The deadline has passed for returning to school next semester and if I want to return next year, I may have to reapply. I’d decided I didn’t want to continue but now I question that choice. There’s an overwhelming feeling of doubt and uncertainty. Lost. I don’t know what to do. Is this really it? The lack of stability frightens me. No one else can save me. No one can tell me what to do. Why not just be satisfied with my decision? Can I just be okay with this, now?
There are no guarantees in life. Even if I chose to return to school and become a nutritionist, the sense of security I might feel would be false. The choice I made was to live a simple life. There are a lot of low-paying jobs available that I’m free to apply for at any time should I choose to, or be forced to. Right now I have a job with a 401k and health insurance. One day I can get my own tiny house or even an RV camper should I choose to, or need to. If I decide to return to school at a later time, I have that option too. I have options. I will be okay. I am okay.
Each experience provides an opportunity to gain wisdom and compassion. We can bring our own experience to others in similar situations, to offer insight. When we tighten and feel that no other options exist, that we’ve reached the last option, we’re limiting ourselves. No one knows what’s around the corner. It could be something miraculous.
What happens is we project into the future, we look at now as forever, we sense impending doom—in my case that maybe I’ll become homeless and destitute. We forget to appreciate what’s in front of us, what’s happening now. Right now I have an opportunity to be helpful to someone else, but instead I’m worrying about my own plans and projecting into a future that will probably never happen.
I met someone who spends her life dedicated to helping others. She can’t find a job after 43 years of working at the same hospital as a nurse, because she’s now past retirement age, having been pushed out of her previous job without any retirement. Yet she has a lot of love in her life. She’s not homeless, though she doesn’t have much money. Who do you know that serves as a role model for you? If not someone in your immediate presence, perhaps a spiritual leader.
When times get hard, an opportunity presents itself. What can I learn from this experience? What can I do right now, in this moment?
Some days that’s all you can do: just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.