My Village

I’ve got some great people in my life. I know this because they’re all deeply concerned about me at this moment. I know because they’re anxious about me settling into the next thing. They’re sending me job postings from newsletters and LinkedIn feeds. The other day, my dad said, “I have a job lead for you…a guy at Church says to check out Company X…they’re always hiring.”

The present moment has been an interesting exercise in observing how much the network is strained when one of the members falls out of sync. Everyone in my network is diving in to help in their own way: tossing me job leads, hiring me for things, being available to talk and bemoan. It’s really extraordinary, actually. These are the times that one has to realize that life does take a village and when one of the village is perceived to be in a struggle, the village shows up.

Thank god for villages.

Also fascinating is the menagerie of job postings that come my way; if I ever wondered how people who know me think of me and my skills, I’m finding out and it’s an eye-opener, not in a bad way but in a reflective way. These are the signals of my interests, goals, and dreams (though I never have been truly honest there) I emitted years ago returning to me in the ways that reflections do off a mirrored surface: harsher, icier, and with something just seeming off. There’s no soul reflected back; I can’t find myself there at all now.

What I’m also realizing is that there’s an element of what they want for me attached. “I saw this and thought maybe,” wrote a friend of mine sending me a job description that completely made sense on paper. On any given day I would’ve clicked on it myself. I’m seeing a lot of education-related ideas, a lot of nonprofit ideas, a lot of program ideas. It all makes sense given where I’ve been. But this is where it’s hard because I know deeply, somewhere in my core, _that that’s not where I’m going.

Even more difficult: I don’t have an easier answer about the course correction. I don’t yet really know exactly where it is that I’m headed. I know where I’m not going…and it’s back there. But in the meantime, I’m doing right now what I never thought I could possibly do—sit in interstitial space and just be there. I don’t feel tortured or panicked by it as I might have in the past. I don’t feel a necessary urgency to get out of it. The only thing I know strongly is that this is where I am called to be right now, by whom or what I’m not sure. Maybe it’s by me, the voice that’s been trying to break through for so long, screaming that the current state of things is not only not right, but very, very wrong. But this place is one of rest and repair, one of listening, and maybe just…waiting. Waiting while that voice for which I’ve been looking within builds herself into an inescapable roar. That doesn’t happen overnight. She needs the time she deserves to grow.

This news is extremely hard for a village to hear. The village exists to be security and safety, to provide a net of connection and support and what I’m doing right now is an antithetical ask for them: just wait. I’m sure it’s utterly maddening. It’s not active, they have no power over it, and I can see and hear the fear they have for me, even when masterfully disguised. I sympathize with them; they didn’t ask for this.

But what I will say, on behalf of the voice within, is there should be no worry. Everything will be solved, answered, worked out, attended to, and the new day will dawn. I cannot say in what time. But I know it as a certainty that where we’re going, this village of mine, we will not regret a single step. Stay with me. We’re actually making good time.

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