When I quit my job after Dave died, it was for good reason. I had to move or stay isolated out in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, I didn't have it in me to continue to teach. It was too much for me to both teach and grieve.
Starting from scratch, job-wise, has been a test of my personality for sure. Having a steady job that I'd done for over a decade helped me feel settled and anchored in my life. It gave me an identity.
I've fought this lack of identity off and on in the last two years. A part of me gets that it could actually be seen as exciting that I'm starting over. I can technically do whatever I feel like doing (as long as I can continue to provide for myself). The rest of me longs for the security I used to feel. I thrive on security and routine.
And that's where I start to get in my own way. Instead of feeling okay with seeking out that which I love, doing that, and then seeing where it leads me, I fall back into the concept of "I need a job. Any job" and I begin to panic and then feel paralyzed and do nothing. I've put feelers out for a few part time jobs, but no leads yet and I'm vaguely relieved to not have to go through the interviewing and newbie routine at this time.
I've also played with going back to school over and over again since I resigned. Each time I hold one of these possibilities in my mind to see how they make me feel - I feel nothing but mild dread to numbness. Nothing in me says "YES". Is that fear talking or are all the options I've considered just wrong for me?
I saw an intuitive healer the other day. After she closed her eyes to connect to the divine for about a minute, she opened them and said "There is death all around you." Then she said "Someone died recently. Your mom?" After I corrected her and told her that yes, my mom died, but not recently, she went on to describe my chakras.
The crown chakra at the top of our head is supposed to be the place from which we connect to the divine. She said mine was like a storm, black, chaotic, crackling with lightning. She said "You cannot connect with anything bigger than you because you are in so much pain". She said my third eye chakra was "a flatline", meaning there was no way to get in touch with my intuition right now. Too much healing to do.
I don't have any actual experience with chakras. I can't see them or sense them. I have barely even read about them. I don't even yet know how I feel about intuitives or their powers but I was willing to give it a shot.
What I do know is that if I do have chakras, they probably do look or function as just she described them. I'm not able to connect to my intuition or a higher power because of the pain and grieving I'm still doing. So how the hell do I know what to do next with my life?
I understand that there is so much power in just doing. Taking the next step, even if you don't know what that actually is. That I could find a job, any job, if I tried and that I'm not trying that hard. I know that I'm getting in my own way when it comes to working, or at least believing that I can work again.
On the other hand, there may be a part of me that understands that my whole being - heart, soul, body, ALL of it - is under construction. And until the scaffolding is rebuilt (when will that be?!) I might have to think of THAT as my job. Beating myself up about not being back in the working world is intensifying my pain right now and I don't need that either.
I suppose what's really hardest for me is to feel purposeless and unproductive and to long for an identity again.
I feel like I'm taking the easy way out by not pushing myself to do something.
But I am doing something. I'm taking tiny steps. They're tiny because I'm just learning to walk again. When Dave was alive I could leap forward. Now I shuffle along, making progress too gradual to see in my daily life. There isn't a checklist I can work my way down to get me back to where I was before he died. It won't work that way. I'm not the same person.
I'm going to be okay and I'm going to find the right path, including in my career. I'm more than what I do for a living.
One day when I'm working full time again, who knows. Maybe I'll wish for this kind of freedom again.
Right now though I'm stuck and I feel like I'm blocking my own way. Though, maybe that's for good reason. Something in me knows I need a rest.