I woke in the hour of five needing to write. Sleep filled my eyes and the logical side of me recalled the schedule for the day ahead. Easily a 12 hour work day…She didn’t care. She needed to write. I needed to write.
Quickly in my head I wrote two pages for chapter one of my dissertation. This is going to be different, I thought. I remembered the academy…the way things must be done. I’ll color within their lines, but I don’t promise to use the colors they want.
GG said, “a heart full of courage cannot be broken.” I thought of her yesterday as I considered my next move. I’ve come to this place much sooner in my career than others. The place of utter unwillingness to not be passionate about my work. To refuse to go along to get along. I decided to officially let go of faculty. The words always felt clumsy on my tongue and I could never quite see myself there: researching publishing presenting teaching, repeat. It is a beautiful career. A noble career. It is the man who buys you flowers and calls you gorgeous
even in the mornings especially in the mornings…yet there is no “zsa zsa zsu”.
The natural next question is, “so what will you do?” Write. Was there ever a question? It seems so obvious and yet the thought of doing it and relying on it for my living seems impossibly frightening. Its how I know its right. The good dreams should scare you a bit. I will also coach individuals. I hesitate to say life coach as I am a trained therapist, but essentially that’s what I will do; facilitate a process of growth of change of transition. Next, I will consult. My research is my life’s work. Understanding the relationship between self and system, me|we, it will be my contribution. I want to know it in Africa, I want to know it in the tribes of the Amazon, I want to know it in the Māori.
The day I decided, I got a tweet from Liz Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, encouraging me. I took it as a sign and a reminder that all is possible. That the blend of research and writing for everyone, not just the academy, is not only possible but precedented. And God is it…there’s so much soul in that book. I want to live in a work like that. So the decision was made.
The second reason I knew it was right was because I thought, “Cheryl is going to kill me. Zachary is going to love it. Christopher is going to think I’m crazy.” Which I believe is par for the course with my committee. I can also feel another change on the horizon. A change I am not willing to give voice to quite yet for fear of giving it wings.
My spirit is wild and free yet still and centered at the same time. I am on fire actively destroying the pictures in my head of what its supposed to be. Simultaneously, I am the cool stream which heals the scorched earth washing away the ashes leaving new fertile soil full of possibility. I am growing into myself. Filling up all the space I’d been too timid to before: my anger, my sexuality, my courage, my trust are all fully inhabited. I can dull the sounds of the crowd in my mind and in my body. I can discern the origin and owner of the energy I field. I am still painfully aware of the opinions of sheep, as I work desperately to be the lion. I have found my lane and its wide open.