i think that it is time for a sabbatical.
1. of or pertaining or appropriate to the Sabbath.
2. (lowercase) of or pertaining to a sabbatical year.
3. (lowercase) bringing a period of rest.
4. (lowercase) sabbatical year.
5. (lowercase) any extended period of leave from one's customary work, esp. for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
in another definition, it is noted that a sabbatical typically occurs every seventh year.
as more and more realizations slowly come bubbling to the surface, there is one that is abundantly clear and radiant, especially in this week that i prepare to embark on a new journey of education and training.
i need space.
even as i write this i am attempting to negotiate with my 3 year old daughter for 10 minutes of time to simply write. the deal that has been struck is i get to type, while watching sid the science kid, with chloe perched upon my right knee. sometimes we must settle, or relish, depending on how you look at it, for what we can get.
as a part of an emerging, yet to meet bookclub of other women in search of their role in contemporary american society, i have begun reading the ever popular Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. in one day i have consumed nearly 100 luscious pages of tales on travel, love, divorce and eating (note: 100 pages in a day may seem small to some, but for me, in need of space, that is quite a lot). while i definitely question her sort of egocentric take on life, kids and love, i equally empathize with her desire for space, not just physical, but mental. many of her accounts take me back (nearly 7 years) to a time when i, too, left everything behind, to get some space and do things that I wanted to do. i didn't travel for as long, or to as remote of places, but the similarity in sensations and revelations are uncanny.
i began lapping up every sentence as if i were a lonely nomad who just found a bubbling oasis in the middle of the sahara.
[break to look at a spiderman, i.e. minute fly creature in window]
then, i thought about how lovely it would be to have some time to write, reflect, rejuvenate, learn and fully absorb where i am at. that is exactly what i did in europe over 6 years ago. i could cut the loneliness with a knife at times, but could equally scream of love from the mountaintops of switzerland, just like the Buddhist monks that i saw there. it is the dichotomy of life, and travel, and even love.
there is something that occurs in our western society, a sort of denial of humanity, leading to a robotic state that ends up causing a monotonous cycle of joylessness topped with a cherry of bitterness.
we have forgotten that we are sentient beings.
i have forgotten that i am a sentient being
at about the 50th page of the book, it suddenly occurred to me that i am about to be granted that space. i have conjured up so much fear and anxiety about being away from my home, my husband, my daughter and daily routine, that i have completely negated what this experience is: a gift of time & space, a sabbath for the modern day woman.
all i could think about is how i need to do this to further my knowledge and paycheck. ha. how silly.
every experience in which we are allowed the space to think without distraction should be utterly relished.
we fear the quiet because everything that is true of ourselves is exposed to the elements, the elements of love, pain, spirituality, hopes and failures. surely, there are more elements, but those are the ones that permeate my core when i simply rest.
with the arrival of this new outlook on these next 2 weeks of all day training, and time away from the ones i am attached to, i feel like i am truly ready for what may come; coming with an empty cup. i come unattached to life up to that point.
that is a difficult statement to make, for surely i will deeply miss and grieve the absence of my daughter. but this is what i want.
in the midst of all these seemingly elementary concepts of just needing space, are some of the deeper yearnings and fears that i may confront. never completing things for fear of not being the best or fear of criticism, has kept me in a box. i am stepping outside of that, just like i did when i left for europe. in a year, i have no idea what will become of this all. i have some hopes and goals, but there is a long process in between. but i am beginning to feel what it must be like to set reasonable goals, and actually accomplish them, seeing them as little gifts, rather than obligations or means to ends.
one thought/dream/goal that i have had for a number of years revolves around publishing some sort of book. what kind is yet to be determined. many years ago, my mom and my gamma mentioned that i should write a book. my immediate thought was, 'About what?' i have some published work, and feel fairly confident in my ability to communicate via the written word, but what insight, knowledge or story do i have that could possibly impact another person? Eat, Pray, Love has shown me. this is a simple story, a travel journal really, about a real life carrie bradshaw. the emotions and experiences that she shares are not new or monumental. but they are thoughtfully put together and remind us all about our sentient nature.
so i think, 'Why not write a book?' a monumental task for sure, but if i am to reach outside my box, or maybe even step out completely, i must begin to believe that something like this is possible. first i must detach from my caustic nature and enter the realm of love & joy. i am on my way...
to begin to do any of this, i must begin with just me...my thoughts, my actions, my goals, my feelings and the present. i must communicate to God with an intimacy reserved for a husband and wife, rather than a distant friend from grade school. i must begin to make rest, my sabbath, a necessity. but i also must allow that to those around me, mainly my husband, jared.
most of all, i must see myself as God sees me, for all of this lack of feeling, bitterness, fear and resentment stem only from my disconnection from the reality of what we are all created to be: "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor." -Isaiah 61:3
if i am "splendor", then how can i possibly accept a life of mediocrity and joylessness.
here's to my sabbath, and to the one i pray each of you can soon experience...