Last night’s dream…

…is haunting me, filling my head still with the feelings of transition and loss and nostalgia and hopefulness for this new year. 

But it doesn’t make any sense, unless you accept the idea of “priestess.” That there are some women on this Earth drawn to spiritual places and groups because their soul’s charge and purpose is to be the light and life of that community. In eons past, they would live within the walls, spend every waking moment tending to the spiritual lives of the faithful. They are found in every house of every kind of worship, in every culture, throughout history. And my soul is one of these – I know because I came alive when I walked into my temple.

Last night before bed I learned a fellow priestess had moved on, had decided our community was no longer her path. And when I slept, I dreamt her dream.

All the welcoming features of the building itself were gone – warm mauve deepened into dark blue, stained glass windows turned into walnut wood walls, easily accessible gently sloping aisles stretched upward into high stairwells and narrow halls. And the spiritual leader had become unrecognizable, not just a new person but a farce of another faith’s stereotypical paradigm. And a woman she knew and loved (who is now gone) turned with rage twisting her face and declared, I am SO angry with you!

A dreadful place indeed, and who can blame her for wanting to leave? But my fellow priestess, you may travel on, but remember that your sisters still know and cherish you. In the end, dreams may help reveal our hearts, but you have to open your eyes to see.

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First Day

I am here, about to receive my new keys to my new kingdom. And the power they have invested in me is humbling. I have discretion, they say. I hold the possibility of a brighter future in my hands for hundreds of lives that I will touch, who will come to me for guidance. And if I just believe in them, maybe, just maybe, they might continue on in confidence and pride to do amazing things with their lives. On this first day, I feel the responsibility. And I am beyond thrilled to be here at last.

Dreams…

…aren’t just pictures, aren’t just random musings of an unconscious mind. Dreams are where real work gets done, beyond the physical. Where healing can happen. Where rifts between souls can be healed. And last night, once again, I dreamt of you. 

Whenever you’re in my dreams, we’re in separate rooms, separate spaces. You hate me still. When you saw me this time, you rolled your eyes in teenage disgust. Not her, again.

But I needed to tell you something. I needed to tell you I’m leaving LA, about my new job, that I’m probably going to land in Irvine. That I’ll be going to a certain synagogue. I needed to tell you, so you could avoid those places, so you could avoid me and avoid the pain and fear that seeing me brings to the surface. I just wanted to warn you.

So I sent a note to you, instead, through a mutual friend. A game of telephone, because I can’t phone. And then woke to the sound of church bells, as my alarm brought me back to this world. 

My daughter said l looked drained, like I hadn’t slept all night.

The Speech I Wish President Obama Would Give

My fellow Americans, I am here today to talk to you about the Affordable Care Act. You know it as Obamacare. I want to tell you why, even with the healthcare.gov problems and the challenges ahead, I am proud of Obamacare.

Because of Obamacare, over 6 million young adults have health insurance they wouldn’t have had before. Because of Obamacare, parents of these six million young adults can rest easy, knowing that their children have the health insurance they need.

Because of Obamacare, no child can be denied health insurance, for any reason at all. Because of Obamacare, children with diabetes, children with cancer, children with epilepsy – their parents don’t have to worry that they won’t be able to get health care for their children. Because of Obamacare, their children can get the health insurance they need.

Because of Obamacare, health insurance companies are now required by law to spend at least eight out of every ten dollars they collect in premiums on medical care.  Because of Obamacare, if they don’t follow this law, they have to give the money back to you. Because of Obamacare, over a billion dollars in premium refunds went out to Americans last year.

Because of Obamacare, millions more low-income Americans now have the option to get free health insurance, with the expansion of Medicaid. Because of Obamacare, for the first time, if you can’t get health insurance from your job or your spouse’s job, you can go to a fair Marketplace where you can shop for health insurance, knowing that you’re buying good coverage for your family. Because of Obamacare, health insurance has to cover the benefits you really need, and health insurance companies can no longer take your premiums but give very little coverage in return.

My fellow Americans, we’re building a new system here, and it’s going to take some time. We’re connecting government agencies and private health insurance companies and uninsured Americans in ways that have never been done before, and yes, there have been some bumps in the road.

But the road is worth traveling.

We must continue on. We must not let the health system break down. We must not go back to the days when the rules were unfair, when premiums kept rising unchecked, when millions of Americans had no options at all. We have already traveled too far.

And we will get there – to a health system that keeps us healthy through free preventive care, and covers every American for what they need when they’re sick. To a health system that cares for our children, and for our mothers. To a health system that coordinates our care, delivers the highest quality, and contains costs, because we need all three to get the health system we deserve.

God bless our efforts to build our greater good, and God bless America.

Treehouse

It’s over and done. I have moved on, if not in body yet, then at least in spirit. A new lease has been signed, a ridiculous amount of money has been given for rent and deposit, and the keys will shortly be handed over. And then I have a week of being in-between – not yet entirely in one place, not yet moved out of the old one. But I feel empowered that I was able to make this happen, overcoming all real and insubstantial (but those are the most frightening, yes?) obstacles.

The biggest reason why this is so empowering, so wonderful, is that I made it happen on my own. I really love that. When I moved into the current apartment, I said that I wouldn’t leave it until I could move in with someone else, could rent a house that cost twice as much as my apartment rent (that’s just the lowest going rate for a small, basic 3-bedroom house in my area – we’re not talking anything fancy here) with me contributing half, and then I’d have my backyard and my quiet home and my trees and my laundry that didn’t cost quarters anymore.

A little over three years later, still single, I found I couldn’t even afford where I was anymore, because the landlords kept raising the rent and it was just getting too high and I tried working myself to the bone to pay for all this and that just made me miserable. Time to find a cheaper place, on my own, and resign myself to the fact that it would be worse than what I have now. It would help in other ways (didn’t I write about that a few posts ago?), but would be overall a step down.

Instead, I found…I found exactly what I needed. It’s not a stand-alone house, but it’s a triplex, and when you pull into your own driveway and park your car into your own garage and then walk across the driveway to your own front door, that just feels like a house. It’s on a very quiet, peaceful little street – the energy there is incredibly serene, on this little hill. And it has trees, both in the little front yard, and the backyard. It has a backyard! And it has laundry that doesn’t need quarters anymore. So I’m going down to just one bathroom, so what? My daughters just come in and use mine whenever they want anyways (including in the middle of the night), so this’ll actually give me a bit more privacy since they won’t barge in anymore. And finally, it’s about $200 less per month.

Not at all what I thought I could do on my own, but I did, and I’m moving to my hilltop treehouse in the city soon. And then I’ll be able to finally breathe.

Another Plane

What the hell am I doing here, sitting on another plane, another runway? I never travel this much – three different trips in less than a month. This new one is again for work, a trip that I usually look forward to, that I wanted to use again to reconnect with my old friend. But I’m not, and even if I were, it wouldn’t matter. All I want is to be home.

But home is complicated right now. So many different moving pieces, so many transitions. At least (no, not at least, more like thank God for this right now), I’m having a blast. Seriously. So much is up in the air, so many pressures and deadlines bearing down, and yet I feel like I’m floating happily from one to the next.

Kind of like four years ago, when I defended my dissertation, added a whole new chapter, and then separated permanently from my now ex-husband, all in a little over a week. I floated then too, under immense pressure and, I admit, breaking down in tears every once in a while. But still overall happy.

Because I knew I was doing the right things then, what needed to happen. And I feel the same now. What is happening is what needs to happen, what I need to do.

So I’ll just take this plane to where I need to go. And be happy to come home.

Giving Notice

On my second day back, I turned in my 30-day notice. So, no backing out now. We are definitely moving. And thank God for that, because I really need to get out of here, for so many reasons, some physical, some metaphysical.

First of all, I can’t afford it anymore. I moved into a place at the top of my affordability range, and then every year for the past three, they’ve raised my rent.  I’m getting into a whole new range if I sign a lease for another year, and there’s just no way I can afford it. The universe is once again sending a very clear signal – don’t do this!

Second, there’s just a problem with the energy here, and it’s always been here, but I was so unbalanced when I moved in that I thought it was a good thing. Liked that it amplified whatever I was feeling. I needed that amplification, to learn how to set boundaries and deal with the aftermath of sadness and pain. But I’m tired now, tired of always negotiating the boundaries, tired of having to re-set every time I come home. And after the past two weeks of experiencing true equilibrium and positive, loving energy in my living space, I need to find somewhere in my home town that has that property, too.

And finally, there’s some people on my street that I just don’t want to run into. And that’s draining in and of itself, always wondering about that when I turn onto my street or go take a walk. I understand that the universe has its own plans and that if I’m meant to run into someone, I just will, and when that happens, it tends to make me laugh. But I think in this case…I’m just done.

It’s time to move on, and move out.