Crawling out my backdoor, I throw myself onto my back. I can’t breath. I can’t cry. I can’t move. All I can I can do is whisper, and all I can whisper is “tell me what to do”. I think I’m speaking to the bluejay, which is all I can focus on, but my heart knows that this is a prayer to God, to the universe, to that ‘other’.
I gained enough of my senses to lift myself up, covered in dirt, just as the sun was coming down. My grandmother, who was cooking inside, didn’t seam to notice, or if she did, she must have chalked it up to one of my ‘eccentricities’. I bathed and picked my daughter up from school, and the night ended just the same as each night before, but something had changed forever.
The next morning, I returned to my corporate television job. I’d been out sick with a full blown respiratory infection for days, which was just as well, because my manager had been itching to fire me for weeks over my ‘attitude’. I really wasn’t doing anything different, but I was no longer able to pretend that this was a job worth having or that this kind of life was worth living.
It absolutely showed, because it wasn’t long before I was called into human resources. “I hear you’ve been having trouble with your job,” said the HR director in the most serious tone she could muster. “Not particularly,” I said. I wasn’t trying to be smart, but I honestly wasn’t having trouble with my job, per se. I could do it with my eyes closed. “You’re manager says you’ve been making mistakes,” she continued. “Sure,” I responded, “everyone makes mistakes, but we both know she’s been trying to fire me for weeks, hence why she’s been chronicling my every move, right down to the bathroom breaks”. The HR director continued as if reading from a script, “we are prepared for your resignation or you can enroll in a work-performance program.” I must have had the biggest smile on my face when I replied, “So if I resign, I can leave right now?” “I’m not sure,” she answered, “it’s never happened.” “It would be really great if you could ask someone,” I said. The HR Director and some other HR lady, that I hadn’t even noticed sit behind me, slowly got up, and walked out of the room.
Fifteen impossible minutes later they returned. “You can go if you don’t have any other work to take care of,” she said. I choked as I held back a laugh, “Nope, no work left to do.” I gave her my laptop and badge, and merrily exited the building.
I had no idea what I was going to do for work, but I knew that I never had to step foot in another office again. I picked up my daughter and spent the rest of the day at the beach, reveling in my newfound freedom.
I’d spent the last five years working in corporate television, a career I’d fallen into after looking for work in the theaters of New York didn’t quite pan out. I’d stayed partly to make my parents proud, and partly because it was more money than I’d ever made in my life.
After a couple weeks of complete relaxation, I asked myself this seemingly innocent question, “What do people always come to me for?” It seemed so simple that I almost brushed it off as impossible. ‘Most people call to ask about yoga and other natural health advice,’ I thought. This was hardly a breakthrough, but it was a step and that’s all I needed.
The next day I met with the director of Aum Home Shala, a yoga teacher training school. The school’s director explained the program, but she really could have been quoting the Gettysburg Address because I was barely listening. I just knew that this was where I was supposed to be at this exact moment in my life. God, the universe, the ‘other’ had spoken to me, although not in words, but by awakening my heart just when I needed it the most.
So, what do people always come to you for? (I take no responsibility if you quit your job tomorrow, though I may take you out for a drink)