I’m feeling melancholy and a little sad, and still grateful.
I’ve been thinking about what it’s like for me to close my office. Rationally it makes sense. My lease is up at the end of the month, but I’m also feeling as if this is good-by to a chapter in my life. Opening me up to new roads, new paths. And I don’t know what they are, and that’s a little scary for me.
I’ve been in the same complex since 2008, that’s a long time. Twelve years of always having a space to escape to where I can get into the moment with my clients and shift from wherever and whatever I was, to focusing on and being attentive to people who are hurting and want to be heard. I’m a good listener.
After all these years, and really in the scheme of things, it’s not that many, but I think I realize some of my strengths. I am a good listener, and I’m doing my best to lead them back to their true selves. I don’t take credit for being wise or knowing exactly what the answers are, but I’m good at listening and pointing people in the direction of their own guidance, their own inner strength, and their own inner abilities. And I love that! I love that I’m good at that. Everyone doesn’t get it, doesn’t get how to follow their own guidance, not all the time, but when they do, it’s absolutely beautiful to watch. To watch clients seek for their own answers, to be willing to try new things, to explore what their life has to offer. I love that!
I’ve never thought of myself as knowing much. I think some people know what they are and where they want to go. Not me, I flounder, make mistakes, pick myself up and try again. I don’t see what is right for my clients, what I see is their innocence in choosing life, their innocence in not trusting their own inner wisdom and then I point in that direction. So many times I will say, did you hear what you just said? Often, they will say “No.” This stuns me! And then I will catch myself doing the same thing, talking to myself (yes, I talk to myself…and my furry family) and not listening to what I am saying. Occasionally, but not as frequently as I should, I will catch myself. What did I just say? And then listen!
This strength I have isn’t what I’m giving up, though! In fact, I will probably always do this! But what I feel I am giving up is a connection to a place, the connection to certain people, and the connection to a kind of comfort. There is a pull, a pull to keep things the same. A pull to not let go, a pull to keep everything the same, and yet, I’m experiencing another pull, been feeling it for a long time. There is a pull in me to write, to express myself, to see where it leads. And the time is right. COVID-19 has given me the opportunity to see clients on-line. I can see that it’s working. Now I am letting people into my home. What an interesting thought! My clients are in my office with me, in my home. Isn’t that strange?
It seems to me that what started this reflection was thinking about emptying out my office. It’s not a big job, but neither is it a small job. I have a couple of large cabinets, and a couch that will have to be removed. I have nowhere to put them here at home, and no way of bringing them home, anyway. I’ll put them on Craig’s list, see if I can get some interest by someone who has the means to take them away. Then I have my sacred paintings and gifts from clients throughout the years, items that had a home, a place of comfort, that brought comfort to me and my clients. Items given to me with love and caring, accumulated from clients in my private practice and also from my 10 years working at the Veteran’s Administration. Each item full of meaning and love, caring, connection.
Telling the building manager I am leaving was difficult. I choked on the words as I said, “I’ll be out by the end of the month.” I didn’t realize how difficult that would be. His response was lighthearted and reassuring, “I knew that,” he said. How did he know? Months ago he handed me a lease for the next two years. It was a good deal, but I couldn’t sign it. It sat there on a shelf in clear sight. Every time I walked into the office I saw it sitting there, but it never seemed right. I tried to find someone to share the office space with me, but that never panned out. I barely use the office anyway, but it’s so reasonable it didn’t really matter. Now, though, the continuing financial burden and commitment just doesn’t feel right, I didn’t feel ready. I let it sit there for months looking at me, but I just couldn’t sign it.
I felt a change, but didn’t know, and still don’t know, where I’m going. Two years seemed like an awfully long time. He explained that either of us could terminate it at any time, but the written agreement would lock in the rate. It just didn’t feel right, so I never signed it. It is still sitting on the shelf in my office. When I bring it home, I’ll shred it. Shred it along with so many other pieces of paper that I keep for no reason.
And then he said, “You have been preparing for this, Nancy. I’ve seen changes you’ve made in your practice. You’ll be good. I’m happy for you. I’m really happy for you.” What did he see that I didn’t see? Is he more in tune than I thought? Whatever… I appreciated his comments. It felt like he saw me, saw me more than I realized.
And then there’s the printer, the recliner and the television. All three of those things can find a place in my home. But, getting them here, that’s another job! Uncluttering my current living space is a constant challenge, so adding more to my clutter gives me another opportunity to declutter what I already have.
I know I will figure it out.
And so as I say good-by to the way it’s been and hello to a new way of doing things, I will try my best to open myself up to possibilities. Hopefully we will all do this together. New horizons, here I come!