There’s a tapping at the door and rather than open it, I stare through the peep hole. When I do, I see the universe staring back at me. And like a salesman wanting to sell me something, there seem to be a multitude of pamphlets and brochures on display, pictures of this new way of life and I am scared. I don’t want to leave the life I have now, the kind that’s comfortable and worn in like a pair of shoes that’ve lost their tread but finally feel broken in.
I am an archivist, a saver, a preserver – it’s in my bones, it’s who I am. I want everything to remain the same. But recently life has thrown me a curve ball. I am one of those people who makes their work space into a home away from home. At my library there are things that I have unknowingly anticipated seeing every day that have been taken and been disposed of. For safety’s sake they tell me. These were things I had acquired over the years, placed at my desk and around the room. The kind of things you don’t really notice until they are gone and the loss socks you in the gut. Now my walls are bare, my desk is bare. But everything is clean, and I suppose that’s something to be happy about. Which is certainly something. Not to be cryptic about it, but my day-to-day working life has been a bit bumpy these past few months. You finally feel like things are settling down, you understand the new arrangements and Bam! you get hit with another challenge. I want to be one of those people who intimately understands the difference between being broken and being broken open. Right now I see the walls as bare, my desk is barren. I stare forlornly up at the window ledges and remember the stuffies that used to sit there.
People keep telling me I have an opportunity here. I have a chance to do things differently instead of following along with the way things have always been done. I could choose to see the empty spaces as potential, not blank but filled with possibility. I’m willing to consider it. I could be a glass half full kinda gal. For instance, there’s the possibility that if I step back a bit from being so involved with work, then maybe I can take a little time for myself and not be so wrapped up in other people’s lives and how to help them. Truthfully it sucks up all your energy and there’s not much left for my family or myself. But to think about something else feels selfish like I’m not being supportive or kind. Sometimes it’s easiest to neglect yourself in favor of helping someone else. Because of the unexpected construction, I haven’t hosted a storytime or an event in months– I am the librarian without children. That’s the part that hurts the most. Maybe this year’s Halloween costume should have been Little Bo Peep. I am definitely feeling her pain.
Given all these changes, it seems like the universe has come knockin’, but I don’t know who to trust. We’ve always been told not to take candy from strangers. Don’t hitchhike and accept rides from others you don’t know. Above all, be careful. To me this opportunity feels a little like those “too good to be true” scenarios, all shiny and new.
Still, I wonder: could the future be different than I imagined? Do I dare open the door? What will happen if I do?