a new container

March 9, 2016 - Daily Notes

It’s like all in one weekend I outgrew my old container. Now I’m sitting out here in the open air wondering how on earth I’m going to build a new one big enough to hold my life again.

I said this to a best friend on the phone last night.

She said she feels it too. Vulnerable. Excited. Full of potential. Terrified. Do you know this feeling? I think it is also called "growth." Which makes sense because it is March. Spring is arriving. The plants are doing it too. We are all outgrowing our containers. It feels fast, but in truth we've been stirring in the dark soil for the whole long winter. It's time now.

I came home from Orcas Island on my birthday Monday afternoon and it felt like I had dreamed the whole thing. I found myself sitting in an ever-widening circle of women on Sunday night, listening to stories, making connections, and feeling myself become part of a healing that runs deep and wide, from Eastsound to Washington, D.C., and beyond. I sat with them for five hours. I was exactly where I needed to be.

I had not told any of these beautiful women who gathered one by one around a little table in the back corner of the New Leaf Cafe that my dream for the past three years has been to one day have a home and a partner and a life on the island. It's a tender vision, an early-stage composition with only a few sweet notes drawn onto the music page. Too personal to detail or mention in passing to strangers for fear it might get lost before I can write it down. But they knew. They knew.

I do not know how to build this new container yet. Last weekend the old one fell away and my friend on the phone last night reminded me this uncomfortable feeling is not bad, it's good. It's necessary. It's okay. We must witness our growth stages for what they are, not straight lines protected by the same four walls until completed, but winding roads and stop-start-stop-start sensations. There are going to be moments, months, maybe even years where the vision is not completed, so we shed old shell after old shell, like a snail moving forward through time.

Breathe, I remind myself. Go slow. Go fast when it's warranted. Pay attention. Say yes when it feels right. Say no thank you when it feels wrong. Building this new container will take time. Composing our lives is the work of...well, it's the work of a lifetime.

Happy Spring.