhere from mid-afternoon to supper time and crash early in the evening. I am neither a night owl or a morning bird, I’m a permanently exhausted pigeon.

With my days being so short, I feel like I’m constantly running to catch up, like I need to cram as much into my day as possible since I have limited hours to do things. Being awake for 6-8 hours a day doesn’t allow much time for “stuff”, for living life. Not to mention that not all those hours are functional ones. Some are spent resting because I’m not feeling well while others are spent administering my various medications and treatments as well as fulfilling my other medical needs like physical therapy and sitting on the toilet forever because my floppy bladder and digestive tract doesn’t know how to do the thing anymore. Before I know it, it’s time for bed again, the day is done, a week has gone, and a month has disappeared.

A lot of times, I feel like I have accomplished nothing. In reality, I know that caring for myself is an important job to do everyday. I know that working on school here and there and crafting when my brain stops working are all accomplishments. The problem is, they feel so minute compared to the things I hoped to accomplish in the past. Though things have been feeling very stagnant and as though I’m not doing much, I fill my days with things I thoroughly enjoy: training with River, watching some good TV, crocheting and knitting, working on my school work. But, as a goal oriented and driven person, it never feels like enough. It feels like my potential isn’t being met.

I’m used to always be working on something towards a bigger goal. I take classes to get a degree, I learn new techniques to finish a knitting project, my learning is always going somewhere. However, right now I feel like I’m working on a lot of things that aren’t necessarily going nowhere but rather, I have no idea where they will lead me. I have no idea what the results of my work will be. Will I be able to finish my degree? Will I ever have a career I’m passionate about? Will River be able to become a fully trained service dog and help me regain some of the independence I’ve lost over the years? I don’t know. I don’t have any answers to those questions. What’s fueling my hobbies and day to day life isn’t a bigger goal at the end that I hang onto to bring me happiness, the day to day things I do are what brings me happiness.

Though some days I feel like my life is at a stand-still, I think of the stars in the beautiful night sky. When you watch the stars from where we are on earth, everything appears to be so still. Though the constellations formed by the stars appear to never be changing, in reality, those stars are traveling through space at fantastic speeds, faster than we can ever imagine, yet, as observed from the naked eye, they appear unmoving. Why? because we are too far away, too withdrawn from the sky, that it takes a long time for the change to be visible to us. In my life, though I sometimes feel as things are so stagnant, so unchanging, when I look back at this time in the future, when hindsight finally gives me that amazing 20/20 vision, I’m sure I will see changes, maybe even huge ones, but right now, I’m in it, I’m stargazing, I’m too far away to see movement. I just need to have faith that, like these stars, I’m following a trajectory, and it will eventually lead me to where I need to be.

A photo of Kathleen siting in a small black wheelchair at the dog gym. She is leaning to the left towards her black poodle who is seated beside her. The dog is look up at Kathleen and she is looking down at him, smiling. She is holding her phone up at chest height using it to take a mirror selfie. Kathleen is being glasses and has wavy dirty blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. She is wearing a navy hoodie, black leggings, and tan ugg style boots. In the background, you can see the floor covered in blue mats with green mats around the periphery. The wall behind them is white and has a open door and window as well as a bookshelf.
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