When I was living in St. Croix sometimes I would take a sea plane over to St. John where my sister lived. I was purchasing the ticket online for one of these such trips, and was filling in my information when I came to prefix options for my name. I had a little joke with myself and put Prof. Kalyn Marab. I must have thought it was a little funny, or rebellious even. I forgot about my joke, but it ended up leading to missing my flight. The day of my trip I checked in and sat cluelessly with the honestly represented patrons. The attendants repeatedly called out for Professor Marab, and I didn’t respond. When I finally heard Kalyn and walked up excited they finally were going to put me on a flight, they were visibly perturbed demanding where I had been. I started blankly at them. I was a barefoot, sun weathered and dumbfounded, and tried to contain my laughter when they called me Professor. In the end my family and friends had such a laugh from the whole scenario I deemed waiting for the next flight to be worth it… This story came into my mind a few days ago, and made me smile, though I was able to glean a lesson from this memory. Trying to be something we are not in our lives can result in circumstances more unfortunate than a missed flight… Though how we do we know what we are, and are not?
Since Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Environment and Planning and Ecological design… I have been very out of school. I was at a dead sprint after graduation, wanting to proclaim my path without an office in sight. I spent much of the first few years in, on, and under the water. The last few I have been working as a cook at an alternative medicine school. My life makes sense to me about half of the time. I often catch myself feeling obligated to justify my decisions, in my head and in conversation. People ask what I am studying at the University I work at, and are surprised to find I am just a cook there…
In looking for jobs in a more professional field it seems that, in the city especially, a 4 year degree is about as good as high school diploma. I imagine myself loving a job with Agroforestry, or Forest conservation. My heart swells at the idea of trying to save, and regenerate the beautiful bits of the world that are left. To be able to serve the world on a scale bigger than I have seen. I romanticize this professional path, seeing my self in a pant suit perhaps, maybe with high heels, signing petitions, graciously accepting the Nobel Peace prize. Doing real good stuff, and making a real difference, rather than just making healthy food for people. So when I was here in my head, I applied to Graduate school. I applied to two programs, I need to go big if I’m going to go at all, right? Masters in Environmental Horticulture, and a Peace Corps Masters in International Forestry. Take that world. I’m gonna BE somebody.
Now my applications are submitted and I am finished with the my GRE exam. The dust has settled on my end, and my heart is like ‘okay cool, can we go now?’ All I can think about is wanting to work on boats and start a farm. Time to cut loose and write stories about adventures, and a life just lived. Maybe some folks have to sacrifice the idea of a top and bottom matching ensemble, and just take up the role of a vagabond, or a modern day gypsy, to give some hope back to the world. Serving the world is ultimately living my life out in my authentic way. Honoring the unique genius, as Michael Meade would describe, that is in each of us. He says that on the other side the only question we are asked is if we became our true self. Not how much money we made, how many homes, awards, or titles we gained. It is a heavy thought in my mind that the idea of going back to school is not my own. That it is a result of being socialized, being surrounded with people on a treadmill, and wanting to keep up for the sake of keeping up. Not even knowing where we are headed? Bandwagon, or group mentality thinking perhaps? It is scary to sit in the not knowing. Though the not knowing what the next step is the most real of places to live, because no one truly knows. Inundating my mind with self judgements, completely lacking self love, demands a tangible thing to show my worth.. Perhaps there is a different, more enlightened path to travel.
So my proposal to continue with my education is possibly me paying thousands of dollars to make me value my Self. In hopes that when people ask ‘what I do’ I can respond with a candid, socially appropriate though impressive answer…
I am already someone after all, we all are. A lifetime of school will not make me BE someone, I am not already. It does not have the power to change my heart, make me more compassionate, more thoughtful and a better addition to the world. I will not be more or less than who I am already, even if society think so.
So I am not so eagerly waiting to hear back from the University of Washington about these programs. I am enrolled in some fun classes at Bastyr University utilizing my employee benefits. I am taking herbal medicine history and traditions, food writing and horticulture research and grant writing. I am mostly staring at my tiny house (still just an embellished trailer) getting rained on. I try to read, and write, and have picked up the guitar after a hiatus as I crammed for this silly GRE test. I have been making lots of broth and sauerkraut…Also I might be looking for a boat to catch a ride to Hawaii this Spring.
Still a’ wandering, but today I feel okay about it.