I've always found the world challenging to be in. I'd say it's probably that way for most folks. It's more than likely always been this way. Probably always will be.
There are so many dreams that live on to one degree or another in my head and heart even though they got semi-discarded or modified or mangled when I tried to bring them out into the world. But I'm okay with the end result as I believe with all of my being that evolution is in perfect alignment with The Almighty Yes, whatever that is.
I didn't go back to school for any other reason than I felt to. I was living on that mountain in the middle of the woods and I had no clue as what to do next. Every door I knocked on stayed closed, no matter how hard I pushed, no matter how nicely I asked to be let in, no matter how many times I hollered Allahkazam!
I simply ran out of options. And then I woke up one morning and got: Go back to school. And oh lordy how the doors flew open, one after the other, me racing pellmell and hell bent for pleather down the hallway headed for higher learning.
Do you understand that I was a hardcore granolahead, solemnly sworn to spit in the cycloptic eye of science? Did you know that I'm a high school dropout, who went to college in her twenties as an art student? Do you understand that I didn't even know what to study when I went back to school at the fine, fine age of 38? I only knew one thing: get your ass in mainstream, credentialed school. And as I needed to know the next piece, such as what to major in, what to go to grad school for, it always showed up within a few days of the deadline or due date or whatever the closing gun was for that particular leg of the race.
And while I was in school, I got caught up in the Scholastic Process. Getting good grades, finishing the bachelor's and then on to a master's degree, planning out a career, doing as prestigious an internship as could be wrangled. And then I graduated a couple of months ago and the next step was to find a solid job in the mid-40's, with good benefits, for a good company. And so I did. I whipped out the girl shoes, purchased several pairs of comfortable yet tailored pants, began styling my hair in the morning instead of throwing it into its usual braids or Pippy topknots. And I went to work.
I got up at 6:30 am. I rode my bike through the leafy Pine Valley neighborhood lanes. I lifted weights and did yoga. I ate a good breakfast. I got to work bright-eyed and on time.
My new bosses had tremendous confidence in me. Not only did I have the extensive educator background they needed, but the educational credentials, as well as twenty years of experience in the holistic field, which they wanted to incorporate into their program. I liked my colleagues: smart, funny, experienced. I liked my bosses: intelligent, deep hearted, full of integrity and decency. I liked the experience of building an office from the ground up. Of helping build the desks and choose the office supplies and organize the teaching materials and map out the trainings.
But this past Thursday, I sat down in a meeting with my two immediate bosses and said essentially: "I quit", knowing that if I didn't quit, they would fire me.
I've given you guys 98 reasons why I don't post much anymore. And a couple of posts ago I let you know that I was going to start a private blog. But here's the real reason behind all of the semi and partial and particulate reasons that I gave: I was happy and didn't want to f*ck it up with gratuitous words spread all over the internet.
For the first time in five or so years, I was genuinely enjoying my life. Driving through the streets of my childhood hometown, not a waft of depression on the horizon, southern fried blues on the radio, the sea breeze coming through the open windows, the sun so very bright and healing. Off to meet my sis for lunch at our favorite country cooking buffet, or to hang with my bro for a few hours to drink some wine and Michelob Ultra Lights and shoot the sh*t, get some sugars (aka kisses) and some love (aka hugs) from my gorgeous nephew in all his hunka-love, teen idol hair glory. The Hoon's diabetes under control. Money in the bank. A bed to sleep in so huge and so soft it was like sailing on a tranquil sea. An unbelievably beautiful apartment with landlords as neighbors, fellow granolahead phreaks who deeply understood my need to burn copious amounts of sage, a shared view that a revolution is coming.
It would be easy to say something like "Life was good but I knew it wouldn't last" but that wouldn't be truthful. It was more that I understood that "the robot was happy", that soon enough Things of The World would come round that would make the robot unhappy, and that dang skippy if I wasn't going to enjoy the heck out of whatever Happy was allotted to me this go around.
It would also be easy to list all of the things that contributed to my unhappiness at the new job. As I'm sure the folks I worked for could roll out a list of all the things about me that made them unhappy. But the sum of the parts is that it wasn't a good fit. And I got that they would Own the best of me. 60 hours a week, 70 hours a week, middle of the night, whatever they wanted. Blood, sweat, tears, heart, soul, lock, stock, and barrel. That was the contract I read, dated, and signed. That was the deal.
And so I have been working on this post for a week now. A bit here and there. Waiting for the fabulous muse to rock me not so gently into the night so that I can sit down and just bang out the rest. But it goes on and on. Sort of like Life. And at what point do I hit the publish button and just get on with it?
Tuesday of last week (9 days ago), I sat down with my immediate bosses and we expressed our dissatisfaction with one another. When I walked out of that meeting it was with the knowledge that I lay my nads on the line or get the heck out. Over the ensuing two nights and one day I got that I didn't believe in them enough to offer up my nads, and so on Thursday morning (7 days ago) I said: this just isn't working, and handed over all of the meticulous notes and files and cds of all of the work I'd done so that whoever came in after me could pick up where I left off. They didn't put up one iota of protest. But it was an amicable parting. "We think you are wonderful" they said. "I wish you great success with what you guys are setting into motion here" I said. Then I took my box of tissues and my spray bottle of aromatherapy and said sayanara.
By Thursday afternoon, I was back in business for myself.
Sometime back in June I was just this side of sleep when a jolt of information hit me so hard I sat straight up in bed. "Integral Shamanics" it said. And I got up, went to my iBook, and purchased the domain name from Go*Daddy. I'd never purchased a domain name before. I had no clue as to how I would use it. Last Thursday I began to understand.
It pretty much explains what I've been up to the past five months. And what has saved my ass, heart, and other sensitive parts to keep me in forward motion. (The link is Integral Shamanics) Did you know that there is a place where you can go to get all of your questions answered completely tailored to you specifically? Of course they never tell you what you want to hear, which can be enormously ass-kicking, but really, the truth: it will set you free. Plus, you will laugh your ass off as the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place in the windmills of your mind . . .
After "My Thrashing Courtesy of The Love of Jed ", I seriously doubt that any of it means anything, and is really no better than the guy who sent me (and a dozen others) an invitation to come to Florida to "hang out" for a weekend and listen to him talk and talk and talk and talk but really it's not a "retreat" because it's not really guru-itis because he isn't charging for it and the Saturday evening satsang will be held at the local disco and will be comprised of strippers and liquor.
And I'm not sure what it is that I'm offering folks, but I've done my best to do so in a way that isn't a complete turd in the Punchbowl of Truth. But the whole liquor and strippers thing might be the way to go. Who knows?
The bottom line for me is comprised of two things:
1) I am a granolahead. I am a fringe-dwelling phreak who can no more participate in the daily ongoing rituals and confinements of "work" than I could marry a Type A man and get a bodylift. I've worked my whole life to Open My Eyes, and I'll be danged if I'm gonna close them now for a weekly salary, health insurance, and vacation time. Health insurance is f*cked anyway, and who needs a Vacation when your Life is fabulous? And no dis intended for those of you who have this vibe in the bag: I muthafreakin sure as sh*t don't have a clue as to what this hoopla is about. . . .
2) Some people just can't work for other people. I need to be able to get from point A to point B without having to hit every muthafreakin letter in the alphabet on either side. Do I really need to explain this? You guys know what I'm talkin about . . .
And in one week. Seven days. I have got this freakin casbah rocking. I put together a tri-fold color brochure. Business cards. A website. Found office space in the one holistic center in town where I can both be in their frame of business (advertising, signage, referrrals, newsletter, etc.) and only pay $200 a month rent plus have access to the store space for the classes I'll be running. Have advertising set for two different publications. Had the woman who owns the center say to me: we are so excited to have someone with your credentials working here with us.
I worked for that mental health agency for one month. I woke up every single morning anxious, slowly but surely beginning to define my numinousness as generic mental illness that Plagues Those Who Don't Quite Fit. I felt sick and lost and far from Home. The last two weeks I also woke up angry. Anxious and angry and lost is no way to go through life.
I may fall flat on my 'gina. I may totally f*ck this up. I may fail so totally either because Wilmington is not ready for this or because I suck at it or because I am simply meant to Bite The Big One on this. That twinge I've been feeling in my left pelvic region may indeed be cancer and I may die a painful uninsured death. I may die a crazy, hooting, poor failure. But I will do all of this as a free woman. Or at least as free as I can wrangle these days.
Live free or die.
Isn't that what America was founded on?
Does this mean that I am a patriotic American?
I still know the war is a front for the rich bankers and that this country is basically f*cked seven ways from Sunday but that is the fodder for another post. For the purposes of this post I will say:
Live Free or Die.
Because really: is anything else worth it?