Saturday, February 20, 2010
Pardon the interruption in the explanation of the Lover's Path Tarot Deck, but I felt the need to blog about my day yesterday.
I had an epiphany of sorts.
The day did not have an auspicious start. In fact, it was downright awful. After teaching at the college level for over 15 years, doing what I have always loved to do, and what I am incredibly GOOD at doing, I was told that I was not good enough to stay at the institution that had eaten my time, energy, and yes, my soul, for the past six years.
Although I knew this moment was coming, and in fact had known since October that the inevitable outcome would be that I would leave this institution, the final letter, in black and white, pierced me like the spear in Christ's side.
And the timing of this event was also quite unfortunate. It came on the last day of final exams of our term, when I am swallowed in a pile of research papers that must be graded before final grades can be posted on Monday. I am under a heavy, pressing deadline.
And now, with this knowledge, they expect me to focus and get grading done by Monday? It seemed, yesterday, to be utterly impossible.
Oh, and did I mention that this is also the weekend that my husband, Dave, who has been supportive and by my side without fail since the day we met, had to be in Harrisburg yesterday and today? So, here was my big bombshell, my Armaggeddon, and I was forced to face it alone.
I admit, I spent about 30 minutes in tears, with my office door shut, after I read the letter. I felt defeated.
I thought, "this is it. I will never be a teacher again. This is my huge exit from academia, and my exodus from teaching." It was not a move I had ever contemplated. All of my life, I knew I was going to teach. From the age of four, when I began teaching my dolls on the front porch, I saw my life's work plotted out before me. I never considered anything else.
So, you might ask, in all of this wallowing, sorry, and self-pity, where's the epiphany?
Well, here's the amazing thing: I was reminded last night that our true purpose ALWAYS emerges, no matter how hard we try to suppress it.
As I have discussed here on this blog, I have been reading tarot, privately for myself and friends, for a number of years now. I was never confident enough in my abilities to take it seriously, although I had been told time and time again that my readings are always "spot on" and that I am "amazingly insightful" in my advice. Yet, I doubted myself.
I was scared.
Scared to find out if I could really do it.
Scared that people might not approve of my work.
Scared that it might affect the rest of my work (ie: my work at the college).
But as this tenure process has unfolded, I began to think about what comes next. What do I DO, if I am no longer teaching college level history, as I have done or thought about for over 20 years? That was such an intimidating question, with no immediate, logical answer.
Until my friends shook me up (figuratively) and said, "DUH! You need to do tarot readings and dream interpretation! For MONEY!"
So, several months ago, I began preparing to launch into this new venture, spending more time with the cards. I have begun studying runes, another ancient divination system. I have done more investigation into dream symbolism. I have cultivated my knowledge and skills.
All in preparation for my big premiere.
And the unveiling was last night. Last night, in the wake of that horrible finalization of my career in higher education. And my hubby was gone. I was alone to face my Goliath. I was nervous. I was afraid. I almost decided I couldn't do it. But that would not have been fair to my two good friends who had organized the event and have supported me from the very get-go.
So, onward I went. Determined to at least put forth my best effort, and hope that I didn't shatter my nose when I fell flat on my face.
I did seven readings last night, in the space of about 3 and a half hours. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and challenging. It made me feel alive. It made me fly. And I realized, as I sat at the table with these individuals who had come to me seeking guidance, direction, and answers, that I was still teaching. That I was making a difference. That I have a special gift that I can share with others that might help them find their true paths in life. And I was transformed.
One of the women for whom I read, a friend of the hosts, told me that I was "amazing," and she was visibly moved by the reading. She walked out of the room, to rejoin the rest of the crowd, and she jokingly remarked "Well, you two obviously called her and told her exactly what to tell me!"
I saw things for all of my querents that were blatantly obvious to me, things that they had tried to hide from the world and themselves. I urged them to face these challenges and tap into their own power. I gave them "homework." I was still teaching. It was beyond amazing.
So, this day that began with the closing of one door, ended quite clearly with the opening of a new one. Last night, I found my bliss.
Ironically enough, it was at the house of the woman who writes the BlissChick blog. How cool is that? Who knew, that to find my bliss all I had to do was go visit the BlissChick?
Though I had refused to recognize it, my path in higher education had me beaten down, defeated, and confined, long before I received the negative tenure review. Had I been truly listening to myself, perhaps I might have taken this new road several years ago. What is important, though, is that now I am listening. I am embracing this self, this purpose, this path. And I am excited to see where it takes me.
Oh, and I know that, wherever I go, Dave will be ever faithfully by my side.
Find your passion. Find what makes you fly. The tops of clouds are an awesome sight.