since a last post, there is really so much one could write about. it’s a little overwhelming. so, probably best to start small and specific. My motivation to write: 99% comes from the fact that our lives have made it harder and harder to keep connected in the little everyday things. I think adulthood has finally arrived. I’m sure it will continue in waves, with additional life events, but, I 3.5 years later, I officially live in Brooklyn and do not spend hours on the phone every week with friends from the west coast.
I think I thought this day wouldn’t come. And, maybe it’s just a moment in time, and more phone time will reopen, or, I will move back to the west. But in the meantime, I spend less and less of my non work time on the phone, on skype, online. I haven’t really blogged, pinterest-ed, facebooked. Instead, I read, and take long walks, and go to museums, and tutor (more on that soon, cause I must tell you, going from the hospital to an upper east side penthouse is a trip of trips), and on and on. New York life is intoxicating and solo oriented and consuming/overwhelming/magical in ways that I never expected.
Sometimes I worry that I will wake up and the story will be true: my primary relationship will be with this city. It feeds my loner side, which is fed by an utter captivation with human beings, and there is no better place to watch them and interact randomly with them than here. Other times, I think this city is the perfect balancing point to my work, which is so inter-personally oriented and, well, intimate. I need the spaciousness of this place. For today, instead of worrying about the rest, I am trusting that it will all fall into place and develop as it will. *Due to moments of less trust, I am talking with an astrologer next week.
A few moments in the past few weeks:
I’m slowly figuring out how to have manhattan in my life while working in Long Island and living in dear Brooklyn. It’s been interesting. And by interesting I mean I have been actively grieving the loss of the city daily. This has led to fits of mental hysteria, answers and ideas to fix the situation ranging from quitting my job and traveling the world (ok, maybe that has to do with commitment issues more than anything), moving into the city immediately, finding the person of my dreams who happens to own a loft in SOHO (that fantasy has probably always been there) and finally, shelling out another $130 a month in transportation costs so I can easily go back and forth.
The last option is the most reasonable. It’s not even hysterical. Just expensive. All in all, I still spend less than I would if I had a car, and my body remains my form of transportation, which is key.
The point being, change is hard and I effing love manhattan. It’s funny. This is not a cool thing currently. It’s I finitely cooler than Long Island. But folks this days are so into Brooklyn. You’d think I had betrayed the early thirties posse by dreaming of manhattan.
But who cares about cool. I moved here for the city. Period. Early career moves are about dues paying. And I am dumping my chips in the bank that will one day love me into the city with a commute that only consists of walking. No subway even. I want that option.
In the meantime, viva la Long Island Railroad.
Alright. Here we go. Gettin’ back on the horse.
Monday number two of new job. New job equaling permanent position. No year long commitment, no set graduation date, no sense of how long this era will last.
I’m not one to have a crazy travel bug, but let me tell you, this week I’ve imagine moving and it adventuring to Ireland, Paris, Switzerland (they have a palliative care fellowship there), the bay (I mean, obviously, permanent job means it is time to move home immediately), LA, escalen (my hippy nature is dying here and must be revived with a month long intensive in somatic body work). I’ve imagined all the careers I could have choosen- the ones that make more money, are mote FUN, young, creative, social, cool.
I’ve essentially spent a week indulging in not right now, not the here and now, not my daily life.
This created a crap storm of emotional distress. Woah. Wanna freak yourself out? Let your mind revel and tailspin in all the things that aren’t right now.
It’s kind of like snuggling up to this cactus. It’s a pretty plant, but you don’t want it as your cuddle buddy.
So, I spent my Sunday gathering myself. Harnessing the tools I have to keep me here now, the tools the tender attend to my life admit is today. Who the heck knows what’s gonna happen. Permanent job? No end of this era? Come on. I’m at least a little wiser than that.
It’s humbling to get smacked around by … My mind. That thing can really run rampant and like a bull in a china shop, make a mess of my experience! Trying to make permanent states out of things that will naturally evolve.
So, today we will be working with today.
Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life. -Rachel Carson
Of my favorite beauties and mysteries of the earth are the people I am so honored to work with everyday. My life has changed so immensely in the past few years – this year, having been like many in one.
It’s amazing that this experience is wrapping up. That today, our team, and our department will gather, to share in the learning, the growth, and the challenges of the last 12 months. To celebrate the next steps.
It has been a … year. Hard. Sad. Full. Exhausting. But absolutely full of joy and beauty and a type of connection to other people, to my life, to myself, that I have never known before. It has changed the type of daughter and friend I am. It has tapped me into the mystery and unknown that lives at the center of our days. It has opened me up to a new knowing of myself that I never expected, and am just unpacking.
As life shows us things in her own timely fashion, this week has been filled with loving and generous reflections. Today a patient said, in response to my thanking her for sharing so much with me, that to listen is to be human. While we all want to be heard, for her, what we really seek, is the ability to listen. To listen to words, stories, silence, bodies. To be connected and receiving another’s reality. To witness and be welcomed in.
That is precisely what my days consist of. The job ushers me into connection with strangers over and over. The stranger can be lost almost instantly. It is suddenly you and another. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life to tend to these connections. To listen. To be seen. To hold space. To love. To create belonging – if only for 1 visit.
So, tonight we celebrate and honor the work of the last year, and so importantly, the many patients who have taught us, day in and out. Their lives have made this experience possible, and has forever shaped me.
I’ve got one exploding heart right now.