Foundations

It’s been a busy summer already, friends, and apparently a terrible one for blogging. Then, I never really did get back into my stride in terms of posts. Maybe that’s something that can happen this month. July is, on the whole, much quieter than June or May.

Not that being busy is an inherently bad thing, of course. It has meant time with friends and visits to new places and celebrations of major events, all which are things to value and appreciate. On the other hand, it means the lack of the kind of introspection and solitude I usually favor. Which is to say, I’ve been pretty tired the last few days, not only physically but psychologically.

However, I am happy to say that I’m starting to get some of my energy back and feel a little bit more organized and grounded. I’ve been thinking a lot about being grounded lately–the importance of feeling connected to something solid. The need for foundations.

Fact about me: I’ve spent a fair bit of my life using public transportation, particularly the Metro in D.C. I pride myself on being a good public transit traveler, i.e., I stand on the right side of the escalator, I give up the designated seats for those who need them, and I occupy only the absolutely necessary amount of space (dudes). I’m pretty good at not getting tossed around on the train. That said, like most people I do tend to wobble on hard accelerations or stops.

The last time I was on a train, it was a particularly lurching ride and of course it was packed pretty full and I was standing. I thought for sure that the next time it jerked, I was going to go flying into my neighbor, an older woman in very tall shoes. I was not going to knock this woman over, not if I could help it. Keys to not falling on the train: 1) don’t lock your knees 2) have a decent handhold that doesn’t involve too much stretching 3) anticipate the train’s movement.

More than all that, though, I started thinking about yoga and the mountain pose. I thought about how my feet were connected to the earth (well, the train car). I thought about my foundation, and about the energy one draws up from it. I thought about alignments. And…I did not fall over.

Of course, we build all sorts of foundations in our lives–and we do well to stay connected to them when we can. That includes the people we turn to for advice, the places we know and love and connect to, the practices which shape our daily lives, the tasks we take on, and the knowledge we continue to build and incorporate.

I think in this last year, one of the things I’ve been looking for is a foundation for how my (somewhat) post-school, adult life is going to go. It’s a different sort of life so the foundation is also a little unusual. For some people, that might consist of a nuclear family and a clear career trajectory. It might include a organization of faith or another society which shapes a person’s life. We all find stability in different things. Some of us find stability in instability. Some foundations are more temporary, others more lasting.

There have been times when I’ve felt tempted to go back to something more familiar or mainstream. To move to a city and get a normal sort of job with normal hours. There have been moments when I thought there were projects which would more integral to what I’m doing than they actually were. Some opportunities looked like they might be cornerstones, but it turns out they were just more pieces–possibly not even ones that fit. I think I’m still looking for the project that will make what I’m doing sustainable. Maybe one of the current projects will become that. Maybe that opportunity is just still out there. I confess, that makes me feel a little bit wobbly–the future still feels pretty uncertain.

But there is still the foundation I do have and while it is incomplete, it’s a start.

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