I just bought the train ticket from Indianapolis to Grand Junction, Colorado. Departure time, next week. In the absence of detailed life-changes posts, I’ll attempt to breathe out a few summations.

Deep breath in.

I am sitting in the parking lot at the Sisters of Saint Benedict Convent in Ferdinand, Indiana after praying/meditating/reflecting in their beautiful and silent dome chapel and near one of their first cemeteries. This reminds me of a few weeks spent at Michaela Farm in Oldenburg, Indiana, an organic 6-acre farm connected to and run by the Sisters of St. Francis Convent. The buildings at both convents are ornate and strikingly beautiful. Each, in fact, towers over their surrounding town acting as vestiges of a time when joining a convent was a more reputable and popular thing to do. I don’t have any connection to the Catholic church (I grew up in non-denominational and evangelical circles and we viewed Catholicism as the sect of Christianity that didn’t quite get Jesus’ role and over-honored his mother Mary) and my stay in Oldenburg was a way to rest and reflect with the land while also peeking into the lives of some of my same sex who have chosen a structured monastic life within the bounds of community. So this is a flashback of sorts, and I was pleased to find that their internet connection is Open!

Last week Susan and John (people I was housesitting for) returned from Portland, OR where they had been searching out the possibility of relocating. As hinted on in previous posts, I had been struggling with my role as housesitter for the duration of their 2 week absence. As the days went by, despite my increasing connection with the surrounding community, it became clearer that I wanted to be free – free from commitment, from a sense of place, from familiar surroundings and Bloomington, in general, where I have lived on and off for the past 4 years. It was difficult to break the commitment of continuing the housesit for the winter and to face their disappointment. It required tremendous trust in my inner voice and faith in the larger workings of the universe. They have since found 3 people who are interested and I have felt confirmation in my decision from the evening I brought it up to them. This leaves the World wide open to me and my friend wanderlust.

This leaves the World open! Haha, yes, there are two sides to that coin, and I am fairly confident that I have felt each side equally. The enormity of the realization that I can go anywhere in the world can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Luckily, I have a starting point in mind and advice from many sources repeating the adage “How do you eat an elephant” like a mantra “One bite at a time.” I have had wonderful support from numerous friends in this time. For this I am eternally grateful. My friend Juliana, specifically, has helped me see in ways that have shifted my viewpoint, helping me grow closer to my inner voice and source. It reminds me of Einstein’s quote, We can’ t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

So, here I am in the parking lot, and realize that I have less than 20 minutes of battery left. My journey has already started. It started the evening I broke the commitment and so made a step in line with what I most deeply want/feel pulled toward. I’ll be spending the next few days in Jasper at the Center for Community Empowerment with Michael Hicks getting my hands dirty.

Let this be my Exhale.