I am currently on spring break and gearing up for the last six weeks of school. I am finishing my fourth semester at a local university where I thought my goal was to be a English major. However, something just doesn’t feel right. Something else has been whispering in my ear, but with all the commotion of school I haven’t had the time to slow down and determine if this was the right choice. I know what I don’t what to do and that is teach in a regular school setting. What prompted this change or perhaps just really brought it to my attention was the nonfiction class I am currently taking as well as a discussion with the professor who teaches that course.
I want to write it is that simple. I’m not even that picky about what I write about, I have an amazing aptitude for finding most things interesting. I am seriously considering changing my major to technical writing to help me break into other areas of writing besides my creative projects. I can still write stories when my muse clobbers me on the head, (she is really hard to ignore at times.) I have always wanted to work from home, and freelance work would allow me to do that. I realize the financial side of freelance writing is uncertain, but I could also work part time if need be. We still have to make our financial obligations. I wish I had though to make this change earlier as it means taking a step back, but sometimes it is necessary to go down a few wrong paths to find the right one. Part of my hesitation to make this change is my indecision to do something for myself. College is one of the few things that I am doing completely for myself. Yes, I want to get into a different line of work, but this is also for my own enrichment as a human being. Life is like driving. We are constantly making small course corrections and going to places we don’t want to visit again. Seeing those places and knowing what we don’t want is what gets us closer to our goals.
As I write this we are in the middle of thawing out from our latest ice storm. My boyfriend put in raised bed gardens and planted them. While most of the crops should be fine, he thinks the seeds will have to be replanted. I can’t wait to start cooking with the vegetables from our gardens. The produce at the stores lacks all flavor, it reminds me of reading a great book with an anticlimactic ending. I love to cook, but what is the point when the dishes lack flavor? It’s not just flavor that is lacking, but the nutrient content as well. There is just something about wandering out to the garden, gathering salad items, and going inside to have it fresh. The meal is so much more satisfying all the way around from the growing to the preparation.
I initially started this blog as an outlet for my emotional baggage. I knew if I didn’t take some time out to work on myself my demons would just follow me. So instead I turned around and decided to stare them down. I can’t say that they are entirely gone most days we have a truce and I have a better understanding of the dark places in my soul. I still run headlong into those demons from time to time, but now instead of facing them down alone I have a wonderful man in my life who wants to be my partner and help. If someone had asked me nine months ago that this is were I would be I would have laughed and told them they were full of BS. How was I to know that my world would have to fall completely apart so it could be rebuilt in a way I could have never imagined.
Every now and then I take a break from blogging, Facebook and twitter to just be. This hiatus was a little longer than I intended however, it started with the loss of my job. I was then forced to move home out of financial necessity. After that low spot I met a wonderful man fell in love and we moved in together. It has all been very Cinderella like, I still have to make certain at times that this is not a dream I’m going to suddenly wake up from. At any rate I’m in my third semester at a university and life is very good. I am going to make a point to blog as regularly as my time permits.
At 36 I’ve been married and divorced, I’ve dated and been single, but even at this juncture in my journey, life is still able to hit me square in the face with a curve ball. I believe that everything happens for a reason, that the pain of life is just another lesson in the never ending school of hard knocks. Perhaps, life’s miseries are a prelude to something better. It’s through these lessons we are prepared to meet that one person who will change our whole life, by accepting us as we are. They take us to a place we’ve never been before.
That is the road I’m on now. I’m a restless wandering soul always looking, searching although I never knew exactly what I was looking for. I found it and it is beautiful, amazing and insane all at the same time. I fell in love and every aspect of my life in sweeter because of it.
People cross my path on a regular basis sometimes it’s just for a brief meeting other times they stay awhile, but invariably I learn something. One of the lessons I was reminded of yet again was that chronological age doesn’t equal emotional maturity. This experience did teach me some positive things, the first is how important the little things are especially to me. Things like having doors opened for me and for someone to know what I like to drink and bring it to me without asking. This basic respect has been completely absent from my life and now that I know how it feels, I will accept no less. I have had to actually learn that it’s not selfish for me to be putting some aspects of my life on hold while I go to school it’s a way for me to get ahead in the world. Going back to school has been my dream for many years . My Migraines have always been a big stumbling block for me, they have kept me from doing a great many things, but now as I stare down 37, I’m finally coming into my own. I like the metaphor of the soup pot, sometimes we especially women have to take time for ourselves to make more otherwise we give so much we have little left for others. This is not selfish.
I have been making a concerted effort to deal with some of my emotional baggage, I’m on a journey to become a better person. I am far from perfect, but through this process I have accepted the bad things that have happened to me, they are part of my mental landscape. Our experiences make us who were are and yes, at times they may rear their ugly heads, but if I can recognize that I’m having a mini meltdown that was triggered by something completely innocent that just makes me human. This also makes me more aware than most.
I went on a solo camping trip Monday. Unfortunately, I had to cut my outing short and come home a day early due to bad weather. I was able for just a few hours to slow down and see the small things in life. I was sitting on a rock by the lake and was visited by a spider who came scurrying past and into a crevasse in the rock. This spider was a great metaphor for life. I looked down again to see a caterpillar and smiled at how often we miss the micro in our oversized world. I sat awhile just letting my thoughts wander to nothing specific enjoying the feel of the wind on my skin.
I read a book just because I could. I made a meal over a open fire and was one with Mother Nature through two thunderstorms. When we get away from all the trappings of life it becomes readily apparent what is necessary and what is luxury.
Dare to Be….
I’m working on a paper titled Slavery and the Splintered Self in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. This was not the original subject matter when I started working on this project, but it was more geared toward slavery and its effect on motherhood. It seems my own process of excavating my slumbering intellect wove its way in and altered my topic. My paper became an extension of the process that I’m going through. At 36 with a long intermittent college career, I have finally been able to return and stay in school; what I’m experiencing now is a reawakening and reorganizing of my concept of self. I have forgotten so much that now everyday is like a new discovery (the kid in a candy store cliché comes to mind.) I received a comment on a rough draft that the paper seemed like it was written by two different people in essence it was . Dealing with a controlling former spouse, an emotionally abusive former fiancée and a bevy of other control freaks, I put aside my own intelligence, wants and needs because I was young and didn’t know there was another way. A line in the original Dune movie sums up this process “The sleeper must awaken.”
I am older and much wiser now. I can’t berate myself for learning this lesson at this stage, there is a psychology at work here that goes back to my childhood. I am breaking out of a circle of behavior that I refuse to be a part of anymore and if that leaves me single for the rest of my life than so be it. I have learned so much these past two semesters, but the greatest lessons are the one the universe has granted me the clarity of sight to truly see. They are the ones that are redesigning the interior landscape of how I perceive my self.