I haven’t written in almost one month, that for me it is very uncommon, but it is also a good sign because it means I have been very busy working in my new job that genuinely love and enjoy. I have not had many free days since the beginning of the year, but once in a while I have been trying to reach out to my words that are trying to hide in the deepest corner of my mind. I moved to the city of Knoxville in the eastern part of Tennessee, and I have been trying to start my social life from scratch with not much success at all. Do not take me wrong, I have met so many wonderful people, and little by little I get into this new community; but I really miss the great group of friends I had in Cookeville.
Even though I have the ideal job for me, lately I have been asking myself these questions: is it worth to be living so far away from my family? For the money I make, and the sacrifices I do, is it worth to miss spending quality time with my old father and mother? Is the job I am doing worth so much to live so far away of the people I love? For the first time since I came to live in the U.S.A. I really doubt if this is the place I want to stay.
I am a gay single man living in a very conservative state. I used to work, and belonged to the protestant church for more than 20 years. A former pastor with the United Methodist Church unable to fulfilled my call to become an ordained deacon because of who I am as a creature of the living God. A totally unchurch person who has not decide if the church, as it is in these times, is what he needs. I find myself becoming a seeker once again, reading Buddha’s followers as Pema Chödrön and Thich Nhat Hanh and Chris’s followers as Brennan Manning, and Henry Nouwen trying to uncover the truths for my life. I am still trying to heal the pain of rejection, judgments, and back stabbing from people who used to be very close to me, and who shared the same faith I once had. I live 3000 miles from the nearest family, south in Mexico or west in California. My father will be 85 years old in September, and I have missed the last 10 years of his life. My mother about to be 74 in October, so again I ask myself: “Miguel is it meaningful the work I am doing? Am I really making a difference in the life of other people to give up the time I could spend closer to my family? I call to this season of my life: “Searching for meaning and significance”.
Pema Chödrön says, “Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.” Times like these where I am trying to find the meaning and significance of my life are very scary to go through because it creates uncertainty, and honestly I hate not knowing what would happen with me, where I would end it up, what my life will be in the next five years?, and do not go that far, I mean what would happen this year?
These are the questions of existentialism in my early years of my middle age. I am not rich, not own a house, do not have a partner, no children, and still paying my car. The only thing I own are a couple of debts , an old sofa, a couple of chairs, dozens of books, an ipod full of music, and the valuable dignity that was given to me the moment I step out into my own freedom. …oh and I forgot, I do not even own my bed..jaja ridiculous!!!.
Nevertheless, with all these questions echoing in my mind, and living under a very tight budget, even though I am far away of my siblings and family, I am content and satisfied; enjoying the good friends I am making through the new job I have, and getting closer to the ones I had before; realizing that true richness comes from the many people we meet in our journey, and not from the paycheck we receive, even though the money is always welcomed, and never rejected.
So, I am still walking the way of simplicity, step by step, learning, contemplating and finding the meaning and significance of my daily life, and of course not ashamed.
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” (Pema Chodron)