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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blissful Ambiguity

I've been home a week and it's been a surprisingly easy transition.  I think spending a week alone in Montenegro with nothing but beautiful surroundings and my thoughts was the best thing I could have done to prepare myself for the homecoming...

I came home to a flurry of graduation activities and have been seeing friends and family (and will continue to do so) since I arrived, one week ago today.  As I feared, it's been difficult to verbalize all that's happened.  Certainly, I can give a play by play of where I've been, but then someone asks the question, "How have you changed?", a vitally important question, and I am at a loss for words.  Maybe not a total loss, but it's hard to explain something that is still mid-process.  I don't think I'm finished growing or changing from the last 8 1/2 months. I know I've changed and I think I am still in evolution, moving forward.  I hope so, or my time away was wasted.

Of course, many people (understandably) have asked me what's next on the horizon.  My answer...I don't know.  This is an answer many people are not comfortable with.  However I am comfortable with it.  They will usually respond in what I think is meant to be a comforting tone (but really feels condescending) that I'll figure it out, that something will come along, that it'll all work out.  I KNOW.  If I didn't know that, I never would have left in the first place.  If I were scared or really didn't know that I'll figure it out, their answer would probably only prompt me to think about all the reasons they're wrong.  Luckily, I'm in too good of a place to hijack my own blissful ambiguity right now.

Some people have made comments alluding to how I can go back to life now that I have that out of my system. Well, let me tell you, that is not out of my system.  If it were, I may as well have never done that.  I don't want it out of my system.  I want it firmly lodged in my system.  Systemic change happens from the inside out, right?  I might have a small system compared to what people usually mean when they talk about systemic change, but I want my small system to keep changing... The more I can change it, the more I can maybe help a big system or two move an inch, a millimeter, a hair closer to its best embodiment, the way I hope I'm moving towards mine.

I know I am writing from a unique position.  I know that the vast majority of people do not have the luxury of "I don't know."  Some people may have the possibility of living comfortably in "I don't know," but are terrified of it.  It would not be blissful ambiguity for them, but gut-wrenching, insomnia-inducing, freak-out ambiguity, so they make hasty decisions, for better or for worse, just to escape the possibility of uncertainty.  It's likely I'll have some moments of panic as my funds deplete and answers take their time in coming to me, but right now, the answer fits me like a perfect pair of jeans (something that's hard to come by for most women, definitely for me).

But then as I think about "I don't know," I am reminded that none of us really knows anything about what's ahead.  Sure, we make plans, long-term and short-term, and I'll be doing the same, but none of those plans are a guarantee of anything.  Our lives can change...or end... in a moment.  When I left for India, I was prepared to die. OK, maybe I wasn't exactly prepared for it, but OK with the idea of it  (http://trulylovethyneighbor.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-be-light.html).

Let me tell you, I came home alive, Alive, ALIVE. I feel connected to the world, to my friends, to my family, to myself.  I came out of a hole I had burrowed into over a number of years and I came out flying! I guess I needed those previous years to bring about my metamorphosis...  Maybe I did die and now I've come back to life.  I haven't felt this way in a long, long time. It feels good and I think it's because I've slipped into those jeans, into the "I don't know," into blissful ambiguity, into openness to whatever will be, into trusting God or the Universe or whatever other name you might give to that larger Force that moves around, among, and within us.

Because of my extraordinary fortune, I feel like I'm bragging as I write all of this.  I don't mean to.  I hope with every cell, molecule, atom, of my being that you feel as alive, as comfortable, as blissful as I do right now.  Or maybe you're in your hole now.  Though being in a hole tends not to be particularly fun, we need those times, too.  You'll come out when you're ready.  Wherever you happen to be in your journey, I hope you can let go of whatever scares you and settle into the joy of realizing that you don't have control over everything and you're not supposed to. I hope you can slip into knowing that whatever happens will ultimately bring you to your own low-level systemic change...if you let it...

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