Sunday, July 9, 2017

>>-------> N E X T

{Currently I am typing from my friend's apartment in the heart of Brooklyn, NY.
Because I haven't had the time or the strength to publish it before now.
I suppose in so many ways I still don't. I still don't feel ready for it and it's already over. I still don't have the words or any idea what exactly I'm feeling. I can't stop weeping. But for what it's worth, here's the beginning of the processing and the sorting. The start of #transitiontime. My falling apart and being put back together again. The reverse culture shock.
Here is the beginning of Next.}

(Written from the 37th floor of the RIU Plaza Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico 1 July 2017)

July is officially here.
That means just seven days left in Mexico.
That number does not even feel real to me. It feels like I'm finishing up a trip here. Actually, I'm finishing up two years of my life.
Two years of language learning and friendships and becoming a teacher.
Going to end faster than I can blink or even manage to take even one deep breath.
I think it's going to be a while before I take any deep breaths.
Ending here is so surreal.
48 hours in NYC
Moving home-like Ohio home-from a foreign country
A wedding (actually 2)
Yep. It's going to be a little while.
So. On this last peaceful morning as I sit in a crazy fancy hotel and look out over the whole expanse of Guadalajara, it's time to take a very deep breath.
To exhale this whole season-this chapter-these two years loved.
Enough air to last for a little while. Because I'm certain that in the weeks to come, it's going to feel like I can't catch my breath. Like there's no air to be found. Because. Well. That is transition for you.

So much change so fast.
Everything whirling around. People and events and papers and tears.
So blurry.
And then all of a sudden the whirling ends-the transition is over and it just drops you off wherever is next.
And even though you had some warning, it doesn't ever really feel like you did.
And everything in Next seems normal but everything inside of you is still whirling and heart has somehow not quite made it all the way to Next.
Pieces were left behind in the whizzing and whirling, and it's all you can do to stand up straight and try to sort it all out.
Where you are-what's happening...who you are here in Next....
It seems like you might never figure that out.

Of course you will.
I will.
Because where I just came from was once Next. And what landed me there was the same whirling and whizzing.
There was the stumbling around and feeling dizzy and lost. Discovering the normal and who I was in a whole new context. And eventually, I found out.
The thing is that you don't always find quite the same person in Next.
Anf for a little while that's scary. Because you think you'll never find you at all.
But you do.
I did.
We do.
We just have to accept that Next changes us. To be okay with a little evolution and reinventing.

Because Next can be really beautiful.
If we let it.
Next is full of hope and tomorrows and opportunity and potential.
And Next might need a different or newer version of ourselves.
Because maybe who we were back there is not quite the right fit for everything that comes next. And maybe just a little tweaking and adapting might give us everything we need to embrace the present-to embrace Next.

Next will probably feel hard for a little while. Maybe even a long while. Tricky and messy and uncomfortable. Sad. Confusing. Frustrating. lonely.
You may really dislike it.
Looking back to where you came from will feel all warm and fuzzy and sure.
But remember-keep remembering-that back there was once Next and someday, you could be looking back all warm and fuzzy at this Next too.
You have to face it. Embrace it. Navigate the twists and turns until you can walk them in the darkness and your sleep. Until you know you here.

And you have to keep on doing that until whatever's next.


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