Six years ago today I opened Main Street Yoga. I have been thinking all day about the wild, circuitous, error-ridden path that led me here. I really want to tell the story of how all this came to be: how I came to be a teacher of yoga, how I came to be the way I am.
But it’s a long story. It goes back to the nuns in Catholic school who planted the concept in my head that everyone has a “vocation” or a “calling.”
(So I think I’ll make this a multi-part entry and see if I can chunk out the whole mess.)
I was always looking for it, listening for it, even hoping, as a little girl, that god knew my phone number and would call me. (“Hey god, my number is Tremont 4-7734.”)
After I gave up the idea that it would be a literal “call” I kept waiting for some grown-up, some teacher, to call me out, to tell me, “You are good at this; you should be a ____.” I kept waiting for the revelatory dream, the message in the fortune cookie, the face in the cloud formation, anything that would confirm a “calling.”
But nothing. Nada.
I wasn’t particularly talented at anything in the way some kids are talented at music, or math, or art or sports.
And this lack of a calling or “firm direction” or whatever you want to call it, continued through high school, into college, grad school, and even motherhood.
So I did what everyone does in my position: I just made the best of it. I did the best I could with what I had. I liked to read, so I read everything. I liked to write, so I wrote in my journal everyday for decades. I had a crappy childhood, so I made sure my kid didn’t. I took up jogging. I built and tended gardens. I ran a Nursery School. I took piano lessons. I practiced yoga. I went on silent Zen retreats. I made a quilt. I became a vegetarian.
But I dreaded it at parties when I was asked, “What do you do?” Because whatever I was doing, was not what I was. What I was, what my life mission was, eluded me. And this really, really, really bugged me.
But at the same time, I came to know what I wasn’t. I wasn’t good at being on the road all the time; I was a home-body. I wasn’t good as a school teacher, though I liked to teach. I was spoiled and liked to call the shots on my own life. I didn’t like to be “bossed.”
I was certainly not content being a piano-playing, gardener, meditator, quilter, vegetarian, runner. My life wasn’t coming together and time was running out.
(to be continued…)