To Auspicious Beginnings… (or, Life on a Surfboard)

Happy (belated) 2012!

I wish I could say I had an amazing excuse for essentially allowing December to fall off the calendar entirely. As you’re about to find out, a couple of things did happen (read: sh*t went DOWN), but none of that actaully kept me from my keyboard. Instead, it seems, I needed those 31 days (and maybe a few extra) to allow the dust to clear, to survey the remains and to collect my thoughts.

The good news? The transition is over, I’m still standing tall (okay, as tall as my 64 inches will ever allow), and rather than rubbing my eyes and finding a dreary, barren, post-apocalyptic landscape of a life before me, the world is brighter, more vibrant and makes a hell of a lot more sense.

So what exactly happened, you ask?

Well, I’ve quit my job, started my yoga teacher training and moved back to Wilmington. There were a few other events in there (umm… Christmas, for example?), but the long and short of it is that after pushing against the current of the universe for eight months, it was high time I turned this boat around and started going with the flow. And in doing so, some amazing things have transpired.

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me.... and I'm feelin' good." ~ Nina Simone

Amazing Things That Have Transpired:

1) Honesty: I’ve made a pact to be nothing but honest with myself and those around me. Not that I’m going to go all “Liar, Liar” on you and start voicing every thought that comes to my head. Also, there are many ways to be honest, and tact is a beautiful thing. Delivering the truth from a place of compassion doesn’t take a whole lot of extra effort, but it does take an immense weight off yours shoulders.

2) I found home: When you’re still calling it home after being away from it for eight months, that might be a sign. Other signs a place is your home: 1) Your future husband lives there, 2) He has your two cats, 3) Every time things go to sh*t your first instinct is to drop everything and return there, and 4) Things go to sh*t for the last time and you drop everything and go there.

3) Yoga Teacher Training: Okay, so I didn’t exactly drop everything. Eventually, this training was the only thing keeping me in Raleigh, but in the end I realized that, while it would take a little extra effort, it didn’t have to keep me there. I didn’t have to choose between one or the other… I could have it all! I could MAKE IT WORK! And make it work I did. I got a little extra help paying for the training via workstudy (I’m the program’s official photographer for the next five months) and I’m commuting back to Raleigh for the intensive weekends. Which makes infinitely more sense then staying in Raleigh for training and driving home for a little taste of my home now and then… And so far it’s been incredible. How strange to learn in your first weekend that the forces you lack in your physical practice  are also those you lack in your life off the mat (who’d have thought it?). Big shocker that I have trouble in balancing poses and warriors because I’m not the most grounded yogi that ever lived…

4) Connection: It’s hard to explain this one, but suddenly lots of little connections are taking place. The friend you haven’t spoken to since you first moved to Raleigh finally catches you on your drive home to Wilmington and you have an incredible, cathartic, life affirming conversation. An old acquaintance runs into you at a restaurant and offers you  a free yoga class and potentially a work-trade opportunity – and you didn’t even know she was into yoga. Aforementioned future husband and you instantly feel like you’re living on the same plane again (have you seen the trailer for Upside Down? From what I can tell, it’s about Jeff and me.  It’s a little creepy that someone wrote a movie about us… It’s even creepier that they cast Kirsten Dunst in my role… seriously??).

5) WORDS: Yep. Out of nowhere I have something to say again. In fact, I have a lot to say, and I actually feel like saying it (hence this meandering epic of a blog post). You see, in the end Iwas hanging on to that job for dear life, like I had something to prove and I wasn’t leaving until I showed them. And then one day it dawned on me that I had absolutely nothing to prove. Everything I am, and all the incredible things I have to offer were right there for the world to see, and my employers either didn’t have the time to give them life or straight up didn’t want to.

Also, the company is nuts.

And maybe, ultimately, that was the final epiphany that sent me running for the hills. Yes, I’d put a year of my life into this work. But the last thing I want is to be  the girl who stays in a terrible  relationship with a gorgeous but clinically insane man because, well, he’s gorgeous, and also we’ve been together for a year! Eff that year. It’s not like it’s going to be completely erased from my life. I’m not going to lose that year, and it most certainly wasn’t wasted. I learned a massive amount about myself, gained and honed practical skills, met some incredible people and lived life (which, in my book, is never a waste no matter if it was butterflies and unicorns or one big downward spiral).

That said, I would be crazy to stay in an unhealthy situation just because I’d already put a lot of time and effort into that endeavor. In yoga, they put it this way: Sustain the practice as long is it sustains you. When a practice no longer serves you, you let it go. I’m letting you go, Raleigh. For now.

That letting go has also opened a wealth of possibilities. I’d been walking down a long, telescopic hallway toward a big golden door that I’d deemed my target: blinders up, eyes on the prize. And with that narrow focus, I was missing the fact that my hallway was lined with infinite windows, and if I’d bothered to turn my head now and then I would have realized there were fireworks and ocean waves and lazy rivers and sunsets and sunrises and mountains and bustling bazaars and all manner of adventures and wonders, all of them potentially way cooler than a freaking golden door, know what I’m saying?

There was a time when my job resonated loudly within me. But eventually, that sound began to fade, and a deeper vibration took its place. That was yoga. It’s like riding one wave onto another onto another onto another, taking one as far as it supports you, then surfing on to the next. I’m not saying we should be fickle and never allow ourselves to root down. You may find yourself riding a wave that carries you for a decade, twenty years… the rest of your life. And I’m not just talking jobs and careers now. The waves are everywhere.

Life, of course,  is the big wave, and there are infinite swells and crests within it.

Living, therefore, is surfing. And the best surfers know when to let go.

This guy knows what I'm talkin' about.

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3 thoughts on “To Auspicious Beginnings… (or, Life on a Surfboard)

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