the playground sage…

November 11, 2007

I met Emily on the playground at preschool one day because sages of all kinds hang around trees, old benches, and a good slide. I heard she was wise and intuitive but had yet to experience it for myself. We exchanged pleasantries but it wasn’t long before she was able to rearrange the thoughts in my head and began to turn some new stones I didn’t even know were there. She shared her best stuff and then our paths rarely crossed again.

Her message was simple and true. Wait for what you really want, you are worthy of it. I knew she was right but the truth felt out of my reach. I did not yet feel worthy… I wasn’t educated enough, I didn’t have enough experience, I wasn’t sure I had the gifts I wanted to give to the world. I was committed to trying to earn my worth.

Not only that but I had to fund my kindness work, bills to pay, clothes for growing boys to buy, and I wanted to eat fruit and produce in the dead of winter. These are the tiny things mothers care about and take even the crappiest jobs for.

I accepted the position I was telling her about that day, it was directly against her advice. I knew she was right. I was good at my job but had so much conflict over my work. The people I worked with were good and kind but I didn’t share all of the same values. Everyday I was growing further from the few we did. I was pretending to be something I wasn’t and was tortured in my heart.

I told myself various stories and constantly gave serious pep talks to help me through. As time went by, it became hard to believe my stories and then even harder to go at all. I was miserable and Emily’s words were haunting me.

Jorge kindly let me off the hook to quit, willing to pick up my slack. I’m sure he could hear no more of my inner dialogue. It wasn’t until he got a new job that I could see my window of opportunity. We wouldn’t make enough money but I knew this big life change was my chance. I should have quit before but I was too chicken. I knew I would not have lasted much longer either way.

It was the deep end, the very deep end. There was no money for my kindness work or at least the work I had known. All the little extras suddenly felt like extreme luxuries. There really wasn’t enough for just the day to day living and yet I was still so relieved I did not have to work at my old job. I was worried, very worried at times, but started each morning asking myself, “What do you want to do today?”. I don’t think I really knew. I discovered it wasn’t nearly as complicated as I had anticipated. I started feeding my soul with cooking, taking long walks and short runs, playing mama slam, going to the river,writing, hustling for mindless and fun temporary jobs, breathing. Maybe I finally felt worthy of the life I was already living.

So that brings me to a week ago….I pulled open the big heavy glass doors and walked to the front desk. I gave my name and waited. I looked up at the ceiling that seemed to go on forever. As I got into the elevator I started to get the feeling that this was big, bigger to me than the wise women (my future bosses) in the conference room would ever know. Bigger than even I could wrap my mind around. I listened as they shared their vision for me and my sister’s. It wasn’t so much that the job was important or the feeling that we just signed the record deal of the century, it was that I had never felt so connected, so at home. All the things I have believed and cared about for children were floating around the room. The deep end didn’t seem so deep anymore, it is just the beginning…

4 Responses to “the playground sage…”

  1. Sandie Says:

    Congrats, dear friend. I can’t think of three women who could more enlighten parents with their humor, love, and kindness regarding motherhood. So happy for you! I smell book deal 😉

  2. jorgie Says:

    hey… i am so proud of you… and even if this is so hard (which it is) i don’t care…. no amount of money can take away what we are all learning and experiencing and growing. i KNOW it will get better… and you are the only one i want to be doing this with… love you J

  3. kelly Says:

    i carry this feeling of happiness for you–i purposely carry it and mind that it doesn’t turn to envy, which it probably easily could in my often-warped mind. i turn this feeling over and over in my mind, like a river stone, smooth and weighty. i admire it from different angles, under water, and in the air. and i am stunned that i can watch you have what i want (and don’t have) and remain pure in my heart about it; remain happy for you, plain and simple. it is amazing. but i don’t think it’s me. i think it’s god. i think it’s god showing me what i can have, and saying, “see, it happened for her. it can happen for you. you’ll see.” i feel like maybe you are sort of clearing the path for me in a way–i guess like any woman clears a path, whether purposefully or by chance, for another woman. i am being readied for abundance, for my dreams to unfold even more beautifully, for my life to take the shape it was meant to take. we are all being readied for this. thank you, dear sister, for diving in and calling back to us on shore, “the water feels great!”

  4. beck Says:

    Oh, dear chosen FRIEND….I love you so much that your fresh, pure, grateful happiness makes me remember the PATIENCE we must call up to get there. When we are running there, it’s hard to slow down and take in the scenery – drink in our own essence and savor life. When we slow down to a jog, we get disoriented and unsure of where our next step should be; sometimes, we discard our heavy possessions, thinking to ourselves, “If I lighten my load, I can run faster again,” all the while wondering which path will lead us there. Finally, once we have lost the “everything” we thought we wanted and frantically rearranged the map to lead us back to the path, we stop. When we allow our own motionlessness to envelop us, we turn inward and THERE, is the path – glorious and colorful, enticing us with her wylie adventures while whispering into our ears the promise of a higher, more peaceful existence. She smiles, welcomes us with a warm hug and the clarity of the path comes into view…. this is the threshold of your journey – past, present and future……….WELCOME!
    Congratulations and all of my very best to you and your new kindness work!

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