Thursday, April 11, 2013

I have the best excuse


Maybe your life has trundled along so busy and fabulous that my absence here hasn’t even registered on your radar, or (as I would prefer) you’ve been impatiently waiting for me to post something, suffering some kind of withdrawal that involves a nervous twitch, copious trying-to-fill-the-void chocolate consumption, and tearful phone calls to your mother asking “Why, Mom? Whyyyyy? Where did she go? What did I do wrong? Should I have called? Written? What?? How do I bring her back? Pleaaaazzzze!!”

Well, here I am, kids!

Alive and well, slightly sunburned, high on Japanese cough drops, dizzy with nights out dancing and days under the cherry blossoms, and in total pedantic overdrive teaching English to the masses.

Something has changed in the month since I’ve last written on this blog and I had to stop and wonder what it is. And it turns out to be this:

I’M OKAY!

Like really. Like more than okay. Like amazing!!

And it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Let’s have real talk:

As you might recall, I’ve overshared here about some of the changes I’ve dealt with in the last couple of years, and a bit about the experience of becoming severely burned out in my previous job. And looking back on the last month I realized that a full six months after I quit my job, and four months after I moved to Tokyo, I finally feel entirely like ME again. Only a better version of me. More……….ME? That’s not helpful, I know. More confident and less afraid, more open, more flexible, happier, more enthusiastic, more dance-on-tables and throw-my-head-back-laughing-until-I-pee, more if-you-want-to-stare-I’ll-give-you-something-to-stare-at. It’s been a truly lovely experience. And frankly I’m giddy with the magic of having my internal world set to rights.  

The wild swings between utter emotional numbness and the crazy crying jags are gone. The neurotic insomnia is over. The inner turmoil, the feelings of failure, the desire to escape have all dissipated. I am happy. I am healed. I feel whole again.

I could have kept doing the same thing I was doing, working in the same job out of some misguided idea that I *should.* It’s so easy to get trapped by expectations, by routine, by the familiar, by material things and mortgages and car payments, by the belief that because I earned this degree there is a very specific path that it should be applied to lest I waste it. There’s a whole set of “rules” we follow…the ones set by society, by family, by our peers, by us ourselves, that give us some sense of the world being black and white and predictable and comfortable and safe. But it’s all arbitrary in the end, and ultimately dangerous, if not life-threatening.

What I am excited about is that I have finally learned to live in the grey. I have no idea what is coming next and I don’t need to know. I don’t really know what I’m doing here or why, but I’m open to finding out.

It feels so appropriate that all of this has happened just as the weather is turning to spring, after the first real winter I have ever experienced in my life. If I wanted to get all poetic and nerdy, I could write something all mushy and symbolic…I might already be risking that! Well, get this for poetic and symbolic: I plan on burning my winter coat because I never want to see that sucker again. TRUTH. And when I walk out into the sunshine, I throw my hands in the air and freak out my Japanese neighbors as I enjoy the warmth and greet the sun.  And I will continue to be thrilled that a true and abiding delight in life is back, and frankly I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF. I mean, get this: I EVEN WENT ON A DATE. WHAAAAT??? If you felt the earth slow its rotation in confusion for a minute, that's what that was about. I'm saying...junk has gotten out-of-control good.

I will try to be better about posting more often and sharing the crazy experiences I’m having…but if you don’t hear from me, assume that I am off in the thick of things loving the life God has given me, excited about whatever might come next, all the while recommending that YOU SHOULD BE TOO. And toss the "rules." They're garbage. 
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