Monday, June 8, 2009

Finding/rebuilding/creating my spirit

I've been feeling for awhile now the need for a change. Looking across the span of my adult years, I follow a pattern, quite unconsciously, of changing and moving and reinventing myself. I am preparing for my fourth cross country move. West to East to West to East to West. I hope to rest and settle and discover a new piece of myself with this latest move West.

I originated in the West. My first move East was an 18 year old's quest for self-discovery, education, independence and "freedom" from all things thus far known. It worked. I received a stellar education, had my first real job, met my first wife, explored the East Coast...and then wanted to go West again to see what experiences I had missed.

My first move East to West brought me to Los Angeles, to my official first job, complete with office and full-time paycheck, to my first unfurnished apartment, and to my first experience living with a girlfriend. I grew up and felt like an adult and had to learn to manage money and drive in LA traffic. I loved it. I adopted kitties and bought furniture and learned how to compromise and communicate. And then I felt like something was missing...some kind of passion...and I was sure that it could be found if we headed East and I was sure that it could be found in the study of law.

So off we went from West to East in search of something. I did find what I was looking for but it was not what I expected. These last 5 years have been my most complicated and confused years. A lot of who I was and what I thought I could accomplish has crumbled. My last relationship came to a heartbreaking and tumultuous end, my self esteem took a nose-dive when confronted with academics and I felt lousy about my chances of loving the law. That's what I wanted, to find a career that I loved, one that would make sense to me, one that would make the financial and personal sacrifices worth it. I want to love the law so that I don't regret the changes I've made and chances I've taken. I don't yet know if that is possible.

Socially, my life took a sharp turn when I met B. How I defined myself changed, where I was going changed, how my actions affected others changed. Re-evaluating where I am in my relationship building has netted positive and comforting results. I am happy, very happy, beyond happy in this relationship.

This upcoming move West represents the search for something new, just as all my former journeys have, but this one is a search not for self-discovery or the missing piece to make me whole, it is a move that represents an optimism about the chance and ability I have to make a difference in the world; to be the kind of person that I will be proud of.

Journal of a seeker


Brenda said...

Baby, I love your life. I, too, am changing, partly because of you, partly because I need something to be passionate about. I can't wait to start our journey West to make a difference in the world. I love you. B.

Amy said...

You made a pregnant woman cry at 8:15am! Okay, so it might just be hormones but I think it really is how amazing you are. AND I get you back on the West Coast!

You make many people find passion in their everyday including me.

Butch Jamie said...

This is a beautiful post and your honesty is touching. I also have made 4 cross-country trips, two with you and two without. Each time I move it gets harder, and the longer it takes for me to get rooted again. But as they say - "A rolling stone gathers no moss, but acquires a nice polish." And even if our move to Albany did not produce the results you were looking for, we both still left with something of value.

I hope you already are proud of the kind of person you are, and that you know you have already made a difference in the world. I hope you find what you are looking for from your new home, and I am very happy to have you on the west coast as well.

CurioRando said...

Welcome back to the Left Coast my dear niece and dear niece-in-law! You come by part of your yo-yo'ing quite honestly.

While Grandpap Williamson didn't live other than in Pennsylvania, he had a deep traveling bone. He visited every state save Alaska. I remember him telling me about one of his cousins, a "hobo", who meandered all over by hopping trains. Jobless.

Another, maybe the same, was an itinerant bricklayer who specialized in constructing those way tall smokestacks that one rarely sees today. I think they were for incinerators and such. He traveled the country doing that.

Your mom and dad shifted coasts, as I did. And your dad and I took a while to settle in jobwise.

But that's just history and pedigree. The main thing is your honesty revealed in this post. How wonderful to just put it out there! You will find your niche, or many gradually emerging niches.

As for lawyering, most of the lawyers I have worked with over the years are not practicing law, but are making great contributions in other fields with the law as an informing background. I also work with practicing attorneys (meeting one in an hour) who I really admire.

Restlessness can be challenging, but it also stirs just before creativity reveals its workings.

Good stuff around the corner for you both, I am quite sure. I know this not by what you do, but by who you are.

Thanks for your candid post.

Also, Grandpap said that because of the "hobo cousin" their own farm was known as a haven for wanderers. Only rule was to check your matches before being allowed to sack out in the barn.

Loving you from the left coast,
Uncle CurioRando

nancy said...

I admire you, Leah, for being willing and able to make changes in your life when you need to or just want to!