Poems, Moods and Jobs, Oh My!

Though my mood could be described as stable (yay?), I’m so not in the space these days to have inspiration or be inspired, to have joy, or to have hope. I do what I’m supposed to and sometimes have enjoyable experiences. I even smile and laugh. But there is no sense of deeply participating in life or having a desire to.

A friend posted a poem from Mary Oliver:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

It’s a depressing and scary place to not find myself At All in this poem. I used to feel that I was participating in life this deeply and wanted to. I don’t at all anymore. With a vague sense of hope, I think I will again?

This sucks.

Another friend posted this poem from Judy Brown for me:

Trough

There is a trough in waves,
A low spot
Where horizon disappears
And only sky
And water
Are our company.

And there we lose our way
Unless
We rest, knowing the wave will bring us
To its crest again.

There we may drown
If we let fear
Hold us within its grip and shake us
Side to side,
And leave us flailing, torn, disoriented.

But if we rest there
In the trough,
Are silent,
Being with
The low part of the wave,
Keeping
Our energy and
Noticing the shape of things,
The flow,
Then time alone
Will bring us to another
Place
Where we can see
Horizon, see the land again,
Regain our sense
Of where
We are,
And where we need to swim.

This poem speaks to me much more deeply, describing my experience of emptiness and being torn to shreds, and yet a faint sense of hope that I can ride this wave. And ocean imagery is very close to my heart, always has been, and so this poem is especially poignant for me.

And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other, waiting for the crest of the wave to return. I’m still a long way off, I believe.

But one way of putting one foot in front of the other, doing what I’m supposed to, is looking to the future. Over the last couple weeks I had a bee in my bonnet to be serious about looking for sociology of religion Ph.D schools and mentors, particularly in Illinois and the west coast. I don’t have a particular enough focus yet. So it’s hard to know who will be best suited and which school will give me the interdisciplinary approach I’m hoping for (sociology, religion, feminist approach).

I also had a revelation as I shared my story at my massage therapist’s master’s class, saw their lecture and then later in the week, having a CT scan. I would LOVE to be back in the sciences in again. And as a CT tech, I would learn anatomy and get to operate the cool machine. So, I was exploring schools in Illinois and west coast, and it could be really doable as a career. Good salary and prospects too.

And then there is the immediate future. I got word of a very part-time position that I’m qualified for, and rapidly put together a resume and cover letter. A friend read it, and I sent it off just in time for the deadline.

Now I’m feeling great anxiety about getting the job, or more specifically, if I can handle having a job. The responsibility, the regular commitment, the tasks and regular interaction. I still have great trouble with focus and concentration on tasks and reading. I hit a wall after 90-120 minutes and nearly need a nap to recover. How can I work with that weighing over my head? What if I wake up one day incapacitated – mentally or physically? Can I advocate for myself again to be sure my back is cared for as I work?

It’s a lot to handle. Between the mood stuff and the job stuff, I’m discombobulated!

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