January 25, 2010

The next step

"It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time...and not till we are completely lost, or turned round—for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost—do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature. Every man has to learn the points of compass again as often as be awakes, whether from sleep or any abstraction. Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations."

From Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
I am currently reading a book entitled, "Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes". In it the author describes three main stages people go through when facing a significant life change. They are: 1) an ending, followed by 2) a period of confusion and distress, leading to 3) a new beginning.

It is no secret that 2009 has been a year of significant change for me. I was shaken awake from my life of numb contentment, and found the life and love I had counted on were in trouble. We spent the first part of the year attempting to save that life, but in the end it appears it was too late. The second half of the year was spent picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of it all. That period of confusion and distress is only beginning to come to a close.

But has been a year of growth as well as pain. In tearing down my facade of strength and contentment, emotions were released that I had previously pushed down, and I found real strength in letting them see the light of day. It was overwhelming at first, but in dealing with emotional baggage I have been carrying around for far too long, I feel like I have grown beyond simple recovery, and may be coming out the other side a stronger person.

I am no way near done working on things, but I feel like I may be ready to take the next step. It is a time for new beginnings, and I will be making a move in the next week or so. I will be moving to California for a while.

I feel like I need a change of scenery right now. A new place that will challenge me to open my eyes and mind to possibilities. I have always lived in the Seattle area, and without a job or a lease to break, this is a pretty good time to take a walkabout.

I am surrounded by a wonderful family and circle of friends. Their love and support has been incredible this past year. I cannot express my gratitude sufficiently. It seems a little foolish to leave this behind at this point, but at the same time it is too tempting to crawl into the comfort of home. My comfort zone could use some expanding, and I don't know if I will do it at home. As my friend Dave said, "It's time for a rebuild, not a retro fit".

And I'm not striking out completely on my own. I have another group of friends in California, and I will be staying with Matt and Holly for a while. I am looking forward to spending some time with all of them, in more than week-sized chunks.

It will be a difficult but exciting time when I finally hop in the truck and hit the road. I've never been very good at goodbye. I have no idea how long I will be down there. Trying to keep my mind open at this point. I am hoping to make my way back up here for visits, but the timing and frequency will depend on what kind of work I find.

I feel like a fog has cleared in the past year, and I don't want to let it roll back in. I want to stare at the ocean and see what it has to tell me. I want to wake up and see the world as new for a while. I think I need to get a little lost in order to find myself again. And doing it in the "world's best climate" doesn't hurt either. From what I hear vitamin D improves mental clarity.

"The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea." ~ Isak Dinesen


SeanH said...

I want to warn you that the grass is not greener down here. It browns out in the sun. But come on down anyway! We need help mowing it as much as anyone!


matt said...

Whooo Hoooo!!!!!!

Sun, Sand and Surf!

Lauren Shakespeare said...

I had a similar year last year, well the whole losing love thing, anyway. My marriage of 9 years was ended after a battle of love and life was defeated by the darkened shadows of smoke and mirrors.
But, it feels so wonderful to be starting fresh. I didn't get the opportunity to physically move to a new place, which at times, seems like the next step, but I am experiencing life with a heightened sense of appreciation. I'm finding my solace in the arms of the theatrical world, fulfilling my heart's desire with my perpetual life on stage. I've always used performing as a way to escape - a way to become someone else and get away for a while - find a new walk, a new way to talk, a new personality, new mannerisms, yet now, I'm using these characters as a way to discover new things about myself and as a release for my well-being, as opposed to an escape.
I suppose that's my cross country move.
I may not be moving to California (which, by the way, I am dying to get back there), but I have moved across a world of disillusionment into a land of understanding, and you know what, it feels pretty damn good.

Lauren Shakespeare said...

P.S. - Thank you for inspiring today's blog entry.

Me said...

I think it's awesome that you are changing scenery especially given that you have that option. Most that are given the option don't usually take it and wished they would have. It would be nice if we could all do that once in a while.

Wishing you the best in this next leg of your journey.