it's the middle of February and it is also 68°F. people are getting on their knees to pray. pray for their salvation based on this weather indicative of Revelations or to give thanks to be able to wear less wool, less clothing altogether. there are more smiles, more acts of kindness, more bodies in movement to enjoy what they expect to be a short window of time for such unseasonable warmth.

but even on the coldest day of winter, i found a smile in my heart and a pep in my step. i wore yellow on a gloomy day. i gave thanks in a dire situation. my present is not a terribly happy one, but i refuse to let it just be terrible. it has been over four months since i have been put out of my so-called stable state. even with ample time to prevent destitution, here i arrive with no future prospects and no current allowance.

as a scientist, i understand heat transfer theory... thermodynamics. and the first law of thermodynamics basically states that the energy of an isolated system is equal to the amount of heat supplied minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings. what i take from that is, no matter how cold the world gets, no matter how cold the opportunities are, as long as i'm willing to work at being happy and optimistic, i will have a warm disposition.1

also, as a scientist, i understand how heat transfers itself; it moves to any cold body in contact with it, until an equilibrium is attained. and just because i have fallen on hard times does not means that other areas of my life are not white hot, just waiting for a connection to spread warmth to the cold corners of my life. i may not have much money, but i have tons of love, from friends, family, and my boyfriend.2 i may not have a job, but i have time and wisdom to donate.

and even though i lament that my grocery store trips no longer include buying a cornucopia of cheeses, wine, and gourment bread, i know that the one type of cheese that i do have melted nicely on a slice of toast fills my body and soul sufficiently with memories. i have juuuust enough.

keep warm, keep happy, for cold times don't last always. and enjoy the heat waves to the fullest.

1as you can see from this post, i am a starving and talented scientist. hook a sister up with a job if you can.

2oh yeah. i have a boyfriend now. he keeps me mostly smiling.

i was instantly in a foreign world where i no longer recognized or understood anything. not even myself. i had never failed, really failed at anything. sure, that summer as a camp counselor wasn't what i hoped it would be, but nothing as soul-shattering, heart-rending as being told "you failed".

how can one come back from that? slowly is best.

it's been almost four months since my whole world has shifted. and what a mighty quake it was. i've come to question a lot of things... my courage, my resolve, my resilience, everything i thought made me. and i'm still questioning. albeit with a lot less doubt in my voice.

it takes a lot to get back up when you've had the wind knocked from your gut. initially, you question whether you could ever breathe again. and when you try, those first few breaths are painful enough to welcome the thoughts that you should probably stop trying to breathe. but your instincts kick in and tell you to breathe slower, breathe through the pain, for in a while... the pain will surely subside.

pain don't last forever. and neither do tough times if you have the whimsy to believe it doesn't. and i live for whimsy, despite the melodramatic tone of the former half of this post.

so much has changed in a year. i'm in a completely different place. and even though i still can't completely see past this pain and this moment, history reminds me that life goes on.