Connecting the Dots…

“Is it getting better, or do you feel the same?”

U2, One

Ever run into a somewhat complete stranger who gives you a jolt of nostalgia? I recently had a run in with someone who recognized me from my past career at Michigan State University. The person lives locally and while I was working at my current job, looked at me and said, ” wow, you have such a familiar face!” (Insert eye rolls I swear I have an evil doppelganger running around…I get this one a lot. Also, as a person in my recovery I don’t ALWAYS WANT to be recognized for my past moments ….) “Did you used to work for MSU?” was the follow up.


Sure did.


If I am being forthcoming and transparent, I have been struggling a bit lately. I sometimes wonder a lot of things. I have lived in Northern Michigan and now have called it home for about a year now. What’s my actual place here? (I think.) It has been a whole year, do I have the roots down I had anticipated? (Hmmmm…) Life I had dreamed of when I relocated up here? My mind things horrificially insecure thoughts sometimes. Do I belong here? REALLY belong? Would I be missed if I left? Who am I today versus a year ago? I hate the insecure thoughts.

The thing of it is I moved to a new area during a pandemic, started new employment, a new relationship, new lots of things, but did I really feed my soul with connections I crave and needed? NEED? I tune into my former church from downstate and sometimes cry thinking about attending with my gals from Wings of God. Those times were so precious and fleeting to me. Why didn’t I honor them more. We never really seem to know when the “good ‘ole days” are right in front of us and instead always yearn for more.

I am so guilty of this.

I have also forgotten about all of the positive parts of my past so many times. I think what I tell myself is that I’m a terrible person for becoming an alcoholic. I don’t deserve nice things of a fragment of what I used to have. This blocks out any joy from reflecting back. All it really feeds me is bitter tasting medicine and sadness.

I forget I have knowledge, happy memories and more. I forget the happy memories such as spreading joy on the RHS Celebration Team, gaining confidence and friendships with Toastmasters, happy tears as I watched my students graduate, the LITERAL blood, sweat and tears I put into my eight years at the State Room.

I forgot and forget I matter. My connections matter to where I have been and where I am going to go. Brene Brown talks about all the dots in our life connect us to where we need to be. This resonates with me. Dr. Brown nails it. Sometimes we don’t love the dot we are on nor possibly see the link from the past.

If I am being totally forthcoming and honest; the sting and aftertaste of my former life can surprise me at times. Its a palette I had perfected that now lingers in my throat acidic and raw.

It hurts.

Feeling disconnected and isolacted can hurt. Craving things you used to come by so naturally hurts. Things like : female church fellowship, coffee dates with friends, community, committee work and more. Some of it is COID-19 to blame, some of it is my own undoing.
We are WIRED for connection for fucks sake (yes I swear.) So why feel guilty for craving it???

Surely I cannot be alone here.

Does anyone else ever glance back and smile/cringe at the same time?