I live in a great lower flat with a lot of architectural charm (HWFs, leaded glass windows, built-in china cabinet, etc), I have the best land”people” who live upstairs (whom I adore), I’m in a familiar neighborhood where many of the people I love are…sounds great doesn’t it? It is…it truly, is great, but…I’m moving.
Here’s the problem…I need to reinvent my life; start all over, essentially. I did a lot of this discerning, searching, and finding once before…started when I was 18 and I found my niche/calling and followed it when I was 24. Fast forward 6 years and I found myself having to start over (not by my choice either).
Now, I’m 32 and don’t have a freaking clue…all I know is that to reinvent, I’m feeling the need to divest myself of all things clinging to, reminding, taunting, and shaming me of what I devoted my heart and self. This is excruciatingly painful (Hey, my blog is not named “Land of rainbows and elves” for a reason…) and sometimes down right maddening. Everything around me in my physical space is attached to my former life…including my silverware! I mean, c’mon… who eats a bowl of pasta and tears up because their fork reminds them of their broken heart?
So…I’m molting. I started with finding an apartment, in a neighborhood where the median age is 37, there are fun things to do, beautiful Lake Michigan is 2 blocks away, and my nuns (whom I love dearly, truly) won’t be beeping the horn and waving when I’m out running off rage from my situation. Ha! New space/location…check.
Then I did the first grown-up house like thing–I bought a new living room. It’s my style, my colors, my design…plus they all match and didn’t come from 3 other convents before. Begin to get rid of nun-household items…check.
I also refinished two of my dressers (knowing I couldn’t afford new everything…how do you turn nun dressers into Katyesque Chic? Spend hours on Pinterest and rehab them yourself!) Begin to have own style…check.
Sounds so glamorous and exciting doesn’t it? I wish. Today, I started packing by going through my boxes and bins to get rid of stuff…I have way too much crap. Goodwill here I come! Part of this cleaning out stuff is actually quite cathartic and meditative. I was all good until a few things happened:
1. I came across all of my ceremony photos and memorabilia. I wanted to throw it all in the trash; wait, I did throw it all in the trash, and then one of my little voices said that might regret that in the long run. It went in a bin that I hope I don’t open for a very long time.
2. I began getting rid of all of my nunny books and Franciscan memorabilia. G’bye Francis and Clare! G’bye San Damiano! G’bye Joyce Rupp and Joan Chittister!
3. I realized that no matter what I divest myself from, how I change my space or aesthetics…what I “molt”, I grow back the same feathers. You can’t get rid of you or pawn it off on a charitable thrift organization. I dissolved right then and there amid the boxes of books/paraphernalia ready to be moved on. Boo!
Simply…I spent ~6 years discerning where I’m being called and then another 6 “integrating” and “transforming” to live out that call to end up unjustly discarded…unfortunately my heart and belief and faith don’t follow suit. This life, this call, is in me…in a real way. It brings me back to “Ignite or be gone” post…it was my “true and perfect joy”…I fell in love…I committed my life…ARGH!
Changing my physical enviornment…exterior molting, if you will, is an important part of my healing process…indeed. Internal molting…it’s going to take a lot more than a box of Francis’, Clare’s, a Joyce Rupp prayer-book, your community’s history book, and the omnibus of Franciscan documents to settle this. A new exoskeleton may look great, but they sure do come at a price. What do they say…pain is beauty? Hmmmm…