I am not a Tree
If you don’t like where you are, change it. You’re not a f*cking tree.
Okay, I might have added one point there.
But those words are all too necessary as I come into a season of feeling antsy and self-critical. A season of leaning into the overcritical opinion that I’m just coasting through the motions of life, but with a simultaneous awareness that I could totally change my situation at any time (how beautiful yet grossly privileged).
I am not a tree. I am not stuck (emotionally or physically). I literally moved my entire life across the globe fifteen months ago. I am not completely limited. But I am weirdly frustrated. It's the realization that I don’t have the familiar daily grind; the structure of working full time for five years (summers included) in education.
As much as my rebellious, travel-without-an-itinerary free spirit wants to shove this reality away, the reality is that (professionally) I dig structure. I might be late to a friend’s dinner party, but I will always be the one 10 minutes early to my job or a doctor’s appointment. I guess my high school choir director’s reminder that “early is on time and on time is late” annoyingly stuck (thanks, Mr. Cahoon). When I worked as a counselor in Brooklyn, I kept a small spiral notebook with me wherever I went. I made checklists. I legit drew little boxes next to the reminder to call a guardian or input a mediation case note (sometimes up to 3 or 4 mediation case notes in one day--for one student)…and felt NOT OKAY if all those little boxes weren’t checked off before I left for the day.
And now I’m here. Living in the Middle East. Living in a city that was settled only 16 years before the U.S. Declaration of Independence was adopted. I'm a two hour flight from India and a two minute walk to my choice of Starbucks or a Seattle's Best. I don't have an 8 hour work day. Weekends are often work days.
I’m here, trying to wiggle my way back into education (which has been a maze of frustration, to say the least) while I explore/deepen/share all things yoga in the meantime. It’s weird. There is no immediate answer or concrete plan. It’s lonely sometimes. But it’s a healthy opportunity to go hard, uproot this false feeling of being stuck, and set a higher bar of expectation by myself and for myself (and definitely plan another trip to India)--all things that will undoubtedly shape me in more ways than I know.
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