I haven’t been writing lately.
It’s what happens to me when I let myself believe I have nothing much to share. I am overcompensating in fairly large ways in other places. Filling up my days. Having conversations that matter. Having conversations that don’t.
I am forgetting to send back messages, and I keep dreaming of a place I can where no one can find me…not for a long time, but just for a while.
I am searching for a place where even I cant find me….not for a long time, but just for a while.
My deepest craving, and first response to almost everything, is to go.
To pack light.
I have gone to the ocean many times since I wrote to you last. It’s about 2 hours away. I could sit in front of the ocean all day long. I could smile kind smiles and nod my head at the people who walk by….which in the morning, on the north coast, is not very many. I could do this all day. I could move my body through miles and miles….and I have…to feel both alone and deeply connected. And I am.
I belong at the water.
I’ve dreamed about this life since I was a kid.
I have been dreaming of water, always.
I think about how this time a year ago, I started interviewing for a job where I would have moved to Georgia. And now. I am no longer willing to move away from the source of anything that keeps me alive.
Where I was in that moment was needing something to make much more sense that it was making, so of course, I chose that. My job. I said outloud in a brave voice, that if I was resilient enough to make my way across the globe, than across the country, than surely I could do this. As it was, in many ways, my dream job.
I said it, and I meant it.
I wasn’t actually trying to fool anyone, I was just trying to get ahead. To ‘start’ my life.
That was a year ago, and after many trips to the ocean….I know, I could never move to the middle of anything.
I no longer think I can ‘make work’ certain truths about myself. The truth is too loud.
I am interviewing again right now…for two different positions. I am close to knowing. I am close to someone choosing me or not choosing me. I have taken many many phone calls in the past 3-months. Gone on many interviews.
I have defended the experiences I have gained before today, I have placed the person on the other side of my interview so clearly into the days that have shaped me, I am a storyteller and this works to my advantage…I share the times when I knew…the time I learned about….the time, the time, the time.
The good news is, I have not had to fake passion, I have not had to say ‘the right thing’ I have not had to compromise who I am.
I’m not willing to say the right thing anymore.
In many ways, these interviews have been confronting.
I have had to answer:
How do we know you’re not going to leave? (again)
How do we know you’ll be happy here?
This question used to make me want to put on my gloves and duke it out.
It felt like a personal attack of my character.
Wouldn’t you leave if you were offered the chance to go to Kenya?
Wouldn’t you leave if you knew you were always meant to live on the west coast?
Wouldn’t you leave if you decided you could not see yourself there?
‘Okay’, I’d respond (a few deep breaths) ‘Let me tell you about a time when’…but really, folks on the other end are just doing their job. Wanderlust is a risk. Risk itself, depending on who’s asking can be well, too risky. It is both the most dynamic and questioned side of me. It has opened and closed doors, depending on who’s on the other side.
Any by the way, it’s not limited to job interviews. I have answered this question many times laying in bed, someone reaching over to touch my shoulder.
How do I know you’re not going to leave?
Are you happy with me? How could I ever keep you happy?
And it feels more like a plea than it does a question.
And in that moment, I feel weakness from you as though we were in the wild, and my primal instinct is that tomorrow morning, you will not be in my bed again. I am not in the business of convincing my lovers. That sounds so cold, but that’s how those questions above feel. How I know Ill never leave, is that you’ll never ask me that. The question alone makes me want to go, it’s a huge trigger for me.
I am not soft at all on this question when we are naked, and your heart is just a few inches away. Especially when I’ve started to open up mine, when we are in the fall…of love. When you start to question me here, my response is singular: to fight.
Immediately I believe I will disappoint you, so I will cut ties with you and never speak to you again. Who the hell wants to feel like they are a constant disappointment?
I have a lack of gentleness around knowing, that it’s just as primal for some to need to know they are loved, in the unique way they are asking to know.
I am working on this.
And the answers on the end of most of the questions in a job interview or in life…is no. No I wouldn’t go to Kenya, no I wouldn’t move across the country, I don’t like it here at all, but I’m going to stay.
I used to think that made people wrong, weak, to be perfectly honest, ordinary (all things I am terrified of)…I am softening here too. What happens when you stay places, is you build a family. The very thing I cannot figure out how to be brave enough to do.
and to be perefectly honest, I cant tell you that I’ll be here in 5-years…not yet. there’s nothing in my life right now that makes me feel like I could.
So in many ways I am making progress.
And in many ways I am not.
But in all ways I am getting closer to my truth…away from my Georgia, and right into the ocean.
The past few months I have been in the vulnerable place (job-wise) of asking someone to want me over someone else. That, in essence is what you do in an interview. That, in essence is what you do in life.
We power point our way through, showing what we’ve done and what we bring.
We meet for beers on first dates and wonder if this person is feeling anything.
We meet our friends for lunch after 15 years of friendship and we wonder what the hell happened.
We talk about the weather.
We talk about the Yankees.
We say idle things with no meaning ‘we should do this again’ when really, no one wants to do it again.
And when we do…
We do want that second beer.
That chance to say to our friend…to speak into the gap, the silence, of what could actually move us forward.
We say nothing.
Better to say nothing than to be rejected, right?
I’m gonna go with no.
It really fucking isn’t.
Say it. Do it. Say it again. Ask.
Fall. Be rejected. Get back up. Dust off. Ask yourself what you want. Go get it.
Move across the world. Move across the country. Believe in the kindness of strangers. My whole life has been built on the kindness of strangers.
There are places and people in this world that bring you closer to who you are. They see you.