This week I checked the box, “I will not be returning to school next year,” and handed it in. I cannot remember a time that I have felt this frightened, this excited and this numb at the same time. Last weekend I hibernated as the recruiting fairs of the past two weekends had taken their toil. That Saturday night I slept for 12 hours straight. I fell asleep in my clothes and woke up hoarse, thankful for no fever or sore throat. Since waking, I’ve been in an altered state; detached in a new way. I had a Skype interview last Sunday night, and within minutes I knew it wasn’t a right fit and cut the cord. Free falling again. Monday morning I handed in my decision with the box checked.
By mid-week I’d contacted my real estate neighbor and said I was ready to proceed with the selling of my house. We met to discuss the contract, set a selling price and take photos. I spent the next few days detailing my home, cleaning out a few remaining closets and having my carpets cleaned. Yesterday my house went on the market.
I’ve simply invested too much mentally, emotionally and economically to turn back now. I’m sure the difference between being wise and being foolish is very slim, similar to the way that pain and humor reside close together. A friend once said, “I’m a paycheck away from living beneath Highway 30.” I know how he feels. I’ve sold almost everything I own, I’m about to be homeless and I’ve just let go of my job, with no security that there will be one in the future.
But in those brief moments when fear seems distant, the possibilities seem great! If I don’t get offered a teaching contract that I want, I could volunteer on a woof farm! I could volunteer for Mercy Ships! I could apply for artist residencies! I could travel around the world seeing all the great people I’ve met. If I were to do that, my flight pattern might look like this: Dallas to London; to Scotland; to Germany; to Switzerland; to Morocco; to Turkey; to Taiwan; to Seoul; then to LAX; then to Craigslist to buy an RV, turn south to San Diego, park it on a beach and go swimming in the Pacific. That sounds pretty good. I’m free. I can do anything! How thankful and fortunate I am. As my brother says, “Sell the house and damn the torpedos!”
Last September I wrote an article called, “Transitions, Or Leaping From The Lion’s Head.” In it, I included a video, “ The Parable of the Trapeze,” with the voice of Daanan Parry. I’ve watched that video again this week and invite you to also. When referring to letting go of the net, Parry says, “We do it anyway because somehow, to hold on to the old net is no longer on the list of alternatives. The past is gone, the future is not quite here. It’s called transition.” I recognize that I had to let go completely before my net will appear. I’ve stepped off the cliff; let’s see what happens!