By Helena Rodriguez
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
— T.S. Eliot, 1943
Last week’s final episode of “Frasier” left me in tears. I’ve found this TV psychiatrist’s dry sense of humor funny over the years. Frasier left the building with class, something I hope to do, too.
At the end, Frasier finds himself alone. Niles and Daphne have a new baby. His dad has a new bride and Frasier’s new-found love suddenly moves to Chicago. His ex-wife, Lillith, has a new life, too. Frasier then decides to do something he didn’t expect to do — leave Seattle. He gathers his family and friends to announce he’s taking a job in San Francisco, saying, “I want what all of you have now: a new chapter.”
It seems like I just started a new chapter in my life when I moved back to Portales in December of 2002 after a seven-year absence. But I feel a new chapter starting. Perhaps this previous chapter was a short, transitional one that laid the groundwork for a bigger, more exciting adventure to follow.
There was a twist in the Frasier finale, however. When the plane landed, the pilot announced they had arrived in Chicago, not San Francisco, the site of Frasier’s job. Life itself is full of twists and turns, those planned and unplanned. Who knows where the next plane will land for me, or if it will even leave the ground. One thing I know for sure though, is I have important decisions to make this summer.
Like the Eliot quote above, I have arrived back where I started. Since returning to P-Ville, it’s been like getting to know the place again, this time from the eyes of a visitor. I just may add my own ending to that Eliot quote above. The question is, will it be now or after I earn a master’s degree?
I have never been so indecisive in my life as I am right now. I went to college in 1985 knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I then spent 14 years in journalism second-guessing my decision and wanting to go back to school. Now that I’m back in school, I’m still not happy. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but I’m still searching.
Part of me says to stay in school. If I do, I must decide whether to get a master’s in communications or English. I’m still undecided. Then there’s the other part of me that misses that sense of adventure in the newsroom and is afraid of getting too many school loans. No matter what the future holds for me, though, it will involve writing.
This summer is going to be a time for me to listen and wait for that guiding voice to speak to me. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing to never be satisfied, but that’s what keeps me dreaming and getting out of bed every day.
Coming back to Portales has humbled me in some ways; empowered me in others. It has drawn me further from my family in some ways; and drawn me closer in other ways. Either way, it’s given me strength now to move forward without looking back.
It’s like that dove in the Biblical story of Noah. The dove leaves the safety of the ark to scout for secure ground. It then returns to the ark with an olive leaf to reassure Noah that things are going to be OK, for both of them. Then the dove disappears into the horizon to live its life.