Due to a deepened comprehension accompanied by a major shift in the material world, it has come to my attention that I am not to begin graduate school in mid-August as planned. I am still to begin graduate school; just not yet.
You know what? I dunno.
See that quote over there, in the sidebar? The one from Joseph Campbell? Yeah, well, that's about right. Everything is perfect. And sometimes life throws you a curveball (but only when it needs to get your to turn your head and look at something from a different perspective). The specific curveball here is not moving to the Bay Area to begin grad school in August.
Having been the recipient of what I feel is an unusually high number of curveballs over the course of a relatively short mortal existence, I can say that this shift--though one of the most major in terms of life shifting--has been one of the easiest to deal with. While profoundly invested in my work and deeply attached to the idea, I am not now nor have I been profoundly attached to the outcome. That lack of attachment and its attendant projections, speculations and subsequent investments of my own chi (read: personal energy, life force, etc) has made this shift easier than anything else like it that I've done to date.
As a friend of mine once warned me, one should not pole vault over mouse turds. Pole vaulting over mouse turds is an unnecessary expenditure of effort to attain a desired result. As long as the result one's desires is outsourced or exclusively material, one can nut the fuck up when things go "bad." Don't get me wrong--I have my preferences, and my ideas about how this should work. I have also somehow miraculously acquired enough good sense to know that the evidence (things not going as planned in spite of enormous amounts of chi, time and will applied to it) points to the fact that my ideas were probably not the most beautiful ideas possible. Like Einstein said, and I paraphrase: "If it isn't beautiful, it probably isn't true." My ideas not being the best ones to get the job of my continued academic education done does not imply in any way that my goal is faulty. That message would come under separate cover. What this redirect means is that I, the thinking me-ness, did not come up with the most beautiful, elegant way to go about my mission.
I'm fine with that. My mind is hardly the be-all-end-all of minds. Though I am the center of my own universe--the little dot with an arrow pointing at it that says 'you are here'--I am most decidedly not the center of THE Universe. I actually like the idea that I don't have all the answers or final say in the Universe. I'd be worried sick if I thought that my finite capacities had to be enough to run the whole show. I am learning in this where I have deficits that prevent me from being fully prepared to undertake my mission. I have learned that I am no longer willing to put myself or others at risk to force my dreams into being. I no longer cherish nor am I defined by the bitter, excruciating self-inflicted pain and drama of pushing even a "good" thing too far, too fast. I didn't even know I'd gotten that far until I got this far!
Until and unless I get word that my goal isn't right choosing, I'm sticking to my course. It's just going to take a bit longer to arrive at my destination (and only if I choose to believe that there was an itinerary I had access to in the first place which, obviously, I didn't). Meantime, I will have the privilege of serving my community in Humboldt for a little while longer as I hone my already mad skills into an even finer tool. I refuse to allow the tyranny of my goals to undermine the reason I set them which, in this case, is to help as many beings as I can come to an end of suffering. I can do that from anywhere.
Obviously, the ending of suffering begins with me. If this had happened even a few years ago, I would have been an a terrible state of suffering right now. I'm not. I don't feel bad. I feel a little sad, which I think is normal, and a tad disappointed. I'm deeply grateful that I got to move through this with grace and without undue, inappropriate pain. What I mostly feel is peaceful; even in the face of rapidly and dramatically shifting circumstances, I have not lost my center. I'm still on the right path. Maybe someday my experience will prove useful to another being who is contemplating a pole vault when all that's really needed is a gentle, elegant step over the mouse turd. And maybe the secret here is that everything--when seen from the proper, perhaps larger perspective--is no more than a mouse turd. It's the choice of how to be in relationship to the mouse turd that matters. I choose to keep walking, and to save the pole vaulting for when I really need it.