There’s this funny trend I’ve observed while practicing yoga with my friends that I think applies to lots of things in life. When someone begins practicing, the first couple of weeks are hard in a good way and there’s a very clear motivation to achieve something. When it starts to become a routine, yoga becomes an addicting and almost religious dedication. You can see the pride and the determination to go farther. And then something weird happens. It could be a minor setback or a change in schedule or some other uncontrollable thing that makes tests the dedication to the practice. There’s a moment of confusion and, when you don’t freak out against whatever happened the ego becomes terrified that it’s becoming less needed and immediately looks for a reason to quit. And that’s when the love affair with yoga ends. People quit the second that not quitting matters most.
Today was rough. I was walking out of class when I got a call from the job I was supposed to start next month saying that the location was changed. I had to make a choice that wasn’t really a choice at all: let the job go or move to Detroit. I said thanks, but no thanks, and took it as a sign that something better was coming; but as soon as I hung up the phone, I became intensely overwhelmed. Everything suddenly felt so up in the air, and, despite how much I talk about embracing the unknown, I crave certainty as much as the next person. I was freaking out a little.
I was sitting in my car, and I really needed someone to talk to, someone who I knew would encourage me and talk me through my uncertainty, who would remind me of all the things I said in the past to keep me going, and who I could just talk to without fear of being judged. I dialed my ex’s number.
My ex and I broke up in September. It was a normal story: He cheated on me with some floozy at a bar and then begged my forgiveness while he packed his things. Since then, I’ve taken a 3 month trip across the country, moved in with awesome roommates, and met tons of new and exciting people. I’m happy despite all of the craziness, but regardless of that, I couldn’t think of anyone else to talk to.
You see, I’ve been under a lot of pressure from my family and friends. It’s always the same question. “What’s your plan?” “What are you going to do?” “Why don’t you accept this job?” “Why don’t you move here?” “Why don’t you do this instead of that?” I don’t hold it against them, but the truth is I don’t have a clue right now. I don’t have a plan, and I’m trying to be open and embrace the whole not knowing thing until the right opportunity comes along. In the midst of all that uncertainty, the past was the most appealing thing I could think of.
And that’s why I was sitting in my car with Nick’s number dialed in my phone. I knew he’d answer, and I couldn’t wait to hear this reassuring encouragement. I felt like I needed it. All of my insecurities were laughing in front of me and I just couldn’t deal with it on my own. Talking to him would be comforting because it would remind me of a more secure time, and relying on him would make that time feel closer and more tangible. In the loneliness, I wanted to turn to the person who I used to turn to, even if I’m not the same person as I used to be.
When people choose to break up, the first couple of weeks are hard in a good way. It’s all about filling your calendar and waking up determined to be independent and feeling proud of every accomplishment. When it starts to become routine it’s an almost addicting phase, full of new people and exciting risks and carefree adventure. And then something happens. It could be a bad day or some random bad news or a big change in the near future. There’s a moment of confusion and, when your first instinct isn’t to run to a partner, your fear tries to turn back, and in it’s that moment that you absolutely must move forward.
I put my phone away and turned on the radio and couldn’t help but smile as ‘Age of Worry’ sounded out of the speakers.
“Know your fight is not with them. Yours is with your time here. Dream your dreams but don’t pretend. Make friends with what you are.”