I haven’t written in a very long time, probably almost over a month. I’m not really sure why I haven’t written, especially since I’ve been overwhelmed with material to write about, both professional and personal. I guess I just really haven’t felt it lately; that nagging yearn to throw out there some of my feelings and weave them together in a way that maybe someone will be able to relate. Until tonight. I guess in the last few hours it just kind of all came together for me.
In June my office landlord filed bankruptcy, forcing me to begin searching for a new office space, knowing I was going to have to leave behind the office I began my practice in and start a fresh life somewhere else. The two leasers on either side bailed ship with the first notice of the attorney, but not me. No, I waited until the bitter end, literally begging my landlord to give me a few more days to pull it together and move out.
In July I attended my 20 year high school class reunion. This should have been an incredible experience, which it was, but I was focused on looking back on my dreams and realizing what I hadn’t accomplished, as any good alcoholic or addict does, instead of realizing what I had accomplished. I found myself comparing myself to others; by title, appearance and accomplishment. And in the end, although I had an amazing time interacting with old friends, and making new friends with people I barely spoke to in high school, I walked away from the night realizing I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be in my life.
And then the crying began. Out of nowhere, on some random Tuesday afternoon, I was driving down the street listening to an old Stevie Nicks song and the tears welled up in my eyes and flooded my face. Literally. And for the next few weeks out of nowhere I would begin crying and couldn’t stop. Everything seemed to make me sad. I’ve worked enough with true depression to know that this wasn’t it…I was just sad. But I couldn’t figure out why? Alex attempted to be as understanding as possible, trying to be patient and listening to me ramble on and on, but somehow I couldn’t explain it to anyone. I just felt as if one day my mind went blank, the purpose left my blood and I was a walking zombie of emotion. And this just wouldn’t work.
September crept up and finally it was the day of the move. I saw my last client that day, closed the front door and walked back into my office. I sat in my chair and looked around the room. I remembered the night I had moved into the office with my mother and ex painting walls and arranging furniture; my mother mostly scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. “This is filthy! No sane client would want to go to the bathroom in here!” She went out and got us Wendy’s late at night and we ate outside listening to the patrons of the bar across the street stumble to their cars as the whine and whir of the band down the street whistled a summer tune. I sat in that chair and saw all of these actions around me and realized not only was I leaving this office, but I was leaving those memories as well. It was time to move on.
So I wiped away the tears and said goodbye to my office, watching the late afternoon sun fall across the wood floor one last time as I slowly turned the key and locked the door.
I would love to tell you it got better after that, but it didn’t. The next few days were pure hell for me and everyone around me; especially Alex who tried hard to instill upon me that we would have new memories and create a new segment of our lives together, but somehow it didn’t seem real. Even after I turned over the keys to my old landlord as he said, “We had a good run, didn’t we?”, tears welling up in my eyes as I ran off to my car. It didn’t even seem real as I saw my first client in my new office.
But today, after much sleep, feeling rested and alive, I found myself scurrying around my new office, looking for an address I had written in my old office and stuffed in a box. I stood in one of my three rooms, instead of the only one I had before, I looked around, imagining how Alex and I would put our separate business office in this room. I imagined us coming up there late at night after meeting friends in the area, or arguing over interviews, or brainstorming some new ideas as the sounds from the street rose up into our office. I even imagined putting a television in our office to have constant movies playing to get inspiration from while we worked. Suddenly, I found myself sitting on the floor in that office looking around and seeing all the times to come instead of the past memories and just like that…the old ones were gone. They had filed themselves away into a neat little box and stored on a shelf somewhere in my brain to be brought out and dusted off if I ever wanted to look at them This was the new place.
This was the new me.
The reality is that during my 38 years I’ve reinvented myself several times. In fact, a 20 year old client and I were talking about that very thing today and got excited about the fact that we can reinvent ourselves at any time. Change our hair, lose some weight, listen to different music, change our clothing, change our perspective, be kinder or more generous, sleep later or get up earlier, eat vegan or go all out on meatloaf and tenderloin sandwiches…whatever!!! It’s up to us. We’ve only got one life and it’s ours to live.
I believe now that during the last few weeks I was going through a transition period in my life. These occur any time we are going through a major change in our lives and our old self is resistant to the change. But change is good. Change forces us to look at things in a new way no matter how uncomfortable it feels to us. Imagine if life were the same every day. It would be a little be like watching a reality show and on day 1009 they’re eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for the 1009th time while playing a tied game of tic tac toe. That show would have been canceled a LONG time ago!!!
We will go through several transitions throughout our entire life depending on what our goals and needs are at any given time. We should try to be more open minded to these changes and allow them to come and flood through us instead of feeling as if they are attacking us. We can control these changes and dictate how or what direction we want them to come. I believe now that part of why this transition happened for me was due in part to the fact that several of my dreams which I had envisioned(being successful in my private practice, having a healthy and passionate relationship, working at completing a book, having a successful social business and living a fulfilled life)had been completed or were pretty damn close! Therefore, it was, as Oprah suggests, time to dream a bigger dream. And to do that we must stretch our skin and allow ourselves to grow!
On my worst day possible in the last few weeks I arrived home and found that I had received a message from one of my dearest clients. “You are my homeslice!!! Thank you for making me feel better. I hope at the end of the day you know how important you are to people’s lives, especially mine!!! By the way, Congratulations on your new office–I drove by after our appt today..”
And tonight, Alex brought me home a new bamboo plant for good luck, waiting on our kitchen island to be transplanted to my new office. A note begins, “You don’t need the luck BUT…” Who could ask for more than that?
So you see…life does get better. The tears dry up, the sun returns and perspectives change. And sometimes, even in the midst of your own personal crisis, you realize that it’s all part of something bigger. I mean, who could ask for anything more than to be someone’s homeslice?!!! That’s just…incredible and awe-inspiring!!! Aim that big…because we’re on borrowed time as it is.