moving forward

Something has happened. It was slow and creeping, and it’s not finished yet, but it’s becoming very real to me.

I’m moving on.

For me, that sentence is more loaded than it seems. This year has been one of intentionally stepping out of the familiar, the known, into the decidedly new and different. I have felt, at times, woefully unqualified to make some of the life altering calls I’ve had to make. At the very least, I’m assured of my skills as a decent actor. Other times I’ve felt like an alien in my own world, not able to recognize the patterns and movements of my life. That’s bizarre. To be home and feel uprooted is uncomfortable, at best. It’s like walking around with a pebble in your shoe, only to take it off and realize that there’s nothing there. You can feel the offending bugger, but can’t do a thing to make it go away. It’s kind of like that. Then, one day, you put that shoe on and the pebble is gone. It’s just, gone. I feel like I just put my foot back in the shoe, expecting the pebble, and it’s not there anymore.

So, what was the pebble? For me, it was largely a way of thinking. It was the mindset that said, “How do I maintain the status quo?” This year, I grew sick of the status quo. At some point, the discomfort of leaving that place became less than the nauseating, maddening effort it took to stay. I had to dislodge my life, my mind, my heart from that place where the anthem was, “Just ignore how wrong this is, because you’ve gotten pretty good at working with it.” Working with it just didn’t have the same appeal anymore. I got tired of hearing that story over and over, and decided to start writing a new one.

Something has to bring you to the place where you decide that you don’t want your life to happen to you anymore. You have to need to take ownership of it. You must decide that being a bystander in your own life is no longer acceptable. For me, those moments began to happen during yoga teacher training. That was a time of intensive self study, and honest examination of what was and was not working in my life. I can’t say that things were terrible before this process began, but they were tepid. I felt dull and predictable.

I wasn’t working.

I wasn’t working in my relationship, I wasn’t working a steady job, I no longer felt effective at steering my own life. I realized that in order regain some sense of ownership, I was going to have to make some seriously uncomfortable decisions. The status quo wasn’t going to cut it anymore. If it wasn’t working, it had to go, and I was going to have to end it. A lot of things ended.

But, now, a lot of new things have begun. Just typing those words cued my happy tears.  The cutting away, the ending, the uprooting- that hurt. That excrutiating pain followed by months of ever-present heartache has given way to new growth. *Insert gardening metaphor here.* Seriously, though, I dug up my garden last week. I had to get on my hands and knees and dig my fingers deep into the soil, follow extensive root growth around and through my little plot of land to loosen the grip of the roots on the earth, cut away dead stalks, and slowly but firmly tug on the plants until they gave way. What I found underneath the overgrowth was rich, black, moist soil, ready to take on the next round of life.

So in my heart, my body, my mind, my spirit, I am ready. I am ready for the next round. Sometimes, I think about the old way and I miss the comfort of the familiar. That pebble mindset calls out to me every now and then, but it’s getting softer. I never miss it enough to go back. My way of thinking has changed, and I’m not going to live on accident anymore. I have found moments of vitality, and I’m walking intentional, measured, strong steps forward.

I’ve got to say, forward feels damn good.

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