ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion
aroraborealis

waiting to inhale

Four years ago, almost to the day (as you can see here), and certainly to the season, after a couple of weeks of restlessness and discontent, I decided my life needed a dramatic change and that I was going to make it happen. From a morning's moment of, "What the hell am I doing with my life?" to a week's waffling on what shape the change would take, I moved to a couple of months of planning and then a few months of anticipating before venturing off into the wilds of Guatemala for a deeply life-changing, and me-changing experience.

I trace who I am today back to my time in Guatemala, but it's more appropriate to go all the way back to that day when I woke up and instead of staying antsy, I decided to do something that I always had wanted to do but never thought I would. That single moment is what changed me from being who I was to who I am, now, even if it's taken a while for some of that change to manifest itself.

I do feel like a different person in so many fundamental ways. Sometimes, I look back at my 25 year-old self and wonder how she's related to my 30 year-old self. That's overdramatic, but not entirely unfounded. We're related, but more distantly than some might expect. On the other hand, I'm feeling quite connected to her at the moment, because, in curious seasonal synchronicity, I feel myself at the trough of another big wave.


I have, for the last year or so, been expecting, and experiencing, to some degree, the changes coming out of my Guatemala trip to slow down and to find myself more or less standing on my feet at some point. More recently -- the last month or so, maybe -- that feeling has been stronger, though I'm hard-pressed to explain why that is, because I'm doing a lot of new, big, changing stuff. In particular, running and applying to graduate school are both significant on that front. But for some reason, they, along with some other details here and there, leave me feeling not that they are the Next Big Thing, but that the NBT is gathering under my feet and I'm simply standing here, waiting for it to burst forth.

This is an exciting and an antsy feeling. In some senses, it feels like just waiting for things to ripen, but in another sense, it's more active than that, because it's a matter of opening myself to possibility, being oriented to what offers itself to me, or what catches my fancy. Maybe I'll have to wait until it hits me over the head, the way Guate did, because even if I'm oriented toward it, change is hard. But, oh, so so so great.

This is also complicated and not a little unbalancing, because holding myself open to possibilities means that I'm doing a lot of swaying. I see something that might be it and I lean toward it to check it out. Maybe... maybe... no, not that. But over here? Maybe that...? This is fun, and interesting, but also demanding and distracting. It involves a lot of, "Oh, shiny!" and also a lot of, "Okay, time to put the shiny back on the shelf."

Simultaneously, I have recently closed some options that I've been keeping open for a couple of years. In one instance, it was a thing that has been a strong (though background) fantasy for almost two years, and I didn't realize I was ending it until the very moment I closed the door. This makes me wonder what other decisions I've made without informing myself of them until I'm in the midst of a conversation about it. I keep surprising myself, in big and small ways. I feel like it should be harder to surprise myself than it is. But, hey, that's sort of the thing about surprises: they're unexpected!

This makes now an odd time to know me, and an especially odd time to be getting to know me, because I'm both unusually open and unusually unfocused. I mention this primarily as a heads-up to all y'all who might be reading this that i'm trying, as ever, not to be flaky, but I may or may not pull that off successfully. I also am trying not to too close or too standoffish, too revealing or too reserved, too sensitive or too callous, too... well, all those places of balance that might impact you, the people in my life. It may be good for you to know that if I pass you without acknowledgement on the street, it's probably because I'm deep in thought, and if I force you to listen to me yammer on for a whole evening, it's because I'm working on something that feels big and I think you might be able to help me with it.

Meanwhile, I'm held in this moment of breathless anticipation. I feel things building, but I can't see what they are, yet. I am waiting to inhale.
Tags: haiku, introspection, thinky
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