i feel like crying

There’s so much in my heart right now. And I don’t know that I’ll be able to get it all out. I also don’t know if I’ll have the time to get it out. I’m supposed to meet up with a friend to drop something off for her in all of five minutes. But I need to try. I need to get some of this out.

There’s been memories of the girl from camp floating around in my head all day. It’s my mom’s fault of course. She called today and she told me all about a woman friend of hers who dies recently, hiking accident. And I told her all about this poor kid who’d been raped. It was a swell conversation.

But on the other hand, there was the trip to the park with the dogs. A trip in the sun on a beautiful and otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon. With the dogs full of their uncomplicated and easy joy.

And there’s the persistent thought in the back of my head. The persistent thought that I know that my chosen profession — academia — isn’t my chosen profession at all. The persistent thought that once I get Ph.D. in hand I’m going to radically switch gears and become a Buddhist minister.

I think this is where my life’s chosen path is leading me. And it feels right and beautiful and terrifying all at once. Is that where I’m headed? Is this what I want to do with my life? Who am I kidding, after all?

Everything seems different after camp. All week I’ve been walking around like this isn’t really my life. I am doing the same things, seeing the same people, working the same job as I was at the beginning of the month, but it all feels different, like a time or a space in my life that’s over, that’s been over, and I’m visiting again not as a resident but a tourist. Like when you go to the town where you grew up and they’ve torn down your parent’s old house and built a convenience store.

I don’t know if any of that has made any sense. I don’t know if this feeling will last. I suspect that it might start to ware off this week; but then I’m off to Tokyo. How will Tokyo effect my sense of place? My sense of purpose in my life? I am, after all, going to be meeting with Kanjo when I arrive, a man who I greatly admire as one of my spiritual mentors. A man who, three years ago at an In-n-Out Burger in Mountain View, said I’d be a good minister. A comment that was laughable to me at the time since I had only just begun to take Jodo Shinshu Buddhism seriously. But maybe he was on to something.

Everything changes. And I think these changes are going to be good. But there’s so much uncertainty in my heart right now. And I don’t know why. I feel so filled with happiness and joy and trepidation and excitement and hope and worry all at once. How can it all fit in there?

I don’t know.

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2 thoughts on “i feel like crying

  1. rambling, but, I think, applicable, thoughts…

    in the end, you are who you are, the sum of your experiences and how you choose to deal with them, if at all. T & I were talking the other night about the idea that if you dont’ deal with certain things in your life, you never get past them, and then never grow, that, in order to grow at all, you have to at least face them. You may not be able to overcome with them, but if you can at least face them honestly and make a peace with them, then you can continue to grow.

    Doing that though, is frightening. It’s why so many people get lost in distraction and entertainment, because that’s easier than facing the things they don’t want to deal with or, in some cases, don’t want to see. More than anything else, it’s not easy. It means not simply being strong enough to face those things, but strong enough to deal with the conflicted feelings that they bring and then sorting through them, trying to see what part of all of that is the true you, and what part is situation, socialization, reaction, fear, etc.

    None of this stuff would be easy to deal with at the best of times, but when faced with making a big choice about your life while literally swamped with a million things, all important, it has to seem overwhelming.

    Remember though, no matter what, you have friends who care and who will listen, people to bounce ideas off of, people to vent to.

  2. Sometimes the chaos of a good cry can lead the way to the calm clarity you need to figure out what to do next.

    Ancient girlie secret 😉

    Personally I think that your trip to Japan and time with your mentor is really going to help you figure this out.

    And like M said, remember that no matter what, you do have friends who care and who will listen, etc.

    In the end you will figure it out, and it will work out, promise.

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