judge of my progress or my abilities. But, even though I can’t rightly see myself, I’m beginning to notice that I am hearing
it from others.
bug zapper lamps people hang on their porch. The bugs merely get within range
of the lamp and they get zapped dead. Same with compliments for me: Anything positive that was said would get deflected before it even got close to
touching me. None of that here, pew! pew!
complementary place within you to receive it. If there’s nowhere it fits
within your own understanding of yourself, then there’s no way that it can be
accepted. There’s no ring of truth, because you don’t believe it yourself.
feedback about certain things, because I have begun to hone and cultivate the
place within me that is receptive, the place within me that believes you
because I believe it myself.
about my progress and abilities, and even though I can’t quite feel this, I’m beginning
to recognize that I believe them, I
believe others are seeing this, even if I’m not myself.
believe in the feedback I’m receiving – so there must be something to it.
way to walk about the world, but what it’s doing for me is giving me hope that
one day I can see it. There is an
existence of a cave wall. Others are telling me so. If that is truth, there is
hope that I will see it, too.
To Kill a Mockingbird, the director came
backstage. He was beaming. He was so glad and proud of the work I was doing
went much better; it felt better.
and Friday night, I was better.
lesson. And at the end of a phrase I’d sung, my teacher applauded and cheered –
he even gave me a high five.
loud and thick.
have to get used to hearing yourself.”
reported these incidents to her, as I begin to parse out these places where I’m
being told one thing, but I’m hearing and sensing another.
feel. And she gave me a metaphor (because we all know I love those!):
foundation. And you can’t always see that growth above ground, but it’s
who I am this lifetime and where I’m going. And she said, some people have
really gorgeous foliage, and weak roots.
come to in mid and later life. Creating a root system, carving out the rot,
cleaning the wounds.
until one morning you turn, and the whole field has sprouted green, fully
formed, like Athena.
hearing or seeing myself clearly. I’m not adequately armed with the ability to
track my own progress. And thank god for other people, then!
I am beginning to hear what they’re saying instead of zapping it, because I’m beginning to uncover the place within me that believes it myself.
for me to swallow:
certainties.” ― Erich Fromm
meditation I’m doing through the Oprah/Deepak 21-day challenge.
morning pages before I logged into the meditation. The idea of uncertainty, of
letting go of what’s known. And how very close to that I feel right now.
rounds of interviews and mock sessions for during the last two weeks. And all
for the better, I think. In fact, I’d reached out to an old schoolmate I’d seen
on LinkedIn had worked there to ask her thoughts. And when I wrote back that
they didn’t hire me, she wrote: You are better off. That place is a shit hole.
avenue I was pursuing more actively than others cut short, I find myself
without an exact destination. Which is where in fact I’ve been, but I’ve been
distracted with the possibility of this employment.
was my bringing out an old reader packet of poems from an undergrad course I
took. I’d brought it down a few days ago; I was 22 when I took the class,
finishing up from the lost semester when I’d been otherwise engaged in a padded
mentioned teaching again, putting together a C.V. (a teacher’s resume) and
syllabus. I went online to higheredjobs.com yesterday to poke around and see.
And again, I sort of went all blank about it. I see titles like Professor of
18th and 19th Century Romanticism or of Rhetoric, and I call myself
uninterested and unqualified.
computer overheated and shut down on me, which was probably for the best!
Poetry II, and I read the names and poems of Robert Bly, Gwendolyn Brooks, yes, even the
ubiquitous Plath. I read my margin notes, and was amused to see that my
handwriting looked as it does now.
dreams and longings of a different person. The person who ate these poems up,
who devoured and analyzed and waxed prosaic marginalia.
Faerie Queene. I remember being the one student who was really intrigued by his
epic traitorous, political poem hidden in monarch-approved meter. I remember the classroom where the professor
told us stories of the poets’ lives, who’d met who and exchanged letters, the
relationships behind their lyrics.
campus, since my cohort had graduated. The computer lab where I wrote short
stories and saved them onto the new smaller, square floppy disks that were
me then, a woman who felt she had no voice, and poetry was a quiet art that
could conjure hurricanes, that could release those that were teeming in my
new generations of students to hear tales of those smoky rooms where creativity
was incubated and smile in camaraderie at Spenser’s thinly veiled subversion.
But, I don’t know. Is it me? Is it me now?
kitchen sink, along with all the others I felt necessary to collect. It reads:
Empty yourself and let the Universe fill you.
it. I haven’t known how to let go of all I know, of all my plans, of labeling
what I know and feel and have done as relevant or useless. I haven’t been able
to answer the call of that tea quote until today.
feel emptied of direction, of specific ambition, of perspective on myself. But it’s not a negative
the course title to. I don’t know which of my skills will be useful in this new
class, what of my knowledge will be relevant.
never see again. I don’t know the iteration of myself who will be called upon to
show up here, or who will be created from being here.
for the foreseeable future, and that perhaps at the end of it, I may be able to
answer what iteration of Molly is next.
deposit pay-out, I was reconciling my financial situation before getting
started for the day.
December, I don’t have to touch my savings. If not, I have until January. But,
who wants to touch their savings, especially if it’s modest?
Walnut Creek on Monday, to be their Homework Tutor/Student Mentor. Seems like a
good sign, but I’m not counting chickens; I’m still looking around for sure.
I feel like I’ll have more time to look – but also to focus. To get clarity and
not just fire off resumes willy-nilly.
has meant to me over the past 2 years – I’m going to see most of my coworkers
frequently, as I’ll still be teaching there on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
There was a nice send-off snack at our staff meeting on Wednesday with my
favorite snacks. And my boss wrote a really warm blurb about my departure for
our weekly e-newsletter.
members of the synagogue, who I won’t see as often. But I do feel like I’ve
become a part of the community, not just worked in an office. And for that I’m
grateful, and it’s something that won’t change. I’ll still be there at our big
grateful that I won’t be sitting at that desk come Monday morning.
morning, so I’ll sign off now. Perhaps there’ll be another more sentimental
missive about the place with time and distance, but, for now. It’s just a
change. And, right now, change is good.
marching orders we know: Chop Wood, Carry Water. The Golden Rule. Look up,
around, and away from yourself.
the universe about where I should be focusing my energies with regard to career and income, I went into a meditation via a shamanic journey.
answers or insight to, but as to What on earth should I be doing next, who
should I talk to, where should I focus, I got a whole lot of nothing.
information is itself information.
will be available when it’s supposed to be. The whole, “God is slow but never
late,” adage comes to mind. – One that galls me most of the time.
translates as “the last minute,” which really means, when you’ve given up all your
plans and designs and have thrown your arms down, and said, okay,
god/universe/soul/fate, whatever. Just whatever. I’m here, I’m done. I’m here.
information, that opportunities open up, that more is revealed.
result of that “Whatever, here goes nothing” tack. The second audition of a
day, after I’d pretty badly bombed the first, I decided, Whatever, I’m going to
pull out (most of) the stops, and just throw it all out there, be as funny and
into it as I can be because I have nothing to lose. I tried my controlled, “I
want it to be this way” way, I tried working from the place of true terror and
fear about what others would think of me, and that didn’t work out so great.
happened. It’s not to say don’t take action, it’s just to say, let go of my
hold of the way I think things – me, mostly – should be.
this morning, one of my questions was how I can stop stifling myself onstage?
Because I do. I’m nervous and judging myself, and I want the audience to like
me and my peers to esteem me, and I want to do a “really good job.” And in that
attempt, I’m so in my head that I’m not in my body, in my heart, in the moment, in
the fun. And it doesn’t turn out how I want it.
you are, be who you are, and let it happen how it is.
And for most people, I imagine.
to B. Or even a map to a complex path – I don’t care, just give me some
coordinates! This, “be where you are and love yourself in and through it” thing
is amorphous and feels ungrounded.
ungrounded as anything, because it’s not grounded in reality or the truth.
of fear, out of imagined people-pleasing, out of a panicked desire to “do the
right thing” cause me more harm than good. And take up more time than it’s
it is. I will remember that there are no mistakes, only misinterpretations. I
will try to embody the … no, I will try to let loose the confidence I know is
stifled beneath the surface of my posturing and planning, and I will see what
comes of it.
trussing this person up in the shackles of my own expectations and a habit of
station if there’s one already there.
hold of something new.
but it can be sagely advised around anything. Today, though, it does mean
relationships with, after those who I’ve fallen out of touch with for
self-preservation. This is a category entitled: Men I intrigue with but don’t
want a relationship with. (“with whom I
don’t want a relationship,” yeah, I know.)
6 or 7 names. Now, there are only two left outstanding. The rest have fallen by
the wayside as I’ve changed the electrically charged way I interact with them or have
expressly stated I want to change the nature of our lovely, but ambiguous
flirt. It’s exciting to know that with a few taps on my phone, I can spark the
interest of someone. It’s a boost to the ego — and it’s totally unfair to us both. It’s a lie, really.
just not truthful for me, when I know that these are men who I don’t want to
date or pursue a relationship with. For whatever reason.
friends, to either of us, but there’s something nice about that extra “like” on
your status update or the comment posted somewhere down your page, where you
know they’ve had to dig to find it. Yes, most of these “intrigue”
relationships (meaning, flirtatiously undertoned interactions) are acted out virtually,
and that enhances their ease, their prevalence and the reluctance to “break
them off,” since, who are we really hurting? Everyone “pokes” each other,
from what I really want, and using someone else as a tool to bolster my
self-esteem. Neither of which get me to the healthful relationship (with myself
or with someone else) that I’d like.
unavailable, and strangely(?), the last two remaining are in this subset.
not as innocent as a few extra “likes;” these two are possibilities in
relationship-land, except that they’re not. At all.
your flirtation with them, what you’ve done with them,
because these are not Rated G acquaintanceships you have had.
slight tensing of your thighs.
these flirtations/more than flirtations, but I know this bus is not going to
get me where I want to go. These are not available people. And despite the
purring coo my body radiates when I consider them, my brain and heart can’t
really take it.
nice to get the milk for free, but I’m ready to invest in a cow.
with men and relationships, and I asked her honestly if there was the same kind
of Icarus-style pull in her marriage. If there was that same forbidden, lustful
quickening. If there was that, We’re going to blot out the sun with the heat of
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth being sober; it just means, No, there are some
experiences that won’t be replicated in a healthy relationship.
understand her analogy.
which course I’d rather take. I know where this current “intriguey” bus leads –
right back here, again.
this bus drive on without me, and trust that if I do, there will be a different
one coming. (pun intended.)
(In my vague and limited Jewish knowledge) T’shuvah refers to the time in the Jewish calendar between Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year—and Yom Kippur—when our names are sealed in the “Book of Life” by G-d for the next year.
T’shuvah literally means to return, but most interpretations take it to mean a time of repentance. A time of atoning for our “sins,” and to acknowledge where we’ve “missed the mark” of our own moral target.
I’m not one for “sins,” or for “atoning,” or for asking forgiveness from a spiritual entity. In my own spiritual practice, there is a habit of taking note of where we’ve been wrong and amending that behavior, whether through direct conversation with someone we’ve harmed or through choosing to act differently in the future.
But, the idea of asking a “higher power” to forgive me for anything at all has never sat well with me. I simply don’t think that anything that has the power to create life and death and change and love would need my asking. I believe that whatever “G-d” is, “it” is much too loving or non-personified to ever require me to ask it to forgive my behavior.
As I said, I still think the process of taking stock of my behavior and righting my own wrongs is very important to my emotional wellbeing and my personal relationships. But on the spiritual plane, G-d would never need me to ask for forgiveness. There’s nothing to forgive – there’s only love, acceptance, and a desire for me to be my best self.
That said, I have been reflecting that this week of t’shuvah has certainly been one of returning. I feel that my actions are those of a woman returning to herself and her values; returning to my true nature, and returning to ideas and hopes that were feared or abandoned.
I am in a musical. I’ve returned to that dream of acting and singing, despite the fears and self-judgments it still brings up in me.
I have officially announced this week that I am moving on from my office job. Again, a return to my true desires, my internal compass. I have stopped hitting the Snooze button on my instincts and drives.
No matter what comes of it, disaster or “success,” I am trying something brand new for me. And that is certainly a return to curiosity, innocence, hope, and creation.
I told my coworker that I boycott Yom Kippur these days. The fasting and the communal atoning of sins. I shun this day and its activities because the idea is that by atoning for our sins, we will be “inscribed in the Book of Life” for another year.
According to the Jewish calendar, in 2012 the evening closing Yom Kippur was the moment of my Leukemia diagnosis. I spent the day of Yom Kippur in an ER. And closed the chapter of that day with cancer. I was 30 years old.
I have done a lot of work around turning that diagnosis into the seeds of a new life. But I will never deny that I have a few wheelbarrows full of anger and grief that still need … sorting or composting or alleviation. Or simply time to feel them, and then to let them go, perhaps, if that’s what happens.
But for me, the idea that on one of the most holy days of the Jewish year, on the day when a person is either granted another year of life or is not, I cannot hold the tragedy of being told half my blood was cancer on that same day.
And, I imagine, my feelings toward all of this will transform, lessen, or evolve. But, for now, I boycott Yom Kippur.
I have used this week of T’shuvah to take stock of where I am desirous to return to and acknowledge and rejoice in the truth of my soul, and to note where I already am. I have used this week to affirm that life can be new and different and fulfilling.
I will never need the forgiveness of an entity that is either made of benevolence or simply is the indifferent force of Life itself.
My week of T’shuvah is and has returned me to a place of excitement and possibility. I don’t need a communal atonement to reward me for how exceptional that is.
That said. Shanah Tovah u’Metukah — May you have a good (tovah) and sweet (metukah) year, friends. And may we write our own Books of Life.