the five year itch

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on the five year itch

the five year itch

Every five years or so I begin to feel edgy and itchy, restless in whatever route I’ve chosen for myself.  It’s around this time, plus or minus a year or so, that I feel the need to reassess my direction.  If I’m to look at my personal history to inform my understanding of the future, I’d say I’m just about due for a major change.  Let’s take a look:

I want to be an anthropologist = last 3 years of undergrad plus 2 years of grad school.

I want to be a teacher= 6 years of teaching high school.

I want to be a yoga teacher = I’m in my 5th year.

Things are getting itchy.

When I look to the non-career directed aspects of my life, however, there are more promising patterns of longevity.  I have been with my partner for 16 years.  I have been practicing yoga for nearly 15 years.  I’ve been writing in some form or another since I received my first diary when I was only 6 or 7 years old, and have always considered writing to be one of my strengths and passions.  I took piano lessons for 15 years (though realistically only… 5 of them… were my choice).  I lived in a town that was a hard sell for me for 8 years.  I clearly have the capacity for continuity, perseverance and dedication, but when it comes to sticking with the primary way in which we find ourselves being defined, this is where I fatigue.  Perhaps quicker than most.

Maybe I can blame these recent meditations on spring- the feeling of moving forward, of rejuvenation and exploration and planting new seeds.  Or maybe I can blame my birthday- the day where Gemini turns to Cancer- for a desire for roots on one hand, and a need to perpetually till the soil on the other.  Or maybe this is a common occurrence, maybe many others are like this but find they lack the necessary support or foundation to shift everything and start again.  My tendency is to bust out before that magical 10 year mark that psychologists believe is when we really master our subject/skill.  I seem to be ok with finding my way to the comfort zone, but when it comes to sticking it out long enough to reach the realm of the true professionals I’m already out looking for the next thing.  The result of this is self as survey artist.  I can hold my own in so many different realms of conversation, for a while at least, but when things get deep I’m done for.  Oh, I think to myself, that must be what you absorb in year 7 or 8…

I just returned from a yoga retreat in Costa Rica.  It was in a beautiful environment with good people and really great teachers leading inspired classes.  And you could see the effectiveness of the immersion in the others.  Not to sound ungrateful or disconnected, but I found myself in a place where no major inspirations or shifts were happening.  My first few immersions shook up my life and lit me on fire.  But this one felt… comfortable.  And a bit predictable even.  I returned to my classes confident in my own offerings rather than feeling I had so much to mull over or absorb before I could get in front of students again.  I don’t for a second believe I’ve “got this” yoga teacher thing down.  I know I don’t.  But there’s enough experience that I can see the big picture. There are the same debates about postures and alignment, to om or not to om, hot yoga or not among many others and it feels like I’m encountering the same messages just in different texts and voices, and it’s left me feeling  weary.  One thing I know is that regardless of where future employment meanderings take me, my personal practice is here to stay.  I’ve had it for over a decade, and it will continue.  But in terms of my full immersion, me as yoga student, yoga teacher, yoga reader, yoga writer, I may be turning to some new territory.

Motivated by spring, by these feelings I’ve been having, by finally recognizing that you don’t need to be published to call yourself a writer if you’ve been doing it nearly your whole life and if you do it because you love it and you can’t not do it, I’ve gone ahead and signed myself up for a creative writing course through the university.  And since I also have a background in film studies, and even taught it for a year, I’ve decided to turn a few of my rambling ideas into scripts for short films.  I’m not looking to build a career out of it, but rather seeking inspiration from a new expressive, creative process.  In a completely different realm of novelty, one major highlight from my yoga retreat was not the yoga but the surfing- I loved the rush, the unfamiliarity of it.  And in the back of my mind the cello keeps calling to me, after all I only gave that one a year and a half… I’m a good 3 years from tossing it.

I used to be really afraid of change.  I defined myself by my tenacity, resisted and clung to things well past their time.  My partner used to joke that no one hated change more than me.  One day he said it to me as if it was true because it had always been true, and we both realized how that really didn’t fit at all anymore.  It was a bit like stepping out of one pattern and sliding into another.  I’m just trying to find a balance between living a stable, secure and family-based life, and engaging in life-long learning and allowing myself to continue to be surprised and challenged and inspired, despite my age.  Or maybe precisely because of my age.  If anything, aging underlines the importance of keeping fresh.  I seem to have a 5 year best-before date.

 

 

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.