I face a difficult challenge today. I’m going to be seeing my sister for the final time today until I’m not sure when, as she is moving to the Nashville, TN area in the next few days. Moving is not something unfamiliar to her. Since 2000 when she married her current husband, I have seen them move 6 times. Each was in a different town or different area or even a different state. And with each move, came a renewed emotion and comment from her family that the new home was exactly where they are meant to be and that they aren’t going to move again.
The last big move came when my sister left for Virginia and was convinced her new life was going to be spent there. Like the move to the Nashville vicinity, the reason was a job promotion for her husband. I was devastated as where they were moving to was the area that I had moved from to be closer to them in Massachusetts. After just under a year, they were back in Massachusetts in new jobs and saying to family and friends that they were here to stay for good.
And I believed it too. I’m sure all those that they told did as well. And then the bombshell dropped a few months ago, just around the holidays, I was told her husband got an amazing job near Nashville and they would be moving away in mid-February. Sadly, much arguing ensued after, mainly with me steaming at the ears. It took some time for me to calm down and process through it. My Shaman informed me that it probably is in my greatest highest good and that I should be still with it and reflect on the good that may come out of it. For weeks, I did, I meditated and I prayed for God’s will to be done and for me to not be angry and resentful about the move. I prayed too for my sister and her family’s happiness. Somewhere along the lines, I began to shift my perspective…onto me…and how I’ve done the same thing as she is about to do yet again. Through much of my writing in these blog entries, I’m beginning to realize that every time I get angry and resentful, it’s generally because I’m seeing a mirror for myself on something I’ve done in my life. And with this move from place to place, well, yes, I’ve done that too. Many times.
When I graduated from college in Rochester, NY, I had job opportunities to stay in that vicinity. I also had friends there too. And I had people around me there as well that I didn’t particularly like. I also was tired of the North and of being in a college town and made comments about how there was nothing to do in the area. So I took a job as far away as I could get, which came in Northern Virginia. Just under two years living there, I had changed from that job to another, and was in a relationship that was falling apart. I was lusting after people around me that I called friends and finding fault with my boss and my fellow employees, as well as my duties at my place of employment. So I sought refuge in yet another move and I went up north to Massachusetts within an hour of where my sister was living at the time. That lasted 8 months. In those 8 months, I worked two jobs, ended that 2 year relationship, bought two cars, made and ended several new friendships, broke some hearts, and purposely tried to break up a relationship of another couple. Then I left blaming all those things that were going wrong and stated I couldn’t stand Massachusetts to everyone I knew living there, and I moved back to Northern Virginia. I told myself that I never should have left in the first place and that this time would be better and different. I bought a house, settled down, but kept changing jobs and finding dissatisfaction in my life in just about every area. I went through several short term relationships and then met a person who became my partner and after a few years in that relationship, I convinced myself that my misery was once again Northern Virginia and the corporate world I was living in. So I sold everything and moved out to a small island near the ocean that was named Chincoteague. In the middle of nowhere, I tried unsuccessfully to live out my partner’s dream of owning and running a bed and breakfast. For me it lasted four years. During those four years, I ended the relationship once, travelled around the United States several times, and went on silent retreats trying to find myself. By May of 2007 I decided that the cozy island with it’s tranquility and solitude was the problem. I decided that the seven year relationship was the problem. I decided that the bed and breakfast was the problem. And I moved…AGAIN. And guess where I moved to. Massachusetts. And since September of 2007, that is where I’ve been. And in just a short period of time, about a few months, I was unsatisfied once again in my life. I could only think about how the world was wronging me in every situation I found anger or irritation in. I never realized the problems were not any of those things that I was finding fault in. It was never the areas, the houses, the jobs, the friends, the relationships, the weather, or anything else in the cities or towns I called my home. It was always the man in the mirror. It was always me.
Though much therapy, writing, healing, meditation, prayer and more, I have gone within myself to figure out that there was a lot of muck that had built up inside. The process of removal has been challenging but rewarding at times. The rewards have been “a-ha’s” that have shown the lightbulb above me turn on at times. Things that I never understood why they ticked me off in the past from ex partners to ex jobs to ex bosses to anything ex. Each of the resentments I had towards any of it, were just areas of my life that I wasn’t wanting to face and work through.
And now I’m watching my sister do the same thing that I’ve done so many times before. And I’m powerless to do anything about it other than pray. When I have gotten into one of my geographical cure phases, there is nothing anyone can tell me and nothing that can change my mind. I did exactly what it was my brain told me was going to make my life better. With each new move came new friends, a new life, a new start, a breath of fresh air, a new career, a new church, new restaurants and new malls and new places to explore. But it also brought me one thing that wasn’t changing…me. I brought the same attitude. I brought the same dissatisfaction in life. I brought all of that muck. It may have been a few weeks, a few months, or maybe even a few years that it resurfaced. But it always did. And I finally lassoed myself down to stay here and face those parts of me.
My sister and her family haven’t figured that out yet. I’m sure they will eventually find these same answers. That the grass may be greener when they arrive. But at some point, no matter how many chemicals they place on it, no matter how much they water it, unless they fertilize the soil with richness, it’s eventually going to die there too. Mine did. In each and every place I brought myself.
While my life has never felt that it was meant to be in Massachusetts long-term, and while my partner doesn’t live here, I’m staying put for now. I believe that there are some places within me to still work through. When it’s time to move, it will come naturally, and not out of an act of believing life will be better somewhere else. Life can be better right here, right now, wherever I am. I just have to do the work and clean out the cobwebs in my attic that keep me living in that fog and illusion and tell me a move will make things better. My sister will learn this lesson one day. But it has to come in her time, as God sees fit, and not in my time. But I’m grateful she has taught me a valuable lesson about myself just by doing what she’s doing.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson