In Savasana, I keep having this recurring… well, I don’t want to call it a dream, because I’m awake, so let’s call it… a scene. I’m in the middle of the ocean, alone in a small blue dinghy. My face is sunburned and blistered, and my lips are cracked and dry. I haven’t had water in days. The boat is rocking back and forth in a slow, lulling manner; I’ve obviously been here a while. Staring off in the distance, I see nothing but water and the horizon; but I glance down and I see something I haven’t noticed before: a bright pink oar. I pick up the oar, and with exhaustion and dehydration consuming me, I slowly begin to paddle. I’m not sure which direction I’m headed, but at least I’m moving.
Of course, every time this happens, I wonder, “What on earth does this mean? I don’t feel trapped… I don’t have a horrendous sunburn and I must say, my new organic lip balm is uh-may-zing… So, what gives?” And slowly but surely, it all began to make perfect sense.
Before our move to Colorado, I felt as though I was treading water in every aspect of my life. I was on autopilot at home and I was uninterested at work. An unnerving mix of boredom, listlessness and anxiety often blanketed my days. I had the feeling that I was living the wrong life in the wrong place, but although things seemed wrong, they also seemed familiar – and I didn’t have the gumption to right them. I had allowed myself to become stranded in my own life.
It’s hard to say what exactly was the turning point in our decision to move west; over a quiet dinner in February, on the eve of my 31st birthday, Eric turned to me and said, “Do you want to move?”, and after a long pause, I simply answered, “Yes.”
The next few months were a whirlwind of activity as we tied up loose ends, started looking for a place in Boulder, and slowly began to draw our lives in Arkansas to a close. When moving day came, I was driving north on I-540 at 5:30 in the morning, knowing that I wasn’t just going on a quick trip to visit friends; I was leaving. A wave of liberation washed over me as I drove away from the obligations, the job, the problems, the worries, the boredom, the history and the attachments. I was picking up my pink oar and paddling west.
We’ve only been in Boulder two months, but not a day goes by when I don’t think to myself or say to Eric, “I love it here”, or “This is so right.” The community, the people, the events, the lifestyle, the scenery, the opportunities, the climate: everything is the way it should be. I’ve found a new sense of self, I’m meeting people who share the same ideas and passions, I’m saying yes a lot more than I’m saying no. I’m diving into my yoga practice headfirst, warding off the burnout and the apathy I was beginning to experience as a teacher. I’m not trying to say that this is utopia, of course; there have been a few fumbles and foibles along the way, but it’s all part of the process. I feel like I have finally rescued myself.
So back to the blue dinghy scene: in the beginning, I’m completely helpless in my situation, shriveling and withering from the elements. The pink paddle is my ticket out – it’s been there the whole time, but for whatever reason, I’m only now seeing it – and it’s up to me to pick it up and use it. The direction I’m head doesn’t really matter, just as long I’m moving.
The moral of the blue dinghy? If you don’t like it, change it. Pick up your oar and rescue yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.