18 January 2010

Onward Brave Soul...

 Strawberry Fields - December 2009
Photo taken by Cynthia Evangelista
"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel.
Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but a reflection of us all." - John Lennon
Bravery” is a word that has been extended to me numerous times since I’ve moved to DC. As I meet new people here, either in social settings or random conversation, and the customary first impression questions are exchanged between me and my new acquaintances, I’ve grown accustomed to explaining how and why I ended up in DC. “Where are your from?”, “What do you do?”, “Why did you move to DC?”…and in one big exhale I respond, “well, I had a job and a rent-free home in Florida but I needed to start a new beginning for myself, so I left my job and my rent-free home with 2 suitcases and bought a one-way ticket to DC and here I am.” The majority of the reactions I receive are something like this: “Wow, you’re very brave”, “That’s so brave of you”, “I don’t think I could ever do anything that brave” or conversely, it’s “what the hell are you thinking, you left Floooorida to come to Deeee Ceeee in the Winter?!”
Hearing this so many times, I began to ask myself, am I really brave? Because, in between the large gaps of time this “bravery” nonsense kept manifesting itself into my life, I really just thought I was…well, a little crazy. I left the Sunshine state, where I had a wonderful community, a supportive network and promising opportunities to a city where I knew some people, but not  many, had no employment lined up and would be sleeping in a room that was about the size of my Floridian walk-in closet. There was nothing majorly wrong with my life in Florida. I had it nice and easy. It was so easy that I could actually predict exactly what my future would look like 10 years from now…and that was the bottom line. I was at a place in my life where I didn’t have to settle. I could be mobile, fluid, travel and continue to experience change. The opportunity was there and I wasn’t about to let it pass me up.
While I had the support and encouragement of family and friends in my DC move, which made it a lot easier to make the transition, I wasn’t sure I had the support or encouragement from myself. I didn’t have my own back. In my first weeks in DC I experienced many instances of weakness, self-doubt, fear and insecurity (and I still have them, just less frequently). I’ve called our nation’s capital home for almost 3 months now and there are still many things I am unsure about, many questions I have no answers to and endeavors that remain to be seen.
What has given me immense comfort and eased me through my transition is the refuge of my all-encompassing spiritual network. It holds what is so sacred and divine about this life: sporadic glimpses of god in the continuously flowing nurturing words and deeds of my parents, the kind wishes transmitted from friends both near and far, the invaluable guidance of my roommates (luckily, both DC veterans), the lessons of teachers past and present, and the expansive outlets of healing resources that exist all around me. The most notable being a wonderful Buddhist meditation teacher who I’ve been introduced to through my new yoga shala. Only through meditation am I able to become aware of my thoughts allowing me to tame the flickers of anxiety from become huge flames and emerge from my fearful thoughts unscathed. Once I affirmed the value of a deeper self-worth could I start becoming my own cheerleader…then, ya I did feel kinda brave.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that I love your blog, and hope it's okay to link to it from my blog (yogaclasschicago.blogspot.com). Thanks for all of your insights into life in DC (where I'll soon be living part-time)!