I've been back in the U.S. for about a week now, and it's been like a hazy dream. Because it's the holiday season, and I'm back with family, I feel like I'm in visiting mode. So in some ways it doesn't feel like my travels have ended. I'm still living “out of a suitcase” (meaning my clothes aren't in a bureau or closet where they will remain permanently for the next year, at least), and not in my own bedroom or occupying my own kitchen with my own dishes, spices, sauces, cooking utensils. Funny how my own bedroom and kitchen are what dictates my feeling in my own home. Sleep and food matter to me most.
My immediate steps post-travel have been unpacking, sorting through my photos to post and share in some kind of coherent way, and reconnecting with friends (mostly by phone and email). But what about when that ends?
Christmas is two weeks away, so I'll be occupied with baking, preparing recipes for family dinners, wrapping some presents, and getting ready for a family reunion.
And then after the new year, I'll be going to a yoga teacher training retreat in Sedona!! I've been wanting to do a teacher training course, and when I was traveling, I did research on programs in Asia which might have worked for me (cost, timing, location). And although I found some interesting programs in Bali, Thailand, and Malaysia, the timing didn't work out. So while I was in Malaysia, I did some more research on programs in the U.S. and found this center, 7 Centers Yoga Arts, in Sedona that had a training for right after New Year's Day. Perfect! Timing was perfect. Location was perfect. The cost was around the range of programs wherever I looked.
After some hemming and hawing (could I afford it? how would I know if it was a good program? would this be a good time?), I decided to do it because when else will I be able to take a month off to do a teacher program? And the cost now will be recouped later in life; it's not a totally sunk cost. Yes, I'm taking more out of my savings, but it's an investment in myself and my skills.
The course will take me through the beginning of February. Then I really need to start figuring things out. The big questions remain:
- Where will I move to?
- What kind of work will I be doing? Or, more to the point, what will I do to make enough money to pay for housing and food and bills?
And the small questions that come under that are also lingering in my mind:
- If I leave Boston, how will I move all my stuff? How will I tell everyone and say goodbye for real?
- If I move to a new city (at this point, I'm only considering cities where I already know people. I don't have any desire to move somewhere where I don't know anyone at all.), how will I start over finding my community and setting down roots?
- Will I be OK? Will it be scary?
I'm trying to “lean into uncertainty,” and not stress too much. I've learned, especially this past year, that when I stress and worry, all that happens is that I'm stressed and anxious and everything turns out OK. Instead of being stressed and worried, then, I might as well enjoy each moment and day as they come, especially since I won't be able to enjoy this kind of free time once I start working again.
I tend to gravitate toward the safety of answers and certainty. I want to learn how to live with questions and uncertainty.
The yoga training/ retreat will be good for me to get grounded again. I'm looking forward to it. We're supposed to disconnect from technology for the month and take the time to meditate, reflect, and breathe/sleep/eat yoga. It will be a cleansing experience in many ways.
In the meantime, I'm listening to lots of Christmas music to make up for all the lost weeks since Thanksgiving when I usually would start listening to my collection of Christmas songs. And I'm gearing up to do some baking and cooking this week. Pumpkin muffins. Lemon cookies. Maybe experimenting with some new recipes.