Are we conditioned to react certain ways, in certain situations, as the process of grieving and letting go commences?

Over the past few months, but more recently over the last week, I feel like I have been in the middle of emotional protocol...certain feelings that are necessary (habitual) in order to keep it moving, as well as keep it together.
No one knows our personal patterns better than ourselves.
Some turn to anger, while others turn to art. Some saturate themselves in alcohol while others attempt osmosis through random sexual encounters.

Tonight, I sit in my semi-warm Japanese apartment, drinking plum wine that is a bit too sweet, yet potent enough to purge my thoughts into words. I have been fighting these words...and as per usual, they have been fighting back. This is what happens when you are a writer.

The pen is, most definitely, mightier than the sword.

The holidays bring up an array of emotions for me. Snow glazed streets, cuddle weather, slow holiday music, and the gift of giving all put me in a state of emotional confusion. Not to mention, the effects of Seasonal Affect Disorder.

When there is no significant other in my life for the holidays, I do feel a 'piece' missing. This feeling has since been magnified due to the isolation of being in Japan, kind of newly completely single, and alone in my staying in Japan for the holidays.

This is the first Christmas away from family, friends, and even the possibility of intimacy. I can say, I am officially feeling it...

I long for the same attention I will not ask for. I crave a body to lie next to...a body complete with a heart that gets excited in my presence. I miss so many simple things...a text, a call, a "hey you", a "you're beautiful".

This is the other side, that I have written about before, to the type of life I currently lead.

Emotions have compounded for many of the friends here, in the wake of the bomb dropped on us that one of our main components is breaking his contract early. He leaves tomorrow
for a vacation to Thailand, and will not be back in Niigata.

It has started already. I revisit the process of attachment and detachment. Saying goodbye, indefinitely, is the worst part. In fact, it is the only true part of the traveling experiences I have had, that I genuinely despise.

I feel the internal pulling...wanting to capture every moment from here until March 19th, take it with me and hold it dear to my heart forever. You start nearly memorizing conversations. You start wondering if you will ever be in the same place, same time, with these people ever again.

The imminent goodbyes are becoming too real too early. These are friends. There will be a point, sooner rather than later, where I will have to do the same to thousands of students, dozens of teachers, and seven schools.

I have Japanese friends who barely speak a word of English, but whom I've developed the Universal language of pure love and friendship. Them, I will have to leave here in Niigata, as I continue on whatever journey I am supposed to lead. I only hope to leave a piece of me here as well.

Lately, I have been reminded of that last day I had in Paris...

Waking up alone because Brittany's flight left the night before. The apartment was bare and I had to move my bags into the hostel next store. That day I walked around aimlessly.
I ended up in a cinema house, watching a film completely in French, subtitle-less. I felt so alone. The night before, I had premiered my first short film in a full sized movie theater and had never felt a rush that incredible in life. I was on a 15 out of 10.

Then the next day, I was alone. With an uncomfortable need for company, I got on that Metro to Larmark-Caulincourt to La Femis. There I spent the better part of the day with Jarod. We went to Sacre Coerce and ate gelato. I wanted to scream out so badly, "Please don't leave me," when he had to depart for prior scheduled plans.

I ended up on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower...

There was the first time I truly felt groundlessness. The ultimate vulnerability of having everything you have ever thought you wanted in life being ripped from under you. In what seemed like a flash, my entire five weeks in Paris hit my psyche with such power the only thing I could do was smile.

I realized then, that whatever I was destined to do in, film, and writing were going to be a part of it. Up until the summer of 2006, I had fallen in love with many men, and many things.

But that day, I fell in love with my life...

Japan has been round two. I have not felt this alive since that day, on that grass, staring at the Eiffel Tower, whispering to myself "Did I just do that?"

"Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for." -Dag Hammarskjold