Man, I don't know about you but these last few weeks have. been. rough. 

I've had this ache for a while and I can't seem to break open my chest to pry out. I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm waiting impatiently for something to happen. I'm stressed. Selfish. Weary. Cold. 

The last few years, I've noticed that November tends to dig up those feelings. As a child, this season was magical. As of late though, the onset of cold air forces me to stop.

Pause + reflect.

It's not a bad thing. But as I started a new journal last week I realized so many of my words indicated negativity. Beating on myself for not working hard enough, not being good enough for people, feeling solitary and melancholic.

Negativity acts like a good friend, an adventure partner. It takes me on a hike through cold woods. It's a liar though. It hides behind this front that encourages me to complain and be selfish. It keeps me company and we gossip to each other. We light a fire to keep us warm as we fall asleep.

I wake up as the sun rises and Negativity, my "good friend," has abandoned me, leaving me by myself but it's left traces of its character behind. 

I'm disappointed in myself for letting Negativity become my friend. I'm generally so sweet (+ sometimes a little disgruntled) and anything more than just a lil disgruntled sends me on a lonely hike into the forest. 

And so this morning, I paused. I reflected. It's a quiet morning in my house. I poured myself a mug of coffee and held it in my small hands as I wore the coziest flannel shirt. 

I'm going home tomorrow. A place of family and warmth. I haven't seen many of my family members since the summer and it's wearing on me. I'm in my senior year of college and I have never needed to go home more than I do right now. To have their kind eyes look on me with this beautiful, unconditional love that I grew up with -- oh, how I need that to fill my soul once again. 

This week of Thanksgiving has the most beautiful timing. I need to break up with Negativity and turn my attention to the warmth of my family. Bury negativity in the woods so it cannot return. I'll make a list of my small successes and plan for future ones. I'll nurture that ache in my chest and I'm going to eat SO much food. 

And then I'll return to school next week. I'm preparing for my senior thesis review on December 8.

I'm terrified. I give so much of my time + energy + soul to my work and sometimes that disconnects me from very important things. Sometimes it makes me feel small. Sometimes it makes me too weary to be the cheerful + quirky Kate I normally am. But I've fallen in love with my process and I'm following it with confidence and strength. And I'm going to keep following it until I have a gallery filled with my work in the spring, when the cold air is gone once again. 

Goodbye Negativity, my not-so-good-friend. I have too many other things to deal with right now.

Work hard, sweet soul. Be kind to yourself. Don't feel small, rather feel seen. Let that lingering ache seep into your heart and allow it to root there (as long as it doesn't strangle your goodness).

Feeling hard stuff makes you appreciate gratitude and kind eyes filled with love even more.