Admittedly I wasn’t prepared for the roller coaster of emotions that accompany a move across country. Having purposefully thrown myself into experiences that push the limits of my comfort zone, especially those involving circling the globe, I have learned to roll with the ever-evolving shifts of travel and change. I would find ways to plant my feet quickly, get to know my travel counterparts, fully experience the place in which I was destined, and take from it the experiences necessary to move my being into its next phase. Yet, I embraced the physical location in MA to which I’d return. A place where family and friends abound minutes after landing. I had a place I could categorize as “home”.
Yet my sense of belonging, despite having a “home”, was constantly in question.
Now that I’ve opted to step into a new role, every part of my life is being called into question. I question friendships, trying to discern who is coming with me and who is staying behind as I move to the next book in my life. I question career choices and paths that I did and didn’t take, wondering if I made any of the right decisions over the past 10 years. What could I have done better? More of? Done differently? Could I have gone for more schooling? Should I have addressed my exhaustion and resistance to the inconsistencies earlier in my career?
I question the men I left and why I fled their experience like they were the second coming of Hitler, and I question those I stayed with knowing that they rocked my boat to the point of knocking it over while I helplessly drowned in their destructive wake. I question the work dynamics I’ve experienced over the last 10 years, and how I exactly fit in to where I’ve been, if I have ever actually fit in, or if I’ve just created a teacher profile that looked good enough to fool everyone, including me.
I question my financial choices knowing I could have made it easier on myself to afford the necessities, all the while admitting to only me that I felt I had to keep up an appearance of stability when the truth was that I had NO idea where my money was going and how to plan for my future. I question how I possibly fit into my family knowing that I’m the black sheep, the risk-taker, the right-fighter, the one who can’t sit still, the one who is unmarried and childless at the ripe age of 34. How am I accepted? Or am I?
My sense of belonging is the greatest question, as it no longer makes sense in the way that it used to. I feel out of place, out of sorts, out of balance, out of alignment, and I’ve done everything I could, knowing that this was all taking place, to maintain some semblance of continuity with my day-to-day, but the truth is is that I’ve been holding on by mere threads with hope that tomorrow will feel just a little bit better.
But it doesn’t.
I fight these forces every day, and I’ve faced fear on every level. It never fails that when I’m responding to the unknown it shows up, and right now I’m in the clutch of the complete unknown. I have one foot in my next role, and one foot still tying up the lose ends of the past. I sometimes question if the lose ends will ever get the full circle they deserve, and even if it’s not tied up before I set out on the road, I hope that eventually life and circumstance will shift to where the ends meet and fuse together.
I question everything right now, except for one thing: that I am completely affirmed in the choices I’ve made and in the intuition I’ve followed guiding me to this new adventure. I am willing and able to dive off of the cliff into the unknown, because that leap of faith is how we find our net on which we land. I know that these questions are pushing me to understand the life I created here and why I’ve made the choices I’ve made. I’ve had to face my demons, I’ve had to face my fears, I’ve had to face my shortcomings, I’ve had to face my past, along with my present, and I’ve had to face every question with a knowingness that this could all be a disaster or the best thing I will ever do.
I may not have answers to any questions today, nor will I necessarily tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. But as long as I put one foot in front of the other, the struggle to seek answers becomes a lot less painful and much more of a quest toward the direction in which I know to be true.