I’ve Arrived… And Now?

7 02 2013

I’ve been back in Austin for two weeks, and have thrown myself into mastering (or, more realistically, to experiencing) aerial arts with my unlimited month pass at Sky Candy.  When I’m not hanging upside down by my toes, ascending a silk or suspending a partner on the trapeze, I am throwing myself into Jewrotica in preparation for our events kick-off this March.

On an exciting note, I was notified that I have received a grant from a Jewish foundation in New York to embark on a Faces of Israel tour to remote Jewish communities!  I have been wanting to do this ever since presenting the first-ever Israel program in Bozeman Montana, and this is the first grant I have ever received for Faces of Israel.  I haven’t yet figured out which communities I will visit, but I’ll probably take Arvie on the road for a month or two this summer when Austin gets hot.

Partner Aerials on Silks

Partner Aerials on Silks

My most interesting story comes from James, a choir member’s son and my dance partner in the Wesley Christmas 1950s Swing Spectacular.  James is seventeen and I’m twenty-seven.  He’s definitely a friend, but I also take on a sort of older sibling role.  When we were talking about his senior prom, I told him that – worst case scenario – I could set him up with one of the hot co-op girls.  To which he responded: “But you guys are old!”  The comment struck me as amusing because 27 is not old, but also as spot-on as I remember when I was seventeen that folks in their twenties seemed ancient.  (Never mind that there are folks who are 19, 20 and 21 at the co-op, who would have been the dating candidates.)

I started thinking about my life at seventeen and it still feels so strangely fresh.  But then thinking about everything I’ve done since then – the adventures, the travel, the college, the employment, the projects, the relationships, etc. – really drills home how much I have lived.  I’ve always been a multi-tasker, but it’s almost overwhelming to see just how much life I have fit into those ten years.

Baby-Faced Camp Counselor at 19

Baby-Faced Camp Counselor at 19

In a way, I feel like the divorce (I still don’t like that word) and the closing of my travels with Yair marks an end to my childhood.  (They say that Americans have longer childhoods than any other nationality – I seemed to have extended mine through 26!) I will always be playful and have adventures, but it seems time to grow up in some way.  I feel older (but in a good way) and not like a girl at all.  One reason may be my reflection on the dating scene.  Though I’m not ready for a relationship yet, I’ve thought about “my range” and it’s hard to imagine that anyone not at least 7 years older than me would begin to have the maturity or life experience to be a good fit.  Then again, choosing a life partner who is significantly older poses other challenges.

Though I’ve done a decent job of “being present”, so much of my life has been preparing for the future, but my future is now.  I feel like I’ve arrived – a thank-God healthy, well-rounded, happy and professionally established adult.  But what do I want to do with it?  Where should I live?  What type of partner should I choose?  Do I sacrifice how “fun” the day-to-day of a future job might be for the sake of working toward a greater cause or purpose?

There are a tremendous number of choices ahead, and surprisingly – almost weirdly – they have not been overwhelming.  I feel very zen about it all, but the clarity itself feels a bit strange.

Has anyone experienced something similar?  This post is more of a musing, and thoughts are welcomed.

posted by ayo

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5 responses

9 02 2013
Rob Bryant

Love your post. I get it. Life choices. U will make the right ones. Looking forward to your road trip.
Cheers rob
Vernon B C

19 02 2013
ayo

Thanks, Rob! Your encouragement is really appreciated.

1 03 2013
Victoria

Your posts are like gifts. You have such grace and talent and it is my pleasure when I receive what you share.

6 03 2013
ayo

That is such a sweet thing to say. Wow. Thank you, Victoria. ❤

15 03 2013
Howkan

The transitional period for the hero of all of our life stories is one that we will have to make many times and it is never easy. These thresholds are difficult, necessary and exciting I find. The changes you decide to make will help you grow and strengthen. Follow what you feel is the right path. Sometimes the road to change is parsimonious but often it is not. Have faith, love and hope=all will be right. Peaceful travels, Ms. Oppenheimer.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

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