Sunday, June 30, 2013

The journey has just begun

Today marks the end of a nearly 10 month journey; tomorrow I start my new job.  I was fortunate to participate in an amazing yoga workshop today, led by a very dear yoga teacher, Amy Reed,  that truly served to mark the end of this journey.  It also helped that she opened the workshop talking about her very own 10 month journey which then of course made me think about my 10 month journey. And though this journey is coming to an end I am looking forward to the one that will begin tomorrow.

I really do enjoy a good journey, I love to travel and I love taking on a new adventure.  I have journeyed around the world twice (read about that here: Around the World Via Ship).  I have driven back and forth across the U.S. to move and roadtripped many times.  On those physical journeys I have always surrounded myself with people who were supportive, fun and all around good company to accompany the journey I was on.  Those journeys are not unlike the one I was on recently.  Though the purpose of this particular journey was not to reach a physical location, it certainly was about traveling, seeking and reaching a destination.  There were many twists and turns in this journey, many hilly roads and obstacles to overcome but I did indeed reach my destination.  I did this with the help, guidance and support of the good company that I chose to keep.  Like many journeys you take often you  head out in one direction thinking you will end up in one place and instead you venture elsewhere, veering off course not where you thought you would be but exactly where you are supposed to  be.  I was lost in September, very, very lost, and it took dedication and patience to arrive where I am right now, exactly where I am supposed to be.

It is 10pm at night right now and I just finished hanging things on my walls in my new apartment, the finishing touches I feel necessary to make it feel like home and ready for what new journey lies ahead of me. The amazing journey I have just taken deep inside of myself has allowed me to emerge more ready than I could have imagined to start this next journey.  We are always traveling somewhere, we are always on a journey and  sometimes we are just not aware of it until something grand occurs.  Revel in life's journey, be present to it, learn from it and you will emerge better from it.  I certainly did!

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ~Lao Tzu

Monday, June 24, 2013

Endings lead to new beginnings

I spent last week moving into a new apartment, because like I shared in my last post one of the many amazing things about my new job is that it provides me with housing.  I sit here now in this new space still needing to unpack some boxes but I am really happy, I am extremely content.  

Throughout my time this past almost 10 months now I have filled my time with some different things that have supported me in different ways and now that I will be starting a full time job my time will be filled differently.

Working in retail for the first time in my life was one of these things.  When I first started in October I had mixed feelings about this work (I wrote about that here).  What I came to realize is that I was working with colleagues (they laugh when I call them colleagues) who appreciated me, the managers supported me and my needs and I was valued for who I was and the work that I did.  I know that retail is not the career for me and I admire those who commit themselves to this field. There are a lot of people out there who are not very nice and when you work under the guise of the customer is always (or almost always) right it certainly tries your patience.  And the ability to have educational moments with people even when you know you should can not usually happen (and boy do I like educational moments). Tomorrow I will work my last day in this job, with the exception of an occasional weekend or holiday shift, and I feel grateful for this opportunity.  Did I make a lot of money in this role? No.  Did I connect with people in a way that was meaningful? Absolutely.  I feel like though I was not hired to be in a helping role, the ability to connect how I know how to connect allowed me to build some deep relationships in a job that could have been void of such things.  I have not worked for 2 weeks but went into the store this afternoon and was greeted with hugs and people truly excited to see me.  This right there affirmed this job as an essential piece to my journey. 

I am getting to stay in my community, the community that I love being a part of.  Because I am not going anywhere the relationships that I created and nurtured in this retail gig can sustain and continue to flourish.   These colleagues probably do not even realize what an essential part of my village they have been.  

In the grand scheme of life 10 months really is not that long of a time.  I know that in life we have some moments that seem significant but this time has certainly reinforced that every moment is significant and more importantly every relationship is significant. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Packing ramblings (part 1 of many)

Life has been stressful this past year to say the least, however, I certainly managed it well and all in all I remained fairly grounded throughout.  One thing that has always stressed me out has been having to pack and move.  This time it is a great thing having to move since I get an apartment as part of my new position so moving right now is something that I get to do.  I get to start a new job and get a new apartment as well.

Packing up is still stressful even under these circumstances, but I am using this time to really try to purge some things that I do not need and those things I have not looked at or used in the past 5 years.  

To pack up in this way is different then when I have moved in the past.  I have blindly moved boxes from one place to the other that are labeled memories or photo albums and this time I am going through every box.  I am holding on to things like music boxes that hold sentimental, family significance.  I am tossing lots of doubles of photos, negatives and pictures of people I can not even name.  I have moved boxes of candles, picture frames and other knick knack things that I have not used to decorate in years these go in the pile for a tag sale I will have.

I have a few appointments this week, but I am not working yet. This week is dedicated to the packing process, to the purging process and to the wow that was a good memory and I do not need that anymore process.

I have two boxes that I just do not know what to do with.  One is all of my VHS tapes, some of which I have replaced with DVDs and the others I have not.  I have a DVD/VCR combo, yet I have had the videos in storage for five years.  I am pretty sure these will not move with me (except for a few gems like my original copy of Annie the Movie).  And then there is the box of CDs.  All of these have been put into my itunes library yet they are really difficult to part with.  Part of that difficulty is that I can remember spending hours reading over and memorizing lyrics from liner notes.  An itunes 'album' and a physical record, cassette or CD are quite different.  I like the feeling of having the physical CD, however they have been stored for the past 5 years.  So I think I will hold on to some of my favorite artists and some that hold significant value and then sell the rest.  But for now those boxes will be put to the side.  

OK so really the above paragraph was more about me processing what I will do and less about sharing anything of interest to anyone who may be reading this.

I have just gone through a box of "memories."  This box contains college acceptance letters, copies of recommendation letters, old report cards, awards won, sorority memorabilia, playbills, a book of poetry I wrote circa 1988, and a variety of other things.  The most significant thing that I found was letters written by exchange students that my family had hosted when I was younger most of these were from 1992-1993.  It was really nice to be able to read these and remember such great times.  My only regret is that I have not stayed connected to some of these childhood friends.  I tried to search the internet but do you know how many Santiago Garcia's exist in Spain!  I do think I have located one of these friends on Linked In and sent a message hoping it was the same young man that I knew 20 years ago.  I think I am going to keep these letters they brought back some great memories and allowed me to reconnect.  Maybe the next time I move I will get rid of them but for now they will stay.

I feel like my stress level associated with packing and moving revolves around transition and change.  The way that I am approaching this task now, taking time to sit with my memories allows me to really get excited about what new memories and life I will be creating.  Here's hoping this attitude keeps up as my week progresses!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And now the moment you have all been waiting for...

Ok, so maybe it is not the moment that you have been waiting for but it is certainly the moment that I have been waiting for.  I accepted a job as an Area Coordinator at Smith College, starting on July 1. Many of you know this as supported by the nearly 200 likes on my facebook announcement (that is amazing by the way).  And though knowing where I am going to working does not mean I have it all figured out or even 100% assurance that I will be happy,  it does lift a huge weight off of my shoulders and allows me to breathe in deep and more importantly exhale very deeply.  One of the biggest stressors these past almost 10 months has been whether or not I would be able to sustain myself financially in the near future.  Because I have figured out how to sustain myself in so many other ways, but that was the missing piece, the financial assurance.  That piece of the puzzle has now been filled and now I know that I will have a regular income.  Since that piece has been taken care of, what I can now be excited about is that I get that security in a job I cannot wait to start, at a College I am honored to be working at, in a department where I know and respect my new colleagues.

I have written about how I am ready to be transitioned yet I also know that this is a huge transition.  I have been living a very interesting life the past almost 10 months and the acceptance of this job further affirms my commitment to my community and my commitment to myself.  Someone asked if I will continue this blog once I found a full time job and the answer to that is ABSOLUTELY!!!  The tagline of this blog is "Follow my journey of support and freedom in a time of unknown possibilities.  Stories, quotes and music that motivate and inspire."  There will always be unknown possibilities and I will continue to have stories to share and lessons that I learn.  

There is a reason I chose to call this blog "It Takes a Village to Raise a Stacey."  If it was not for this village I would not have been able to get through this time.  I have also said that I believe that what I put out into the universe will come back to me.  And here is what I know.  I know that those of you  in my village have put out some really good energy on my behalf.   I know that I got this job on my own merits, and I know I worked really hard to get to where I am right now.  I also know that the love and support I have received from all of you has made this all possible, I know that I could not have done this on my own.  I know one more thing, I know that it is time for me to celebrate...and you should too!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just a little patience...yeah yeah

Patience is a virtue.

Time heals all wounds.

A watched pot never boils.

Good things come to those who wait.

All of these are cliches that we know and are repeated as we wait in anticipation of something.  But how really do we cultivate patience.  I know for myself just repeating a mantra like "Be patient, don't fret" has been working lately.  But really being patient is quite difficult and each passing day makes it more and more challenging.  If good things come to those who wait them I have certainly been earning some good things points with all of the waiting I have been doing.

Google defines patience as: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.  I think that is really interesting and to pull it apart it is really like knowing there will be some outcome, some resolution, something you are waiting for and being able to wait without getting angry or upset.  So then google how should one be feeling?  I would say that I have that fairly under control.  I am not feeling angry or upset I have however been feeling anxious and through this anxiousness both positive and negative emotions arise.  

As you may have noticed I like to share quotes that have relevance to what I am writing.  I have come across a number that I am drawn to about patience (better than the above cliches) and really instead of writing more on this subject I will share some of these quotes:

“Why is patience so important?"
"Because it makes us pay attention.” 

~Paulo Coelho

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is "timing"
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.” 

~ Fulton J. Sheen

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.” 
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

What all of these quotes emphasize and what I have been saying a lot lately is that everything has a way of working itself out and that does not just meaning sitting back and doing nothing, but being an active participant in the waiting (paying attention, acting and living life to the fullest).