Until two weeks ago, I thought I had finally arrived at a decision about what to do next with my life. After nearly two years of waiting, this arrival seemed like such a relief! It turns out though, that the decision was not so much an arrival, but a departure and it took some friends to help me see it.
I have been so desperate to leave what I’ve been doing for the past two years that anything seemed like an improvement, even giving up on trying to make a decision. So I signed up as a volunteer to teach overseas. My thinking went like this: if I’m going to be lonely, I might as well be lonely in an exotic place like Indonesia; a change of scenery might be just what I need.
Two good friends brought coffee and sat down with me to ask, “what went through your mind as you sat down to apply for this volunteer position?” When I explained that it was a reaction against what I’d been experiencing, they pushed back. “You’ve thrown your cap over the wall,” they said, “but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it if it’s not what you really want to do.”
At the time, I argued that I was looking forward to “arriving”; to finally reach a destination in my life that would provide some sense of settlement. So my friends assigned me homework: write about what it means to arrive, and further–what evidence is there that shows I have not already arrived? And as soon as they assigned the homework, I gained insight into my life; into the present moment. Today.
Each new day I get to wake up and decide how best to spend my time. I get to ask myself, “what brings me joy?” This is an arrival all its own and I am so thankful. I’m thankful for these friends who arrived just in time to help me retrieve my “cap” and urge me to think again before following a negative reaction/impulse