It is one of those days when I wonder what I’m doing here. And how I got here. How this “happened” to me.
Nothing particularly bad has happened. Nothing particularly good either.
It is cold. And I am tired.
My bedroom feels small. My lesson today on gratitude felt flimsy and flat. The mother of one of my students is once again making unreasonable demands.
It is the week of Thanksgiving and I am an ocean-plus away from “home” – which I loosely translate as somewhere in the United States, most likely Chicago.
I am talking to a friend who is going through a divorce, telling her everything that I know about divorce. And I admit that at least part of the reason I am here and not in Chicago is financial – that I wasn’t earning enough and couldn’t seem to find my way to more money.
I feel like a failure.
I am riding the train home and I look at my phone. Facebook, tells me I have memories with Nikki Nigl today. It is my blog from a year ago today — Artist Date 94: Do Something(s).
I click on the link and begin reading.
“A month has passed since I returned home from my solo sojourn to Italy. It feels like forever ago.
Life comes on — quickly, strong, demanding — and I struggle to hold on to the peace and freedom I felt abroad. The joy in getting lost, not knowing the answer — or sometimes even the question, in being alone. My face looks pinched — the wrinkle between my eyebrows, smoothed by Umbria, has returned.”
I laugh. My face has look pinched for weeks, possibly months. And the wrinkle between my brow has deepened into what appears to be a permanent groove.
“The decisions I made, the desires of my heart — to live overseas, to publish a book (or more to the point, to be published) — begin to slip into the category of ‘all talk.’ “
To live overseas?! I live overseas!
“I recently read that most people would prefer to fail by not trying than fail by trying. I get it. I understand. I wish I didn’t.”
But I am trying.
“…Sitting at the computer, doing nothing but waiting for something to happen, I mutter, ‘Do something. Anything.’
I write an email and send it off. (Two somethings. Write — one. Send — two.) A few lines to the sister of a friend of a friend who just returned from Spain, where she taught English for several years. I ask if she might meet me for coffee and share her experiences — how she got there, what it was like.”
I remember that coffee. It led to dinner. And then lunch. And then another dinner. Where I gathered not only information, but a new friend too.
“…meeting with my rabbi …we talk about … my desires and deciphering the will and whim of the universe. Especially when it seems to only speak in whispers.
It feels like a game of telephone and I constantly wonder if I’m hearing it right.
Until I get to the parking lot, into my car and check Facebook.
‘Anyone want a job in Portugal NOW?’
Scrolling down, I am tagged. ‘Lesley Pearl, could it be you?’
My heart swells, leaps. Not because I believe I will get the job and move to Portugal (although I might), but because the universe seems to be speaking loudly, clearly — the message undeniable, ‘Yes, Lesley, it is possible.’ “
Yes, it is. Because I am here now. And because I was in Lisbon just a few weeks ago.
And somehow I feel like less of a failure. Facebook has actually made me feel better — by reminding me of where I was, and allowing me to reflect on where I am. Helping me to see that this was all part of the plan…even if I still don’t quite understand it. Because the universe still speaks in whispers.