The next number of posts, all titled Conversations on… come from email communications between a dear friend and me. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain to everything we’ve been discussing on the blog. Kate is in the process of trying to figure out how to be a writer and still maintain her teaching job. At her request I’ve changed her name and am using initials for people she brings up. It’d be great if you all would join our conversation…
Here I am, again, at the end of my day completely depleted, so this is just a night time note. I’ll join you for coffee again in the morning. Soul mate is the closest phrase we have I think. We are so linked in such interesting and powerful ways.
This parallel life we’ve been living has happened for a reason–soul mates–living the other’s reality–I don’t know, sometimes it’s as if we are each the other. All the lines seem very blurred… There is something there but I’m not finding the right words–maybe there are none.
And, just so you know, I haven’t left my old self in the dust. Parts of her still rise up and surprise me regularly.
I am so grateful you give me the room to speak my truth as I know it–a perfect way of putting it–a truth that can shift with every moment. And I thank you for hearing me from a place of love and acceptance, the same place from which it springs.
Good morning Kate–
Just as I was settling in to write to you I’ve heard from two people who are coming over, one after the other, so let me see what I can write before their arrival.
The main thing I wanted to say is that I think you are doing stunningly well facing all of this. You understand so much more than I did when I was where you are. The letting go, like everything in life, is a process. As we learn, we come to the next level. You are doing this swiftly and, at the same time, gracefully.
I am grateful you are prepared to leave your job earlier than you’re now hoping, if your health should warrant it…
Today was a state holiday, so fortunately I didn’t have to go in and was able to catch up a little. That’s what it’s always about. Catching up just to catch up some more. It’s been an anxious day for me as I anticipate the conversations that represent in some ways the gateway to my future. Yes, they will be hard for me, and my state of mind isn’t so good right now. Yesterday I wrote my letter of resignation. I’ll probably bring it with me tomorrow, but I’m not sure how that will all unfold. I’ll probably end up carrying it around with me for a few days. I don’t have this part clearly planned out.
How are you? Did you talk to your boss yesterday? I’m thinking not, but that you carried your letter in your pocket. I applaud your writing it! These steps you’re taking are huge and shouldn’t really be planned out. You’ll find the right time for yourself. Please know I’m there for you as you walk this scary, uncomfortable path. I celebrate this transition that is so necessary as the “gateway” to your future–the unfortunate death that must be suffered in order to find and live your truth. You’ve accomplished so much since I’ve known you. What you’re doing is simply stunning. We will share margaritas In June to celebrate and I promise, by then, you will feel like celebrating.
My boss came to my office unannounced, first thing yesterday morning, anxiously looking for an update from me. He hadn’t seen me since before my trip to NY. I explained the situation, but he just wasn’t able to grasp what I was saying. I had the resignation letter on my desk, but I couldn’t take him there at that moment. I buckled, taking him only as far as I could without hitting him over the head. I explained my condition, the requirements of complete rest, the possibility of surgery, the underlying issues leading to my depleted state, and my rethinking my priorities to protect my health. But all he seemed to understand is that I’m not going to be there in the fall. I disappointed myself in stopping short of saying, “I am leaving permanently and you will find a way to manage.” I know that not saying it is more about caring for him than for myself, and I imagine this will infuriate you because I understand that I have to speak the whole truth out loud to him and do it for ME. But I couldn’t do it yesterday, as close as I was. It didn’t help when he said, “Things will be horrific for us if you leave.” NOT what I needed to hear!
Today he was after me to talk to the HR person about medical leave, and I just said no. I can see that this problem will continue to plague me until I get it all out, no matter how horrible it makes me or anyone else feel, and regardless of all the ramifications of having to explain it to a lot of other people.
I am working my way there. Yesterday was just a step. Maybe I still need some time to figure out how to break this to my boss in a way he can handle. Or, more likely, I just need to figure out now to break it to him, knowing that he CAN’T handle it.
Don’t worry. I will do this. I will. I’ve bought myself a little more time, now that they’ve changed the schedule and cut me out for September, though I know there is a cost. My boss will have to hear the whole story from me without room for discussion or cracks in my resolve. It’s going to happen, even though the letter is still sitting face down on my desk.
We will surely celebrate in June.
To be continued…
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Love to you all,