Lesson 7 from Bean / by Liz Thorpe

7. We are all expecting. The question is: what? And, how are you experiencing that expectation?

I had a plan for how it would be when I left my job. It was a fuzzy plan, the way dreams can deliver complex narratives but the edges of things are all a little blurry. In my plan, the things I reached for would fall neatly into my hand. In my plan, I would transition seamlessly from That Thing to This New Thing.

It hasn't been that way.

The catch is, there wasn't a plan. I sort of knew that, but I also sort of thought it wouldn't matter. And it doesn't matter, insofar as the unfolding of what comes next is the plan I'm living. But there hasn't been a neat, clean, tidy Next Job for Equal or Greater Money that Delivers Equal or Greater Satisfaction/Pleasure/Accomplishment and rounds out a Life of Equal or Greater Delight. Instead, there's been a lot of sitting around wondering, "Huh. What comes next? Where does it come from? How will I know if it's the right Next New Thing?" And, how do I sit comfortably with that not knowing?

I was lamenting my lack of a work project for the dwindling weeks before Bean Arrived, and a friend said, "You're expecting." Not a baby. Or, not just a baby. You're in the process of expecting The Next Thing. Babies have a clock on their gestation. You expect them, and, roughly 40 weeks later, they arrive. My next work, and the person I will be then is still gestating. I don't know how long that gestation will take. Apparently, it will be more than 40 weeks, but then, when it comes out, it will be able to do much more than Bean, so extra time seems warranted.

The trick, of course, is in choosing how to experience that expectation. With Bean: it can be slow, uncomfortable, compromising, boring. It can also be: miraculous. Physically affirming. A grand excuse to learn about biology. A chance to better know my body and its intuitive, natural abilities.

Expecting The Next Thing, whatever that is, has a similar duality. It can be frustrating. Maddening. Undermining. Irrefutable evidence that I am ruining my life. Scary. Intimidating. Slow. Unclear. It can also be: a chance to see the possibilities differently. The chance to see different possibilities. An experiment in saying yes to what I want, and no to what I do not want. Wondrous. Proof that we get to invent who we are, as many times as we desire. Space.

We are all expecting. The question is what, and how?  We choose, we choose, we choose.