Mandolyn Orrell | Week 12

Everyone needs a day off sometime, right?  Well, I took my first real-ish day off, since becoming a fellow in July, this Wednesday.  I talked to Keturah on Tuesday, telling her that I needed a day off to gain a fresh perspective.  I said I could go next week sometime, but she said to take the following day off because I shouldn’t wait that long to gain a new perspective.


Boy, was she right… I didn’t realise just how much I needed a break.  I needed a break from the work, from NFS, from HMB… from everything, really.  I needed a chance to shut off my brain, even for just a few short hours.  I wouldn’t say I am burned out.  I will never be burned out of this fight.  But, I definitely needed a perspective shift, and a chance to re-center.


I made the trek up to San Francisco, with just my phone, purse, my Bible, and music.  Just to do something, anything, at a leisurely pace was helpful to destress.  I ate Korean food (YAY!), had great conversations with strangers, and bought a homeless guy named Fred a coffee and chatted awhile.  Just gave him a friend, showed him that someone cared, and that he was respected for a bit, because everyone deserves a friend, to be respected, and cared about.  He was a pretty great 69 yr old Vietnam veteran.  He had a pretty amazing story.


Also, I went to an art store and bought some supplies.  Art is soothing to my soul, and something I turn to often.  Since coming here, and even a bit before, I haven’t been able to do any linocut, ceramics, painting, etc.  With the stress of being a fellow,  being isolated in Half Moon Bay (I mean, really… I came from the 2nd largest city in the world to the tiny town of Half Moon Bay… quite the adjustment…), and some personal stress, I have felt that I would either implode or explode, and both senarios wouldn’t be pretty… so I bought some tools to do a few linocuts, some scratchboard, and a sketchbook.  It’s been therapeutic to get back into my art.


I’m still not “there”.  Not where I wish I could be.  This one day of respite wasn’t “the answer”, but it definitely helped a lot.  I felt as though I could go another day, and I’m so very thankful for the little bit of time I got to recharge.  It was a blessing.


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