Friday, May 28, 2010

change: a room with a view

in my last post i wrote about changes of the heart. today i am here to share changes in the concrete realm. i'm moving house, to be exact! this is really big news, actually. and not simply because it's an exciting, refreshing change of locale, but also because i am quitting my post as a property manager and leaping out into the world focused solely on graduate school. this means giving up a piece of financial security that i have clung to through good times and bad the past 5 1/2 years. i'll be paying rent again and for the next year, living entirely on student loans ~plus whatever bits and pieces of employment come my way in the education field.

i believe strongly that you must sometimes close one door for another to open. i am making space in my life for a different livelihood. and i couldn't be more relieved, it's a heavy weight left behind, leaving the demands of this job. already, i have been getting some work here and there in may as a teaching substitute at the alternative high school where i interned this year.

i am flinging the door wide open for the universe to step in with something new.

so as you can imagine, i'll be spending the month of june moving and settling. at the moment, i am up to my neck in packing, sorting, sifting, tossing, donating...with a bit of hand-wringing thrown in the mix!

geographically, it's not a huge distance i am moving, but the shift in perspective is significant. i found a darling 1910 up-down duplex on the other side of the massive river that splits portland in two. it's a culture shift, moving to the westside...closer to downtown. my new neighborhood is really nice, with similar amenities to my current residence, sans a great grocery store i can walk to in nice weather. but this is a minor price to pay for an adorable apartment bursting with everything on my wish list, plus more!

an amazing view of the whole river valley and mount hood from a large, covered back porch, all my own ~ that tops the list. then there is the original wood floors and high ceilings, charming rooms painted lovely colors. light and space and a gas range! after years of suffering with an electric stove, i am thrilled to have a gas range again. also, half of the basement is mine for storage and i share laundry with only one other person. to many of you, this might not seem like a big deal, but after all these years of going outside, down stairs, in the rain to do laundry on coin machines...this feature has me giddy.

in portland, simply finding an affordable rental that will take a dog is a trial, and on a grad student's budget, i was combing the ads for months before this place popped up. the whole thing came together seamlessly and easily...i feel so blessed.

next week, i will get the keys and as i am in full time summer classes, the move will take place in smallish chunks throughout the month of june. by july first, i will be sitting with a well-deserved cocktail in a pretty glass on my back porch, gazing out at a new vista.

i've never had a room with a view, except on vacation.

when i got home from mexico on january 11, after nearly two weeks spent gazing at a beautiful view, i knew something must change. something had already changed, in fact. i had changed on that trip. i came home knowing, but not quite ready to even say to myself, that it was time to leave my job. my life and workload combining both grad school and apartment managing was not sustainable. and i was newly in touch with the conviction that everything i do needs to be moving me forward. i broke through something at the new year. no more holding patterns. i was ready to abandon safety and take more risks. ready to trust in new ways.

so here i am, stepping out of the financial safety and employment holding pattern. here i am, closing that door behind me, knowing it is exactly the right time to leave. here i am, ready and open for what is next. employment that is sustainable and growth-oriented, not just something holding me in place.

stay tuned for photos of the new place. it's so exciting to be moving into a gorgeous space again. i can't wait to hang my art and arrange my rooms...

Monday, May 17, 2010

alive with change

oh goodness, here i am again, just when you all have most likely given up hope! it may well be impossible to communicate how absorbing graduate school and life has been, or how each day is full to bursting...

i am sorry for dropping out of your lives for so long. faithful readers of this blog, you deserve better treatment!

so today, i am back in blogging mode, with the head space to write. this conversational style of writing almost feels wrong, after my complete switch to academic writing. and what a large volume of writing it has been this year! and reading, piles and piles of reading and research! i am learning things that make me excited to be alive, inspired to be entering a field with so much potential for growth and change.

i figured out recently that as much as i crave peace and stillness...i love change.

progress. change. pushing limits. these are the things that occupy my thoughts. after what seems like a lifetime of viewing the glass half-empty, i have stepped fully into optimism! what a dramatic shift in thinking and feeling i've experienced in the last nine months or so. reflecting on how and why, i can only conclude that my energy has become centered on helping others - which automatically pulls me out of self-absorption. the difference in my outlook and happiness level is dramatic, to say the least.

you all know how many months i spent all my energy on healing my body and how difficult that journey was on every level. the process demanded self-absorption and this blog is a record of exactly that. i am so grateful for you, dear sweet readers, who took a friendly interest in my story and my struggles. your support held me in just the ways i needed! thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

the story of my past few months is a good one, with bits too juicy to tell the world, frankly. i've had my heart cracked open in the most surprising ways, the best possible ways. i am full of joy and for the first time in many years, i believe in love again. truth be told, my heart has been shut tight against romantic love for a very long while. i had experienced so much hurt and betrayal, i just couldn't see the benefit of a partner. i viewed the glass as half-empty. all i could see was the risk, compromise and sacrifice required to be with someone.

this has all changed. i have been struck with some powerful magic in this area. my heart is wide open. and even though i now have allowed myself to feel the space beside me that i want to be filled by someone very special, somehow even that empty space is ok. it's not always comfortable, but i have realized that i must hold that space open in my heart for anyone to enter my life. in the past, i have viewed that "holding space" thing as caving in to society's expectations, or somehow admitting that i was incomplete, that my life was missing something important.

now, i know that i am complete, but also open to expansion and to the kind of growth, change and balance that a partner can bring. being whole as i am and also wanting to be partnered aren't mutually exclusive states of being. now, i just don't see matters of the heart as black and white. love isn't a equation, easy to understand and explain. in fact, love is full of mystery, it's sometimes messy and words can only make feeble attempts to describe it. but when love enters your life and you're listening, it is clear.

so all i will say on love is that my heart has changed.
i'm trusting my heart more these days. i'm listening differently and that is a welcome change...