Deepest Part of the Exact Place I Never Wanted to Be

Tonight, I have no words of encouragement. Friends, I am against a wall, staring at the void in anger and confusion. Perhaps I’m shortsighted. I hope this is the case. But I feel cornered and scared, shaking. I feel defeated and weak. As though I have been climbing a mountain and, suddenly, some force or wind or Otherwordly creature pushed me down so far, I can see the bottom rising up toward me. And as I’m falling, I feel myself gripping at the rocks as they give way, refusing to hold me up, while also wanting to collapse. To give in. To let the fall happen. Let the bottom knock the wind out of me because I’m angry and tired and almost welcome the inevitable ground. Rock bottom.

It’s funny, because just earlier this morning I was thinking about faith. How easy it is to walk around with that stick, swinging it for all to see and, in a veil of pride, announce the Goodness of Faith. Faith in yourself, in life, in direction–because it’s all so easy, see? But underneath the exterior, the false-confidnece is held up by the fact that, well, everything’s going as planned. I have faith! yes!

But when what you thought was best, what you WANTED, crumbles. What then? Where’s that confidence, where’s that smile, that stick you swung so fervently.

When the force of circumstance knocks you off your course, how do you hold on to that faith?

Friends, I am flailing. Life, in its funny, twisted way, has offered me the possibility of a good job. A job that I enjoyed in the past. A job that pays a better salary than most jobs people my age are offered. Looks perfect, doesn’t it?

So why am I falling off the mountain, scared and angry and losing faith?

The job is in my hometown. Far away from New York and any sort of creativity-nurturing place. Yes, any place can be creatively nurturing if you make it that way, but what I mean is that it’s not New York. It’s not the place where I’ve, finally, after 2 years, made connections within the artistic world and personally, my social world.

The job is in the middle of nowhere. In a place so disconnected from readings, museums, people.

I suppose a part of me feels like I’d be giving up on what I’ve worked so hard to build. As though I was climbing the impossible climb and now I’ve been asked or forced by circumstance to turn around, head back to base.

The funny part about being lost is that we are never lost. Only our illusions spin us, disorient us, temp us into thinking we have control, that there IS a right or wrong way round.

But life, reality, knocks us off our illusion-horse. It says, no, in fact, you’re not meant to be here, go here, do this. You’re meant to walk this way, take this course, this path.

The CHOICE is whether or not we continue to follow our illusions and thus feel lost, or to see circumstance and folded plans for what they are, and they are, in fact, illusions. We have no control. The control we DO have is how we deal with the breakdown of plans. The grandeur we build up concerning how we THINK our lives should go.

And I say all of this, honestly, with half-hearted sincerity. Because part of me cringes at the idea that we have no control. Shouldn’t I have a say, shouldn’t I fight, for what I want?

But, being so fixed on the illusion of how I think my life should go, I am inevitably short-sighted. In no way can I see the bigger picture. So how could I ever know what is best and if what I want is what I, in fact, need?

I want to stay in New York. For some reason, I think it would be best for me to stay if and when I get my manuscript published. For some reason, I think that leaving New York represents giving up on my dream, on my 3 year struggle to get there in the first place. That somehow, writing from my hometown would be different from writing in New York. That moving to my hometown for the financial benefits is equivalent to whoring myself out and betraying my dream.

Even though, in all honesty, I can’t afford New York any more than I could afford buying an island off the coast of South Carolina, at this point. That I’m in debt on top of everything else.

And so on many levels, I’m looking at this job opportunity like it’s a curse, instead of the financial blessing it is. I’m looking at it as a curse due to my illusions for how I think my life should go. In my shortsighted, limited view, I shake my fist at what might, in the long run, be a blessing.

Never is our resolve or faith tested more than in the dark, unarmed, disrobed and walking toward an unfamiliar forest that is in no way kind in its signs or indicators of safety or danger.

It’s hard to parade around with the stick of faith in this case, isn’t it?

And so I am, on every possible level, scared and apprehensive. I have no encouraging words. Even though my intellect could argue for the case of faith, for the reasons to be grateful and generous to the Universe, I have only doubt. I have only anger and frustration.

At this point, at this fork in the road (yet another fork I didn’t see coming) there are no words, only imaginary worries of what I’m losing. And no count, none at all, of what I’m gaining (or could possibly gain) regardless of my intellect knowing there are many blessings in disguise here.

No, friends, at this point in time, I only feel, in gross and disheartening terms, forced into going down an unplanned path.

I know, given my resolve and desire for more than what seems offered, that I won’t stay so downtrodden and frightened for long. But at this moment in time, what a relief! What a release to admit that I am, to the bone, afraid. And in no way comforted. And in no way sure if I see any light ahead, giving any indication that this will be a beneficiary path. It is not kind in that way. But I am guessing, when life throws you a circumstance as altering as this one, that the path is never kind in giving hope, or light, or security.

The ground falls completely underneath you, caves in, and that’s when the drop, the doubt, the twist of fate completely works in full force to knock out any trace of old illusions, any ego-attachment, until you’re left with absolutely nothing. Nothing to grip. Nothing to hold.

My only strip of light, against all odds, and without any past experience in my life that declares it, is that THIS, exactly THIS, is when something grows inside. Something bursts forth in time to break down resistances. And in that breaking-away, that holding on to what was THOUGHT was WANTED, a real-truth emerges. What was meant, all along, to be the glory we wanted behind the illusions and shadows, can finally manifest.

Meaning, what seems to be the very last thing we wanted, becomes the catapult which hurls us towards what we wanted, and more.

But I don’t know. And I have, at this moment, no indication or hope that this circumstance is anything other than a knock off the mountain I’ve been scaling. And because of it, I’m losing what’s important. I’m letting the tide carry me into the deepest part of the exact place I never wanted to be.

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One Response to Deepest Part of the Exact Place I Never Wanted to Be

  1. Floyd says:

    Ah. . .Shannon. . .there is so much more I can tell you. . .I sent you some thoughts via message. . .but, here’s the thing. I’ve been down the path you’ve gone down. Life is a series of curveballs. Rock bottom: I was twenty-nine, six years out of college, newly divorced, two kids, had to declare bankruptcy, just lost my job, and moved into an apartment on New Year’s Eve. Everything I owned was in my car–the only important things–my records and my beloved books–and one small black and white TV. As I was watching the ball come down on Times Square at midnight–the TV blew up right during the countdown. Welcome to rock bottom. All rock bottoms are different. This was beautiful Cleveland, OH rock bottom. Seven years later I was living in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado–the only state I ever really wanted to live in–I had remarried (and it has lasted more than 25 years), had a beautiful 6-bedroom house on five acres, a beautiful view of the mountains, a great barn, and life was good–and a great six-figure job to go with everything. But, life throws curveballs–I’m now BACK in Cleveland, and have been for over ten years–have a GREAT job where I make HALF of the money I used to make, and have another beautiful house–think of your life as a ten-pitch at-bat. Fastball, curveball, slider, knuckleball, fastball, curveball, and so on. A GREAT hitter in baseball makes two outs for every one hit. He bats .333. Relatively speaking, you are in the minor leagues of your life–you have accomplished GREAT things in your life to date. You will go so far in your life. . .and this huge thing now! I can tell you it will be a bump–but, I only know that because I’ve had several bumps–only age gives you that gift of looking back. Shannon, there is no WRONG decision here–believe me. Your heart will sing to you the song of your life.


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