Connection. This week my good friend Jeff Bucknum took down his website, CamaroConnect (RIP, CC), which resonated so strongly for me around the concept of Connection in general, that I thought I’d re-connect, after a period of dis-connection, with y’all here. Hi!
First off, what the F have I been up to lately? A lot of connecting and reconnecting, which necessitates a lot of disconnecting. It’s exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, anxiety-provoking and fun. What it hasn’t been? Easy. But I never expected easy.
Major changes within the last month:
- Quit my job of 16 years
- Moved to LA
- Added a roommate after living alone for 10 years
- Started new work
Hmm…is that all?? Of course changing The Big Stuff means changing all the little things as well, and I’m wondering when things will feel a bit less, uh, surreal, but I don’t think it’s coming any time soon. All this change really started, of course, with Connection. Or was it Dis-connection?? As a result of working steadily on Crowtégé for little over a year, I began to really get what it felt like to do consistent work I felt connected with, that fed my soul, expressed who I am, and connected me to The Bigger Picture and to other people doing what they loved. Quite honestly, work that didn’t feel like that became just a little bit more unbearable. Mind you, I actually liked my job most of the time; it was just high time to move on. So I finally did. When a great friend graciously offered for me to stay at his peaceful, inspiring, grounding home in August so I could clear my head, he introduced me to others who were doing what they loved, and being successful at it. I was all ears. I was Inspired. I could do this. So, long story short, I packed up my sh*# and moved to Burbank. And here I am.
And how has it been? It’s been a hundred, no a thousand different ways. One thing about making big changes is that, because it scares the shite out of ye, you’re hyper-present. I needed that. And you know what? I feel brave now, and competent. Needed that, too. LA is already starting to feel like home, although a trip last weekend to Sacramento brought back a rush of emotions I wasn’t ready for, but processed through anyway. Sacramento has been my home for 20 years. I have friends there that I love dearly, work I was good at and everything was just…comfortable. Nothing was Terribly Wrong. Except that I felt it was time to go learn and grow and connect with New. So I did. There are days when I feel so free I can hardly stand it–I’m grinning non-stop and can’t imagine not making this change. There are other days where I can do nothing but look backwards and cry for the people, places and things I miss. Grief for what was, and for what wasn’t; for the Old Life. My best friends shore me up, are nothing but supremely supportive, and have been there every second of the way to say, “are you kidding? Have you met you? You’ve got this!” (Note: fear can make you forget who you are–one piece of advice–pick your mirrors with great care. More in another post). But I miss living near my son and my friends. I miss the Co op, I miss my old apartment, the birds on the windowsill. I miss the quiet of the streets in my neighborhood, my friend Carey’s little place, farmer’s market, the predictability of my old work. I miss feeling comfortable and known. And how could I not?
Edward Gorey never traveled; he felt one place was as good as another. I’ve always felt that way too, particularly when I’ve traveled, so I’m challenged, recently, by missing the Old Places. We seem to be hardwired though, for comfort, for safety, for sameness. But with this contradictory need to grow and change, to learn and experience newness. One Life. We have, as far as we know, this One Wild and Precious Life*, and we must take responsibility and live it on our own terms. What else do we have? For me this means often sacrificing comfort for growth, and that’s just how it is. But because I am just now getting settled, getting mundane details arranged, like hot water, internet, where to buy my food and where to walk the dogs, how I’ll support myself– I’ve largely disconnected from the very ideas and newness that brought me here: renovation of my website, an influx of new friends and activities and ideas, writing (specifically), and creativity (in general). I’ve pressured myself to get those activities up and going again so that I can reconnect with myself and what I love, and feel like ME again. But this stuff just takes time, and ALL of this is me. But finally, today, I’m sitting down to write. I’m making good food. I’m talking to friends. And I’m realizing that my expectations need to go completely out the window so that I can just Be. Accept. Live. And I am.
Connection and Disconnection: two sides of the same coin. Birth and death. Sunset and sunrise. Letting go and moving forward. Change is difficult. Change is necessary. Change is good. As much as change feels exciting, exhilarating and fun, it also equally conjures excruciating fear, anxiety, dread, sadness. To leave much of what I’m familiar with is proving, to quote Ram Dass about physical pain, a “worthy opponent.” An opponent I’m learning to befriend, to sit with, to acknowledge, and to let go. To Connect to ourselves, to what we love, to truly live freely, we often must Disconnect from old habits, people, places, things and activities that aren’t who we are anymore. Two sides of the same coin. See? It sucks, it’s hard effing work, and I highly recommend it. LiveLove.Peace.
*Mary Oliver’s gorgeous phrase