This morning, I woke every four minutes for the half-hour before the alarm went off. I felt like I wanted to run around, wiggle, fidget, anything but be still in bed at 5:04, 5:08, 5:16 am. Then, when the alarm twanged, I sat up and began to rub my sternum – too much, it was just too much.
Today, I will start teaching at another school; I will sign the paperwork for the sale of my house; and I will cover the class of a colleague who has had a family emergency. Yesterday, I bought a car, and this week I will have to sell my old one. All of these things are wonderful – really good – hopeful, positive, and just what I want. But still, even for me who loves new things, this is a lot of change. My body let me know that.
I was just reading the newsletter from my friend Dorit Brauer, and she was talking about how sound therapy – screaming, chanting, singing – can really help bring a body back into balance. I think I could really use a good scream – one that just lets the fear and anxiety I’m feeling out into the universe. However, I am sitting in the student union and think I might increase the corporate anxiety if I eased my own in this way. Instead, I am breathing deeply, sighing audibly (but quietly) and looking forward to rocking out to some good music on the ride home.
As I told Dave, it’s not the new things that make change hard for me; it’s the leaving of things – a house, a car, a job – that always is toughest. I love new opportunities, new places, new homes, but in the core of myself, the leaving is most difficult. Leavetakings mean some sense of grief and anxiety, even in the best of circumstances. It’s the loss of things that brings the tears.
So today, in this busyness and this change, I will hold onto the grief, not to keep it close but to feel it in my chest and my legs, in the way my voice shakes when I speak of my silly car and my lovely house, in the way that life is always a series of leavings and arrivals. The airport of life.