the same week I completed my master’s program, I was offered a full-time policy analyst position with the organization I had been interning at. I held my composure as I absorbed the offer and position details. Then I went into the bathroom, locked the door, propped myself up against the stall and cried.
and I cried
it was like I had been existing in uncertainty for the past 6 months and this was that long, deep breath after forgetting to breathe.
I cried because this has been the most challenging year of my life. Because on several occasions I have begged God to spare me from the whipping heartache, despair, and pain that accompany being in this world. I argued with the Beloved, pleaded my case – that this was unnecessary suffering for his humble servant. He closed his mouth and spoke to me in a hundred silent ways.
It helps to see the Creator’s kind face before he rolls up his sleeves, and starts pumping the bellows and cleans off his wire brush and works with his other tools he eyes you up knowing how much this is going to hurt to make you perfect. -HAFIZ
And so life goes on. I continue to be wrapped in the warm embrace of good friends and family that never leave even when you want them to. A friend gave me the sweetest meditation beads with a little lion guru bead on it. He said we come as lambs but leave as lions – a testament to the strength and perseverance we cultivate through our meditation and yoga practice.
I’m still sighing and crying, in awe of Life’s unyielding ability to abide by karmic law. I bow down in reverence to my experience – all of them- and offer nothing but these two words whispered over and over again like a prayer: thank you, thank you, thank you.
another Friday alone with my beloved thesis
a friend invites me to watch game 3 of the world series at a local wine bar
I ask him if it’s a fancy place, because I’m wearing a Canadian tuxedo and a messy bun.
he thought I was joking.
The bar tender is a kid I went to high school with. Cute Jewish guy with a decent sense of humor. I ask what he’s been up to since then. He said
a lot of video games and trying to stay out of jail.
I laughed and threw my wine back, unsure how to respond.
I’m realizing now that he was serious.
We laugh with a plump elderly regular at the bar as I notice a handsome man eyeing me from a few seats down. I’m reconsidering my androgynous attire as he walks up and taps me on the shoulder. Excitement and regret mix with wine and rush through my veins.
He immediately ID’s me from high school soccer and notes that he’s been in Folsom ever since.
I’ve gotta get out of this town.
I’m not even hungry, but I’m stuffing grapes into my mouth, numb to their taste
cleaning the keyboard on my dads computer, and reorganizing the shoe shelf
all pathetic attempts at distracting myself from working on my thesis.
i stand in the driveway
watching families go by on bikes,
cars zoom by, presumably off to a fun adventure
even the leaves trickle along in freedom.
but me … no. I am a slave to a blinking cursor and a deadline
what was life like before I arrogantly took on this challenge?
did I laugh freely and often?
did I spend saturdays basking in the sun enjoying the company of loved ones?
i can’t recall.
all I know is dread and academia.
two sides of the same coin
I have countless memories
of that white three-story
with its chipping paint and flimsy staircase
In the mornings I would sit in bed
slowly caffeinating myself
reading, writing, silently pontificating
about the future
Resentfully eyeing that old lousy house
for obstructing the sunrise.
Now, I sing with the owls
and watch the sun rise
to kiss the pines
runners, bikers and dogs
shuffle by greeting my day
Now, I sip french press with my Beloved
it all in
We share a laugh
remembering our prior accommodations
You too, can have a room with a view
but it will cost you.
Unpleasant thoughts wasted on unworthy endeavors
followed by the discovery of plastic in my smoothie
and an entitled douche bag in a Camaro cutting me off.
Thursday morning is looking great.
I walk by the douche bag’s Camaro and silently mock in my best Bridemaid’s voice “oohhhh look at you in your little Camero you must be sooooo rich” as I contemplate throwing my coffee on his hood. Glancing down I remember I am holding Autobiography of a Yogi in my hand. I refrain from the assault, not wanting to tarnish Yogananda’s reputation.
Brian and I stroll pass the capital as I recall my morning mishaps to him, noting that I woke in a uniquely foul mood today. He laughs and says every day he wakes up he is in a foul mode, mostly because he’s awake. We share a laugh and I’m grateful for these morning walks and my friend’s paralleled dark humor.
Nigel reminds me of the road we are on
and how every ignored temptation to stray from it,
Aaron sends me this quote from our meditation book
and so it is. life gives you exactly what you need.
when you need it
here’s to bowing to the silence within,
listening for Lightness’ call.
at the end of the day,
how can I be anything
a teacher told me
that I would be reborn
but that this time I would be wide awake for it
that I would witness each excruciating
that has been true.
It’s remarkable how quickly your life and daily routine can change. Just months ago I felt stuck in a dead end job on an island with a man I thought I would marry. We played house and I took pride in the simple life of domestic duties.
Now I’m up at 5, practicing hot yoga every morning with the All American Yoga Man, pouring over California’s criminal justice history on the train downtown where I share insights on life and economics with the tall LAO analyst and my knight in shining armor from the museum. Aaron reminds me that this is where the growth happens and Nigel and I exchange daily pep talks. Now I walk the capital on my lunch and listen to country music, laughing to myself at the sheer cleverness and delight the universe showers me with. I never would have imagined these men, these little gifts from above, would grace my life with their wisdom and friendship. During the day I analyze federal education proposals, connecting the dots between priorities and budgets, aspirations and practical considerations. I wind down with green tea instead of wine and scribble in my journal, repeating Hafiz and trying to commit this all to memory- how resilient the human spirit is. how just months ago I laid in my childhood bed, sick with heartache as I painstakingly watched my neighbor mow his lawn, surprised that life went on in spite of my paralyzing pain. Time is like that. The rawness wears off and new people, ideas, and possibilities begin to flood your life, washing away memories of your former self, and all the pain that once plagued you. Time heals and renews, it makes all wrongs right again. There’s no place so desolate the sun doesn’t shine, no event the gentle hands of time can’t bend into a blessing.