Yesterday I caught a radio interview with former Marketplace host Tess Vigeland on Leap, her book about “leaving a job with no Plan B.” My heart swelled with camaraderie as she unfolded her story of jettisoning a perfectly good career for the unknown and starting over as a grown–ass woman.
My identification was absolute while she described the layers of realization that led up to making a radical life change, the elation and freedom immediately following that change, and the industrious repurposing of skills for new and nimble contract work.
The beaming smile cracked a bit, however, as she delved into the unanticipated sense of purposelessness that accompanied long-coveted downtime between jobs, and then the unavoidable identity crisis when it sinks in that you have voluntarily rescinded hard-earned expert status in your field.
I forget how the interview ended. Something about financial planning.
My loss of social capital is not something I ever wanted to fess up to. I feel it is impolite to mention my fragile ego on Facebook. According to Instagram, my life after leaving New York is full of only the greenest pastures.
Lately I have become a big fan of yogis on social media. There are a few that really knock my socks off with their hollowback forearm stands, but truly my current tip-top favorites are: a formerly obese girl who is saving up for skin reduction surgery, a muslim girl who practices in athletic hijab, and a mother of five with a colostomy bag.
How I produce social media and how I consume it are completely at odds. I produce a highlights reel of my best moves, my tastiest meals, and the cleanest vistas. But what I seek out for fuel are the works-in-process – the half done art projects and the dramatic relationship updates. I want to know if and how the scars are healing.
Recently, I have been making stop-time videos of my home yoga practice. After two years of undiagnosable and shapeshifting pain, this fledgling home practice has become an essential compliment to the injections, pills, and herb-filled hot soaks that beat back at locking, chronic pain. I now see food itself as medicine, and know that stress is a luxury for the well. I do the videos because they help me correct my form.
This would be a great space to engage a social network. There are people all over the world doing some version of the same thing – a sangha right there in the inter-ether. Yet I have only been willing to share 15-second snippets that star me as a casual-if-mediocre yogi, lazing about on my floor.
In reality, it’s a rather big part of my day, and it happens in the middle of a chaotic and messy room, with new additions, subtractions and distractions all the time. For the record, and in the interest of full disclosure, I will include here one morning’s full clip, edited only to include explanatory text:
So, back to Tess and the leap…I am feeling more responsible for full disclosure out here. I didn’t just sail off into the sunset like I would like some to think. As Liz Lemon would say, “Arrrgh…things! Are! Happening!”