Another unplanned sabbatical that I must apologize for.
I’d like to say that I’ve been busy dating, or relating, or doing something otherwise related to dating and relating but..as usual..I haven’t been. Communication with Bachelor Number 5 sort of faded out. I was sick one day and he texted, and I had every intention of texting back, but fell asleep. And in my sleepy stupor I forgot altogether that he texted, until last night when I thought “huh. I haven’t heard from him!” and checked my inbox. It was me who wasn’t communicating. Oops. I suppose that’s easily fixed, but I’m not especially motivated to fix it at the moment.
No, the real truth here is that I haven’t been doing anything. For a long time.
I mean, sure, I’m in love with my new Nook and I’ve been working as hard as I possibly can for two weeks preparing for the graduation ceremony. I’ve gone to going-away parties for some of my employees, been out to celebrate the end of the semester with colleagues. I went to a barbecue and graduation for a friend. I went to a theme park this weekend. I’ve done plenty of stuff. My social calendar has been pleasantly full, and when it wasn’t, I’ve read enough books to nearly double the total I read last year. Nothing of substance, I suppose, but reading nonetheless. I read Something Borrowed, The Hunger Games, and Bossypants last week. Yes, all three of them. Oh! And I steam mopped by kitchen and bathroom! It’s all so very exciting.
But all this ‘stuff’ I’ve been doing hasn’t really been anything important. For the past month or so I’ve gotten the distinct feeling that I am spinning my wheels. It’s fairly typical for me to feel nostalgic and sad during this time of year. I actively work and plan a graduation that only a few years ago I participated in. So, I stand on the floor of the basketball arena and shake hands and congratulate 1200 students who are so full of hope and optimism…just like I was. They’re so ready to face the world and move on to something new. Just like I was. And every year someone I’m fairly close with graduates a professional program and leaves to go make their way in the world. But I haven’t really done much since graduation.
True, I have a job and I recognize that I am truly fortunate. I am no dummy; this economy is rough and to have never experienced a gap in employment since graduation of undergrad is a rarity. And I work in a place that lets me pretty much do what I want in terms of time off and working a compressed work week. I am lucky. But I guess I want more. And I wasn’t sure why until the other day.
I hate to be overly dramatic, but when I walked away from The Boyfriend, I made a promise to myself that it would be ‘worth it’. And I guess what I meant, when I took the solemn vow sitting in my empty house with all my belongings in boxes, was that whatever pain I was going through, whatever pain I had put him through, too, would all be for a good reason. That he would look back and be glad that I left. Glad that he got on with his life and impressed at what I had made of myself. I knew in my heart that he would be fine. It was my destiny that I had reservations about.
You see, for me, as much as I hated to hear him talk about it, I guess life really came down to a cost-benefit analysis that I used to find so crazy when he’d try to tell me all about them. For me, the sacrifice I was making…risking being unhappy and forever walking away from something valuable…well, something really, really awesome had to come out of my life in order to make it worth it to me.
I wasn’t really sure what the accomplishment might be, especially at first. I lost 100 pounds and thought “Well, that was worth it, right?” And it is worth it, but still, my heart needs more. More accomplishments, more affirmation that I am on the right path. Traveling alone, starting this blog, dating some. All huge moments in my life. The day I had my Insta-lanche. Accomplishments? Absolutely. The end of the journey? Hmm, not especially.
Lately, I’ve begun to realize that it isn’t just one thing or one accomplishment that will make it all worthwhile to me. It may not be a specific event that happens and suddenly I wake up and say “YEP! I DID THE RIGHT THING!” If it was, I’d have reached this plane of spiritual enlightenment already. The past month or so, I’ve been wondering if it’s more of a state of being that will help me find satisfaction and fulfillment with my decisions.
I want to find something, whether it’s a job or activity or an education choice that makes me feel in my heart, like I’ve used all my potential. It’s less about proving to someone that I am smart or accomplished, and more about making myself proud. It’s less about having something to show to him or them and more about being really, really content with where I am. With what I’m doing. With who I share my time. It’s about getting to a place in life, any way possible, where the first thing I think of when I wake up…and the last thing I ruminate over when I go to sleep…and all the millions of thoughts in between…isn’t “Was it worth it?”
So, I’m back…but I’m on a mission that is a little larger than finding a date. I’m looking for enlightenment and fulfillment. But don’t worry…I’m looking for a date, too.
I joined Chemistry.com and you can read about that soon.
I refuse to acknowledge that this sabbatical has anything to do with the awkward bar run-in last month.