My mind is a traitor. I’m (almost) certain of it. You should have heard it rant on yesterday during my orientation for the new job.
You don’t want this. This is too hard. This isn’t you. You’ll never be able to learn all of this. You don’t want to learn how to do all of this.
What are you doing here?
Thank goodness I know how to pay attention to my breath, and to my insides, and to the synchronicities. Thank goodness that life has taught me to take a break from my thoughts–to figure myself “in,” instead of figuring IT “out.”
On the other hand, I may have let my desire for the” idea” of this job to get in the way of seeing clearly– blinding myself to all the red flags that my mind was raising. Sitting there in the chair, beside the director, I had flashbacks to every employment incarnation of my past whose flags I missed or ignored or pretended didn’t exist because I pushed past my resistance.
Except that at the school, and at the center, and at the church, it was my insides that spoke up, not my mind; which helps me doubt it this time around.
Fear is a powerful thing.
Fear is so consuming that it can keep us from what we want–which gives me the terrifying realization that I may have to disregard everything my mind offers.
This brings back my favorite scene from the delightful film Spanglish where actress Cloris Leachman tackles her distraught daughter, Tea Leoni, on the bed, saying,
Do you know, that right now, you are your own worst enemy? You can’t trust one thought in your brain!
Cloris was whispering to me yesterday too. She kept me from running. She helped me take a breather in the bathroom or the hallway before I did anything rash. She focused me on the bigger picture despite the tunneling my mind wanted to do.
All the while, my insides were fine–quiet and peaceful–unlike any other time.
I had to laugh out loud when I checked the clock that morning and realized that I would be late for my first day. This was so uncharacteristic of me that I took it as a good omen–I was bringing a “less perfect” Kelly to this role, just as I had to its courting process.
When the director asked me to fashion a password for an online account, I decided to use something that spoke to the mysterious alchemy of alignment rather than something my mind might fashion intelligently. To both of our surprise, the computer told us that it was a “very strong” choice.
Next, she showed me around the office and we came upon an electric tea pot in storage which I had hoped would be there. When she tried to assemble it to its base, it wouldn’t fit, and I was no help. Apparently neither of us possessed mechanical skills.
Later when the director went out for lunch, I picked up the pot and the base to try again, only to discover that what we had retrieved from storage as the base, was actually a wall clock turned upside down. Alone in the office, I laughed out loud for the second time that day.
On both of my rescuing “walks” into the halls or to the bathroom, I stumbled upon a friend–one who taught at the community college which is housed in the same building, and another who directed the programming there. Both suggested we have lunch.
Though my mind raged on throughout the day, I was clearly being held in so many ways.
On the drive home, I decided to postpone the passport process once again, but then tossed out the offer that I would stop in the unlikely possibility that there was a parking space right out front. There were three. And I had change. And the passport agent took me in right away. And I had all the necessary paperwork. And she let me take a second photo. And it only took minutes. And she was nice and wished me a happy trip to Chile.
For the first time in my life, I find myself needing to rely on a deeper current than that of my mind, and it is both terrifying and thrilling.
I appreciate your company on this ride.
Kelly Salasin, November 24, 2010