Sunday, July 18, 2010

Busted Open

Hello from the other side (if you don't get that, see the end of the last blog post...and oh hell, while you're at it, go ahead and read the entire post)! I am happy to report that not only did I survive my week as a Buddhist nun, I thrived. I lost, like, seven pounds due to the mindful eating and vegetarian menu (of course right before writing this I had my face buried in a monster slice of cake. Old habits die hard). The constant silence allowed me to relate to both myself and the people around me in a new and lovely way. And the pesky clothing situation was hard at first, but by the end of my week not only was I reveling in the comfort of baggy clothing, I wasn't plucking my eyebrows or showering every day either, because those things just weren't that important. And I was happy as a clam. Well, probably happier.

I arrived back in stinking-hot Philadelphia with a new sense of peace and purpose. And then, just as I was about to return to my mom's apartment and life as usual, I sprained my ankle. Badly. I did it outside, in the rain, on, like, two steps, and afterwards I had to sit in the rain for a while because I couldn't walk and nobody was home. After a trip to the emergency room (my sister did come home eventually!) I spent the past week trying to keep my right leg elevated and being waited on by my sister and brother-in-law because I was completely incapacitated.

(P.S. Have you ever tried to carry a bowl of cereal from the counter to the table on crutches? Take my advice, just don't)

Not that it's not sort of nice to get waited on. But I had big plans for this week. I was going to find a job, start a Buddhist dharma practice, get back to working out, look for stuff to audition for, start singing again, etc., etc.

Instead I couldn't do anything. And I have a point about this. I sort of feel like "life," whatever that word means, is screaming at me to "STOP," and it will break my ankle and physically stop me if it needs to to get me to listen. I don't know why I would need to stop, but the fact is that it's happened, and maybe I should pay attention.

I'm not just talking about the ankle. I'm talking about the fact that even though I have a Masters and am highly intelligent, friendly, and professional, and even though I send in reams of applications for all sorts of jobs and even have a few interviews, I can't seem to find a job to save my life. I left my life in Ithaca and my loving and dear husband in January, and I still don't really know why (although things are slowly becoming clearer on this point). I am 30 years old and I feel like I'm moving backwards; no career, suddenly no prospects for children, and living with my mother.

So my life has already ground to a halt, and every time a try to start it up again I am forcibly stopped.

There are a lot of things that I learned about in this first foray into Buddhism that have started to illuminate why all this is happening. I'll save these insights for another blog post, because this one is already getting unwieldy! But maybe all this is happening for a reason, not some sort of cosmic reason or ultimate grand plan that I don't know about, but because of who I am in the world and what I want from it. And maybe I should start listening to the stuff deep inside of me that I've been scared to hear for so long.

Well, what an unsatisfying and esoteric way to end a post. Sorry. I'll leave you with the fact that my ankle is rapidly getting better and I can almost feed and take care of myself. Meanwhile my left butt cheek is getting the workout of its life. Things are going to be very uneven when I am healed up...


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