A summary of the months:
January was simply THERE. It was a month of new things, new people, and a new home. Some expectations were met, other were not. MANY were not, to be honest. It was cold and there was much snow. I shoveled mountains of it. I did everything I could to make things work with a dog wrenched from everything familiar. Things could have been better, but there was plenty of time for them to improve.
February came in swinging and gnashing it's teeth. It was the longest month of my life. I felt grief, disappointment, and resentment. But wasn't I at fault? What was I doing here, so far away in the bitter place?
March brought with it a new month (finally). Things were now familiar. Office work, a frustrating R/L, more and more snow, more and more winter-all were things I came to expect by now. Things could only get better, right? With March there was a peace offering in the form of a trip to New York City. Who would believe that there would be no snow and warm weather for a weekend? And I remembered why I love singing.
Next came April. Showers? Not as much. Cold? Yes. And it was THE FINAL month. The LAST month I had to spend with a woman who is crazy. I still wonder how things are going with her now. Sometimes I dream of writing her an e-mail-gloating about how happy I am in this much better place. That would be prideful of me. April was supposed to be spring. There were spring WHISPERS, but no more than that. To have a winter that goes on and on was somewhat discouraging. But in April there was also joy. A gift of pie from two wonderful little girls, the arrival of a friend I thought I wouldn't see so soon, a birthday and holiday made more joyful than I was expecting. April was a month of patience and expectation.
Finally May arrived. And with it came a fresh new life. The joy of walking to work every day (despite the constant bone chilling mists), of walking to the laundromat, the store, the post office, EVERYWHERE. The dread I felt in going home was gone. Instead of spending my evenings hiding at the office, I spent them teaching myself guitar and reveling in my new home. May had it's disappointments (the failure of Kids Can Grow) but with those disappointments came a new opportunity much better than the first. May provided promise. And it went by so fast I hardly know what happened in that time.
Now it is June. June 13th! How did it get to be June 13th?? June is a month of experimentation. Trial and error. A busy month. My first REAL busy month. And I am taking it in stride. I have reached the halfway point (actually it was 5 days ago) and do you know what I see in the future?
I see the arrival of a sister in 11 days. I see a day trip to Rhode Island and a weekend with that sister in Maine.
I see two dangerously late nights as I drive 2.5 hours to New Hampshire just to see Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King on the big screen one last time.
I see days in the garden and nights at home, creating, learning, exploring new facets of myself.
Do you realize how soon June will be over? What then?
Another several weeks and then ANOTHER sister arrives with all the intent of having the time of her life. Together with her friends she will explore the joys of "vacationland" with me going along for the ride.
And then, another sister is married! And I get to see her and meet him, see family and SADIE and TRISSIE and HOME and really take some time off.
I have a feeling once this exciting and busy summer is over, the months of August, September, and October are going to trudge on.
I am going to admit some things.
This is not exactly how I pictured it. I don't know what I expected. I wanted something different from New Hampshire-but I don't know how I was expecting this to be in any way better or more life changing. I was thinking today about all I got out of my Bear Brook experience. My time there was immeasurably beneficial to my personal growth, education, and self-exploration. I think in my mind I had this romanticized image of how things would be in MAINE. I mean, it's MAINE. A place I have dreamed of going ever since I was little.
I think when I planned to come here I wanted something JUST as life changing and educational as Bear Brook. It wasn't fair of me to have all these preconceived expectations. I suppose I am learning a lot about new parts of myself. And I am learning that I don't really like to be alone all the time. I do NEED my alone time, but I need connections and people as well. I'm not a recluse and I am not on the far end of the introvert spectrum. I'm somewhere in the middle, I think. Gradually making my way to the other side. You kind of have to be that way here. I am learning what I am like as a person on my own. I have very little direction except what I give myself.
I love walking over the river three times on my way home.
I love coming around those bends and seeing the Camden Hills.
I love the fields of buttercups and lupine.
I love the woman I live with.
I love my room.
I love being an hour away from a familiar face who GETS me.
I love all the potential in the Children's Garden
I love the new discoveries I am making and the strides I am taking in molding myself to be a better brighter Sarah Lambson.
I don't love that it can be June and 55 degrees.
I don't love that my feet are cold and I feel chilled at this time of year.
I don't love that I have very few peers in this place.
I don't like working in a place that gets so little of the crowd I am trying to draw.
I don't like feeling like I am not doing enough while being told I am doing all that I can. If these are the results of "all that I can" then I am extremely disappointed. And I am going to have to do MORE than "all that I can" if I want to see change in this place where I work.
I don't like feeling like I am not really making a difference here.
As you can see, in my reflections there are pros and cons here. And they even themselves out. Most of the pros are related to my personal life and where I live. Most of the cons have to do with work and the weather.
During my midterm evaluation, it was brought up that I can decide to serve a second term here. One of the things that is a struggle here for Merryspring is the fact that every year they have to kind of start over with a new person. They said it would be nice to have a person do two years in a row. But THEN what? That person makes even stronger connections with the place and the people and then has to find something else to do with their life.
I didn't tell them at this point, but I have NO intention of doing a second term here. I can't get another education award. I wouldn't learn anything new. It would be learning the same things over again. And, so far, I have not been SO impressed with this place that I feel this strong need to stay here for another year.
That could change. I have six more months. And we all know that the time to be in Maine is the "summer" (I wonder when it will really be here?). And I know the fall will be beautiful. AND apparently I have the Common Grounds Fair to look forward to. This is the first thing you will hear about if you are a new resident to Maine. I think I was told about it my first day here and so was Eliza. Apparently it's amazing.
Anyway, now I am just going on and on. This is my mid term reflection post.