It has been way too long since I have bothered to post any of my adventures on this blog. Just goes to show that I was too engaged in the adventuring!
To be honest, my life has totally changed since February. Let me count the ways.
1. I was a spring break nanny for a family with four children on Passover retreat in Orlando, FL, where I got up close and personal with crowd Judaism + lots of money. Where the result was some classism, some overeating, and some self-examination.
2. I accidentally got myself an awesome job in Toronto by following my instinct to email a film director and chat about the arts and creativity. In the course of our conversation, he mentioned he was looking for a nanny, and the rest is history!
3. I spent three months in Okazaki, Japan, teaching English, with no Japanese and no formal training. Being a vegetarian was challenging, as were the language difficulties and the intense heat and humidity of summer, but I learned so much about education, made some great friends among the students and the mothers, explored some beautiful places, and got to spend a lot of my free time focusing inwardly.
4. I completed another Vipassana meditation retreat, although this time I didn't sit the 10 day course but served. This means that I was not required to be silent, and that I spent ten days cleaning and cooking for about 100 people interspersed with thrice daily sittings, for one hour each. It was transformative -- jumping back and forth between noisy kitchen work and the intense quiet and focus of meditation was a great challenge, and I practiced such deep compassion and mindfulness during those ten days like I have never experienced before. I am still not sitting every day now, but I am more mindful and I am working towards twice daily sits.
5. I attended my dear friend's wedding in Maine - significant because it was the first wedding of a close friend, and because I was fortunate enough to spend two days with my dearest college friends. Transformative, and also grounding, in the way that any contact with your past is.
6. I spent about two months in the Seattle area, visiting friends (hey Anna!), attending college happy hours, and enjoying the Whidbey Island area with family. Lots of solitude, which I crave, and lots of planning and mental work in preparation for my move to Toronto. This time is drawing to a close in about three weeks, when I will relocate to Canada!
In the meantime, I am focusing on being here and now, and enjoying the tiniest changing of the seasons each day. I am trying to be mindful of my body and what I allow into my body (food and other people's interactions and judgments).
My excitement for Toronto is immense - I am beyond thrilled to have my own apartment, to be making money, to get to know a new city and make new friends (who speak English!), but above all, to be working with a family who values me and what I bring to the table, and whose values I also respect. What a gift!
Off to snack on some vegan, gluten-free, melt-in-your-mouth ginger molasses cookies and some tea.