I can feel things shifting on the inside; like a moving van turning a swift bend in the road, boxes and belongings grinding against each other, threatening to tumble out when least expected. Like at the very start of yoga class sitting in cross-legged position, when out of nowhere, tears like small silver rivers slip down the curve of my checks and pool around my collar bone. My eyes are closed and I’m trying not to feel bad about my embarrassment. I try to tell myself that this IS the place, of all places, where people will understand. But I am embarrassed; and just a little annoyed that I am.
But there’s times you can’t help it, when something snaps, and the ends go flying free like a window that’s been thrown open, the drapery sheers floating out into the world like one long sigh. The yoga instructor asks us to set our intention for class and I go for the one thing I’m terrified of, the openness that might unleash a torrent of these tears. There are things that want out, and they might not be pretty, but I’m giving myself permission – praying for easy.
I suppose I’m not the only one who’s afraid of change, of letting it just happen. I’m probably not the only one (although it seems that way) who can actually feel parts of her life dissolving and leaving – who can’t hang on any longer. And even though life’s changes are always taking place, it’s usually pretty subtle, coming on you from downwind, blowing a stray lock of hair across your face. Before you can tuck the loosened strand back behind your ear, change has already had its way with you.
But other times, it stares you down a long time, a gunfighter ready to draw. From a mile away, you see it coming, plain as day, and brace yourself against what it’s going to bring. You wait with baited breath, batten down the hatches, maybe even make plans for what you’ll do when. It’s always a struggle negotiating the unknown. But then you get tired of the face off and you wonder what it might be like on the other side of this resistance.
People keep asking me how I’m going to feel about my last kiddo leaving for college and the truth is that I really don’t know, but I do know the feeling already runs deeper than simply accepting the fact I’ll be alone in a house and home I made mostly for them. There are parts of yourself, like who you are in relation to others that goes with them when they leave. They pack it in one of their boxes with their new bottle of shampoo and fresh towels they can call their own.
At the same time, I’m ready. I find myself digging into closets, shelves, and drawers, bagging and boxing up things I won’t need anymore. Bookcases are being cleared of wrinkled paperbacks, kitchen cabinets cleaned and drawers with old dead batteries and crayons that haven’t been used in years, are emptied. Even my own closet looks bare since I recently culled the clothes and shoes I never wear. I don’t know why I feel the need to empty out my life. I just don’t want all of this stuff hanging around reminding me of what I’m not anymore. Life needs to be light for a while, so I can buffer the winds that blow, so I can flow easily into whoever I must become.