The glowing dashboard light read 9:05 as I sat, blinking my eyes and yawning outside my daughter’s dance studio last night. A car pulled up beside me and a woman who still works at my former employer gave me a wave. Rolling down my window I asked: “How are you doing?” and when she responded, “OK. I just got out of work,” I laughed—then covered my mouth and apologized, and then giggled some more.
How do I explain my reaction? My amusement was not directed at her—I’m don't choose to be petty, and the tired circles under her eyes offered clear testament to her challenge. The hilarity, I think, stemmed from a wind of relief, a lightness, a giddy acknowledgement of how far I’ve traveled while moving away from former habits.
The company has had some good news lately, and after 23 years, it would be dishonest of me not to say that in some minute regard, I miss being a part of it. But then, I wouldn’t be a part of this, the reaching down to the core of me, the digging down to my entrails to find a gem of clarity, a truth as it resides in me, germinating, building, seeking exit through my fingers.
There are hard days in this new life, as there were in the old—days when words don’t come and I question my skill, the house is cold and the silence screams in my ears. These times though, are tempered by the fact that I am working as hard as I know how at something I can no longer live without—the difference between doing something I thought I had to do, verses something I must—which makes it far easier to bear.
Everyone has down days. What makes yours easier to bear?