Monday, October 5, 2015

Fire Season

Cardigan: c/o Territory Ahead; Tank: Banana Republic (similar); Leggings: Gap (on sale!); Booties: Ross, old 

Oregon (and the rest of the western United States) was burning recently, and the smoke was settling in Portland and turning the moon bright red. I could smell wood burning hundreds of miles away from my apartment. It felt scary and severe - that that much smoke would travel so far must mean the fires were huge and overwhelming.

While the fires have since been contained and we're no longer trapped under unhealthy, smoky air, it feels like I've been in my own fire season. In some kind of controlled burn to remove the dead wood, and grass, and flimsy structures from my life in order to make room for bright, new, green growth. Nothing has been quite so dramatic as a blazing wildfire, but it has been a bit of a tough season in my life. So much of the old has burned down, that after the smoke cleared, I found myself sitting alone in an empty room wondering what I start to rebuild first. 

Ben's recent rotations - pediatrics (the first adjustment to third year), surgery (sprinkled with nights, 16 hour shifts, and a lot of agony) and rural (literally rural), have been trying. We've been working really hard to stay afloat with such huge stresses, exams, deadlines, and limited time together. Struggling through something that's so huge and yet so unique to our (and the rest of the medical community's) lives, means that a lot of people don't understand what we're going through, and it makes it hard to maintain friends to external to this experience. Friends that don't understand that every single test is an investment in the extended, many-years-from-now future. That every single win opens doors and every single "average" or, worse yet, fail, shuts one.That sort of pressure makes Ben's life extremely difficult and mine, as his partner and support system, anxiety-inducing. 

There are a lot of days when it's all we can do to get home, find 10 minutes to just look at each other, and then get back to work. As we focus so so hard on staying positive, appreciative of each other, and yet dedicated to a common, future goal, it's hard to maintain the rest outside of our world. The rest of our world (friends, relationships, hobbies, and activities) are on fire and we're just sitting in our  shelter hoping for rain.

I can see, beyond this fire season, a ton of promise, refreshing rain and new growth, and am so looking forward to rebuilding and starting fresh.

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