When the Book is too Delicious

  
To My Daughter,

Today we went to story time, like we do every week. You didn’t want to sit. You wanted to stand. Right up in front. Inhaling the words off the pages, snuggling your heart into the arms of the librarian, and swallowing life the way you do; whole and all at once.

I know that I kept asking you to sit down. It isn’t that I don’t understand your need to move your body, it’s that I want you to understand the lay of the land, the rules of the world. Because this will help you channel that energy into the good stuff.

I speak about you often as though we are nemesi, you and I. As if you live to challenge me, break every rule I put in place, toss every parental confidence I have wildly astray. 

But you are me, little one. You are my spirit outside of my body. I know you need to move. And jump and hop and laugh furiously and yell like wildfire. All of this while you are taking in absolutely everything around you. I know you are. Listening. Learning. Shaping your mind.

I know this because I see myself in you. And in this picture. 

I know how hard it is to wrestle within a body that wants so badly to follow the rules but also- to break every last one of them. To feel the dizzying longing for creativity while wrangling oneself into the structure of a sound and well-researched paper.

Despite this understanding, I told you to sit down 97 times today and then finally pulled us both out of story time. But like I told you in the parking lot; it wasn’t because I was upset with you.

It was because life has rules to follow and because the people we meet out there have rights; being able to see the pages of the book too.

So sit right up front and feast on all the universe with your eyes and your heart; just sit down on your tush so all the world can feast too.

[Sit down. 

Sit.

Stop moving. Just wait hold on. Just. Hold on. Wait just… Hold on. 

Hold…

Just.

You’re standing on me. On me. You’re on me.]

The Momentum of Being Lost

  
I’ve been lost. Okay. Many, many times. I’ve been lost in my personal life and my professional life, and in both cases I’ve found a few fundamentals to be true. 

1). Being lost is the single most mojo-threatening yet hopeful state of existence. It promises nothing, hopes everything, and swings back and forth on the hinges of faith.

2). Settling isn’t ever the answer. Settling has a powerful draw. Arguably a logical one. But the basic tenet of fit-ness remains ; if it’s not right, you’re just killing time. And your spirit.

3). Every time I’ve thought I had it figured out, I ran the risk of being very, very wrong. Take a look at the many parallels between finding a relationship that “fits” as well as an employment opportunity that “fits.” Years ago, I sat with a couple of then colleagues (who then became some of my closest friends) and we tore open this hypothesis we’d come to that the relationship you have with your work is much the same as the relationship you have with your significant other. Is this a good fit? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Can we laugh together? Are our hearts in sync? Do we share the same vision? Can we grow old together? Or will we crash and burn, scraping ourselves off the pavement with a pervasive confusion and partly inevitable binge ice cream eating after all is said and done. 

4). I have been professionally lost. For…. well a really long year now. I’ve tried some things, always well intended; only to find that they were not my soulmate. I mean a job is a job. Right? No one likes their work. Right? Well. After a year of this mess, I’m not sure it’s that simple. 

5). This month I tried three new things, simultaneously. One crashed and burned immediately. It didn’t only just scrape away at my layers of defensiveness. It didn’t promise to teach me any sound lessons. Instead it immediately shouted THIS IS NOT FOR YOU, my dear love. Walk away. And walking away is not a class act feeling. It burns through every layer of my sense of self. But as soon as I noticed my flesh was literally ON FIRE, I grabbed a hose, cooled down my skin, and threw the papers across the room. Don’t do the thing that sets your skin on fire. You’re going for soul on fire. Not skin.

6. So, exhausted, I brushed the burning embers into the fireplace and I reached my heart out. Again. Only this time I reached out to the one opportunity that has been feeling the BEST of all of them. All along. And I said, “what more can I take off your plate this week.” And that was it.

7. And then, magic. I got a reply so full of passion, so full of love. A reply of appreciation, of trust, of gratitude. And so I put the rest of my pile down. And I turned to face this reply. And I picked it up, and I held it. And I looked at it. And I felt it. 

8. And I decided- this is the one. This one is my baby, my partner, my selection. This is the one that gets me. The one that wants to hear what I think, what I believe in, and wants to read what I write. 

9. So, to my other my friends who are lost, I tell you this. Just like not settling in finding a partner; don’t settle in finding your career. Or your next career. It’s as much about fit as anything has ever been. Life keeps rolling no matter what, but you owe it to yourself to fall in love. With your work. 

Lost is the best place to begin. Don’t be afraid. Float.