At the beginning of this year I find myself in a peculiar state halfway between my Fibromyalgia brain fog and deep contemplation. I'm oscillating between clarity and haze. The last moments of 2008 gave me some space for introspection that I needed quite badly, and I feel like I'm on the verge of some sort of major change.
2008 was a weird year for me-- just as it was for many others, I'm sure. I got married; the wedding itself was fantastic, but the preparation was inexplicably hellish and exhausting. I went straight from the wedding into an intense entrepreneurship program at UNC's business school-- and I mean straight-- I was doing homework for the program over my ridiculously short honeymoon. Meanwhile, I was working full time, teaching my dance classes, participating in two (sometimes three) dance troupes, and trying to develop myself as a dancer, and I frequently felt extremely frustrated and spent.
Last Spring my cousin Sean Costello died unexpectedly. Sean was a professional blues musician, a songwriter, guitarist and singer. He had been playing pro gigs since he was 16 (or maybe even younger). I could gush mindlessly about how talented and fantastic he was, but to put it succinctly, Sean had a gift. At his funeral my uncle (not Sean's dad, but his uncle as well) got up and gave a very short eulogy. Among other things, he said he was proud of Sean for following his own path, which was sometimes terrible and painful, as the rest of us were too damn scared to do the same.
For a very long time now-- pretty much since I quit design school in 2003-- I have been telling myself that I don't have a path, that I haven't found it yet, but that some day I'll know it when I see it. After graduating for college with a degree that I value but have no idea what to do with, I've been fortunate enough to find a stable job which has gotten me through some rough patches I wouldn't have survived otherwise without begging my parents for cash (and that's totally not my style). I have been trying to keep up with bellydance as my avocation because I love it so desperately. I've been thinking about graduate programs, looking at information online. I've been thinking about what other jobs I might enjoy. I've been trying to tell myself I'll know it when I see it.
I know now I've been lying to myself. I've seen what I want out of life. I know what I want. I've known it for a while. I've been ignoring it because I'm scared to do something I haven't been given permission to do. I'm so used to having to apply for the job, for the program, for the opportunities I want to be included in, because that's what I've done my entire life up until this point.
The rest of my life isn't something I can apply for and it's not something anyone's ever going to invite me to do. No one is going to hold my hand and lead me to my path. No one is going to call my number and tell me it's my turn now. I have to do these things for myself.
I don't want to be cryptic- I hate being unclear. But I think what I'm trying to say is pretty obvious. At the moment it would probably be pretty foolish for me to write my step-by-step life attack plan on the Internet. This post itself is probably foolish, but at least it's vaguely so.
Right now what I need to do is to stop putting the blinders on and to try to critically evaluate each aspect of my life, each little habit, to see what I can jettison and to get ready for whatever changes may come. And, then, just to watch quietly and listen to the tiny part of myself that knows what it's talking about.
So that's my New Year's Resolution.