Monday, September 8, 2014

New Paradigms

I've been struggling with whether to leave up that post from yesterday about the recent fuss between my son and me. I worry it fixes him in a bad light, when in fact he is a good son, loyal and true. Oh, his energy can be spiky, but so can mine, and I suppose for that reason it won't be the last time we clash. But things are back to normal, and this morning we had a good open hearted exchange, the way we can when we are both feeling accepting and free of any need to control each other.

My boy was talking about himself and his friends, and the big dreams they all have, and how some of them, one to two years out of college, are starting to become frustrated. He said, "At least I'm in the process of trying to make my dream happen, but it can be frustrating, not knowing if or when." And then he said he'd had a small epiphany the other day. A friend had asked him how he was doing, and as he went to answer he suddenly realized that he had been feeling somewhat depressed. In the same moment, he understood why: "All my life," he said, "September has meant starting new. New class, new teachers, new teammates, new possibilities. Even last year, though I had graduated, felt new. The job hunt was new. My EMT classes were new. Being back in the city with all my friends was new. But one year later, I'm just doing the same thing I've been doing all year, and I guess I have to realize that this is just my life right now." He said that once he understood what he had been feeling, the depression started to lift, replaced by a spirit of acceptance that he is at a new stage with new parameters.

I was quietly blown away by his insight, and his willingness to shift from the old paradigm to the new. And then he started catching me up on everything he hadn't shared in the week when we weren't talking, a job he might possibly be up for at the sports club, his plan to do the Emergency Vehicle Operation Course and Hazmat training to increase his point score for FDNY-EMT recruitment. "I told Daddy all this," he said, looking at me quizzically. "Didn't he tell you?" I was tickled by his assumption that because he'd told his dad, I'd automatically be in the know. But my husband doesn't get as taken up with all the details as I do, and besides, he was manning his own unfolding all-consuming scenario—the final suspenseful stages of hiring a new rector at church. As senior warden, he has the primary responsibility for carrying this ball across the finish line.

"Well, anyway," my son said, "that's what's up with me. Now you, did I hear you say you're joining a choir??"

So now we're all caught up and back to being comrades in the occasionally fractious way we manage it. Which means the fist around my heart has released its grip and I am breathing free.

(And yes, I am joining a choir. The first meeting is tonight.)


20 comments:

  1. I hope you leave the post up because it is so beautifully honest and makes you and your family seem more real more full of actual light.
    xor

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca. That means a lot. xo

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  2. And if we don't talk about the storm, how can we talk about the beauty that follows?
    Have fun in your choir. I think that may be the best, most wonderful thing you could do.

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    1. Ms Moon, you're right of course. The storm is not only part of it, but necessary for us to understand what we want instead. xo

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  3. Excellent indeed. Yes, a choir, that's perfect!!! Sing your heart out. xo

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  4. And singing opens the heart...

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  5. When I read the post I never thought poorly of your son at all. All I see is a real family with struggles and trials. That is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Birdie. It's true that all families go through this. I'd be scared of what was being repressed if people never ever had disagreements. Getting through them is the lesson, I suppose.

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  6. Oh, how wonderful to be in a choir. I used to sing in my high school choir and still remember the joy of voices in harmony -- being a part of that.

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    1. Elizabeth, i think there is something about the vibration of harmonizing voices that makes one happier and more peaceful, sort of like Buddhist chanting.

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  7. Excellent. I am glad that tension has passed. And as for the choir, it sounds like a terrific idea -- I had a great time singing just one song with the faculty/staff choir here at school!

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    1. Steve, I used to sing in a choir in high school and also in college and loved it! I really think singing releases endorphins.

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  8. I read a really long article over the weekend about the planets and the stars and how this month is about accepting change, and that the full moon brings powerful healing with it this time around. I'm glad you got something out about your argument with your son, because we can't just go on as normal when these storms are blowing in our hearts, and it will make us sick if we try to hold it inside. Everyone here knows what a wonderful young man your son is, and no one will think the less of him. I'm particularly struck by your words about not trying to control each other--this is what my mom and I can't stop doing. Your words brought awareness of that to me.

    So bless the moon heals you both (sounds like it has started to) and when I read that you are joining a choir, I got that solid plunk in my heart that I get when someone takes a step that is good for them. That feels so right, somehow. We must sing our stories, singing can be so healing. (Even for people like me who can't hold a tune). Much love sweet A.

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    1. Dear Vesuvius, i love every word of this comment, and i love you so much, how generous you always are, and how much you truly understand. Thank you, friend.

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