I am an empty nester. What does that mean? My nest is empty? I guess I didn’t realize I was living in a nest, but okay. What I do know is that my daughter is a sophomore in college living 3 hours away and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I miss her a lot, but it is her turn to explore the world and find herself like I did at her age. As for me, I like to spend more time at home now, drinking tea, writing and contemplating life. I actually enjoy it. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything, just the opposite. I feel a calm, and a desire to live a more peaceful life. I used to feel alive if I was in conflict, or had a drama to discuss with friends, now I barely have the energy to remember or talk about the little drama that is in my life. Am I just getting old and tired? Maybe. Or maybe I am just more accepting of people and their imperfections as I learn to accept more of my own imperfections. Yes, I am getting older, I don’t get the attention I used to as my wrinkles become more pronounced and I am too scared to get botox or collagen injections. But that’s okay. There is something comforting in handing over the reins to my daughter and letting her fly. She has so much ahead of her and I get so much joy out of her successes that my own successes aren’t as important. But with the new quiet in my house I have found a new outlet; a need to write and have others read my words. I have written in a journal, or diary my whole life but last year I had this amazing urge to start a blog and an Instagram account and share my thoughts and art with the world, well maybe not the world, just the 100 or so followers that I have so far. I am not sure where I am going with it all, but that is the beauty of it. I have never in my life just done something to do it. There has always been a reason, a purpose, an ultimate goal. But there isn’t now with writing and art, it just is. Sometimes I go back to old habits and try to quantify and put timetables and outlines on my blog and my artistic future, but it falls apart because once I start writing I have no control over the direction of the words. They come through me unconsciously as they always have, and maybe that is the beauty of it. So I give in and just let it flow. As women, we are on a tight schedule to get an education, get a career and then if we want to have a family, try and find a mate by a certain time so that we can have babies. But as our babies leave the “nest” there is no timetable anymore. There is just time, time to explore without an agenda, without a goal, without judgement. And I will always have my daughter in my life and I am happy she is a strong, independent woman that is out in the world. That means I have done a decent job as a parent, I hope. I look forward to hearing about all her adventures and relationships and helping her with decisions and conflicts, but in the meantime I will write and be artistic with no particular agenda and enjoy. My nest is empty but my heart is full.