the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists….japanese proverb
january 21, 2010…..that was the last date i posted on this blog. talk about a hiatus. but i had good reason. it’s called life. things that i didn’t see coming and things i did all happened–sometimes simultaneously, other times sequentially, but happen it did.
my mother and i were in a car accident on january 12, 2010. from that accident my mother developed a multitude of health and medical issues. i found myself being her sole care giver during that time as she was staying with me in new jersey at the time.
i had already been informed that my teaching contract would not be renewed for the 2010-2011 academic year, which was not so devastating to me as the idea of having to leave NYC. the academic job market, particularly in my field, was particularly sparse during that time. i began to look outside of academia in every possible geographic location available. funny how nothing seemed to work out except for possibilities back home in Mississippi.
even after my mother and i got back to Mississippi in June 2010, the hits from “life” just kept on coming. mama continued to have crisis moments with her health from time to time including multiple emergency hospitalizations, gall bladder surgery, and battling chronic fatigue. a dear and beloved uncle lost his fight with cancer and a couple of weeks later, mama was diagnosed with breast cancer. double whammy! mama had a single mastectomy one week, then a second surgery to remove additional tissue from the surgery site.
during all this time i challenged love. i dared it to come to me. it did, but for all the wrong reasons. i fell in love with a memory of a man i once knew, but who had become obliterated in a murky pool of despair and alcohol. he reached out, he startled, and he retreated further away into what was more comfortable for him than the uncertainty of possibilities. in my wounded state, i reached out to the wrong person and laid my vulnerability at his feet. he was what i thought i needed at the time. i learned so much from him and yet i learned that everything that i needed was within me all along….that it wasn’t him that i needed, but rather a painful impetus to let go of self-defeating habits and believes to which i continued to cling. of course, in the end, i projected so much upon him and he, mortal that he is, fell far short of perfect. poor guy.
so i moved on, literally and figuratively. in a new town approximately 3 hrs drive south of mama, i started out on a new journey–a journey that is mostly an inner exploration of all that i am and all that i am meant to be. a new job outside of my intended career path. a new kind of isolation that forces me to deal with the here and now. a new outlook with which i choose to see the world as a series of lessons toward greater enlightenment–some of which i will “get” and others–well– not so much.
some days i feel like i have no clue what to do and i try to remind myself that those are the days that i am supposed to just tread water and hang in there. maybe, just maybe if i focus on just hanging in there, i will expand my awareness of what the universe is tossing my way and what lesson plan we are on.
other days i feel like the flow is radiant. my mind, my body, my thoughts, my awareness, my response, my emotions, my soul–everything seems to be like water….moving over and around obstacles and barriers with the fluid beauty of the oceans. those are the days that make it worth going through the challenging times.
what’s next, well i have absolutely no clue. that makes me a little anxious, i won’t lie. still, i try really hard to embrace the fact that nothing is guaranteed, nothing is truly known for certain, that all i have is right here, right now and all i control is how i respond, react, feel, and think.
so even though last year started out with such exuberant enthusiasm for the potential to change and grow that seemed to have been kicked dead square in the nuts, that change and growth still happened. change and growth were definitely the themes for 2010 for me.
the themes for 2011 are, perhaps, more of the same with a different musical arrangement and a rearrangement of lyrics. regardless, i am looking forward to the chance to sing.