adulthood · adventure · direction · dreams · fear · responsibility · scarcity

Light in the Dark.

Normal
0
0
1
609
3473
28
6
4265
11.1539

0

0
0

According to my pock-marked memory, my dad held at least 5
jobs, sequentially, during the time I was growing up. Every few years, he
seemed to move on to a new job, eventually landing someplace he retired from.
My mom variously was engaged in the following classes or
hobbies:
bread-making
cake decorating
special effects make-up
Mary Kay-style beauty product sales
crocheting
knitting
part-time make-up artist
The closet became filled with half-finished projects and tools of a trade long abandoned. 
My dad also told me a few years ago that he rarely finished
projects he began around the house (the wallpaper all done, except for that
spot there; the fireplace paint stripped, but not re-stained) because of his
own childhood lesson that if you finished something it could be criticized.
And I wonder what of this I’ve “inherited” through observation.

I’ve realized the Fulcrum idea only works if I’m earning more per hour and
working fewer hours. It doesn’t, and won’t work, if I’m only working fewer
hours!
I feel a little afraid today. Afraid that the time I’m
intending to “buy” for myself will be eaten up by odd jobs in order to cull a
living.
I guess I mention my parents’ work habits because I’m afraid
that I’m like them. And can certainly see the seeds and small shoots of their
behavior in my own.
Molly doing theater. Molly doing all organic cooking. Molly
in a band. Molly wanting to take math classes, tutor kids, fly a plane. Molly
quitting another job. Again.
And.
I’m not sorry I’m doing this.
It’s funny. Last year, playing bass in a band, I said I was
finally living out a teenage dream I’d never let myself have. If I were more
honest with myself then, I would have studied theater in college or engaged in it
then. I would have tried the magpie
lifestyle then. I would have held odd jobs, instead of the immediate office jobs.
I would have been a mildly responsible but creatively
engaged young adult.
But, I wasn’t. That wasn’t my experience, and that wasn’t
allowed. Coloring outside the lines was not allowed in my house. Or so I
understood it.
I thought last night about this past year+ since returning to
work post-cancer. About how I’ve been doing the things that a teen and
20something would do. It logically does
follow that my professional work pattern would change, if I’m sort of going
back to live the kinds of experiences I’d aged myself out of then.
And perhaps I’ll do them differently than I would have at 20
or 25. Perhaps trying to live outside of the lines at 33 is easier, or more
grounded. I don’t know. But I do see that I seem to be veering toward a life
that a lot of young people live, as if I’m reclaiming a lost youth, a lost
innocence and curiosity and naïveté.
Is it “fun” to
about to launch into the unknown? Well, yes and no. It’s fun to feel engaged in
the creative world and think outside the box. It’s less fun to know the
realities of salary requirements and health coverage and car payments and also
try to think outside the box.
I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen. I know I have
more work to do, more actual sitting down and developing a plan to do. And I
think I’m going to have to reach out for help from folks to help me hold the
space to do that.
It’s funny. (I keep on saying that! But, this all amuses the
observer part of me, I’ll tell you!) Over a year ago, I sat with two women who
helped me form a game-plan for alternative classes I could facilitate.
About 6 months ago, I sat with a different pair of folks,
who helped me develop a different plan for an alternative after-school program.
I’ve been dipping my toe into these waters, and have subsequently thrown
my arms up into their faces and said, But I don’t know, I don’t know enough and
it’s too hard and I don’t have the tools.
I’ve abandoned this line of thinking as many times as I’ve
lit the fires in the eyes of my friends, who’ve said, Molly, this is totally
possible.
So, I guess it’s time for me to dig my notes out of the closet like my mom’s half-finished quilts. Time to breathe
deeply and let myself live the life I’ve consistently told others I want to
live.
It’s also time for me to call those friends back in and have
them hold my hand as I sort through those notes and make moves in this direction. Because, as I’ve said
before, Sometimes I need someone else to hold the lantern of hope. 

Advertisements
balance · change · direction · happiness · life · love · purpose · success · vision

MyHead Revisited

Normal
0
0
1
620
3534
29
7
4340
11.1287

0

0
0

I can’t even remember who it was now, but recently a friend
told me that she is consistently revisiting and reevaluating her goals. What
seemed like the best and truest goal two years ago may no longer hold the sway,
and so, daily almost, but certainly every while or so, we must revisit what
we’d thought we were heading toward – like recalibrating our compass.
I’d come up with this vision a few years ago, maybe 2 or 3
now, of my ideal daily schedule. The early morning, of course, is inner work
like I already do (journaling, meditating, blogging); the rest of the
morning hours would be spent in working on my craft, in a detached studio in
the backyard that would be half an art studio and half a music studio.
Couches, light, friends to jam or visit.
In the afternoon, I would go out “into the world,” and do
*something* of which I’m still unsure having to do with the community — being
involved, helping others, maybe working after school with kids, or facilitating
my workshop, or some kind of public speaking. Unknown task, but known purpose:
to help, to connect, to be in community.
The evening would be play time. Either I’d be in theater
productions, performing with my band, out at art shows or readings. That would
be my friend, fun, out, “On” time.
And that’s my day. All seen from a white kitchen, where I
stand, maybe 50 years old, chopping something at the island block, the art studio visible from a
door to the backyard.
Not a bad vision, eh?!
But. It’s also time to revisit it. And my thoughts and goals
in general. Are these intentions still relevant, powered, intended? Are these
my values? Dunno. I’ll have to sit with them for a while.
What I surprised me this morning, however, is that several
of my intentions have become realized. Though I know I am unfulfilled in my
employment, as I remember where I was when I discovered the above vision a few
years ago (also unfulfilled in my employment), I recognize I am no longer looking at this vision from a place of Yeah Sure,
Right. As a completely foreign land.
I guess I’m being vague.
To drill down: This morning, I’m boarding a bus, to a train,
to a plane that will carry me across the land to visit a girl friend and her
new baby. Three years ago, this would be impossible.
And that’s what I’m trying to get at here: Something that
was impossible, is now utterly completely possible, and it’s happening. In 4 hours. It is. There is no waiting, no longing, no hemming, no
envy. I
am doing what I’ve wanted
to be able to do because I
am
able to do it.
Perhaps this all sounds quite bent this morning, perhaps
having not packed yet is making me anxious to put all this down and get onto
that plane.
But, I hope you get my meaning.
Because even as few as 2 weeks ago, I was as depressed and
lost-feeling as Tom Hanks without Wilson. Despite the mantra of my friend that,
This too shall pass, it didn’t feel that way, and I had no idea how that could
happen. Nothing can really change, can it? It’s all the same Groundhog Day,
isn’t it?
But, Bill Murray wakes up in the end to a new future,
doesn’t he?
What looks like the continuation of a road going nowhere,
long and desperate and desolate… well, this morning at least, I see that it’s
not.
It doesn’t solve my
life. It doesn’t offer clarity or freedom or a path lit up like the exit lines
in a plane. But, in some ways, my recognition of my being here
does fucking solve it.
The fact that this is
enough. That I am
happy – that I
allowed myself to take a vacation, to visit a friend, to take action toward
something that was valuable to me. … Actually, that
does solve my life.
To look up from my navel-gazing and my despair and my
coordinate-less destination, to remember (oh forgive me) that the journey is
happening right now, and that I am
(FINALLY) participating in it and NOTICE that I am participating in it:
Well, it feels like Alice in the ‘50s cartoon version of her
story, walking along a path through the woods when a dog with a push-broom nose
comes along behind her, and erases the path from which she came, cuts around in
front of her, and continues to sweep away the path toward which she’s going, so
that finally, all she’s left with is one illuminated square.
But for me, I’m seeing today (and this all may change tomorrow!) that this is pretty good
square. 

aspiration · consistency · direction · faith · fallibility · fear · perseverance · progress · stagnating · work

Once More unto the Breach, Sorta Kinda.

Normal
0
0
1
539
3076
25
6
3777
11.1287

0

0
0

Despite having gotten the “message” or “more information”
about where I think my career path is supposed to, or rather, for the first
time, where I want it to go… the
hard(er) part is taking action to actually go there.
Although I’ve submitted my own promotion to my job, and
would love to do this work there, it is unclear whether they’re in a place to
support that work. And so, it’s up to me to put more eggs in more baskets.
I spent some time on Saturday updating my resume and cover
letter. I had to go visit a baby(!!) so I still have some final work to do
before I submit this particular one. And that’s where the stall-out happens.
Any of you know this one? Heard this one before?
I’ve got this pretty particular set of things to do, in an
order, in order to go where I think I want to go, in order to get what I
think I want to get. … buuuuut. Well, there’s only 3 more episodes of this show
I’m watching on Netflix (on my phone, I should add), so I’ll do it… later.
Gift and curse of cancer or any other mortality insisting
event, or simply the past experience of soul-crushing procrastination, is you know that “later” may not be there when you are.
I’m reminded of a meditation I did once.
It was probably around another time when I was demanding from fate and god and
the universe that I get answers about what the f’ I’m supposed to do with my
life. But, I thought about this turtle that I sometimes meet in my meditations.
And I thought about him walking to get toward this grass to get a bite to eat.
He is a turtle. He walks as a turtle walks, slowly,
thoughtfully, without haste. When the f’ was he gonna get there?? And I realized my fear was that the
grass wouldn’t be there when he/I got there. If I move at a pace that is
consistent, thoughtful, persistent,
what if the
grass simply isn’t there by the time I get there??
What the turtle had that I didn’t is faith. A true belief in
knowing that the grass will be there when he gets there. That as long as he
keeps on in the direction he thinks is best, care-fully and consistently,
whatever he needs will be provided along the way.
Wise turtle.
I don’t know that I have, or had, the same faith.
I can’t tell you, truthfully, that watching more t.v. is a
way of simply agreeing that abundance in the universe exists and I can lolligag
all I want because of it. I can tell you that I have fear of where my efforts
take me; that I have a streak of entitlement; that I want the outcome known
before I walk anywhere at any pace.
But, I do want an outcome. As I’ve been writing, I’m tired
of standing at the crossroad of my life, waiting for a lift that will never
come.
There’s a phrase I hear around now: There is no ship.
If we’re all waiting for our ship to come in… sorry, bub, no
ship.
That could be horrifyingly depressing. WHAT AM I DOING THIS FOR, THEN? If there’s no ship?? But,
as I’m beginning to understand it, this phrase simply means that there is no
skipping over the work, there is no lottery that dumps in your lap; that, like
the turtle, you have to keep moving forward, and then maybe you build your own
ship.
The idea is that there’s no white knight. That fantasy
time is over. That we are our own white knight, if we are so brave and also
disillusioned to be one.
So, unto the breach I go. Haltingly, uncertain of what I’ll
find when I get there. But, if I have been given (finally, gladly, luckily, FINALLY, again) more intel on where it is I think I want
to arrive, then I must get up and walk in that direction.
I must submit resumes, continue to clear the gunk
from my soul, and write to you of how uncomfortable it feels to endeavor
on my own behalf. 

adulthood · ambition · connection · death · direction · life · mortality · stagnating

Caution: Lifeguard on Duty

Normal
0
0
1
620
3537
29
7
4343
11.1287

0

0
0

Today, I think of Death as the figure of the Grim Reaper
lounging by a public pool, a lifeguard. Watching, waiting for the people to
tire, and when they do, reaching in his scythe, and hoisting them out of the
water.
Over the last week, I spent my time with several people I adore who are all in their 30s and 40s and in phases of change in their lives. I
got to witness how they’re handling, adjusting, chafing, and, sometimes, enjoying their lives. And if
I’m honest, I got to witness a good deal of loneliness. (“If you spot it, you got it,” the saying goes.)
Because this isn’t only my story, I will be courteous to allow others their story and their privacy, but it inspired in me a great deal of reflection
over the week about my own life, my own story.
Early in the week, I heard a woman, a stranger, say, “At some
point, we have to give up all hope of our past being different.” There’s a lot
of standing in two worlds–past & present, present & future–that I got to witness this week, and see reflected in
myself. I had a line from Fiona Apple repeating to me on the plane home yesterday:
The child is gone.
I got to see that there is a pivot point in life; that adulthood is more than an age, or bank account, or relationship. It’s a
marrow-deep understanding that the time that was is over. We’re no longer looking toward the top of the mountain and how to get there: it’s now a horizon we are looking toward. There is a plateau in the middle of the ‘natural’
course of life between the climax of our lives to come (if we
get to it), and its decline.
Maybe it was all the True Detective we watched this week!
I don’t mean to be grim, I just mean to be realistic
with where I am standing in my own life. I simply saw the story arc. I heard
the restlessness, the ambition toward something not yet attained, and I
believed for the first time, despite all cancer-awareness and mortality-facing,
that the long life we have is shorter than I’ve known, that the center of that life is closer than I’ve known.
Mostly, I thought about my own ambition toward family and
career. Toward relationship and being “settled” and the timing of all that.
I’ve written before that being in a metropolitan area, I feel less inclined to
think “TICK TOCK” than some of my suburban friends. But, on the heels
of the new job proposal I handed into my work last week for myself, and the
idea that if I spend 7 or 8 years in that job, I’ll be 40, and then be poised
for a more senior management position. Seeing my professional future suddenly chopped up into finite chunks, seeing that I actually do want that kind of trajectory, having the ladder open up to me suddenly, and fucking taking a step onto it
– well… everything else seems to now be broken up into those same finite chunks.
I’ve never had a “five year plan” or a “ten year plan.” I’ve
never known enough about what I want to do to have any path whatsoever seem
like it makes sense to pursue in any certain direction.
There may be “many roads to the mountaintop” and “All roads
lead to Rome,” but I’ve been so stilted in knowing where the fuck Rome is, that
I’ve sat at the base of the mountain, stared at the nailed signpost with its
array of choices, and drawn figures in the dirt with a stick, waiting for one
of them to illuminate or something.
Well, honestly, one of them has, career-wise, and I see the
opening, and I feel myself– well, no, I actually did take a step in that direction at work. And in seeing
that there is suddenly a path that I’m actually on and actually taking, I see
that there are all these other 5 and 10 year plans that I kind of have to be aware of now… and I see what implication that has for life. For
romance, for family, for place.
I see that I’ve sat at that intersection for much too long,
or, simply for as long as I needed to, but now I feel like I have to race to
catch up to the toll of the clock.
I feel like the sense of timelessness in life has
disappeared. That, “eventually” and “some day” are not allowed anymore. And not
really that they’re “not allowed” or “not permitted,” but that there’s just no
room for them. The dreaming must be directionalized now.
This terrifies and goads me. I feel pushed in a way I haven’t.
I feel more certain of what I want in my life, and a bit of a manic thrall
toward doing it. – Sure, All things in time, and All things in balance, but: I have
begun to think that this might be what ambition is; and what it is for. 

authenticity · community · courage · direction · faith · help · inspiration · perseverance

From all quarters (and nickels and dimes).

Normal
0
0
1
146
837
6
1
1027
11.1287

0

0
0

Of time necessity, today’s will be short. Strangely(?), I had a
very particular intention yesterday to show up to my job and do my best–my
actual best, not my “sorta kinda all you need to do” best.
By 1pm, I had a migraine so awful, I thought I’d puke, and
went home.
In addition, yesterday morning I received an email that proposed an
answer to a few of the questions I’ve been posing about purpose, direction,
intention, and desire for next steps. I forwarded it to a friend, and asked her
professional opinion and input. We got to talk (or email) about what interests
me, and what doesn’t, what I do want to engage in, what I don’t. And through
the course of our conversation, I came to a pretty good conclusion that may
result in more action. Because of the nature of my readership, I am necessarily
vague, but know that I sit here today with more information than I had
yesterday in answer to some of my recent questions.
As the saying goes: Call it odd, or call it G-d. 

community · direction · doubt · faith · inspiration · leadership · life · purpose · spirituality

“What’s the use in clapping if Tinkerbell’s just gonna die anyway?”

Normal
0
0
1
580
3309
27
6
4063
11.1287

0

0
0

Yesterday at rehearsal, I was changing into my costume in
the women’s stall and overheard two of the other actors reciting lines from
their monologue class last semester. This was the line.
It sounded so maudlin, purple, dramatic – and hilarious.
It’s nice when these kinds of pessimistic, nihilistic
phrases sound like humor to me instead of like truth. Depending on the day, it
could go either way.
But for right now, it sounds funny to me.
Because it’s a question I pique to. It’s a question I (and
we) have to answer for ourselves every single day. What is the use in trying,
living, loving, exploring, creating, learning, sharing, expressing, including,
communicating, if it’s all gonna turn to rat turds anyway?
I think it’s a question we are also privileged to be able to
ask ourselves. In many economic circumstances, in many not so small corners and
countries of the world, there isn’t the option to see the breadth of life and
question why we engage in it—there’s only “do what’s in front of you to keep on
living;” there’s only survive.
Therefore, it is a gift (and a curse) to have the opportunity to ask ourselves why we
should keep on keepin’ on. And we can choose to take the opportunity, or not.
If we forget the finality of mortality, we are (I am) apt to
waste time. To plod along, to not question, and not look up to see what
direction we’re going. Which is what yesterday’s blog was about.
I won’t repeat what I wrote around Cancer Time, about the
crazy-making imperative clock that then
can begin to sound when you start noting the temporality of things, which makes
you question if you’re allowed to sit on the couch and watch Netflix – or if
because of the finite nature of things, you’re only allowed to participate in activities that move the
needle of your life and humanity forward.
That kind of extremity can lead to paralyzation. We all need
a mind break.
But, what when that mind break goes on too long? When again
you begin to feel what Martha Graham called, “a queer divine dissatisfaction, a
blessed unrest”?
I have that divine dissatisfaction; it’s part of what keeps
most artists (and mathematicians and inventors)  tinkering at their “finished” work – there’s always something to
do, to improve, to make divine itself. But there is a quagmire when that divine
dissatisfaction is coupled with absence of direction or intention or
consistency.
Then it is only failure. And you’re back to paralyzation
again.
My dear aunt wrote me in response to my blog about courage
the other day. She was galled. She asked, in essence, if I, Molly, am not
courageous, if I am not a warrior goddess, than what on earth am I?
I agree with her (sometimes), that I am a warrior goddess.
Not that I’m unique or special in that; many of us are. But, I wrote a blog while sick that was
called, “What’s
the use of being a Shaman Warrior if you don’t get paid for it?
I asked myself in the car yesterday, driving to rehearsal,
what a warrior goddess does for a living? I thought about Gandhi and Mother
Theresa (if I may be so bold as to compare). And I answered, She teaches others
how to be warrior goddesses, too.
What that will look like, I wish I had more ideas. But, I
will continue to clap for Tinkerbell – because the “use anyway” is that I (and we
all) have been given the chance to touch and enhance the world around us and
within us. The use is that every time that we exchange a
moment of compassion and joy and true connection we illuminate the world. The use
is that every one of us is a beacon for everyone else, if we’re bold enough to
shine.
As you can see, I have the blessed unrest – if I could only
have the blessed roadmap, we’d be in business. 

action · change · creativity · direction · faith · healing · inspiration · spirituality · trust · work

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

Normal
0
0
1
470
2684
22
5
3296
11.1287

0

0
0

Call it Spring. Call it some planetary phase. Call it the
fact that I’ve been back at my job for one year in April. But the past few
days, I’ve begun to feel like things are about to shift. Change is afoot.
Could be wrong. Could be indigestion. Could report the same
old, same old here for the next sixty years. But, I don’t think so. I don’t
feel so.
It’s kind of a stupid thing to report, that you feel change is afoot, in a blog that is supposed to be
about updates and reflections and actions. To simply take a moment to let you
know that I feel like things are about to be different seems antithetical and
anticlimactic. But, nonetheless, I tell it as it happens.
There’s some sort of coagulation that has happened, that I’ve begun to recognize. Maybe it was sitting with that woman on Sunday and
reflecting on the change that’s occurred within me and my spending habits.
Maybe it’s noticing that it’s been a year at this job, which has provided a
foundation of stability and structure, and enabled me to heal. It’s also realizing that things are going to change soon at my work, the nature of things are going to be reorganized, and perhaps it’s just a time
to reassess what’s happening and going on.
It feels like a time to pull my head out of the sand a
little more. To reassert what it is that I want out of life, and address those
things that hinder me from heading there, or even dreaming them up. It’s what I
wrote yesterday in my morning pages: It’s time to dream again.
When you’re in a storm, all you have attention for and time to
do is to batten down hatches and lower the mainsail and hope to Jesus and Allah
and George that you get through the rough patch safely.
When the clouds do clear, you spend the time assessing
damage, swabbing the decks of all the debris you took on board during the
crisis, and getting a new roll-call of who’s still with you, who’s got a
broken arm.
Eventually, the water has evened out, the crew is back to
its old galley routines, and it’s time to point the ship toward the horizon
again.
I’ve been very clear this time, as I ask for direction and
guidance, to be open to what’s
said/heard/intimated. How do you want me to earn? How do you want me to live?
How do you want me to share the gifts I have?
I feel I’ve made an awful mess of hampering myself, like an
anchored ship attempting to get anywhere new. And I know that some of the
internal and external work I’m doing is to untether that stagnation,
resistance, and fear.
A friend once told me, years ago, that things wouldn’t work
out for me with theater until I addressed my trauma shit. Another friend told
me while I was battling chemo that I wouldn’t get out of this pattern of
self-immolation until I moved through my father shit.
Despite all the rowing, all the sails pointed in the right
direction, no movement can be made if you’re still anchored to pain. No
sustainable movement, at least.
So, I suppose this feeling, this sense that things are about
to change, is an indication that I’m hoisting anchor.
Where I go from here? I’ve got to take a deep breath of promise and divine creative unrest — and trust my compass.
(Thank you for indulging my ship metaphor! I hope you
enjoyed it as much as I did) 😉