There’s a festering ball of assholey nerves combusting in my gut. I’m working to keep it contained, drained even, but it fucking lingers like the plague. I am feeling mostly positive, actually happy I don’t have a boss anymore (I dig my autonomy big time.), a place to be 50 hours a week, 2 hours of traffic to endure to get to this uninspiring place where dreams go to die. But I am still daunted, still unsure, still sick at the thought of growing a child while being under-employed.
I accept these are my circumstances and that they are not permanent. I do. But I wrangle with the impermanence all the same. What direction to move next? What to do? Where to go? Who to connect with? And all I really want to do is nap and eat bread with lots of butter (don’t judge me, that’s what the baby wants!). I feel guilty for being happy I don’t have to return to that wretched job, with people I enjoyed, but a space I did not. I feel embarrassed I was fired, my ego is screaming in anger. My heart is pounding in delight. My mind just keeps saying ‘FUCK.’
Should I feel guilty that a major part of my being now feels free? I feel unchained, bound to nothing, obliged to no one, left to be judged by only one harsh critic: ME. Is that bad? No, it just is. I can’t change it. My doubts going in are proving as truths coming out. Ain’t hindsight a bitch. And ain’t intuition brilliant? And ain’t my mind and my pesky little ego and its need for external satisfaction a bunch of idiots in cahoots?
It’s easy to bark, I didn’t like you that much anyway! once someone broke your heart, but seeing they were no good for you at the get go, now that intelligence takes some honing. The mind is so crafty, the ego so convincing. You need this, it says. Your parents will be so proud, it purports. How much longer must you live paycheck to paycheck, it annoyingly questions.
The point is it’s easy to cry I knew it once someone’s pulled the plug before I could. But I didn’t know it. And that might bother me most of all, the fact that I’d leave whatever keen intuition I thought I’d built over years of introspection, yoga, meditation. Years of discontent, doubt, criticism. I’d found such peace in Chicago, I’d stopped worrying whether I was in the right place because I felt like I was.
But transition helps you take 3 steps backward and get to know the real you again. And I learned there’s still that little asshole inside of me that feels incomplete, unsuccessful and ultimately, unworthy. I loathe pragmatism and yet I chose it at the drop of a hat. I wasn’t looking for it, but it still found me. The universe found yet another way to test me.
I’m listening. I see. I promise.
So what am I supposed to learn from this? I am a crummy project manager? I should’ve listened to those semi-ripened instincts? Income doesn’t predicate success? Don’t quit your day job? All of the above? Believe me, I feel it all. I’ve usually reflected on myself with bird shit covered glasses, failures make me simultaneously feel right and wrong. I’m often quite mean to myself. And I’m still working on it. Obviously.
I feel humbled, to say the least. And I’m not sure how to wisely move forward. My head throbs from berating myself and my eyes burn from wasted tears. Who the fuck am I? Thought I’d had a fraction of my recipe figured out, but I’m still just a mess of ingredients with no clue how to assemble into a functional piece that makes sense.
I know there are lessons to be learned, wisdom to be gleaned, a window to be opened from this slammed door. Or at least cracked. A cracked window that I can nudge and hopefully squeeze me and my pregnant belly through. But in truth, I am baffled by the task of starting over, yet again, of hitting rewind and pushing play in a now different movie.
I can’t help the thoughts that I disappointed by family, let down my loved ones, even though they’d smack me for feeling that way (not really, they’d roll their eyes and say shut the hell up and move on, you got this shit!). I know the fear is a projection of what I feel inside, but it’s there nonetheless. The lessons of my favorite writers and teachers are echoing in my mind. The memes we all love to share reverberating truths into my pounding skull.
I must practice acceptance, embrace surrender. I must take responsibility and own my contribution so I emerge better and smarter from my failures, rather than bitter and befuddled. I’m not angry at anyone else but myself. And I shouldn’t be angry. I tried. I gave it my best, I can sincerely say that. So fuck it, I didn’t like it anyway. Money schmoney.
This release is a relief, a gift, a pink slip to freedom. I’ve been returned to a world I should have never left. In the 5.5 years I spent teaching, I never doubted my place, didn’t question my purpose. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. I never had less money but felt more abundant. I felt I was helping people while helping myself.
Who cares if I had to shake things up and move to a completely new place? Who cares if I’m now with child and my husband is in what feels like an endlessly expensive and time sucking stint in grad school? We’ve endured worse in our 9 years. For some reason, staring at the precipice of 30, with dreams of a family and home in my future, allowed me to let logic and societal norms brainwash me again.
There is something for everyone, a job that can fulfill many, but my job rests in sharing what I know and love with others. And I’m good at it, not afraid or hesitant to admit it anymore. There are many amazing people who also share what I do. They make me better, they uplift my spirits, they're brilliance doesn't make me any less of what I am.
Feedback from students has always been good, why would I question it? Fear. Fear of how to build success without selling out or selling my soul. Fear of trusting my way and my unique path. I’d forgotten the advice I’d so often given: Your path is un-carved, trust yourself to make your way. I simply need to focus on being a great teacher for my wonderful students. I don’t need to be anyone but me, follow any path but mine, adhere to anyone’s code but my own.
I just need to teach. And teach well. And love hard. And hug tight. Who cares about the beauty of a handstand? I’m more interested in sharing insights on living with ease. The handstands will come, let’s try for happy and sane first. I know I must practice what I preach and accept all flaws and failures before I can truly see beauty and success.
Time to nut up or shut up. Nothing more motivating than having no choice to be exactly who you fucking are. And I’m ready. Things often get hard before they get good. I know life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time. I wouldn’t want it to be. This little bitter end adds to the spice of my life, adds to my quirky little recipe. I’m becoming quite the flavorful dish.
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