Is this peace?

Goosebumps.Listening to Sunday's keynote speaker at the 20-Something Bloggers Summit, Jenny Blake, I got goosebumps as she started to read the Parable of the Trapeze.

But every once in a while as I'm merrily (or even not-so-merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me into the distance and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It's empty and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart of hearts I know that, for me to grow, I must release my grip on this present, well-known bar and move to the new one. Each time it happens to me I hope (no, I pray) that I won't have to let go of my old bar completely before I grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar and, for some moment in time, I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar.

Sound familiar? It did to me. I was wearing my bracelet on Sunday, as I do every day. And I felt…not quite smug, but warmly satisfied that this story was nothing new to me. I'd already heard it in a much more intimate setting, from someone who took a leap for me that no one had ever taken before. Sometimes, when I lose sight of why I'm doing all this — though this time, I suppose I have less of a choice — or just need a pick me up, I read back through the comments on that blog post I wrote on Aug. 9, 2010. I look at them, and the timestamp now says "1 year ago." Today I saw that and thought, Good lord. That was a year ago?

I rarely think about it. But my, how time flies. Sitting in my living room, there are papers strewn around me like that horrifying scene from A Beautiful Mind, and the windows are wide open to let in the cool breeze and the soft white noise from the street below. The light in the sky is changing already as September approaches, softer and more golden to usher in fall.

Autumn. Soup and fresh-baked bread. Leaves crunching, the color of fire and butternut squash. Fiddles: Mumford & Sons, Nick Drake and the Dixie Chicks. Sweaters and tights and boots. The clang of my radiators and the warm prospect of a cozy winter working in my beautiful apartment, of tea in a ceramic mug and my sweet black kitten. A cozy excuse to give Tess of the d'Urbervilles another read. A different sort of silence.

I think I've lived another lifetime since I wrote that post a year ago. I feel like a different person today, in all the best ways, except for the way my pants don't fit. I'm settling into myself again, pushing away my fear of being by myself, welcoming those financially lean months as lessons to be learned. Being at that blogger conference over the weekend gave me so much to think about, reflections on myself, my writing, my career. Everything. Not about how to change, but how to be better.

Friday, I leave for a 10-day trip to Portland with one of my best girlfriends. For no real reason but to be away. We'll work during the day and explore the city at night, and I'm so thrilled to pull up my roots, see how they've grown and come home — home, said with blazing certainty — with new perspective.

"Be comfortable with being uncomfortable," Jenny Blake told her audience. "Uncertainty is the one certain thing in life." She's by no means the first person to say that, but I didn't roll my eyes at the cliché as I'd so often be inclined to do. Instead, I quietly held my tongue and simply closed my eyes, and hoped against hope that everyone else would just take it to heart.