Reading Time: 2 minutes

My return to the Midwest has been bittersweet, as expected. I just thought I would have more energy to be able to address all the feelings it’s stirring up.

After having all that car trouble and getting sick, I’ve been exhausted. That on top of a whirlwind end of semester, and the fact that this is my 2nd cross-country move in 6 months, and the preceding time I had getting divorced and whatnot… and I’ve just had to lay low for a few days.

This was not the triumphant homecoming I’d imagined: still combating health issues, barely able to get out of bed in the morning, being too fatigued to even make plans to see people.

But again, based on what we know about empathy and self-care, I can’t reasonably expect myself to go out and do awesome things and have the energy to meet up with people (especially as an introvert) if my reservoirs are drained.

I just need…downtime. Whatever that actually is.

The two bright spots in all this have been the friends who’ve checked in on me (even when that means giving me space) and those who’ve graciously put me up, and my dance community. We had a drum-and-dance reunion a few days after my return, and it felt so good to sync up and dance with my peeps again. Starting this week, I resume teaching/rehearsing dance two nights a week, and I hope my energy levels are up to it. But dance sustains me like nothing else, and my community here is beyond awesome, so it’s an honor to be able to work with them again.

So, here’s to finding my way home, even if Indy is but one of the places I call home. I hope I get to do good work here, with my dance community and my teaching and my writing, bringing some #beautifulresistance to the table here. And I hope I do it while being as gentle with myself as I can manage, because otherwise I don’t think I’ll be able to pick up the pieces quite so neatly.

FOXY FOLKORIST Studied folklore under Alan Dundes at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to earn her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She researches gender and sexuality in fairy...