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Megan Harrod

I realized today that I rarely have the motivation to create when everything is simple and stable. Emotional turmoil has a way of pushing humans to sit, reflect, cry, write, cry some more, sleep very little, spend a shitload of time in get the point. And, once in a while, I get into a motivation funk. Stuck in a rut, unable to find the words and find the headspace to create at all.

And so, tonight I sit here and I spend time challenging myself to do something I haven't done in a while: write when everything is pseudo-stable in my life. Health, professional life, relationships...stable.

Side note: maybe that's a stretch considering the RV (Westward Ho) I was supposed to call "home" shit the bed and is currently stuck in Albert Lea, MN at the Ford Dealership - a story for another day - and I'm a live-in guest with gracious friends...but it is "psuedo-stable" at the very least. 

I listened to a song tonight. Sylvan Esso's Coffee. It took me back to another time, another place...another version of me. Out of one life and into another. Out of my mind. Death and rebirth. It all seems like ages ago now. Life's cycles. Bizarre isn't it?! Oftentimes, as I lie down and meditate, I marvel at the oddities of this physical space and wonder if what I remember is all real or just a dream. Some of it a nightmare, but most of it a dream.  


As women, we go through a cycle every single month. Like most things in my life, I experience it in a big way...every single goddamn month. It's fairly awful, and never fails to sneak up on me, but our bodies need to go through this cycle in order to move forward. It's a bitch, but it's beautiful. 

Cycles. They're purposeful and they teach us lessons we're meant to learn that help us to grow.

The beginning. In everything we do, we pursue it in the beginning with passion and a giddy, childlike excitement. The feeling is unmatched. When our crush's hand brushes our arm. Or, when he catches your eyes from across a crowded room, all of a sudden making it feel like you are the only two humans in that space. Or, when he looks into our eyes from inches away for the very first time, and in them, we see the world. Full of possibilities. Showering in the morning on the day of our first internship, feeling sick to our stomach with nerves. Will they like me? Will I be good enough? The excitement of stepping onto that plane and traveling to a new country, far, far away on a grand adventure. The first attempt at a new physical challenge, like climbing. It's scary. It's big. It's bold. And, it's fucking brilliant. Brilliant because it's a chance to create. To write our own story and create our own adventure. I live for that feeling. Maybe you do, too. And, too often, we walk through our lives believing that every moment needs to feel that BIG. 

The middle. Ok, before I go any further - I'm going to acknowledge the heaps of literature out there about relationship cycles, like The Four Seasons of Marriage, by Gary Chapman (which I've read, by the way - slightly corny, but mostly worth the read)...I aware I'm not doing anything revolutionary right now in writing this piece. The middle is where I am at this moment. And I've been here before. For someone who likes to shake things up and make things happen (aka for someone with a short attention span), the middle of the road can be a challenging place to hang. In a relationship, it might mean a level of comfort has been reached, which can be a beautiful thing and has hopefully not reached the point where the relationship is stagnant and the devil that is complacency enters the scene. If we're not mindful, we enter the yucky part of a relationship where we take our partner for granted and expect them do be a certain way, not accepting them for the ever-evolving human that they are. That we all are. Cycles. Yep, been there. Done that.

Thankfully, I'm not talking about complacency in a current relationship. Oddly, everything in that realm of life continues to feel like it did when I was a sixth grader passing notes that said, "Do you like me? Circle one: Yes, No, or Maybe". I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but it's a thing and I'm happy. With my professional life, on the other hand, I'm struggling to find motivation. This is my fourth summer in Utah, and really - I've only lived here about 10 months total in four years. Time flies when you're having fun. It's not about the actual job itself. I love traveling. I love the sport of alpine ski racing. I deeply care about the people I work for and with. I'm searching for inspiration. It's about life's cycles.

I've always had a thing for the number four. Four-month relationships in high school were as good as it got. Then, it was four years. My marriage lasted four years. Growing up, big transitions happened in fours—high school, university, my first corporate gig, etc. Always in fours. This is the start of my fourth year in Utah and I'm being mindful about what that means and how that affects me. I like to move. I like to experience a level of discomfort that would make most cringe, but I'm learning to sit with my impatience and appreciate the cycle and what it's teaching me. 

The end. In everything, there is an end. Impermanence. But the end is merely a beginning to another adventure, and the cycle continues on. We tell ourselves that there's something better out there. We're no longer "in love" and we deserve more. The truth is, that "better" may end up being a better version of the same thing you once had. With space, we create room for growth. When our lives are not intertwined with another's, we're able to focus on ourselves, reflect on what we're contributing to this world, and where we can be better. If we're ready for it, maybe that means we walk the path with a partner. Perhaps we find ourselves leaving something unexpectedly—whether that be a relationship or job. It's never easy, but it really is always for the best. I promise. I know it because I've experienced it. 

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.
— Virginia Wolf

A friend once told me to write about cycles in relationships. This is my feeble attempt at doing so. But, really, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. We've all felt the beginning, the middle and the end. We've all learned from each phase and grown as a result of each phase. All of it is purposeful and meaningful and the process is our teacher. As Semisonic (shout-out to my Minnesota people!) so beautifully sang, "every beginning is another beginning's end." Another chance to create. To write your own story. And to create your own adventure.

Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.
— Hunter S. Thompson

I believe we must first take the adventure alone as a complete and whole individual before we are able to walk beside another individual. How can we be expected to experience a beginning, middle and end with a partner if we've never allowed ourselves to experience the highs and lows of life on our own? And, for sure, it's unrealistic to think we can be responsible for another human's walk down this path, especially when we have so much work to do on our own. The beautiful thing is, just when we think we've figured it all out, life knocks us down on our asses and reminds us that we have so much more to learn. In every single middle, beginning, and end.