Catching My Balance

(On Phewa Lake in Pokhara / photo by The HubbO)

Lots of things are changing for me. I feel funny about it, though. I think I may be getting more used to change, or handling it better anyway. Perhaps this was due to happen because of the way I live. I don't live in a permanent residence; I don't have a long-term job (I sign contracts for a year at a time, or sometimes 6 months); I don't know where I'm going to be a year from now.

I feel like I live in a boat. I know I'm in a boat, and I know what kind of boat I'm in, but I have no idea where the boat is going or where my final destination is. And right now, that's okay. I like this boat. There's a hot Korean man in this boat with me! But it has taken me a long while to get used to the roll of the waves under my feet, the undulating and shifting. I feel like I might finally be catching my balance.

Today was Saralyn's last day at work. She's leaving Korea on Sunday. Another of my coworkers left today as well, and with his departure, I am now the longest-standing employee there. I have been there longer than the new director we got last month. I have been there longer than the elementary school principal we got in February. I have been there longer than all the employees who arrived in January, February, and now the two new ones who have arrived in August. It is strange. Staying put and watching everyone pass through. It's like this school has become a long hallway. I keep walking down the hallway, but everyone else takes the emergency exit. That's not intended to be any kind of commentary on the school itself. I'm fine there. But I'm not used to these revolving-door relationships. People come into your life for only months at a time. And yes, they usually make a graceful exit, but it's an exit all the same.

My schedule at work is also changing. I'm losing some of my girls that I've taught English to for a year now. Everyone knows I don't love teaching, and I surely don't love kids. But I do love my students. I'll be seeing them in the hallways, but I won't be their teacher anymore. I'm also losing some of my breaks, although not all of them. Mondays and Fridays will be full, busy days. I'll most likely have to work a lot harder the first few weeks of this next semester. Perhaps I'll enjoy feeling like I've earned my weekends.

Of course, I'm still complaining about all these changes. But I find that deep down, I'm becoming okay. I want to become a more flexible person. And I'm finding that if I keep my mouth shut a little longer, process change inside myself first, then I begin to accept it much better. It's not so tough. I want to stop being afraid of small changes. I want to become a person who can accept big changes with grace, allowing them to shape me into a richer, more authentic person.

I don't want to become callous. I also don't want to become so flexible that I lose my direction altogether. I do want to let life surprise me. I do want to live an inspired existence. And inspiration doesn't follow agendas or ask to be pencilled in.

I'm a little bit proud of myself for keeping my balance in the boat this month as the waters are stirring and unsteady underneath me. And that's a little change, too.
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