I want to begin this Reader by telling you that the sakura blossoms are falling from the cheery trees like snow. I want to tell you that it’s finally spring in Japan and that people have discarded their coats and heavy scarves. I want to say that everything feels lighter now. But not everything does.
Last week was hard.
For three days I trained my replacement at the little school that I’ve loved like a dear friend for six years. I felt bone-sad even though I was the one who chose to leave my job as Director of University Counseling in order to take a Gap Year for Grown-Ups… to coach and write and change the way I live.
On Thursday morning, a couple of my colleagues met with the counselor who will replace me; she is smart and warm and experienced and I know she’ll be amazing in this role. Although the meeting was in my office, I chose not to join them because the discussion was about educational programming for next year and I won’t be there. Next year is a vast, open land for them to plant. Although I knew it was the right decision, it felt weird to sit in the red chair outside my office while my colleagues met without me.
When the meeting ended, I popped into the office to prepare for the next conversation. I noticed that the hand blown glass ornament that normally hangs from a suction cup on my window was sitting on my desk. Damien said that, during the meeting, a big truck had driven by and rattled the office window and both the suction cup and ornament fell to the floor.
The ornament wasn’t cracked or broken. It had just let go.
I laughed out loud. So often the universe sends you the big truck you need at precisely the moment you need it.
It’s time to let go.
I’ve decided not to put the ornament back up on the window. On Saturday I brought a small pillow home from my office. Next week, I’ll go through my large collection of books at school and decide which ones to bring home. I’m going to start letting go of this school that has given me so much over six years ~ the school that helped me become the most peaceful and joyful version of myself thus far. Monna 5.0.
What I want most right now is to be FREE and in order to feel that kind of freedom, I need to leave this lovely school. I know there will be moments of leaping and also moments of falling… when I’m moving through space and time entirely without a safety net. I’ll be a blue hand-blown ornament hoping for a soft landing. There’s only one way to find out.
In just nine weeks, my gap year portal will open up into the wilderness of my life. I’m scared and also excited… and I hope to see you there.
Note: This piece was first published as The Sunday Reader. If you’d like to receive these letters, sent every second Sunday, directly in your email inbox, you can subscribe here.