I have a confession to make. I've been keeping a big secret from my blog, because I couldn't figure out how it fit in. Oh well, here I go breaking the mold.
Readers may or may not know that I'm a retired dance/movement therapist and educator. About seven months ago I got an invitation from the Marian Chace Foundation of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) to give the "keynote" lecture that they sponsor at our annual professional conference. I was flabbergasted. I had actually just decided not to attend the ADTA annual conference for the first time in my memory. It's a huge honor to be invited to do this lecture, and of course I accepted.
So, for the past six months I've been writing that address. My mind has been possessed by the process needed to create the lecture, and it has been difficult to think about much of anything else. The lecture ended up being about an aspect of adult or professional development that I called radical adult transition. I defined it as a voluntary major change made after a significant period of stability in an adult’s life that affects relationships, identify, and life direction.
Some readers, especially those who are full-time RVers, may recognize themselves in the concept. I can't tell you how many people of all ages (not just retirees) we've met who've made radical adult transitions in their lives in order to live full-time on the road, like we are doing now. (So thank you fellow full-timers for the inspiration!)
Interestingly, the adult development literature does not identify this phenomenon. Adulthood is seen as a period of stability, and radical change is seen as either a threat to the functions of adulthood, or something that happens to you, like an accident or some unforeseen event. Yet radical adult transitions seem to be happening more and more. People choose to make major changes in their occupations, locations, family status, religions, etc. that end up changing almost everything about their lives. Adulthood just doesn't seem to be as stable as it used to be.
So anyway, a month ago I delivered the address at the conference in Chicago. It was a true peak experience, both professionally and personally. Now I am feeling a sense of emptying out of what I'd been working on for the past half year. Certainly after the emotional high of giving the lecture itself and all the incredible feedback I received, I am feeling something of post-high recovery and emptiness. It's not a bad feeling, but it does feel odd being back in this life without that lecture running around in my head all the time.
Emptiness can be a kind of blessed quietness and a good place for something new to grow. So I'm waiting to see what comes. I'm concerned that it may not fit with the theme of the blog thus far and I guess I'll have to deal with that when it comes up. (We've been parked for awhile, and I do think when we get to traveling again that my enthusiasm for the road, new sights and photography will probably return full force. But we'll see.)
In a few weeks I believe the lecture I gave will be published online in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. I'll post a link when that happens.
Thanks for reading.