I started this blog to look at and document my journey to “becoming more Tee”. I wanted to change myself, change my life, change my path. I had seen that that was possible. That was back in November. Since then a lot of my life has changed. Much that has changed has been caused by the decisions that I have made; other changes have been caused by other people’s decisions or to the undeniable fact of impermanence. And I have changed – hopefully for the better. I have walked further down the path, moved forward in my journey and now I am at a crossroad not exactly sure of the best way to go. Actually “crossroad” may not be the best analogy – that sounds too clear cut! Choose whether to go right, left or straight on (never backwards). I think that it is more as if I am in a campsite at the edge of a wood with several entrances. I can stay here for a while. I can enjoy it here for a while, living in the present, seeing the joy in the present. But, at some point my resources will run out and I have to choose an entrance and a path.
Making a decision about how to live is hard! How is it best to make these decisions? Agonise over them? Write endless pros and cons lists? Talk with friends – risking boring them to death? Jump in quickly without too much thought trusting ones instincts? Procrastinate until a decision is made for you by circumstances or other people? Follow the common, normal, accepted path (e.g. get a job, house, partner, have children, retire….). Have an end goal to which everything is directed? Looking back I have made decisions by all of these methods at one time or another!
Last year I thought outside of the box, ditched the route that I was on and made a somewhat (to me) radical plan. I made the plan quite quickly but thought about it from as many angles as I could. Now I have achieved the plan as far as it went – I have sold my house, bought and moved into a caravan, resigned from my job and taken my youngest daughter out of school. The boxes are ticked. I have done what I set out to do. But what now? What do I do now?
There are some certainties. I will be home schooling my daughter from when term would start for her in September. And I am so determined to do that to the best of my abilities. Get her out and about, help her with studying for GCSEs, involve everyone I need to in order to make her schooling as interesting and beneficial as possible. . I also want to be available for my oldest daughter who will be starting college studying for her A levels – a wonderfully exciting time for her as she approaches adulthood. So any work I do will need to be part time.
Another certainty is my training for ordination. Practising the Dharma, immersing myself within it, following it – that helps to shape my life. The Dharma is my raft towards Enlightenment. So my way of living my life is clear to me in a broad sense – I want to live a life of service to others, following the precepts as best I can and deepen my practice as best I can, however I can including through meditation, spiritual friendship, reading and retreats.
So there is a lot of certainty. But so much is still unclear to me. When do I start to look for part time work? What do I look for? What do I want to do? And – I have no idea!! None at all. I have decided to take July and August off completely, but July is nearly over….
I was messaging an old friend today. And this made me think how decisions I have made have affected my life – including those times when I let circumstances and other people make those decisions for me. 35 years ago I was madly in love with this friend. But I was a very timid teenager with very low self-esteem. He was funny, good looking and extremely popular – there was no way that he could be interested in me! So I never let him know (well until years later) – and eventually he started going out with some one else and I got together with the guy who would become my first husband. Yes – some of my decisions were not (in hindsight) the best I could have made – including choosing marriage over the opportunity to do a PhD….
But all of the decisions (good or bad, skilful or unskilful) I have made (or have not made) have led me to now, to the person that I am today. And that is okay. I also know that I am extremely fortunate to be in a position where I have choices – so many people are trapped. So I know that I am lucky. I am enjoying my life at the moment. I have just got to decide where to go from here!