This voice is both the newest and hardest to hear. The voice that says “okay, enough. This is it. You’re here.” Ram Dass’ book “Polishing the Mirror” hit me between the eyes as I got near the end of it. Ram Dass is in a hotel and when he walks in he thinks:
“Well, a few more week and this tour will be over, and I can go home.” Then I saw the pain that thought was creating. I got up, and I walked out of the room, closed the door, walked down the hall, turned around, came back, unlocked the door and yelled “I’m home!” I came in and I sat down and I looked and I thought to myself, “You know, I wouldn’t particularly have decorated this way, but what the hell.”
If I am not at home anywhere in the universe, I’ve got a problem….
Home is where the heart is. Home is the quality of presence. It’s the quality of being. Home is always here.
This is what I needed to hear and not what I want at all and I’ve been struggling with this since I’ve read it. My default mode for years now has been “get through this until this new projected idea comes to fruition.” I’m very, very good at making projections become a reality – and that’s a valuable skill to a point. But not appreciating and taking in said reality in favor of further projecting is the root of suffering. It’s been obvious to me for years of course — its just taking that long for the gears to grind down somewhat.
My current home is somehow encouraging this behavior, in fact. Which is why I’m re-organizing, cleaning and re-homing my apartment (with a brief break to write, of course). Somehow, I can go into work and be mostly okay with my situation here. I’ve more work than I’d like but I also have surmounted an incredible amount of inner resistance in these four months, it’s hard to convey how difficult it’s been not to leave Taiwan for something else. Something knows I need to grow here. And the moment I leave work, something else takes the helm and I’m browsing job ads and planning my next adventure. I see it fully and I can’t stop because it’s what I’ve done. But something has juuuuuuust enough wisdom to know if I wait just 5 seconds longer, I will have a new idea. And then I pursue it…Aaaaaand then something new! Something says “oh, here’s something new…I wonder how this plot will go.” It’s so strangely bipolar.
So I’m re-homing through the storm of mental projection. I’ve still ideas and I still might go — whatever I do, wherever I go, I stand to learn and grow so I don’t fear making a mistake, per se. It’s an odd period in my life. I’m swinging back from the depression of my 20’s. I still don’t particularly enjoy being social — I go to work and then I eat and come home and meditate or read or plot. But I’m not (often) depressed — somehow there’s a lot more peace here as well. Seeing what I’m projecting on situations. Seeing how I piss myself off. Seeing when I’m off-center. I think my 30’s are going to be a very interesting time!
Okay, time for Future Projections (feel free to stop reading at this point — unless you want to envision a grand plan along with me)
I’m under consideration for a Peace Corps program in the Philippines doing Coastal Resource Management work. I haven’t received an interview offer yet, but I think I’m a moderately strong candidate and I’ve high hopes. After two years of Americorps, the international version would be an extremely good way to travel, learn new things and help people, which have been my three passions for as long as I can recall in this life. They give language training (Tagalog + a regional dialect), take care of all major expenses (visas, medical, flights), set you up with host families…I could do this for a long time. Hell, who am I kidding? I’m plotting again — but this plot has a certain freshness and resonance — and would require me to stay put for an extended period while the medical and interviews proceeded. I’m taking up adult ESL classes this week to improve my public speaking skills in the name of this project, in fact. Because talking to groups of grown-ups still scares me and I need to learn that skill. I hope my life is pointing in that direction; it seems to be aligned along the path of least effort, so perhaps this is what will manifest next summer.