Perhaps you don’t know when you’ve stumbled upon it. My impression was that it would look different somehow, present as pure radiance, or blue skies and a clear mind. Instead it is simply this: my current reality.

It turns out that after one month, the “f” in funemployment becomes silent. After two, if you’re lucky, you realize your true state of liberation, or in my case are politely reminded by a friend. This is the same glass half-full/empty scenario, tied wholly to one’s perspective. Am I liberated from the burden of employment or fraught with concerns about money, weighed down by the monotony of each passing day?

It’s often hard to identify with the heart opening, mind-altering perspective on this. Granted, my spirits have been pretty high despite the fact that (a), I’m frighteningly close to my 3-Month-Income-Free-iversary and (b), was recently turned down for a job with a dog walking company (admittedly, I could have expressed a tad more enthusiasm). I have been as diligent in my job search as I have with my yoga practice. I welcome in the joyfulness of each sunny day. I busy myself with friends and extracurriculars like a boss. And still, a damp dreariness often finds its way into my heart, like a stubborn, heavy fog. My vision escapes me. Best intentions transform before me into dark, blurry forms.

I failed to finish my “Where will you be five years from today?” workbook. I misplaced my Career Guide to Non-Profits library book in a satchel, where it sat for what must have been weeks. I have had hard weeks, sometimes in frighteningly close succession. And still I persevere. I’m finally hearing back from organizations for interviews. Granted, they seem to forget about me for weeks afterward, but I try not to let that get me down. Something grand lurks around the corner. I can sense it, like the subtle encroaching of Spring.

I am blessed with a network of family and friends who continue to encourage and support me. Not one of them has ever implied that I may have made a poor decision, even if I sometimes let myself wonder. People toss me dog-walking jobs and other sundry paid tasks. They introduce me to their friends who introduce me to their friends. In essence, I am utterly dependent on this web of caring souls that suspends me, and somehow still willful, free to move about as I please.

My friend is right. This is liberation.


A word from my friend, Mary Oliver:

Entitled, “Roses, Late Summer”

What happens

to the leaves after

they turn red and golden and fall

away? What happens


to the singing birds

when they can’t sing

any longer? What happens

to their quick wings?


Do you think there is any

personal heaven

for any of us?

Do you think anyone,


the other side of that darkness,

will call to us, meaning us?

Beyond the trees

the foxes keep teaching their children


to live in the valley.

So they never seem to vanish, they are always there

in the blossom of light

that stands up every morning


in the dark sky.

And over one more set of hills,

along the sea,

the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness


and are giving it back to the world.

If I had another life

I would want to spend it all on some

unstinting happiness.


I would be a fox, or a tree

full of waving branches.

I wouldn’t mind  being a rose

in a field of roses.


Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.

Reason they have not yet thought of.

Neither do they ask for long they must be roses, and then what,

or any other foolish question.