As my life continues to shift and change, and I go down one unexpected pathway after another, I find myself savoring the excitement of the unknown. So much potential. So many possibilities. But sometimes I just need a break from the ride. A place to rest up a bit before getting back in the mix. Even in a fight there is a break between rounds. But life doesn't always gift us with those kinds of structures. Sometimes we have to develop our own sense of grounding, independent of our current life circumstances.
I got my first job at age 14. I moved out into my own place at age 18. I bought my first house at age 19. I've worked a variety of jobs, some long, some temporary, from the time I was a kid until just a few months ago. This is how I've managed to give myself a sense of stability. No matter how crazy things got, no matter how tumultuous my relationships were, or how depressed I felt, or how reckless I was, I always had a home to return to, and a job to get paid from.
Now I'm in a place where I have neither a home of my own (living nomadic), nor a job working for someone else. Of course, there is tremendous freedom and liberation after living for years with the yokes of debt and contractual obligations. There is a space to breathe that I don't remember having before. I feel taller. I just have more space in general. But I also have had many moments of fear and anxiety, feeling like the ground has been taken out from under me. Feeling like I need to run back to the safety of a sure thing.
Of course, there are no sure things. In life there are no guarantees. Even to wake up in the morning isn't guaranteed. Marriage is not a guarantee. A college degree is not a guarantee. Signing a contract is not a guarantee. The world is not reliable and the most common methods of getting security are little more than safety blankets that we hide under to avoid the approach of the vicious monsters stomping around in the dark of an unremarkable existence.
So what is ground? What is stability? For me, it's to notice that so far, right here, I'm safe. It's to show up day after day and do my best. It's to acknowledge that there are no guarantees in life, and that's okay. Because I don't need a guarantee. I have myself. I have my community. I'm doing my best each day and that's enough.
In the past, I would use some external structure to give myself a sense of stability. And I'm sure I'll continue to do so to some degree. But for now I'm in a place where all my traditional forms of security are gone, and I'm learning that there is something more reliable that I can develop- faith. I believe in myself. I believe in my community. I trust that I don't have to do this alone. I have faith in the fundamental beauty of life. This is my job now.