Sunday, April 15, 2012

When Much is Taken Away, Much is Often Given

I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and will probably say it several more times in the course of the next  2 months), I'm scared to leave. Then why am I leaving? Because I'm more terrified to stay. I don't know what awaits me when I take the plunge into a wide open world of uncertain possibility, but I know for sure what awaits me if I stay- a cold living dead existence sustained only by the need to make money at a meaningless job paying my bills so I can continue to go to my meaningless job to make  more money to pay for more bills. And the occasional trip, which I love- but as mentioned in a previous post "what you do every day is more important than what you do once in awhile."

I've been selling off my belongings, giving things away, storing a few things at the houses of my family and friends, paring down as much as I can so when the date to leave arrives (June 15!), I'll have just the things that are going to be packed up in my car.

Friday night I packed up my books (7 boxes of them) so my friend could come purchase the bookshelves they inhabited Saturday morning. This sounds benign enough of an activity, but I cried. Really hard. Several times. My books are like old friends- they were there carrying me through some of my darkest times, celebrating my triumphs, and educating me when I had goals to achieve. I write in them, I underline, I dog ear the pages, I do all of those sacrilegious things that you're taught you shouldn't do to a book. And what's more, I actually reference them. Frequently. I know the majority of book owners have them serving a more decorative than functional purpose once they've been read once, but I like having an active reference library- a good old fashioned one that can't be Googled or searched through using the 'Ctrl + F' function.

Aside from the books, there were also old journals and photo albums mingled in. The things that brought the most tears were pictures of my mom and dad holding me shortly after my adoption, pictures of my grandparents who are no longer here -the ones who took care of us when mom was sick, a journal that contained only letters to my mother after she passed away, pictures of friends I've lost over the last several years... I grieved all over again, for all of them. But then I remembered this: I have lost so much. Not in terms of material stuff, but in terms of people- in permanent ways. But I've been given SO MUCH. Again, not in terms of material stuff, but in terms of lessons I've learned. I know what's important in life in ways it takes some a lifetime to discover; sometimes when it's too late. I have the rest of my life to live out the priority of my love.

That said, there are a few pictures I kept out, and may take with me to remind me of why I'm doing what I'm doing. Life is short and uncertain, and I am lucky enough to live in a country where I can set off in search of more meaning- of a life that is lived and owned by me.

Inside one of my journals I kept while I was in Hawaii, this quote from a magazine was taped inside:

I stopped and thought, "huh- 10 years ago I left S. Central PA because I felt like I was suffocating here, and here I am again, feeling the same way..." I came back the summer of 2004 to take some time off and regroup after the death of a close friend, but I stayed 7 years too long.

Leaving in 2002 saved my life. Leaving in 2012 will do it again, in a different way.


  1. I think you are brave and beautiful. Just wanted you to know.

    1. oh my gosh- thanks peggy... but, i just finished crying (again) before i came back to re-read the blog to check for errors etc. i wonder sometimes if my sheer terror of everything is a sign i shouldn't go... but then i remembered i felt that way (on a lesser scale) when i started teaching yoga. now here i am a year later, still teaching, and people actually come back to my class. repeatedly. :)