Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun is at its highest, a time to celebrate the fullness of life. As I tend to do with Pagan, nature-based holidays, out I went with my camera on a walk, a sort of meditative walk to soak in the season and record it in images. It is a wordless practice, for the most part, a seeing with heart and with eyes.
Some evidence of the fullness of nature and crop right now:
The irony of today is that, at times, it was dark as night outside as looming, charcoal-gray storm clouds overtook the sky. It didn’t storm, but rained a bit. Then, other times, it has been a crystalline, clear blue. When I went out on my walk, it was in chaos. In one direction there was a mixture of dark cumulonimbus, stratus, cumulus and cirrus clouds, in another you could see seemingly friendly cumulus floating on a lovely blue backdrop.
These pictures were taken within one minute of each other, facing different directions in the valley in which I live.
The sky’s chaos today just echoes my own internal chaos. It has been like looking up and seeing my own mind. You see, in keeping with the Solstice’s emphasis on fullness, my mind has been full…Overly full, actually.
I have felt like crying, like laughing, like shouting, like singing.
For weeks I’ve been an emotionally mixed mess. I’ve felt like borrowing the following words from Rumi:
Sometimes I forget completely
what companionship is.
Unconscious and insane, I spill sad
energy everywhere. My story
gets told in various ways: a romance,
a dirty joke, a war, a vacancy.
Divide up my forgetfulness to any number,
it will go around.
These dark suggestions that I follow,
are they part of some plan?
Friends, be careful. Don’t come near me
out of curiosity, or sympathy.
~ “Sometimes I Forget Completely”, The Essential Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks
The office in which I work is like the Titanic: we have hit the iceberg, and steerage and most of 3rd class are flooded. I wasn’t aware of how bad it had gotten until I was the only one in the office, period, for a month, bailing water as fast as I could, but to little avail. At the same time, my boss/employer doesn’t want to admit the ship is sinking.
I have been putting my life on hold for that job, and to try to make things easier for my boss and my family. (My Mom is having a hard time accepting that, at nearly 25 years old, it’s time for me to go out on my own.) I’m reaching my breaking point with these situations. I can’t keep it up. Why am I even doing it in the first place? Because I have spent most of my life as a consummate people-pleaser. Because it’s “safe”, and I was brought up to take the “safe route” wherever possible. It’s what my parents did. Chasing dreams is messy, unpredictable, sometimes dangerous, business that hardly ever goes as you would expect. I did finish one dream: getting my Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, though I started out going for clinical psychology, and there was much messiness and growth and unpredictability along the way.
I need to get out. Internally, I am screaming that.
Yet I’m unsure where to go.
I feel a pull toward one place, but it’s across the country, I’ve never been there, I don’t know anyone there, and I don’t even know if I will get to visit before things end here. I’m a bit wary of just driving out there with all my worldly possessions, and no home in which to place them, not even knowing, for sure, if it is the place my intuition thinks it is.
Of course, I also have a couple of back-up cities closer to where I’m living now, as in, within a half-day’s drive.
There’s the big dream, and the smaller, for-now dream, and I’m torn as to which to go for. Part of me says, “Just go on for the big one!”
I was talking with a friend today, and he said something along the lines of, “If you must regret something, it’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.” I see his point. At least, with the things you have done, you had an opportunity to learn something, to know for sure what would have happened if you had done x, y, or z, instead of spending the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if you had and learning nothing much past your own capacity for cowardice
It also doesn’t help that I find myself not knowing what I want to do with my life, at least not in a career sense. Or, rather, not knowing whether or not I can make money doing the things I love to do, and, if not, what I should do instead.
Again, I am confronting the big dream versus the small dream. That, and self-doubt. Working a job for which you’re ill-suited has a way of beating you down, of rattling, shaking, and, occasionally, pulverizing your self-confidence, at least where occupational matters are concerned. The money is not worth it unless it means the difference between working that job and starving with no clothing or roof over your head. If you can hold out for something better, something closer to your dream, it is my wholehearted suggestion that you do.
Don’t get me wrong. Because of this job, I have learned a lot I would not have otherwise learned. I now understand leases, deeds, wills, powers of attorney, the general process of probating estates, and lots of other practical things. I also have learned my limits, and that there is so much more that is more important than money, if ever I had any doubt.
I am rambling, as thoughts jockey for position, attention, and transcription. This is why I haven’t been writing here very much lately. I prefer posts here to be more coherent.
I’m excited and terrified all at the same time.
I am excited by the thoughts of leaving for a blank slate, a place in which I can reinvent myself, live authentically without worrying about my family’s judgment or their friends’ or my old friends’ judgment, as no one in the blank slate city will know me from Eve. I am excited at the prospect of making a home for myself that is truly a refuge from the outside world, peaceful, instead of the mixed, sometimes-chaos that is life here with my parents. I am excited by the possibility of more varied, and better-fitting occupational opportunities.
I am terrified that my upcoming departure will piss off my current boss and I will not get a good recommendation, which, given my limited employment experience, could jeopardize my ability to get a new job. I am terrified at the reaction my parents, but especially Mom, will have to whatever I decide, as I will be leaving and not necessarily taking the illusion of the safest road. I am terrified of the possibility of my own failure.
Despite the uncertainty, the excitement and terror, however, I know one thing. I have to let this life that I’ve outgrown die, and I have to let something else be reborn, much like the symbolism of the Summer Solstice itself: from here on out, the days get darker and things in nature will begin to die, only to begin being reborn at the Winter Solstice.