I’ve been debating writing this post for the last couple of days…to try and explain my recent silence. I wasn’t sure how appropriate it was to share such a personal story on a blog, but then I stumbled on this stanza from a Tagore poem entitled “Closed Path”:
But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.
It allowed me to see that the path I am on is the same as anyone who has decided not to settle. The melody might be new, but it is coming from the same piano with the exact same number of keys. For a couple of weeks I thought I was losing my mind and I felt so very alone. I could not focus on work and I stayed in bed for a number of days watching mindless television and avoiding people. My dreams were punctuated by violent nightmares and everything sort of tasted like cardboard…at one point I even became convinced that I was dying. Something did die, but it wasn’t me, it was the fear that I had been holding on to. I am lucky to be a part of this amazing community and in the midst of an existential meltdown à la “Catcher in the Rye” (according to a mentor with a biting sense of humor) I was surrounded by loving and patient wisdom. I bet if Holden Caulfield had been met with so much compassion he wouldn’t have ended up in an insane asylum.
So, after a couple of weeks of moping, crying, advice, understanding and hugs I took the ultimate plunge and quit my job. It may not seem like such big deal to you, but for the last year my job has been my life. The thing is the stress really was not serving me and I have the opportunity to continue my studies in a city I love …so I went for it. The job I left is in a field I do intend to at the very least participate in for the rest of my life so I am looking at it as more of a break than a farewell. I did this without having anything else lined up, a couple of months before the lease on my house is up. I have nowhere to live and no way to pay for it, but I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. I agreed to continue working part-time until August to give them time to transition which worked out for me because I need the time to gather my wits. Now, I need to figure out what is is I intend to do. I plan on taking a couple of classes to prepare for grad school, but I still need to come up with rent and food money. If I am honest with myself the only things I really want to do are read, write and be around plants. Since I am single with no children or pets and in fairly good health I may just be able to swing that.
Here is to new melodies and new beginnings. I hope you find the courage to listen to your heart.