A year ago I moved into this lovely townhouse. Now, I am moving out. The walls are bare, the rooms nearly empty. All that remains is a tote of cleaning supplies-and the computer from which I am writing. I’ve been dragging my feet about packing and moving. My life has been wonderful here. Every room arranged and decorated just the way I like it, in colors that comfort me. To take my daily walk, all I need do is lace on shoes, lock the door and dash down the drive to public lands. Here, within these walls, I found out who I am when I’m alone. Finally, I had come to a place that met all the criteria on my list. It was truly a gift.
But, a gift does not always last forever! Toys break, clothes wear out, places of employment change. My job, too, was a gift-a place to give of my passion and talent and receive in return the delighted smiles of children. That job, gift though it was, is over. Jobs don’t last for ever. So, I will move on.
Always and forever are very important words for parents and children, lovers, and for theologians and philosophers. Although we may allow for circumstances, locations, and methods to change; our security comes from knowing that Love will remain. But, a job or a gift? Those are not for always and forever.
When I was young, adults used to ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I gave it an inordinate amount of thought. From the questions, and other events I observed in my life I concluded that who you are and who you are meant to be was one of those once in a lifetime, momentous decisions, researched and decided on by the approximate age of 20. After that, as I understood it, you pursued that goal with everything in you for the next 45 years, retiring at about 65. What you were meant to be was your “calling.” Though you had to seek arduously to find it, it was pre-determined by your creator. Woe to you if you could not hear your call, or if you strayed from it for the remaining productive years of your adult life.
Because I understand the value to our souls and our society of “always and forever,” and because I am dependable, conscientious, and aim for integrity; I tend to apply the always and forever commitment to other lesser things in my life. These might be my job, my goals and hobbies, my house, or even a material gift. I just don’t know when to let go, because somehow, I thought the gift, the providence of that material thing or job, was forever.
Today, as I move forward into the unknown and the next segment of my life, I will release the job and the townhouse. I will smile, and daydream, and allow myself to be excited about my future. In this ever changing world, one never knows what fabulous gift or dream employment may be just around the corner.