It's been a year since I hit the reset button, moving 2000 miles away from my old home to the Pacific Northwest. I'm finding it's a process with lots of starts and stops, plateaus and backwards steps, and vortex-like forward motion punctuated by periods of evaluation and re-evaluation of perceived progress.
For example, I've considered moving out of my apartment at least three times in the past year, spending a few days on Craigslist before achieving some kind of equanimity towards and acceptance of my current home. Lately, I'm really liking my place. I wonder how much it has to do with my attitude towards other things in my life and how much it has to do with the summer sun.
Some things, however, do have to change; I've given notice at my job. It only took six months of working there to get enshrouded in a malaise that I later identified as stagnation. I was reliving past frustrations with unsatisfying work situations. It took an additional five months to accept that the antidote for being in the wrong place is to actually do something about it. So, as of September 4, I'm out of there.
I have a few answers to the question "What's next?" What I really want to tell my colleagues and friends is "I don't know. I'm sure I'll figure something out." But I usually end up saying something more or less vague about going back to school and finding part-time or freelance work. The timing of my quitting is partially reflective of the school year, but it also is true that I simply needed to leave my job. Staying didn't feel like it was benefiting anyone, especially myself.
So, I let go of that old work routine. I'm also finally letting go of my [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollyannamedia/sets/72157606716427541/|old house] in the Midwest. We're really selling it. Really. It's empty and we're waiting to close. I was there a few weeks ago, purging the remaining junk. It wasn't difficult as much as it was weird -- a time warp. I'd lived in my house six years with its quirks and habit-forming irregularities. But I didn't live there anymore. And I hadn't lived there in 16 months. It was a familiar setting, but I have changed over that time, and it didn't fit like it used to. Then there were all the ghosts of past selves and old friends and lovers floating around. ... It was clear, the only thing to do was to let it all go.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Madcity giving teachings while I was there. I attended several sessions in between emptying out the house. It was an oddly synchronistic and a metaphorically potent experience. By the end of my week, I was really ready to return to my Northwest home and to a life that is less cluttered and where I am less distracted and more quiet. I never thought I'd appreciate my solitude so much.
So, I guess I'm still in limbo, but I'm seeing a way out. I think it has something to do with learning to express my authentic voice. It's like sonar -- send out who I am and see what happens as it bounces off folks. I'll know where to go by the information that is returned to me. ... At any rate, it's an idea with which to experiment.
My meditation teacher in Portland often mentions the "let going" -- the relaxing of our grip on what we think this reality is. It could be grasping on to who we think we are or should be or what we think others think of us. As I reflect on the one-year anniversary of moving, I see with much gratitude how I have created an opportunity for myself to do some of that "let going" in a relatively drama-free way. Here's to creating space and getting rid of junk!