Thursday, February 28, 2013
Limbo is a strange place to be. It can be defined as a transitional state, and also as a state of confinement. Maybe as if all the lights went out, and you're feeling your way around the edges of the known world with your hands alone.
Right now, I am in several big, fat limbos. Unmoored and somewhat burdened by the weight of all this waiting. It puts me in mind of the time I got caught in a massive crowd leaving Taste of Chicago. People pressed against me tightly on all sides as we were forced to inch forward in unison through a bottleneck. To keep from panicking, I had to pretend that I didn't know that if just one person started pushing, I'd suffocate or be trampled. It probably lasted less than five minutes—but spiritually, it took an uncomfortably long time.
One limbo state is about to end. The company where I've worked for 5 years announced a year ago that it was relocating far away. I decided to wait until my services were no longer required in order to receive the severance package. Two months ago I received my official exit date, which is finally coming up next week.
It's been a long process, as friends have moved on to new jobs, new employees have been hired and trained, and I've stayed. The whole thing has required a sort of zen/passivity that usually feels energy-sucking, but that at other times feels like it's clearing out huge spaces. Of the external and internal sort.
What one person calls "waiting," another might call "being" or even "becoming." Demolish the autopilot routine and structure of one's daily life, and possibilities arise. So it is with me. I feel ready to let go of so much. I've tossed out a whole shelf of personal journals spanning many years; thousands of words about thoughts I used to have and things I used to feel. Donated piles and piles of books that now others may read and treasure. Tossed away things things things, the having of which was once important to me, but that somehow—through some under-the-radar alchemy—no longer is.
I'm not done with the limbos yet, but I have at least one brilliant plan. Very soon, I'll move on to much doing. But until then, I've got a couple more weeks to fill up the metaphorical and real trash bags with what I don't want anymore, to make room for what I do.