nine months

Submitted by la miller on 29 April, 2008 - 18:59

It's been a little more than nine months since I decided to relocate. At the time, I realized I wouldn't be doing myself any favors by considering the ramifications of moving 2000 miles from home. (I might scare myself out of it.) I just knew it was something I felt strongly about doing. I had the momentum. I took the chance. And I did it.

As I write today, I feel ambivalent about the whole thing. I truly miss my old home and friends. I miss the old house and routines. But there is no going back. There is only going forward.

I never considered that I wouldn't be a better person for leaving. Today, I realized that I wanted "being a better person" to be the pay off for leaving. And I see there is no guarantee. I'm not sure I'm going in the right direction for self-improvement. I certainly don't feel like a "better person" now. I feel worse, in fact -- adrift, bereft, overweight, out of shape, tense, sick.

The expectations I carried out here with me, packed in suitcases and boxes, are cluttering my closets and shelves. I wear them to work. I read them at night. How can I start a new life with so much baggage from the old? Why can't I let it all go? Why do I have to keep letting it go? I see myself picking up thoughts again and again that I know aren't good for me or get me nowhere. I come back to them again and again.

(You don't just start over once. You do it over and over until it become a habit in itself.)

I hope these difficult times are worth something. Will I ever look back on my time in this apartment on the very busy street with nostalgia? I think I'm assuming things will get better.

Just glancing to my rather dormant Buddhist practice, I am reminded how I'm too wrapped up in better and worse -- past and future. At a teaching last week, I had a strong sense of how many expectation I layer on myself and the relaxing freedom of dissolving them. This is habit I need to return to. It nullifies the thoughts about not being a "better person." I don't hold on so tightly to what I had. And if I keep to my practice, I actually have faith that I will be better prepared to meet the future, whatever it is.

Still it's hard to meditate everyday and keep my heart open. I resist it. I shrug my shoulders. I sleep in. I don't understand my own resistance. Maybe I should think more about the positive ramifications of meditating. Or maybe not. I might be more afraid of the changes that could come from doing something as opposed to not doing something; doing something on the spiritual level is significant. Moving across country is significant, too. But maybe it's just not as difficult. Or maybe I'm just lazy.