Tonight, I was sitting at the opening dinner for the Sewanee School of Letters summer program, and it hit me that it has been almost a year since I (rather violently) threw myself off the tenure track, moved home (unemployed to live with my parents) and started my adult life anew.
Thinking about that moment makes it hard to breathe. But what’s amazing is that it might have been worth the pain and embarrassment.
I’ve spent the last year building upon my homecoming. And it’s been more than just finding a job that will keep me in the ‘Boro. For the last year, I’ve been coming back to me.
I’m musical again. I play in the Nashville Philharmonic and sing in Christ Church Cathedral’s choir, which are two of the most amazing artistic experiences that I’ve ever had. I still find it incredible that these musicians let me sit near them as they do their thing.
I’m connected again, which was the big thing missing for me in Massachusetts. It’s good to be a daughter and a friend.
I’m a swimmer again, even though I thought my chlorinated days were long past. It’s taking some time to get over my motion sickness, which is a mortifying problem for a former distance swimmer to have, but for the first time since 1998, I put in my yardage.
And I’m a writer again. I went to UNC because I wanted to write about Clinton High School, and I knew I wasn’t a good enough researcher to make it work. Now, I’m not a good enough writer to make it work, but I’m on the eve of starting a creative non-fiction workshop with one of my writerly heroes.
All that’s missing is ballet. It feels good to almost recognize myself.