I have learned a lot in the interim between this post and the last. I've become more hardcore about my photography, I am opening myself back up to the world, and I'm starting to feel myself more complete, more whole. It seems appropriate that this should happen at M - the 13th letter of the alphabet. Half way between the beginning and the end. Even the letter itself - with its vertical symmetry of peaks and valleys - speaks of half way points.
In my photography I am learning more everyday, but staying vigilant in walking the line between interest and obsession. I know more about myself, more about my tendency to throw myself into things, and I'm being very aware. My eyes are open to my own patterns, to the way I interact in my environment, and to the personality types that I tend to attract with my behavior.
In the rest of my life, I have rejoined facebook after more than a year. At times it has still caused me anxiety, but it's also nice to be able to communicate with people I care about, and those who care for me. It will also be a requirement if I wish to start doing photography professionally.
I'm going by Cadence in most social circles now. I still slip up and use my other name (and respond to it) but I know that it will just take time, as it did when learning to use my married name. It makes me smile every time I see my name written on a cup at starbucks, or even when I sign my name on receipts. Some time next week I'm going to make time to go down to the county registrar and turn in the paperwork. It's complete now, and just waiting for a notary to make it official.
I'm starting to get back to taking the kids to playgroup, as well. The sheer number of people I had to be social with had turned me off for a long time, but now I feel like I can handle it better. I still come home from playgroup tired and over-peopled, but at least I don't feel so overwhelmed when I am actually there.
In some of my social circles I have felt like a bug under the microscope. People have been keeping a close eye on me, watching to see if I will have a mental break down or snap out of it and get back to normal. The changes have been more subtle than that, though. They are almost imperceptible to the naked eye. I still laugh, I still cry (maybe I let myself cry a little more than I once did). I can feel the slow changes more than I can see them. But the shades of grey are slowly appearing, like watching an old polaroid develop.