Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Eye

It seems like an appropriate reference in the middle of hurricane season to refer to the center calm in the eye of the storm when everything feels suspended in anticipation of what comes next. Yesterday was my last day at my current job and this weekend I will be packing up the car, Clampet-style and heading to the city of brotherly love. I've had no less than three surprise parties in the last three weeks--if you're going to be single, I've got to tell you that being showered with love from the people you spend most of your waking hours with is not a bad way to go. Very validating and definitely makes me feel like the effort was well worth the return. I never suspected a thing three times in a row. They have spoiled me. And I'm definitely falling down on my ninja skills. I really should have seen them all coming.

I feel a bit outside of myself in this move because I'm having a hard time recognizing 'me' in this move. Transitions like these, usually see me beside myself with equal parts of fear, regret (things I didn't do, things I didn't take advantage of...etc), resistance to change, and a death-grip hold on the people I leave behind. I cry a lot, wish I could stay right where I am a lot, and just generally move through the transition kicking and screaming.

But not this time. I feel imbued with that peace which passes all understanding. The Bible has such a way with expressions. Peace like that, for me, means that I don't quite understand the stillness of my soul in what is swirl of activity and opportunity for discord. It is an assurance that everything is and will be, just fine. I'm hesitant to declare this as solid evidence that I might be maturing after all but it is certainly a promising indicator. It feels very much like a story I heard a long time ago about a little girl with a beautiful but fake string of pearls. I won't do the story justice in retelling it but the the Cliff's Notes version is that every night her father would take her in his lap, read her a story and then ask her if she loved him. She would say she did, and then he would ask her if she loved him enough to give him her pearls. She replied that she loved him but that he did not want to give him the pearls. Initially, it was funny and teasing, but he continued night after night asking her the same two questions. She became increasingly distraught with the request, feeling that she was rejecting him each time, and that he would think she loved the pearls more than she loved him (which on some level, was probably true). She finally broke down one night and tearfully gave her father the pearls she cherished so much. He in turn, gave her a strand of real pearls which of course, had been the point all along. He wanted only to get her to release something that resembled what she cherished for the real thing.

The moral of the story, as least as it relates to me right now, is that I feel that there are parts of my life that I've been content to have only resemble the authentic thing that I actually want. They are my fake pearls; my inexplicable but nearly supernatural ability to hone in on unavailable men, my tendency to avoid making decisions for fear of making an incorrect one, my desire for intimacy coupled with a reflexive resistance to the same, and more than I would or could catalogue for your reading pleasure. But with this move, every time I meet an obstacle and overcome it, I appreciate that the aggregate of my experiences with these new things have trended positively. What I'm 'giving up' thus far has been relief of burdens I no longer need carry or 'replaced' with something different in ways that don't invite comparison. I give up an apple and get a milkshake. Both good.

I'm glad for this mental honeymoon and know that what follows is not likely to be a never ending parade of wet puppy noses and whisker kisses, but I'm looking forward and hoping the growth will be be more often like the satisfying soreness of a taxing workout and less like I'm being jumped into a gang.

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