In the Face of Change

Saturday, April 16, 2022

 I stand on the edge of a cliff-the Cliffs of Moher lie before me-but this time, swirling gray fogs clogs the  foreground. It's just grayness and cliffs beyond unseen.

Truthfully, I am a bit apprehensive about next year. I am leaving my current workplace for another. I feel as if I have been an utter failure at my own job. While students tell me they will miss me, students are fickle, and next year will warm up to their new teacher by telling them how much better they are than me. And that is right. They need to move forward.

All I know is that every adult I know that I am not related to will soon be absent from my life. And that is a scary feeling. It is one thing to change jobs when you have a partner, it is quite another to change when your evenings are already spent alone. Now I will lose the only people I ever talk to. Of course, there will be other people, and hopefully among them a warm spirit or two. 

My coffee turned out exceptionally weak today, and that is after I pushed the "strong brew" button. I wonder if this has a deeper meaning. Perhaps it is a sign of my weak, faltering spirit. I kid. Sort of. The truth is, I feel very fragile right now, and I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and there is nothing to do but move forward.

BUT! In the face of change there is the one realization that is always helpful. WE get to choose what we dwell on. We get to choose what we think about. And I simply have to choose not to dwell on my feelings. There is a certain comfort in picking apart my feelings and understanding them, but there is also a destructive element of painful despair when helplessness against fears overwhelm. I can choose to keep pushing forward and turn my back to the clouds. I can choose to search for the sun.

And so I will.

Being without a partner makes me long for a partner. I don't understand it. For the most part I love having my own bed and my own room. I love making my own plans and having no adult to question me if we have a cake for dinner. And yet, this yearning to connect, to feel loved, to make someone smile is always present. Is it just social conditioning? Or is there more to it? It is just a hard world and having someone to share the burden, to tell me the sweet things one needs to hear at the end of a long day, to cook with me, and strive towards healthier living together, to make plans with... those are good things. But then...they are there. They notice when you skip doing dishes, when ice cream give you clear-the-room gas, when you just want to sit down and enjoy a bowl of brownie batter. With people comes judgement and having to be a little bit better than you are. 

The future is uncertain, and I don't know if I will ever be loved, but there is not shame in the hope, right? So why does it feel shameful to admit? Curious. 

I had intended this blog, A Mighty Queen, to be about striving to become better and achieve more, and I feel as if I am letting my readers down. I ordered a book on life planning and life goals and it is SO hard for me to fill out. Because what I want is a good life, with lots of travel, a beautiful romance, and a lot of quiet time to relax at home on rainy days. How do you break that down into serious goals?

I guess step-by-step. I can plan a trip. Maybe not this year, but in two years, (if I don't do anything dumb) my credit cards will be paid off and I will have more money to play with. 

I could make myself more attractive, which in our society means thinner,  which sadly means less brownie batter. In truth, I always wanted a physically active life. I just don't know how to do it with kids. Even hiking about kills Gabriel who is afraid of heights and thus has built hiking into this huge fear of standing on a mountaintop (he literally is afraid of Colorado). But the kids are getting older, and soon, I will be able to leave them for longer and longer and do my own thing. 

So, maybe the answer is to accept the fog. To let it swirl around me, mysterious and opaque, because in truth, the unexpected was exactly what I wanted. I didn't want my future to be one place with the same title and same building and same people. I wanted something different. I neeed to remain cognizant of that and step-by-step, I need to light my own candle. I need to make a short-term plan and a long-term plan to focus my attention on. I need to let go of the sadness of my failures (noone is really going to miss me) and examine what I can do differently (focus less on my feelings and more on theirs, maybe? I don't know, you tell me, what am I doing wrong?), and take that forward with me. I need to accept the disappointments (and there have been many) and use them as the driving force for change. 

Foggy mornings have always been my favorite. I will remember that, as I step forward. And if I fall, the crashing sea of life is an amazing place to land. 

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