What Three Months Can Do

I’ve returned from an unexpected hiatus.

Early March Krissy did not know what the next few months had in store for her. Each came as a surprise: moving to a new home, a sudden enthusiasm for making more money, my dance studio reopening, and a much-needed vacation to the Big Island with my sweetheart.

If 2020 was the year of sheltering in place and staring at the same four walls endlessly, then 2021 is the year of change.

I have throughout my adult life had a few rip-the-bandaid-off decision-making moments of clarity following a period of muscling through the bullshit. One of favorite epiphanies took place at the end of 2016 when I knew enough was enough. I was feeling under-valued in a job that was stifling my soul. I was unhappy in a city I had been trying so hard to like. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck with not a dime in savings, despite having a masters degree and experience living abroad twice.

So I quit my job. Even though I didn’t have another one lined up yet.

I was given the exact opposite advice from an older family member when I floated the idea with them. They were worried it was a bad decision for reasons of lack of security, how it would look to be jobless, etc. But it felt right, no one could change my mind, and the timing was perfect. Two months later, it led me to Santa Cruz, CA sight unseen for a new job and a dreamy west coast lifestyle. My interests and skillsets came together in an almost perfect Venn diagram in my new position, and within a couple of years I received the highest annual award given to only a few people among thousands of employees.

My feminine wisdom did not lead me astray.

Thankful to Want More

But about that newfound enthusiasm for making more money.

I spent most of 2020, probably like most people, holding on tightly to my job, home, and health. I didn’t flinch when they told us last summer not to expect another pay raise until 2023. I never knew the meaning of the expression to be “grateful for what one has” until I experienced last year’s series of unprecedented events: the pandemic, the California forest fires, widespread societal discord, and the presidential election. My anxiety was juxtaposed with thankfulness.

And then one day I woke up and realized I could be thankful and want more. Sometimes we let thankfulness stop us from aiming higher. While it made perfect sense to coast through some really tough months with deep gratitude and a daily pat on the back for not having a meltdown, it began to feel appropriate to exit my hibernation from ambition.

By the end of February, I was ready for an upgrade, starting with moving to my own place where I could curate a feminine-centric home and set up a pole to dance freely. And even though it would squeeze my already-tight budget, I needed to create a space where I could move a little bit closer to having the future lifestyle I envision.

My desire to grow and ask for more was sleeping just beneath the surface of my conscious. In February, Netflix released a documentary called Strip Down Rise Up, and I became awakened. The film follows a group of women who use pole dancing as a way to reconnect with their bodies and address their previous traumas. I was heartbroken to hear story after story of women open up about how they lost touch with themselves, and I was equally inspired to see them demonstrate how sensual, feminine movement is healing them.

The. power. of. this. practice.

Pole dancing exists within its own universe. It is probably a whole lot more than you realize (another reason to watch the documentary). It encompasses professional dancers who compete or earn a living in Cirque du Soleil, strippers in both high end and run down clubs, and women of all ages who just want to feel sexy and build strength. It’s the damn hardest thing I’ve ever tried, and even though I am typically the least skillful student in the intermediate classes, I can’t not keep doing it. It’s my feminine playtime, and no one can ever take that from me.

Because the pandemic forced my dance studio to close for most of 2020, I was beginning to feel disconnected from the movement. By the end of Strip Down Rise Up, I knew I needed to do whatever it took to get a pole at home, which wasn’t an option in my shared living space.

By mid-March, I had a new address.

The Exit Strategy

The move to a new home was only the precursor to devising a grand exit strategy from my job. While a career change is not entirely about earning more, it is a huge factor as to why I am planning to leave higher education. The room for growth is extremely limited. The pay is always significantly less than what one needs to thrive. And about 1,000 other reasons.

I am ready to go work for myself. I want to build my own business. This is my official announcement.

Freedom from the confines of a bureaucratic organization is going to feel so good. I lamented to my mentor that I’m struggling to think outside the box when it comes to what I am capable of doing next. Like the brilliant woman that she is, she told me there is no box. I only tell myself there is one.

My feminine practice is going to more important than ever. To navigate my very uncertain future, I will need to return to the movement and philosophy again and again. My masculine energy will be instrumental in moving me forward, but my feminine energy will guide my intuition.

This is going to be a welcomed wild ride.