How It Happened

It didn’t hit me out of the blue on some idle Tuesday. I didn’t dream of it, foresee it, and I wasn’t zapped with some ah-ha! moment of enlightenment. It happened like this:

College graduation. I think it was the combination of uneven football field grass and a fold-out metal chair that made me feel so unstable that day. Mandy, my good friend and roommate of two years, sits next to me in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences section of the football field. Here, you’ll find the kids who usually look the most scared on graduation day. We are the writers, the artists, the readers, the philosophers, anthropologists, and other about-to-be-fucked-over-by-society kind of folks. Maybe 2% of us actually have a job lined up, 10% have somewhat of an idea what they want to do, 50% will go to grad school, and most of us will move back in with their parents. For me, the Creative Writing major, and Mandy, the Art major, our parents’ houses seem like the only tolerable option.

I look to my left and see the College of Business. Ah, the responsible kids, the kids that actually have an answer for the question that is asked immediately after you tell someone that you just graduated- “What now?” But today is different. More than ever before, I feel connected to them. They look just as scared as we do. They too, are using every muscle in their core to stabilize and balance that flimsy chair in the grass.

“Safe” majors didn’t exist in May and won’t exist for years to come. Blame the economic times and lack of jobs and how society works. The truth is, it didn’t matter where we sat on the field or what degree our diplomas awarded us that day-we were all fucked.

So, I flew home to California- away from friends, a boyfriend, a job, a pet turtle, a Meredith (my best friend who I adore)- away from everything that my life previously was. I woke up early the next morning and stared at my childhood bedroom’s ceiling. What now.

I got scared. I got really scared. The thought of living in my Mom’s house for longer than three days frightened me. I had to do something. I had to get a job. I started spending all of my time searching for someone who needed what I was: a writer, a group fitness instructor, a college graduate…at this point I could be anything someone asked for. Monster.com was my most frequently visited website. My life sucked. It sucked ass. The highlight of my days were the hour-long yoga sessions I would do after I ran every morning. Yoga makes me feel alive.

One day, I found a job that seemed perfect. It was a grown up job, where you get dental insurance and paid vacation and 401k stuff. A company was looking for a writer with knowledge in fitness, sports, and wellness. I immediately sent them my resume and was interviewed over the phone the next day. The woman told me that I pretty much had the job and that she couldn’t believe how perfectly I matched their requirements. I felt proud and happy for about four minutes before my stomach got nervous. Wait. A career? Now?

The woman called me back later that afternoon. “How old are you?” she asked.

“Twenty-one.”

“Oh………okay. Thank you.” Click.

I got a strange email from the company the next day saying that they were looking for someone over the age of twenty-five to fill the position. This, I believe, was one of the greatest blessings I have ever received.

Almost getting a career scared enough shit out of me to never want one.

And then, the road trip happened. One of the most amazing months of my life to date, my boyfriend Alex and I drove my van from Georgia to California with hundreds of adventures in between. I was already in love with climbing, being outside, hiking, yoga, adventuring, and Alex. But what I fell in love with on that trip was living in a tent, never being in one spot for too long, seeing new places, going to multiple states in one day. I fell in love with movement.

A career, I realize, can mean opposite of movement. “Careers are a twentieth century invention and I don’t want one.”-Christopher McCandless

But I also fell even more, really, hopelessly, deeply, completely, will-move-across-the-country-for-you in love with Alex. I love him even more now, and every day our relationship grows and twists to become something that looks and feels a little different from the day before. I finally have someone to play pioneers with. Alex makes me feel alive.

But there was one problem. The whole, I’m in California and he’s in Georgia thing. Should I move back to Georgia to be closer to him, or not? Chill, Georgie. Breathe. Just go visit him.

One phone call to Delta later, I decided to look up a place in Savannah that offers yoga classes so I could practice while I was visiting. Yoga Teacher Training, one of the tabs said. It was something that I had thought about a million times before. I have taught yoga in the past, mixing it in with cycling classes, but was never formally trained. I clicked on the link, filled out the application, put in my credit card information and hit APPLY. Woah. Did I just do that?

It wasn’t something that hit me out of the blue-BECOME A YOGA TEACHER. I just did it, I applied. I was accepted into the training the next day. I thought, okay, this is something I already practice every day and I’m always reading books and articles about all things yoga, so a formal training would be perfect. After my mentor, friend, and past yoga instructor, Steve, said that this was the same place he received his 200-hour certification, it all started feeling right. And of course, this would mean that I would be close to my friends, my turtle, my Meredith, my Alex. Yoga, plus being closer to the people that I love? Sounds good.

So here I am…I’m moving to Savannah, GA and I’m training to be a yoga teacher starting in October. I’ve never made a decision that makes me feel happier than this. I am though, naturally, really nervous, but keep telling myself every day that no matter what happens, I have the capability to take care of myself. Follow me on this adventure and I swear I will never write this much in one post ever again.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nora Esthimer
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 19:35:19

    Georgie, this is a great first post and I can’t wait for more. Don’t worry–English majors have wonderful lives, and I should know. And it does a doting aunt’s heart good to know her nephew is so loved and appreciated.

    My CV: BA, English with Honors in Creative Writing, UNC; MA, English, University of Washington; career as stock broker/financial advisor; retirement at age 55 to lead the writer’s life; currently at work on a 3rd novel and still planning to break the publishing world wide open one of these days. Oh–yoga practitioner, too.

    Reply

  2. Mai Ichikawa-Abel
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 21:21:58

    G,

    Loved your story- very insightful and I’m looking forward to reading about all your adventures to come. I’m sure I will hear it directly from your pop’s mouth though first! Love, M

    Reply

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