Monthly Archives: August 2010

Comfort in Discomfort


I am traveling.
I am in a period of transition.
I am extremely uncomfortable.

I have been traveling for a couple of months. When people ask me where I am from, I don’t exactly know right now. Some questions are usually so simple for most people.

I moved out of New York City (I know that). I thought I was moving back home to New Jersey. Plans changed, so I am one my way to move back to Santa Barbara, the hard part is I don’t know where exactly I am going to be living in two weeks. There are always things nattering. That is human existence. As of lately I have coupled the nattering, exacerbated it and added a component of constant leaving-arriving-getting settled-having-amazing-experiences-and-then-leaving (and repeat); while also trying to get the next phase of my life virtually set up. It is hard to not let the beauty of today be destroyed by the imminent unknown, and my anxiety/fear/discomfort wrapped up in this constant state of flux.

I am excited about the big things, like the job which is the reason I am relocating. But the little things are what I am most looking forward to: biking to work (so long parking drama and hours on the subway); eating food handed to me by the person who grew it at the farmers market; and a little more time for myself on a day to day basis (I hope) to look inward or explore the gorgeous outdoors. The conundrum right now, is as it always seems to be for me, is finding a balance of accomplishing as many little details as I can and letting go of my expectation that more can get done, letting go of the fear/anxiety (I could make up things that I might need to worry about because my imagination is so creative), letting go letting go letting go. I am having mental-emotional-life-size growing pains.

And of course, meditation practice has been alluding me, like a tricky butterfly that won’t land. It has been on my to do list , although as I write I realize it should be on a “to be” list. I have been floating in a distressing sea of this dis-ease for weeks. The prescription for any relief has been (in addition to letting go) more yoga than regular, and more running. I find if I can exhaust my body, my mind gives up. Then I can sit and breathe. And I feel a little better for a brief and fleeting moment.

I am realizing this time, this place of disquiet is no different than how my life always is, the level of ache is simply magnified at this time during this period of change. And I have no patience for it to take over. As I travel to visit friends and family each moment is absolutely too precious because I don’t know exactly when I will be in the same place or see these faces I love again. So I am inviting in the possibility that I can be comfortable in this period of transition, in this discomfort that happens to be my life right now at this very moment (and maybe even enjoy things while I am at it)… and bring this awareness with me when I get settled again.


I made a plan to not make a plan…


A few months ago, I finally listened to the call of my intuition and realized it was time for me not to live in New York City anymore. I didn’t know where I was going, what I was going to do exactly, but I knew I needed to leave. My time was up in the big apple, I was spinning my wheels professionally, and emotionally. My being and existence was burnt out in every sense of the word. I had been trying to “make” it in the city that never sleeps, by simultaneously living at least three different lives over the course of five years that I can distinctly recognize as I look retrospectively. (A visit to an acupuncturist confirmed my kidneys, liver, and chi were all depleted, well huh that explains some things).

I had become really good at setting goals, making plans and accomplishing tasks. Man, oh, man are my to do lists great (although I still wonder why it doesn’t feel as good to complete them as it feels bad not too, but that is another story for another day…). I thought, as I resigned from my stable-yet-slightly-prestigous job and moved out of my super-hip apartment, that I was completely uprooting and going as nomadic as possible, committing to only short term plans and goals. Maybe California to NYC to Australia became plan A, otherwise titled “The Plan to Not Make A Plan”.

First stop, Santa Barbara California for a few weeks. Little did I know what this idyllic city had in mind for me, little did I expect to be welcomed with open arms and held in a very, very comfortable embrace. I had arrived in late June, hired to co-direct a youth circus. This in and of itself was a joyful experience. The ambiance of focus, hard-work and passion was unparalleled. I had never had the opportunity to go so deep in work with students so young, and feel so supported, while also being able to fully focus on one project and taken to my edge as a teacher and director. It was a relief and an inspiration. And after work, all the things I love were at my door-step: farmers markets, the beach, the park, hiking, biking, kayaking. There was little not to love.

Then the unexpected and unthinkable happened, the theater company invited me to join the their ranks as an actor. For the first time in my life someone was offering me a position to do what I loved, had trained, worked, sweated and practically bled for. Something I didn’t realize until that moment I had pretty much given up on in the past few years. Surprising myself, I was reluctant to say yes. I sat for a couple of weeks in this place of hesitation, in wonderment at my recalcitrance. Then it dawned on me: I had become very attached to my plan to not make a plan. I really liked the idea of the freedom that the unfettered and unrooted life seemed to promise; but this present opportunity was something I had yearned for for years. I finally said yes, but not with the open-hearted joyfulness I expected of myself, which I see is simply because that commitment is saying no to a certain realm of infinite possibility.

I let it go slowly but surely, plan A has become a hope for another day. And I have begun practicing letting go of the plans I make on a day to day and week to week basis. Some plans are necessary (when work or plane tickets are involved); but what to do for dinner is not, to go to the park or to the beach. It feels really good, and at times like I am stepping into a brand new unexpected relationship with myself.