This morning I woke up unemployed, and I haven't been this happy in a long time.
I have left the bakery. The place I helped open, the shelves I helped stock with new recipes, the people I have worked to care for these past two years. There are so many snippets of life that I have been privileged to watch. The couple that became three and the little girl I've watched learn to walk the farmer's market with them. The boy who sent a cake to his crush's geometry class. The ups and downs of elimination diets, new restrictions, and healed bodies. The blessings have been numerous.
There were a lot of factors in my decision to leave, the biggest being the deterioration of my health. I've talked before about how eating the way I do keeps me off of heavy medication. High stress and long hours have taken the time and energy needed to prepare full and healthy meals for a while now and I could no longer ignore the signals.
The high stress has also taken a serious toll on my emotional stability. High anxiety and steady exhaustion were the name of the game so long that they became normal. However, as I step away from the bakery and into the next few months, I find that there is a whole beautiful world out here. I suddenly have energy to slice a squash in half and pop it into the oven for dinner without spiraling into tears. I can talk to the checker at the co-op without feeling paranoid. I can make spontaneous plans with a slight acquaintance and carry on coherent conversations.
In short, margin has suddenly come back into my life. There is space to see and think and do.
Yes, I still shoot in and out of anxiety. It will be a process -- a life long rhythm -- this learning to orient my life around experiencing instead of producing. I have always lived my life by a ruler of accomplishment; a works-based race to the finish. I want to use these next months to step back, re-evaluate, heal, and start again, this time building a life and practice that carries weight and value not because of what I have done, but by what I have experienced.
So here goes. Come with me?