I Quit.

When I was a small child, I overheard my parents talk about a drifter and remarked that he always saved his money to go and do what he wants. That conversation inspired me more than any other chat about a career, a way of life, or a location. Honestly, at that moment, I realized I wanted to work hard, save money, and be a drifting nomad.

Picture by Nathan Dumlao

And that's what I became.


I grew into a human who worked hard, saved money, traveled often, and moved each year along with the love of my life. And although we live in a home now, I'm still a drifting nomad.


The idea of forcing myself or others to do something past the expiration date goes against my inner compass.

Misery.


I talked to the man that published one of my beloved scholastic journals/magazines. The topics often centered on health, happiness, stress, and the brain. I heard him speak on his work previously, and he seemed so empowered and fulfilled. So, I was so delighted to talk to him about his work. But at the end of the conversation, he told me that he was transitioning from the position because he was miserable. The work made him unhappy - he was everything the publication preached against in the articles. The job drove him to sadness and anxiety - the happiness I witnessed before was all an illusion. He knew the facts, but the work kept him from living it out.


I never want to be that human. NEVER. The idea of creating a space that's built on facts that I don't apply to my own life is my nightmare. Living and moving in an inauthentic way legitimately gives me hives.

The Future.


That said, folks have asked me where I see Shalom & Polepole going in the next year. I have an outline of all the stories that I want to write. The articles are organized by season, month, week, and category. It's wonderful. It's extra, and it's attainable.


But the last few breaks from writing, social media, news, all things "outside of my bubble" have felt right to me. I've always been a homebody, but here lately, I am returning to my "in the house for days" roots. I'm moving incredibly slow and my intentionality is increasing. And it feels strangely refreshing, familiar, and liberating. Putzing around the house is dreamy. And I've picked up a passion area:

Gardening in my backyard.


I've been involved in community gardens for years, and Global Growers is everything - BUT being in my own space and playing in the dirt - it's paradise... utopia...euphoric...


And so I've been lured into the thought of giving up the website. Letting this be my 2019 - 2020 project.


I'm debating taking a year to disappear from it all. Due to COVID, my Sabbatical went from a year to almost two. And I still don’t feel like I got what I came to get. And so before, potentially, getting a job, I can't help but want to plunge into virtual nonexistence: NO news. NO social media. NO website. NO groups. NO texts. NO emails. NO internet. NO nothing but pure human connection & solitude.

Like literally exist only in flesh and bones. Boy, I would miss my research topics, blogs, virtual friends, and youtube videos, but the idea of drifting into a nonvirtual space is alluring to me. Auuughhh, just envisioning all the feelings of doom, hopelessness, guilt, and helplessness alleviated...whew...


I quit.

Okay, Okay.

So, maybe I don't quit.


I originally wrote this piece as a "QUIT" piece. But then, two weeks ago - I had a story. Then the following week, on top of my heart, was another story. And then in the shower, the idea to revisit this post (that I am rewriting over a cup of tea at 10:39 pm on a random Tuesday) ... and so I am not done... or better yet, Shalom is not finished with me. It's still so profoundly genuine and close to my heart - and so, for now, we are here.


I am writing. I am researching. I am learning. I am applying it and doing the work (in life and on paper). But, the flow may change. Some weeks, I will write, and others I may not. The writing may change shape and perspective and feel a bit differently. Emails may not be weekly...


In many ways, this work is transforming me in ways I didn't anticipate. And I'm letting it all unfold. And so as I evolve, so will this space. It's not going to fit my 2019-2020 mode


So, I guess in some ways...this is a "quit" story, just different than my original intention.


May God's will be done. Shalom, Friends.

Shelby

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