"Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you...Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition." -Florida Scott-Maxwell
I stumbled on this quote in a book called The Way of Transition. When I quit my job, my therapist suggested that this book might be important for me. It's about those times in life when changes cut you loose from the dock and you find yourself in the middle of indifferent and unfamiliar waters with no oars. A person experiencing this kind of transition is like a trapeze artist suspended between bars, having let go of one thing and hoping like hell the next thing materializes before gravity gets all demanding on you. I could relate to that.
When I told you that I quit my job, it might have sounded more like a choice than it seemed to me at the time. It really was more like an artist who has gone blind: you can keep splashing paint on the canvas, but it's not going to be pretty. I felt completely incapable of doing what my job required. And it wasn't just this particular job. The truth is that I was so out-of-joint that I couldn't even think about getting another job. I knew I would just end up back at square one: depressed and anxious and sick. I knew I would have to take a leap of faith and hope I didn't end up like Rietta Wallenda.
The loss of my job was scary because my husband and I depended on my income. Our finances were stretched to begin with, and losing my income would necessitate other losses. I won't go into all of that in detail, but let's just say that in another time and place we'd be inmates in a debtor's prison. Bill collectors pretty much have me on speed-dial these days. Our home is for sale, which is a funny concept to me because usually when you sell something you get some money. And when it's all said and done, we have no idea where we'll live.
Actually, we're oddly at peace, and I blame this inappropriate peace on the work I did with simplicity. I've become addicted to giving things away. I'm in a race to see how much I can live without. We made a lot of mistakes in our life, and it's kind of a shame that it's taken us so long to figure out what matters, but Dave and I are no longer interested in having a bunch of stuff at the expense of everything else. This is a terrible lesson to learn and it can be downright humiliating, but we're looking forward to something on the other end of all this loss. I'll tell you more about that next time.