Last week I had a new patient in the clinic. It was a long day and I was already totally exhausted. I couldn't hear her very well as she kind of mumbled and talked as she moved around the room, attempting to tell me what was going on as she hung her coat up with her back towards me, an impossibility for someone who reads lips. She finally sat down, swung her gorgeous long, dark dreadlocks over her shoulder and flashed the pearliest of white smiles that made my terrible mood melt right off my chest. After we spent a while talking about her injury, I put together a treatment plan as she climbed onto the table. We continued to small talk, something I strongly dislike as a 50% deaf introvert but she was sweet and I felt open to listen as I began putting needles in her body. She mentioned she was from Baltimore and I said, "No way! I am too.."
"Girl! What high school did you go to?" She asked.
"Roland Park Country School"
"GIIIIIIIIRL ME TOO!"
Turns out we went to the same exact high school, 20 years apart. That one little comment broke open into an entire conversation of life, love, passions, gifts, talents, challenges, and all the things that make us human. She told me how she had been teaching dance for many years and I told her I moved to New York to be a writer when I was 17 years old. She asked me, "So then what are you doing in Acupuncture school?"
"I've been asking myself the same damn question for 5 years..."
"Listen, girl, if there's anything I've learned after being on this Earth almost 50 years it's this: if you don't use your gifts, life will challenge you. Get to writing."
In six months I'll be graduating with a Master's in Acupuncture and it feels strange to have a chapter end that felt never-ending. It will be the first time I have nothing holding me down to New York: no school, no trainings, no relationships. It will be the first time I have to really buckle down and make a career for myself, without the safety net of "I'm in school still" to fall back on. And it will also be the first time that I have to really decide what I want my life to look like, uninfluenced by mentors, by parents, by teachers, by friends. It's beautiful but also a little terrifying when you know that anything you can dream of can come true and it's time to really begin pulling those dreams down to planet Earth.
In the center of my heart I am a writer. I've always loved words. Written words. It's easy for me, as if my fingers already know what I want to say. One thought will pop into my head and streams upon streams of words and sentences will begin to unfold from the ethers. It's a gift that I've never consistently used, so when a friend said she was going to do 100 days of writing, I decided to join. It's magical to feel the quiet stirrings of a new chapter unfolding. Anything is possible. And today is day 1.