Monday, November 5, 2012

Shake It Out

To understand the thought process I'm going through, it would help if you listen to Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine while reading what follows.
As I think of the experiences I had in Romania and the direction things have gone since then, I find demons who want their pound of flesh. I find regrets who really do collect like old friends, seeking to relive my darkest moments. As I think of what I am doing what my life, what I want out of my life, and the decisions I have to make in the coming months, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Looking for heaven, I have found a devil in me.
In the months that have past, I have done more than I thought possible. I have worked in Mexico, run a marathon, secured interviews and a placement with Teach For America, made connections with professors that will help me get into grad schools, and I have found a place of belonging. Man yearns for belonging. He yearns to see his place in the world, to know what is expected of him.
Romania taught me to let things go, to shake it out. My kids taught me that the salvation of man is in love and through love. I don't understand what that means for me yet, but I want it. I am constantly reminded of my little screaming boy, who wanted nothing more than to cling to my neck until he fell asleep. He and I had demons that were quieted that day. We both needed to know that things would be made right, that somehow, things would work out. For a brief moment, he and I knew that everything would get better.
Since that time, I don't know that I have continued to believe that things can get better. I don't know exactly what my life plan is. I have competing worlds within me. I keep dragging that horse around, instead of burying it in the ground.

The encouraging thing, perhaps, is that it's always darkest before the dawn. Perhaps it is time to start over, to shake the devil off my back. Perhaps that change will come doing Teach For America. Maybe graduate school. In my desire to leave Provo, I have found things that pull me back. That is a devil I want to shake off and yet it is one that I cannot bring myself to shake. There are too many ghosts here, and I wish to be no longer haunted by them. At the same time, this is where I am comfortable. Academia is all I have know for the last three years. I have a lucrative offer with a professor here. Decisions are intimidating.

All these ghouls have come out to play. I have, perhaps, been a fool in my methods. Perhaps I have carried this horse around for too long. Perhaps the time has come to bury my horse in the ground, to cut out my graceless heart and restart. It is hard to dance with a devil on my back. But given half the chance, would I take any of it back? Am I ready to suffer? Ready to hope?

And so, the time has come to shake it out. What does that mean? I don't know that I know that answer fully yet. But, here goes everything and nothing.