|A Bit More Faith by Jeanie Tomanek|
Summer is my favourite season of the year – I adore the heat, patio nights under the moonlight, cottages, camping, beach days, barbeques, the feeling of freedom that comes with lighter clothes, longer days, nature’s beauty everywhere you look. Although my world has drastically changed over the last few months, summer made everything okay.
September is bittersweet. It’s "back to school" time again. A time marked by preparations, anticipation, change. I’m excited by all the new possibilities, new learning, new relationships, but it also brings the end of all that freedom and beauty. It is a time when structure, rules, and responsibilities all begin again.
“It’s back to school time,” my father commented on the phone the other day. “Will you be going back?” His question hung between us over the phone lines, as a feeling of mild nostalgia slipped into the space.
Moving in a different direction this September sparks a set of unfamiliar feelings. Guilt? Responsibility? Am I being foolish? What I am afraid of? Outside of the rules now, the ones that held me for 30 years, I am filled with questions about how things will go. I wonder about the world I’ve left, and the one I’m stepping into now.
Not yet structured. Not yet built. Intangible. Amorphous.
These feelings arise in union with September, the time of change and new beginnings, the time when “school” summons us back to our defined roles and responsibilities.
Like clockwork, I feel the pull of the old identity. I could move with those tides if I wanted. It would be easier. But the voice inside assures me.
Have patience. It’s not time yet.
I am standing outside now, looking in, watching as this busy time builds momentum, realizing how my landscape has changed, how it will never be the same.
When we stand outside, we break away from the stuff that made us, moved us along the path, kept us feeling safe, secure, comfortable. We stand outside the hopes and dreams of our parents, the roles we’ve carved out for ourselves, the rules built up around us by the culture in which we live, the lives that have become familiar, comfortable, predictable. Everything changes.
A loss of the constructed self, a crisis of identity, a recalibration of the path, a reassessment of our purpose, an opportunity to start again.
How do I start again?
I lay awake in bed two nights ago unable to sleep. I wanted to be reassured that all will be okay. That I will be okay. As I stared at the ceiling, hoping for sleep to carry me away from the endless questions rolling in my head, I realized that only one thing is anchoring me now. Faith.
Faith requires agreement without guarantees. It is a naked vulnerability. A knowing in the not knowing. It is intuitive, elemental, it involves patience and trust.
As I face September, more uncertain than all Septembers that have come before, I realize that this year, I leave the school I’ve known behind. I take on myself as student and teacher. I take on a soul that is waiting to know a new truth, waiting to hear that truth from herself, from her own voice, in her own time.
I decide I will not sell out on this. I will close my eyes and listen to what I know is true for me now.
You are okay. This is right. Let yourself find the way.