On returning and answering the inevitable
This reminds me of when my Professoressa described the difference in "how are you" between Italy, Germany, and the U.S. (Italy: enthusiastic and brief; Germany: deep and long-winded; the U.S.: casual and impersonal). It's such a good topic.
Some phrases that cut deep:
"The small towns that dot Massachusetts’s outreached Atlantic arm were exactly as we left them." (Chilling!)
"keep basking in the sun of nostalgia for the here and there" (Never heard "the here and there." Love that. Might steal.)
"I just embraced the incompleteness of my storytelling" (Oof! Ouch. So real.)
I would be curious to hear some more specifics of the thought-tangle: What mental pathways do you start down, and where does it become hard to make sense of? Which stories feel impossible to tell completely? (All of them, I'm sure--but some specific examples would help me connect more with where you are at.)
Happy that the chaos of your transition did not dissuade you from writing this. Sometimes, the chaos is what needs to be written about.
Cannot wait to keep reading.