Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lovely Bones

Happy Easter and happy spring!

It is a new season. Time for planting, producing, starting new things. The spring equinox was last week--the first day of the astrological year and supposedly the best time of year to start new projects. I started something new: the "Yes, Patti, You CAN Change Your Life!" project.

A few years ago, I took time off of work to reassess my life. I looked at my job, my life, my interests, and my time. I was not in a healthy place. I needed time to curl up into myself and nurture what was trapped deep inside. I needed the creative bud that was withering deep inside to grow and bloom. I had to find myself.

Oh, that sounds so clich
é... "find myself"... as if I had gotten thrown out with the trash or something. In some ways, I mentally had to wade through a lot of garbage to "find myself." In other ways, I had to define who I was. However I look at it, that period of time was needed to figure out what the heck I was doing with my life. Was I doing the kind of work that I dreamed about? Were my days well spent? Was this life something I would be happy to look back on?

Out of that deep and dark period of reflection came my decision to go back to school--for a subject that I loved, not study that would simply better my career. Two years later, as graduation nears, I wonder what in my life has really changed.

I write better than ever. I write more than I used to. I know more than I did two years ago. (Gee, my advisors will be relieved to hear that.) But I still go to the same job. I still fight the same battles. I still get the same stagnant pay.

On Easter, I got the book
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Wow, great story. It was moving, engrossing. I won't spoil the story for those of you who haven't read it. It was a well-crafted mystery--funny to say that, since we know on page one what happens and who does it. But the desire for closure for Susie, for some glimmer of hope and happiness, carries the reader through the book.

In some ways, I feel like this about my life. I already know what is happening... the 'what happened' and 'who did it' parts of my life are already solved. I'm a wife, a mother, a nurse, a writer ... those things are done. My family is complete and my path is pretty well defined at this point. I'm not saying those things can't change--I know too keenly that nothing can be taken for granted. But that glimmer of hope and happiness, that desire for closure and a happy ending, is what moves me along through the story of my life. It's what led me to Vermont College two years ago.

I've met some wonderful people at school, both staff and students. I've realized loads of interesting and strange things about myself. Mostly, I realize that I want change. So, in this season of new life and growth, that's what I'm working on. I can do it! I'm thinking more positive thoughts, letting go of my past, and opening my mind to new beginnings. I am trying new things. I am not expecting different results when I'm doing the same old things. Life doesn't work that way.

Soon I'll be finishing something I started two years ago, but it really is just a start for me. I can change my path in life. I just have to try heading in a different direction--one page, one word at a time.


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