How one thing leads to the other

Dear Ruth, 

As I went through my to do list for the week, I saw your name sitting on the lines since Monday waiting to be crossed off. I went to the dentist and then the pharmacy. Walked around in circles, burning time and in the mean time, listening to a podcast. Inevitably, the distraction I chose to forget about you, brought me back to you as Lidia Yuknavitch was in an episode I was listening to.

She was talking about failure, about “all the times [she’s] had to reinvent a self from the ruins of [her] choices”  and how we have the ability to reinvent ourselves endlessly. You can hear the whole thing here. This was so well timed. I officially withdrew from my graduate program yesterday. I am a drop out and about to reinvent myself.

First of all: how do you like my 30-year-old-crisis haircut? Hamsters included.

The short version is that my grades were unsatisfactory and I would not be able to continue in the program. I was offered a different program but rejected it and preferred to withdraw. This was my last attempt at becoming a doctor and I failed terribly. I am both mortified and relieved. I feel empty but also free.

I have been in a bubble of fear for the last few weeks, trying to figure out what’s next and build up from the ruins; but I was going the whole wrong way about it. However lately, I have been going on walks, I am walker. It helps me think.

On a walk

When I start walking the questions rain on me from all directions: what am I gonna do now? should I be a nurse, a teacher or a social worker? should I get in tech, sex work, writing? should I stay in Philly or go somewhere else? should i get a full time job or two part times? what am I doing tomorrow? As I walk they fall into piles, like dirty laundry I am able to sort them out. Darks, lights, heavy questions. I don’t actually answer any of them, the answers never come but  it does not matter because the questions disappear as soon as they lose their power.

I am okay with the uncertainty in a way I have never been. I can see how it is good to be alone. It would be too much pressure if I had a partner to support or a child for example, even a dog. Me alone I can deal with. I am looking for work and spending some time learning to code online. I am going to make time to read actual books. I am always listening to an audiobook or a podcast but I miss the feel of the pages, and the smell. I am also making community.

The Queer community in Philly is very active. I have been to a couple of events. All sort of things from sex party to sober brunch to crafting. I have been on a few dates and made some friends. There are a good number of Queer and Trans People of Color in Philadlephia. The scene is great and I like that there are lots of sober spaces. For a long time the gay community has been associated with bars and clubs but we are moving towards more inclusive settings. Having sober spaces means youth, sober people and anyone who does not drink can participate.

I am not sure where this year will take me professionally and I am okay with that. More than okay, I am excited. Since I was so focused on medicine, I did not explore anything else in depth. I am excited to see what is out there and all the things  that I can do. I just ordered the book “Outrageous Openness” because that is exactly what I feel.

Some of my more personal projects include:

  • keep studying A Course in Miracles
  • write more
  • participate in the community
  • join a church or an organization
  • get better at tarot
  • get a profitable side gig
  • get over the fear of driving
  • go on a solo trip
  • go on a group trip

    “I need coffee” Fairy porcelain I recently acquired.

I was really happy to hear about you and Jessie (and Magpie). You sound so in love with her and it is fascinating to see. I liked the gift you made her, so cute! (so gay!). I am glad she brought you to the coffee side because there is nothing else to live for than coffee.

I am ready to see you go through your writing class: please tell me everything about this. What do you hope to get out of it? what do you want to write about?

Thank you for being a great friend and returning to me!

Love, 

Nora 

P.S. Song of the year for me: I rise up by Andra Day 

 

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