Career inspiration life Relocating travel

It’s Not a Disaster

I destroyed these paintings because I did not like them

Travel gives me a lot of time to think, the planes, the airports, the queues. And the jetlag – there’s no lonelier time than four in the morning, wherever you happen to be.

Probably clear from my last post that I’ve had a lot to think about, lately. Still going to have to be enigmatic and elusive (sorry!), but things are looking up.

Currently, I oscillate between fear that things can’t just work out the way it seems like they might, and this calm conviction that three months from now my life if going to be unrecognizable, and all this chaos and drama is going to turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

I’m not normally a big fan of poetry, but there is one poem that I like – One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

I think she is saying it is a disaster, but still. I find it comforting. It’s hard to feel your world falling to pieces around you; it’s hard to lose the things you cling to. Yes, it brings potential, but at 4am that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to cry – that loss seems insurmountable, at the loneliest time of day.

And I just let it be. OK, this is my worst case scenario. It is not, in fact, a disaster. And, interestingly, the more I activate my best-case scenario, the more the worst-case scenario seems like a precious thing that I don’t want to lose, either.

At 4am, I look at myself and realize that I are not the person I aspire to be. I know that in a different reality I might have talked about change a lot, but been unable to actually do it because I wouldn’t have wanted to let go of something. But the something is breaking apart, and as that happens – it tells me to go for it. It’s time.