change in the flicker

When I realize that I’m approaching a glorious space of time when I have nothing planned to do, I often end up on the couch as a complete bum.  It’s a predicament.

Unfortunate, that the moment there is a desire to do something fun — simply for the sheer enjoyment of it — distraction descends.

Because while there is a glimmer of sparkling time when I am primed to catch the moment of joyful motivation.   The twinkle quickly dims.  Guilt finds me and offers suggestions of banality, “The dishwasher needs to be unloaded.  You’ve been thinking about organizing those files for six months.  And while we’re at it, just where do you think you’re going to put all those wedding gifts if you don’t start making room?”

It’s as if the desire for engagement and enjoyment triggered the school bell and prioritized math over recess.

And in the span of a snap redirection robbed my intention.

I guess Joseph Conrad was right.  Life really does happen in the flicker.


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I’m back.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would be. 

Over time my expectations for Transition Therapy morphed.  In the beginning blogging was a benign curiosity.  I simply wanted to know what it would be like.  But slowly expectations built.  And before long I was imaging what I wanted my blog to be and more importantly what I wanted it to produce.

First, I questioned how Transition Therapy would be utilized and by whom.  Then I asked how I could make it more efficient and effective.

The questions hounded me.  They ran off with the original intent.

After all, this started as a curious investigation!

So I put it aside.  Until today.


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in love yet?

If you haven’t fallen in love with Bon Iver a cappella, I will provide another chance.  Same clip.  Shorter version.  I listened to it for approximately an hour and a half yesterday. 

When I find something I like I stick with it.

And if you’re unsure, hang around until the second guy kicks in at 1:35.

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I want to be comfortable with uncertainty.

While I wait to hear if my “conditional” job offer has become “official” I feel weary and nervous.  I know, intellectually, that there is nothing to worry about.  My drug test and background check will come back clear.  Because I have never done drugs and wouldn’t even know how to get a criminal record.  I am — as my mother says, I agree, and Joe echoes — a stickler for the rules.

Then I found this article.  Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) wrote it for Oprah’s “What I Know for Sure” series.  It highlights something that I want to work on in my life: comfort with only 85% certainty.

Absolute certainty is not something I strive for anymore. I’ve learned the hard way that destiny usually looks upon our most strident convictions with amusement, or perhaps even pity. (Oh, those silly humans! So desperate for their absolutes!) Sometimes it seems like the only job of the world is to gently (or not so gently) separate us from our deepest assurances, exposing us once again to that ultimate moral teaching tool: humility.

Of course, it’s not always a pleasant experience to have our certainties stripped away. Sureness is something like a neck brace, which we clamp around our lives, hoping to somehow protect ourselves from the frightening, constant whiplash of change. Sadly, the brace doesn’t always hold. I could list for you a tragicomic litany of all the things I was once mistakenly completely certain about, and I’m sure you can do the same. Maybe you, too, were once absolutely sure that you’d found your great love, or your final best friend, or the perfect mentor, meditation, or medication that would—once and for all—never fail you. And then? Slowly, it seems, we are not so sure after all. Such is our slippery toehold here on Earth, and so it has always been.

Perhaps it is for this reason that the people we instinctively turn to in times of trouble are those who—we sense—have made space within their convictions for doubt and mystery. Compassion grows best, it appears, in the soft spots beneath quiet surrender. So I try very hard to go easy on the firm conclusions. These days I settle for feeling only 85 percent sure about most things, most of the time. I believe this is keeping me sane, and I also believe that it’s keeping me human. In fact, I’m 85 percent sure of it.

Right now, as I feel like I’m doing nothing more than waiting, waiting, waiting for the other shoe of paranoia to drop, I am trying to learn to be at home with 85% certainty.  I want to utilize the notions, “Crazier things have happened” and “I cannot have all the control” and embrace the possibilities of what may happen so that it enhances the richness of life.

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bon iver

I love this. 

The song. 
The French man in the beginning. 
The doorway.
Then the hall. 
The people clustered in the galley crowded around listening.

My worries wash away.

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back at center

Remember that you will not be defined by supposed successes. 

The loss (or acquisition) of this job does not have to dictate how you live your life, feel about yourself,  or interact with others.

You feared that looking for a job in DC would catalyze an anxiety that you could not out maneuver.  It has happened and you feel thin, vulnerable, and exposed.  For more than a week you have been off track.  You feel disconnected from who you are and what you know, overrun with insecurity.

But let this provide some perspective: the experience that you are having now, waiting to hear about the job, is unavoidable.  If you are to be a successful job searcher, you have to survive the application process.  And it is not without trial.

It is complicated, though, when the boom of getting a job seems to intertwine with the ability to lease an apartment and set a wedding date.  Each day that passes is advancement into the wilderness of anxiety, the scope of which appears so vast.  With every new morning you feel less hopeful about the victory of candidacy, trying to forget the positive repercussions it could have had on your life and the one you want to have with Joe. 

Today, though, you are prepared to release the expectation and anticipation, to accept that the hiring decision is out of your control.  Anxiety is resistance to what is and you are ready to give it up.

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Engaged I am a part of something.

A deeper connection to Joe, our lives intertwine into a tighter weave.  Each day I recognize it more and more.  I unwrap old bank statements and pay stubs to consider a new filing system, one that includes a station for Joe.  Standing in the doorway of the closet I inspect, with pursed lips, the disorganization in front of me and contemplate how to free up space by consolidating our differences.

It’s Problem Solving 101.  Coordinate so that everything relevant has its place.  We need to preserve our individual preferences and allow for the spaciousness of growth.  The challenge is both puzzling and invigorating.

I am part of a collective now.  Joe and I joined legions of others who choose to dedicate their lives to the commitment of unity.  Escorted by a new familial bond is an inspiring notion of hope, faith, and perseverance.  It is the dawning of a new chapter of life.  The realization of which causes me to exhale in relief.  Episodes of hardship and struggle punctuated the last few years and I am comforted to know that aspects of that are behind me.  They have to be.  Not because I want them to be, but because by whole-heartedly accepting a marriage proposal, I showed myself that I no longer want to do “this” on my own.  I want to stand by a man, hold hands with him, and  know that I am buttressed by a kind and gentle spirit.

Now I better understand the bravery that it takes to look at someone and know that they see your soul.  I understand the courage it takes to walk forward into, what can be, a hard world, relying largely on the consistency of that tender support.  This comes with streaks of fear, but I am depending on the fortification of an unseen foundation.  On faith I take steps forward. 

I am more connected with life.

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