Everything in my world is changing.
My entire universe is shifting.
There is much ‘leaving’ going on. I am leaving behind academia after 25 years, and stepping off the treadmill of holding down two jobs while attempting to raise two kids. My children—twins—are leaving for college, setting out on their own paths, so excited to navigate their own way on the next part of their journey. I am leaving what has been my home for the last 14 years, my neighbors, my town—where I have raised my children and worked to secure a beautiful house in an idyllic neighborhood. I am leaving behind a frenetic phase of life, one that—if I’m honest with myself—I have very little recollection of—because I was so busy doing.
Nothing inspires thoughtful reflection like packing up your life. While I was sifting through the boxes that contain the artifacts of who I once was—holding the worn out stuffed animals that comforted me as a child—rereading letters from my grandmother—revisiting photographs of family members long gone—thumbing through my own children’s baby books and their favorite childhood books of Frog and Toad and the Beatrix Potter stories—an Eagles song started filtering through my iPod. To this point, the music was merely serving as motivation to get me through the next box, but this song made me stop and listen, and then play it again. This song brought me to tears amidst the remnants of my past.
You’d give anything to silence
Those voices ringing in your head
You thought you could find happiness
Just over that green hill
You thought you would be satisfied
But you never will–
Learn to be still
When you experience leaving, you also experience arriving someplace that is completely new. My new beginning does include a new job—after all, there is tuition due for the next four years. But it is one job, not two, and it is work that is both rewarding (writing grants for a nonprofit that serves those in need) and manageable. It will not deplete me.
My new beginning also includes a much smaller living space in a much smaller town, close to the water and the mountains, in a place that provides both the quiet and the community that I crave.
My new beginning offers me the opportunity—at long last—to learn to be still.
Even if your heart is breaking
It’s waiting for you to awaken
And someday you will–
Learn to be still