Things at the office actually seem to finally be winding down. I would not be entirely surprised if my job was actually over by the end of this month, or no later than halfway through next. How do I know? One big tip-off: I’ve been able to see the entirety of the desk blotter on my boss’s desk for over a week straight. The whole time I’ve worked here, he’s kept his desk an absolute cluttered wreck. Big clue number two: he has followed through on his assertion that he is not taking new clients unless he can finish their work in a few days. It honestly looks like it’s going to happen for real this time, that he is really going to retire and close up shop.
This brings two feelings to the forefront: relief and anxiety.
Relief because this job that has driven me absolutely to the edge of my sanity and tolerance for the past two years–the first year wasn’t so bad because it was new and intellectually stimulating–will finally be over, and my agreement at the outset to stay until he retires will be honored. I can go forth with clear conscience on this front. It’s an absolutely clean break, and I prefer clean breaks when I can get them.
Anxiety because it’s really almost here: me being free to go live my own life away from here. I’ll have that clean break. There aren’t any jobs here for me for which I’m not overqualified or wholly ill-suited. I’m also feeling anxiety around breaking the news of my intuition’s call “out West” to my family, big surprise. I’m starting to panic now and then about not having a stable income, and I have to stop and remind myself every time that a.) I’ve saved up more than half of what I make in a year before taxes, and b.) since I’m riding the ship down with my job, I’ll qualify for unemployment while I get my crap together to relocate. Anxiety comes because I am seriously dreading dealing with my mother most of all.
This in-between state is sort of like active labor in a way. The process is speeding up. There are the painful contractions, but also feeling that something great is going to come at the end of it…Something long-awaited. Namely, a life that is wholly my own is coming. The contractions are the lessons I need to learn, the parts of my Shadow self (as Jung would say) that I need to deal with, the things I need to let go of but feel like I can’t, the process of gradually stepping more fully into my own power, into the center of my Selfhood. No one promises it’s going to be easy, but most do say it’s ultimately worth it. What I most need to remember is to breathe, to let go and let this happen, that it’s a natural process and has gone on and will go on for time immemorial. I’m not the first to go through it, and won’t be the last.
More often than not, these days when my head hits the pillow, it’s not visions of doom that dance behind my eyes. Visions of hope dance behind them, of finally writing that novel, of seriously pursuing photography, of a day job that I actually like, of learning to play guitar, reacquainting myself with a keyboard or piano (and finally learning the left-hand chords), of finding love and a place where I feel like I actually belong. The anxiety generally only comes in waking hours, in waves interspersed with peaceful acceptance.
So here I am. I’m taking this opportunity to tell myself that, yes, I can do this. I am stronger than my family thinks I am. I can trust my instincts, my inner compass. It is not my place to make my Mother comfortable with my leaving, because she won’t be. It’s my place to fly and, by so doing, to teach her to let go, to find another way to define herself beyond being my mother, and to find new parts of herself. It’s my place to prove to my family and myself that there is so much more in this world than they dare to hope for, to dream of, or to pursue…That fully living, instead of hanging back out of fear, is worth taking chances.