You’ve heard/read me writing about….well, writing and running, love, loss, and life. I’ve written about my job over and over about how I was afraid to leave and might possibly never find another job I loved as much as the one I had. Well the truth is, I still have it – the universe works in mysterious ways and I’m able to “work-at-home” for the next few months while I finish up my MFA. Great, right? Yes, things seem to be falling into place and I should have nothing to complain about; however, finishing the MFA is a task which is not as easy as I thought it would be.
Immediately, I am thrown into a world I don’t quite know how to fit into or if I even belong here. New people who seem to already have their group of close friends, departmental drama, gossip, egos….not something I was used to dealing with in the past two years I was gone… that’s a lie – my boss would tell you I had/have the ego and there definitely was gossip but what can I say, I worked with teenagers. I don’t mean to disrespect my program or classmates in any way, I do enjoy it here, I am learning a lot, and there are great people who I am proud to have as friends and colleagues. I am inspired by other people in my program – many are talented and knowledgeable – some are genuinely kind and caring, and like most artists – they are fun and dynamic. But, in spite of that somehow being back, being “here” (wherever that is physically/spiritually/emotionally) honestly….something feels different, the world…somehow smaller when I’m just concerned with university dynamics and UNM issues.
The world used to feel bigger, traveling for work, exploring new shores as I learned to deal and communicate professionally with parents, students, site coordinators, etc. Working with students, I felt like I was making some kind of minute difference.
Now, I’m not so sure what I am doing. I have lost all motivation to do my required coursework – and not putting in as much effort as I should in the 2 (yes count ’em only TWO) classes I need to fulfill my required classes. It doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel right doing anything half-assed and feel awful giving less than my best. I feel like a zombie walking from class to class teaching – wondering how effective I am, if my students are getting what they need, if they’re engaged, etc. My boss says I worry too much, just do my best and not worry so much about how they feel about it, that I shouldn’t gauge my success as a teacher by how “interested” them seem each day. There will always be “off” days in anything we take on in life. A friend of mine says I’m a natural teacher and shouldn’t worry. Another says do what you came here to do and put my own writing first.
And still, it feels difficult to balance. I’ve reached a stage where I feel disconnected. Whose life am I living and when did I become this person? Maybe I haven’t fully adjusted to being back in the Land of Enchantment yet but I do feel enchanted… like I’m living an illusion or I’m not really here.
Usually running helps to clear my mind and training for what will be my 4th half-marathon certainly has me running a fair amount of time. But this time, it’s not working. I cannot seem to find clarity. So, I returned to yoga, a new found interest of mine from my time in Boulder. I love it, it is grounding. Thanks to a friend of mine in Boulder who convinced me to take my first yoga class with her, I’ve been hooked. Learning about the different shockras and postures was enlightening…most of all, yoga simply reminded me to just breathe. I am neurotic, I focus on too many little details, small things beyond my control – so learning to control my breathing, to notice my breath, helps center me. On Thursday evening, despite a cold, I went to spin class and then yoga. We had a new instructor. She began the class asking us to put ourselves in mountain pose and she played “Color Blind” by Counting Crows.
I cried. Now before you think I’m completely crazy, I wasn’t sobbing or anything like that, but something about that night, the combination of the posture, the music, the lyrics, and where I was at emotionally/mentally/spiritually struck a chord and a single, solitary tear carved its way down my cheek.
“Pull me out from inside. I am ready. I am ready. I am ready. I am fine. I am covered in skin. No one gets to come in. Pull me out from inside. I am folded and unfolded and unfolding. I am colorblind.”
Then, like a train – it hit me. Again. Learning and being open means being vulnerable, something I’m constantly having to remind myself of – that it is ok to let people in. And as for life, where I’m at right now – I have nothing to complain about. I am strong. I am healthy. I am talented. I am blessed. We all are all of these things, and Reader YOU are all of these things.
Reader, remember what I sometimes forget, what someone once said to me: your life is going to follow your thoughts. So believe. Believe you are blessed. Believe your best days are in front of you. When you dwell on the negative thoughts you release your faith in the wrong direction. There’s only so much space in our minds – there’s no room for self-pity, fear, or doubt. We shouldn’t dwell on who hurt us or the mistakes we have made.
And as for egos, I myself need reminding every now and again that I am nothing in myself, but I am everything with the Creator. The Creator knows about all of our weaknesses and if we let him, he will work through our weaknesses with us. If you’re not doing what the Creator has put you on this earth to do, you will be frustrated, you will be unfulfilled.
Living means learning and though I often run away, I eventually make my way back. I get centered. I remember what/who matters and I remind myself that I need to be patient. It’s ok to fall, I can always pick myself up and if I ever feel that I can’t…well that, that’s what friends and family are for. So be vulnerable. Be willing to break your own heart. So dear Reader, if and when you, too, feel lost repeat after me: I am ready. I am ready. I am ready. I am fine. I am fine. I am fine.
and you are, and if you’re not in that moment, believe – you will be.