What if reinvention is just snapshots of an evolution?

November 13, 2013

Wedding Couple

One year before this picture was taken, I was running around San Francisco buying jungle gear and getting vaccinated for a 6-week journey to South America.

Two years before this picture, I was saying no to that same trip, an invitation around the Atlantic on a ship of students studying and traveling for a semester. It was an opportunity I’d had my eye on for a decade, and it had finally floated my way. My dear friend Lisa called to say she’d be making her third voyage, this time as Dean of Students, Fall 2012, and she asked me to come. And this, this gypsy intellectual global adventure, touching four continents, crossing the equator twice and holding in one story the image of riding camels in the Morrocan desert and fishing for pirhana from the Amazon, was right up my alley. That and a ship full of friends I’d make along the way, if something else describes me better, I’d like to hear it.

But there was a hitch, as my grandma used to say, in my get-along.

I was already on a voyage. I’d just moved in with my man. I’d just left my city to live with him in his. I’d just admitted I had this kind of love and moved my life to believe it. On the phone with Lisa, stirring pasta for two over the stove, I came to the understanding that I can’t jump this ship. I’ve filled my life with travel and exploration and escape, but what I had yet to do was fall in love and mean it for life.

Curiously, several months later my commitment rewarded me. The opportunity to sail presented itself again, this time for five weeks instead of nearly four months, on the southern and final leg of the voyage. Stars aligned, love supported, and I made plans to meet the ship in Argentina in the coming fall.

Three years before this picture was taken, I was arriving “home” from a summer spree around the US and Canada on a concert tour bus. I say “home” in quotes because by the time summer finally delivered me to my Portland apartment–in October–I’d extend my trip to live in NYC for two months, and return to my hometown San Diego to see my grandmother for the last time, and help my dad pack her apartment of 33 years into a Uhaul headed east.

Some people are serial monogamists, trapeze-ing from one relationship to the next. My serial affairs are with geography. I was feeling rootless and spun, byproduct of a gypsy bender. That same week I got home, I adopted a kitten, and after adapting to a needy, gravity-immune, furry alien in my house, obliterating plants from my domain for the foreseeable future, I fell in love.

Four years before this picture, to the day in my personal culture calendar, I was skipping town to numb a fresh heartbreak. I lived in Portland and flew to San Francisco to visit friends, feel that old familiar singlehood, and not-know with even the merest of inklings that this date four years hence would find me living in San Francisco for love, and saying yes and thank-you and I-do-I-will-I-am to everything that came before and everything that follows.

Pema Teeter Rocker
October 5, 2013
San Francisco

Do Over Blog Tour New ButtonThis post is part of the Do-Over! Dare-well Blog Tour: 9 Do-Over Divas Dishing about Reinvention brought to you by Katie Grant of Plume: a handcrafted copy shoppe. Pushing restart takes some gumption. This tour will give you that and then some.   






{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

regina November 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

Tears of joy here, my friend. I love you so. Congratulations, Mrs. Rocker!


Pema November 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm
Steve Roth November 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

Thank you for sharing that! And congratulations again, you two look so happy in the picture above. Your post made me stop and think about where I was last year, the year before, five years ago, twenty years ago. It’s funny (and sad) how I get so wrapped up in what I want next that I rarely take time to stop and enjoy what I have, or what I’ve just gotten or achieved, which is something I had been pining for before. Living in the moment is such a powerful thing, and intellectually it makes perfect sense, but in practice, not so easy to do. I am going to start reminding myself of that more often. Maybe setting time aside each day to focus on what I want in the future will help me live in the moment more often. And it kind of ties into the law of attraction. Thanks again!


Pema November 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Thanks, Steve. It slips away so fast if we don’t go back and look at the detail now and then. And it’s especially cool to look back with new perspectives we’ve gained. Happy attracting. :)


Marianne November 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I love the structure of this piece – and how it reminds us that we never really know where we’ll be a year from now, but our willingness to be open will probably play a large part in where we end up.
Marianne recently posted..Avoiding despair when disaster hits: aid, advocacy, action.My Profile


Pema November 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thanks, Marianne, I agree. I love the liberation this structure opens up. It wasn’t planned, it came along and surprised me, and opened me.


Dave November 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Whoo hoo!!!


Laura November 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Just beautiful. Reminds me of one of my fav Indigo Girls lyrics: “Every 5 years or so I look back on my life, and I have a good laugh..”


Sas November 19, 2013 at 4:38 am

Oh this is beautiful. I am starting to think that every journey is meant to bring us all the way back home. Eventually.
Love your work Ms Teeter-Rocker.
Sas recently posted..where is my flux capacitor?My Profile


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