I have noticed I seem to resemble a shark, not in the eating seals or surfer’s way but in the constant motion. I started thinking of it as chasing the edge. What this means to me is I am wildly curious, restless, and continually looking to be better, do better and just scare the crap out of myself on a regular basis. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it is how I have been most of my life. It is like one part of my brain says, “Cool: great job, good money, nice house, just breathe and enjoy”. And I do for a little bit, and then I start to itch, not in the goat-girl three-day marinate way but under my skin, deep in my core. The itch turns to a twitch, then to investigation or research, then to moving on, up, or out to something new. I then land in a new place, an uncomfortable place, feeling awkward and fourteen again with arms and legs akimbo stumbling about at a new edge yet again. The edge is past my comfort zone, knowledge, and feeling of safety all rolled into one, but there is exhilaration too, and a powerful pull.
Sometimes this looked a lot like running from the law. At one point, I lived in five states in ten years. I had friends asking if I was running from something, so I took a long look at that to see but alas it seems that for the most part I was not; I was instead wandering, testing, learning, seeking out, and soaking it all in. I constantly look at my life and evaluate it through being self-reflective, talking to others, studying, and more than I would like taking the train to crazy town. Obsessing is part of this, not a good one but one I work at trying to keep it in check. Though keeping it in check is at times like trying to herd 33 willful kindergarteners on a bus after visiting the Jelly Belly factory, having made their lunch of the free samples.
My penchant for chasing the edge does not mean I can’t sit still and just be. I can, but my mind is whirling and it takes a great deal of work for me to slow it down. I have to remind myself that this might be a time to pause, look, listen, and gestate what I have learned and absorbed. It is the hardest part of my process and the most humbling. You would think trying out the new scary stuff, like, uh, standing up on top of the Pilates reformer for an exercise where your legs are moving in opposite directions on that crazy contraption and praying that you don’t go ass over teakettle taking out that row of the agile unwitting in front of me. Nope, that is humbling, but nowhere to the degree of humbling as looking at your life and knowing something is coming; you are preparing for a new adventure but not knowing for sure. I sometimes have an idea what it could be and maybe what to do next but because of the timing I am just simmering at the edge. It feels like I am waiting for the window to open and the opportunity to appear. I am mulling over things and I am restless; itchy and now living in crazy town as a permanent resident.
I understand the concept of patience. I work very hard at trying to be patient. I also stand in front of the microwave and yell at it to hurry the fuck up. So there is that – I have that going for me too. I also understand I am deeply flawed and just human, which I really, really hate. That whole feeling: my feelings thing, finding balance, resting and being thoughtful all play havoc with a good to-do list. I understand when I can relax into the pause it helps. I also understand given my shark-like nature that giving myself other things to focus on while someone is building that door or window of opportunity helps. It helps me to learn something new, take on other challenges, and keep the 33 kindergarteners in my head hopped up on sugar busy while other parts of me are doing the hard work of growing. The tough part is that growing only happens from the inside out, so sometimes we don’t see it or see evidence of it at first. This can be frustrating and kind of sucky. This type of inside work I am talking about is about being present, seeking answers, growth, and a naked wonder about life. It is a search for clarity and being honest with myself. These elements pull me to the next edge. What I always forget is that I have to be quiet and still to get to those moments, those elements, so I can know what direction the next edge is at…. Drats!